2005-02-20 - Personal Responsibility
Psalm 2, Part 6
But first, although God should be in charge of our lives, we have the freedom to control our own. Too often, while we accept the gift of salvation, we struggle with the issue of control of all aspects of our lives. At one level, we truly want God in control, but because of our old nature we take it back, or as Paul notes:
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does" (Romans 7:15-20).
It is important we constantly remember that every aspect of our lives must honor the Lord and be a witness for Him. And to live this way, we must depend on Him to overcome that sinful self.
"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Messiah our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25).
It is only as we recognize and act on our need to depend on the Holy Spirit for direction and power, the desire for obedience, that we give over control to the Lord. As we look to decisions of life, how to raise children, where to work, how to use our time and spend our resources, the Lord needs to be our source of direction. We must listen for the leading of His Spirit. We must be open to the truths we know from Scripture, and input from mature believers. Our focus must be the desire to find His direction.
By the way, this isn't a game between God and us. Too often, we act like life is a mystery, a game in which we must try to guess what God wants. Should we pick door number one, two or three? We think that we have no way to know, and if we pick the wrong one, we will get zonked. But in reality, if we truly desire His will, He will make it clear. He doesn't place us in a position where if we are truly seeking His will, we will make the wrong choice because He hasn't given us any indication to know what is right.
If we are to witness for God, we must live for Him. Our clearest witness isn't our words; it is our lives. If we know His is the final victory, and that to reject Him is to fall under His judgment, then we must strive to get this truth to all around us. Look at the people you come in contact with this week, and see them as God does. Many, if not most, of those you are looking at are on the way to Hell. They are separated from the Lord in this life, and face the potential of being separated for all eternity.
As we noted last time, while it is the Holy Spirit Who is responsible for a change in this direction, we are the ones He has chosen as His instrument. Knowing God is in control of all things, we have no reason to be concerned with what the world's response to truth is; instead, we must simply give it. Let's go back to what we have often noted. We must learn to love as God has modeled for us. The reason we must reach out, is so others can see the unselfish love of the Lord. We must be more concerned about the needs of others than we are of protecting ourselves. Please, let's be in prayer this week that the Lord will give us the opportunity, and the Holy Spirit the courage, to reach out to those around us.
Mankind will continue to rebel until the final judgment. This is reality! We are God's ambassadors to the rebelling world. This is reality! Let us choose! Let us, as an act of will, live under the power of the Holy Spirit within this reality, reaching out to all those around us - family, friends, whomever the Lord puts us in contact with us, so that they will bow before the Lord by choice, not by force.
"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him that name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).
He is Lord, He is Lord!
To be Continued.
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