What Am I Doing?
Posted on March 5, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14 (NLT)
During one of those quiet, reflective drives to work, I was crossing over the Wading River in my part of New Jersey and I asked myself, “What am I doing?” I had been thinking about all this schooling that I have been doing over the last decade, what am I really gonna do with it all as I was on my way to do my daily task of wrench turning and system checks and wondering why I’m not really doing anything that impacts anything. Then I had remembered something that Paul David Tripp had written in his book, “Whiter Than Snow.”
“I am a mass of contradictions; I don’t want to be but I am. I preach a gospel of peace, but my life isn’t always driven by peace. I talk about Jesus who alone can fully satisfy the soul, but I am often not satisfied. I celebrate a theology of amazing grace, but I often react in ungrace. And if I rest in God’s control, why do I seek it for myself? Even in moments when I think I am prepared; I end up doing what I didn’t want to do.”
I guess the optimal word here is consistency. I sometimes feel that, every once in awhile, the old man rises up and says “Remember ME!?” And every so often he’ll ask, “What are you doing, man? Wasn’t it more fun back in Egypt?” Ya see, during those working hours the struggle to be who I claim to be in Christ versus the guy who didn’t take too kindly to a slap in the face becomes very real. The kinda guy, who doesn’t have a problem sharing his faith with his co-workers, all of sudden becomes all kinds of…well, you fill in the blank. I can tell ya it ain’t very nice, to say the least. So, what it is it that makes me go from angel to devil in a New Jersey minute?
Well for that answer, I usually end up in the Book of James, fourth chapter. It starts off with this question, “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” (James 4:1) I kinda keep forgetting that not everything about my old nature just disappeared the moment I said “yes” to Jesus Christ. There’s this little issue of pride that pops up now and again that really only serves to bring out the worst in me. This is where being consistent gets tested. Am I really gonna understand that “God opposes the proud but favors the humble” (Pro 3:34) or am I gonna let the old man have his way and show those around me that I really am unwilling to turn the other cheek?
Well if I’m gonna do something about maintaining the consistency of my identity in Christ, confessing that struggle out loud is where the rubber meets the road. Hear David’s words in Psalm 51:1-4… “Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of Your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against You, and You alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in Your sight. You will be proved right in what You say, and Your judgment against me is just.”
Once David confronted that wretched part of himself, all that was left to do was to confess where his sin did him in and to Who he sinned against. Which brings me to another thing I need to do is stop doing. That’s saying to myself, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) You’d think with all the academics that I’ve studied the answer would be simple…but at times it isn’t. I need to remember that not only is that answer Jesus Christ but I gotta remember what He said in John 16:33b, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
So how about you? Do you find yourself asking yourself, “What am I doing?” in the same tone that I do? Well maybe you, like me, need to start living in, while celebrating, that theology of amazing grace. The forgiven life that God has provided for us to embrace needs to be released once in a while so that an unforgiven world can see the hope that is in us. And that hope can only be found in Jesus Christ. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “I have been humbled by the war I cannot win. I have been grieved by desires that I cannot conquer. I have been confronted by actions I cannot excuse. And I have come to confess that what I really need is rescue.” — Paul David Tripp
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [h]strength and my Redeemer. –Psalm 19:14
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.