Holy Spirit vs. Human Nature

Dorina Böczögő balance beam       LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Alexandra Raisman of the United States competes on the beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Beam final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:5-8

Verse 6 explains how our faith must never waver; we should not hesitate to ask God for wisdom. If we are, it means we are divided in pleasing both God and the world. James compares this division in loyalty to the waves of the sea being tossed and blown by the wind. I compare it to a gymnast standing on the balance beam because it tests the gymnast’s ability to stand steadily on a long, thin beam as he or she perform acrobatic maneuvers.  This verse speaks to me because I find myself doubting God in bestowing wisdom to me. Though my heart says he will, my mind disagrees. I want to be confident I will receive wisdom and use it to bring Him glory.  The images of the two gymnasts–Dorina Boczogo and Alexandria Raisman– represent stability in my faith journey. My devotion to God must be steady and wholeheartedly. Like a gymnast demonstrating physical strength with balancing on a beam, I must display steadfastness in my faith. Nothing should shake my faith in God, despite threats or obstacles.

I sense a battle brewing inside me as I contemplate how to exercise my faith: should I indulge in worldly pleasures, or seek God’s Kingdom as I meditate on His Word? My human nature subjects me to sin. Paul agrees as he notes in Romans 6:21-25, “ I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power[b] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

My faith walk requires stability–like gymnastics (specifically the balance beam)–demands balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength, among others.

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