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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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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
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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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Friday, January 11, 2008
I would like to be more spiritual,
But I don't have enough time...
On judgment day God is going to show many of us that we actually did have enough time, we just weren't willing to let go of a multitude of worthless things in order to do what God was calling us to do.

"I don't have enough time" translates for many of us into, "I don't have enough time to do all that God calls me to do because deep down given a choice between what I want to do with my time and what Christ calls me to do with my time, I consistently and continually choose what I want to do, and thereby grieve that Holy Spirit that calls me to surrender myself..."

Walking in the flesh is the default walk for all of us. It simply means choosing to live out the desires of the flesh - whatever the flesh demands, that is what the will agrees to do. If the flesh says you don't have enough time to gratify me and God both, you choose to gratify the flesh and leave God wanting. That is what walking in the flesh looks like.

The immature believer wants this: the flesh to desire godly things. They pray for that in their ignorance - Dear God, please make me patient, make me obedient, make me more loving, make me ... the list doesn't end.

Listen: God isn't going to make your flesh suddenly desire godly things. That is a pipe dream, a farce, a lie, a false hope that can keep a well meaning Christian on a rat wheel running but going nowhere for decades. Learn this from scripture - the only thing God does with the desires of the flesh is tell you that the thing that is producing them died with Christ on Calvary, and that you no longer are it's slave on that account.

You see, we have our own opinions about what freedom from the bondage to sin should look like. Most of us start out thinking that freedom from the bondage to sin is going to mean that we no longer have sinful desires. We presume freedom from means an absence of desire. But God did not such the sin out of our lives as one sucks poison from a wound. No, "us" that we call "the flesh" is not our skin and bones, it is the part of us that we would call "sin" - and it will -not- be cured by God, it will be destroyed. To be succinct, it has already been destroyed on Calvary two millenia ago.

To get your mind around that, know that what Christ took to the cross includes your yesterdays, today, and tomorrows. Sin is going to be with you until the day you die, and all that sin will do to you every day of your life - all of that Christ took to the cross. If you are in Christ, it is a matter of factual information that you have been crucified with Christ, it is a factual matter that the thing inside of you that continues to rebel against God and demand that you obey its desires - that -sin- no longer has dominion over you, but that doesn't mean sin is absent from you, it means that Christ Who overcame sin abides with you, is in you, and is Lord over you, and through your union with Christ, you now have been set free from that bondage: you are longer "owned" by sin, but owned by God in Christ.

Hear me children, brothers, sisters - You will never overcome sin by seeking its absence, you over come sin because you have a new indwelling Master who by Himself has defeated sin and death. You overcome sin not by gritting your teeth and suppressing it, but by surrendering to the Lordship of Christ. If you are in Christ you now have two desires - the "old", default desire of the flesh, which we often simply think of as "our own desires", and now a new desire to please God that came upon us the moment Christ entered into us. Moment by moment we are given the choice of surrendering what we do to one or the other desire. If we surrender our will to the flesh and obey its desires we are walking in the flesh, but if we surrender our will to the Spirit of Christ and obey His desires, we are walking in the Spirit.

The mind that makes excuses for, and justifies a continued obedience to the flesh scripture describes as being "set on the flesh" - it is a "carnal mindset" - not living in subjection to the will of God, but expressing its enmity for God in an open disdain for, and subsequent setting aside of, God's will.

That is why the Christian life is war.

We are at war with the flesh and its desires. It writhes on the cross, flesh from the cross - refuses to regarded as a defeated foe. It makes its demands of us as though it still owned us, and only the defeated and ignorant make a habit of laying down their sword, and making camp under its banner. The duty of every Spirit filled believer is to know who they are in Christ - to know that they are called moment by moment to this battle - to take the fight beyond putting band-aids on the symptoms and start dealing with the disease.

The part of you, if you are in Christ, who wants to obey God - the part that convicts you that you ought not to surrender yourself to this sin or that sin? That is the will of Spirit you received the day you believed, and resisting that will is far easier when we are ignorant and full of lies. When scripture says that the devil seeks to devour people, let me tell you, although the father of lies devours in many ways, I think a very common way is to keep believers ignorant or deceived about these truths I mention today. The Romans six through eight truths - the "Christ is in you now, you must obey Him now" truths.

