Many of God’s children think that they are suffering for His will, when they are simply suffering from a lack of discipline. Some days we will feel the emotional high of fellowship and love in Jesus’ presence. Other days, we feel only our flesh, or perhaps just don’t “feel” His presence. Any devoted follower, however, must be disciplined in will, thought, and emotions. The problem begins when we doubt His presence because we do not sense it. When we begin to wonder, we begin to suffer, because a wondering mind is a “wandering” mind. Our faults are so large that we feel incredibly inadequate to change or eradicate them. This is when we need to simply “come to Jesus.”
We must never forget that we live in a fallen world in a mortal body with a fallen nature. When all we can see and all we can feel are our human thoughts and emotions, then we need to acknowledge our absolute powerlessness, and simply “come” and “abide.”
You can only walk in this freedom when you walk in the truth about yourself.
During these precious moments, Jesus is calling us to our IDENTITY in Him, although we tend to think the opposite. When we are flowing in service and love to others, we take on this “output” as our identity. But these times of overflow and service are actually the result of an intense longing for His presence. Like a stranger in a foreign country, we earnestly look forward to the city for which we are destined. Jesus can only fill up His vessels when they know their desperation and neediness apart from His power. We must know and understand our “jar of clay” Jesus hand-picked for our residence. No two of us are alike, yet all of us are called to be like Jesus. Identity in Him is established only when “self” has no identity.
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25). Why do you think Jesus uses a word as strong as “hate”? This verse remains a mystery to many of His followers throughout their lives. But Jesus told us that we would “know the truth” and the truth would “set us free.”
When you know the truth, accept it, abide in it, and then you will be free. You can only walk in this freedom when you walk in the truth about yourself.
Further references: John 8:32; Philippians 3:8:14, 4:19; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Hebrews 11:9-10; 1 Peter 1:13