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Author Topic: God gives us the desires of our heart
Michael Harrison
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"Christ as me," is how Norman Grubb would put it, cutting straight to the chase of who we are. We are the many faces of Jesus, each of us are, representing Him to the world, by Him in us. Of course, all we can do is follow His leading as we represent Him, and leave it in His hands concerning their perceptions and results, and He has results. We just don't always see it.

We must let His approval of us be paramount. I am the most timid person in the world. I want to see everyone to come to know Him, yet I would hide in Alaska, homesteading, if it were possible. Cuz sometimes it seems that i and my faith are completely irrelevant (not as though i say to myself 'Why bother?').

Everyone won't like you. Jesus said, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you." The burden is upon Him. "Take my yoke upon you!"

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Kwistina
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We have certainly strayed from the topic here! . . . in a way. Somewhat in reference to the most recent discussion, I wonder somewhat if the wrestlings must be of doubts? Can they not be of other sentiments? For example, I have felt led by the spirit, with no doubt of his leading or my duty towards him. However, I wrestle at times with how others respond. I do not stray from my firm belief in how I ought to act, nor do I act soley out of duty, but with an honest love for my Lord. I wrestle with the sacrifice of public opinion, I suppose I should say. The sacrifice of others' love to confirm the love I feel for the only one whose love is all that I desire!
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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
I so agree with so much that you said. I believe that we by ourselves are like a battery....which will eventually wear out and die, unless it can get a recharge. For a recharge we all need to draw on the Lords strength by learning to rely on His spirit in all facets of our life and in all circumstances. I agree that we certainly have our limitations, and I do believe in my heart that the Lord is joyful when He sees that we acknowledge our weakness and call on His name throughout our lives. I also believe that it would not be possible for us to love in the manner that the Lord desires unless God had first poured out His love into our lives. Praise Him.
With love in Christ, Daniel

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Michael Harrison
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He gives us the desires of our heart

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

These two commands of God are illustrative of the fruit of the vertical and horizontal relationships within which we exist and interact when we are properly aligned with God. They are the fruit of keeping the Ten Commandments, stated in a condensed fashion.

As Christians, our daily lives are lived between relationship with God, and our fellow man. Of course, there are tensions, and challenges, questions, and doubts, all affecting our behavior in this realm. Yet the love of God has not abandoned us to ‘work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12)’ as though we have to endeavor ‘to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace’ through self-effort and good intentions of our own. We are incapable, doomed to fail.

[Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Eph 4:3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.]

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ – if we receive it.

1Jn 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

Not grievous says the author! Poll any Christian and they will tell you how hard it is. Well then, what is this apostle’s problem - because he doesn’t see it that way? Is it correct to say that the apostle is wrong and the Bible incorrect?

Ask any Christian if they keep the Ten Commandments and they will usually point to teaching that says that you can’t. (Although, there may be someone who thinks that they do, who are just misinformed about the sinful state of man.) If we could keep them, scripture says, then Jesus would not have had to die. But….. He did. So!

Jesus is the only perfect! (Need I say more?). It is by His perfection that we are enabled. That is where Grace fits in. And this will shock many: Because of His sacrifice, you can keep the Ten Commandments; therefore you have no excuse, but you make them anyway! If that sound harsh, ask yourself if it is harsh to draw near to God, and to be pleasing to Him? Ask yourself if it is harsh to gather with Him rather than scatter abroad. Ask yourself if it is wrong to be enveloped by His loving arms and have the cares of life swept away as you immerse in His sustaining presence.

So here! He has made it easy. You can keep the Ten Commandments by not transgressing Jesus, because by His death and resurrection, and your belief in HIM, He fulfills all the necessary requirements.

