This got me thinking...in fact it kept me awake most of one night. The phrase that kept coming to mind was 'status quo'. How often have we used that phrase? For me, quite a few times, but did I really know what it meant? So I went and looked it up. Status quo means, "the existing state of affairs". For those of us who love learning new things, it is a Latin prepositional phrase, 'in statu quo', literally "in the state in which"; this is actually a shortening of the original phrase, 'in statu quo res erant ante bellum', meaning "in the state in which things were before the war". And now my mind is off and running, no more sleep for me! In prayer that night I was praying that I didn't want the status quo anymore. Did not want the same ol', same ol'. I want to overcome, be victorious in the life that Jesus has given me. He won the war - that war with sin and death. As we study Romans, we died to sin; that was our nature before the war. We now have a new nature, a Christ-like nature, born of the Holy Spirit living in us. We no longer have to live the status quo; we have overcome by His death and sacrifice. I choose to live to Him daily as I have already died to sin through His death. And thus, instead of living in defeat, I live in victory. I live in the all the fruit of the Holy Spirit who resides in me (Galations 5:22); love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. It is my choice if I fall back into old patterns, because I am a new creation through Jesus - old things are passed away. (Ephesians 2; 1-6), "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus". This means we are FREE! Do we really believe that the Word of God is true? This says we are no longer dead, but alive in Christ! We are free! John 8:36 says "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed". We are not 'slightly bound', or just a 'tad shackled', the Word says we are free! Let's live that way! So every day I choose to believe God or to believe the lies of the enemy that says I am still a sinner. When we resign ourselves to give in to the voice of the enemy we wrap ourselves in chains and carry a burden that Jesus freed us from!
So, we are free. Ok whew, done and done. Nothing more for me to do. Right? No! We are free from our sin nature; now that is the foundation that God wants to build on. He desires growth and maturity; for us to be moving forward towards the destiny that He has for us. Yes we all slip, have bad days, whatever.
"For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be, and they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:5-9a). This is what the indwelling Holy Spirit is there for. To teach, convict, correct. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you. But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you." (John 14: 16, 17, 26.) He helps keep us on course. It is like a car heading towards your destination. The GPS is programmed to get you from point A to point B, and it tells you when you make a detour or a wrong turn. It gets a bit more insistent the farther off track you go. That is what the voice of the Holy Spirit does - course correction when we get off track. Setting us back on the right path. Now when we are in that car and the GPS starts going off on us about how we are off the right course we have a choice. Listen or turn it off. We can also, when we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit get angry or offended or we can hit the first turn to get us back towards our final destination.
The thing is, we are not here on this earth for just our own good pleasure. Yes, certainly God wants us to be joyful, fulfilled, content. But our true purpose here is to advance the kingdom of heaven. There is a story I love that pictures this. Late one stormy night as lightning flashed and thunder crashed, a small voice was heard from the bedroom across the hall. “Mommy, I’m scared!” Mom responds sympathetically “Honey, don’t be afraid, I’m right across the hall.” After a short time, with thunder reverberating through the house, the little voice says again, “I’m still scared!” Mom replies, “You don’t need to be afraid. Close your eyes and pray. And remember that Jesus is always with you.” The next time the pause is longer … but the voice returns along with a little child standing next to her bed, “Mommy, can I get in bed with you and Daddy?” As Mom is just about to lose her patience, her little boy catches her eyes and says, “Mommy, I know that Jesus is always with me, but right now I need Jesus with skin on.” We are here to be Jesus with skin on to a lost and dying world. To see souls saved, to share the love of God, to see lives restored. In a sense, part of a machine whose job is to do the work of God while we are here. When a piece of machinery get a glitch, or breaks or malfunctions, it does not rail against the operator when it has to be taken apart for repairs or maintenance. It gets dismantled, repaired, lubed, checked over for a clean bill of health, so to speak and then put back into service. Why then do we get so upset and frustrated when the Holy Spirit works to get us in optimal operating condition. After all, we invited Him into our lives, correct? We all need tweaks, and sometimes major renovations, but instead of railing at the Master, why don't we rejoice? I read a story the other day about a lady talking about going to the gym. She had gotten out of the habit of working out, so signed up with a skilled trainer. She goes in and that first day was pretty easy, just getting things working again. After a few times training, she feels like she is going to pass out, throw up, have a stroke, maybe all of the above. But a month or two into the regime she feels good. Strong. Better than she has in a long time. Now she could have quit when the workout got tough. When she felt physically ill from it. But she trusted that the trainer that SHE chose knew what she was doing. That the trainer could see her potential, see past her self imposed limitations and take her to the next level. It is like that with God. We choose to surrender ourselves to Him. Now let's trust Him to take us to the next level! Let's realize how important we are to Him and to His plan. Let's rejoice in the knowledge that we are a valuable and intrinsic part of His plan for this world and mankind. That we are His children; free from our sin nature, free from fear. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God". (Romans 8: 14-16)
Let's move past the status quo and into a life filled with richness and reward!
If you have a moment, read these lyrics by Big Daddy Weave. They