by Pastor Tim Burt
When I was young living under my parents instruction and guidance, they were there to stop my wrong behavior, attitude, and wrong thinking (if they knew what it was,) on a dime. They would firmly but lovingly discipline me, instruct me, and help persuade me to change my ways.
That was great and appropriate for them, and what parents should do for their children. But then we grow up, hit adult age, and because we have, it becomes inappropriate for our parents to discipline us, instruct us, and influence our lives in the same way they did when we were children. Parents that continue to maintain those forms of parenting disciplines with their adult children, typically end up with dysfunctional children. So, there we are, grown up with no one to jerk us out of bad or squirrelly behaviors or thinking. That creates a potential dilemma for us because we need someone or something to occasionally jerk us out of misguided attitudes and behaviors.
That is one of the reasons I love the Lord so very much! When you’ve received Jesus into your heart as Lord and Savior, God sends His Holy Spirit to live within you. You instantly have something the rest of the world does not. 1 Cor. 2:12 & 14-15 (NLT) says, “And God has actually given us His Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us…But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all.” We have God’s Holy Spirit living within us—whether the world understands it or not! What a fantastic gift from God!
Because the Holy Spirit indwells us, we have His help to turn us from wrong or squirrelly thinking and behaviors on a dime—if we will yield ourselves to Him.
One day a few weeks ago, something Renee was doing was bugging me. She is so sweet that she’d never do anything to intentionally bug me and it wasn’t really her. It was the pressure of my busy schedule getting to me. It began to affect my attitude, which she, in turn picked up on. She knew something was bothering me and that only made her feel defensive. With that, I had laid the groundwork for a fight; something that we seldom ever do anymore. Suddenly the Holy Spirit brought verses from 1 Corinthians 13 about love to my heart. As I began to think about them, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Remind me again why you love Renee so much.” As I began to think about that, it was like a faucet opened. All the reasons I love her flooded in. The Holy Spirit had turned my squirrelly thinking around in a moment’s time! I walked up to her, put my arms around her, and began to tell her why I loved her so much. That led to delightful things if you know what I mean. And the devil's efforts to get us to fight were defeated!
Is acknowledging His presence important? It is key to receiving the love and help God wants to give you! Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, and He will make your paths straight.” In this verse, you see many words that each speak their own message. The one I want to point you to is “acknowledge.” It says, “…acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.” Acknowledging God is to bring Him into your thoughts and into the moment. The word acknowledge has everything to do with jerking the slack out of us and turning wrong behaviors and thinking on a dime. The word acknowledge comes from a Hebrew word that implies being able to know and see the instruction and reproof necessary that comes from God’s heart of love. When we draw God into the moment because we want His input and we are willing to receive it, then He can “…make our paths straight.”
I am so thankful I have a Heavenly Father and loving Savior that fills me with His Spirit to help catch me when I begin to think and act wrongly and instantly move me to a right path! Praise the name of Jesus!
Hebrews 12:6 The Lord educates, instructs, and trains those He loves, and brings correction to those He accepts as His children.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt