Lenten Devotional – Tues. March 29

Deeper in Christ

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:6 ESV

Tragically in American Christianity, “the flesh” has crept right into the sanctuary. Why do I serve God? To get what I want! What a tragedy! We serve Christ because that is what we were made for! So what needs to happen? The Holy Spirit needs to fill your being with himself.  When you accepted Christ, the Holy Spirit came into you to change you. Too often, we think that means letting him have all the corners, pieces, and edges of our lives. But he is not going to be content with those, he wants the very center. Will you give it to Him?

What is the center? It is your will. If the flesh is to be defeated in our lives, then our wills have to be re-oriented. What is it that you want? Power, possessions, status, security, comfort? No, what we want is all we were meant to be.  It’s written in that well-known hymn, “Take my will and make it thine, it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart – it is thine own, it shall be thy royal throne.”

That’s where Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. Might that cost you some pain, might that cost you some difficulty? Absolutely! If it cost Jesus, why wouldn’t it cost His followers? But that pain, that suffering is as nothing compared to the pain and suffering that keeping the flesh in some place of influence in your life will cost you. When we do that, Paul says, we have linked our spirits to a body that is dying. When the body dies, it will drag us down to eternal death (Rom 8:10-11).

Claim the promise that the Holy Spirit who is in you if you’re a Christian can fill you and re-orient your will and give you his will and give you joy in doing his will.  Have you ever consciously turned over the center of your life to the Holy Spirit and claimed His fullness? If you haven’t, that’s the next step in your going deeper with the Lord, the next step in becoming truly like him.

Dr. John Oswalt

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