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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a fool

Now I know why I have been a miserable Christian all these years.

Every time I failed to find the life God promised, and so I felt a failure. It was less stressful to live for myself, than to try to live for God. I never found that rest He promised. Only striving and wrestling and failing, over and over.

And so I would leave God to live for myself, because the Christian life was too hard and too miserable. For several years I would go along my way, and then as fate would have it, I would hear Him calling me again, and I would try again to please God.

Whenever I came back, I told myself, "This time it will different. This time I will trust God. This time I will have faith." I would pray for God's help all the time! Help me to understand your word. Help me not to sin. Help me to love you. Help me to love others.

I would tithe, go to church, read my Bible, help others, not cuss any more, quit drinking, try to toe the righteous line. TRY MY VERY BEST TO PLEASE GOD. Working and working at it every day.

Yesterday, God said to me...

O foolish Kelly, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?


OH MY GOODNESS! I always believed I was saved by grace, but then I sinned by trying to serve God through my evil flesh. Oh yes, I knew all about the promise of His putting His Spirit in me. But, I never saw the reality of that promise. Know ye not that ye are the temple? I never really, really, really grasped that THE SPIRIT OF GOD HIMSELF lives in me. (that the Spirit of God Himself LIVES IN ME!) The Spirit that RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD lives in me.

He has come in to sup with me. Sweet fellowship!

No longer will I pray, God, help me to see. But I will pray, God, show me.
I will not pray, God help me to love. But, God, love through me.
I will not pray, God help me to understand your word, but God give me revelation knowledge as I read Your word.

I can do nothing but through the Spirit of God.

I am taking me and my flesh out of the equation. Not God help me to do this, but God do this through me.

I have a poor relationship with my mother. I have been praying, God, help me to get along with her better. Now I am praying, God, by your Holy Spirit allow your love to work through me, and our relationship will change.

I have been frustrating the grace of God. I was saved by His grace, but then served Him, not by His grace, not by His Spirit, but with my flesh.

I was trying to do it all. I was trying to please Him, but in my flesh. Just as I tried to please my parents as a child. Trying to earn that love that never came. I was trying to earn God's love. Not resting in His love and enjoying fellowship with His Spirit living in me.

All my works have been in vain. Only through the Holy Spirit can I please God.

Now, I know I am nothing, save only by the Spirit of God am I anything at all.

I can only serve God, the way He deserves to be served, through the grace of His Holy Spirit.
By His grace I am saved, and only by His grace am I able to serve Him.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 2:16 - 3:5
 

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Praise God that He has shown you. Even Paul struggled with this. I'm not at home now so don't have access to my study materials, but I believe it's in Romans where Paul talks about that good that I know I should do, I don't, and that evil I know I shouldn't do, that's what I do. Of course, it's not exactly written like that, but you get the drift. We are saved by grace, yet we still live in a fleshy body. That's why we're told to die to self daily, to take up our cross daily. It's too easy for us to try to take the reins and do it ourselves, yet everytime we do that, we fail. I tried to forgive my ex husband for some things that he did to me, and actually thought I had. One day I came to the realization that I had never truly forgiven him, and realized in my own flesh, I couldn't. I asked God to help me and it was only then that I could forgive. It's a long story that I won't go into, but believe me, it was only through the grace of God that this was possible.

Like you, I also had problems with my relationship with my Mother, but God healed that also. We now have a very good relationship, and it gets better with each day that passes. Too often we hinder what God is trying to do in us and through us by trying to take control. I'm so glad that God has shown you that it's only through surrendering entirely to Him that He is able to work through you.
 

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Whrn I was younger, I basically realized something.

God loves me. Now, my job is to go out and be worthy of that love! You see, he loves us NOW, as we ARE! Our job is to love him back, and to remember what He asks of us!
 

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Kansas Farmgirl

Isn't it wonderful when we learn more of God's truth. Most Christians are guilty of trying to please the LORD through the flesh. It is Jesus Christ working thru us that enables us to do all things. Amen. I know I can't do the things required of me when I walk in the flesh.
 

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Too often we hinder what God is trying to do in us and through us by trying to take control.
Well said. Your Romans reference is one of my favorite passages.

Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

I also like this passage;

Philippians 1:19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
 

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What a wonderful post Kansasgirl!!! I so enjoyed reading it and it's something that I have struggled with myself also. Truly truly awesome revelation!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What a wonderful post Kansasgirl!!! I so enjoyed reading it and it's something that I have struggled with myself also. Truly truly awesome revelation!!!
I am just so happy that after all these years - I FINALLY GOT IT!
I think most people "get it" before 32 years go by.
I must be a spiritual dullard.

I feel so "free." :bouncy:
Even my co-worker noticed a difference in me.
I told him about learning about serving God by the grace and Spirit of God, and he just looked at me...
"Of course, complete surrender."

OF COURSE!
DUH!
 

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Have you ever struggled to go to sleep and just could not get there? It is so simple a baby can do it, but sometimes, you just cannot let go and do it. I'm glad you have found rest for your soul.

Do print out a copy of your original post and put it in your Bible. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what God has already told us. There have been times I wrote something out that God told me and yrs later ran across the paper and it was all fresh and new again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do print out a copy of your original post and put it in your Bible. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what God has already told us. There have been times I wrote something out that God told me and yrs later ran across the paper and it was all fresh and new again.
Thanks, Cyng. I just copied and pasted it so I will have it for later!
 

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So, I read your first post.... First I want to know, did God say that? There are many powers and principalities that work on men (and women) and speak to us and give us feelings and thoughts, often very strong ones. If we are to follow the living God, we need to be able to tell if it is the Spirit of God speaking to us or another.

Secondly, what is the "hearing of faith"? I know that faith is to hear and to believe God. So, if that all came from God, how do you know it was Him? And what does it mean? :) If I receive a message that purports to come from God, those are the first things I ask to know. My life in the Spirit is entirely contingent upon the "hearing of faith" and I am just beginning to have an inkling what that means after almost ten years!

I don't say these things because I am hard towards you or what you heard, but because I am interested in knowing what those things mean to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, I read your first post.... First I want to know, did God say that? There are many powers and principalities that work on men (and women) and speak to us and give us feelings and thoughts, often very strong ones. If we are to follow the living God, we need to be able to tell if it is the Spirit of God speaking to us or another. .
Oh yes, I know it was God! I have been seeking Him diligently, seeking to know Him, day after day, and it was Him speaking thru the Scriptures to me! He didn't really call me a fool, LOL, just foolish! Having believed through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for me - I then tried to serve him for all these years - under the bondage of the Law, by my flesh. Not by the Spirit which I now know DWELLS IN ME and makes me capable of serving Him in the way He delights in and deserves to be served. I am incapable of pleasing God in my flesh! Period! "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." He is concerned with my heart, and I cannot change it! I cannot make my heart holy. Only the Spirit of God working in me can change it. Only the Spirit of God can "perfect that which concerns me." And since this "revelation" to me, He has already changed my heart considerably! Create in me a clean heart, O God!

An evil power or principality would not have spoken to me telling me that I was on the wrong path. And setting me free by the Holy Scriptures! I am free now and not under the condemnation of the Law. And my life has changed already!


Tell me, ye who are willing to be under law, the law do ye not hear? for it hath been written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the maid-servant, and one by the free-woman, but he who [is] of the maid-servant, according to flesh hath been, and he who [is] of the free-woman, through the promise; which things are allegorized, for these are the two covenants: one, indeed, from mount Sinai, to servitude bringing forth, which is Hagar; for this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and doth correspond to the Jerusalem that now [is], and is in servitude with her children, and the Jerusalem above is the free-woman, which is mother of us all,for it hath been written, `Rejoice, O barren, who art not bearing; break forth and cry, thou who art not travailing, because many [are] the children of the desolate -- more than of her having the husband.' And we, brethren, as Isaac, are children of promise, but as then he who was born according to the flesh did persecute him according to the spirit, so also now; but what saith the Writing? `Cast forth the maid-servant and her son, for the son of the maid-servant may not be heir with the son of the free-woman;' then, brethren, we are not a maid-servant's children, but the free-woman's. In the freedom, then, with which Christ did make you free -- stand ye, and be not held fast again by a yoke of servitude; lo, I Paul do say to you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing; and I testify again to every man circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law; ye were freed from the Christ, ye who in law are declared righteous; from the grace ye fell away; for we by the Spirit, by faith, a hope of righteousness do wait for, or in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith through love working. Galatians 4:21-31, 5:1
There is the yoke of Christ, and there is the yoke of servitude.
The yoke of the life of faith, and the yoke of the life of struggling with the Law. (trying to serve in the flesh.)

