“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
Dear God, what is it about submission to you that changes one’s perspective on life? I think, when it comes down to it, our unredeemed selves just cannot imagine a world-view where we should not promote ourselves and our own self-interests at all costs. On the other hand, a person who submits her or his life to you knows that there is peace in turning loose of selfishness and embracing a cause greater than one’s self, even at your own expense.
I know a few teenagers, and I think the difference shows up most in them. There are a few (just a few) who have submitted their lives to you (or are, at least, doing the best they can as teenagers). They seem to have less to prove to others, and are more comfortable in their own skin. Remembering back to my own high school days, I think of myself and my friends as being so desperate for approval from others. We wanted to be cool and achieve things. We wanted to impress our friends so we would embellish stories or do daring things to make them think we were cool. The truth is, we just wanted to be accepted. But there is something about the peace that comes from knowing you that leads us to an acceptance that so few seem to know.
Father, I know that there are things that I do that certain non-Christians around me reject. I know they see me as naïve even prude. But the truth is that I don’t have a desire to be any other way. That’s not to say I am above being tempted by sin or giving into it. I can gossip, show off, and even lust just as much as anyone. But I guess the difference is that the deeper the Spirit grows in me the more I can turn loose of these things and accept that I don’t need them, nor do I want them as much as I used to. I hear your still small voice when I say something I shouldn’t, look at someone the way I shouldn’t, or accept compliments and glory that rightfully belong to others and you. It tells me to turn loose and let go. There is more peace to be had in decreasing as you increase instead of you decreasing so that I can increase.