"RECKONING YOURSELF DEAD TO SIN"
( Eliminating Condemnation By Faith In God )
Back in Texas in 1979 the Holy Spirit taught me to play a game we all know called "Make Believe". He reminded me of that childhood game of Cowboys and Indians and if you were playing the Cowboy and one of you playmates said you were not a Cowboy you'd just ignore them and still play the part of the Cowboy. He said to play that game with him except this time you must pretend your are a Righteous Son of God. We played that game for seven months and every thought contrary to that beat on my mind. I heard thoughts you're just sinning or your going to hell because your searing your conscience. I refused to give in but the war in my mind was intense. After seven months I came home from work and fell on my bed with tears streaming down my face telling God I believed him but didn't know if I could keep playing the game because mentally I was worn out. Then SUDDENLY the Spirit of God just fell on me and covered me in a Cloud of His Glory saying Death Is Swallowed Up In Victory. The depression I had fought for so long lifted in that moment but I learned how he honored that game of making believe what he said was the truth...because it is.
While I was sitting at my desk one night the Spirit of God gave me a greater understanding I would like to share with you.
I was recalling how I had told Martha (my wife) how "Believing" was the easiest thing in the world to do -- "Just Believe" --- BUT--- it was also the "Hardest Thing In The World To Do".
Let me explain this a bit further so you can understand why I said that. It is because you have to "Become Deaf" -- or that is -- Deaf to all the accusations of words and thoughts and feelings that come against you telling you what "You Believe" is in error--or sinning--or just not THE TRUTH.
As I thought on this, sitting at my desk, the Spirit of God gave me a greater understanding of a verse of scripture that used to condemn me. The scripture verse that often troubled me was:
Romans Ch. 6 vs 11 Likewise reckon yourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I had thought that to be impossible regardless of how hard I would try to walk "Worthy of The Lord In All Pleasing". I mean it seemed like I was aware of some temptation or drawn towards at least some thought-act-word or deed almost daily that wasn't pleasing to the Lord. So what good was reckoning or considering myself dead going to help -- not much -- in my opinion. It seemed like a fruitless and futile effort.
That night I saw that in a whole new light that should cause the struggling soul to find a place of rest. Now this is really a short teaching so don't stumble over something and stop short of reading this to the end. It will Bring You Victory as you catch this in your spirit!
Here are a few scriptures that came to my mind and afterwards came a beautiful understanding.
Romans Ch. 14 vs. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
I'm sure many a Christian has been beated and whipped from the pulpit with the last part of that verse. You may have been flogged with that more times than you can count but I'm not going to beat you with it. I'm going to show you a very simple TRUTH that the Lord showed me that is going to remove the scars from those whipping sessions.
John ch. 16 vs.7-15 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away. the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement: Of sin because they believe not on me: Of righteousness
because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more, Of judgement because the prince of this world is judged. I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit Of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will
show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.
OK--Here are the last two verses of scripture and then we are going to tie this all together and your heart will see a Truth To Make You Free.
1st. Timothy Ch. 6 vs. 3 & 4 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perberse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
If you choose to believe God's Words --- regardless of your actions --- thoughts --- weaknesses or accusations that come to your mind -- or feelings that come to your body -- AND-- You refuse to believe the thoughts and feelings from the enemy -- YOU ARE RECKONING YOURSELF DEAD TO SIN.
How can that be? It is really quite simple to understand. "SIN" is not your works! "SIN" is the accusers lies contrary to what God has said! You see the works we've called sin are in reality a manifestation of believing a lie about yourself. Now don't get under condemnation just continue reading just a little bit further.
You may not look like what God says about you and you might not act like God says at this time---BUT---
If you will "JUST BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT YOU IS TRUE" His Spirit will rise up and quicken you in whatever area you are believing and holding fast to As Truth. To your own state of mind or body you are aware of you shortcoming. You see your five senses tell you that you fall short of The Truth - God Has Declared.
You see --- YOU CAN'T PERFECT YOURSELF --- BUT --- YOU HAVE A GREAT BIG GOD THAT BELIEVES HE HAS PERFECTED YOU.
He just wants you to agree with him! He wants you to believe what he did in and through Jesus is the truth. Your part is the believing part! Remember that believing is not something only real super spiritual giants can do. It's simply a choice! God has given to every man the measure of FAITH. It is the measure to choose to believe or choose not to believe.
All you can really do is make the choice. You can try to perfect yourself or your area of weakness and just end up frustrated - discouraged - depressed - or self-condemned.
I've heard many preachers and teachers say that FAITH is an ACT --- but --- IT IS NOT AN ACT
If it was an ACT .... IT WOULD BE WORKS
FAITH IS BELIEVING GOD ... with that little mustard seed he gave you.
YOU JUST BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAID IS TRUE ABOUT YOU --- REFUSE TO BELIEVE ANYTHING ELSE --- REFUSE TO ALLOW YOUR MIND TO MEDITATE ON YOUR WEAKNESS --- SMACK YOUR MIND CONTINUALLY WITH THE TRUTH --- AND --- THANK GOD OFTEN REMINDING HIM OF YOUR CHOICE TO BELIEVE HIM --- HE LIKES THAT --- HE TAKES PLEASURE IN YOUR BELIEVING
As you wrap your whole heart and mind and emotions around the truth you will find that the Spirit of God will be agreeing with you. Even if there is a fight going on in your head you will know within your heart you are pleasing God by your choice to believe. You will also begin to notice strength in your spirit. You see as you hold fast God's Word of Truth he is the one who produces the strength within to overcome habits and sickness or anything else you are in need of. When that strength comes "BY HIS GRACE" you will know it and the thing they call an ACT OF FAITH will be the result of BELIEVING and GRACE ENABLING and not from a show of your great effort in the flesh of trying and striving so you can boast of your great success.
It will be a manifestation in the flesh of God's Grace and you will know that you can't take the credit. You'll just have to give him ALL THE GLORY for doing in you what you could not achieve in your own efforts.
The ACT OF FAITH then is in reality the POWER OF GOD --- the SPIRIT OF GOD
Imparting or enabling that act -- and until that takes place -- it is works.
The apostle PAUL said "HAVING NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH"
Put your Confidence in God---Choose To Believe---In His Time Your Believing
WILL MANIFEST IN VICTORY