If the devil can keep you convinced that you aren't there yet, you will continue to chase the wind thinking that you are pursuing a righteousness that you never seem able to obtain. No, you must learn that the battle isn't about being free from sin's desire - because you won't get free from sin's desire, that isn't how it works - you are set free from sin's power, from its authority, from its ability to own and rule you. In -Christ- who defeated sin you can (if you obey Christ) deny even the desires that your sinful flesh today is calling you to obey. He has defeated sin, you won't unless you surrender to the one who has defeated sin, there is no victory for you. Know Christian, that the thing that is producing sinful desire in you is dying right now Calvary 2000 years ago in Christ, the same Christ who defeated it - who is in you - who is FOR you, and who is directing you this moment and every moment down the path - HIS - path, to victory. You cannot defeat your sinful desires, but Christ already has. Your job therefore is to stop trying to defeat sin, and instead obey Christ and in doing so He will defeat sin in you - not by your power to resist sin, but by His victory 2000 years ago over that thing that is presently demanding you to obey its sinful lusts - that condemned foe who would continue to rule you.

Every moment you live Christian you must choose whom you will obey, that which is killing you, or that Him who is freeing you from that death. Do you want to fellowship with Christ - learn who Christ in you is. You cannot fellowship with a person you consistently and continually ignore and disobey - learn who it is you are shunning when you obey the flesh - listen - the love you have for Christ isn't supposed to be some amorphous thing that your affections can't quite pin down. Like trying to hang a sign on a wall that lacks a nail - that isn't how your relationship with Christ is supposed to be. He is here, if you are in Him, and nearer than a brother. The problem is you are so busy obeying the flesh, and resisting Him, you never fellowship with him except when you pray and beg him to change your flesh, which He will never do.

You must come to the Christ that is in you Christian - you cannot make up another Christ and try going to Him. Don't waste your time imagining that you must build a bridge by your own righteousness to God, Christ is the bridge, and He is in you, and if you would only learn to obey instead of forsake Him, you would know fellowship with him - and truly, that fellowship will be a fire in your soul the next time the flesh calls. You were never meant to walk alone brother, sister, you were meant to walk in the Spirit.

May God open eyes to His truth, to His son, and do a work in our generation.

Labels: ,

posted by Daniel @ 5:25 AM  
10 Comments:
  • At 7:52 AM, January 11, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    In the three minutes I have before I leave for work, let me say, that I hope, no I pray, someone who hasn't understood this in the past, is drawn into the truth by and through it.

     
  • At 6:09 PM, January 11, 2008, Blogger ThirstyDavid said…

    Daniel, you continue to convict, challenge, and encourage me. This was a good reminder.

     
  • At 6:38 PM, January 11, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    David, I am preaching to myself more than anyone else.

    My blog has been pretty slow since I stopped commenting and posting during the work hours. I was starting to think no one was reading it anymore.

     
  • At 6:39 PM, January 11, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    BTW - I love the new blog look.

     
  • At 9:06 PM, January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Consider me rightfully convicted. Like us all I want God to magically make me 'Godly and righteous'and a robot who reads the Word and prays and ... - it's the dying to self part I don't like - and the 'doing the right thing' part that's hard.
    This line "Listen: God isn't going to make your flesh suddenly desire godly things" - so true.

    I don't read here every day - but always leave your blog edified.
    Thanks,
    Eunice

     
  • At 11:15 AM, January 12, 2008, Blogger Even So... said…

    Excellent.

     
  • At 11:19 AM, January 12, 2008, Blogger Even So... said…

    Daniel, this reminds me of Hebrews 4, where the children of Israel (and those to whom the writer was currently adressing) had a choice to make at Kadesh-Barnea. We either believe and enter in, or we fall back into sin, and wander around in the wilderness of worldliness.

    We think freedom from sin means an absence of desire, but it doesn’t. What it does mean is that I am free to not sin, not that I am never going to have sinful desires. I have a choice; I can enter in, or fall back into sin. Our flesh is not cured by God it is killed by God, and we live that out by faith.

     
  • At 11:29 AM, January 12, 2008, Blogger Rabbit said…

    Daniel, this is one of the finest articles I've read in a long time. We can get caught up in feelings, believing that God should somehow supplant our fleshly desires with righteous ones, or we can abide in the Truth which says He doesn't work that way. Instead, He has already handed us the victory, if we'd just get 'hold of it. If I may, I'd like to print your article out to study on it further.

     
  • At 4:27 PM, January 12, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Rabbit, feel free to print it out and share it if you are so inclined. Welcome to the blog.

    JD - that's the way I think of it too.

     
  • At 5:58 PM, January 15, 2008, Blogger Marcian said…

    I always enjoy reading your posts on this topic. And I, too, agree with JD.

    And to speak from recent personal experience, I didn't really know how much of the flesh HAD been crucified until I stopped struggling against the flesh while in the flesh, and put that battle aside to trek on toward Christ. He has removed the barrier to walking in the Spirit, if only I'll follow and enter in.

    Good stuff, Daniel.

     
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