Are We the Problem?
In Isaiah 59:1 the word says that the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. In v. 2 the word says-“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Here the Father is saying that he can do anything in our lives and that He is all-powerful, but our sins can separate us from that power. If the Father is not moving in your life and your prayers are not being answered maybe the problem is with us. Maybe our flesh is interfering with our relationship with Him. Some want the Father to work on one thing in their lives like financial help, but He wants to work on every area of our lives. He is not Lord of our lives until He is Lord of every part of our lives. It is like bringing a plumber in to only fix a toilet, but all the pipes in the house are leaking. God wants to work on every area of our lives, to conform us into the image of His Son Jesus. Our flesh is an enemy of God and has to be brought under control. I am amazed how much Romans Chapters 6, 7, and 8 talk about the flesh. So many of the scriptures contained in these chapters that we applied to other areas of our lives have to do with the flesh. Let’s look at Romans Chapters 6-8 and learn more about our flesh:
In Romans 6:6 the word says when we get born again our old man is crucified with Him that we should not serve sin. In v. 12 the word says that we should not let sin reign in our mortal bodies and v. 13 we are told not to yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin but yield ourselves to God. Also, in v. 14 the word says that sin shall not have dominion over us. But we know that we still have a problem in our flesh which we cannot control. Paul said in Chapter 7 verses 15 and 19 that the things that he wants to do he can’t do and the things that he doesn’t want to do he does. He says that sin is warring in his body and is trying to make him captive to its powerful force. He says in v. 25 that only God through Jesus can control it. Why? Paul says in Chapter 8:3 that Jesus has already condemned sin in the flesh.
Our responsibility in this battle in the flesh is to reconfirm to the enemy that Jesus has already defeated him and sin and walk in the Spirit in tune to the Father. We can’t be walking in the flesh and please God. The word says in verse 11 that when sin is trying to rise up in our bodies that the same Spirit that raised Jesus will quicken our bodies to resist the temptation. When the Lord quickens us to give us the power to resist the temptation to sin, than we have to take advantage of the way of escape. Also, in v. 13 the word says that we through the Spirit need to mortify the deeds of our flesh. We cannot deal with sin and fleshly temptations on our own. Only the power of the Holy Ghost can kill these wrong desires. In v. 15 the word says that we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption where we cry “Abba Father.” Once the Father has delivered us we cannot live in fear that we will fall back into those despicable sins, our Daddy (Abba Father) will strengthen us, and deliver us if we take the way of escape. The battle then belongs to our Father as we resist the sin and turn the attack over to Him. These temptations are too strong for us to deal with ourselves.
In v. 19 the word indicates that people are waiting for saints who want to live in holiness and be conformed into the image of Jesus. They are tired of deceivers and hypocrites. They are looking for the real believers. They need help and realize that the Father wants to use people who are allowing Him to cleanse them on a daily basis. They are looking for people like David who said in Ps. 51:2 “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” He also says in v. 10 “create in me a clean heart, O’ God; and renew a right spirit within me.” The Father wants clean vessels to pour His anointing through to speak to His children. Back in Romans 8; in v. 28 the word says that all things work together for our good. The Lord is saying that attacks on our flesh and temptations cause us to draw closer to Him as our only source of help. In v. 29 the Lord is showing us the end result of His process and that is to conform us into the image of His Son! In v. 31 the word says that if He be for us who can be against us. This is talking about the flesh too! Nothing that comes against our flesh is greater than our Father! In v. 34 the word says that Jesus is making intercession for us. We are not alone in this battle! In v. 37 the word says that we are more than conquerors through Him. He does the conquering in the flesh temptations and gives us the victory. We need to rely on Him and His prompting when we are tempted. The end result of our temptations is in verses 38-39; nothing can separate us form our Lord. Again, don’t try to fight this battle alone- He will always give us the victory as we turn the battle over to Him. Remember, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will quicken us in the temptation and give us a way of escape. It seems that we could definitely be the problem if He is not answering our prayers!
Our number one prayer should be- "Father, please conform me to the image of Jesus." As we pray this from the heart, He will point out those areas of our lives that need to change. Just because we are saved, it doesn’t mean that we have arrived! The Father put us on the road to sanctification, when we became born again, but holiness is a process, that must be walked out. Even though we receive a righteous standing when born again, the road to sanctification is a process that conforms us to the image of Jesus. During our walk on this road, the Father wants complete access to change us into this image. As He points things out in our life, we can’t argue with Him and deny, but need to accept the correction and allow Him to change us.
As I mentioned, the word says in Romans 8 v. 13, that only the Spirit of God can mortify the deeds of the flesh! We are helpless to change our selves and stop sinning. However we need to make a quality decision not to sin and ask for His strength. How many blessings the Father can bestow on us with this attitude? This is why we have missed blessings. The Father was trying to prepare us for blessings during His cleaning process, but we got back in our old ways and missed Him!
Sin has no power over us unless we yield to it. Satan can’t make us sin, he just tempts our flesh to give in to his thoughts. This is why we need to know that the battle is over our thought life. In 2 Corinthians Chapter 10, v. 5, Paul instructs us to cast down all evil imaginations and bring every thought captive to Jesus. This process is like a tennis game- when the devil gives you a thought, "hit" it back to Jesus. Please don’t dwell and meditate on the thought! Murderers don’t become killers over night. They mediate on the thought that the enemy gives over a period of time, act it out in their minds and then perform the terrible act. The word even tells us what to think on in Philippians 4 v. 7, i.e. things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue and praise. We have to realize that there is a battle over our minds to try to control our future destiny away from the purpose the Father intends.
So you see we have a responsibility in our walk to make a quality decision not sin, to repent quickly if we commit a sin and to walk circumspectly, avoid pitfalls and plans of the enemy. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9 v. 26 to bring our bodies under subjection, less we become castaways. Temptation is strong but Paul also says in Chapter 10 v 13 that the Father always prepares a way of escape. Praise Him!
During His “cleaning process," Go wants us to clean ourselves with His word. For example, He wants us to read the Epistles-Romans to Revelation and mark off those scriptures that He wants us to apply to ourselves. He also wants us to then speak these scriptures into our lives. Before you confess scriptures over you, say out loud that "the scriptures that I am claiming are for me and my family and I am using the terms "we" or "us" to apply these scriptures to my family and I." So, in reality, you are cleaning your whole family with the word. For, Example in Romans 6 v. 14, you can say that sin does not have dominion over "us." The devil knows exactly whom you are taking about because you said in the very beginning whom the scriptures apply to. This is a powerful weapon that can clean you up, on a daily basis.
Please take note of this process and allow the Father to change us into the image of His Son. When He has access to change us, there is no telling what He can do to bless us. We will cease to be the problem but part of the Father’s solution to get us blessed! Also, please remember whatever the Father convicts us to give up He replaces with more of Him.