“Much of our inner turmoil and our interpersonal struggles are the direct result of kingdoms in conflict. Sin causes us to live inwardly directed, selfish lives instead of the lives of upward worship and outward love that we were created to live.” ~ P.D. Tripp
Several events have brought to the forefront of my thinking how we groan in these bodies that are the battle grounds of our self-reliance versus a life of grace. Our groaning comes from a realization that no matter the extent of pleasure in this body we are able to obtain, these worldly gains are nothing… as filthy rags, compared with ‘intimacy with Christ, knowing the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:10-11); where this mortal body of mine will become ‘perfected’ having been ‘swallowed up’ by life (2 Cor 5:2-4). This realization is what Jesus was referring to when He revealed He was “The Way, The Truth, and ‘The Life’, by which All who call on the name of the Lord, will come to the Father through Him (John 14:6). Paul tells us those who believe have been ‘prepared for this very purpose by God, who gave to us The Spirit as a pledge’ (2Cor 5:5) as to what that all consuming ‘Life’ will be like. “But if Christ is in you (having believed and given His Spirit as a down payment of what is to come), then even though your body is subject to death (groaning) because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness (that He Provides). And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life too (or swallow up) your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:10-11)
Yes this life is hard because of the clash of the kingdom of your self-relevance and His Kingdom of Grace. But, you can easily escape the battle and find ‘rest’ in Jesus. Let go of your self-reliance and desires for power and control; realize the suffering you are experiencing is the measure by which a ‘trusted way to ‘Life’ with God is revealed; and grasp hold of Jesus’ hand that is outstretched to lead you home. By reading this far, you show you are so close to being home; many have ignored the writings of God’s Way and remain fixated on winning the battle for their soul. Jesus stands at the door of your life and knocks… won’t you release your self-reliance and open the door to let Him in today?
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ (Romans 8:15)
Praying you choose Christ today
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “You are always looking for something to which you can attach your identity, your hopes and dreams, and your inner peace. Whatever controls the worship of your heart controls your choices, words, emotions, and actions.” ―