Signs from God…

detour          I believe it was Oswald Chambers who said, the greatest crisis we will ever face is to overcome our self will (paraphrase). After giving much thought to what constitutes self will I’ve come to respect what an enormous problem it is for all of us. In this problem we can discover the immense importance of spiritual growth. Romans 6:6 states “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;”

          Questions:If our old self was crucified, then why do we still struggle? If the body of sin might be done away with, then why do we still feel oppressed by sin? Why does fear occasionally grip us? Where is the peace that passes all understanding?

          I would like to take a stab at helping us all to better understand these things but first we need to realize that much effort is required of us.  It’s not an effort to overcome these obstacles to faith by some strength of our own but an effort to pursue God, regularly and constantly. An essential clue is given to us in the first two words of the scripture verse, “knowing this”.  Spiritual health tip number one; do we know that our old self was crucified? How can we know? Well first we know because God’s word says so and we need to believe it. Secondly, we need to remember those points of God’s grace in our lives when He has evidenced the fact of overcoming sin to us. When we aren’t spiritually present before Him these things become distant and we cannot see clearly. (More proof of our need to remain or return quickly to His presence). 

          As I stated before this  is an on-going task of pursuing God to remain in His presence. Matt.6:33 tells us to “…seek first His kingdom”. This advice comes in the midst of reminding us not to have anxiety over issues of life. Romans 6:13 encourages us “…present yourselves as those alive from the dead”. All of these verses connected together add up to training or discipline for each of us. We must have God’s formula for facing life so ingrained in our minds that we instantly recognize sin for what it is and the fact that it has no power over us other than what  we give it. Sometimes it is sin while other times it is temptation or attack that when handled incorrectly will lead to sin.

          If we “…consider ourselves dead to sin…” (Romans 6:11), because we know we were crucified (vs.6) and we present ourselves to Him (vs.13), then we have the escape route or detour from sin that God has given us and no longer do we need to be anxious over anything (Matt.6:34). We must implore self examination as every circumstance arises. Maybe it is the little irritants that make you think it’s just because you’re having a bad hair day when in actuality you just might be under the attack of the flesh or the enemy. It’s our self will that keeps us plowing straight ahead when we should be taking note of the spiritual detour sign just ahead. If the storm is approaching and our windshield is fogged up we can barely see how to navigate.

Scripture passages taken from the NASB version.        Oswald Chambers source: “My Utmost for His Highest”

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