Grapes on the Vine, God's Abundant Provision for His People

A daily devotion for February 7th

The Secret of Life

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Romans 5:17

This is the secret of life. This is the way man was intended to live, and this is the way he did live in the beginning. When Adam was created, he was a man in-dwelt by the Spirit of God, and therefore everything he did, he did by the power of God. Whenever Adam planted a tree, or weeded the garden, or picked up a shrub, or named the animals, or whatever it was, he did it by the wisdom and power of God. It was done by God at work in him. Adam had an exhilarating sense of doing things right by virtue of the fact that he expected God who lived within him to supply what it took to do it. That is the New Covenant. But when God gave him the choice of obedience, which involved Adam continuing to expect God to supply him with all the knowledge that he needed, Adam chose to disobey and he lost that relationship. The Spirit of God was withdrawn from his human spirit and he was plunged into the condition in which we are all born, that of counting on something within us for success.

This is basic to an understanding of human activity and the problems of human life. We have to teach people that the problem with them is that they are counting on the wrong resource. We must patiently set it forth, and help people to recognize the flesh (the old life at work within them) and analyze various situations to see whether it is the Old or the New Covenant they are drawing on. Nothing is more basic to getting people operating rightly than this.

Most of us know something about this life in the Spirit. We try to live this way, but the trouble is that we try to hang on to both. Do you ever see that in your prayers? Do you ever come to God and say, Lord, I have worked this all out, I want you to bless it? What is that saying? It all depends on me. I want you to make it work, that's all. That is trying to mix the old and the new, and it will never work. God will never go along with this process. He just folds his arms and says, If that is the way you want to do it, then you do it. I'll watch you. And he watches us until we fall flat on our face. But when we are discouraged, after finding out it did not work, and cry out, Lord, help me, he says, Here I am. I have been here all along and I am willing to work through you right now, as long as you quit working and depending on yourself.

This does not mean that people become robots. The choosing is left up to us, just as it was to Adam. The power of choice is what is given to men, not the power to do. The minute you choose to act, something else must supply the power within you: Either it is the old twisted form of life called the flesh, or it is the new life from the Spirit which will produce the fruit of the Spirit. But the key is that you must reject the old; then you can choose the new. God allows us to make the choices and he works through us. That is what this New Covenant is all about.

Thank you, Lord, for the power to choose, and through your Spirit the power to do. Teach me to reckon on that great truth.

Life Application

How can you practice turning to God for the power to choose his strength and not your own, exercising the fruit of the Spirit over your old way of life?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Authentic Christianity

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