Unless there is a still center in the middle of the storm, unless a person in the midst of all their activities preserves the secret room in their heart where they stand alone before God, unless we do this we will lose all sense of spiritual direction and be torn to pieces. —Anonymous Fourth Century desert monk
Belief doesn't automatically cause life-change. That's probably one of the biggest hiccups in evangelicalism today: We think that if we know something in our heads, we’re automatically going to act on it. Not the case. That's why there are so many believers stuck on the log of fleshly living. We have to step beyond belief in the brain only. We need to be willing to take a faith step by counting on it in our souls.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him… In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. …offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. —Romans 6:8, 11, 13 (emphasis mine)
The word count means to "mark it down," to "reckon it as right," to "make an account of it." It is what an accountant does when he is keeping his books. Writing it down doesn't make it true; it is true, so he writes it down. It is true that we are dead to sin but alive to Christ, count it! This is the great bridge between belief and application—it's where we begin to personally own truth and begin to count on it as we face battles in the real world
- Are you a minister trying to flesh out a life of service and sacrifice for your congregation?
- Are you a single adult constantly desiring and constantly being pressured sexually?
- Are you a teenager trying to "just say no" to drugs and alcohol?
- Are you a parent desperately trying to control your tongue with your kids?
Take a little advice from the desert monk: find a quiet space in the midst of your storm, right now, where you can stand alone with God and embrace the Truth of His Spirit in you. Then, count on Him to make that truth a reality.
Holy God, I am counting on the truth that, in Christ, I am dead to sin and alive to You. I lay before You the temptations that I am facing today. Because I am alive in You, I count on the fact that I am dead to these things! I freely turn away from them now. By the power of Your Spirit in my spirit, lead me in the holy, everlasting way! Amen.
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