Winning The Battle Over Self

Phillipians 3 12-14

12
” It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity,* but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ [Jesus].
13
Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead,
14
I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”

The battle to conquor our own spiritual life is the greatest battle we have to fight.

In some ways.. our spiritual life is like the path we follow in playing a musical instrument.  At first we see an instrument, and take some interest, we that is where we begin to learn.

In music, we learn that there are rules and procedures, there are accepted ways to do this or that.  We learn how to hold the instrument, where to put your fingers and how to play a note.  We learn about notes, and their signs and what they mean.
and eventually we learn how to play in a very rudimentary way.

In our faith life its sort of like this as well.  We are baptised, and we begin a life in the body of Christ.  We are given rules.. We have the 10 commandments, and we begin to learn what they are, and what they mean in a very rudimentary way, We learn a little bit about God and what our relationship is to Him.

Just like a musical instrument, if we work at our instrument, we practice, we rehearse we put in the effort we improve.
experiences help to build the things we understand, our playing will improve, the tonal quality improves, our precision improves and our expression improves.

In our faith it is exactly the same way. We set about on a course of education. Some form of Christian education that teaches us about our faith, our practices, our beliefs and why it is that we believe the things that we do.  We have to put in work in between the lessons, we have to practice our faith and progress in our understanding.   The more we work on our faith the more we understand about it. The more that we get to improve our understanding of God and how we interact with HIm and with our world.
We understand more of how we should live our lives. We improve, we mature in our faith and we get better at walking that path.

Just like a musical instrument, we fail at some point !

I remember once I was playing a Christmas concert and in one particular song I had a solo to play at the very end of the song.
The time came for the solo and it went perfectly until the very last note, and my finger slipped and the note was played out of tune.  You could hear an audible gasp from the audience.  My heart sunk and I wanted to slink off the stage. I felt horrible.
The next day I was called into the band directors office and he sat me down and closed the door.   He said so we are not going to talk about what happened at the concert.  Instead, I want to tell you how proud I am of you, and how far you have come. I also want to encourage you to get into woodshedding more ( a musical slang for rehearsing ).

This also was much like our faith life. We fail. We confess our sinful failings, our sins are forgiven and we are encouraged to work on doing better.  We get to the point where even when we are well rehearsed, and have a good bit of experience, we never attain perfection in that instrument. It is all about the journey towards perfection that make the journey worth taking..

At some point or other, our experiences bring us to the point where we have the experience to be in the seat of the band director in this scene and we are given the opportunity to share some of that experience and forgiveness and possibly even lessons learned along the  way with one of our brothers or sisters, and we need to be able to provide help, forgiveness, insights, and mostly love  in that process.

Even in the experience where we share our faith and experiences with others even THIS is not perfect, and takes practice and work.
and every time there is some new thing, some new facet that we can work on.

In all things we understand that we need to constantly seek wisdom, guidance, and Gods will in all we do.

May God give you the gift of His peace.

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