Who Will Deliver Me?
Many Christians have an easier time relating to the struggle of Romans 7 than the victory of Romans 8. Following are some excerpts from personal stories that have appeared in The Intercessor through the years which express the personal struggle of the writers–and the freedom they began to experience as they moved into the truth that “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.”
TRAPPED IN THE LIE
My ongoing problem was how I continued to see myself. I believed a lie about myself which began way back in my early years of life. (It is the same lie presented by Satan to Adam and Eve in the Garden, and all people thereafter!) The same lie I believed when I was actively rebelling is the same lie that has kept me sick even in recovery. This is the lie: I thought I was an “Independent I,” apart from God. I thought “I” had to change; I thought “I” was worse than others; I thought “I” was better than others; I thought “I” was bad at things; I thought I was good at things; I thought “I” should be able to do what “I” wanted; I thought “I” was hopeless and on and on. This same lie has kept me in bondage. When I believe I am just a “self,” independent of Christ, then I think “I” deserve all the credit for the good, and all the condemnation for the had. This lie comes straight from Satan, who wants to keep me (and any other Christian) blinded from the true light that Christ’s Spirit is joined to my spirit.
A most noticeable area was my behavior towards my close friends, who see me not as “just me,” but as Christ/I. But, I was deceived into believing that I am “just me.” I suddenly had more and more to protect. My friends were honest while I was dishonest, and I’d often be scared I’d be in trouble if anyone knew this. I also had secrets, many from my past which I did not want to admit to others or myself. I didn’t want to admit how bad “I” really was. I was also medicating with food and busyness to escape my feelings. Thankfully, my friends, because they see me as Christ/I, knew something was wrong.
I wanted to change. I claimed, “Yes, I will change; I will speak and be a real person.” But, this never worked. In fact, the more I tried to change, the worse I got. I tried over and over again, always failing. I was struggling again, like Paul in Romans 7:151, because the good I wanted to do I could not do, but the bad, this I would do.
A pinhole of light–God was giving me a chance? I could not forget any of this, and I admitted to myself that I was miserable and needed help. During the course of this day, God changed my wants. At the beginning of the day, I was fixed in my choice against God. By the end of the day, I knew I had to have God and wanted to do whatever it would take to be right with Him. I wanted the light. I knew this was God and I wanted Him in whatever form He was in. I didn’t deserve Him, and asked His forgiveness. I wanted and needed Him, and I gave up on everything but Him. I came to the end of “myself.” And this is what broke the bondage I was in. It was not too late to turn back to God from this sin course I was on. I could see who I really am, as God sees me, joined to Christ, and agree this is the truth. Starting with that moment, and moment by moment after, I no longer believed I am an “I,” but instead I am Christ/I. He is able to be right with God. He is able to be honest. He is able to feel pain. He is able to right every wrong. He is able to know what to do next. The secret is that He does it, while I know “I” cannot.
1 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (KJV)
WHAT ABOUT MY
Even though I had come to know that Christ lived in me, I still had this “me” with all of these problems. Who was that? Was it Christ taking pills? Drinking? Being depressed? If this was the best God could do, was being a Christian worth it? Yes, I was going to heaven in the future and my past was forgiven, but what about this miserable present? My desire to be a whole person seemed no closer to being fulfilled than before. Was this all there was? Was this struggle the normal Christian life?
With tears streaming down my face, I went and looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and said, “I am Christ in my form. I am whole and perfect in my spirit. I am not touched by depression or past hurt.”
That was my beginning point. That was when I began to learn that I am a vessel containing The Life, not a person trying to live a better life, to become something. What could be better than being an expression of Christ? I saw that there are only two natures in the universe, not two that rage in me. Before I was a Christian, I was by nature one of the “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3)2, but am now made a “partaker of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).3
I began to keep my eyes on who I am, not on everything I hated about myself. I did not know how it all worked, but I knew that somehow if any change was to take place, it would have to be 100% Christ as me doing the changing. I had given up. “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17.)
Not being able to turn back or turn off the pain, I started trying to fix me. By the summer of 1992, I had tried Al-Anon, Adult Children Of Alcoholics, Overeaters Anonymous, Experiential Codependency Treatment, individual therapy, New Age, Transcendental Meditation, unhealthy relationships, compulsive spending, compulsive overeating, sensory deprivation tanks, mind-walk machines, hypnosis, Unity Church, psychics, Kirlean Photography, therapeutic massage, spirit guides, Hokami, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and reading every self-help book that I could absorb.
All along the way, I thought that I was seeking God and that I was a nice person who just was not getting any good breaks. But I was still in the dark, sometimes contemplating suicide, steadily gaining weight and severely depressed. My “house” spiritually and physically was in a total state of chaos and disarray–so much that I began taking antidepressants.
