That’s absurd! What do you mean: God wants me to fail? That sounds like false doctrine, especially in this age of prosperity for all believers. Of course God doesn’t want me to fail.
Oh yes, He does, and the sooner the better. Here’s why.
The sooner—we make the journey through the wretched condition of man described in Romans Chapter 7, enslaved to the flesh, and move on to the victorious proclamation found in Romans Chapter 8—the better.
Unfortunately, getting through Chapter 7 is a process that can take years. Some Christians are stuck in the quagmire of Chapter 7 for half a life-time—yours truly for one—until God granted seeing eyes to the marvelous escape hatch.
When Paul found that escape hatch, he boldly proclaimed: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”1 Can we say that? Have we escaped yet? A personal answer is required from each of us, for God delivers His children one life at a time.
But how can we rise up out of that place of wretchedness? It happens only when we discover that all of our self-efforts are futile and wasted, and begin to embark—get on board with—the central message of the gospel: Jesus came to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Face the TRUTH: We cannot save ourselves. We cannot sanctify ourselves. WE CANNOT!
Our “self” can never please God.
Our “self” can never keep the law.
Our “self” can never be whipped into obedience and trained to be good.
Our “self” is a hopeless cause.
When we grasp this fact—the undeniable total depravity of man—we are on our way to freedom. (Read that again.)
Whether we realize it or not, we have a false belief that there is at least some good in man—well, in me anyway. But Paul said, “In my flesh dwells no good thing.”2 With all of Paul’s credentials, surely he had something good in him, but not so. And neither do you and me.
Do I know that in my flesh dwells no good thing? (Read that question slower.) If we don’t, we have not yet come to the end of ourselves. Until we reach the end of self we will not be able to move on into the deliverance that awaits those who will admit the truth: “In MY flesh dwells NO GOOD thing.” In other words, I ADMIT THAT I AM DEPRAVED!
Accept self’s defeat, get over it, and move on into the glorious provision that awaits us in Romans Chapter 8. However, we will never see it until we accept depravity. God will not allow us to. He didn’t give insight to the proud, self-sufficient Pharisees. Neither will He give it to us.
Jesus pointed out two types of people who came to pray. One was a proud, self-righteous, keeper of the law, a Pharisee who was glad he wasn’t like other people. The other man fell to his knees, smote his breast, could not as much as lift his eyes, and prayed for mercy.3 There it is—depravity!
Which one went away justified? Which one went away with God’s favor? More importantly, which one are you and I? Do we still keep a mental list of all the good deeds we’ve done for God; for others? Or how much money we’ve given to His cause? Do we still hang onto a shred of goodness in us? Do we see ourselves just a little better off than others?
We will soon see that it is all about our position. Are we positioned where God can do something for us? And where might that place be? Depravity! See it?
Want out of the quagmire? Admit you are a failure—quickly! It is in your best interest. Romans Chapter 8 is the next stop along this journey. Get ready for it. “Learn Christ, on your knees, my child, on your knees.”4 ~ Janie Kellogg
1Romans 7:25; 2Romans 7:18; 3Luke 18:9-14; 4A Gentle Spirit, Barbour Publishing, July 1
Other related posts at Treasures in Earthen Vessels: There’s a Whole Lot of Living Going On ~ January 29, 2013; A Hard Pill to Swallow ~ March 28, 2012
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