In my walk with God I sometimes feel like a Jekyll and Hyde character!
I have two personalities fighting inside me – one that longs to serve and follow God and one that feels that it is just too much of an effort to live a ‘Christ like’ life.
I identify so completely with what Paul wrote in Romans chapter 7.
“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Wretched man (or in my case wretched woman) that I am!”
There is a constant battle going on inside me and I am tired of it!
When I have spent five minutes in a queue in traffic to turn left and a taxi comes along and cuts in front of me, every fiber in my being says that I am justified in showing him a rude gesture and swearing at him. When I walk into a shop and the shop assistant is rude or totally disinterested I long to lash out and tell her that the only reason she has a job is because of the customers. No customers no job, so the very least she could do is be polite. When my children take things for granted and seem to have no comprehension of what privileged lives they are living compared to millions of other children around the world or how hard, we as their parents work, in order to give them that lifestyle, I find myself wanting to shake them and tell them to appreciate what they have. (I have to admit that that doesn’t happen often – we actually have amazingly kind, forgiving and generous children!)
There are also things inside myself that I struggle with. Bad habits, selfishness, being judgmental … the list is endless!
This is not the way God wants us to live our lives – constantly struggling to ‘obey’ Him.
I tend to become a Jekyll and Hyde character when I stop spending time in God’s company. When I stop reading His word and only pray out of habit.
As believers we are called to read God’s word “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You”. (Psalm 119:11)
We need to spend time praying “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2), “Pray continually” (1 Thess 5:17). Jesus spent an inordinate amount of His time here on earth in prayer to His heavenly Father “Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God”. (Luke 6:12)
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son” (Romans 8:29). If we want to become similar in character to Jesus or be ‘conformed’ to His likeness we have to spend time with Him and we have to read the Bible in order to find out more about Him.
A good verse to memorise if you struggle, like I do, with the tendency to have a Jekyll and Hyde character, is James 4:8
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.