I am learning about dying to self.
It feels like I imagine physical death might feel.
Everywhere I turn I am given messages, inside and outside of the church, that I am strong, and good, and blessed and wonderful.
It feeds me, those messages. It feeds ME. It feeds the SELF.
They do not force me on me knees at the foot of the cross seeking forgiveness and redemption.
I wonder why I need the cross.
The world tells me I deserve good things. The world tells me I am owed….I deserve….good things. The world tells me to demand what is rightfully mine.
“Any voice that under any circumstance drives you away from Jesus Christ is the voice of the deceiver.” ~Paul Washer
When I am alone with God, I pray desperately for understanding, discernment, protection and the willingness to continue to seek Him. When I read His Words, His Scripture…His undying love-letter to my soul…. and I hear His voice, it is completely contrary to the messages I am bombarded with daily. The reality is that we are living in not only a world filled with hate for Jesus Christ, but often, in a world where leaders of flocks claiming to be at the service of our Lord and Savior are in fact, blind to the workings of Satan within our own church walls.
The world is infected. There is a constant war being waged against our souls. We are all playing a part in the war. Are we fighting as soldiers that abide in Christ? Do we even know what that means? I confess, I am Often confused about this myself. The only clarity I ever obtain is when I am alone with Jesus and His Word. But oh! How Satan attacks the moment I re-enter the world that can often consume my life. I am acutely aware that lack of diligence and watchfulness over my own heart, soul and mind must not wane. I praise the living God that when I live by my flesh, my Savior is there, waiting to draw me back to him with love and mercy. I pray for the moment I gain the wisdom an understanding I need to live in this world but not become seduced and diseased by it.
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” Paul, Romans 7: 14-20 ESV
There is nothing good in me. I cannot overcome my sinful nature. I am a picture of the fall. LOOK AT ME. LOOK AT US. I need a Savior. WE need a savior. I find Paul’s words so convicting that they drive me to the cross time and time again. It is there that through faith I am saved by the grace of the Father and the death and resurrection of His Son. What an amazing love I am reminded of at the foot of the cross. I need more hours in the day at the cross. I need a daily reminder that breaks my heart over my own sinful nature. How Christ must weep for us. For me. What kind of love he must have for His world.
And how angry I am at what my self-seeking has done to the simple, convicting sword of the spirit…why are we not collectively opening our Bibles and begging God to reveal His Truth to us? Why are we not begging our brothers and sisters to fight our spiritual war along side of us?
Oh…the danger we are in.