An Old Lump Of Coal

Journal entry February 2, 2019.

Some nights after reflecting upon my day, I throw up my hands and say “why am I like this!” I am convinced that there’s no hope and I’m set in my ways.

I want change.

Not for life all around me to change.

I want my actions, my thoughts, my heart to change.

Once in a homeschool group one of the moms shared that she struggled with a certain sin in her life and she kept praying and pleading with God to remove this sin out of her life. She shared that He hasn’t answered her prayer and she wondered why. She was praying in God’s will. Certainly God wouldn’t want her to sin anymore. So why hasn’t he answered her prayers? This bothered me too. Why? I struggle with sin in my life too. My fleshly desires make me feel guilty and unworthy of even praying and talking to the Holy of Holies. Why doesn’t God just remove my sin in my life once and for all and I would be done with it? I want to move on and become an unselfish and loving person not a person who is led by fleshly desires.

I’m reading this amazing book right now called Victory Over The Darkness by Neil T Anderson. I wish I would have read this book years ago.

Growing up I have always been inspired by the Helen Keller story. In this book, Neil shares the story about the amazing woman who was Anne Sullivan’s teacher. She was unselfish and loving. Without this woman there would be no Anne Sullivan, without Anne there would have never been Helen Keller.

Neil says,

What does it take to be that kind of Christian? What is needed to move us beyond our in inconsequential selfish, fleshly pursuits to deeds of loving service to God and others? What was the essence of Christian maturity that motivated Anne Sullivan’s benefactress to such a significant ministry?

First, it requires a firm understanding of who you are in Christ. You can’t become like Jesus unless you are his divine offspring. You have to be grafted into the vine because apart from Christ you can do nothing. John 15:5.

Second, you must crucify DAILY the old sin-trained flesh and walk in accordance with who you are in Christ and be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2.

Third, it requires the grace of God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace Romans 6:14. We cannot live righteous lives by human effort based on external standards. Under the covenant of grace, we live by faith according to what God says is true and the power of the Holy Spirit.

...

Crucify DAILY. Daily. Daily! My sin trained mind was corrupt for years before I decided to walk in the spirit. With the help of The Holy Spirit I can renew my mind and overcome the patterns of my flesh. There is no instant maturity when I decided to walk with Christ. Why would I think that I could have instantly what I want without the lesson that went with the growing pains and the time and pressure it takes to grow into something new.

“The progressive work of sanctification, however, is only fully effective when the radical, inner transformation by regeneration is realized and appropriated by faith.

As a new Christian you were like a lump of coal, unattractive, somewhat fragile and messy to work with. After time and pressure, however, coal becomes hardened and beautiful. Although the original lump of coal is not a diamond, it consists of the right substance to become a diamond. Right now, you are a diamond in the rough, but given enough time in and pressure, you will be like a diamond, revealing the glory of God.”

Neil T. Anderson

.... 

Must write these things down. Must not forget them.