On Sunday morning, August 19, 2012, I was working on a message to a friend, when my husband helped me write something I had in mind but couldn’t fully articulate. He wrote this: “The fact is, we are fallen, and we can’t be fixed – we need to be made new. Christ does not wish for us to make our old natures better, or patch them with moral efforts. Our old natures must be put to death. I used to pray, “God, give me more strength, more humility, help me conquer this sin, etc.” But I didn’t have a grasp of Romans 7 or the Christ life. It should never be about ME trying harder, or feeling better, or having fluffy feelings of joy-joy bliss. It is about surrender, dying, relinquishing, forsaking, and laying it down fully. Christ living through me would pray “All to thee I surrender, this day I pray that your spirit will live fully through me, guide my steps, and fulfill your will in my life.”
When I read this, and re-read it, I felt like I couldn’t breathe… The agony of realizing how far I was from yielding my whole life to Christ overwhelmed me and I started to sob. The Lord had been touching me to pray for a long time for ‘surrender’, for brokenness, and yet I still did not yield my all to Him. So when I was invaded by the amazing realization that Christ died for my sins, that I was free because of Him, I knelt down crying and praising the Father for sending his Son to this earth out of love for me – for his death that provides victory over my rebellious nature and my sins and my shortcomings… A river of tears and profound joy, like I had never felt, was coming from inside of me and I had no control over it. Even though I always ‘knew’ this, in reality, I had never fully made this truth mine. I could not. It did not depend on me, really! So I intellectually believed in Christ and received them but today the Spirit of God touched me and gave me ownership of this precious gift. Now for the first time, my faith, my God, my Christ, was real in me, He was dwelling in me.
You know, I did know intellectually what the message of the Gospel was, so because I loved it, most of my life I struggled to ‘do’ well, to ‘try’ more, to ‘show’ godliness. But I was in bondage to my efforts because whenever I failed I fell into despair.
But when we know our Father and He knows us, we no longer trust in ourselves or in our own efforts. On the contrary, we know totally, deeply inside of us, that the victory has been won, once and for all, by Christ, our King, over the cross and his resurrection. This is, in itself, so much more profound and life-changing that mere head knowledge.
I urge you to pray in this direction! Beg the Lord to reveal Himself to you, to fill you with His Spirit, to place a river of life coming from inside of you, so that nothing, nobody, will ever separate you from the love of God, as the apostle Paul said, “.
Now I know I am more than conqueror in Christ. Praised be the Lord our Father! We are free in Him!