Originally published Friday, 11 December 2015.
I don't know about you, but if someone was to ask me, I would say, "Yes, I want more of God."
In fact, I would probably even go on to tell them, "I want God's everything. I want to be so close to him. I want to draw near."
And this is the truth. But, in a way, it is also a lie. Because I notice I play other tricks with God - tricks where I motion one hand, saying, "Come close", all the while holding one arm out saying, "Stay back."
It's like my inside is at war with my outside, which truly I guess it is - and this is the point.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Gal. 5:17
Do you call for God to come near, all the while fearing that he may?
When we step back to see the war for what it really is, we see it. This tug of war is truly our greatest fight, our ultimate conflict and the most important war of our lives.
Will we fight to win or lay back and prepare to lose?
5 Ways We Get in a Tug-of-War Against God
1. The Spirit tugs: stay close to God.
The flesh tugs: you can't trust him.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Ja. 4:8
2. The Spirit tugs: Believe He can heal, help and harness what is coming against you.
The flesh tugs: God wouldn't do something that amazing for me.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. . . Eph. 3:20
3. The Spirit tugs: Open your real heart, so God can do real work in you.
The flesh tugs: Run from vulnerability, God will hate you.
I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Ps. 77:3
4. The Spirit tugs: Listen to my small voice - and obey - and you will find your way.
The flesh tugs: That is too hard, too inconvenient and too uncomfortable.
He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." Lu. 11:28
5. The Spirit tugs: God's change is the beginning of your hope.
The flesh tugs: Run from change, it will change everything good about your life.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 Jo. 4:18
When we let God in, he changes everything within.
When we lay down walls, he plows through with a mission of love.
When we break what keeps us stuck, we trample over the past with a vengeance.
When we let him in - to see through his eyes - we start to see compassion and faith anew.
When we unarm, he arms us in indwelling truth.
When we seek his face, we are staggered by it.
When we come undone, he undoes the pain we have walked in for so long.
When we let him plow the fields of ruin, we find new buds of life forming.
When we back into his loving arms, we crash into hope - straight up hope.
When we realize we can't do it without him, we start to see that we can do it.
When we bare the ugly, he makes it beautiful.
When we live intimate with God, we start to imitate God.
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Psalm 61:2
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