Secondly, what is the "hearing of faith"?
The Scripture is asking the foolish Galatians...Did they receive that wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit by doing the works of the flesh? Was the Law ever able to impart the Holy Spirit into their spirits? NO! Only after Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose from the grave, and took his blood into the heavenly Holy Place as the sacrifice for our sins, and it was accepted by God, was the way made for the dispensation of the Spirit. And then...only by FAITH IN CHRIST and His sacrifice does he come to abide in man. Only when the man is justified and made righteous by the blood of Jesus is there union and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. So... having begun in the Spirit, saved by God's grace, with the Holy Spirit of God living in you, are you now able to be perfected by the works of your flesh? God forbid!

But did I try????? Yes! I was foolish, just like the Galatians! I strove and strove in my flesh to serve God. While all the while, the Holy Spirit, the spirit of humility, the meek and gentle Spirit, waited for me to wear out and finally listen to His voice saying I couldn't do on my own! I NEEDED HIM to work through me in order to please God. If man could have pleased God through the works of the flesh, Christ didn't need to die. Why was I so blind? And such a fool? Because the dark powers you speak of had me blinded. Certainly they did not give me this GOOD NEWS! God did!

So... receiving the Spirit by the hearing of faith is just what it says. They were told the Good News of Jesus Christ, that they could receive the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life by faith in His Name, and that they would receive the Holy Spirit the same way, by faith. And they believed it.

And so they were forgiven, received eternal life, and received the Holy Spirit. But then... they turned off the path of trusting in the Spirit and went back to trying to serve God by the works of the Law and their flesh.

But... by grace we were saved, and only by grace are we able to serve God the way He deserves. God forbid, now, I would ever think I can serve God in my flesh the way He DESERVES to be served. But the Holy Spirit knows exactly how to serve God. I just have to get quiet and listen! And then do what He tells me!

I know that faith is to hear and to believe God. So, if that all came from God, how do you know it was Him?

1 Corinthians 2:11-12

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
 

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Praise the Lord! I am so happy for you.

Don't be surprised or afraid when Satan attacks you now, as he is certain to do. He will do all that he can to tear down your new relationship with the Lord. Enter into that battle knowing that it wouldn't be taking place if you weren't right where God wanted you to be, and knowing that God is right there with you to handle your adversary in a way that only He can do.
 

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I am happy for you!

I am also a little confused: in what way were you serving him in the flesh, that you think was not what God wanted?

Because, while we ARE to have faith and trust him, he also gave us things to try to do. He forgives us when we fall short: all we have to do is ask it of him. We are, however, to make an honest attempt.

We cannot EARN salvation, it is a free gift. But, there are certain works that we are to attempt. The works do not bring us salvation, no, but, there are jobs that we are to turn our hands to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am also a little confused: in what way were you serving him in the flesh, that you think was not what God wanted?
It's a very hard thing to describe. I was doing everything in my power to serve God like I thought He wanted me to.

I tried to follow "my version of the Law" to the jot and tittle.

I struggled in everything. I had no idea why. I didn't know I was trying to serve God with my flesh.

I tithed my money, and gave offerings, went to Church every Sunday, served the poor in my town, worked in the church office on my days off, volunteered for church projects, etc. etc. and it all seemed like I was doing what was "right in the eyes of the Lord." And I was "happy."

But deep down, I was miserable. No, I don't mean everyday I was depressed and thought "What is wrong with me?" but just a deep down unhappiness and a big "FAILURE" written on my heart.

My biggest failure was my relationship with my Mom. She's almost 80. She quit speaking to my two sisters years ago, over some control issues, so I am the only one who takes care of her. She only has one friend that she hasn't quit speaking to.

