October 11, 2018 — part 2
We made mention last week that there is a problem with many people regarding how we can know if we are hearing the voice of God. As review, we also mentioned that both God and Satan are spirits. The big difference, of course, is that the two have opposite goals, opposite intentions, opposite motivations. As a guide post, it is obvious that God’s reason for having communication with man is constructive while Satan’s reason is for the opposite reason, as hisare all acts of destruction. This is how I came to call self-abandonment as a cleansing. Wouldn’t you? Ridding self of these sinful attributes is, as a metaphor, equivalent to a cleansing of a vessel with you and I as the vessel. A cleansing prepares one for being filled with the Spirit. Let us remember that our goal in achieving self abandonment is to change from a natural being to a spiritual being. Some call this spiritual surgery. Were it so, we might be able to feel the inner significance of the change we seek.
# 1 disability — temptation — A well known writer by the name of Oswald Chambers says this is the worst of the self-abandonment temptations man will ever have. First, I want you to know that temptation is not a sin. Our Lord was tempted without sin, and we are not protected from temptation. He does, however, prepare us with the ability to say no when we are tempted. Yes, it can be very difficult, however with practice, the “no” becomes easier until it will, in many, become common place in our vocabulary.
The strength required to combat Satan is not the same as battling Satan alone because when we have war with Satan, we also are at war with self. This is why Chambers lists it as the most difficult to overcome. Does this sound strange to you? Examine the manner in which people think of themselves and you will see the reason. Our pride in self, the idea that we are our own God, that we know more than God knows; these are the reasons it is hard to give that acknowledgment to another.
So, with temptation most of us will have difficulties in making a change. It has been said that such a person can even know he is himself at fault and still be unable to change although he will find a way to compromise or procrastinate such a dilemma.
Another barrier that will be a stumbling for some is that God will no longer see you as one in the blackness of sin, but in your innocence as a new born child of God, in the innocence of forgiveness. It is therefore up to the individual to turn his newfound innocence a holy person who is able to be an example for others who may be struggling with the same temptation. Such is the work of God who gave us to be His messengers.
The next discussion (which will not necessarily be tomorrow) will be on the subject of