At first glance, the situations in the world around us do not seem to be very encouraging. The reason is, that we see things according to our own understandings. Our ‘measuring’ system is the nature which we received from Adam. This nature causes us to principally focus on self-centeredness. When things around us do not go according to how we think they should, we become frustrated and angry. Have you seen a young child’s reaction when they don’t get their own way? One could easily ask the question, “Who taught them how to behave like that?” Nobody had to teach them that behavior, they do it naturally out of their human (Adam) nature. In fact we, as adults, react in a very similar way except we have learned over time to rant from within and disguise it, rather than rant from without!
I sometimes wonder if we really understand the full impact of this nature which we were born with. It is a nature that is at enmity with God. It is a nature that automatically draws us to do things that do not please God. This nature cannot mix with God. This nature keeps us away from God because every thought and intention is based in self centeredness. We are incapable of feeling true compassion for those around us because the nature of humankind doesn’t know what true compassion is.
Can you imagine a magnet on a table surrounded by iron filings? The magnet will attract the metal because that’s its nature – it is there to attract metal. Have you noticed that the sun rises and sets each day, the seasons change and animals go about feeding themselves and procreating automatically? Nobody has to tell nature what to do. It goes through the motions in response to the characteristics embedded in it.
It is the same with our human nature. It automatically attracts the things which do not please God. We don’t have to think twice about going toward sin or missing the mark with God – it will happen naturally – know what I’m talking about?
We cannot put a ‘band aid’ on our human nature to repair the things that we think are not right. The Lord told Ezekiel that He would take out his heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh . This is what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. He took our old nature (which we inherited from Adam) and buried it so that we would no longer be slaves to it. He did this once and did it for everyone. Yes – He died on the cross to take away our sins BUT He also took our old natures away!
When it came to prayer, as a new Christian, I read the scripture that spoke of asking for anything in Jesus name and I would receive it. Many times I prayed (in Jesus name) for things and situations and found that the Lord didn’t answer to my preference.
Eventually I discovered that ‘In Jesus name’ meant in the character of Jesus. After all, if I represented my country at a particular event, it would be expected of me to behave in a way that is characteristic of my country. If I go to a government dept. and represent my company, which has a very good name at that dept., I will be treated with a certain respect because of behaving in the character of the testimony of the company I represent.
In the same way, if we are praying from the base of our human nature, then we are praying from a place of enmity with God. It is little wonder that our prayers are not answered according to what we want. We need to be praying out of our new nature – the nature which is the character of Jesus. Prayers can then be answered because they are prayed out of the character of Jesus.
Paul shows us that we need to ‘work out’ our salvation every day. As each day goes by, the Lord uses our situations to highlight parts of our old natures that don’t please him. Ask Him for ‘eyes’ to see these characteristics and then have the strength to pray for change in our lives. Gradually the ‘old nature’ will die and we will walk more in the character of Jesus – in our new nature! It is in that place that we will experience true freed
From: “time with the Master…….