Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Rom. 7:18)
READ: Matthew 16:24-26
John 15:5 and Philippians 4:13 agree on one thing: that believers in Christ are powered by Christ. If without Him we cannot achieve anything and through Him we can achieve just anything, then if there is one need in the life of every Christian, it is to have more of Jesus in our lives. John the Baptist understood this principle so well hence, his desire that Christ might increase (John 3:30). The more of Christ you have, the more like Him you will become, and the greater will be your achievements. If He keeps increasing in you, you will perform spiritual tasks without stress.
However, before Christ can increase in you, something in you must give way. Before there is an increase, there must also be a decrease. John the Baptist says ‘I must decrease’. A life that is full of self can never witness an increase of Christ. Some people ask Jesus to increase in their lives, whereas their flesh has not lost any ground. So where will the Lord spread out to occupy? The Lord can only increase when you force self to give Him room. As long as you are bent on having your way in major decisions of your life, family or church, Christ cannot increase there. Your flesh is not your friend. No wonder Paul said there was nothing good in flesh (Rom. 7:18). That body you are investing so much time on, intends to lure you out of God’s presence. It will make unhealthy demands. Stop cooperating with your flesh! Stop patronizing it! How many times have you decided to engage yourself in studying the Bible, praying at night or fasting that your flesh did not give you any problem? Hardly any. This is why you must deny yourself if you want to be Christ’s disciple (Matt. 16:24-26). How can you decrease your flesh in order to give Jesus more room? It is by denying self of its desires. It is by saying ‘No’ to every desire of the flesh. You must be able to check what your eyes see, and subdue every feeling of pride. You must subordinate your self will to Christ’s and ensure He has His way in your life always. Avoid anything that glorifies the flesh and ensure God and God alone is glorified. Let Jesus be seen in you. The more people see Him in your life, the more prepared you are for His coming.
Lord, let me die to the desires of my flesh and live unto Your Word and will.
Bible in One year: Deut. 23-25