4.8.2020- Living for God
Piggybacking on yesterday’s post, which was basically not being over concerned about WORKING for God, but LIVING FOR HIM, I got to wondering…how do we do this? So, I got help again from Jerry Bridges in his book Who Am I? Identity in Christ.
"Living for God—why is it so difficult?" Jesus talked to those who would follow Him about taking up a cross, counting the cost, and giving up everything. “The way is hard that leads to life,” He said. Scripture mentions many of God’s people who have walked that hard road—Daniel, Elijah, Joseph, and John the Baptist are just a few. Romans 7 shows that living for God is difficult for all of us. The apostle Paul wrote of his own struggle: “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me”. Before we knew Christ, we could do nothing but sin. We had no choice in the matter. Our motivation was to please ourselves. Even the benevolent acts we performed had a selfish root: we did good things to feel better about ourselves, to assuage guilt, or to enhance our reputation with others. At salvation, the Holy Spirit moves into our spirits. He breaks the power that sin had held over our lives and frees us to obey God. We are now motivated by love rather than guilt. But we still face temptation from without and from within. The Bible calls our old sin nature “the flesh” and warns that those who are “in the flesh” cannot please God. Even Christians can be “in the flesh.” Although the Holy Spirit indwells the heart of every believer, it is up to each person how much control to allow Him to have. We are commanded to “walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” It is only by considering ourselves “crucified with Christ” that we can walk in the Spirit. Jesus did not come to reform our flesh, but to crucify it. But the flesh does not want to die. The deep desire to please ourselves and compromise with the world does not die an easy death. When we cling to our rights, our opinions, and our agenda, we remain the lords of our own lives. When we lay our will on the altar before God and let go, we die to ourselves. We can then be “filled with the Holy Spirit,” totally controlled by Him. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can live a life that honors God. Only the power of the Spirit can produce good works in us free from legalism and pride. We cannot serve both God and ourselves. Living for God means we make a final decision about who is in charge. When our flesh begins to reassert its rights, we take it back to the cross and allow it to die. When sin tempts, the decision has already been made: we seek God’s will over our own. Galatians 1:10 asks, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?” The answer is plain: “If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Living for God may be difficult, but it is not joyless. Paul wrote his most joyful letter while suffering persecution in Rome. We will still face temptation and hardship, but when the glory of God is our focus, living for Him becomes the source of our joy rather than a drudgery.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Joshua 24:15 Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
PLEASE JOIN ME IN PRAYER: Abba Father, These are good words, but I cannot do this without the help of the Holy Spirit—my helper, teacher, advocate. I trust in you to remind me of these truths every day, maybe every minute of the day! “My help comes from the Lord—who made heaven & earth!” I submit to your Lordship in my life today—remembering the whole chapter of John 15 –as Jesus says to us: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. May it be so, in Jesus’ Name, Amen