A Different Drum Beat

portrait of a little boy playing bongos
Over the years, I’ve met people who are quite a bit different than I am. Some people are different than anyone I know. I have used the phrase that “they march to the beat of a different drum”.  I realize that is a kind way of saying they are weird compared to me and my friends. The thing is, I may have had people say that about me. We are all different than each other, yet we’re all the same. The people in other parts of the world speak different languages and have different customs, yet they still bleed and they need food and rest just like I do.

The Apostle Paul starts really clarifying the difference in a person who walks in the flesh versus a person who walks in the Spirit. This is a game changer in my spiritual journey for sure. Check this out…

16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-18, 24-26 CSB)

Walking by the Spirit is hard to describe. I can point to specific incidents in my life where I felt prompted and nudged to do something, say something or go somewhere that was not my normal choice. The Holy Spirit is very personal, but can be obvious. This battle between my flesh and the Spirit is very real. The battle rages inside me every day. My flesh gets frustrated easily, while the Spirit shows great patience and gives grace by the truck-loads. My flesh is very self-centered, while the Spirit is very self-less, giving and kind.

I want what I want is from my flesh.

I want what He wants is from The Spirit of Christ in me.

I can’t describe the peace and joy I feel in my heart when I live and move by the Spirit. I am here to serve others and their best interest. I really believe that my profession as a REALTOR is to serve others. When I write down all the tasks of my job, the word service is woven throughout those processes and tasks.

The old Dwayne served himself. The spirit-filled Dwayne lives to serve others.

The old Dwayne had a short fuse. The spirit-filled Dwayne is patient. (I still have trouble with this one – and it’s obvious when my flesh takes over.

I could make a very long list of the flesh-led Dwayne versus the spirit-led Dwayne.

As a Christ follower, I should look different than a person who lives by the flesh. I want to keep in step with the Spirit of God. I want to talk when He says talk. I want to walk where He leads. I want to give when He says give. In other words, I want to walk to the beat of a different drum – the Spirit of God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Invisible

 

Invisible manI sometimes wish I could have the ability to be invisible. I’ve often said, “I’d like to be a fly on the wall when that happens”. I know it’s not a “super power” like flying or being the strongest, but I think it would be cool.  I also sometimes wish I could see things that are invisible. For example, I wish I could see the wireless signals that are traveling through my house even right now. It would probably blow my mind. What about seeing the invisible spiritual realm. I think it might freak me out even more to see that.

The Apostle Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth alludes to the spiritual realm when he talks about the flesh and the spirit. Check this out…

For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 CSB)

I deal with stuff in my physical world all day long like deadlines, paperwork, appointments with people, etc.… This fills up my calendar for sure. I love interacting with people, especially the ones I like and have the opportunity to serve. I’m also learning to love the “hard to love” people that come my way each day. The more I study the Word the more I become aware of the world that I can’t see – the spiritual realm. This can be really confusing, but it’s quite simple – “the flesh” is my physical being and there is also a “spirit” part of me that is my soul. The battles that I face daily are on two fronts – flesh & spirit. The spiritual battle is invisible, but the results of that battle often are present in my physical life. I believe every situation I face falls into one of those two worlds. My spiritual world is the part where the Lord does His heavy lifting. My physical world operates with energy and power from my spiritual world. It’s when I get this process reversed that I get into trouble. The Lord sees my physical world and my spiritual world. He wants both surrendered to Him. I know that my flesh is weak and prone to sin and stupidity – I want my spirit to grow strong so that my physical self operates totally out of my spirt that is surrendered to the Lord. It is crazy to think of the invisible battle that every person is dealing with, but it’s as real as the stuff in my house that I can see and touch.

Being invisible might be cool, but if I just put on my spiritual eyes of faith to recognize the battle for my soul that is invisible, I would lean into the Lord even more. I desperately need His help in this invisible battle. The struggles of my physical life are really coming from the invisible, spiritual world. With His help, I can deal with both. I can’t see Him except with my eyes of faith. I can also see what He’s doing every day in my life. Maybe I don’t need to be invisible after all.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

The Fight Within

 

devil angelI remember the cartoons when I was a kid that depicted the devil with a red body and a pitch-forked tail sitting on one shoulder whispering in my ear. He’s coaching me to do bad stuff. Then, on the other shoulder is an angel trying to coach me to do the right thing. I remember thinking this was “cute” when I was young. As I aged and grew in wisdom, I can see some truth in that. The enemy has never relaxed at pushing me. He is constantly pulling and trying to coach me into areas of weakness of my flesh. As I read God’s Word and lean into Him for wisdom and strength to live out my faith, the fight within keeps going. In Romans 7, Paul, the Apostle addressed this very battle and in fact, he verifies the inward fight. Check this out…

18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me. (Romans 7:18-20 CSB)

