From time to time, you read a reference to many good brothers that Father has connected me to relationally in my life. Not only are they local, they are spread abroad coast to coast and across the globe. I can honestly say that relationships formed with these brothers have deeply impacted my life, served as an agency of Father revealing Himself to me in extraordinary ways and serve as a constant encouragement to continue on this journey.
Below is a writing from a brother in Ohio who is in the process of moving to Virginia. Kevin and his wife, Dana are precious people, not only to me but to many others. He sent out this word today and I wanted to share it here. May you be as blessed and encouraged by reading it as I was.
Keep your peace!
Pride of Life
(by Kevin Clausing)
The pride of life is one of those strongholds in each of us. Sometimes the most difficult thing about pride is our failure to recognize it exists within us and hinders our ability to mature. The reason being pride resists the will of God and wants to go its own way. God also resists the proud.
When I was a young man I found myself planning my journey and setting the course to do God’s will. I actually thought I was doing a good thing. I failed to recognize you cannot plan what you do not see and you certainly have no way of setting a course for it. Life to me was making plans, setting goals and carrying them out. I had one major problem. This was my plan and not His plan. My own pride continued to get in the way. The greatest stronghold I found was the image the mirror that stared back at me. The guy that thought he knew what he was doing. Today I see things with a much different perspective than ever before. Each day I am learning to trust my heavenly father and the work of His Spirit in me.
Does this mean planning is wrong? Of course not. This is an example of my lack of maturity to trust and have faith in Jesus. When we fail to realize our purpose, we attempt to fulfill our lives by our own accomplishments, only to find emptiness when we attain what we thought was good. Our plans always prove to be a disastrous outcome preceded by pain and suffering.
In my youth, I thought maturity was taking on responsibility and doing everything myself. This is the model I watched growing up. I reasoned this out, thinking it made me much stronger, and gave me the freedom Jesus promised. What a bunch of hooey. It was just a reason not to trust anyone else and prove to myself I am a self made man. I mistook this pride as maturity. This kind of life has nothing to do with a mature son of God. In fact, it actually shows you have very little understanding when you think maturity is all about your freedom to do as you please. The kingdom of God is not about earning anything. It is about discovering everything!
A son walks in maturity when he listens to the voice of His heavenly Father and obeys. If you are
hearing Him you will always be doing what you never wanted to do and going where you did not want to go. We cannot be conformed to His image using our plan. We are not our own anymore. When our desire is the pursuit of His love we are no longer in control of our lives.
I think the reason Paul used the marriage as the relationships between Jesus and His church is
because it was the closest thing on earth he could use to explain the type of love Jesus has for us. Marriage causes your old life to disappear as you take on a new identity with your spouse. You not only become one in Spirit, you procreate, and have offspring that are part of each of you. This one flesh represents both father and mother. They inherit the blessings of the family.
What prevents all of this love from taking place is the pride of life. We would rather keep our own identity than be a part of others. The pride of life is our will taking over wanting what we think is best. When we learn to walk in maturity our will is replaced by His will. Do we ever stop learning to get out of the way? No we do not. This is our journey, our life, our hope and our dreams. It is this conflict that reveals the glory of God within us as we overcome our flesh and embrace Jesus, the true victor and love of our lives.
Maturity will rejoice for our brothers and sisters.
Maturity is a willing servant whose only interest is our God receiving the glory.
Maturity will be transparent to a fault. It is not concerned with what the world thinks.
Maturity only cares about what Jesus thinks.
Maturity is grounded in its love for Jesus and His church.
Maturity loves others expecting nothing in return.
Maturity embraces brokenness and understands the power of it.
Maturity willingly walks in Gods commands knowing it will lead us to Him.