Do you ever feel like you’re doing a pretty good job at life? Your ugly sin nature hasn’t flared up too badly in a while — at least not that you’ve noticed — and then, just when you’re floating so happily along, you’re tested?
Yeah, that happens to me.
Something or someone provokes me.
And I really want to shift the blame, ‘cause I’m so sure I had things under control.
Then the Holy Spirit gets involved.
Are you really blameless here?
Even if you were until now (theoretically), how pure are all these mumblings and murmurings?
No. No, I’m not blameless at all. And no, the angry thoughts tumbling through my brain are anything but holy.
When I finally ask God to show me where I’m wrong, it’s overwhelming. I see my sin, but…
How can I possibly make myself do the right thing?
Because I really don’t want to.
In her book Your Beautiful Purpose (previously blogged about here), Suzie Larson quotes William MacDonald as he illustrates the conflicting laws of sin and death with the law of the Spirit:
It’s like the law of gravity. When you throw a ball into the air, it comes back down because it is heavier than the air it displaces. A living bird is also heavier than the air it displaces, but when you toss it up in the air, it flies away. The law of life in the bird overcomes the law of gravity. So the Holy Spirit supplies the risen life of the Lord Jesus making the believer free from the law of sin and death.
Let me tell you, I’ve tried the ball trick over and over again. I decide I will do the right thing.
Up goes the ball.
And seconds later, I’m glaring at the ball that did not fly… because it was lifeless.
What does God’s Word say?
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms… (Ephesians 1:18-20)
God’s Word says I am not doomed to thud repeatedly to the ground.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
I can even be used for God’s glory if I face my sinfulness…
if I humbly ask Him to change me…
if I acknowledge that it’s only ever His life that will allow me to fly.