I have recently been pondering the apostle Paul's words: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Rom. 7:15. These words seem more prevalent to my life today than any than any other time I have thus experienced. Of course this is not truly the case but the Lord is opening my eyes now by His hand of grace, for the first time to show me how much of a sinner I truly am and, how I don't deserve the grace that He so freely gives.

Paul continues in Verse 16 of Romans to explain how it is not us that sins, but the sinful nature within us that is committing the act, and there is nothing within us that is good, only by the grace of God do we even follow Christ at all. This is little comfort to me. When sin enters my heart it is like as if my soul temporarily dies, being separated from God until the time repentance comes and the sin is dealt with.
I don't want to live like this anymore I want my life to be totally dedicated to Christ, but:
What is the cost of living of abandonment for Christ?

Well for one, the things I want, the things I feel I need these I must give up to the Lord. For example, I would be blessed to have a recording studio in the in the beautiful rolling hills of Rockingham county Virginia, I would also be so happy to get married one day, and serve the Lord with a young woman who is sold out for Jesus. (Yes, I know this may be a shock to some of you. haha) these I need to give up to God.
Americans have the idea, that life should be easy. God never said he was going to give me; a huge house, a BMW, and I would be able to play gulf every weekend with Tiger Woods. No, He did however say he would give me my hearts desire, if I am following his will, then my hearts desire will be what He has for me. So goodbye to the American dream, hello to God's will.

Secondly, I need to Love, not be selfish. The commandments that Jesus gave us in Matt. 22:37 not only applies to God but also to one another. The word also says "if I have not love I haven't anything." 1Cor. 13:1-3 So, I need to walk in Love, when this happens my intentions will shift from an inward focus (Self) to an outward focus (others). This is an area I especially need the Lord to do a work in.
It's almost as if, when I seemingly to want the best for others my intentions are still self-focused, and incredibly prideful. God Be Glorified in this area of my life

Thirdly, and now we get down to it, Pride. The I Idea that I deserve this or that. First of all I don't deserve anything, my sin insures that I be given the death penalty, until the blessed day I accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. Pride prevents me from having a lord; it dictates that I am my own lord. And without a Lord we can have no savior. How can I follow someone out of darkness if I don't submit to his or her authority in the matter?

Now, What is the gain, of doing the same?

First, I don't need t worry about what is coming up. America is in the midst of an economical crisis, I don't know what is going to happen, but you know what? God Does!!! The word of the Lord says in Matt. 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? These words of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tell me I don't need to worry about all of these happenings in the world, as I am not of this world, but only passing through, and God will take care of me through high, and low times.

Second, I don't need have a spirit of defeat, when I fall from grace. For the word says: Rom. 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, I will disappoint my maker, I will Sin, I will do the things I don't want to do, but when I am in the surrendered to Jesus, by the grace of God I am no longer condemned with that sin. I can stand up, brush the dust off my old worn-out jeans, and walk in the way of righteousness. God's Grace is sufficient for all sin.

Thirdly, the more I recklessly follow Christ. The more I start to look like Him, the more I am conformed to His image. The word says in Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I praise God that I am being changed am in perpetuity for the Glory of His holy name

Soli Deo Gloria,