What’s My Default Setting?

What’s My Default Setting?

My friend Beth was teaching our bible study group from I Timothy 4. Verse 7 says train yourself to be godly.

She said, “Be so disciplined in the Word that your automatic response is godliness.” I thought, is that really possible? If I am full to overflowing with God’s Word, I will react well automatically? Without even thinking about it?

It reminded me of a song by Nichole Nordeman called River God where she talks about a stone that becomes smooth through the river’s chilly waters rushing by. The analogy is that we are stones being smoothed and refined over time by God’s rushing waters, His Holy Spirit.

I saw concrete evidence of this one day when I was engaged in a challenging conversation. This person was really pushing my buttons, but I reacted well  – at least outwardly. My husband overheard most of it and complimented me for my patience.

Somehow, God has worked enough in me that I don’t respond the way I used to in such situations. I’m much more patient and tolerant than I used to be. Progress? Yes, but He still has a long way to go in me. My inward thoughts were not at all what they should have been; I was imagining pummeling this person!

We know that we have the Holy Spirit living in us, transforming us. John 3:34 tells us He gives the spirit without limit. It is right to ask Him to fill us more and more. The old chorus says, “Fill my cup, Lord.”

But instead of being filled up by God, what if we were cups (or stones) flowing in His river? Surrounded by, immersed in, flowing along with Jesus? Not just being filled by Him but being moved along in His current?

The hymn says:

“O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast unmeasured, boundless, free

Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me

Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love

Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above.”

This is what I want! This is the picture of flowing along with Him, resting in His love and being smoothed over time by the Holy Spirit. To be so caught up in what God is doing, that I automatically go along with His will, unable even to go against His flow, His purposes. To have love as my default setting. To see only the rushing river, not my cup or stone there in the middle of it.

Lord, keep doing Your work in me so that my default setting is godliness. I want to flow along with Your purposes and plans. My prayer is to be filled up with Your Spirit more and more each day.

Friend, what is your default reaction to challenges or criticism?

Linda Graf About Linda Graf

Linda Graf is the author of  Bitter Truth: My Story of Bitterness, Grace and Repentance. She wrote it after the Lord freed her from a lifestyle of anger and bitterness. She is a musician, a mentor and mother. Being an author was never on her radar, but during her journey from bitterness to joy in Christ, she was compelled to write about it. Check out her website where she blogs regularly.


  1. Amen, Linda! That’s my prayer too. We all have those who “push our buttons”. May the Lord give us strength to represent Him well. Proud of you!

  2. Sari O'Malley says:

    Thank you, Linda! A beautifully written visual of God’s sanctifying work in our lives. So thankful our rivers crossed paths.

  3. Kristin says:

    Linda, you were reading my thoughts! God is so kind. I used to love that Nicole Nordeman song!! I too have, by God’s work, come a far pace in patience and forbearance. But oh, the journey still ahead for my internal responses. You’re a kindred spirit.

  4. This is wonderful, Linda. And thanks for being real, acknowledging the conflict between our outer response and our inner reaction. We need to be patient but firm with ourselves in this area of growth. Thank you again!

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