It’s odd, the things that we remember from when we were young. But first, this memory that lazily wandered through my skull.
I remembered a thought that I had after I started my first full-time job. For several months I was underwater and didn’t have time to think, but then this thought hit me: I no longer have my summertimes off as I had in school. I have to work like this for the rest of my life! (Remember, I was young)
I wasn’t sure I could work forever. I felt a sense of helplessness combined with dread wash over me. I had a good relationship with Jesus, but I still had much to learn; always do. However, you see, I hadn’t discovered three keys to living my life for Jesus.
1. I was trying to picture the whole rest of my life. That doesn’t work. If I try to live in the future, then I will be confused, disappointed, and out of God’s will. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 ESV) How can I even guess my future when daily I lay down my life and pick up my cross and follow Jesus. I rarely know where Jesus is going today until today, so I have no idea what I’ll be doing.
2. I was envisioning my future upon what my life had been like in the past. That’s just silly. Past failures or successes do not determine my future. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV) That old person that I was, has no authority over me and the new person that I am serves the God whose name is “I Am,” so what do I have to dread about the future?
3. I was thinking within the knowledge, wisdom, and faith that I had at the time when that thought went through my mind. But as we follow Jesus, our knowledge increases, our understanding becomes deeper, and our faith grows stronger. I am not the same as I was. I think differently. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17 ESV) Sure, my flesh rises from time to time, and I have to beat it into submission, but that’s part of my cross.
Now, many decades later, it seems odd to me that such a thought loomed so large before me. By the grace of Father God, the Shepherding of Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit within me, I now see that I just walked right through that fear and dread and didn’t even notice when I did.
These three keys are how you and I successfully live daily in Christ Jesus. We are living through such an incredible adventure!
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