You avoid transgressing Jesus by faith. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness! (Rom 4:3)
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

To him that ‘worketh not’, but believeth…..
For with the heart man believeth unto ‘righteousness'….
Rom 4:5 To him that worketh not but believeth the right thing in his heart, will discover the righteousness of Jesus imparted to him. (My Paraphrase)

If in your heart you believe unto Jesus, who is in heaven, and also in you, that He has dominion - that is, He is in control of all that affects you, one hundred percent, not a single jot or tittle less is acceptable to Him (be not ye lukewarm), then you will know surrender by faith and perfect acceptance of Him. Add to this, that by Jesus, ‘all of your need is met’ (Php4:19). So, if your need is met, you only transgress Jesus by coveting something because you do not believe that He has provided, or (you want something that He won’t give you): Or you try to control something because you don’t believe that He is in control of it, (whatever it is that faces you, He has provision to deal with as you trust Him to come through). In these ways you transgress the commandments. Believe me, you do separate yourself from Him when you do not believe unto, and try to do it on your own. The life is in having, not in doing.

If you believe in Him this way, then your will is able to submit to Him step by step, ALL along the way, without transgressing. He is in control. Rest in it!


You will hear many Christians say that “When the Father sees me, He sees Jesus.” They say this believing in their mind that Jesus is standing in front of them, that is, between them and the Father, thusly hiding the Father from seeing their dirty state.

Jesus isn’t like that. You put on the Lord Jesus Christ from the innermost heart outward (Gal 3:27). In that case, your sin is exposed, in which case, you can deal with it by trusting Him to cast it from you, believing Him to replace your dirtiness with Himself.\\

Untie His Hands!!!

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Michael Harrison
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Aw fiddles. Never mind what i just said. I deleted it. JOY!

Well all i am saying, ever, is that there is a miracle provision, no less: and we don´t fully understand the word until we accept that provision. Instead, we struggle. The understanding gets in the way of the Spirit, life, liberty and the miracle provision, which is available to all.

Thanks for that blessing one in Christ. It is a joy to be thought of so.

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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
Even though I dont necessarily agree with every jot and tittle that you preach, one thing is for sure, you are on fire for the Lord, and that motivates me. The feeling of oneness in the family of Christ is a wonderful thing, and with this confidence in Christ,I do believe we can look past the less important and petty issues and look to encourage one another in a fervent spirit for the great cause in Christ.

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Michael Harrison
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I JUST LOVE this; and i dearly hate it! How far can you go with Jesus? The answer is - all the way. Don't let the bub snooker you out of it. What a challenge Paul had on his hands, because everything he said had to pass through the natural understanding of the hearer before it reached the heart. Then it was corrupted.

Do you want to hear about 'casting down imaginations'?

Love in the latter days, Michael D Harrison, servant of our blessed redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Michael Harrison
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Whew! This is longer than I wanted.

Addendum to previous posts: Concerning the broken alabaster box aroma, well, there is no aroma in us to our Lord, as long as we are struggling, or pouting. There is no victory in either.

Here is something that I have to throw in now. This is a really, really good one. Scripture says to be ye perfect. It does not fool around by saying try, or anything like that. It says it straight out. Jesus said it. St. John said it, straight and to the point. Every preacher however, in every pulpit across America, rationalizes this saying (preventing the saints). To explain it to their liking, they will draw from a translation that they prefer, say for example the Amplified, and tell you that it means ‘be growing’. Or perhaps they will draw from some word dictionary that says that it means ‘mature’. Be ye mature as your Heavenly Father is mature? Well after all, is God mature? No! He is perfect.

Ok. No wonder that the preachers say what they do. One look at the passage and it is clear that there is nothing that they can ‘do’ to be perfect – nothing! There is no amount of effort that one can expend that will amount to anymore than trying. God doesn’t say try. So, whoever; you say that’s the end of it. It is clear that there is no point, no need to even discuss it any more. Well, you are wrong. God said “let there be light,” and there was light. i ask you, what did the light have to do with its own being? Hear me. God said it. HE PERFORMED IT.

This is where you can start praising Him. He has done it and He is doing it. He does not expect you to try to do what you cannot, and constantly fail. Do you think that that would give any father joy? Doing is doomed to fail unless He is doing it, and He is! Let this break you, and He will make you. Then you can ask Rom 3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. “
You didn’t do it. He is. Faith is the vehicle. Jesus is your perfection. He is the – POWER of a - resurrected life! Nothing can separate you from that manifest overcoming life - but the heart unbelief. (The heart must know what to believe - about Him.)


