When We Have Pride And Rigidity What We Build Is A Wall Against The Holy Spirit
By Michael H. Brown
One of the greatest enemies of grace is rigidity. Do you have everything laid out? Are you too set in your ways? Have you decided that you know everything you need to know (and as a result are going nowhere)?
When we're rigid, grace bounces off. We've created a shell. Think of how many ways you may be restricting yourself by being too rigid. Do you do everything your own way? Are you the only planner in your life (leaving out the Holy Spirit)?
Years ago I drove the length of the Mississippi and was astonished to learn that many of its banks are now cement levees. Our greatest river is now partly artificial! Without those walls the river would inundate many homes -- but at the same time other floods are caused and the new, straight, rigid shorelines have prevented the river's overflow and its rich silt deposits from nourishing surrounding farmlands. Instead, the soil shoots past the levees and is dumped by the rigid river into the Gulf of Mexico.
We do the same -- we waste nutrients, spiritual nutrients -- when we build walls around us. Such walls are often formed by pride. When we think we know everything we need to know and can decide everything that's best for us with our own minds, with our own logic -- without letting in God -- we become rigid and "hard-headed" and even "hard of heart." This can also happen when we have not healed damaged emotions. Fears and hurts lead to the same kind of hardness, and once more the rigidity halts our progress. When we're that way, we lose our flexibility. And when something is inflexible it has an excellent chance of rupturing.
What's the solution? Well, of course, humility. That's where we start. And forgiveness. That heals many emotions. And plain letting go. "Let go and let God" is the expression, and it's not just a cliche: Just about every day we're faced with a choice between doing things the way we think is best and doing things that are in the flow of the Holy Spirit.
When you have that choice, go with the Spirit. God wants us to be thinking and rational but He also wants us to be faithful and release things to Him. Too often we set our minds on a plan or schedule and attempt to adhere to it so rigidly that we can't hear His small still voice within us. Often, God wants us to approach matters in a freer, more open manner -- which means going with the flow and letting Him put things together.
I've seen this happen myself: where I'll have a rigid schedule during a trip or other endeavor, a master plan of how the day should be approached -- with detailed plans that I have agonized over -- and then I watch as those rigid plans yield little fruit. On the other hand, when something unexpected comes up -- and I'm open to it -- often it leads me to results that become much more productive.
The Lord opens up to us when when open to Him, and this is a lesson that can save us both time and internal wrangling. Much of our anxiety is caused by our trying to hash everything ourselves -- with our own rigid minds, instead of asking God to do it for us. By just releasing a schedule or plan we have, by just being open to an alteration, we can invite the miraculous. Despite His size, all He needs is a little opening!
So make room for God. Look for His Mind more than your own. Let Him flow like the Mississippi once flowed and watch all the fruit sprout around you.
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