Dr, I CAN’T GET FREE FROM MYSELF. My fleshly appetites are so strong…. Is there any way I can control them, or must I be forever enslaved by the ME OF ME?
OPTIMISM FOR THEE>>> and FAITH for WE. It’s surely a truism that “nothing is impossible with God.” Do you find yourself repenting over and over again with each failure to control yourself? Study closely: Heb. 6 – 13. The key word is FAITH, faith in Jesus who is merciful in our unrighteousness, sins and iniquities, and remembers them NO MORE (Heb 8. 12).
Our question for that statement is HOW CAN that be? So let us SEE…. Where is Jesus now? He is interceding for every one who trusts him to save them. He is in the presence of God for us (Heb 9. 24). God knew/knows that we are unable to save ourselves from ourselves. So, Jesus became sin for us to pay the price of sin (death) and was obedient to that contract. Now, because He lives, I live. I trust Him. He did for me what I could never do for myself.
The schism of Narcissism: Jesus said that we should/must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. To love myself is to be narcissistic. My problem is that I love myself so greatly that I hate the yielding of the ME OF ME to the lusts/narcissism of my flesh. Therefore, the constant need I feel to be forever repenting of that yielding. There is, however, no more sacrifice (than that of Jesus) that can be offered to God for my sin(s). King David saw the dilemma: “Have mercy upon me, O God, blot out my transgressions… cleanse me from my sins. Against thee and thee only have I sinned ….” He ever saw his sin before him and realized that he and all people are conceived in sin. See Psalm 51. 5.
Another like the other: The apostle Paul had the same problem and saw himself chained to “the body of this death (or the death of this body” (Rom 7.24.) A part of a criminal’s punishment was to be chained to a co-prisoner (like in a chain gang). Even if the prisoner died, Paul saw himself having to drag the dead body with himself. He realized he was incapable, as a human being, of being able to behave sin out of himself. The truth being that we are not saved because of our behavior nor can we keep ourselves saved by our behavior. See I Jn 8,9. If we could, Jesus died in vain. Paul continually fought against the narcissism of his flesh, but knew that it was a constant struggle. You and all of us are experiencing the same struggle. But We who trust Jesus have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus ONCE FOR ALL (Heb 10.10).
NARCISSISSM REVERSED? Not before the hearse. Our lives must take the way spoken of by the writer of Hebrews: “leaving the principles (basics) of the doctrine of Christ, let us GO ON UNTO perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God .” Martin Luther wrestled with his behavior and “flagellated” himself, until finally coming to the place of faith alone. “I can do no other. It is by faith that I stand.” God has reversed our narcissism. He has given us afar greater love to love. Can you see it? Satan’s ploy is to constantly cause me to keep my focus on sin. whether trying not to sin or sinning, my focus is still on sin.
Rx for life: 1. Feed your faith more than your fleshly lusts. 2. Put on the whole Armour of God that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wrestling against our flesh is the wrong battle. It is against principalities, powers, rulers of this present darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places that we wrestle. Am I right about it? Conversation welcome.
Dr Lyn Barnes, CH(LTC) USA Ret, DMin, MDiv, MSSM, BS, MOG, USACGSC, USACHSCH