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More reasons for intimacy with Father God

5. Another reason our Father desires us to develop intimacy with Him is because we need to learn to die to our self-life. It is an absolute requirement, in order to enter into the true Kingdom and to experience His Kingdom life in us to the fullest, to die to our lower nature. It is utterly impossible to die to what Paul describes as our (sin nature) without total dependency on Holy Spirit. There simply is no real death to the flesh without intimacy with Christ.

  Intimacy and death to self go hand in hand. We cannot truly experience one without the other. The self life, or the flesh, or the desire to be our own god and rule our own lives came from Adam and Eve eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen. chapter 3). Just because we are now born again does not mean that our inner desire to rule self has automatically disappeared. Although judicially Jesus won our victory over our soul self life on the cross, the flesh still needs to be crucified daily as we learn to wholly submit to God, by faith, not works.
  In Romans 6:6 Paul declared that our old un-renewed self was nailed to the cross and he went on to say in verse 11 to consider ourselves dead to sin. He also said in verses 12-14 not to let sin rule us, do not continue offering yourself up to sin, but to offer ourselves up to and yield to God, for sin is not to have dominion over us. If the work is already automatically done in us why is Paul telling us this? Why does he have to teach us to continually yield our bodily members and faculties to God, which only (leads) to sanctification? (Read Romans chapter 6 and 7).
  If you have been walking with God for any length of time I don’t need to tell you that we all struggle with sin due to the sin-nature in us. We all know what we (should) do but we also all know we fail very often. Just ask Paul. Our sin-natures are alive and well in us, until we go on past making Jesus our mere Savior (salvation) and on into allowing Him to become our Lord (sanctification) in intimacy with Him. We like Paul cry out, “For I do not understand my own actions {I am baffled, bewildered}. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe {which my moral instinct condemns}.”
  In Romans 7:17-25 Paul is lamenting the truth that if I do habitually what is contrary to my desire…that it is no longer I who do the deed, but rather the (sin principle), which is at home in me and has possession of me. He states that he discerns in his bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law…making him a prisoner to the law of sin. Paul says, “O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [ the shackles of] this body of death? Oh thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord!
  Then in Romans chapter 8 Paul goes on to describe a life of walking or being “controlled” by the Spirit. The only way to be controlled by the Spirit is through intimacy with Christ my friends. Many a man or woman has failed to live this crucified life of the flesh simply because they have “tried” to live this impossible life through their own wills or power, or strength. Indeed, flesh is a poor master of flesh! It is only by His grace, as we do our part to simply yield to the finished work of the cross, by picking up our own cross, and dying daily to own self life, by faith in Christ alone, that we can learn to truly walk in the Spirit, and not only being filled with Him but also “controlled” by Him.
  In order to transformed into His image and likeness and do the works of the ministry He is greatly desiring of us, our flesh must be totally uprooted by the inner working of the Holy Spirit, and once again that can only be accomplished through intimacy with Christ. It is utterly impossible for us to uproot our own flesh through good works or performance or through ministry or through our own self wills. Ain’t happenin sis and bro!
  John 12:24 clearly states that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. In Matthew 16:24-25 Jesus declared that “if anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [ cleave to My example in living, and, if need be, in dying, also]. For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life], and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].
  Death to self requires intimacy and Intimacy demands death. There are no shortcuts. There is no way to circumvent our need for both death and intimacy. If we truly desire to be His disciples and not just a convert, we will be obedient to Christ and allow Him full access to our hearts and let Him take us through the painful process of uprooting SELF. Jesus modeled it and demonstrated it and His disciples who became Apostles lived it. Our Daddy is looking for fully laid down lovers who are willing to “make themselves ready”, to become His Bride. Amen?
       Love Mark and Catherine

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