The War for Your Soul

Scripture:  1 Peter 2:11-12

11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Observations:

Sojourners — they are just passing through

Exiles — are looking forward to “place they really belong.”

Abstain — to not partake of

The passions of the flesh — (Could be a long list!)

Our conduct among people is to seek to honour God and to honour them, so that it contributes to the cause of Christ in bringing people to know Him;  those who know Him will praise Him.

Application:

I live in this world, but I’m not to be of it.  We are wired to seek belonging in relationships.  However, I must not confuse connecting to people with an unrestrained connection to the passions and desires of my flesh.  Those desires range from the appetites of my body to the desires to be liked, loved, respected, and appreciated.  I will love better if I do not expect my relationships with people, the stuff of earth, and even with my own achievement to bear the weight of my soul.  Only God can do that.  Otherwise I will use people and use stuff to prop me up rather than loving people and stewarding stuff for the glory of God.  Honouring God and people rightly requires the strength of knowing I’m loved by God and “just passing through.”  Ultimately, this world is not my home, it has nothing for me.  Yet, life with Jesus Christ is good in this life and in that I rejoice.

 

Prayer:

 

Oh Heavenly Father you know the desires that war against my soul.  These longings are just a shadow of my deeper and sometimes unrecognized hunger for you.  May your Spirit empower me to say Yes to Jesus over and over today.  Fill me with your Spirit and put a new song in my heart.  Let praise start now in my life and in the lives of my friends.  AMEN.

.3 seconds on the clock and the puck in the back of the net

Ok, it was breathtaking!  When Detroit’s Zetterberg shouldered his way from the boards to the front of the net to zip one in past Luongo with .3 seconds on the clock in overtime, it was beautiful.  Yes I’m a Canucks fan, but this time we didn’t pull off the come-from-behind-win.  It was the second time in days that I found myself painfully admiring a winning goal in the closing seconds.  Norway defeated Canada in sledge hockey with an arcing shot from Eskel Hagan with just 3.6 seconds on the clock.  With our thoughts headed towards overtime and the possibilities for the next period, it was a shocker!

And therein is the leadership lesson for me.  While there is still time on the clock, there is still “a game” to be won or lost.  The minutes of our lives count and while we still have time, living for the glory of God still matters.  When we are tied or behind by one, urgency, passion, pursuit of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom must be nurtured.  When there is time on the clock there is still time to shape the story.  No one else will do this for me.

No one else will seek strength of character formed through a persistent gaze at Jesus and His Gospel for me.  No one else will prioritize my life, days, and hours with Christ for me.  No one else will put in the behind the scenes effort and learning for me.  No one else will say “no” or “yes” for me.  No one else will push through the inertia to engage in the most rewarding but hard ways of Kingdom living for me.  I regularly pray with the Psalmist, “Lord, teach us to number our days aright, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12)

These guys on the ice push through difficulty and pain to the last second for a number of reasons.  But what vision is compelling, shaping, and energizing me?  You?