What are you depending on? My conversations with others (and in my own head) of late have included this question. Or, I could say it this way, “What am I counting or relying on day-to-day to bring me satisfaction, fulfillment, rest, or reprieve?”
As I reflect on this, I can see how much I anticipate certain things in my life: chocolate, coffee, sweets, good food, time off, or time alone. These things I look forward to. And these things bring satisfaction.
As I indulge more, I find it to be easier to indulge in my whims, unchecked words, and thoughts. Lack of self-control in one area usually breeds lack of self control in other areas. My “sweet” indulgences spill over into other areas of my life. And lack of self-control does not produce satisfaction, well it does, but it is so temporary. As James says, it is “Here today, and gone tomorrow.”
To be satisfied is what we are made for. But often we choose the temporary over the lasting. But when I look into the depths of my heart, when I turn from my devices and am alone with my thoughts — am I truly satisfied? And truly fulfilled?
As I talk with people about their spiritual life, I often find and observe it is “up and down.” We feel stuck or frustrated instead of satisfied and fulfilled.
I imagine most of us want to live satisfied, fulfilled lives, but it doesn’t seem quite that easy; and rather, very complicated.
Simple, but not Easy
I am always drawn to simplicity. I like things to be practical and workable. I think and breath better when things are simplified: a list is made, the floors are cleaned and things are picked up.
But when I find in the scriptures that the key to the satisfied life is thru dependence, it appears too simple. It is simply stated in so many ways. But simple is not necessarily equated with easy.
Living a satisfied life comes down to this:
Am I depending on a whole host of things or am I depending on God.
It is easy to say and sounds simple, but it is another thing to live that out. It is much easier and more natural to depend on the whole host of other things.
Walking comes easily and naturally without thinking about it. It is one step after another. And it is easy to tell whether someone is walking or running by their pace. A walk is a slow steady pace.
This is what dependency in the Christian life is suppose to look like. It is compared to “walking.”
“Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.”
In other words, I am to depend on Christ moment-by-moment, continually, as a way of life. This is the way to the satisfied life.
Walking in the Spirit
Walking in the Spirit is a reliance. It is continual surrender to God, abiding in Christ and staying connected to the vine (John 15). It is allowing Him to control us each step along the way. It is a being willing and available continually, not in just one big moment!
This is only a short post and books are written about this. But I will say this: this is the life I want, for this is the life that will truly satisfy. This is the life that will convince me that satisfaction from my indulgences pales in comparison to life is the Spirit. This is the life that will cause me to take steps of faith and be willing and available.
Jesus compares the Spirit to a wind blowing. We don’t see it but we experience the affects of it. A choice of moment by moment dependence is a little like this. Some of the impact is now — but much of it is in the future. For when you walk in the Spirit you don’t end up in the same place, but somewhere you never imagined and somewhere better.