Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
The above verse is a portion of “The Shema prayer”, one of the most famous prayers in the Bible. It was a daily prayer in ancient Israel. It is still recited today. Jesus quotes “The Shema” in Matthew 22:37.
I found Jesus Christ. Rather, he found me. We walked together and still do.
Sometimes, I pretended that he didn't exist, especially when sin called. Eventually, I could no longer pretend. There are no words or arguments to describe the growing conviction of the Holy Spirit and how it grew to chase after me - in my sin.
Thus, a spiritual war began.
I prayed in the words of St. Augustine, "Oh Lord, make me chaste!.....but not yet!". I thought, “I am going to deal with this or that sin issue, but I'll get around to it. I'm not going to die yet, and Jesus Christ said he would forgive me. At some point, I'll cash that check.” This was the thought-war that I was in, and that I am in.
I’ve learned that there is a space that lies in between the desire to do a thing and doing it. It's in that space that the war is fought. In that space, I am a creator. The Shema instructs me that:
1. It is my duty to stop and reflect before acting.
2. It is my duty to fill that space with the Lord so that in one "fell swoop" my thoughts and my subsequent deeds are captured for Christ.
3. When I am not successful, it is my duty to never stop filling that space with the Lord. Never! - on my heart - impressed on my children - when I sit at home - when I walk - when I lie down and when I get up. Always and even when I fail.
Daily Battle Order:
What time is it? It’s now. It’s always now. Any other answer is a trick.
The Enemy tricks you when you say “not yet”. So, start training now and then now and then now. Choose to train every minute, every second.
Practice filling the space between your desire and your action with a moment of reflection. Dedicate yourself to this discipline. If you’re like me, you’ll fail but gradually improve. Sometimes, you’ll reflect and yet you’ll still sin. However, don’t give up. Never give up. Read Matthew 22:37.