Posted by: Louise | November 9, 2009

Finding the balance

I feel totally blessed to have a wonderful group of ladies to meet with for Bible study every week. I feel blessed because every time we meet, I leave feeling encouraged, challenged or renewed in my walk with the Lord.

“Thank you Lord for using these ladies in my life, everyone one of them is precious to me and a gift from you”.

Last time we met we continued our study in 1st Peter, and one question led us to look at the metaphor in chapter 1:6-7 where we are taught that just like gold is refined in fire, trails test and purify our faith. The discussion turned to focus on how the metal can do nothing but endure the heat, while the craftsman is the one who takes away the dross, or the junk that rises to the surface during the heating process. Is it that God wants’ us to do – hand over the “dross/junk” in our lives to him, for him to deal with? As the discussion continued it wasn’t sitting in my mind quite right. “What part are we to play in the refining process” I heard myself ask. “Surely we need to do more than just ask God to deal with our sin and sit back and wait for it to disappear”. As the discussion progressed we discussed other verses like 1st Peter 1:11 that tells us we have to exercise self control, or Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This left us with a question.

Where is the balance between allowing God’s power to work in us to change us and our own effort?

As we discussed and meditated my mind was drawn back to something I had studied in my quiet time last week in Romans 8:5 “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (NLT). John MacAurthur writes in his study guide on Romans:

“The Spirit-filled life does not come through mystical or ecstatic experiences, but from studying and submitting oneself to scripture. As a believer faithfully and submissively saturates his mind and heart with God’s truth, his spirit-controlled behavior will follow as surely as night follows day. When we are filled with God’s truth and led by His Spirit, even our involuntary reactions – those that happen when we don’t have time to consciously decide what to say or do – will be godly

Perhaps the balance between God’s power and our effort in the refining process, is having a Spirit filled life that is fed by saturation and submission to God’s word? Maybe our part is to learn what God wants by reading, studying, and meditating on HIs word and to submit to it. It’s the Spirits job to make it a reality in our character and give us the power to change.

Oh Lord, give me a hunger for you, to know you through your word. To submit joyfully to all it says, so that your Spirit can fill me to the point where even my involuntary reactions bring you honor and glory.

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Responses

  1. Just had a quick read at this. Will read again…first thought goes back to listening to Mr shaw ‘s preaching and he said that u do not kinow a per son so much my their reaction but much more by their REACTIONS… reactions show what really is in us and what needs attention and that is only gained my continual learning and submission to the word I am so challanged even my one read at this…..the carnal in me wants to reason


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