“Father, I want to know thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival.” ~The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Sometimes we say to our children, “You don’t need to know why I am forbidding something- you just need to obey.” Sometimes God says the same thing to me, his child. I just need to obey God.
I don’t always see things like he sees them. I don’t always agree with his commands. I don’t always LIKE what he’s told me to do. I don’t enjoy putting to death my flesh. It’s not a pleasure to carry my cross.
I obey. Perhaps begrudgingly, perhaps with a bad attitude sometimes, but I obey.
Some of those spiritual muscles are not used to being flexed and exercised. Some of them have become weak and unaccustomed to being controlled. I need to practice a movement, repeatedly, concentrating on correct form and execution, repeating it until it becomes reflexive and automatic. I build up my muscles by repetitive actions until they become a part of who I am. I do not enjoy the exercise, but I do it.
Hopefully this will get easier with time and practice. Hopefully I will find joy in obedience. But right now, I grimly set my hand to the plow and faintly trust that Jesus knows better than I do.
The flame of my faith is just a flickering candle, not a mighty blazing inferno… not yet, not here.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast and compliant spirit within me.