A Look At The Undying Old Self

A Look At The Undying Old Self

Sister Miki Terayama - 4 July 2021

Weekend Devotion: A Look At The Undying Old Self

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Many believers are often struggling with the question: Why am I still struggling with this old self of mine? And even though we are trying to wrestle with it, the more we do so, the more tired we can get. From there, it leads to a series of frustration and disappointment with self. But the truth is, if we are really able to fight off all the stubbornness and weaknesses of our old self, we would not still be in this world, but already be living in the heavenly kingdom. In Galatians 5:24-25, it says “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” But if we believers have already had our worldly passions and desires nailed on the cross, why are we still here struggling with the old self? This will come from how we understand the term “crucified”.

 

There is a process.

Firstly, when Jesus was nailed on the cross, He died only after a few hours. Crucifixion is the utmost brutal punishment and is usually used for the worst of criminals. It was a slow and painful death, even for the robbers next to Him. So we must see from here that even when a person has been born again in Christ, it does mean that his old self and sinful nature are rid off immediately. Because we are still living in this world, we will still be laden with it. However, a life that is born again will have the indwelling of a helper— the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit may take charge and guide us. But the world will ceaselessly taunt and tempt us, because our flesh is ever so sensitive and reactive, always ready to find ways to control our living and manipulate our choices. So what should we do?

 

The beauty of the struggle.

Now, the Holy Spirit is the nemesis of our old self, our desires and sins. As it is said in Galatians 5:16-17, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Therefore, if you are experiencing the pain and struggles due to the wrestle of your Holy Spirit, then this trial will not last long and you will triumph it eventually. Perhaps, the process of it may be trying and you even feel like giving up at times, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and will help us to go through the process. However, if we do not let the Holy Spirit convict and guide us, but choose to grip onto our emotions, our solutions and our ways, there will be added struggles. Which is why the Lord tells us to put off our old self daily, and wrestle with our inclinations, sins, temperaments, because through it, there is God’s refining works. If the Holy Spirit rebukes us in certain areas, do not remain in sin or defend ourselves but confess and deal with it by bringing the burdens up to the Lord. Because in 1 John 1:9, it says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” The Lord has already sent His only Son to redeem our every sin. And especially in Isaiah 53:6, it says “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Therefore, the process of sanctification is not one that is reliant on our feelings or thoughts. It is not about us crying it over and things will be fine. It is also not about being complacent when things are satisfactory in life. But it is a lifetime process of following the Lord’s way, and through it, the Holy Spirit will show us His grace, refinement and healing in us.

 

We are sheltered by the most High.

Now, even though Jesus went through the lowest form of treatment and most brutal death, it may seem like humiliation, but it brought about the greatest outcome, and that is to be exalted. Because of this, all who come to Him may be saved. Because of this, He used His momentary humiliation on the cross to cover over all the humiliation, hurts and shame of those who come under His shelter. Today, we may feel down and ashamed of our mistakes or past, but the Lord has covered over them. If you are willing to open up your hearts, come to the Lord, receive His mercy and love, He will surely lift you up from your struggles. Surely, our stubborn sinful nature will come and go from time to time, but in order not to easily fall pray to our old self and strengthen our hearts, we have to listen more to the truth of the Lord. Let us not turn away from the Word because we are accused of our inabilities. Let us not turn away from the Word because of our chronic problems. We listen to the Word, not to let it become head knowledge or to feel lousy about ourselves, but through it, we know God’s heartbeat more, we understand how the Holy Spirit is trying to convict and move us. As we listen to the Word, we have to confirm God’s love through it and submit to Him, then will we see the joy that comes with the Holy Spirit. This is what gives us life and drive in our walk of faith. When we continue to do so, your heart will gradually love God’s truth even and a life of holiness even more. From then, you will start to have more power over controlling your emotions and thoughts.

Brothers and sisters, no matter how weak you may be, if you are willing to let the Holy Spirit guide you, and through God’s word, continue to test and approve the works of God, even in your struggles, you are already on the path of sanctification. Though you may still have your old self that you have yet to triumph, but your spiritual perseverance in the Lord will let you gain the essence of what Paul has said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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