Follow by Email

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The school of the Spirit

I have no idea what image comes to your mind when you think of the words "death to self", but let me tell you how it is playing out in my life.  It seems to me Satan is the head of the department of "death to self" in the "school of the Spirit".  He is, as always on a leash controlled by the President of the School of the Spirit.  Satan ends up a victim of his own devices because God promises the believer that He will work all things out for the good.  In his commentary on Isaiah, Victor Buksbazen, points out that, "evil carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction." (Isaiah 33:11)  Another famous Isaiah passage states,"If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. 16"Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals And brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin. 17"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD."  Isaiah 54:15-17  In addition we must keep in mind the context of Romans 8:28 and read all the way through to the end of the chapter seeing what things cannot separate us from His love, and over what things and spirits we are more than conquerors.  For when we take the time to read this list we will see the very things that God allows in a believers life, in order to bring us to the blessed goal, the end of our strength, (Deut. 32:36, Daniel 12:7) which then allows for the breakthrough of the veil that keeps us 'flesh bound' when we should be Spirit free!

So what does "death to self" look like, it looks like a pretty heavy disagreement between a husband and a wife, that causes the husband to rise up in anger.  It looks like being betrayed and hurt by one who "should" bring love and comfort.  David gives voice to these feelings in Psalm 55:12-14 "12 I would be able to take it if one who hates me were putting me to shame. I could hide from him. It is not one who hates me who has put himself up against me. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, one who has gone with me, my close friend. 14 We shared together. And we walked with the people in the house of God."  David does not see the whole picture yet because he wishes bad things on them, instead of seeing that they are only being used by God to reveal the "truth of his own condition", and that is always a good revelation, because from that starting point God can really do a beautiful work, giving us a proper foundation.  First, we know that He is our loving father and that He is the personal guarantee of all the promises to us so we are secure and without fear.  Second, we realize that this puts us in a place of eternal rest and trust, because the works of faith are already done, we just walk in them.  Third, the sovereign loving, merciful God allows blind sided crashes to come in to our lives and reveals to us that we are "not as strong as we think we are." (Rich Mullins)  Those crashes result in a release of the flesh that we thought was gone and we echo Paul's words , "Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?"  If it has been revealed to our hearts that you run to your FATHER, your Abba, when you are prodigal in every way, you will see Him doing the most amazing thing in all of scripture, running toward you with mercy that swallows up your words of repentance and totally restores you!

So in the end, death to self, and the breaking off of the flesh in the school of the Spirit, once again is a deeper revelation of His incredible mercy and the finished work of the cross that allows all glory to go to our resurrected Savior!  It may appear on the surface to be an attack, but it is just another opportunity to roll all of our trust and faith on to our ever deepening relationship with Immanuel!   (Most likely to be continued)

No comments: