We all have a battle going on in side of us. It is a battle of wills. It is a battle to see who is going to be on top. It is a war that ultimately will decide our fate. The battle is messy, but in the end there will only be one victor.
The battle is between our self and God.
Now, ultimately the one victor is God, but we still fight valiantly for our own self to be secure. We fight for our own safety. We fight in order to maintain control.
For some reason, God allows it. He allows us to think we have control. He allows us to think we can actually be who we want to be and do what we want to do in total disregard of what He wants from us and what He has declared us to be.
The reality is, many of us will battle until the end and we will discover God is the winner and we lose. Then, there will be the people who will wave the surrender flag and recognize they are powerless against the Creator of all.
I have been thinking heavily about this concept of self-sacrifice lately. Jesus declared to His disciples that in order to follow Him we needed to deny our self. The desires we have for ourselves might not match with the desires God has for us and His will should be winning over ours anyway.
Yet, we find a way to declare our own strength. We say, “Well, I know God says I should not hold grudges, but you know, I was wronged, so I will hold this grudge until I get an apology!” or “God says I should love everyone, but that person smells funny and lives in a poor neighborhood, so I don’t think I can love them, but I’ll pray.”
You see, our selfishness causes us to think these twisted thoughts. We justify our positions because of our well-being or personal feelings with total neglect of who God has called us to be.
We make our own rules and regulations. We decide who gets grace and who doesn’t. We decide what constitutes a sin and what doesn’t. We make our decisions based on what feels good to us as opposed to what God declares as good and right in His sight. We define God the way we want to and He has defined Himself for us.
When Christ bid us to come and die, it was not a partial request, but a command for the whole self to be denied. Justifying sin in light of grace allows for us to kill off only a part of our sinful ways, but what is leftover will consume us and sooner or later kill us.
Justifying a life lived in separation from God in some matters is going against His will to let go of yourself so He may reveal His good and perfect will in you. Partial denial of self is still self-centered, which hinders God’s work in and through us.
We cannot live a double life. God has called us to be all for Him or not at all. He would much rather us deny Him than be half way in on the faith.
A person who only denies their self partially is half-hearted in their faith. God must be God of all if we consider Him to be God at all.
May we strive to be denying our self for God’s will to be done in and through us. May we seek the things inside of us we justify that are clearly against God’s will for His creation.
May we end the battle and allow God to reign supreme in our lives.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are you holding on to or justifying that you know God wants you to give up in order for His work to be done in you?