Jesus said: “If you love me, keep my commandments”, John 14:15

When God requires me to do something against my will, do I sulk like a rebellious child, or simply choose to obey to please my Father?  Childish or child like? Jesus instructed us to become as little children, easily entreated,  Every child has to learn obedience in healthy family relationships to equip them for adulthood.  Even Jesus, as the Son of Man, in a normal family home had to learn obedience.  Hebrews 5:8 declares of Jesus: “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things He suffered”, (yielded to/allowed).

Do you consider the requirements of Jesus severe?  Have you tried to live Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” out of your own strength and resources and failed?  Have you echoed the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 7, but not entered in to Christ’s provision in Romans 8?  Our spiritual journey will teach us through experiences the truth of the scriptures: “…in my flesh dwells no good thing”, Romans 7: 18.  “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, Romans 3:23.  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it? – Jeremiah 17: 9

God exposes my inability for me to embrace, before He releases His ability to operate through me, giving glory back to Him – His is the power, ability and therefore glory. “of Him, through Him and to Him are ALL things”.

When we come to the end of ourselves in trying to do good works, we may think our lack of ability excuses us from following Jesus’ commandments.  Our weakness and inability are the very credentials that God requires, (see 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31) in order to use an empty vessel for His glory.  God brings His glorious positive to our negative.  As we break and empty under His mighty hand, He brings His heavenly resources to fulfil His purposes, to use us for His glory.

Consider this:  There is the man I think I am, the man others thinks I am, and the man God alone sees, and knows, the man that I really am.  God’s view is the only true one.  Sometimes the Lord has to show me the depravity of my heart in certain areas that I am completely unaware of…..but my Father is a loving Father who sees where I need His discipline to form His Son in me.  In loving kindness He breaks to mend, tears down the dross in my life to establish His gold for eternity.  Oh, how He loves us!……too much to leave us as we are.  He ever calls us, works with us to become faithful sons and daughters, bearing fruit for His glory.

Jesus declared that a tree is known by it’s fruit.  He is the divine Gardener that comes to inspect His vineyard, you and me!  He will prune the unnecessary growths that prevent the highest yield of fruit.  All pruning is for the good of the tree.  The Lord Jesus desires to remove the obstacles in our lives that prevent His preeminence.  He always has our highest good in His heart and knows what is best for us.  Do I really believe that?…..or am I still trying to hang on to something for myself, believing I cannot, or will not live without?  Let go, and let God do His work.

Galatians 5: 22-23 describes the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  The natural man finds it difficult to demonstrate this fruit in negative circumstances.  A person walking with the Lord should incrementally increase in a maturity in Christ.  I learn that as I surrender my will to the Lord in exchange for His, I discover the truth of Jesus’ words: “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”, Matthew 11:28.  Our problems evolve when we refuse to obey and come to Him, trying to work things out for ourselves producing more chaos from walking in the flesh of the old nature.  As I die, He will live in me.  Surrender and humility are always key and releases the flow of the divine supply, the life of Jesus, flowing freely through me. “He must increase, I must decrease”  The old nature, the flesh life, will constantly oppose the new nature, the spirit man.  If given free rein it will trample on holy ground attempting to regain ground lost.  The Cross is the plumb line that measures everything I think, or do.  Nothing of self can live on resurrection ground.  Only here can I sing, “All to Jesus, I surrender”  

If I am struggling in my Christian walk, it is because I am trying to produce Jesus in me.  I am living instead of dying.  As I die, (surrender to God), Jesus Christ lives His Life through me. The abiding Life of Christ in me has consequences, manifesting in the fruit of His Spirit.

The Life of Christ within us convicts us of our wrong motives.  Every day we make our choices for good or evil.  As I yield to the Holy Spirit and make right choices, then the Life of Jesus can flow unrestricted through me.  He comes alongside of my choice and enables me to do the things that please Him.  I find that His abilities are at work in me.  This is the abiding Life of my wonderful Saviour.  He works with me to exchange my unwillingness for His will.  When I surrender my stubborn obstacles, His river of Life flows through me.  Here the fruit of His Spirit can grow in the right environment of His love.  All this fruit is to be shared and given away to others, that God’s kingdom can be extended, for His glory.

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”

Our wonderful Lord Jesus has made a way for a loser to win – Christ in me, and you, the hope of glory!

Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash