I think the key is helplessness

So I'm pretty sure that is the key. To everything in living the Spirit-filled life. It is knowing that anything I know I am helpless to apply and that I am utterly and completely dependent on my Father for everything. While I think I can do it on my own, He generally lets me go. While I TURN to Him, really turn to Him, and throw myself helplessly before His feet, but yet boldly come before His throne is when life works the way that it's supposed to. When I think I can just apply what I know to fix problems or do things on my strength, and that it doesn't matter on details, then things tend to not work well. It is only when I am throwing myself before my Creator that I can have any real confidence that His hand will come down in power. For it is when I am weak that I am strong. I love it when God takes something that I am horrible in and makes it a strength for me. My worst grade in high school was biology. I hated it all, especially studying the human body. I basically figured it was impossible. But yet somehow God picked me to have stuff happen in my body that confounded doctors. I think He worked in and through me because it would be so obvious that it was Him and not something I could take credit for. And now I just took Hebrew. The funny thing is that people in that class actually think I am good at it! Sure my grade might have been good, but I can't take any credit. My mom and I would always joke around that the two things that were next to impossible for us to learn were music and foreign languages. So I definetly prayed for God to anoint my mind to learn. I also worked very hard. (i.e. I didn't just pray and then go play frisbee... although that does sound tempting :) ). I was also blessed by my Lord to have the most awesome living situation possible for studying (If anyone is to boast, let them boast in the Lord! - that was an answer to prayer, I definitely had told people to pray about my living situation... to basically have a 3 floor apartment virtually to myself with a deck, lakeview, etc.). Somehow, someway, one of my best grades of the semester came in Hebrew. I still don't know exactly how that happened. But somehow I know that my God has this wonderful sense of humor where He likes to take people that couldn't possibly take credit for how He worked and then ridiculously bless them just so that it is abundantly clear to all involved that He is the one that did it and not them.

So anyway, back to helplessness, I am truly convinced that is the key, as I mentioned before. Basically, on my own, I have no real confidence - a prideful facade doesn't count. But as I throw myself before my Redeemer and King somehow, someway He gives me a holy boldness to say what He quickens me to say for His honor and glory. And I somehow look really good as a result of His hand on me. This is where there is this wonderful catch-22 occurs. It truly seems cool to me when He does this. I can look around and see God producing fruit through me. But the second I somehow think I can take credit for it, is the second it turns to mist, disappears, and leaves me clutching air and wondering how I can get it back. It is only when I am truly helpless in clinging to my Lord that life flourishes. I think the trick is to somehow keep focus on God and just thank Him tremendously for when He works through me, as this is never a result of me that He works through me. Shoot, there are a ton of people who are smarter, better qualified, etc. But the key to the top in God's world has very little to do with natural ability and a whole lot to do with helpless yet boldly coming before the throne pleading for His will to be done, His hand of blessing to be shown, for His sake not for mine. Showing that His will is my will, and if it isn't, imploring Him to change me to be a man after Him and His heart. Then the peace comes to know that if I am truly working on God's will and not my own, that I can and do have absolute peace because He wants His will done far more than I do. It also leads to absolute trust as I KNOW that He is in control, He will see that His work gets done, I need only be a volunteer and be available to whatever He would have me do. The Christian life seems to not be about doing things for God or doing His will in one or two things but rather so aggressively pursuing Him on a moment by moment basis that I am seizing whatever opportunities He gives me. So it isn't because of anything good in the believer that they can be used by God, but it is that through marinating their lives so fully in prayer, His Word, and His Presence that He can't help but overflow out of them whereever they go. This is not some empty ritual of quiet time with God out of guilt but a pursuit by His captivating Presence, His tremendous truths of His Word, etc. THIS is the adventure of the Christian life. THIS is where the peace, joy, and love and all the stuff that teleevangelists promise as a result of being Christian but the vast majority of the church never sees. God, THIS is what I want to live in again!!