Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Ezekiel 33: 10 - 11
“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’
Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
God here, is saying much more (See full passage Ezekiel 33:10-20) but I wish to talk about what came to me personally as I read this passage.
I've often thought God must do the work in me. If He didn't turn me away from my unrighteousness and to His way, I was hopelessly lost. And there is definitely truth in that. God does the work but He gives me a share in His work.
So, I am seeing God expects me to do the turning away: from my iniquity, from my unrighteousness, from my sins of omission or commission, or just from my careless wrongdoing. It's called repentance.
Repentance is turning away from sin.
It's a choice.
The bottom line is we always choose first, then we do. Sometimes after our acts have become a habit, we get to feeling we have no choice but, ever and always, even with a strong habit, we first choose to act - God's way or my way.
There is an onslaught against all mankind. It is from our great enemy - Satan. His success is in how he packages his lies. What he offers looks so very glamorous, fulfilling, satisfying, desirable.
However, as there is no TRUTH in him, all he offers is a counterfeit of the reality God offers.
Satan seeks ever to destroy God's creation. His real issue is with his own creator, the Father God he chose to rebel against. But, since he cannot touch God, he seeks to destroy God's creation. He seeks to draw us into rebellion against, and independence from our Creator. But, he is a thief.
The thief comes only to steal and kill
I came that they may have life and
have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
Once we have formed a negative habit the choice become more difficult because what we are now battling is a stronghold.
God uses no weapons on or against us; no coercion; no manipulation; no intimidation; no distorted truth. He holds out rather:
Hope Peace Joy Love To be His very own
Though God never invades our will He has given us weapons (tools) to do His will. We are not left to fight alone. But to fight is our job, with God’s weapons.
We are not PROVING ourselves to God.
After all, it is He who reaches out first to us, who has made the first move already. He tells us in Revelation 3:20 that He is standing at the door and knocking. So, He is not looking for proof of our success.
We are not WORKING for our salvation.
For, only the righteousness that He provides is a valid
righteousness. This is not about salvation, but about repentance from our sin/sins.
And in Repentance we are making a CHOICE to agree with Him. With that CHOICE we are giving Him the
right to carry on His purpose in our lives.
What we need to remember is as Christians we have amazingly more power than we sometimes think. Power in and through Christ Jesus.