the cart before the horse

May 17, 2015

thinking over feeling

We are not to overcome the lusts of the flesh in order that we may walk in the Spirit. We are to walk in the Spirit in order that the lusts of the flesh may be overcome. The enemy can hold up young Christians on this point for a long time, so that they do not really get started on the Christian walk. They feel they cannot expect to begin to walk in the Spirit until they have, in some degree at least, dealt with the lusts of the flesh.

They wait for some vague time when they hope they will have reached a more satisfactory position in regard to the lusts of the flesh, and will feel more confident about attempting a walk in the Spirit. But that is all the wrong way around. If we are to wait until we have, in some degree, mastered the lusts of the flesh before we venture to walk in the Spirit: if we are to wait until we feel that we can give some sort of security to ourselves and to God that we shall do a bit better in the future than we have done in the past, then we never will walk in the Spirit. For until we walk in dependence upon the Spirit we shall not, and cannot, overcome the lusts of the flesh.

It will save years of frustration and effort for one to understand that prayer can never be learned, or developed. Prayer is the outflow of the new life; as one grows, as the Cross frees the new from the old, there is the growth of effective prayer.

Without the Cross, prayer becomes a mere religious formality—without prayer, the Cross is arrested in its purpose. As the Cross works in us, keeping in the place of death every assertion of the old man, and everything in our natures that is against God, our spirit finds a clear way up to the communion at the throne and a clear way out into conflict with our enemy.

‘‘Prayer is the spring of power in conflict, and conflict gives the proof of the value and need of prayer. It cannot be too frequently emphasized that for the believer, the ground or basis of prayer is the death of Jesus Christ—the victory won by the Son of God on Calvary, just as the ground and basis of His intercession at this moment is His propitiation on the Cross. Away from the Cross prayer becomes nothing more than an ecclesiastical ordinance or a religious exercise expressed in devotional phrases; and I beg of you, when you read a book on prayer, to find out the place in it which the author gives to the Cross, and you will be able to estimate its value.” -G.W.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

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