Skip to main content

Wow...I guess it is time!

William Hardy may not have been an author many of us know much about, but I came across a quote from him which I thought spoke volumes: "The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible." (found on  If we think on that thought for just a few moments, we can see the "logic" in it - no man fully recognizes the need to change until the "need to change" is so great he cannot help but recognize it.  We don't think about a haircut until our bangs are in our eyes.  We don't often remove thread-bare clothing from our closet until we can no longer mend the cloth because of the thinness of the fibers.  We might not consider the need for a shower until we see our image in the mirror and notice all the dirt gathered from the day's work.  We often don't "do" until we realize there is something which needs to be "done". 

So, my brothers and sisters, you owe the flesh nothing! You do not need to live according to its ways, so abandon its oppressive regime. For if your life is just about satisfying the impulses of your sinful nature, then prepare to die. But if you have invited the Spirit to destroy these selfish desires, you will experience life. If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His children. You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. (Romans 8:12-15 VOICE)

It can take us a while to realize we "owe" the flesh and all the demands it makes on us absolutely nothing.  In the most literal sense, the "flesh" referred to in scripture are those thoughts, desires, and urges which demand we fulfill them to meet some "perceived need".  The issue with following many of these urges is where they lead us.  We often find those urges take us into places we didn't want to go, consume things we didn't want to really consume, or engage in activities which do nothing to build us up, but end up tearing us down in some way.  This is why Paul tells us that a life lived in the Spirit is one of no longer listening to these urges, but listening to the Spirit's voice within - learning to live according to a new set of desires.

As Hardy said, the desire to change often comes when we are so completely aware of the need to change that we cannot help but recognize change must occur (or else).  If we are honest here, the selfish desires of our fleshly ways often take us a while to break free from, don't they?  Why do you suppose this is?  I think it may be just what Hardy said - we don't really fully embrace the "resolve" or "desire" to change until it is so apparent we need to change that we cannot possibly turn away from the needed change.  Resolve is another word for the "will-power" to do something.  I don't know about you, but my "will-power" is kind of powerless at times!  I have all kind of "resolve", but until the clothes no longer fit, I don't pay attention to the ten pounds I put on! When I can no longer button the waistband comfortably, I somehow pay attention to the need to lose the weight!

I think there is a better way of living we may not fully recognize though.  It is the "way" of living by the power of the one who indwells us rather than by the power we can muster up from within ourselves.  Let me tell you, drawing power from a different source isn't always the easiest thing, though. As I strung lights for the Christmas season this year, I put them up in both the front and backyard.  The front was for the public to enjoy - the back was for mom to enjoy.  They looked nice - cheerful, all festive, and celebratory...until the sprinklers came on!  The backyard lights went out the first night I had them strung!  I had them into a GFC outlet (the type which trips whenever there is any hint of water interrupting the electrical current).  I did some research the next day online to find out if I needed to be concerned about the issue and how I could remedy it.  After all, I didn't want a fire!

In all the advice I read, it simply said to take the lights off the GFC outlet.  The slight bit of water "creeping in" around a lightbulb which may have been changed and not seated as well as originally seated when they came from the factory may have been the "root cause" of the issue, but it wasn't going to burn my house down!  So, I had to do some additional work to get electricity to those lights - rerouting the cord to another outlet.  I needed to find a "different source" from which to draw the power to illuminate these lights.  It required some purposeful restructuring of my original plan.  If I had really considered this before I did the original running of power cords, carefully duct taping them down so no one would trip over them, I may have saved myself a whole lot of extra work!  In our daily lives, we often don't realize we have the wrong source of power until we realize how easy it is to "interrupt" that power!  Get connected to the right source of power, and even the most "pesky" of issues won't be able to interrupt that power!

So, if you are face-to-face with the realization change is necessary in your life today, it isn't that you need to increase your will-power - it is that you need to get a new source of power!  We may not see the need to change until it is so very apparent, but when we finally realize it is needed, we will do well to not consider our own efforts to be sufficient for the change - but will tap into the source which not only helps us change, but keeps us "illuminated" and "burning brightly"! Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,