Frustration Has a Purpose
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:20-21, NIV).
Nothing good, nothing spiritual, dwells in the flesh. We are void of God in our flesh. In understanding this, we might ask, “Why then did God leave us with the flesh?”
The seventh and eighth chapters of Romans tell us that the flesh is a frustration (no kidding!). They also tell us that our Creator left us with this frustration on purpose and it then goes on to tell us why. He left us with our flesh so that we would find true freedom as a child of God. The purpose our flesh serves is to lead us to Christ! The flesh should make us feel so helpless that we run to Christ for the spiritual help that we require; nevertheless, too many people assume that they can handle it on their own, in their flesh. When our flesh is not leading us to the Spirit, it is not serving the purpose that God intended.
Our new nature, the Spirit, is our identity in Christ. It is who we are because of our union with Jesus. This nature cannot sin; it is impossible for the spiritual nature to produce anything other than spiritual fruit. The Bible even tells us that anyone who lives in Him cannot keep sinning (1 John 3:6). This verse has appeared to be confusing, but let’s look at it closely. Anyone who lives in Him cannot sin—it is impossible for our spiritual nature to sin; therefore, when we are abiding in the Spirit, we will not sin (Galatians 5:16). If we are producing any spiritual fruit, we must appreciate what is taking place; we are producing spiritual fruit because we are walking in the Spirit. This simply means that we are filling ourselves with the Word of God; and because of this, the Word of God is being displayed in our lives.
When the Seed of the Word is planted in our lives, we will see a spiritual harvest; consequently, if we are ignoring the Word in our lives, we will not see a spiritual harvest. We cannot produce spiritual fruit outside of Christ. n first John, our flesh is described as the nature that does not know God and has not seen Him; our flesh can only produce sin. We must understand that we do not produce spiritual fruit because we are “great” Christians or because we love God enough. We produce spiritual fruit because we know that we require the Word; and as a result, we abide in it. We fill ourselves with the Word of God and the Word produces spiritual fruit in our lives. Spirit gives birth to Spirit.
If you are living in frustration trying to be good enough or trying to please God, then let that frustration lead you into the loving arms of your Savior. Apart from Christ we can do nothing, but with Him we can do all things! True freedom is found when we abide in the Word and rest in Christ and His promises to us.
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