I think that doing what is right in spite of how I feel is the biggest challenge facing us as Christians. Of course we all face this challenge Christian or not, but for the believer in Christ it seems to be a particular struggle.
We have these two natures at war within us every moment of the day! Scripture says they fight with each other-
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:17 (NASB)
This brings a particular dilemma to us. We are once again presented with a choice to obey the Lord or do what we want to do in spite of what we know is right.
This choice is presented not only in what we do but the attitude that we bring to obedience. If you are at all like me, you have an easier time doing what is right with a bad attitude than doing what is right with a submissive and obedient attitude before the Lord. Those pesky feelings always get in the way of my (self) righteousness! In a way, I enjoy this battle within myself because it reminds me of my never ending need for Him and for the cross. That Holy Spirit reminder that comes in the gentle tug at my heart and mind bringing before me who I am in Christ and what is required of me is welcomed in my life.
I so often engage in this battle of obedience, and more so as the changes in my life continue to challenge me. I have no doubt that returning to the working world for the past 2 years (and no longer being exclusively in ministry) has brought many new challenges to my spiritual growth. I also have no doubt that these changes are God-ordained and intentional! I admit, I really fought those changes in my inner man for the first year. I look forward to returning to my hearts desire; serving God and the church through teaching the Word, counseling, instructing in righteousness, and helping others grow and change.
There are times that doing what is right doesn't feel good at all. And yet, I am called to obey and not only to obey but to do so with the attitude of a servant. I am a servant of the most powerful King the world has ever known. He is my Lord and Master and I am His loving servant.
Doing what is right when I don't want to requires keeping this thought at the forefront of my thoughts: It is the chief end of man to glorify God. In ways I don't understand right now obeying God in even when things don't appear to make sense glorifies Him. More than just by my obedience, God uses me wherever He plants me in the lives of the people that surround me!
Do I know who I will influence for Christ? Do I know whose life I will impact? Do I know the spiritual condition of the people I will see on any given day? Of course not! God does and it is His will that I go forth in faith and submissive obedience to His will in each circumstance I am presented with.
You see the results of my obedience (and my disobedience) reflected in this blog each day... Life is an adventure in sanctification. I hope to be an example others will follow in heart-felt obedience toward God, in spite of how they feel.