December 28, 2008

Dark Victory Of The Battle Within

I read two verses yesterday in different places but they struck the same chord within me:

"If you will return, O Israel," declares the LORD,
"Then you should return to Me
And if you will put away your detested things from My presence,
And will not waver,..." Jeremiah 4:1 (NASB)

Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the instruction of our God,You people of Gomorrah.

"What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD.
"I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle;
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.

"When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?
"Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me
New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies--I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.

Isaiah 1:10-13 (NASB)

The first is from Oswald Chambers - My Utmost For His Highest. The second from Ken Boa - Handbook To Leadership. Both struck me the same way as I read the comments both authors made on the Scripture verses. Our battle is inside us first. Coming before others and battling our sin, calling on God does not work. Coming before God alone and facing our sin in the darkness of our hearts, seeking His help, His victory over our sin is the way to approach it. Win with God before God, call to Jesus alone in your own desert, then come out and face the world.

It is not that I think I will sin no more if I have done that. It is that I know if I face my Lord alone and face up to my sins, I can go forth confident that I will overcome the struggle in the world. I have to put Christ deep into my heart before I can put Him on display in my life before the world.

Living in the world is a struggle, but the real battle is fought and won (or lost) within us. You have to fight it in the dark by yourself until the Light breaks through.

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