Who’s in Control of Your Life?

Isaiah 1:4 NIV

“Woe to the sinful nation,
a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.”

The nation, in this case, is a spiritual nation, not a physical one, for this is speaking of God’s adulterous people. Today this is speaking about the adulterous church who has turned her back on the Lord and who has chosen to follow after the flesh, instead.

How has the church turned her back on the Lord? In so many different ways. She has unequally yoked together with the world and has turned the house of God (his temple) into a marketplace. And she has diluted the gospel message to make it more appealing to the flesh of man.

Thus, she is teaching and believing a cheapened form of God’s grace which makes no demands for repentance, obedience, submission to God, holiness, righteousness, godliness, honesty and/or moral purity. This cheap grace gives free license, instead, to keep on deliberately living in sin.

Thus, so many people in today’s church, at least here in America, are following this cheapened form of God’s grace, and are living in spiritual adultery against God, doing whatever they feel they have the freedom to do with regards to giving into the passions of their sinful flesh.

The lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life have overtaken so many people who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ to where they have no fear of God. They do not respect the Lord or give him honor, and they don’t believe they have to obey him.

Isaiah 1:5-6 NIV

“Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with olive oil.”

Many of these people who profess faith in Jesus Christ today are living defeated Christian lives because they persist in rebelling against God. Many of them are double-minded, trying to live “Christian” lives all the while they are still deliberately walking in habitual sin.

This is like trying to drive east and trying to drive west at the same time. You can’t go in opposite directions at the same time. For, if you obey sin, it leads to death, but if you obey obedience, it leads to righteousness, which then ends in eternal life with God (Rom 6:16-23).

It is a lot like someone using parental controls on his/her internet device to help him/her not to get on to pornography, only he/she is both the parent and the child, and so he/she maintains control over what gets reported and the reports only go to him/her who is also the one being monitored.

It is self-defeating because there is no accountability, for he/she is still the one in control, and he/she has the power to turn off the controls or to alter them at any time to his/her benefit. So, it is a false sense of security. For, in a moment of weakness, he/she can just bypass the controls.

And that is what it is like when people professing faith in Jesus Christ maintain control over their own lives. They are bound to fail time after time because the flesh can’t put the flesh to death, for flesh gives birth to flesh. Only as we yield control of our lives over to God can we live in victory over the flesh and over sin.

Isaiah 1:16-17 NIV

“Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.”

The only solution there is to sin is the cross of Christ. Jesus died on that cross, taking our sins upon himself, so that we can now die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Pet 2:24).

For, when Jesus died on that cross, it was so we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. When he shed his blood for us on that cross, too, it was to redeem us, i.e., it was to buy us back for God so that we would now belong to God, and so that we would now glorify him with our lives, with our bodies (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our former lives of living for sin and self, we will lose them for eternity, but if we die with Christ to sin, for his sake, we will have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; cf. Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

As long as we maintain control over our own lives, it doesn’t matter how many safeguards we think we have put in place. The addict knows many ways around those safeguards, especially if he/she is the one putting them in place. Behavioral modification only goes so far before it fails.

So, our only hope is found in surrender of our lives to Jesus Christ, but not just once, but daily, moment by moment. For the grace of God, which brings salvation, trains us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives (Tit 2:11-14; Eph 4:17-24).

Also, we must understand what the Scriptures teach if we opt out of God’s plan of deliverance from slavery to sin, and if we decide to continue controlling our own lives. Jesus and the NT writers taught us that if we live to sin we will die in our sins. We won’t have eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Heb 3-4]

Do You Love Me?

An Original Work / July 24, 2013

Do you love Me now?
Will you seek My face?
I have given you
My love and My grace.
Will you walk with Me
Ev’rywhere I lead?
Will you find in Me
All of what you need?

Won’t you meet with Me
Down upon your knees?
Will you obey Me,
And do what I please?
Will you hear My voice
Speaking now to you?
I am couns’ling you
To abide in truth.

I have died for you;
Taken all your sins –
Crucified with Me,
You have been forgiv’n.
I have set you free
From your slavery,
So that you can now
Live in victory.

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