Lessons I Have Learned

Sep 27, 2004 03:17 PM EDT

My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:1-4 NASB)

The Bible is full of godly principles by which our Lord wants us to live. I'd like to share some of the most important lessons God has taught me. There are certainly many others I could list, but the ones mentioned here have been most deeply impressed upon my heart.

A particularly liberating truth I have discovered is that we are unable to live the Christian life. This can be done only by Christ living through us. There was a time when I was struggling to do my best but constantly failing. I went to my knees one night and did not get up until the Lord revealed the meaning of John 15:4. There Jesus said that the branch abides in the vine. In other words, we are not alone in this Christian life. God does not intend for us to perform better in order to please Him; rather; He wants us to rely upon His strength so that He can live through us.

One thing I often say is that we must obey God and leave the consequences to Him. To do this always requires courage, but it is easier when we have cultivated reliance upon Him. We build dependence first by paying attention to God. We cannot separate obedience from listening to Him—otherwise we could not recognize the next step He wants us to take. In addition, to turn over the consequences of our obedience, we must trust God. We fear what may happen if we trust Him, but the strength of the vine is sufficient to bolster the branch's tiny faith and tackle the aftermath of obedience. The end result is a worthy harvest of fruit.

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