Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV)
Don’t I know it. Don’t you know what? Don’t I know it that I need to be on guard against all the temptations of this world. That sounds like the voice of experience. It is. I have learned time and time again that if I’m not constantly on guard I will fall into temptation. Nothing is more foolish than to think that I can stand firm in my faith without your help. There is no greater mistake than to think that I can rely on my myself for the courage and strength I will need to overcome the difficulties I will face in this world. Nothing is more impossible than to do everything in love without your love flowing in and through me. You have learned some priceless life lessons. Yes, but not without a lot of missteps, mistakes and setbacks. Sometimes, that is the only way to learn valuable lessons. I just wish I was a quicker learner. You will never stop growing and learning and changing as you love, follow and serve me. I have no doubt about that. That’s good.
So, what do you want to do differently? I want to come to rely on you for your help. I know that I have said that before, many times. I have mouthed those words to you and to myself. Now, I mean it. Now, I am serious. Now is different. How so? I have had enough. In the past, I have pridefully relied on myself. This is a new day. This is a new beginning. I will not come running to you in a moment of crisis. I won’t wait to draw near to you when I am in trouble or have a great need. No, starting now, I will set apart a regular time and place to meet with you daily. I want to live and walk in an intimate relationship with you. Then I will be on guard. Then I will be standing firm. Then I will be bold and courageous. Then I will be able to love others just as you have loved me. In your presence, you will prepare me. In your presence, you will change me. In your presence, you will make me strong and give me courage. In your presence, you will make me to be like you. You will help me to do everything in love. Yes, I will. Draw near to me and I will draw near to you. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, on my own I’m weak. On my own I will fall into temptation. On my own I have no strength. Only you can help me to stand firm in my faith. Only you can make courageous. Only you can make me able to love others as you have loved me. I will rely on you. Amen
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