Just curious. Did you pray a big prayer yesterday? If so, what happened? Don’t be surprised (or ashamed) if you felt some fallout. Was your day difficult? Did people give you a hard time? Maybe somebody really got in your face? How did you react to that?
My day was very difficult. And, yes, somebody really got in my face. And, I must admit that I didn’t praise Jesus because of it. In fact, I turned to my strongholds.
We can expect trouble when doing kingdom work, right? In fact, it is one of the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). Start a new campaign in spiritual warfare and you can expect something to knock us off track – right away before you even get started. I know this stuff, yet I still get suckered into the trap. Then once inside my cage, I don’t want to admit that the door isn’t locked. For me, this trap is food. I abuse food. That’s my stronghold. All too often, that’s my go-to in time of trouble, as it was yesterday.
Really, it all boils down to getting stuck in Romans 7:
Romans 7:21-24 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of death?
Have you been there? I certainly have. Just yesterday. Actually, all weekend. And, it’s feeling like it’s going to be another day of more of the same.
What is the matter with me? Don’t I know that it doesn’t end in verse 24? Don’t I know that verse 25 is the intro to one of the most liberating chapters in all of scripture? Two things are keeping me down. Actually, four things. Me, myself, and I are the first three. Satan is the fourth. My heart is still terribly wicked and drawn to temptation offered by Satan. It starts with me and I run to his bait. That’s his scheme. All too often I fall for it. Ugh.
Romans 7 is powerful in that it describes us very, very well. Honestly, don’t we too often meet our problems with solutions that are bad for us? This is especially true when we consider the opportunity squandered while floundering in sin. Didn’t we learn yesterday that God is capable of doing far more than we can ask or imagine? When we settle for anything less than that, we defeat ourselves. That’s the human condition. The divine solution is Romans 8. Let’s take a peek and see who I really am.
Romans 8:12-17 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Furthermore, I don’t have to do this all on my own strength. Let’s not forget these two important verses:
v. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
v. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Why in the world do I allow myself to get caught up in the schemes of the devil when I have the entire Trinity moving heaven and earth for me? Honestly, I am amazed at how I can forget that which is so basic. Still, I do, and yet I move on. I give God praise and glory for giving me everything I need. I also am so, so grateful that he does not condemn me and is faithful and just to forgive my sins. All I have to do is seek him and draw near. What a relief!
Now, back to my Big Prayers! We have work to do!
Father, thank you for the wakeup call. Thank you for spelling this all out so that I can quickly go back to scripture and find the solution to my problems. Thank you so much for your guiding hand and light for my path. Honestly, I am so foolish at times, yet my identity is in you. One day, I will be just like Jesus! I shall enjoy the transformation! Amen!
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers