What is it you desire? Good things or evil? God-focused things or self-centered things? His will or yours?
24 What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted.
This verse is a riddle; the answer is the same for both: God. The difference is in our relationship to Him. We Americans teach our children to become independent of their parents as they grow older. There is a lot of value in being able to take care of oneself and ultimately a family. But, it is not so in Christianity. We must go from being independent to being completely dependent upon the Spirit of God.
Take Elisha, for instance. When the king of Aram ordered his arrest and sent his army to take him, his servant was alarmed: When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17
There is so much more to this world than we can see. The spiritual world is going on all around us, but we cannot see it. Paul even warns us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. We need to depend upon Jesus for everything.
I stumbled across a great illustration the other day. I recalled a blonde joke from “ages past.” It seems a blonde woman listened to a walkman with a headset all the time (a walkman is the precursor to an ipod). A friend got curious, came up behind her and removed the headphones. The blonde immediately collapsed! He put the headphones on and heard, “Breathe in; breathe out. Breathe in; breathe out…” I have revised the tale in that he put the headphones back on her and she revived.
Now, consider Ephesians 4:22-24 (great memory verses, by the way):
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self [breathe out], which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self [breathe in], created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Let’s apply the blonde’s technique to being continually filled with the Spirit: “Breathe in the Spirit; breathe out the flesh. Breathe in the Spirit; breathe out the flesh.” It WORKS!
May the Lord call to your mind this humorous way to remember to keep being filled with His Spirit. Let’s lean on Him even as we keep in step with Him.
Abba, may I heed my own advice and continue to practice the presence of Christ in my life. I want to learn to be totally dependent upon You for insight, understanding, discernment, and wisdom (seeing things from Your perspective). You are the air I breathe, O LORD. You are my oxygen. Amen.