I have forgotten the number of times I have been morally defeated through my own sinful flesh. Luckily, so has God. The difference is that Satan loves to remind my how many times I’ve gone to the throne of grace seeking forgiveness of my sins. Satan tries to convince me that I’m using up all my mercy, as though God has limited grace. The argument is that I may as well stay as I am instead of having to return to the mercy seat for my latest sin. And if all I had was Satan’s counsel and my guilt, I would be doomed. But glory to God I have the promise of His Word!
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:11-14)
Thankfully the Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of me when I got saved. The Spirit is here to help me overcome spiritual defeat and live a life of victory for Christ. Through the Spirit and the Word I am to live a life that is dead to sin and alive to Christ. Paul writes:
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:12-14)
Notice that Paul doesn’t deny I have fleshly desires of lust; he tells me to deny them. My body is no longer a tomb where I am dead in my sins with no hope of resurrection. I am admonished to no longer present my body as an instrument of sin. I am to present myself to Jesus Christ because He has made me alive, resurrected from the tomb of doom from sin. I am under grace so I no longer need to live my life as though righteousness comes from the law. Paul is encouraging me to understand that I have a choice. I can choose to give into the temptation, or I can turn to Jesus and tell Him that I yield to Him and His Precious Spirit. If I will do this, something splendid begins in my life. Major Ian Thomas explains:
“If you are prepared to practice the presence of Christ in this way and reckon with Him through His Holy Spirit not only to keep the flesh in the place of death but to establish His divine sovereignty within every area of your soul, then you will experience that delightful transformation of character which will conform you increasingly to the image of God’s dear Son.”
Almost sounds too good to be true, huh? That’s because we see with human eyes and hear with human ears. But when we are saved we are given heavenly eyes to see and heavenly ears to hear because of the presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit. My pastor’s favorite verse tells of the divine delight that can be mine through Christ:
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Before I got saved I didn’t think I needed a Savior. After I got saved too many times I thought I didn’t deserve a Savior. And part of being sanctified, made holy unto God, I must never forget to live through my Savior.
They say practice makes perfect. If I will practice the presence of Christ, then I will be made perfect—complete—in Jesus.
May it be so Lord!
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers