Us, or Him in us.
You see, we have been bought with a price. We are not our own. We are His possession. Yet, ever since the last drops of Heaven’s early rain fell after the death of Paul, wolves that have crept into our midst have brought with them the mindset that we can be redeemed and still be our own boss. Well, the wolves are wrong.
The Bible is clear.
“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
We are told by Paul in Romans 12:1 that God’s will for us…. no, more than that…. His expectation for us is that we present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Him and that God sees that as our reasonable service. This standard is not for the ‘spiritual’ ones, or for pastors only. It is for everyone. It is for me. It is for you.
He counsels us to not be conformed to this world, but rather to be transformed by the Spirit within us into the image of His Son. And yet, if we are honest, most of us will admit we are failing to live up to that expectation. The question on our lips must be ‘Why”
Why was this such a common mindset in the early church and yet is now seen as not only optional but actually as radical and more than that, really impossible for us today? Why do we read that and think it is legalism? Why? The wolves have done a good job.
But guys, there is an answer and at the crossroads we now find ourselves in, with everything being shaken in our lives, God is using those shakings to awaken us to the answer we so desperately need.
But something must first happen. We must escape the mentality that we have need of nothing, that somehow, God sees us as perfect, so why sweat it? Bottom line, we must come to the point we HATE our self life. HATE our willful sin. HATE our lack of fruit. Nothing else will do.
More shakings are coming. Like birth pangs, they will increase in intensity. Their purpose is not to destroy us, but rather, to shake us awake to who we are. Spiritual armor has been given to us that allows us to weather the most ferocious temptations satan can throw at us and do it with joy. But spiritual armor does us no good until we put it on.
God wants to make us overcomers, victorious over the world, the flesh and the devil. But that will not happen until we refuse to remain content to live out our lives as OUR lives, forgiven but defeated, healed but only slightly.
Romans 7 is not our birthright. But until we long to be delivered from sin and self-love, even as Paul did, we will continue to be shaken until we awake to what God has for us… new natures.
Oh, we have them, but they must be put on. And therein lies the problem. We cannot put them on til we put off our old ones, and that cannot happen until we hate failing our God with our double mindedness, our carnality, our secret sins and our worldliness.
Our God is awakening His own and will pour out His Spirit upon us. The latter rain approaches. Our God will not leave us tossed to and fro as the earth enters its death spiral. As He has promised, God is going to do a work in our day that if our eyes did not see it, we would not believe it.
But first, we must hunger for it. Desperation is the soil where the seeds of faith will germinate. So…. how desperate are we?