There is always a fight with my flesh brewing somewhere in my life. My fight can be traced back to pride. I must constantly beat down pride so that The Lord can do some good work inside my soul. Pride is like the fuel that fuels my fleshly desires of lust, greed and notoriety. When the Spirit can win the battle for my heart, I become humble, grateful and generous. I have been approaching the Word of God differently because I believe The Word is a huge help in putting pride in its place and allowing the Spirit of God to shine through me. I want the Spirit of God to direct my flesh in proper choices and ideas. I want the Spirit of God to win today’s battles. I’ve read the end of the book and I know Who wins in the end. I want to finish my life strong with the Spirit of God clearly keeping my flesh in check.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Silence

 

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsThere are times that I love the peace and serenity I feel in silence. Recently my family celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday. It was a lot of fun with a lot of my family gathered as well as friends and neighbors. I must say that silence was not really part of the celebrating, but afterward I was looking forward to silence. I’ve been both the giver and receiver of the “silent treatment” when someone is angry or frustrated with me. There are times when silence is a blessing and at other times it’s very painful and hard.

The Lord had gone silent on Saul for his disobedience when the Lord told him to carry out His furious judgment on the Amalakites. Saul is on his own and the silence of the Lord is deafening. Check this out….

4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He enquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. (1 Samuel 28:4-6 NIV)

Samuel was gripped by fear and this was magnified when he realized that the Lord had turned away from Him. He actually sought out a witch or medium. This is extremely dangerous territory where the Lord is involved. He wanted to hear from the prophet Samuel who was dead. It is the beginning of the end of Saul’s leadership and I think he knows it.

I don’t want to experience the silence of the Lord. I want my hearing from the Lord to improve as my body ages and my physical hearing slips a bit. I would rather hear from the Lord than anyone else. I’m so thankful that the Lord speaks to me through His Word and through my daily journey of prayer. He gives wisdom and understanding that blows my mind. He prompts and He directs. He speaks and He whispers. He stirs my heart to hear Him more clearly. I’m grateful to be called His kid. I’m grateful that He listens to my heart. I’m grateful that He speaks to me. When I sit before Him in silence, I’m so grateful that He isn’t silent.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Super Strength

 

Smiling sport child boy showing hand biceps muscles strengthI remember reading the stories of Samson as a young kid and fantasizing about how cool it would be to be as strong as he was. I’ve never really considered myself a wimp, but compared to him – I am certainly a wimp. He strikes me as a bit uncontrolled with his God-given strength. His first experience with his power came on quickly. Check this out…

5 Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring towards him. 6 The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. (Judges 14:5-6 NIV)

I’m not sure how this went down, but I have a feeling that Samson was stunned by what he was capable of. The scripture never tells us that he’s a giant, only that he’s extremely strong.

I used to lift weights and work out 5 days a week – I drifted away from that routine. I enjoyed the feeling after the workout more than the work out. I understand that in order for my muscles to grow they have to be broken down a bit by pushing them very hard. As I work out my muscles and push through the pain of that – I get stronger. Although my body has aged a bit since my “work out” days – I see great value in daily exercise. I wish I would work more at “push-backs”. I didn’t say “push-ups”….I need to improve a pushing back my plate and not eat so much.

As I finished up processing this story of Samson, the physical strength He possessed was super natural. I don’t have that and unless God does something super natural, I won’t ever have that kind of strength. I do believe that the Lord has given me inner strength that is super natural. I can’t explain walking through the struggles and the sufferings of my life any other way – He gave me the strength. When life is hard, that is when God really shows up and shows out. I’m a bit more relaxed these days because I know that He is in control and will walk with me through the darkest valley or highest mountain.   I don’t want to take His Presence for granted. I don’t want to ignore His Prompting of my heart. The Spirit of God is on me and my perspective of my life is really different in a good way.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Here’s My Heart

 

Girl holding a heart-shaped boxI believe that love is an activity of both the brain and the heart. I believe that the two go hand in hand when surrendering to love. The love that the Lord has for is profound and powerful. It is hard to understand and process. His love is deep and wide. His love is strong and long. His love is relentless. He wants us to love like that. While I believe that love is a function or activity of brain and heart, I believe it begins with a decision. I use my head to guard my heart in love. The Lord appeals to my head and my heart.

Joel was telling Israel about destruction that was coming, but help was on the way too. He challenges the people to surrender to the Lord knowing that they are powerless to change the current circumstances. Check this out….

12 ‘Even now,’ declares the Lord,

    ‘return to me with all your heart,

    with fasting and weeping and mourning.’

13 Rend your heart

    and not your garments.

Return to the Lord your God,

    for he is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in love,

    and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:12-13 NIV)

My heart is what the Lord wants surrendered. The enemy wants the same thing. It seems that the enemy appeals to making the outside beautiful while the inside is diseased and destroyed. The Lord’s Presence in me changes everything I touch, see and know. He wants to be invited into every area of my life. He does not invade my life; He waits for an invitation. Check this out…

28 ‘And afterwards,

    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

    your old men will dream dreams,

    your young men will see visions.

29 Even on my servants, both men and women,

    I will pour out my Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29 NIV)

When the Lord is given first place in my heart, I see everything from a different perspective – His perspective. He wants me to love like He loves. He wants me to live like I was designed to live. He wants me to give like He gives. He wants all of me to be filled with Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

P.S. Here’s My Heart by Crowder