|While we may readily agree with Paul that the answer lies not in a program or a procedure — it is harder for us to understand that neither is the answer found in a principle. What do I mean?
At this point in my study of Romans, I can say, ‘Wow! I get it. The penalty for my sin was paid on the Cross. The power of my sin was broken by the Cross. Preoccupation with my sin is eliminated because of the Cross. I’m free! It’s a principle I’m going to jot down in my journal and rejoice in.’
But wait. Even as I have immersed myself in the Book of Romans, in the past few days I’ve been on edge; my temper has flared; and I was taken aback by the ugliness of my own flesh until the Lord dealt with my heart again, saying, ‘You are free. But you’re missing out on what only I can produce as you spend time with Me. Even if you have the principles down and the theology right, without Me there will be no self control and peace, love and joy, gentleness and goodness, faith and meekness. Those only come from spending time with Me.’
Thus, I have found myself in the past few days more eager than ever to be in the presence of the Lord — for, while I have always been wary of programs, I have been prone to intrigue with positional truth. In recent days, however, the Lord has been reminding me once again, ‘The answer lies in spending time with Me — not legalistically, but just because without Me you can do nothing.’
This afternoon, I was kneeling beside my bed, enjoying the Lord. As I got up to let in some air, my finger got caught between the two windows. Now, although this was just the kind of irritation which had been getting to me in the past few days, this time I didn’t get upset at all. Why? It wasn’t because I was reading a book on how not to get mad when your finger gets stuck in the window. No, it’s because I was simply enjoying the Lord’s presence.
Who shall deliver me from my own sin and failure? Not ‘How shall I be delivered theologically’ — but ‘Who shall deliver me personally?’
Like Paul, I declare to you experientially and emphatically that Jesus Christ is the key!