Obey, obey, obey.
I still struggled on with my three areas: Get up early, pray, and depend on God. From April until December of 2010, I met with one failure and setback after another. For a period of about a month during the summer, I read Romans 6 every single day, hoping to glean some insight into how to reckon myself dead to sin. I started to be so desperate for the power of Christ's resurrection to actually operate in me, and I didn't know what I was doing wrong. For about 3 weeks in July, I went on an early morning prayer walk with my sisters and another girl, where we all prayed for various needs, and I poured out my heart to the Lord, pleading with Him to change me. Why did progress have to be so slow?
One day, I took an extra-long walk by myself around a loop that we don't usually walk (because it's too long). Something just had to change. I just had to get ahold of God and find some deliverance. I walked along and prayed and cried. At one point in my walk, my eye was attracted to a small graveyard up a hill off the side of the road, and I walked up to it. I went in and looked at some of the tombstones and found a place to sit down against a fence. There, I continued praying, looking up into the sky and crying out to God for answers.
There seemed to be an especially large number of birds in the sky. I wanted to be like those birds, soaring above all my troubles.
Romans 6 came flooding back into my mind, and I started quoting it. I looked around at all the tombstones as I quoted parts about death to sin.
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death."
"We have been planted together in the likeness of his death."
"Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
"He that is dead--dead!--is freed from sin."
"If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him."
The phrase came into my mind, "The law of sin and death." I looked back up at the birds. An analogy came into my mind: "The law of gravity and death." If you step out of a plane, or off the edge of a skyscraper, you will certainly conform to the law of gravity and death. I thought, "The law of gravity is binding on me. It is the reason I am sitting here, stuck to the ground, and not flying around in the sky with the birds. It's just like sin. The law of sin is binding on me. It keeps me walking down on the ground, among all this death, instead of mounting up with wings and soaring to heights above with Christ."
But the birds! The birds were overcoming the law of gravity. And, I trusted, there was a way to overcome sin through the resurrection of Christ. But what was it?
I quoted through Romans 6 until I reached verse 16. There I stopped.
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Suddenly, the light dawned.
There is the key. Obey the Lord.
"If I could only get that stuck fast in my head," I thought. "Obey the Lord. Obey the Lord. Obey the Lord." It simplifies everything. I only have to worry about one thing. All I have to do is obey. (All I have to do...heh...easier said than done, I know!) But I only have to occupy myself with this one task. Clearly, I have been disobedient. Obviously, that is what has hindered me from getting anywhere. I rebel against God in disobedience, and thereby obey the law of sin unto death.
I walked out of the graveyard with purpose and hope, clinging to that simple concept: Obey.
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