Come … Further Up and Further In ~ blog
We have been talking about how we can become filled up with all the fullness of God. This is what Paul is praying for the Ephesians in 3:14-19.
He prays that they would be strengthened in their inner being. And out of them being strengthened in their inner being there will be a result of them experiencing Christ dwelling in their hearts through faith and they would become rooted and grounded in love.
It has been my experience in working with Christians who are battling against sexual temptation that most of their prayers are against things. We pray against the demonic powers against us. We pray against the power of temptation coming over us. We ask God to not lead us into temptation and to deliver us from evil.
Now, there is nothing wrong with praying in this way. Jesus Himself told everyone in the Lord’s prayer example that we should indeed pray that God would not lead us into temptation and that He would deliver us from evil. This is an excellent thing to pray for you and your loved ones on a daily basis. However, as we all should have learned by now…this prayer is not enough.
Praying against temptation and the powers against us is a critical beginning. Yes, we are told to daily offer our bodies to God and we are to daily be being filled with the Spirit. Plus, we are told to daily put on the full armor of God. These are the daily prayers the Bible commands us to do on a daily basis and it would be most important for each of us to do this daily. Because we are in a spiritual battle against the demonic and live in a world affected by the Pornovirus.
However, we are called to experience so much more in the Christian life than putting on our spiritual gear and being ready to fight off our enemies. Make no mistake about it this does need to become an established daily exercise so that you might be ready if an attack comes.
However, there is so much more that God has for us in this Christian life that is involved in us being changed by God. He has started this work in us and make no mistake about it He is going to finish it. His will for us in our life is not only to do battle against the evil warring against us. It is to transform us into more Christ-like men and women who begin to experience an abundance of life where we are being filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now I have been on this journey for 5,309 days. That’s 758 weeks and 4 days or 14.58 years. I have learned a few things along the way. I have learned it is critical to daily set up my defenses because I am behind enemy lines. However, there is so much more our Father and our Lord have for us.
C.S. Lewis writes about this in the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia called The Last Battle.
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”
Freeing us from the death grip of sin through His death and resurrection is only the beginning of our salvation. Doing our daily disciplines are the actions we need to take so that we are being strengthened in our inner being so that we might enjoy the life God has for us of which this life on earth is only a taste.
We read in 1 Corinthians 2:9;
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
Now, most misinterpret what Paul is saying here and use it to describe how wonderful heaven will be. Yes, heaven will be wonderful and far greater than anyone can imagine. But notice what verse 10 tells us;
“…these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”
So, would you like to see what you have never seen before? Would you like to hear what you have never heard before and far more than what your heart has imagined happening in your life as a Child of God’s?
Once you have established your defenses, doing the daily disciplines God tells us to do, then turn your back on your past, forgetting with lies behind and begin straining to move forward in your Christian life. Where you can be experiencing the power of the Spirit to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Where you can begin to experience the fruit of the Spirit developing in your life.
And when this begins to be your daily practice something amazing begins to happen. It becomes easy to walk away from sexual sin. You will no longer be drawn to it like an addict to his fix or an alcoholic to his drink. This will happen because the Spirit is transforming you and you will begin to taste a life where you are being filled up to the fullness of God.
It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? It is true and I am experiencing it right now as are other men in the 180 Recovery Program. However, like anything of value, it takes a lot of work to get there.
That is what we will be looking at this week. Exactly how do we “work out our salvation?”