Character in Conflict
Every morning as I read God’s Word, rather as I read the Bible and hear God’s Word, I am amazed at what new life lies between the pages of this ancient text. Yet, I am reading the same words as I have read now for decades, just new revelation…the Living Word.
My objective today is not to expound upon the veracity of the Bible but to express the joy of what God speaks to those who have found new life in Him. Neither will I try to deify Oswald Chambers, but this man speaks so much into my life each day as well.
This morning was no exception. “The call of God is not a call to any particular service…service is the outcome of what is fitted to my nature….service is the overflow of superabounding devotion… God gets me into a relationship with Himself whereby I understand His call, then I do things out of sheer love for Him on my own account.” Beautiful stuff!
In Christ I have become a new creation, transformed by grace into the image of the Son!
As Steve McVey says in his book Grace Walk, “God didn’t just clean out the cob webs, He killed the spider!”
When I sin, and I do, what I feel is not condemnation from the Father, “for there is now therefore no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. What I feel in my failures is conflict with my new nature, the new character assigned to me by my Father! His gift of righteousness, not my sin-less-ness has over written, in fact canceled my sinful nature. This flesh no longer can enjoy the things it still thinks it might!
When in my weakness or lack of wisdom, I get to close to my old life, even reenter its activities, the conflict with my new spirit is so violent it feels like punishment. I don’t need someone to punish or condemn me so I will learn not to sin… my character so rejects sin that I know to turn from it, even run if need be! I am no longer the slave that is pulled deeper into it…I know the minute that I get near it and long before I step into it! I can no longer enjoy what I used to do, even if it would make others seem to like me more!
When it comes to sin, even things that are so relatively “sinless” that those not living inside my skin cannot understand my lack of participation, I cannot get along with it. How do I know that I have been made new…the old puts my character in conflict!
What does walking apart from that old nature afford…freedom to be who Christ has called me to be. Hopelessly devoted to Him.