So, once more, you don’t have to live in defeat. Jesus died so that you could have life more abundantly, not more in defeat than not. Jesus IS (I AM) your perfection. Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

So, your immediate concern, you do something that you wish you didn’t. Don't worry. He knows you care. Neither are you condemned to it. Though you may do the same today, know this, you are as close as His breath on you, to voluptuous liberty. Don’t believe that you are hopelessly, fruitlessly required to toil, as did they in the Garden of Eden. Joh 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

You have already prayed the sinners prayer. Is Jesus in your heart? Give Him your heart.


Let me add to the ‘labor’ post: Labor – not to labor, is what the Hebrews passage says! So, when you are fully surrendered to God, then you will realize the end of your sinful state. That is, you will in actuality know victory over it (and there are gazillions of verses) so long as you stay humbled, and as long as you stay surrendered and trusting. Then you can say with Paul that it is “no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in within me,” for Christ doesn’t sin. You do, if you live by your unbelief, instead of by Him.

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Michael Harrison
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Hi Eden. You make me smile today!

22867, don't bow out of reading. Your post is moving and i want to address it more. I have somewhat to add, but cannot this morning. It might shock you, but it also might make you think. Remember also, there is no condemnation (Rom 8:1). You are loved!

I completely understand that you think that we are speaking a different dialog. I really do! The deepest revelation of the Lord is profound to say it mildly, and i have to say this with respect to this discussion, to quote the world, "no pain, no gain!" This alludes to what i said above about the saints who wrestled with God, and as a result were broken.

The alabaster box of ointment which was broken and poured over Jesus' head is symbolic of our brokenness, WHEN we reach it. What came out? Sweet aromatic aroma. This is what Jesus seeks from us. This is the result that occurred after these saints 'lost' their struggle to God. It is clear from the reading that they struggled - to preserve themselves: Or maybe not clear, but that was what it was! They preferred their way of doing, cuz it was comfortable to them. They 'understood it'. But without surrender, we cannot come to know it personally, and you know what scripture says about surrender. Anyway, God love you. Receive the encouragement of the Lord! In Jesus i pray!

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Kwistina
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22867-I concur. 'nuf said
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At this point, I find my experience, my theology and my thinking on this subject is so different from the majority of these posts that it is like we are talking a different language. I prefer at this point to leave the matter, in my mind anyway, in the realm of a mystery.

I love the Lord, and seek to pursue the deepest relationship with Him that is possible in this life. I find that in my life, that works out in many, many periods of a deep, primal interaction that I call wrestling, and that I see acted out in the lives of Jesus, Old and New Testament saints, and historical post-biblical saints and the lives of faithful people I know. If that means I have not received the fullness of the message of Grace, or that I am striving to earn my sanctification, or or that I am not sufficiently trusting the Lord, or that I am reading the Bible through a carnal, rather than spiritual lens, then so be it. Maybe one day I will be where you all are, but today, this is where I am, and I trust that God works with me right here in the midst of the muck and mud of my humanity.

I am choosing at this time to withdraw from this discussion, not out of anger or frustration by any means, but out of a need in my own spirit. I feel no need to convince anyone that they must "wrestle" with God -- only to help them understand that it is permissible when they find that their will and God's are not one, and that it is preferable to denying or being ashamed of what they are feeling and resorting to a false piety. I leave you with my blessings and good will.

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oneinchrist
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Hi guys,
Sometimes I think that terminology is such an issue for some. I agree with you Michael about entering into the rest, but I also believe that a believer does go through turbulent times. An example of when I believe that I have experienced wrestling is when I had to deal with a person who was being very mean at work. My flesh wanted to just take him down, but the spirit warned me not to.

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Eden
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Hi, Michael Harrison, I agree with you that even sanctification is actually not "wrestling" because Jesus said, "learn of Me, My yoke is easy" and "God has shown us what to do, to do justice" and "to have mercy".

Sanctification isn't all that hard either, it's reading the Word (is that hard?) and it's listening to the Holy Spirit (that's not hard) and it is a great pleasure and privilege to be able to learn how to behave "after God's heart" after having "lived like the devil" before I was saved.

