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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What "nest" do you find yourself in today?

If you are like me, your conversation sometimes doesn't match your actions! You say something, but you do another.  It is a common problem we all face - getting this "doing" to match our "saying".  As I get a little bit older, wiser, and just closer to Jesus, I find the distance between the two narrows.  This is good news!  Yet, there still come times when there is a lack of congruence between the two.  Ephesians 5:1 says we are to "do as God does" - because we are his kids.  Kids emulate the actions they see in their parents.  This is why the saying, "Don't do as I do, but do as I say" doesn't make any sense to kids.  We follow examples, don't we?  We see something modeled and that is what we think we should do.  Even little goslings may be hatched into a nest of a mother chicken and before long, the goslings "emulate" the chicken - they don't know they are geese because they have only been around chickens!  Sometimes I think we don't know we are God's kids because we are always hanging around with a crowd who just doesn't know him.  This is why it is important to have these relationships where we challenge each other to grow more like Jesus - because we will become what we follow - do what we see - and grow closest to what we make our main focus in life!

Act like people with good sense and not like fools.  These are evil times, so make every minute count.  Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do. (Ephesians 5:15-17 CEV)

Hang with the fools and you begin to act like a fool.  As you probably have heard me say before, a fool is just someone who doesn't even use the common sense God gave them!  They just march to the beat of a different drum - one which has them marching to the tune of "What is in this for me" or some such song.  Hang with the kids in love with Jesus and you find you begin to act like Jesus!  Imagine that!  To learn to "do as God does", we need to be cognizant of the company we keep!  We can act like real turkeys if we somehow end up in their nest!

As I have mentioned before, common sense is indeed a gift from God.  He knows there will be times when we just need to act - not having the time to kneel before him in prayer and spend a great deal of time "consulting" him on the matter.  We need to act spontaneously and within a short period of time. To this end, he gives us conscience and good sense to help guide us into the right course to take.  Now, these two things become more and more reliable when we spend regular time in the Word, taking in more and more of God's principles, and when we also have regular time just listening for what God has to say to us. In time, our minds reflect frequently upon the principles of "right living" God teaches and we find those principles are reflected in our conscious decision making.

We "do" what comes naturally to us.  When our nature is a little bit messed up from the get-go, we need a remake on our nature in order to have it be more reliably acting upon what is right and good.  This is the business of God in our lives - the remaking of our nature so we get these principles deep into our spirit, mind, conscience, and decision-making center of our lives.  We can make decisions based on emotion, mindful thought, calculated risk, or any number of ways.  When we make decisions upon what God bases all "good" and "right" actions, we are bound to see outcomes which support solid growth in our lives.

There are times when we will be at crossroads in our lives - those moments of indecision sometimes growing into days of indecision.  Where we get hung up sometimes is in the "following" what we know to be true.  One course will present some truth which beckons us onward, but then we almost talk ourselves out of pursuing it because of fear, insecurity, or the like.  It can be like this when we need to clear the air with someone - things having been said or done which just set two people at odds.  It may also be like this when we are faced with the next phase of what it is we are to do with our lives.  Decisions range from obedience to what we know to be true within relationship principles as God teaches them (don't harbor bitterness against another) to what we know to be true about what God wants for our lives (grace, peace, and blessings).

In those moments of indecision, we "follow" what has become the most familiar to us.  If our example has been anything less than God himself, we may find our actions will align with something very unreliable and untrustworthy.  This is why God wants us to get to know him deeply - to relate to and with him.  This is why he gives us solid example to follow - "nests" in which we can grow up to be just like him.  Be cognizant of the "nest" you honker down in - it can become the source of many a worry and trouble later on.  The gosling may not learn to fly if he hangs around with a chicken too long - for the chicken is content to scurry around the coop chasing bugs on the ground.  The gosling has mighty wings made for soaring long distance in flight - if he never gets to use his wings, what a pity that would be!  Just sayin!