The Apostle Paul writes: “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:15-24)
Living for God is a relentless and lifelong war of the wills, battle upon battle within each individual between the carnal nature and the spiritual nature. The process of sanctification is painful as God, on the fire of life’s circumstances and temptations forges self-will into God’s will, when we begin to want less and less of our own desires and more and more of the things God desires.
The world laughs and mocks at the idea of surrendering self-desire to an intangible and invisible- and mythical to them- force. Yet, real is the transformation of the character of the surrendered individual and mystical to the world. If the world would ponder just a bit the moonlight, they might be even more amazed at what the true Jesus-follower really is. The moonlight…it makes night nearly as bright as day, yet…the moon has no light of its own. The moon just is. What the moon is is no more than a ball of dust and dirt and rock. No more, no less. Yet, when the moon remains within the blazing light of the sun, from the black dirt-ball called the moon is the reflection of the great light of the sun. When a man lives for God, surrendered to God, he becomes the instrument of the reflection of the Son of God. He is not himself Jesus, but his life is the reflection of Jesus. All the man does is keeps himself within the light of God’s will.
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- and Spiritual Gifts