But I don't really struggle or wrestle in or with my sanctification either. Even my sanctification is mostly a TRUSTING that the Holy Spirit is at work in me and that God FAVORS His newly adopted sons and daughters ESPECIALLY NOW that we are RECONCILED (He loved us already while we were yet sinners), so for me, it's become more of a trusting that "something good is going to happen with God" as compared to WITHOUT God. So for me it's really no wrestling either, and I take back what I said above that sanctification is a lifelong wrestling between the Spirit and the flesh. It IS, and it ISN'T, if you know what I mean; some days are better than others when it comes to sancification.

with love, Eden

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Michael Harrison
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I have to say 22867, that what i have been saying, that is, what started this expounding is that the examples of wrestling that you cite as hero's, led to a brokenness in the men that transformed them thereafter, into a useful vessel fit for God; and it was a distinct experience for them, not to mention that it is in the record for our admonition. Anyway...
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Michael Harrison
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Unfortunately, as believers, we spend much of our walk after the blessed realization of our Savior, in the fleshy understanding. It is a fruitless condition short of the "stature of the fullness of Christ." A book could be written about this, but to what end if it does not penetrate the heart.

So in a more brief fashion, let me take on 'wresting against principalities...' not to seem as if i am picking on you onein. I do so to illustrate something truly profound, if one can only grasp it.

We think, when we read scripture, in a way similar to what we have known all of our life. Unfortunately, it is after the fashion of this world, and our carnal existence. Of course we are to be 'transformed by the renewing of our mind', but what does that mean?

When we read 'wrestle', is it the same in the Spirit as it is in the flesh? It is not. What then is it? As close as i can come this very minute i will use this verse to draw a parallel of sorts. Heb 4:11 "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." Use your carnal mind to understand this! Pay close attention. Paul (or the author) said, LABOR - to enter - Rest. Now i ask you, does that make sense? But it is profound, and very deliberate, and one would do well to not pass go until they fully understand what meaneth this. Neither should they casually, with flippant boastfulness in their own self-satisfaction say within themselves, "Yea, ok, got it." OK!

So, this verse tells us something that causes us to stumble if we face it head on. Regrettably, we as Christians swerve around passages that we do not understand, or we rationalize them, making them to fit our understanding. (Or we ignore them altogether.)

Let me throw in this scripture Luk 20:18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. What this relates to is that, if you fall, or stumble on Christ, you will be broken. That means you will come to understanding of Him. If you reject Him, which is not the subject of this writing, you will be devastated, as opposed to broken. Broken is good. Very very good.

Anyway, using Laboring to enter God’s rest to illustrate that spiritual understanding, I will simply say that ‘wrestling’ probably means something different than you think, if you care to search it out. Please do not miss the provision of God. The ends of the earth are come upon the whole world of we Christians, and accross the board, we are not prepared for what is coming.

I will elaborate more, but to close this posting I will just say that we think that our effort plays a part. Look again at Labor to Rest and see what Paul is telling us to make an effort at. This applies to such an extent that it cannot be stated with words. Only Jesus gives the revelation.

Labor to rest means to let go, and let God. It means let it - all inclusive, all that we have invested in - go! Then, only then, the miracle of God’s grace can work powerfully on our behalf, and the Spirit will wrestle – and win every battle for us! As long as you are making the effort to do what only God can do, you are tying His hands.

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oneinchrist
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Hi everybody,
I used to be a wrestler...in High school years ago...138lbs weightclass...lol. Two opponents using whatever techniques they knew to force the other into submission.

I hardly believe that anyone here thinks that we are single-handedly wrestling the devil to make our way into Heaven. Jesus has put death in submission by accomplishing the will of the Father....and one day death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire forever.

But is there still wrestling for us? Didnt Paul make a reference to some ongoing type of wrestling that exists in the world? ..."For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of the world.............this wrestling that Paul speaks of seems to indicate that we are going to feel a resistance. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord there is hopefully going to be a growing awareness of this opposing resistance. Now I do believe that our Coach on the sideline is much more aware of this resistance than we are and He will yell out to us
giving us the advice that we need when we need it. In a physical sense it may be the need for a half-nelson, but in the spiritual sense it may be a need to "offer him your other tunic also".

