“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:18-19)
There is nothing good in our flesh, and there is no power in our new nature.
With our mind we serve Christ, but the mind that we have can perform no actions that can either justify us or sanctify us, we are saved by grace through faith, not of works and we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
We are beset by our rebellious old nature, our flesh and by our adversary, the wiles of the devil, and against them we are also powerless.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
We can humbly submit, that is the best we can do, any works that we attempt to perform that are not done solely for the glory of God, that even have a fine dusting of self involved in them will be fruitless, any prayers that we offer that do not seek to have the name of the Lord lifted up above the heavens will not be heard, anything that does not include “Thy will be done,” will be seen as selfish.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13)
A life of humble submission to the will of God is the only life that is pleasing to the Father, this is the life the Son lived, it is the life we are to live.
In this evil world what is approaching can be summed up in this short sentence, “Do what we say, and you can have what you want.” The one who has been crucified with Christ is to live a willful life by his own free will in obedience to the will and Word of God for no other reason than the desire to see the Father glorified, and that cannot be done in any other way but by a love for Him who gave His life for us. We know all our works are as filthy rags, we know that it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can be profitable to the Kingdom, that if anything we do is not done solely for the glory of God, that it is vainglory.
Mighty works can be done through us, but not by us.
The forced obedience that the god of this world is beginning to impose upon mankind will lead to bondage, his desire is to be worshipped, and he will stand in the new Temple demanding it, and by fear it will be offered by those who will be deceived.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1st John 4:18)
Those who worship the Most High do so in spirit and truth, in love and humility for Him who first loved us. Our obedience is offered freely, not because we know there is a better place and a glorified body that awaits us, not because we know we will forever be in the presence of joy and pleasures forevermore, not because He will remove all our sinful desires, remove Satan and all his influences, the wicked from amongst us, but because He loves us and gave Himself for us.
I place this truth before you again, a difficult one for some to comprehend, but truth nonetheless.
“What I want is immaterial,” is the same as saying, “Thy will be done.”
When you can understand these words, when you can live by them you have just begun the journey of dying to self.
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
There is no power in our new nature, but there is power inconceivable that can, and will work through us, if you will but die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)