Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Denying Self

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI’m into day 20 without a soda. I was hooked on Diet Pepsi – I enjoyed the carbonation and the Pepsi taste. My wife has been on me for years to stop drinking sodas – of all brands – because of the artificial ingredients in them. I’ve fasted from them before for 40 days – but when the fast was over I returned to drinking them.

Today I am planning on not returning to soda. My drink of choice these days is a tall glass of water on the rocks with a shot or two of MIO – a liquid water enhancer. I’m sure there are some artificial ingredients in it – but my health coach said it was OK.

I’ve also tried to remain under 2,000 calories for each day and have made it 18 out of the last 19 days – with day 20 just starting. So do you think much about what you put inside of you? Do you diet or watch what you eat? Do you keep an eye on what you drink? Are you particular about what you drink?

At times – some folks are more particular about what they put into their body – but not as concerned with the thoughts they have and the way they live. I know we all have a sinful nature – but we shouldn’t just give into that sinful nature. We can battle the sinful nature like we battle the cravings we control for sodas and food.

Today’s passage speaks about our sinful nature. Romans 7:18 – For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. If we allow our sinful nature to rule us – nothing good will be in us – nor will anything good come from us. We may want to do well – but if our sinful nature rules – nothing good will come of our desires.

It is only when we deny self and allow Christ to dwell in us and rule our desires that we can produce anything that resembles God. Our sin nature must be put under Godly control in order for God to operate in us – through us – and at times – in spite of us. Luke 9:23 – Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Denying self is not natural nor easy.  Whether we are denying our hunger and cravings or our sinful natures – we need God to help us!  Thinking WWJD – what would Jesus do – is not a natural thought pattern.  We must allow God rule in our lives – He must be our LORD and SAVIOR – not just our ticket out of hell and into heaven!  Lord of our life means Jesus gets to rule in our lives.  Denying self is what we are called to do – to allow Christ to rule!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way!

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August 5, 2014 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , ,

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