“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph. 5:1,2 (NIV)
Scripture often uses the analogy of walking to describe our spiritual journey, and today’s verse instructs us that we are to walk in a certain way…the way of love. Paul goes on to give us the ultimate example of the way of love…the self-sacrifice of Jesus.
In other words, we are called to a life of self-sacrifice…but what does that mean?
In the book Your Life in Christ, the 19th century Scottish writer George MacDonald, who inspired C.S. Lewis, gives us one of the most practical answers to that question. MacDonald proposes that in order to live a self-sacrificial life, we must first separate our desires from our will.
Normally, our desires and our will go together. We desire something…then we immediately will it to happen. MacDonald points out that our desires are ruled by our old nature. Therefore our will is ruled by our old nature as long as our will is connected to our desires.
But if we separate our will from our desires…then the Spirit can control our will.
We separate our will from our desires when we take time to evaluate, question and discern those desires. Age and maturity bring the ability to resist and put aside self-defeating desires.
Only then can we begin to walk in the way of love…the self-sacrificial life.
Prayer: Lord help me to question my desires and seek Your will over my own.