The Lust of The Flesh can only mimic the Law of the Sin Nature. They only currency of both is death. But, the Law of Sin is the power of the old man. In Christ the old man (the Sin Nature) is dead and has no controlling power over the Born Again persons. The Lust of the Flesh only has phantom power. It’s doomed to defeat for those who believe truth and train their their souls in it.
Jesus said, “I am the vine. You are the branches. He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: For without Me you can do nothing.”
What did Jesus mean when He said, “Abide in me?”
One of the definitions of the Greek word is, “To remain as one, not to become another or different.”
That’s easy to say as a religious idea that we’ve learned to agree with. After all…Jesus said it! However, agreeing with doctrines and connecting the dots in a way that affects our actual lives is often quite different.
That’s one of those sayings of Jesus that – if I were being honest – I didn’t really know what He meant. I mean…I figured it had to do with being comfortable with a Christ like life style. I reasoned that it meant that if I matured in my trust in Him, I’d be more successful in life. <Something along those lines>
That’s what I felt was probably true. I mean I’d heard – and preached, myself – that kind of definition for abiding in Christ a thousand times.
However, because of my own sin consciousness, I didn’t fathom the depths of what Jesus was actually saying. That’s right…my own sin consciousness. You see…I knew me (better than God, apparently…how stupid is that?) and I knew that the core of my very being couldn’t be Christ (The Person) and still screw up like I too often did. Therefore, Jesus saying couldn’t mean what it looked like it did. It must be a future heavenly promise….no, that didn’t make sense either…But…holy cow…it didn’t seem to be working all that well too much of the time.
Some days I did (abided)…fairly well. I was pretty spiritual (in my own estimation). That’s code for…I felt pretty much together, peaceful, and powerful. I knew that God really loved me and approved of me on those days … <can we say, again…how stupid is that?>
But…<wham>…somebody or some thing would tick me off. Or some days I would wake up feeling as anointed as a stick…dull…un-inspired…didn’t want to be “that guy”…the one people counted on to have answers for their troubles. Truly feeling like, if I prayed for someone’s healing on that day…they’d surely die. How could Christ possibly be the core of my being at times like those? No way was that an “abiding” day!
It was on those days that I was the center of my reference point. The facts of my union with Christ had not changed, but instead of looking at the quality of Christ within, I was looking at the failure of me.
Listen very closely>>> Whatever we believe to be true isn’t necessarily the truth (on the God Standard) BUT…whatever we believe to be true is what WILL shape our daily life experiences. That’s an indelible fact. It works that way all the time, every time, without fail. No exceptions. No deviations, No special cases.
Let me repeat>>> We’re always living out what we believe! We can’t do anything different. We can’t escape it.
Good News>>> We can experience the transforming power of Christ that we are one with. We start training ourselves to choose what we will believe and respond to that.
- We are dead to sin
- We are alive to Christ within (which is who and whose we really are).
According to Paul, it’s a mystery. I honestly can’t tell you how it works. But, I can tell you without lying or overstating the fact. IT DOES WORK!
Jesus Christ and I are One. I am alive to Him (the Big “I AM” and the little “i am”) I DO sense the stirrings of his nature within me. I am learning to pay attention to those stirrings instead of the agitation of fleshy habit patterns. It’s working better, and better, and better. Thing is…what’s my truth is also your truth!
<to be continued>