Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19

“We were obliged to hold a ‘Convention for the Promotion of Holiness.’.....There was no enthusiasm on my part.  Our own words were, to me, a bore....God’s power and His blessings came, despite our feelings.  There was every sign of the continual presence of the Spirit.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Safe Within Your Love, p. 68

Obedience is a struggle for us from the get-go.  As children we definitely do not like someone getting in the way of our getting what we want.  One of the things I learned in parenting three boys was that it would go much easier for me if I could get them to want to do what I wanted.  You do this by giving them a choice within the choices that are acceptable to you.  It gives them the freedom to be responsible because it is no longer a contest of wills and they receive an immediate reward for being obedient by getting what they think they want.  In the same vein we must first become one of God’s children by being born as a new creature.  We receive this new identity by asking for His Holy Spirit.  In doing so, we will want what God wants and obedience will not be a struggle for us.  When Christ lives in us we have no other choice but to do His Holy Will because to do anything else would not be true to ourselves--our new selves.  This is why throughout her writings Hannah exhorts the absolute necessity of ignoring the old self.  The old self has been crucified with Christ, but the power of sin makes us think self is still alive and in need of attention.  It isn’t and it doesn’t, it only seems like it is and does.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,....chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ...” 1 Peter 1:1a, 2a

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