You see, this resistance is a test. "He that endures to the end shall be saved" . When we are faced by our opposition, do we use the tools that God offers? Do we live out the words of Christ which are the weapons of this warfare? This is not wrestling by our own works, this is really learning to trust in the power of Gods truth by living it out in our lives.

The words of Jesus..."He that endures to the end shall be saved" are not popular by any means, and highly controversial. Is this enduring some sort of wrestling? and if it is, what sort of wrestling is it? It seems pretty important if it has to do with our salvation. Let me try and "wrestle with this verse" to see if I can make sense of it.....

It seems that we must have to stand some test of endurance in our faith. Will we stand firm in the cause of Christ despite all of the worlds opposition to it? If I say that I believe that Christ is my all in all, does my life show it when I come against the resistance? You see this must be the true test. A "real" adversary comes against us to test the "realness" of what we say that we believe in.
Our own human fears can even be our adversary. It happened with Peter when he denied Christ. He was afraid to die the same death as Jesus....and he wrestled with his own fears against what He knew to be the truth.

So, if I may, enduring faith is a faith that doesn't let up when the going(wrestling) gets tough, because it continues to believe in the power of the truth....Christ to life forevermore.

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Michael, you may be one of the blessed few who do not have to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. I have no doubt that God has a handful of such saints. The Bible is full of examples of people who had to wrestle with God, as is the whole course of Christian history. I am not doubting your experience. I am only saying that it is not the experience of Jesus nor of the vast majority faithful Christians, including those we typically hold up as heroes of the faith. It is not the experience of Job, nor of most of the Psalmists. Historically, for most of the peole of God, God-wrestling is the crucible in which transformation takes place. It is not turning against God. IN fact it is trusting Him at an incredibly deep level, because it is trusting that because of His love and faithfulness, the relationship will not be damaged by honest disagreement. A person can be angry at God and still love Him from the very depth of his/her being.

Wrestling isn't turning away. ON the contrary, it is coming in close, intimact contact. It is taking the relationship more seriously than the issue itself. It is an expression of wanting God above everything. The first rule of genuine prayer is this: Be real. And if real at the moment means that my will and God's are not in accord, then that is what God wants to hear. He is interested in the real me, whatever that looks like at the moment. He will change me. That's the blessing Jacob got in his wrestling match with God. He will humble me, as He did Jacob. Thank God he does! But the way it happens for me, and virtually everyone I know, is through the process of wrestling.

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Michael Harrison
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You do not have to wrestle. Our God has not condemned you to it. Flesh lusts against the Spirit merely out of doubt.

Sanctification is as easy as salvation! In fact, it is so easy that it is hard to see. Is sanctification not a free gift? You can bet it is (1cor1:30). That is why it is hard to see it.

If you have to wrestle, is that not 'working'?
Why would He die to give us salvation, and make us work for sanctification?

His tender love exceeds all that we can ask or think!!! {:-)

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Eden
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Regarding "wrestling", I think our Adam and Eve sinful soul was so accustomed to run its own body without consulting man's spirit, that many times our soul wants to "take back the authority that our sould recently gave man's spirit to run both our soul and our body.

As someone said to me recently, "my spirit is willing but the flesh acks up".

The soul is willing too but it is a "wrestling" process between listening to the Holy Spirit in the spirit of man, and the soul retaking the reins of running th body. It ain't easy.

Salvation is easy beause it is a free gift, but sanctification is not easy and is acquired by reading the Word of God and by listening to the Holy Spirit now that we have access again.

"For the Spirit lusts {fights} against the flesh, and the flesh lusts {fights} against the Spirit".

Some wrestling usually precedes salvation, but once salvation is received we do not need to wrestle any more for salvation. Jesus did ALL THAT wrestling for salvation for us already.

But we do continue to wrestle in the process of sanctification, which means, "learn how members of the family of God behave". Such "wrestling" is good.

with love, Eden

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Michael Harrison
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The blessings of our God upon you, everyone!

You know, I have this testimony that when I draw nigh to God, I feel less sinful!

