Life has it’s ups and downs doesn’t it? Our faith shouldn’t! So, where did we get the idea that it is okay that the only consistency we have is failure to achieve. I can’t reason that this is correct. Can you? Let’s look at consistency in the the life of a Disciple of Christ Jesus.
Note from Kip…
Steady Eddie. That fictional character of youthful fantasy. The person that took on the bumps and bruises of life, all in stride. Seems nothing could stop that guy, even in defeat, he claimed victory, strictly on principle.
Would you like to know Eddie’s secret? Consistency!
Eddie isn’t a superhero, a saint, or even an impervious force that can plow through the issues in his path. While we may not know him, we may never have seen or been introduced to him, we sure would like to see a bit more of Eddie in ourselves.
God’s Steady Eddie
We tend to tangle the physical world in our spiritual life. I’m not saying that this isn’t natural, we are flesh. Being in a body of flesh, we have to contend with the shortcomings of an imperfect vessel from which we travel through this life. Paul said,
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am made out of flesh, sold into sin’s power. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh.
Romans 7:14-18 (HCSB)
Paul identified the battle we face. Our flesh is constantly battling against our spirit. There is that word, ‘constant’.
The same Paul says this as well,
I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.
Galatians 5:16-17 (HCSB)
So, Paul has both identified the battle, as well as the weapon to defeat our opponent. Let me suggest that if we truly ‘walk in the Spirit’, we can have consistency in our spiritual lives, despite the flesh pulling us to our self centered desires. If our focal point is Christ Jesus, then while the flesh may call to us, we have the fortitude to ignore that compulsion and follow what Grace calls us to.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:8 (NIV)
I will not be shaken
But it isn’t just our flesh that attempts to draw us away from our effort to ‘walk by the Spirit’. The other force at work against us is the world itself.
Several years back there was a slogan that became popular for a while that stated, ‘I love humanity, it’s just people that make me crazy!’ While it may be a bit humorous, it underscores the reality of life. We don’t have the option to live as a hermit, to avoid interacting with our environment. It is always going to be there.
Yes we could live out our lives in solitude, but even if we were to do that, it would not preclude the elimination of events that potentially could be instrumental in our diversion from our purpose. We would have actually put our selves in a more vulnerable state, because when we eventually would have to deal with people we’d be totally out of our element.
People are not the problem, and neither is the environment we live in. What allows us to be separated from our mission is not those things which come at us, but that which we fail to move toward with determination and consistency.
It is a choice we make to follow the hills and valleys of life. Physically we have very little under out control, but spiritually we have whatever power we require, when we are tapped into the power source.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”
John 15:5 (HCSB)
You can do nothing with out being bound to Jesus the ‘true vine’. But let’s not completely focus on what we can’t do when we aren’t attached to that vine. The inverse is also true. You can do anything He calls you to , if you remain bound to Him!
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
See being a ‘Steady Eddie’ in our spiritual lives is entirely possible. We can overcome our physical challenges and limitations. Like Eddie, we can claim total and undeniable victory when we are nested in the arms of the Lord. That provides consistency in an inconsistent world. Because,
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
1 John 4:4 (NLT)
Be a Steady Eddie Disciple of Christ and find that Consistency!