Romans 8:13 – “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if you put to death the deeds of the flesh through the Spirit you will live. ”
My wife gave me an espresso machine for Christmas and because I had been so good she gave it to me early. In reality she probably gave it to me early because she was afraid I would spend all of our money going to coffee shops supporting my espresso addiction.
Now instead of having to drive and get a cup I can prepare it right in the comfort of home. Making espresso is not like making coffee however, it is more than just put the coffee in the filter and hit the switch. Making espresso is a process, some would say an art form. To make it properly you have to grind the beans, not to fine or the espresso will not have any creama when you brew it and not to coarse or it will be bitter. After grinding you weigh out the grounds and put them into the filter, them you have to tamp the grounds. Tamping is a process in which pressure is applied to the grounds to pack them into the filter. If to much pressure is used, the espresso will again have no creama and if not enough pressure is applied the shot will have a sour, bitter taste. It is a difficult process to master but it’s worth it.
Every morning I am working on the process, I am learning, I am trying to perfect the art of the cup. Its not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Making espresso takes discipline and focus and as I thought about that I realized a wonderful, rich truth: following Jesus takes those things as well.
It is a process, we should be learning every day. We should be studying, we should be praying, we should be relying on Him as He perfects the process within us.
It takes discipline because cas we follow Jesus in this world we are going against the grain, and living differently than society. It takes discipline to do as Paul says in Romans 8:13 and “put to death the desires of the flesh. ” After all we are sinners by nature so our flesh cries out for sin. It takes discipline to pray when the noise of the world swirls around and it takes discipline to read the Bible when so many distractions abound. It takes discipline and focus. Beyond that it takes the grace of God. Paul says we have to put to death the deeds of the flesh, “by the Spirit”, which means we can’t do it ourselves we need God, the Holy Spirit’s help.
Following Jesus takes discipline and focus. It takes the Spirit’s help and guidance and grace. It is a process and sometimes a difficult one but it is worth it. It is worth it to live like Jesus and to become what He wants us to be. To God be the glory.