Rid Me of My Flesh

“18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” {Romans 7:18-20}

So I’ve come to realize that absolutely no amount of running or driving or reading or writing or whatever mindless task I use to fill the time and the space lately seems to diminish this feeling. This feeling of complete isolation and loneliness. This feeling of defeat and weariness and disappointment in myself, in the church, and in His promises. It’s been so hard for me to believe that in these feelings, I’m not necessarily right in them, it’s so hard to see that in this time of what feels lacking is really a time of abundance. It’s hard for me to take what I know to be true about the Lord’s character and make it what I believe about His character. It’s hard for me to trust Him more than my emotions. I’ve found myself blaming God, being angry with sweet Abba because my life in this season seems so void of joy, of friendship, of desire or understanding of His Word, of freedom from sin, of Christian community, and of all good it seems. Despite all my striving to fix it, I can’t just fix loneliness, I can’t surround myself with a person or two and make it all better, I can’t find community and expect it to be all the joy or fulfillment that I need, I can’t let go of a little bit of dependency or a fragment of my sinful behavior and expect freedom, I can’t read Scripture over and over and just expect divine understanding, I can’t do things that should make me happy and expect joy. Because at the very core of it, there’s more lacking than just the physical presence of other believers, more than lacking friendship, more than lacking desire or understanding, more than lacking a sense of freedom or joy.

What I’m really lacking is dependency on the Lord. I’m lacking a belief that He does provide and that He does fulfill, and I’m lacking a belief that He can and will change me, and make clean this sinful heart. I cannot fix this myself. Not my mindset, not my feelings, and as much as I like to think I can, I can’t even fix my actions without His sovereign hand. What I’m not seeing is that, I’m choosing bondage again, to sin, to self reliance, to a life that isn’t the abundant life in Jesus. I’m not allowing Him to be enough. I’m not allowing Him to show me His abundance because I’m so busy searching for meaning and affirmation in places that I can’t get it in fullness. My flesh doesn’t know how to only want Jesus. My flesh is constantly relying on some other means of comfort, joy and sustenance other than my Maker. The very God that I was created to live for, is the hardest god to sell my heart to. And I’m tired of pretending that my heart is always more devoted to Him than the gods of my flesh. Because my heart is constantly failing at its purpose, it’s constantly rejecting the God that is all it needs. And it feels like an endless aggravating cycle.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. {Psalm 73:26}

My flesh is dependent. My flesh is needy. My flesh is jealous. My flesh is prideful. My flesh is entitled. My flesh is insecure. My flesh avoids conflict. My flesh is discontent. My flesh is lonely. My flesh is fearful. My flesh is too emotional, or too numb. My flesh believes lies. My flesh is broken and bruised and foolish.

and so I ask, Father, rid me of my flesh.

I’m learning to trust Him to help me see that this IS a season of abundance. Beyond what I can see, this is abundance, not lack, because a life walked with Jesus is never a life of lacking good. These months are an abundance of His presence. An abundance of His faithfulness. An abundance of His goodness. An abundance of His provision. An abundance of His sanctification. And I will keep repeating those words to my heart until I believe them. He’s working on my heart in this very moment to gently hammer these truths into my heart, reminding me that I cannot even believe them without His help.

Father, rid me of my desire to fix, rid me of my striving to achieve growth, healing sanctification, understanding, and maturity in my own strength. Rid me of every part that wants to choose You last in a world full of things that don’t come close to your glory. Jesus, help me to call my sin for what it is, to deny this world, to daily deny the tendencies of my flesh, and help me to show myself the same grace you’ve shown me, because Lord, I just don’t know how to. Jesus, help me to see that there is no good in me apart from you, help me to acknowledge that I can do nothing without You or Your Spirit working through me.

Please cleanse this heart, and rid me of the false beliefs of my flesh.

 

 

 

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