In the allegory of my pet calf, Trouble, it hit home how ridiculous it is to expect a cow to do humanly tasks. No matter how much Trouble might want to help, it would be “udderly” impossible for him to do so (sorry…I couldn’t resist).
The Trouble illustration has been good for me because it has revealed how silly I am to accomplish spiritual things in the flesh.
Christians have this inherent desire to “get better”. That’s part of the new nature that was given to us.
The problem is that we take it in hand to make it happen. The new life that begins with a step of faith decides one day to push our transformation along a little faster. We decide we want the goal of Christlikeness now: “With just a little tweaking, I can achieve perfection in record time.” We don’t wait for moment by moment direction from the Spirit.
This is the very attitude that lands us in the middle of Romans 7. “That which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (verse 15).
- There was nothing wrong with him…..he was simply a bull.
- There was nothing wrong with the way our family operated….we were simply humans.
- Yet, there was something very wrong with Trouble’s body trying to carry out human demands.
I know that. You know that. But the problem is that Trouble didn’t know it. He couldn’t get it through his thick skull that there is absolutely nothing that he could do to make our family any more pleased with him that we already were.
It makes sense doesn’t it?
Yet, we are doing the exact same thing with God.
We have not only been freed from the power to offend God (sin – Romans 6:6), but we have also been freed from the need to get God’s approval (law – Romans 7:4).
It doesn’t matter how many times God explains that I’m delivered from trying to please Him – I won’t live in the power of the Truth until I believe it.
Have you even driven in Hong Kong, Thailand or the UK? For right-sided American drivers, the transition can be a little traumatic. Despite the obvious reverse placement of their steering wheel, turning out into traffic from the “wrong side of the road” screams against everything you know within you. Yet, while on their roads, to do otherwise is not only dangerous, but also violates the laws of the land.
As believers, our citizenship has been changed to a new spiritual country. The old traffic laws no longer apply. But until we accept “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2) as our new norm, we will continue to turn into oncoming lanes of moving vehicles and endanger our progress in the Spirit. We must accept that the laws of our old nature just no longer apply in the Kingdom realm.
Tell me, what “law” continues to trip you up?