Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Battle We Wage with Ourselves -- Personal Responsibility in Conformity to God's Will

Picture from Google Images

While I read one of the devotions in My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, a thought grabbed me. Here it is:

Ultimately, the battle we wage is with ourselves.

I meditated on that and realized that for those of us who desire to know God and draw close to Him in relationship, a battle rages in us with ourselves because God has ordained that we shall be conformed to the image of Christ.  

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29 (KJV)

This is not a passive transformation.  If it were passive, Jesus' sweat would not have been like great drops of blood as He prayed on the Mount of Olives.  (See Luke 22:44)

We have to bring our thoughts into conformity to God's will for our lives, and our actions will follow. This is something I must do; no one else can do it for me, and I can't blame anyone else when I fail to do the thing I know I should.

We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5 (RSV)

Cooperation with and dedication to God is required if I surrender my life to God’s will.

When we've gotten passed obedience to God out of fear, the love of God constrains us to obey His word.  When we see beyond the commotion of community and family living, we come back full circle to self -- me, myself, and I.

Take these as examples:

If I stay up late watching a marathon of TV dramas, rather than do a task the Lord has compelled me to do, who is to blame?

If I gossip about an injustice, who made me speak the words?

If I point out an unimportant flaw or fail to follow a special diet I need to follow (my body is the temple of His spirit), the fault is on me.

If ever I do blame myself for my lack of spiritual discipline ( i.e. shortcomings), some well-meaning soul, only a click away, will excuse me with soothing words of Truth mixed with enough worldly wisdom (sympathy and excuses) to lull me into passivity. So much of the content of Christian blogs and literature serves the purpose of encouragement and validation.  Much of my writing is of that nature.  And we need that from time to time.  The coffee klatch aura is appealing.  But can't it be a sort of spiritual kindergarten if we allow ourselves to stay there, babes in Christ?   

I have a responsibility to keep my thoughts and spirit in agreement with the Holy Spirit. I have a responsibility to fulfill all that the Lord requires of me, personally.  I know God has called me to write a second devotional, yet I keep laying it aside for other activities. 

I realize the fault is mine.  

The inspiration for my meditation was the September 9th devotion in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  Here’s a brief quote:

"True earnestness is found in obeying God, not in the inclination to serve Him that is born of undisciplined human nature.  It is inconceivable, but true never the less, that saints are not bringing every project into captivity, but are doing work for God at the instigation of their own human nature which has not been spiritualized by determined discipline."

"...not bringing every project into captivity..." that's the line that pricked my heart.

For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.  2 Corinthians 5:14,15 (KJV)

Picture courtesy of Google images

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I hope my reflections in some way are helpful to you in your walk with Christ.  Please share your thoughts if you think they can in anyway add clarity and truth to the meditation.  I like hearing from you.


  1. I just finished reading the book of 2 Corinthians today and have been reading it all week which means these verses you have in your devotion were convicting me this week, and I think you have made excellent points here! As I go deeper in God’s word, I hope I go deeper in my walk with Him.

  2. You will Kathy. God will honor your desire. I've been reading Romans and Corinthians myself. Speaks right to the heart. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate that.