I would like to share something with you. Just bear with me if you would.
I just finished reading through the New Testament twice and I’m back into the Old Testament again using the Classic Amplified Bible this time. This is over a period of four or five months. I was half way through the Old Testament with the Classic Amplified Bible when I felt led to go back to the NT again, and then to do the NT once more. Interesting guidance because I am loving the OT again and it almost seems like I’m reading it again for the first time. Obviously God knows what He is doing with me.
The past few months have been particularly difficult due to a couple of family situations that I’m not going to go into but suffice to say that just about everything I read in God’s Word seems to focus on me trusting in Him.
I don’t know why it is so difficult to mentally grasp the reality of dependency. Oh, we can talk about it, say the right words, but it has to go much deeper than that. Our dependency on God is vital. This dependency we have in our Lord literally has to touch on everything. No matter where you read in the Bible, this reality of trusting God over our own humanistic logic is continually put before us.
We are to rest in Him.
His burden is light.
He is our knowledge.
Lean not to our own understanding.
Our work is to believe in who the Father sent.
And you know that I haven’t even scratched the surface . . .
During my reading and studying of the NT this verse seemed to jump off of the pages and no matter where I turned in the scriptures, it all seems to go back to this one verse.
John 15:5 NIV “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Ya, I know, I’ve written about this before.
“…..You can do nothing” is pretty specific.
NO THING, that’s like zip, zero, zilch.
I’m pretty sure Jesus knew what He was talking about.
It’s no good is we say we trust God, and then go off in a tangent trying to figure out how to solve a situation or how to function within a difficulty that we encounter on a daily basis.
The problem I thought I had was with my mind. You can relax, I haven’t lost mine yet.
I associated my mind with how I reacted to things. We are so used to responding to our five senses. Especially what we see and hear. And we think that our mind then processes all of the information and then habitually tries to figure out a way in which to react to it.
Having learned over the years that my initial reaction to something is not always the best approach to trusting in God, my wife often serves as my safety check. Nine times out of ten (could be 99 out of 100) I know what she is going to tell me anyway but like a broken record, I seem to have this need to put my own solution forward.
Someone once said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Obviously I am a slow learner.
I believe that the Apostle Paul struggled with the same problem that I have.
He states in Romans 7:21-25 NIV “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
But you’ll note that Paul says in his mind he is a slave to God’s law and it is his nature that is a slave to sin.
So the way that I read that, is that I know in my mind (my inner being) I need to trust God but my sinful nature, being what it is, tries to formulate a plan of attach to solve the situation. That’s not me trusting God, that’s me trusting my own logic.
So…. that means that my mind has been renewed and is in step with God’s will, it’s my sinful nature that keeps trying to take the place of priority (hence the continual battle).
The reality of our sinful nature is manifested by the way in which we normally (humanistically) react to external trials or opposition. The reality of our renewed minds knows that we are to trust God in all things and look at everything from His perspective. There’s a return to the Garden of Eden here before the fall if you look for it.
Remember when Jesus was on the cross and He asked our Father to forgive those who had crucified and condemned Him because they knew not what they did (Luke 23:24)?
Even in His suffering, Jesus still thought and voiced asking for their forgiveness. That boggles my mind.
So….. this pause in time is to alert you to the reality that I am coming to understand the difference between my renewed mind and my sinful nature.
And it is changing much of what I read in the Bible, both in the OT and the NT.
And like Paul said, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Maybe you already knew this, but for me, personally, I needed to understand the difference and to effectively trust. I needed to understand the source of my own humanistic response.
Jesus’s effectiveness in us is determined by our dependency in Him, whether we follow our renewed mind or our sinful nature. Knowing the difference helps.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
P.S. I’d really be interested on your thoughts on this post.