|Posted by Martie Rader on July 14, 2010 at 1:48 PM|
by Martie Rader
Do I believe in process? Absolutely. But "process" to me is a completely different thing. Most people would like to convince you of your ability to “walk out” of self defeating behaviors based on your own will power rather than through the power of the God. My understanding of process brings you TO deliverance not THROUGH it.
To most of those that I discuss this with, process comes on the post side of a decision you make to “walk away from self defeating behaviors.” I know for a fact that the process can end upon the decision to exercise your will to abandon self defeating behaviors and addicitons.
Will God allow us to stay in our pattern of sin if we are willing to abandon it completely? No, He will not. According to Romans 1 Paul declares that since we choose to obey our innate cravings for the things of this world, then God allows us to stay exactly where our hearts desire to be. In everything, in daily living, in addictive behaviors, in relationships, we have a choice to make. Either we glorify ourselves and our will, or we glorify God and his will. But the minute we desire to “walk away” and completely abandon our addictive behaviors, He is WILLING and ABLE to take those desires from us.
Why would a loving God, who desires us to become like Him, leave us on a path of destructive behavior that we are not choosing for ourselves. Can you imagine coming to the Father and asking him to remove a sinful pattern from your life that you want and choose to abandon, one that you realize will eventually lead to destruction of your soul, and he tells you “No, you must remain in that pattern until you go through the process of letting go”
The Damascus Road Experience.
If after seeing the light, Paul had decided that he would wait until his "desire to persecute and kill Christians" was overcome by his own willpower, he would not have experienced the glory of God. If he had said, "Well, I'm not sure that I want to change my path" his process would have continued.
When Paul had his Damascus road experience, he had a choice. He could have walked on, knowing that the God of the universe was dealing with his life patterns, denying Christ the power to change him instantly or he could acknowledge Him as his God, all powerful, able to do the work that he so desperately desired to do in Paul’s life.
Where in Paul’s Damascus experience, was process? He was delivered. There was no aftertaste of sin in his life. He didn’t walk around after regaining his sight and saying, “Oh, my! There’s a Christian. I know it’s bad for me but I just have to persecute him! I know that God will allow me to fail because I’m a weak new believer.” No. The delivering power of Christ, who is now Paul’s Lord and Savior, took away the desire to persecute Christians. Paul’s desires were completely changed. Your's will be too when you respond to the light.
Did Paul freak out? NO, he accepted with joy the change that Jesus Christ had made in his life and his desires. He may have been a bit uncomfortable in his new identity in Christ but he continued to walk down the same Damascus road. He wasn’t supernaturally taken away from the daily activities of his life. He was supernaturally transformed from his reasoning about the purpose of his life. The desire of his intended destination changed. He continued on doing the very thing which he started out to do which was traveling to Damascus and eventually he arrived there. But on that road – his agenda was changed. His deliverance didn’t come when he arrived days later in Damascus. His deliverance didn't happen when the scales eventually fell from his eyes. That's when he received his sight, his purpose on this earth.
He was delivered from an angry, hateful murderous spirit that had engulfed him for years. He saw the light and heard the voice of God and heeded it and allowed the change to happen instantaneously. The process with Paul came on the front side of deliverance when he encountered the light and the voice of Christ and he responded to it with “Who are you, Lord?” In those four words, the beginning and end of process happened. Paul could have denied the obvious signs and kept on going. He was being led as a blind man by those who were with him; those who also saw the light, but did not receive the instruction from the voice of God; those who for all practical purposes would keep him in the dark because of their own fear of facing the truth about what could be happening. They might have encouraged him to stay on the path, to follow his desire and if he chose to persecute a Christian, it would be acceptable. They might have said to him that “if that was really the voice of God he heard, he didn't have to heed the call.
But no, Paul answered the voice, audibly so that all that could hear would know the question posed from a supernatural being beyond the audible realm of those around him. And he identified him as Lord!
I am answering that call today. I hear a voice that says. I am Jesus Christ. Tell them that I am God. Why do you persecute those that are following me by not telling them of the deliverance that is available to them? How can you continue to walk the road that I have you on, and not answer my call audibly for the sake of those who can hear but cannot see? God is saying, “There are those that I have brought to their knees in a position of brokenness before me that are being lied to and deceived by those who walk along side them and encourage them to keep walking blindly down the road to Damascus. Everyone sees the light but refuse to acknowledge the voice. Without acknowledging who I am, without a willingness to let me deliver them, they are as determined to persecute me as Paul before his process.”
Paul’s process ended when he acknowledged God and said “What shall I do Lord” and then the deliverance came when he responded to the answer, “Rise up and continue down the road and you will come to know your purpose” And Paul, who could not see anything else because of the glorious light that was now a vision of his Savior, followed the road to Damascus and learned of the things that were appointed of him to do. He did not question his loss of desire to persecute the Christians. He now accepted Christians as a missional aspect of his life. He did not look back at the road to see if there was some great trick to deceive his sight or vision. He acknowledged the light for Whom and What it was. He didn’t have his mind checked out to see if he needed psychological help. His thinking was now clear and sure. He knew his Savior, his Deliverer. So many times, we are told that our desires control us to the point that we have to have more than one experience with the Savior to be able to overcome those desires. I contend that if we have only one experience with the true and living God, that the glorious light of his deliverance will forever change us.
Don’t be deceived by the guidance of those who want to continue to lead you down the path of deception telling you that you must walk the path of letting go to get to His desired destination for you. God is a God who wants to intervene in your long and dusty path; he wants to give you instant and glorious vision through blindness to your desires of this world. His hand is strong enough to take you to your destination without the process of walking down the long hard path on your own power.
Take his hand; let him show you the light of His path. It is through HIS power that we are saved and through HIS will that we are delivered. Let go of your self will and God will supernaturally deliver you . He never wants you to falter or fail. Yes, he forgives you if you do. But you don’t have to.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
In the song “God is Faithful”** the lyrics read
“No one said it would be easy, to let go of all the worry.
But it can be done. He has paid the price.
And His mercy runs to every broken life.
We will never be worthy of his healing.
But all he asks of you is that you would be willing.”
You never have to fear failure when you put your trust in the delivering, saving power of Almighty God.
1998 /Bug Music/ BMI; O/B/O SGO Music Publishing, LTD/PRS