August 3

My beloved child…you can never attain a righteousness of your own that comes from the Law.  The problem lies with your sin-enslaved human nature that is still a part of you, and your free will which I have given you and will not override.  Rather, you have been granted a judicial status of eternal righteousness through faith in Christ My Son; it is a righteousness that comes from God, by faith alone. [Father God…Phil 3:9]

Abba Father…I understand; I realize and acknowledge: I cannot literally be holy and perfect as You are.  It is not humanly possible while I am still living in this body of flesh, and subject to the insistent desires of my sin-enslaved human nature.  In the power of my sin-enslaved human nature, I am hopelessly powerless, hopelessly impotent, hopelessly helpless to stand against the onslaught of temptations and sins…or to free myself from these sins.  The overriding characteristic of my sin-enslaved human nature is that it is enslaved by sin.  My human nature is held captive by sin, imprisoned by sin, in bondage to sin, enslaved by sin…and it has no desire whatsoever to be free of sin!  It likes sin, wants to continue living in sin, and refuses to give it up for You!  And it can’t be fixed; it must be crucified.

Oh, Father…I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sin-enslaved human nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot always carry it out.  For what I end up doing is not the good deeds I want to do; no, the evil deeds I do not want to do…this I all too often keep on doing!  Now if I so often end up doing what I do not want to do, it is no longer I myself who does it, but it is the enslaving power of sin living in my human nature that asserts itself and does it.  So I find this law at work in me: when I want to do what is right and good, evil is right there with me, subjecting me to its insistent demands.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s Law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law embraced by my regenerated mind, and making me a prisoner of the indwelling principle of sin at work within the members of my body.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God…You have delivered me, Father, and set me free through my living union of oneness with Christ Jesus Your Son!

So then, to sum up this whole matter, such is the unchanging conflict of these two principles within me as Your child: I myself in my regenerated mind am a willing bondslave to God’s Law, but in my sin-enslaved human nature that still remains a part of me, a wretched slave to the rule and reign of the indwelling principle of sin. Blessed Holy Spirit…I need You continually and unceasingly to guide my life!  Then I won’t be doing what my sinful nature craves.  My sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what Your Holy Spirit wants, Father.  And Your Spirit gives me desires that are the opposite of what my sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so I am not able to freely carry out my good intentions.  But when I am directed by Your Spirit, Father, I am not under obligation to the Law.  I who belong to Christ Jesus Your Son have nailed the passions and desires of my sin-enslaved human nature to His cross and crucified them there.  Since I am now living by Your Spirit, I will indeed seek to follow Your Spirit’s leading in every part of my life. [Rom 7:18-25; Gal 5:16-18, 24-25]

Father, whatever former things I had that might have been gain to me, I have come to consider as one combined loss for Christ’s sake.  Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege…the surpassing worth…of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.  For His sake I have voluntarily lost everything, and consider it all to be mere rubbish, in order that I may gain more of Christ, the Anointed One, and that I may in actual reality be found and known as in Him, not having any self-achieved righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands, but possessing that genuine righteousness which comes through faith in Christ Your Son alone, the truly right standing with God which comes from You Yourself, Father, by means of saving faith. For my determined purpose is that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Christ Jesus Your Son, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the Power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over me, Your child.  My determined purpose is that I may share His sufferings, conforming me ever more deeply into the likeness of His death…death to sin and death to self…in order that I may thereby attain, more and more, to the Power of His resurrection life out from the dead…the power to walk through each and every day as more than a conqueror and with overwhelming victory.  Not that I have now attained this ideal, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of and make my own that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me and made me His Own.  I do not consider, Father, that I have made it fully my own yet; but this one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind me, and reaching forth unto those things which are before me, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus Your Son. [Phil 3:7-14]  Hallelujah!

Behold the Lamb:

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