How do you tell someone that they are in darkness and don't comprehend the light? The first reaction will be just that - a reaction, out of their flesh, no less. It will come out of defensiveness, yet they will not see it as a shortcoming. They will wrestle, strive.

Wrestling is strife. You don't have to. When Jesus wrestled in the garden He did it for all of us. Then he was sacrificed so that we would not have to strive, because grace (all of His power on our behalf), as the result of His sacrifice, paves the way for us. This is the most fundamental.

Heb 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself,
Heb 6:14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
Heb 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he OBTAINED the promise.
Heb 6:16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.

Jesus dying one the cross is an oath of confirmation to us. Jesus died so that we would not have to strive. The world, flesh, and the devil (carnal mind) makes you think you do!

You haven't understood being completely dependent upon God. Wrestling would be equal to working for it. That is not dependence.

Jesus told Peter that he was a rock! Yet Peter denied Christ; and he was sifted by satan. Jesus knew what tremendous change would be in Peter when he eventually realized not to wrestle, but rather receive (i.e. walk in the Spirit). You will note: Peter eventually was led to martyrdom, which could only happen after he was well established in not wrestling! It was that hour that Jesus was looking forward to when he made the statement about Peter being a rock. His faith matured as in this passage:
Eph 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"

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Kwistina
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If Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane, in sorrow and greif, asking "Lord, if possible, take this cup from me" is not wrestling, I don't know what is!! . . . but it is coupled with submission to the will of God as well "yet not my will be done but thine".

Wrestling is not a sign of spiritual immaturity. In fact, one of my bible college professors (for whom I have the deepest respect) explained to me the grief he felt-that the closer he came to God, the greater awareness he felt towards his own sinful state. Something he wrestled with daily.

Would it not be correct, instead, to say that "wrestling" is the necessary coping mechanism we use in our spiritual transition of authority from ourselves and to our savior? We are still human, after all. Our oneness with the Lord didn't make instant perfection on our part. If we never struggle, I would instead take that as a sign that we've turned off the holy spirit and are listening only to ourselves (it doesn't follow that the struggle must be intense).

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I think Jesus is our example of one who is fully dependent on God, and he wrestled.
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Michael Harrison
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When Jacob wrestled with God, his thigh was displaced. This happened just as Jacob was to return to the country from which he was displaced. The significance of Jacob's disabling was that it made him completely dependent upon God before going any further. My point here is that, if you still are wrestling, you have not become dependant upon Him. This is our calling.

After we are 'dependant' utterly, then we can experience the desires of His heart, as a result of His life in us. Then, having the desires of His heart as our own, He can grant us the desires of our heart. This also covers 'His will' for us.

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PresbyGirl
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Hi Eden. I would love to agree with you about the apples and iPods, but I just don't see that working out experientially with consistency. And while I agree that there are places in the Bible that support what you are saying, I think the biblical witness supports the opposite as well. Paul Himself spoke about being contented whether he had plenty or barely enough to survive. I know many, many devoted Christians whose love for the Lord and delight in Him is beyond question, and who don't by any means live a charmed life. But bad apples and crappy i-Pods notwithstanding, their joy in the Lord continues to grow.

I like what you said about the will. I am a God-wrestler. I often have to work through a whole heap of fleshly will to get ther, but in the end, at the core of my being (where the Holy Spirit dwells) it always comes down to me wanting what God wants. I find a great deal of comfort in Jesus' experience in Gethsemane. If the Son of God had to wrestle with the Father at the end of His life, if he could find his human will at odds with the will of the Father even with the union they share, then I need not be ashamed of going to the mat with God.

The big mistake would be refusing to go to the mat, either in rebellion, or in a false piety. The latter, I think, is the greater danger. A God-touched soul that walks away in rebellion is more likely to find its way back out of the pure misery of being separated from God than theone who engages in outward compliance while harboring inner rebellion. That kind of false piety builds a self-gratifying illusion of closeness with God that makes a change of heart much more difficult. I think that's the sin of the older brother in the parable of the prodigal.

