The way to godly living is surprisingly simple: we are to walk with God in His appointed way (Micah 6:8), diligently using the means of grace and the spiritual disciplines, and waiting upon the Holy Spirit for blessing. Note that godly living involves both discipline and grace. This emphasis upon duty and grace is fundamental to Reformed, experiential ideas about godly living. As John Flavel wrote, “The duty is ours, though the power be God’s. A natural man has no power, a gracious man hath some, though not sufficient; and that power he hath depends upon the assisting strength of Christ.”
I really appreciated this reminder that I am responsible for “walking with God in His appointed way”, but that I can only accomplish that if I am living in the sufficiency of God’s power to be able to carry that out. How can I do that? Well, it isn’t just sitting back with my feet up waiting for it to happen. I actually think my verse for the year and this quote fit together well. The Hebrews passage is a conclusion to a letter and I see it is a prayer. The author of Hebrews cared about the people he was writing to. He wanted them to understand correct doctrine about Jesus (he spent 13 chapters doing that!) and he wanted them to have a spiritually fulfilled life, being obedient to God and magnifying Christ in their lives. If you are interested in the study of Hebrews, our pastor just recently finished a series on the book and it was amazing! You can listen to it at: http://www.ecchurch.com/media/hebrews/pages/main.htm The sermons are also available for download.
So, I see my responsibility as diligently seeking God’s word so that I know God as I should. It is also being disciplined in prayer and communion with God. If I am doing this, then I will more likely be in union with God’s desires for my life and He will be more able to fill me with His power to accomplish the plan that He has for my life.
My focus for the coming year is not going to come as much of a surprise to you. We have this amazing and wonderful and scary task of raising two little girls whose background and culture is very different from ours. I have shared with you their eager desire to learn about God and Jesus. I am realizing how much they watch me and how important the way I live my life, speak, take care of my family, respond to them, and even discipline them is going to soak right into their hearts and effect how they view the world and God. Wow! That is a big responsibility. Why is it that it feels so much more daunting than it did when I had Kelsey and Grant? Maybe because I know that I was able to start right at the beginning with them and with Kalindi and Kira I have lots of time to make up.
It has been neat that the girls’ English has improved so much because I am now able to explain more to them and we are able to communicate on a deeper level. Discipline is especially hard when you can only use means that get the point across without the words to explain and educate. We are now able to do more of that and I am so glad. And this brings me to my desire for 2009.