The answer to that question is a direct NO!!! Following the Lord can’t happen without hard work…to quote Dr Dennis Kinlaw. I dearly love Dr Kinlaw’s writing. His devotional, This Day With The Master is truly a pleasure to read. He has written many wonderful, thought provoking books, not books you can breeze through but ones that takes quiet contemplation. And worth every minute, he has great insight and it is obvious He walked very close to the Lord. There will be other thoughts of his interspersed in this blog but you would do yourself a big favor if you acquired his books for your own reading pleasure.
The object of our Christian life is being conformed to the image of Christ, and that’s not at all easy. God expects us to use what He has given us in order to know Him better. It becomes an intellectual shaping of our minds, as He says in I Cor 2:16, “…we have the mind of Christ.” Or Phil 2:5, “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” The Father’s intention is for us to think like Jesus…Col 1:9 says “let me see things from Your point of view.” He wants our old, carnal minds gone! The second important transformation for us is to surrender our will to Him. That’s a difficult thing to do and rarely a once-for-all thing, we all will experience those times when that “little voice” inside of us corrects our thoughts and actions. And incidentally, yielding the will is connected to taking up your cross…we are to bow the knee, yield our right to ourselves and our own plans and intensions, to His desire for us. And His desire for us is always correct and in our best interest. Any desire God has for us is best and we CAN reach a point when we clearly understand that principle and automatically seek His guidance. Another aspect of this is Jesus telling the disciples the “way is narrow, and few their be that find it,” Matt 7:14, the way to life eternal and a quality, godly life here, is narrow and difficult. Knowing Jesus intimately is hard work, no shortcuts…He expects us to roll up our spiritual sleeves and get to it! Of course He is there to help but He will never do for us what we can do for ourselves. Working for Him is our calling and our responsibility…no magic here!
It’s interesting that in our day and age, what is pushed most is “self-help…” and self-fulfillment, self-satisfaction…self, self, self! We cannot find real fulfillment inside of ourselves, it comes from the external…God Himself.We need to remember that the Lord Himself looked to the Father for leading and direction. If HE needed guidance from His Father, surely we do also.
I’ve walked with the Lord for a long time. Most of that time I was learning trust and other character qualities that are important for workers to have. I don’t really know exactly when it was that I found myself looking to and talking to Him about everything. I am a widow, my kids and grandkids are adults, He is my all! I learned I could turn to him in full confidence that the steps I was about to take were the right ones and should they be incorrect, He would “nudge” me internally to halt. What a wonderfully freeing sense that is. There are so many places in Scripture that tell us our varying relationships to Him…Father, brother, friend, husband, many more, but you get the picture. The relationships are very personal ones and we are entitled to them…He will never let us down or desert us or give us bad advice…He is always available to us. I realized I couldn’t go wrong, as long as I was yielded, close and listening. We are all entitled to walk that close to the Lord, but it is not an easy path and certainly not to be taken lightly. But we need to think about it, and act. Are you willing?