2019-07-17 Iron Sharpens Iron

“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
Proverbs 20:5

I’m very fortunate to have godly men in my life. If you recall, there was a time that I had trouble finding a local accountability partner. I now have several men that I consider good friends. I guess this prayer stuff really works. Remember, if we pray in Jesus’ name, he will do it. I asked for godly men, and Jesus provided. Why? Because of verses like this one and many others like it. God does not intend for us to be loners. He made us to build each other up through scripture. He made us so that we require it.

This by no means diminishes the role of the Holy Spirit. To the contrary. The Holy Spirit seems to provide the most fruit when we are working together. I guess the church is a team, not an individual. God designed it that way and promotes it that way. Of course, he will be evident when we are working within his created order.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this, yet what a joy it is when we realize God is working in our midst! For example, we have dinner once a month with two other couples. After we ate, we all started discussing what we are currently reading. The conversation soon revealed that we all find ourselves drifting in our spiritual lives. We talked about this quite a bit with regards to Romans 6, 7, & 8.

Romans 7 seems to be a chapter that is a contradiction to the other two. In 6, we find, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but of grace.” In 8, we find, “he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” However, in 7, we are all familiar with, “Wretched man that I am!”

Now, there is much more to these verses than this simple generalization. Even so, we discussed how we all drift, even today, in ways that simply baffle us. Why is this so?

God’s answer came to us as we wrapped up the evening in prayer. In it, the one prayed about the Garden of Gethsemane in which Jesus found the disciples sleeping. What did Jesus say to them?

Matthew 26:40-41 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

When our friend prayed, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” we all knew we had our answer to our puzzlement over Romans 7. My friend had no intention of praying that, but he did. That was the Spirit of God among us.

Romans 8:26 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.

Glory be to God!

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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