Self Struggle

April 7, 2014

Romans 7:24-25
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Self Struggle

From my night I look out into the light.
I am drawn by its warmth and love.
There is a love that draws me out of my night.
But then the voices rush in that changes my gears.
They remind me of past hurts, disappointments and fears.
They remind me of all that I enjoy and would need to give up.
So I am drawn back from the light and from drinking His cup.
Back into the security of my unchanging heart.
Back into my dysfunctional darkness of which I’ve so been a part.

I hear the voice speaking into my spirit,
“Would you be made whole?”
“Would you be healed?”
“Would you be delivered and set free?”
Suddenly there is such a strong sense of duality.
Two men warring within me for dominion and victory.
One struggles to keep me in the darkness and need;
Bringing before me fears of change, and shame of my past,
Condemnation of sin and a half empty glass.
And what it will cost me to make the change?
The other man stands in His peace and light of His gain,
Arms extended and the truth of His love inviting me in.
I love the warmth and the peace of His presence,
But then the darkness crowds in, causing me to withdrawal again.

Inwardly I am grieved at my fallen state.
Only fleeting joy, broken promises and empty estate.
I look back over the wastelands of my life.
All I see is heartache, brokenness and strife.
What is my purpose if this life is all there is;
If I continue to choose this self-life instead of His?
His love is faithfully pursuing my wretched soul.
What can He possibly see in this lump of coal?
This time when He invites me, I run with a new reply.
I cast my wretched self upon His grace and cry,
“Change me and fill me with yourself and your love.”
“I would be made whole.”
“I would be healed.”
“I would be delivered and set free.”
Please Lord, take and fill all of me.

The magnitude of His love and peace floods my heart.
I sense His blood cleansing every filthy part.
Hope and joy are now abounding through my soul.
I finally relinquished my will and gave Him full control.
A new day has dawned in this heart and soul of mine.
Transforming power and new direction do I find.
“What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Blessings,
#kent

Living in a Higher Law

October 15, 2012

Romans 7:21-25
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Living in a Higher Law

This passage in Romans 7 is sometimes confusing and controversial. It is one that we can relate with because we struggled with the law that operates out of the sin nature. Paul speaks of the law that in my mind or inner man delights in God, but then he speaks of another law that wages war with this higher law that is in Christ.
Quite honestly, we have all dealt with these inner conflicts and most of us still do. What we find, is that in ourselves, we may always seem to be losing the battle even though our inner man desires the higher way.
Paul expresses here the frustration that we feel in our being, “Wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
Then answers by saying, “Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
It is really essential that we read Romans 7 in conjunction with Romans 8 if we really want to see and understand the problem and the solution.
The problem is that, we, operating out of the law of sin and the law written against sin, will never overcome it. Our only solution to rising above self and our propensity to sin is coming into the higher law that Christ has established for us through the cross.
Paul is ending chapter 7 by making the proclamation that our only solution is Christ Jesus, our Lord. Lord means that self and sin no longer have the dominion. That lordship, dominion, headship, rulership has been given over to Christ.
Now Romans 8 begins by enlightening us to the higher law that we are now to be living out of that has set us free from the law of sin and death. It is a law where sin has no dominion, place or power to condemn. It is place of no shame, no blame and no embarrassment, because it is the law of Christ’s righteousness that now abides, lives and should hold lordship in our being.
Romans 8 starts out by declaring the two laws that work in us. ” Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
Do we want to be free from sin and have the righteous requirements of the law met in us? Then we have to live in a different place than we did before; not geographically, but spiritually. We know that the same laws that govern us on earth are different once we enter into outer space. When we are still on earth and in its atmosphere, we are subject to the law of gravity. It is always pulling us back to the earth. It is like the power of sin that was always pulling us back from righteousness. Christ broke the bounds and bondage of earth and set us free from the gravity of sin. He brought us up into a higher law. The law of life in Christ Jesus. The law that is not subject to sin and death.
What is required for us to experience this higher law of living?
We have to live in a different place by faith. The natural man we reckoned dead with Jesus on the cross. It was crucified there with Him and in Him and buried in the earth. That former man we used to identify with ourselves, is no longer. He’s dead.
If we become identified with Christ in His death and burial we have also become identified with Him in His resurrection and ascension. We have been raised up a new creation, new creatures in Christ, no longer identified with the old self man that was subject to the law of sin and death and lived in the condemnation of it. Now we have been set free to live in the dimension of Spirit. Our location has changed. Ephesians 2:4-6 says, ” But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…” We are heavenly kids, living out of a heavenly realm because we walk by the Spirit of God and no longer after the dependency and reliance upon the flesh. Outwardly, nothing may look different, but inwardly we have just gone to whole other dimension and place. Romans 8 is teaching us that out of this place we have victory over sin and death, because “by the Spirit” we put to death the deeds and the motions of sin that still want to operate in the body. As we abide in that place of Spirit we operate out of that higher law of Christ.
The enemy is always trying to rob that reality and truth from us. He is always working to steal back the identity you have in Christ Jesus. This is why it is imperative that you live each day in the Spirit, with your eyes fixed upon Jesus. Always look into the likeness of what you are becoming, not what you came from. We can’t look back. We can only look forward, pressing into Him who is our life, our liberty and freedom from sin and death.

Blessings,
kent

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