Everyday was a fight. I tried and tried and tried to be patient. She is very controlling, always has been, and I had begun to tire of it. I got to where I would anticipate her "moves" - and she wouldn't disappoint me. We see each other every day, and I began to dread her visits. Dread her numerous phone calls at work. And tire of her manipulations. And resent being the one who was "stuck with her." I would ask God, WHY ME? Why do I have to deal with her, and my sisters don't?

Now, since I have begun to rely on God to change my heart, and empower me to love her through His Spirit, we have not had one fight! It has been a week of peace! It is amazing! I quit trying to get along with her in the flesh, and I just prayed for God to change my heart toward her and I'm trusting that He will love her through me. I am not *trying* to get along, but my spirit is more temperant, more patient, more understanding. It's weird. I'm not saying everything is perfect, but I no longer in the constant state of aggravation when I am with her. And I am not struggling to attain this in my own strength.

I think the difference between "serving in the flesh" and "serving in the Spirit" is who you are relying on. I had been relying on myself. Trying to change my feelings, change my thoughts, make myself more patient, make myself more loving, try not to speak what I feel, try to give more, try, try, try and fail, fail, fail. And feel alot of guilt for failing God.

Now, I am relying on God. I have said, "God, I cannot be the person You want me to be. I cannot be the person I want to be. I cannot love this person who drives everyone away from her. Only through Your power am I able to love her as You require me to."

If you have never served God according to the flesh, you don't know what bondage it is. Now, the constant inner struggle is over. And I have found rest!

By faith, I am believing God will change me. I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to do all that God asks of me.

It is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me.

Kinda funny, once I got the revelation that the Holy Spirit actually lives in me and is one with my spirit, I envisioned it like this:



Now I envision it like this:



I don't know if you understand what I mean... It was like the Holy Spirit lived in part of my spirit, and I lived in the other part. But now I see it is all me, and all Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit the larger of us, of course, and Him surrounding my spirit, protecting and empowering. Notice there is no longer the dividing black lines between us, as we have become one.

I don't want to seem like a weirdo... this is just the way I was thinking/feeling... without really knowing it... like the two of us shared my heart on equal terms. LOL... He was there so I could "run things by Him" but He wasn't the One in control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you deaconjim and terri!
Thanks for the warning about the attacks too!

I do want to say, it's not like I don't have any struggles, but I do repent quickly when I sin and use the Word of God to help me. In faith, I believe the Holy Spirit will use me to change our relationship. The love I show my Mom will change her, too, and our relationship will grow stronger.

My friend advised me just to quit doing what she "requires of me" and if she gets mad, then let her. She has no right to be making those demands on me anyway. But I told him, "No, I want to do this through the power of the Holy Spirit, and not in the "natural" or the flesh.

Surely God has a better way!

Terri, I do understand there is also works God gives us to do, but I will attempt them after prayer and in faith, believing God to enable me to do them. Not just striking out on my own and attempting to do it in my own strength.

Prayer first, believing God hears, and answers my prayers, is my new method of doing things.
 

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I, too, rejoice with and for you, KFG. Your post is wonderfully encouraging, renewing and edifying. I understand your joy, I remember when I 'got it'. It was revealed to me in a book, 'The Spiritual Man' by Watchman Nee. The revelation was breathtakingly simple and yet, looking back, I had been making it so hard.....letting go of my own stubborn will was not easy.

One thing I learned in relation to Carol's question about discerning the voice:
The Holy Spirit convicts us, the enemy condemns us. The Holy Spirit guides us to understanding....the enemy, through condemnation, tells us not to bother because we'll never be victorious. And then there is the peace of spirit when we 'know' we're on the right path. As Jesus tells us, the sheep recognize the shepherd's voice. All Glory to God.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One thing I learned in relation to Carol's question about discerning the voice:
The Holy Spirit convicts us, the enemy condemns us. The Holy Spirit guides us to understanding....the enemy, through condemnation, tells us not to bother because we'll never be victorious. And then there is the peace of spirit when we 'know' we're on the right path. As Jesus tells us, the sheep recognize the shepherd's voice. All Glory to God.
Thank you Txsteader! I will remember this.

I found myself today trying to muster up the faith for something that I've started wavering on.

Then I told myself, read your Bible, pray, and believe the Holy Spirit will do the work in you. He is the author and finisher of your faith. Trying to "force" faith out of your will just doesn't work... so stop! LOL...
 
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