“Grace to behave as His child.”
Andrew Murray said to remind yourself of this when walking through difficult times: “God will keep me here in His love and give me grace to behave as His child.”
If we’re honest with ourselves, “behaving as His child” is often the last thing we tend to think of while going through difficulties. Instead, we tend to point the finger at others’ behavior or make excuses and justifications for our own.
But I wonder what might happen if during those difficult times and while dealing with difficult people – whether in our homes, our communities, or even our churches – we would remember that even then our Heavenly Father will supply the grace needed to obey Him, represent Him, and imitate Him – in other words, to behave as His child.
When things are hard, when circumstances are tough, when people rub us the wrong way, let’s make this our prayer, that His grace would empower and enable us to behave as children of God.
And how does a child of God behave? In one word: love. Regardless of the actions, words, or yes, even opinions of others.
“Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us…” – get this – “while we were yet sinners.” (Ephesians 5:1, Romans 5:8)
While we were His enemies, He showed us His love by dying for us.
The “love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13) tells us how we can show love, for it tell us that love is:
Not demanding of its own way
Not irritable or easily angered
Not keeping a record of how it’s been wronged
Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is surely a tall order during the best of times, yet we are expected to live this out even during the worst of times? We are to believe that God can give us grace to behave like THIS – when WE are wronged and irritated, when WE have it tough? Yes – but not by our ability or our strength – but through His Spirit.
Paul explained, “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life…Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God…” (Ephesians 4:21-24)
Earlier in the chapter Paul begged the Ephesians to live a life worthy of their calling. That may sound really big and grandiose – but what Paul goes on to describe is often that which would more likely take place in the small – not large – moments of life. For he says, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” (verses 2-3)
For all of these reasons, and more, yes, Lord, give us grace to behave as your children!