One Thing 5/2/13

“I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” Rom. 7:21-25

How many of you find yourself in this condition spiritually, and emotionally. You’ve come to a place of absolute spiritual despair. In your Inner Man, in your heart, you so long for victory and freedom from those attitudes and actions that keep dragging you down, yet again and again you find yourself defeated. Have you come to a place where you’ve tried all the formulas, all the principles, read all the books, listened to all the tapes and yet find yourself in utter discouragement, losing all hope of real victory. Notice Paul’s own confession, “Wretched man that I am.” Is that how you feel? Is that where you are at? I’ve got good news for you. Paul found the answer, and so can you. It is right there in those verses. Paul declares it!! I remember years ago, being in this same desperate place, like Paul, and I would read these verses again and again, because I could so identify with Paul’s despair and desperation. I so agreed with his confession. I would shout “YES. THAT’S ME. I AM THAT WRETCHED MAN.” Then I expected Paul to reveal the answer. I just knew he would give some prayer, key, formula, some HOW TO!! Yet every time I read it I would be be left frustrated and disappointed, as he simply closed the discussion by saying “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It was as if he was saying, “I’m miserable, discouraged, and totally defeated, but Praise God anyway.” What a Bummer!! Then, something happened. One night I was reading it again and it was if The Holy Spirit said, ” Look at it different Chuck,” so I asked Him to show me what I couldn’t see. I SAW!!! THE ANSWER WAS THERE. It had been there all along. It was so simple. The answer to a defeated life was a PERSON. I kept looking for a HOW TO, and victory is a WHO TO. Paul declared it. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Do you see it? Paul wasn’t praising God, as a salute, in his defeat, he was saying “Thank You Jesus that You are my victory.” Victory is a person, not a principle. As a Christian, freedom and victory is already yours; resident in you, in the very person of Jesus, who IS the Victorious Christian Life. He didn’t just die in your place, because of your sins, He rose again to take your place as the very power of your life. HE IS THE ANSWER, and He is living, in all of His risen power, in you right now, prepared to be released into action on your behalf. THANKS BE TO GOD. More about this next time.