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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Monday, November 28, 2005
Oh to be like thee...
I SurrenderOne of the hardest things I do as a Christian is surrender. It isn't a one time deal, but a continual, moment by moment determination to submit myself to the will of God.

Success in this endeavor is always and ever plagued by guilt of previous failures, questions of personal motive, a lack of sincerity, and even a lack of love and desire.

Always and ever my heart cries out for God to make it easier for me. But God hasn't done that - God is not doing that, and God will never do that. God doesn't promise that anywhere in scripture. What God promises isn't a body that no longer desires to sin - but a heart that no longer desires to sin.

That old stone heart that used to not care about whether I was sinning or not - that is gone, and instead I have a new heart of flesh that is sensitive to sin - God's Spirit inside me convicting me of sin, and putting in me a genuine desire for righteousness. God hasn't "healed" my flesh so that I no longer suffer temptation - even Jesus was tempted, and I shouldn't expect to have it that much easier that Jesus.

Yet sometimes that is exactly what I want - oh, let's be honest - I want that all the time. I want to be free from temptation and clean before my God.

But what is my motive for that? There are two - one is utterly sinful, the other utterly divine. The utterly divine motive I have briefly mentioned - God's spirit is in me. 'Nuff said. But the utterly sinful motive ought to mentioned too.

The sinful motive is that I want to be free from temptation so that I don't need God anymore. Why without temptation, or perhaps more specifically without the desire to act upon the temptation and thus fulfill some sinful desire - be it gluttony, immorality, deceit, greed, - you know the list. I would rather sit sinless (and therefore absolutely content until the day I die) without ever having to wonder whether or not I was being "good enough" to be a Christian.

That last little bit is the horrible little deceit that the enemy throws in the mix. Deep down inside there is the errant notion that if I am without sin I am more pleasing to God. Did you catch the lie? Deep down inside there is a lie that says, "Daniel, you can please God in your flesh if you are without sin."

How do we deal with such lies? The truth of course. "Without faith it is impossible to please God" and "He made us accepted in the Beloved. " I know in my mind that my standing with the Lord has everything to do with the finished work of Christ on the cross. Christ's righteoussness imputed to me makes me acceptable, because I am in Him - in the beloved. I accept this through faith - the only way possible for me to be pleasing to God.

So the struggle is not one of truth vs. the lie for long - next it because a struggle of resting in the truth - even walking in the truth.

The flesh, defeated by the truth, then goes into "feelings" mode. Surely something is amiss spiritually because I "feel so down" - perhaps I messed up somehow? Here the doubt kicks in - am I really saved? Surely a child of God would be less tempted than I - less horrible inside? I can put on the Pharisee with the best of them, but can I put on Christ? Am I walking with my God or remarkably deceived? Okay - to be sure, this stuff doesn't bother me that much - the truth is I am saved not because of how I feel, but because of God's promise. His promises are not weakened by my faithlessness. Yet some of our brethren can be mired here - and it is worth mentioning - whatever we feel is not important - the truth is important - and the truth is that God cannot lie or break a promise - even if I "feel" like I did it all wrong, God isn't operating according to my transient feelings, but according to His own will.

Moving from feelings and doubt, I find myself left at the cross - I have pulled myself through the mire of doubt, and feelings, passed all the lies and whatnot - and I am left at the foot of my own cross - do I die to all that I am? Or put another way - do I stop trusting my own arm to save me?? Or put another way - am I willing right now to step out of whatever habit or rut I have this day embarked upon and instead kneel in my heart before my God and give my will over to Him? Will he lead me astray? Of course not. Will offering myself as a living sacrifice on the altar of His glory be rejected? Only if I am doing it for show. Must I pick up the cross today? Yes my son, every day is Gethsemane, or you are not worthy of me.

Oh, I am thirsty Lord, But while I might desire a drink because of that thirsty, I am not willing to give all I have for that - I am thirsty, but not THAT thirsty.

Then you are not thirsty enough!

What can I do to make myself thirsty enough??

Nothing. God makes you thirsty. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit - you cannot in your flesh give birth to a spiritual desire. You must confess your need to God - he will work it out - you can't trust your own arm in this, you cannot lean on your own understanding - you must acknowledge that if it is going to be done - the Lord will do it.

How will he do it?

Oh, there are many ways to make a man surrender...
posted by Daniel @ 7:04 AM  
11 Comments:
  • At 10:06 AM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    Excellent point my friend. I've been struggling with the same issue.

    I was listening to some Piper the other day and he was making the same point.

     
  • At 10:10 AM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    I truly have to start listening to Piper. I have heard a few of his sermons and read a book or two, but I haven't made it a regular habit.

     
  • At 10:42 AM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    If I could recommend anything, here it is:

    Blazing Center DVD

    TULIP Seminar - Absolutely fantastic.

    And there was a cd set that I received from them that had three sermons on them: "The Supremacy of God in Preaching", "The Supremacy of God in Prayer" and "The Supremacy of God in Missions". HOwever I can't find links for them, you might be able to call them for it, but it is absolutely fantastic and my favorite out of everything that I've heard from Piper (well next to the Blazing Center DVD set).

    Cheers

     
  • At 9:27 PM, November 28, 2005, Blogger Jeremy Weaver said…

    "We are far to easily pleased."-C.S. Lewis

     
  • At 5:12 AM, November 29, 2005, Blogger Ant said…

    Great post. Thank you. Very perceptive. Especially the bits about our subtle desire to get to a place where we don't need God anymore! Reminds me of both the CS Lewis quote above, and what Thomas Chalmers wrote of the 'expulsive power of a new affection'. That's what we need. To so thirst for God that we lose our desire for what other competitors offer.
    Thank you for writing this.

    BTW - ref our exchange at purgatorio, the John Lennox science talk is now online. See my blog for details.

     
  • At 7:30 AM, November 29, 2005, Blogger Susan said…

    Thank you for writing this. I'm struggling with these issues now.

     
  • At 8:06 AM, November 29, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    When a person gives themselves to the Lord, but only in the flesh - it drives them to this end - they fail, fail, fail, and in their failure they begin to look up. Until a person truly trusts the Lord to sanctify him, he goes about sanctifying himself.

    Ant - thanks I will look.

     
  • At 10:44 AM, November 29, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    Dan,

    Explain the "he goes about sactifying himself"... technically Christ does all the santifying. Once a person truly trusts Christ, nobody does any sanctifying but Christ himself, correct?

     
  • At 11:00 AM, November 29, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Frank - "he goes about sanctifying himself" describes the person who doesn't understand who is doing the sanctifying - that is, a person who doesn't trust Christ to sanctify him will go about trying to do it himself... not that they are really being sanctified, but that they imagine that personal effort is equivalent to genuine sanctification.

    Does that make sense?

     
  • At 11:37 AM, November 29, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    Yea nevermind, missed the "UNTIL" part ;) I totally read over it, and no clue as to why

     
  • At 1:03 AM, December 02, 2005, Blogger Tony Myles said…

    Deep and tasty, bro... thanks for the thoughts to chew on. This is one of my favorite topics to wrestle with because there is always one more step to take.

     
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