Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

21 January 2008

Me, my SELF, and I (Digging into Romans 7:15)

Look at how astounding this scripture is...

1 Timothy 1:12-14 (The Message)

"I'm so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn't know what I was doing—didn't know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus."


We started a new week of 24/7 Prayer at Freedom House this morning, and I'm doing the 5am until 7am time slots. This morning as I was driving to the church in the frigid early morning... God said...

"This morning I'm going to deal with your selfishness"

Goodie.
Here's the glowy, happy, fuzzy, lovey, honest depiction of me...

My Selfishness

I manipulate what isn't convenient for me.
I make others feel responsible for my shortcomings.
I hide my sin.
I pretend to be what I'm not.
I'm arrogant to hide my fear.
I yell.
I rant.
I curse what is good.
Control my temper and taming my tongue seems not to be an option.
I feel entitlement.
I covet .
I'm jealous.
I'm a flat out liar.
I ignore dealing with important things because it feeds my feeling to do it.
Kind words can come from duty instead of sincerity.

Pretty picture isn't it? THAT right there is the kind of dude you wanna hitch your wagon to.
In the next verse Paul says,

"(1 Tim 1:15) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."

I've been chewing on Romans 7:15 for a bit now so it's not surprising to have God dig up some of my ugly deep downs.

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."
This is PAUL man... PAUL... Mr. persecution, jail time, church planter boy. The Message expounds on Paul's ranting so well...

(Romans 7) 14-16I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

This situation reminds me of one of Brian Regan's new bits about "String Theory"



If Paul couldn't get it right... what chance do I have? I need Paul's answer on this thought. Because in my mind, I WANT to be righteous... act justly... open the heavens and all that rigmarole...

v25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

So back to 1 Tim 1:14... I am so grateful to Jesus for making me adequate to do the work He's called me to. I'm so thankful for a wife who extends grace to me over and over and over. Nothing that we get to take part in; is BECAUSE we deserve it.

"Good Lord I'm crooked deep down."
Derek Webb

2 comments:

Rick_the_cat said...

Wow
Deep stuff.
It's always hard to be honest with yourself - but it so important.
It reveals a nasty picture... but let's God start to cover it over.
Thanks (kinda) for challenging me on this today.

Dave Carrol said...

You're welcome Mr The Cat.

It's funny that we're supposed to boast in our weakness even but it's so hard to speak out who we really are... even if the Bible spells it out that ... ITS WHO WE ARE...

interesting life that we struggle through.

kinda makes you wonder just how deep God's rabbit hole goes if we'd just really leap down in instead of struggle with our appearances?

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