I've been on the "do it my way" track for a while now. It started last year with a pretty devastating loss to me. Actually, 2009 kinda sucked all around. I lost a lot of security and contentment. A lot of insecurities came blaring out and I was suddenly sensitized to things that I haven't been in a long time. To counter that, I made choice to fit in to the mold of my social world. I made other choices that provided immediate (but temporary) gratification. And thus the degeneration began, and my fellowship with God waned...and waned...and waned. The good things either dropped off or became meaningless routine. And I found myself in a place not even having the want to change.
I knew I was on the fast track to losing my communion with my Creator, but by that point, I couldn't let go of some things that I had begun. A wise man told me, when I asked how to get rid of them, that will power wasn't enough...that I had to replace those things with good. And so I took some steps to do that, yet to this date some of the old leaks back in. Our pastor has been leading a study on Philippians and how to fine true, inner joy through Christ. It is resonating with me. A conviction came over me so greatly this weekend, that I knew the time had come...I either needed to make the necessary changes in my life or I would be heading to a point of no-return; of doing things I would not be able to take back.
I really suck at praying. I have to think about what I'm going to say and rehearse it like a speech in my mind, before bowing my head and closing my eyes. So the first thing I did this morning was ask God to teach me to pray. Then I asked Him to guard my heart against the temptations I've let slip in. And I prayed for this kind of life:
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
I'll hope you'll pray for me in this, and join me in this pursuit.