Questions & Answers
Q: I’ve been a Christian for a while now and I’ve stopped doing many of the sins I used to, but now I feel like I am being asked to completely give up everything I’ve ever wanted in life to do God’s will. My problem is that I am afraid there will be nothing left of me if I do.
A: You are probably still holding on to yourself by trusting in yourself. You are not yet convinced that there is no good thing in you apart from God. You are saved, but like many, you still believe that some of your old ways are good, except for a few problem areas. You probably have plans to get on with your life–you got what you wanted out of the salvation deal. I know that is what I did.
But that was not the "real me," and it is not the "real you" either. When you received Christ, you received a whole new nature. Jesus Christ by you wants to do your Father’s will. Your soul feelings may be weak, but your spirit is willing, and we are spirit people. You will never know the fullness of who you really are as long as you believe the real you does not want to do God’s will. The only one who does not want to do God’s will is Satan. By believing Jesus Christ is now living out your life, and that the old Satan-operated you is dead, you will be taking the truth and rejecting the lie that is holding you back. Best of all, the truth you take will take you. You will find Jesus Christ doing through you what you never were able to do yourself, and God your Father, who is good, will withhold no good thing from you. His joy will be your joy in going to any length to reproduce the life of Jesus Christ in others.
Q: I have a friend that I have been speaking with for several years about Christ. Sometimes she seems so close to accepting Christ as her savior, then she hacks off and won’t talk to me about it for a long time. at should I do? Should I keep having these talks with her, or leave her alone and hope that one day she will make the right decision?
The fact that your friend keeps coming around indicates that the door isn’t shut yet. It’s important to remember that it is Christ in you, as you, whose desire it is for her to accept Him–otherwise you would not have had the persistence that you have. You can trust that it is He working to win this person, using you as His instrument.
It is difficult to stand in faith for a person when appearances look dismal, but you must see through the outer appearance and see instead a person whose heart God is working on. The time that you are spending is God’s time–perhaps necessary to "disturb his false beliefs" (Who Am I, p. 123) and show an example of a Christ ! life. Ultimately, you can’t make up this per-son’s mind, but he must be presented a clear choice between Christ or Satan (what he thinks has always been "just them"), life or death, heaven or hell. It is up to God how much more time He intends to have you in intercession for this person, and you can trust that He will make it clear to you when that time has passed. Until then, my suggestion is to keep working ad "seeing through," always seeing with God’s view–that this person is a "created and loved human in the being of God, really there-fore a form of God, a human expression of God, gone wrong–that he may be made right" (Who Am I, p. 123).
Q: I am having a problem understanding what is meant by "a child is born Satan-operated." Exactly what does that mean?
A: In Pia Melody’s book Facing Codependency (p. 62), self-centeredness is one of the characteristics of a child. Think of a child-their entire focus is on themselves. They are concerned with their hunger, their comfort, seeking attention for themselves. This is the perfect picture of Satan’s theme–I want what I want and I want it now! This is a process that begins at birth.
In Romans 5:12, Paul states "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world," and in Psalm 51:5, "Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." At the Fall sin-the spirit of Satan-entered the whole human race through Adam. Therefore a child is born with Satan’s nature as stated in John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do," which is simply the spirit of selfishness. Paul further supports this when he refers to us as "by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2:2-3).
Even as salvation is the person of Jesus Christ, so our condition before salvation is a person-the spirit of error or Satan. In the perfection of God’s plan for salvation, a death is required to break the bondage of the Use master (Rom. 6:6-8). A child first experiences the negative (self-centeredness of Satan) and then is required to make a conscious choice for the positive (other-centeredness of Jesus Christ). This is done by dying in Christ on the cross through the born again salvation experience-"For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:17).
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 11 No 4
- The Deep Things of God
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Strange Army!
- Irish Summer Conference
- The Letter to the Romans
- Isaiah 45:20-25
- Men’s Conference
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- A Look at a Book
- It’s a Wonderful Thing…
- Questions & Answers
- Marching On
- Hopekinsville Fellowship
- God’s Promises
- To Think About
- The Mailbox
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- No Excuses for Failure
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By