Thanks for the mental stimulation, and the challenge to my thinking Eden. Thinking this through, I wonder if delighting in the Lord is something that sweetens the pot so that the bad apples just don't seem so bad anymore. That's not intended as a definitive answer, and I'm certainly not at that level of spiritual maturity. Just something to ponder.

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If you judge people, you have no time to love them. -- Mother Teresa

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Hi, PresbyGirl. You said: "... It's not like He comes along and plops His desires into my heart and makes me feel them. That would be a violation of my will."

Eden here: But it is not a violation of your spirit. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, God says we have 3 parts, spirit, soul, and body.

The will is attached to your soul, but the spirit of man alone can receive and hear what the Spirit says to us.

After you became a bornagain Christian, the Holy Spirit came to live in your spirit and also revived/restored your spirit because it was "about to go out like smoking flax".

And it is in the spirit of man that the Spirit of God talks to us, and if our soul has repented and is listening to our spirit again (which, before we became bornagain, had lain idle since the soul paid no more attention to the spirit, but now the soul has decided to listen again.

PresbyGirl, you said: "... It's not like He comes along and plops His desires into my heart and makes me feel them. That would be a violation of my will."

It would not be a violation of your will because your soul, as a bornagain Christian, is now choosing (by the soul's will) to listen to the spirit. So that would not be a violation of your will.

You have given permission by becoming a Christian.
That is what we repented off...to no longer run our body from the soul level and to become willing again to let the spirit run our soul and body. So it is not a violation of your will.

PresbyGirl, you continued:

"But loving the Lord and delighting in Him creates this mysterious, marvelous alechemy that allows Him to transform my stony heart into one that loves what He loves and desires what He desires."

Eden here: I agree that the Lord also blesses the desires {of my heart} which wants to know and love the Lord, those desires the Lord also accommodates and holds in high esteem.

But I am also convinced that the Lord finds the best earthly things for me too, the best apples for the money that I have at my disposal, the best yardsale, the best cheese, the best Sony Walkman for the money, and so on. The Lord gives me the desires of my heart, whatsoever my soul lusts after or desires, PROVIDED:

That I delight in the LORD my God, then...

Seek first the kingdom of God and ALL THESE THINGS will be added unto you. That includes all the physical things too. God is an all-around God.

with love, Eden

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PresbyGirl
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I LOVE that passage! I find it significant that delighting in the Lord preceeds his giving us the desires of our hearts. What I have discovered is that the more I delight in the Lord, the more my desires are in keeping with His desires. Sometimes the change comes as a surprise. It's not like He comes along and plops His desires into my heart and makes me feel them. That would be a violation of my will. But loving the Lord and delighting in Him creates this mysterious, marvelous alechemy that allows Him to transform my stony heart into one that loves what He loves and desires what He desires.

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If you judge people, you have no time to love them. -- Mother Teresa

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aiopj
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What happened to, "... according to His Will"?

What happens if the desires of your heart are not according to His Will? What then?

The desires of the heart of an adulterous man, for instance, are not fulfilled.

The desires of the murderous heart are not fulfilled.

Whenever those who are truly born again talk about the desires of the heart, they should always couple that with, "... according to His Will," and that takes Knowledge of His Will.

Therefore, those who do not know His Will will ask amiss. Then, when they don't see the answer to their prayer, or He doesn't give them what they want, they blame Him, not themselves.

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Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself also in the LORD: and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Eden here:

I think oneinchrist thought (more or less) that “If I delight in the LORD, then the LORD gives me the desires of my heart”, meaning "the desires of our inner man".

But I was thinking more along this line. I was thinking that, “If I delight in the LORD, then the LORD gives me the desires of my heart” means that God will provide me on earth with the best my money can buy. If I only have $1, God will find me the best red wine that can be found in my area for $1, and God will find me the best cheese that I can find in my area for the amount of money that I have available, and just numerous things like that, that is how I interpret that verse:

If I will delight in the LORD, then the LORD will give me the desires of my heart, or “whatever my heart desires”.

This is further supported by Deuteronomy 14:26:

Deuteronomy 14:26
And you shall bestow that money for whatsoever your soul lusts after, for oxen or for sheep or for wine or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.

Is that how anyone else sees it also?

May the LORD help us to love each other,
Eden

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