Here's a curiousity: Part of awakening to righteousness involves death. What does this mean and how does it work?
As I was driving into work this morning I asked God to tell me what He wanted me to write about today in this blog. You see the answer unfolding before you. But first let me tell you what led to it.
I woke up and knew there was sin in my life. The Holy Spirit was faithful to tell me so. The only way to deal with sin is to obey Proverbs 28:13, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." and Romans 6:11, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." The magnitude of confessing, forsaking, and reckoning is beyond calculation. Even the smallest sin cost the life of the Son of God, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)
To awake to righteousness (I Corinthians 15:34) and sin not, you must be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God. Unless this transaction is willfully done on your part, God will not do His part. First of all, He will not hear your prayer.
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)
Second, He will not set you free. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:31-36)
As long as you live and serve in sin, you are in bondage to it. The only thing that unstops Gods ear is your obedience to His Spirit's prompting you to confess, forsake, and reckon yourself dead to sin. Immediately you are free and alive in Jesus.
This has nothing to do with salvation. This has everything to do with righteous daily living. Perhaps you have never heard this truth before or perhaps you do not believe it. Perhaps you do not know the difference between the positional righteousness and life given to you through Jesus upon salvation (you can't lose it) and the experiential righteousness and life that you are responsible to maintain on a continuing basis (you can lose it).
That is the power of sin. Immediately it is in your life, it separates you and God. Not in terms of leaving and forsaking (Deuteronomy 31:6) but in terms of discipline God turns from you. He simply will not have any sin in His presence for He is holy and calls us to be holy too.
That is the privelage of holiness. Immediately it is in your life, it brings you boldly into the presence of God. The Scripture means be being holy. It is an ongoing thing, an experiential thing. A thing that is our personal responsibility to maintain by the power given to us through Jesus first at the cross and His Holy Spirit second at salvation.
Now I leave you with this final thought that God gave to me in answer to my prayer this morning. God tell me what to write.
Psalm 116:15 - "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Never before had I thought of that verse in any other context but physical death. But today God showed it to me in the light of death to sin. That is precious to God because it immediately puts me into His presence to worship. That is something He desires more than anything else, worship. And that was the rest of my ride into work this morning. Worship.