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Romans 8:23-25


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I've been sitting here for a few minutes, wondering how to put into words, what is laying on my heart and mind.

 

I feel a seriousness, a sadness, and while fear keeps trying to creep into my heart, Your peace pushes it out of my heart so that there is no room for anything but Your holy peace. I also feel an urgency Father, and that is why I'm even trying to put this into words this morning. I feel an urgency to prep...not for physical, human preps, but spiritual preps. In fact, as I type 'spiritual preps' out, I don't even like the way that sounds because it is more than spiritual preps, it's my relationship with You, and that is no where near a 'prep'. But to differentiate between the two, what's heavy on my heart isn't in the natural realm, it's between You and me.

 

I'm at peace (to some extent) with this ongrowing relationship You have blessed me with, but I feel an urgency Father to go deeper, to delve into my relationship with You as if I were jumping up and down on a diving board by a pool, seeking to dive in as deep as I can go right now with my knowledge of You, my relationship with You.

 

As I look out over the horizon Father, I see the war approaching faster and faster...it seems to have accelerated. The 'war' I've prepared for, for many years, is not quite like I thought it would be. The physical preps I have will be necessary and critical but at this point in time, as I see the war approaching, it's convincing me that all those preps, all that knowledge, won't even begin to be enough. For the war that is approaching isn't so much a human war (although it will be waged by humans) as it is a spiritual war and it is far deadlier than any we could have imagined. I've always said Father, that the worst we try to prepare for, won't even begin to compare with how bad it will be. Now isn't that a strange thing to say? But as the days go by and I see the war getting closer, I see there is much truth in that.

 

I'm getting to the point Father where I don't know what decisions to make. It's not that I'm suddenly inept, or that I can't handle things...it's just that I sense that things are getting way too serious, too fast, and as smart as I think I can be at times, there's just no way that I want to make any decision without first lifting it up before You, my heart crying out, "help Father...I don't know what to do or which way to go" with whatever situation I'm looking at, no matter how big or small. I want and desperately need Your guidance, Your counsel and as I think about it...isn't that what You've always desired from me anyway? I want Your influence, Your direction, Your protection, Your perfect will over all that holds meaning to me. While my relationship with You has grown into one of genuine love...I don't ever want to be without You...but my concern over my children and family in the days to come, the responsibility of all that You have intrusted me with here, on this land...many things lay on my heart and as strong as I am and/or as strong as I think I am but am not, I do not want to take one more step into the hours/days/weeks/months/years ahead without being in step with You, my Heavenly Father.

 

So, I feel You leading me into Your Word where all the answers are and all that I need, are found. I feel You drawing me into a deeper relationship with me, through prayer, and I know Father, that the solution to all that lays on my heart and mind, is found there. But Father, I can't help my heart from wanting to say...

 

Have mercy on Your children Father, and I know You will. Help us to mature spiritually because a baby cannot fight a war. I believe Your grace is sufficient but I also believe I need to ask...to acknowlege my need for You...to invite You willingly into all areas of my life, and I mean ALL areas...I hold nothing back. There's no time to hold on to grudges or resentments, pride or any number of sins. I can't afford to hang onto something that is not Your perfect will because I just sense that it's critical for me to at least be willing to let go of everything.

 

I know I've written similar prayers in the past Father, when You've brought me to points like this, but it continues to be like that 'onion skin layer' thing where each layer of skin that is peeled off the onion takes one closer to the heart of that onion.

 

As I sit here looking over all that I've just written I can't help but think to myself, "oh geez, do I really want to post all this rambling?". I will Father because it is my genuine prayer this morning, with things that are really on my heart, and I'll leave it up to You to use this for another...or not.

 

Bless today's study Father...may Your Spirit annoint the words written below, for Your glory.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

23. And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adition, to-wit, the redemption of our body.

 

24. For unto [a state of] hope we were saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?

 

25. But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

 

Watchman Nee comments on a few words in the 23rd verse:

 

"the firstfruits of the Spirit": "The firstfruits of the Spirit are simply the Spirit Himself as the firstfruits. The Triune God is our enjoyment; He is everything to us. There will be a harvest of this blessing at the redemption of our body; that will be the full enjoyment. Today the Spirit is the firstfruits of the coming harvest, the foretaste of our full enjoyment of God.

 

"groan": "Although we have the divine Spirit as the firstfruits in our spirit, our body has not yet been saturated with the divine life. Our body is still the flesh, linked to the old creation, and it is still a body of sin and death that is impotent in the things of God. Hence, we groan together with the creation (vv. 19, 22) and eagerly await the glorious day when we will obtain the full sonship, the redemption and transfiguration of our body, and will be freed from the slavery of corruption."

