My daughter asked if I could make her a chicken coup. “Of course”, I said, so I got on the internet and found several basic plans. I decided to make a nice one, but before I started her husband reminded her that they would not have time for chickens and she cancelled. I went ahead with the project because it had now become a work of art.
I kept chickens for a while, but my heart was not in it, so I gave the chickens and chicken tractor away. My heart was in the art. Is that true in your experience; do follow where your heart leads? Putting it in the negative, do you experience adversity when your heart is not engaged in an activity?
I think this is how we are wired and it has a significant impact on our spiritual journey. The Believer’s path is to be guided by the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are replete with with how essential is the Spirit’s role. Our habit of relying on reason and self-will oppose the Holy Spirit relationship. Can even human relationships become deep and close through reason or effort? No, it requires the heart, our tool for connection, motivation, and relationship. This is where religion and faith are distinguished.
The Christian faith is dependent on a relationship with Yeshua, Messiah. The old Hymn says it best:
“My hope is built on nothing less,
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand”.
Our standing may be in our religious duties or what we consider to be our own values or even our striving to obey certain scriptures. Paul explains both the error and freeing truth. “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 3-4). Our standing, ability, life and salvation are in our relationship with Yeshua according to the indwelling Holy Spirit.
In practice, God speaks to our heart and we respond in faith, “Yes, Lord.” Then there is a blessing on our actions and pursuits. This doesn’t mean that things are always easy or that our natural self-directed thinking will fail to object or raise doubts. I have found that God is a good motivator, particularly given that He knows us better than we know ourselves; He watches over our best interest better than we can, and He is perfectly, infinitely loving. Years ago our missions pastor announced a mission trip to Israel. Considerable training would be required and participates would have to provide funding. I immediately knew that I was to go. Many around me were doubtful and discouraging, but nothing moved me in the slightest, in fact, my wife and others decided to join me. It was a life impacting event and an example of what I’ve seen God do in multiple spheres of life.
The alternative is to try and make things happen in our own strength; to wish for this or that, uncertain and unconvinced about anything. That is the faithless struggle that yields no peace, assurance, satisfaction, righteousness, or benefit. When God calls us, he supplies the faith we need to endure and complete the journey. The Apostle Paul experienced great suffering in his travels, but was always speaking with eager anticipation of another trip. Moses expressed doubts about his own abilities, but his relationship with God was never in question. The Spirit is calling each Believer to walk the path of life destined for glory and fullness in Yeshua.