Jonathan's Perspective  

May 22

'Do You Need Power Beyond Yourself?'

Life is difficult. You may respond, 'tell me something I don't know!'  We face conflict within ourselves when we don't meet up to our own ethical, achievement, security, and material aspirations. We face conflict arising from our circumstances. We dream of so much more than we are able to live up to. So, what is the answer? How do we begin to live a new kind of life that is deeply more satisfying and meets more of our hopes and dreams?  We need a power beyond ourselves. But where do we find it? There are three things that will change our lives for the better by helping us address the difficulty within us as well as the circumstances that bedevil us. 

First, we need to humble ourselves. This is easier said than done. It is hard to admit that we are wrong and have created our own problems; that is psychologically uncomfortable and against our nature. However, until we admit it and take responsibility, we have no hope of living a different and fuller life that we desire. When we humble ourselves, we can begin to move forward and stop doing the same old things that has gotten us in the same old messes. 

Second, we need to connect with our Creator and allow God to tell us the truth and show us the way. After all, is there anyone else you can trust to know you better and always work on behalf of your best interests? God knows the fabric of your being, your struggles and victories, your disappointments and aspirations, your longings and fears. God loves you enough to guide you through the rough waters of life. The first call of Jesus was, 'Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.' This is not a threat, but an invitation. Repent (humble yourself and turn onto a better path) for the kingdom of God is at hand (God's divine plan is here and now for the asking). God doesn't only show us the way, but helps us walk in the way. 

Lastly, we need to let the Holy Spirit work within us. The Holy Spirit is God's power beyond ourselves. We need power beyond ourselves to give us the heart and ability to stay on the path life that is truly life. John the Baptist proclaims that Jesus' baptism - entering into life with God - is with 'the Holy Spirit and fire.'(Mt 3:11)  Jesus doesn't just show us the way to be more moral or more effective. That would only do us an unsubstantial amount of good. We already know the moral standard, what we don't know is how to live that new life. Jesus gave us Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit so that we can actually 'walk as Jesus walked' (1 John 1:7) through those conflicts within and conflicts without. 

Someone might distill these principles like this: 'Quit being so darn stubborn! Admit you're wrong and change your ways.' The Gospel addition is this: Since you can't change yourself, let the Holy Spirit change you. That is the power beyond ourselves that we need to navigate every situation in life.

Seeking Life that is Truly Life,

Jonathan

 

Dr. Jonathan Beck

1201 Metairie Rd.,

Metairie, LA 70005

(318) 219-6512

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