Yet this is really an opportunity for faith, a chance to examine the real truth. Christ in my form is whole and complete and needing nothing. There is no real lack. At this time, my part is to believe who is living His life as me and affirm this fact. Sometimes this is hard when there is a specific desire for something or someone in my life. Yet it truly is a miracle that God is faithful to us. How much brighter the world seems when the real truth is spoken.
READY TO GIVE UP
I had just come home from a terrible night with myself–I must have looked as had on the outside as I felt on my insides. This was probably the most miserable moment in my life. I hated myself, my life outside of home, and my life at home that I was walking into. Nothing had ever worked; I was ready to give up!
Even though I had lived a life of rebellion and turned away from God, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, whom I asked into my heart when I was a child, never left me.
Then why had I been so miserable? I heard an answer to this, too…I had believed, all my life, a lie. The lie I had believed was, “There is something wrong with me.” I realized that those words are words of Satan, who had tempted me throughout my life.
I dared to say that I am Christ in my form and to believe that this truth is the answer to life. The more I said this about myself, the more it became a reality. I am joined to Christ, and He lives in me as me. As a result, I began to change: the lies I believed were being broken. See, now I could say that I could do something I couldn’t do before, because Jesus Christ is adequate to do so. I say that Jesus Christ is joined to me and He lives His life. I take this by faith and believe He can do it. And guess what, I do it!
2 “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (KJV)
3 “Whereby are given unto us exceeing great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (KJV)
People started pointing out to my husband and me that we had codependent behavior. Of course we were so enmeshed with each other we could not see, but one obvious sign was our constant bickering. My life had felt so out of control that I was constantly trying to control his. Nothing he did was to my satisfaction so I had this undercurrent of anger and would blow up over anything. My step-son watched me boss his dad around and get furious over nothing. I felt as irritated with his behavior as with his father’s and would be short, snappy and mean to him.
Nothing satisfied me because I was looking to outside actions and behaviors. I had lost sight of the truth of who I was, Christ in my form. I was in such unbelief about who I was, because I was believing there was “just me” going through these hard times. I didn’t want to accept God’s truth. I wanted life to be what I wanted.
I started getting a clear picture. I was never meant to be a self-operated-self. What a humbling thought! What relief! I’m a vessel that contains the spirit of truth or the spirit of error. The minute I start believing there’s a self-operating vessel, then Satan takes over and has his way. He doesn’t do it alone because I’m responsible for believing the lie of independent self. The pain, shame and consequences for all the times I believed this lie are great. It has been crucial for me to face the negatives of my past so that my future will be without the same consequences.
Everyone has at least one major pressing point in his life. A big one for me was money (or seeming lack of it). The easy way out would have been for God to send my husband and me a huge amount of money to pay our debts and catch up. Why would that not work? We would never learn why or how we got there (in debt) in the first place, and see that this had been a pattern developed long ago and repeated often.
Impulsiveness began springing up in me as I approached adulthood, resulting on in negative repercussions. My first purchase of a car turned out to be a “lemon” that only made it as far as my house after leaving the smooth-talking used car salesman’s lot. I’m sure my husband and I were a door-to-door salesman’s dream couple, as we were real pushovers. Of course, every young couple must have their own set of expensive encyclopedias and a super-duper vacuum cleaner that does everything except bring in the mail.
With repetitious years of credit cards “maxed out” leading to consolidation loans to get out of the immediate crisis, it felt like a never-ending battle. Promises to never get in this mess again went sour as the scenario would repeat itself again and again. So what could break this pattern?
The biggest point of faith for me was to believe that since I am Christ in my form, I am walking out the money situation perfectly. Even though I could not handle the charge cards previously (because of Satan’s misuse), now because of who I am, I would not misuse our money. Even though I felt the same way, I could not live by these feelings. At one point I wrote out a faith statement along this line and also listed the things that I was believing God to supply. Somehow, writing it down in black and white seemed to solidify something in me, and I could not waver from it.
Two Scripture passages where God speaks of doing something “little by little” are Deuteronomy 7:22, 234 and Exodus 23:295. The same way that He drove out the inhabitants of the land for the Israelites, He does for us in driving out the ravages and effects of our unbelief. God also says He will deliver them into our hands, and we will drive them out (Ex. 23:31)6. So who does the driving out–God or us? The way I know to be true is that I faith into the fact of who I am (Christ living as me) and He lives his life in, out and through me.
4 “And the Lord thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. But the Lord thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.” (KJV)
5 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of te field multiply against thee.” (KJV)
6 “And I will set they bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.” (KJV)