Common sense Christianity and walking in the Spirit —-what is it?
Have you ever seen a kid throw a tantrum and refuse to go anywhere? I have, and more than one time too. You can pick the child up and make them go; or you can sit down and talk with them and ask them what is going on that they cannot seem to move forward. Common sense Christianity says there are times you need help or you won’t be able to move forward. Legalism says do it or die.
Yes, relationships can be very hard, they seriously can be. One of the first letters Minister Diamond ever wrote me was about accepting what I cannot change. Oh I did not want to hear this. I was so upset and I said: “isn’t that like giving up?” He said no, it’s actually selfish to not accept what you cannot change about a person. Whew! I did not wish to hear this either.
I guess if I am honest; I’ve tried to change a lot of people in my life time. One of the justifications for my doing this actually came from this passage: “Since we know what it is to fear God, we try to persuade men.” (Paraphrased.) It’s so easy to cross the line from testifying to arguing; then go from arguing to debating; after that maybe even a full blown fight. Why? Because deep down we are afraid.
When we believe something strongly and someone else does not (especially a spouse or children) we tend to get all agitated and up in arms. Sometimes it’s justified (we think) because we are trying to save their very lives; which crosses over into “saving their souls.” There is even another passage that suggests if we win souls we are wise, however it didn’t mean getting into a knock-down drag out over the cause.
Let’s get an example going, shall we? My grandchildren are watching movies that I believe are going to hurt them spiritually, let’s say. It’s my personal revelation that these movies could cause them to have nightmares, bad dreams or they may even have a seed planted by the enemy which could wreak havoc in their lives later; all because of these television shows. As their grandma; I am concerned so I pray and feel led to go and “say something’ to the parents; who tell me it’s none of my business, please butt out.
Here’s another example; I have a friend who is drinking so much it’s affecting their finances, their job and their relationships. I’m praying for them; and I’ve even made a suggestion maybe they should examine their ways. The friend also told me this was “none of my business” or got very upset at me.
There is a prayer used in support groups that goes like this: “Lord, help me to accept what I cannot change, courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This prayer was inspired by a person who wanted to truly help others to mature and grow. The prayer I believe has lost a bit of its luster through the years with all the repetition; but it’s still a very great prayer.
What can we change? We can distance ourselves from a situation that upsets us. We can also pray for that person. We can try to be a great example, we can write a book (like I am doing) and hope they read it. We can worry, fret, cry, wring our hands, pound on the table, have a big fit, tell them how stupid they are; or we can just accept what we cannot change and go pray about it.
I know, it seems like we don’t care if we say nothing, right? Heaven forbid we should become one of those complacent go-with-the-flow type people who never get ruffled up about anything. I am starting to wonder if many people are drawn to the more charismatic type churches just because they equate “on fire’ with “all fired up” about something. As I grow more and as I develop more into God’s ways I find that a lot of things I used to get all upset about just are not worth getting upset about any longer.
Why? Because I couldn’t change it anyway. My blood pressure went up and I was so angry about things sometimes I was not being very kind to myself. What good did I do getting all upset like that?
Let’s try another exercise here. Write down three things that upset you that you wish you could change right now. It can be about the whole world or something in your family or one of your friends.
Now write down how you think you can change it. If you cannot truly think of a way to change it, why not pray about it and just let it go? Examine why you cannot let it go. Ask God to help you with this.
I have had so many things come up in my walk upon this earth that I could not seem to “let go” it isn’t even funny. I know there is a song that plays on the radio at times; it talks about letting go as well. It used to every time I heard that song I would equate “letting go” with “giving up” and I felt like I was a big failure in the kingdom of God if I did not keep fighting and warring against the problem.
I know there is spiritual warfare, but I also know the God who said we should be at peace; be content; be merciful; be forgiving; be loving and be kind; also talked to us about spiritual warfare. Surely he did not intend for us to get out of the spirit of love, kindness, gentleness, self-control and all his other attributes while we are warring in the spirit, right? I mean would he actually say that? I can almost hear him now; “Okay friends, drop the fruit and start the battle!” “Heads will roll today; none of my other words to you applies today we are all going to be “sons of thunder.”
Do you see why Jesus told his disciples when they wanted to call down fire from heaven “they didn’t know” what spirit they were of?