Sunday, July 6, 2008

Responding from His Spirit Within Us

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs of gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” Colossians 3: 15-17 (NIV)

Every day we have a choice in all situations to either respond from the peace of Christ and in the name of Jesus Christ or to respond from our natural selves. The natural self is what’s right on the surface of our responses. Natural responses are those that we learned by living. They are the tip-of-the-tongue, instinctive responses that we can justify based on our life experiences. They arise from life’s collective assembly of logic, defenses, joys, sorrows, education, and even our mood of the moment.

But those natural responses are most often not the Lord’s responses. When we accepted Him as Lord of our lives, we took on His body and Spirit; they came to dwell in us. His responses are not the superficial responses. Rather, they are the deep responses—the responses that we make at the prompting of the Spirit and in the name of the Lord Jesus. In all situations, we have a choice: to respond from the superficial and natural self, or to go deeper and respond from His Spirit that lives within us.

When we respond from the deeper place, we learn to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us whether it makes sense to us or not. It’s not our natural response, but, as with so many situations, we learn that His ways are higher and more mysterious than our natural inclinations.

And in all situations, the Lord calls us to stay in His peace. In fact, it is only by resting in His peace that we find the way to the spiritual response. In His peace, all things may be discovered.

We always have a choice—to remain in the natural or go deeper into the spiritual. We’re called to make the spiritual response our daily reality. It is from His Spirit that all of our responses should arise.