May 19
"No" to self - "Yes" to God
For reading & meditation: Colossians 3:1-17
"' seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature '" (vv.9-10, RSV)

We continue from where we left off yesterday, saying that the reason why many of today's Christians surrender so easily to temptation is because they have never really learned how to surrender to God. Many (not all) of the people who come for counselling are struggling with the fact that they have never understood how to die to their own purposes and live for God's purposes. Time and time again in counselling, it has been my experience to watch a person slowly recognise that his problem is due, not so much to what is happening to him as his reactions to what is happening to him - and then decide not to do anything about it. I am saddened by the trend to treat biblical principles as optional rather than obligatory. It is amazing to notice the casualness with which so many approach Scripture and say: "I suppose I shouldn't really be living like this; I had better try to change - if I can." When that attitude is present, there is little hope of change. You see, if there is no experienced death, there can be no experienced life. When a person does not see the importance of recognising, albeit painfully, that God's way is the way of obedience, irrespective of whether we feel like it or not, and involves death to wrong patterns of thinking and wrong patterns of behaving, there will be no victory and no change. Putting on the new nature requires first putting off the old nature by asserting, with all the conviction possible, that one is going to go God's way no matter how much the carnal nature argues to the contrary.
 
O Father, help me shout a thunderous "No" to anything that is contrary to You, and a mighty "Yes" to all You want to do in my life. And when my carnal nature argues back, help me to put it in its place - under my feet. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
 
For further study:
1. What 3 steps are given in James 4 for overcoming the Devil?
2. How would you apply these steps in a practical way?