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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Internal and External Conquest, continued
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
Then there are the sins of the flesh. The Christian churches are filled with every form of lust, idolatry, anger, gossip, slander, party loyalties, drunkenness, cigarette smoking, drugs, robbery, dishonesty, sexual perversions including child molestation, haughtiness, arrogance, pride, personal ambition, envy, competition, profanity, pornography. These are but a few but they give you the idea.
You say, "I would never do any of these things." Oh no?
Many years ago Thelma Chambers came from the revival in the Armory in Detroit. She ministered for a while in the tent pastored by J. O. Dowell. She told us how the Spirit of God was moving in the Armory causing the Christians to confess their sins and get rid of them.
Yours truly was preaching what we called "the death route." The answer to sanctification was to reckon yourself dead.
We held out for a while. But it was obvious that reckoning yourself dead was one thing but confessing your sins was another.
So we stood in front of the mirror, in our little trailer in Chula Vista, and said, "Lord, if there is any sin in me, please show me."
The Lord wasted no time. We have been confessing our sins over the succeeding forty- seven years.
You may think that no one could be so wicked they would be confessing their sins for forty-seven years. Well, I don't make a fetish of confessing my sins but there is hardly a day goes by that I don't look up to the Lord and ask Him to remove something that has shown its head.
Maybe I am more wicked that everyone else. I wasn't raised in church!
The heart is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked.
How about your heart? Is it deceitful above all else and desperately wicked?
Here's an idea. Stand in front of the mirror and ask the Lord to show you if there is any sin in you. Then fasten your seat belt.
Paul never meant "reckon yourself dead" to be the way to achieve purity in the Lord. Rather, reckon yourself dead is the way your orient yourself to the Christian program of deliverance. You reckon that your first personality is dead on the cross with Jesus and your new born-again inward nature is risen with Christ to the right hand of the Father.
Once you do this the Spirit can begin to call forth the worldliness, lust, and self-will from your personality.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but Jesus did not remove Lazarus' graveclothes. Lazarus came hobbling out. That is what is true of us. We have been raised from the dead but we are bound head and foot with graveclothes.
Well, how about you?
We Christians have problems with the love of the world and the lusts of our flesh. Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit helps us get rid of every trace of these.
But there is an even bigger monster lurking in the dark caverns of your personality. While you are singing "Sunlight, sunlight, in my soul today" this leviathan crawls back further into his cave.
He is willing that you be delivered from worldliness. He is resistant but finally willing that you be delivered from the lusts of the flesh.
He is willing that you be very religious and enter Christian service.
Just as long as he is untouched!
Do you know the name of the leviathan?
It is self-will.
Self-will is a bigger problem in the Kingdom than worldliness and lust put together.
To be continued.