Freedom to Respond to God

When someone entered my life--someone difficult for me to appreciate--I was tempted, perhaps not to show, but to feel irritation. Then the Lord reminded me of Paul's words, "I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." Here was an opportunity for my focus to shift from her to Christ. I prayed, "Dear Lord, I desire that You be pleased with my thoughts about her." In response, God gave me a new attitude toward her.

A friend and I discussed this concept, and she shared her burden of the moment, the irresponsibility of her son. New hope shone in her eyes as she realized that her responsibility was to listen to God and to keep her response to her son pleasing to God.

Later she exclaimed, "Oh, I must tell you! Last night at church we sang 'Near to the Heart of God,' and when we sang the phrase 'a place where all is joy and peace' I knew what that meant. God is beginning to give me faith for my son."

Two things happen when we determine to know nothing except Jesus Christ. First, we discover we can trust Him when we no longer are trusting ourselves to meet another's needs. As our censorious spirit gives way to love, we find it is easier to trust God to make effective the words He chooses for us to say.

Second, we free the other person to respond to God. Our remarks and attitudes can hinder a person from hearing God. Unkind hasty remarks often result in a bad attitude. Such "a brother [or sister or child] offended is harder to win than a strong city" (Proverbs 18:19).

Paul ends 1 Corinthians 2 with, "But we have the mind of Christ." We have the thoughts, counsels, and knowledge of Christ through the Holy Spirit. We know His responses and His thoughts when we submit our wills to Him.

Thank You, Jesus, for being my wisdom.

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things" (John 14:26).