The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"I Get To!"
One morning many years ago, I shared with Frances my itinerary for the day. I mentioned several morning responsibilities, and then remembered, "Oh yes, we have to go to Gordon Oaks this afternoon" (a retirement community where we conduct services). Immediately, a thought occurred to me. "Let me rephrase that," I said. "Actually, we get to go to Gordon Oaks this afternoon!" Indeed, when we recognize the will of God in terms of "I get to" rather than "I have to," responsibility becomes rightly known as privilege.
"Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight" (Psalm 119:35).
"With the mind, I myself serve the law of God... I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22; 25).
This truth often appears and feels contrary to our inclinations. The desires of our flesh conflict with the working of the Holy Spirit within us "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Galatians 5:17; Philippians 2:13). Our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations often seem to guide us down a path wherein we view the will of God as burden or drudgery. "I have to" often seems far more with us and far more influential than "I get to."
Herein lies one of the important and elemental aspects of Truth for every believer. What do we perceive as our our deepest and truest desire? What is our "I get to?" The Bible definitively answers the question in the words and experience of the Psalmist and Paul, referenced above. The will of God, in every aspect of our lives, is our "I get to." The Psalmist, of course, had a limited experience of this truth because he did not possess the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit given to believers after the atoning work and resurrection of Christ. He nevertheless experienced a partial blessedness of delight available even to the saints of the Old Testament who knew God.
Paul, however, knew in far greater measure the truth every born again believer must realize, namely, the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit in us infuses the delight of the Lord Jesus for obedience to God as our truest delight. Again, "He worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Do we believe this truth of God's heart-changing presence and working, purchased for us at so great a cost? Is God really that near, that active, and that motivating within our hearts? A thorough reading of the New Testament affirms an emphatic "Yes!" based on our Lord's presence and working within us. "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). Thus, "I get to " must become a chosen conviction of faith regarding our relationship to the will of God, be it in seemingly small matters of the day, or if God should will, great and difficult sacrifice.
"I get to" changes everything. We will still feel the challenges of our flesh to view life in different and lesser terms. However, the growing conviction that the duties and callings of life come with the Holy Spirit's deep internal motivation whereby we truly delight in our doings infuses an attitude of quiet joy amid the blessed, the mundane, and the difficult. Battered apostles of the first century well knew this truth of "I get to!" We close with their example and affirmation that rings through the ages unto the present hour in our hearts and lives…
"When they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name."
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:3-4).
Weekly Memory Verse
"We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord."
(II Corinthians 4:5)