A Pause In Time

namtso-cloudy-sky

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith
14 comments on “A Pause In Time
  1. As you’ve shared that times are hard at the moment, I remember John 16:33- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post, Bruce. I have often thought, with each year that passes we recognize more and more the habits our mind covets. We tend to carry the weight of the world although we know we are saved by our belief in Christ. There is a lot to undo once we stop messing up our lives. At least that is what we think. Actually we only need to stop questioning, stop reacting the way we did before. We humans complicate everything. Thank God he knows us. Even the most devoted of believers has days wondering if they are fulfilling His plan for them. The whole time we are taking inventory of ourselves we are growing, yet we should combine our devotion to the bible to devoted time to seek Him out in those private moments which truly fulfill us every day. I always enjoy your posts. They are mentally stimulating and food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pete says:

    You have tapped a truth many never come to realize. The. Battle between flesh and spirit is so real and our only hope of victory is Jesus. We can do nothing but trust Him if we truly desire to overcome, because He has already overcome the world.

    That thing that keeps us trying to figure it out ourselves is pride, pure and simple I have found the same as you. My wife is my best pride indicator and she helps me with that all the time..

    I have found that living as completely as I can with/on Proverbs 3:5-6 is where I need to be.

    Trust Him completely
    Don’t try to understand or figure it out
    Acknowledging He is involved in EVERY aspect and situation of my life, good or bad
    If I do this He will direct and order my steps.

    Be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bcparkison says:

    I kinda think this is where free will comes in. Our Father allows sin so that when we open our heart to him we can come closer to grasping the fullness of his gift . Without sin we really don’t need a Saviour. My simple mind just works complicated things out this way

    Like

  5. Just a thought here… I can read and know effective practices for just about any activity, but until I begin to repeat or practice those over and over again–i.e. discipline myself like an athlete–those practices don’t become intuitive…part of my first response to a situation. I think this is what our sanctification process is all about. We are training in “godliness.” In fact, I think you may have just inspired a post for me, Bruce… I have a story and a message to share that relate to this! Thank you; thank you! And I love the way you have expressed your understanding of Paul’s chapter in Romans! You have made it easy to grasp! God bless you for that as well! 🙂 Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How can I illustrate my thoughts? STAR WARS! YES.

    So let us imagine our Christian life is like Star Wars… and of course one day I hope to be a Christian who really GETS it and LIVES the life I am supposed to live at all times (like YODA) except I am NOT YODA….

    Oh no, I am much more like Luke Skywalker…. but NOT Luke when he was all cool and a master of the force… no the young idiot Skywalker on Tattoine who couldn’t get his act together. The guy bumbling around looking for spare droid parts on a Jawa Sandcrawler.

    That’s my Christian life.

    But I’m working on it.

    Like

    • Bruce says:

      I’m not knocking you Keith, I’ve been there and like the Apostle Paul, I still haven’t reached the goal either, but He’s working on it. Grace and blessings my friend.

      Like

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