As I have been getting one of my regular tune-ups from the Lord, you know those times when God needs to purge out some of the old man who creeps in from time to time. Well, if I am completely honest that old man hangs around like a bad smell more than I would like.
Usually he rears his ugly head when I am caught off guard and do something stupid like getting angry at one of the kids or unkind to my wife or just plain lazy spiritually. The old fella always seems to find a way to remind me of what a useless man I am.
He just won’t be happy until I give up. As a seasoned soldier though he really does know that giving up is not an option so he spends most of his time now trying to distract me or slow down my forward progress.
I was reminded, with a smile, when I first came to Jesus (or He came to me), that I was fortunate to be around men and women of faith, many not much older than myself and some even younger.
They seemed so full of faith and confident in their relationship with God. They knew how to pray, they knew the bible in such a practical way, they told others about Jesus at any given time like it had been a part of their everyday routine all their lives. They listened and understood and had compassion on the less fortunate. Serving God for them was as natural as brushing their teeth.
Man, I wanted to be just like them. I believed that in order to get to a place similar to those I mentioned I had to get rid of that old man who I was replacing with a new more improved model. It wasn’t easy but I was determined and I wanted it done now today not tomorrow.
We had regular bible studies and prayer. I made it a habit of using my outward prayers to ask God to do what ever He had to do to make me like my brothers and sisters in the faith.
I asked God to purge out the old and bring in the new, I implored God to make me soft clay in the potters hand, I was fervent in demanding God to kill the old man who needed to make way for the new. And I wanted it done now, God are you listening to me?
I was impatient but sincere in my desire to pray out anything that got in the way of my relationship with Him, to be more like those around me.
As this type of public prayer of mine went on for more than a few times a very wise and understanding brother pulled me aside one day and put his arm around me.
With a chuckle in his voice he told me that I needed to trust him when he told me that there is no need to have to pray for God to purge out the old man.
I must have had a confused look on my face as I clearly didn’t understand.
He went on to say that God was going to do those things regardless of whether I prayed for it or not. That it was part of the process of being a believer. It was going to happen whether I even wanted it or not.
Oh how right he was. From that time on I never prayed for God to purge out the old man. He’s been doing that for over 40 years now and it is a free service, these regular tune-ups.
I have to laugh as I think back on those times and thank God that He didn’t take me literally all those years ago. If he did I may not have made it through surgery.
The old man is still there and he will probably never go away, completely, but I am so aware of him it becomes easier with time to shut the door on his face and tell him there is no place for him any more in my house.
But when all else fails, one of God’s regular tune-ups usually is enough to keep him at bay.
Posted on April 9, 2013, in Faith and tagged belief, bible, christianity, discipleship, faith, God, God's Tune-up, insight, Jesus, life, obedience, prayer, religion. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.