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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Reflection #3 -- Wrestling with God

If you think about it, most of our lives are about control--who has it, who's using it, how you can get more. Even the basis for sin is control--I want what I want when I want it and I don't care if it's bad for me. We spend much of our lives wrestling with God, much like Jacob. Even those of us who love God struggle against Him and our sinful desires. 

It's a difficult thing to come to the recognition that your own self is at war with your desire to follow Jesus. A common theme in the New Testament is that we must give up this life of living for ourselves, give up our earthly desires, and put on a new self devoted to God. Some passages that touch on this:

Gal 5:24 You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.
Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature, with all its passions and desires.
1 Pet 2:24a And he personally bore our sins in his own body on the cross, so that we might be dead to sin and be alive to all that is good.

To be in Jesus, we must be dead to our old, sinful self. We must forever relinquish control. Come to Jesus with an open palm of submission, not a closed fist, tightly holding onto what we hold most dear.

In 1 Cor. 15:31, Paul says, "I die daily." This is the key. Each day, our sinful desires wake up with us. Each day, we must choose to live for Jesus and put aside those desires. 

Over time, our sinful desires may get quiet, but they will never be gone until we leave this earth. Therefore, you have to start each day with the determination to live for Jesus. 

We are all "works in progress," and "under construction" on our journey toward Christ.
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