If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. – Galatians 5:25-26
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
In Not Of
My wife had to go in for a minor outpatient surgical procedure yesterday. Everything went well. They’ll do a biopsy, but there doesn’t appear to be any malignancy. She got through it OK despite having to have general anesthesia. We went in about 8:00AM and were finally home about 3:00PM. I hate waiting rooms.
Thus my schedule and routine are all messed up this week. I am such a creature of habit. I get up, make coffee, feed the critters, let my phone alarm go off, hook it to the charger, start my computer, read a few verses, then read the news feed and the Bleat. If I get that done, the rest of the day can take whatever course it likes, and I’ve at least got my anchor set.
Paul’s accusation against the Galatians was that, though they had acknowledged Christ as their Savior through the Cross, they were trying to walk or operate on a daily basis from the dictates of the ceremonial law. They were trying to substitute ordinances for genuine life in the Spirit. Those who are more disciplined and more obsessive about details are better at establishing and maintaining habitual activities than some of the rest of us, which tends to feed their pride and our guilt and condemnation.
The people who could leave bacon alone might have felt superior to the Christians who succumbed to the temptation of fried side. Those who observed the ritual washings of ceremony might have considered themselves purer and cleaner than those who came in from the barn, rinsed the worst off, said a brief blessing over the food, and laid into it.
That’s one side of it. The other side is that we are never going to successfully walk in the Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit without some degree of discipline. We need prayer and meditation.
I’ll be perfectly honest as regards myself: I have no particular ambition to be a spiritual giant or to be named among the revered saints. If I get through this life without thoroughly screwing up worse than I already have or causing more pain and suffering to others than I already have, I will be quite content. I want the people around me to be as happy as possible until I’m gone. I was never cut out or called to be in any kind of fulltime or “professional” ministry. I only did what I had to do, and I have been rewarded for it many times over.
Still, I do want to walk close to God. As much as I enjoy making and seeing my family happy, at peace, and content, I also want to make my Father happy. To do that begins with meditating upon the Person of Jesus, on His character, His words, His virtue. It behooves me to think not on the earthly, the common, the profane, and the vulgar more than I must. My hands are going to get dirty because I do have to walk in the world. Meditating on .. whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable … is the way to become clean again, because I do not want to be of the world.