Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Another Perspective

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

If anyone would come after me let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 
Luke 9:23 

Another Perspective
There are those of us, (and some of us at one time or another may struggle with this!) who have a hard time feeling that the promises of God are indeed true. Our circumstances can certainly make us feel that way. But how much of our circumstances are created by our own sin? If we give our life to Christ and continue to live the same way – in the flesh – or in the old ways, we are inviting difficult circumstances into our lives. Even when our own actions lead to our hard times, we still tend to ask "Why is this happening to me?" or "Why is God letting this happen?"

The old desires and sinful natures do not go away once we give our life to Christ, but we DO have resurrection power! If we put the old ways to death and live in that resurrection power, we can overcome any temptation or fleshly desire. We could never do that in our own power. Doing things in our own power just gets us in more trouble. For us to experience freedom and abundance, the old nature has to die for the life of Christ to live in us.  Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters.”

The path to a new life – a resurrection life – looks like this: (from Raised To New Life)

Ø  A struggle begins between our desires and God’s will. This is like Jesus’ Garden of Gethsemane where He relinquished will and accepted God’s purpose for His life. This is the battle for control of our life by the Spirit of God within us.  We will have this struggle all through our lives. It will not be a one and done situation.

Ø  A walk to the cross where we lay down our old life in hope of our resurrection. Along the way Satan comes immediately to pull us away by throwing temptations and threats.  On our personal cross we realize…

Ø  The death of the sin in us that we have depended on for power, peace and joy.  Repentance!  The Prodigal Son and Esau left their bitterness and desires for the world’s false promises to return to the Father and family.

Ø  Experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection in “newness of life” under the authority and Lordship of the resurrected Savior.

Why don’t we see more resurrection lives today?

For many, after they become believers they don't really change much. They may come to church or get more involved for a while. They may get involved in a Bible study and start having a quiet time on their own, but soon they slip back into the old way of doing things. It is normal to be very excited and on fire as a new Christian. Even if you feel like you have lost that fire, you can have it again any time you want it - its inside of you always. Resurrection life is ours - forever. 

The truth is that sometimes we have to die to ourselves and our old ways everyday. This Christian walk is a process and while Jesus expects us to be intentional about serving Him, growing in Him, and guarding our hearts and minds, He knows we will fail along the way. That's why there is grace upon grace. It doesn't mean we abuse grace or sin just because we know we can ask for forgiveness. It means we will try but sometimes we will fail because we are human.  

Without a death there can be no resurrection. Some of our fleshly desires we will be able to put to death once and for all time. But some battles will always be with us and we will fighting our whole lives. The good news is that we already have victory over these battles in the resurrection power inside us. Every time, over and over, we  must die to our old self before being raised to new life. 

Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  Romans 6:11-13 NASB

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