Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
What an amazing question! Of course I am not being made prefect by the flesh. I am in full agreement with Paul when he says in Romans 7:18; For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Even though I know this is true I continue to find myself returning to self-reliance and an inclination towards autonomy. Oh, how I long for the days of my childhood in the Lord! I hunger for the days when every breath was an acknowledgement of His sovereign grace, where I saw His hand in every event, every circumstance. What I must remember is that every day I am free to return to that place. That is the place I was created to be and every other place is foreign soil. The Lord would have me climbing up into His lap and putting my head to his breast to hear the beat of His heart. I have to remain wide awake and aware because the natural, unregenerated man still lives inside of me and he is a clever one. He will start me thinking about the work I am doing for the Lord until I become so busy in that work that I have edged the Lord completely out of my day. I began by seeking God’s face in every moment and in the making of every move but because of my busyness the Lord had to be moved out of the way so I could clearly see what I was doing. “Excuse me Lord, could you move aside? I am doing kingdom work here.” I foolishly think that because I am preparing a sermon, or doing missions work, or teaching the children’s ministry, you fill in the blank, I foolishly think I am functioning in the will of God. But what does Jesus say we must do if we are to be His disciples? "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” This is a four step process. First we must have the desire. David said, As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. We must stir up our desire. Second is the death of self. Colossians 3:5; Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth. Third is the bearing of the cross. Man, we must keep the crucified Christ in the forefront of our minds eye at all times. Every single thing about our lives hinges on His sacrificial death. Finally we must follow. We must continually seek to be like Jesus. We must always strive for His likeness manifested in every aspect of our behavior.
“Lord God I give to you my foolish notions that I could ever function without Your loving hand guiding me. Or that I could ever grow without Your firm hand chastising me. For like Paul I know that in my flesh nothing good dwells. The only good thing dwelling in me is You Lord. Please help me to be pleasing in Your sight, amen.”