 

"sonship": "This sonship began with the regeneration of our spirit, is continuing with the transformation of our soul, and will be consummated with the redemption of our body."

 

The rvbv writes in regard to the 23rd verse: "Let us note that the Spirit does not take us out of sympathy with groaning creation, but rather supports us in such a sympathy! Being ourselves, as to the body, in a groaning condition, - "longing to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven" (II Cor. 5:2) we are able to sympathize with the creatures about us, which is a precious thing! No one should feel as tender as should the child of God toward suffering creation. No one should be as gentle. Not only should this be true about us as concerns unsaved people: as Paul says, "Be gentle, showing all meekness toward all men," but, I say, we should be tender and patient toward animals, for they are in a dying state - until our bodies are redeemed.

 

What a marvelous position, then, is the Christians! On the heavenly side, the side of grace, in Christ, sharing in His risen life, delivered from sin and law and all worldly things. On the other hand, not yet partaker of glory (though expecting and awaiting it), but kept in an unredeemed body, - not fitted yet for heaven: and in which the longing spirit, knowing itself "meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light," can only "groan"!

 

This groaning is not at all that of the "wretched man" of Romans Seven. For not only is spiritual victory known; but the "redemption body" is longed for and awaited as that which the Lord's coming will surely bring!

 

Thus, then, does the Christian become the true connection of groaning creation with God! He is redeemed, heavenly; but his body is unredeemed, earthly. Yet the blessed Holy Spirit, as the "firstfruits" of coming bodily redemption, dwells in him. Thus the believer and the whole creation look toward one goal - the liberty of the coming glory of the sons of God! (Major D.W. Whittle - blessed memory! used to say, "the trouble with most Christians is that they are not willing to groan! Unwilling to face constantly the fact of being 'in a tabernacle,' our earthly body, in which we groan, being burdened; and thus to long for the coming of Christ in the redemption of their bodies, most Christians get wary and long for death - disembodiment, which is not the Christian's hope. Or else they turn back for some kind of satisfaction to the things of this poor wretched dying world. Or they seek to have sin 'eradicated' from their bodies.)

 

Ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourseles groan - Here then is a wonderful scene: 1. new creatures in Christ, whose citizenship is in heaven; 2. the presence of the Spirit within them as "firstfruits" of their coming inheritance - witnessing of it, giving them to taste of its glory; 3. a state of groaning despite all this; 4. a waiting for bodily redemption.

 

Waiting for our adoption, to-wit, the redemption of our body - The instructed Christian, knowing that his body belongs to the Lord, and is not yet redeemed, longs for, yearns for, groans for that day when his body will be placed in a position of openly acknowledged sonship and glory, even as his spirit now, is. Till that day he cannot be satisfied.

 

This scene is deeply touching. One who, redeemed, belongs in heaven, yet kept in a body in which he groans with groaning creation. Then - amazing goodness! the blessed Spirit, we may say, represents God's tender feeling toward His creation, abiding, as He does, in us the while our bodies are not redeemed. We repeat and repeat that the Christian's hope is not disembodiment, or mere "going to heaven." For, knowing that "our citizenship is in heaven; we patiently wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory." There is an element, we fear, of cowardice, as well as of unbelief in setting our hope on "getting to heaven," and leaving, so to speak, our body behind. God began with man's body in Eden (Gen. 2); and He will end with redeeming our bodies. The heart of God and of Christ, - yea of the indwelling Spirit (Rom. 8:11) is set upon that. Let our hearts, also, be set upon it.

 

Verse 24: For unto [a state of] hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?

 

This places us, along with all creation, in hope. For, as verse 24 announced, unto [a state of] hope were we saved. There is a longing for and expectation of something better, no matter what spiritual blessing comes to the believer. This that is longed for, is, of course, "the liberty of the glory," that belongs, by God's grace, to the children of God (verse 21). Creation will share this "liberty." Therefore we have a double feeling toward creation: sympathy with its suffering, and joy in its prospect of sharing the "liberty of the glory" into which we shall shortly come.

 

Verse 25: But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

 

Now hope is expecting something better! The very fact that we have not seen it realized as yet, begets within us that grace which is so precious to God - patience. But note, it is not patience in the abstract that is set forth here: but patient waiting for the coming liberty of the glory of the children of God."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Well, after doing these few verses today, I feel blessed and at peace. And that is just after the small amount of time it took for me to type out the study above. But I hafta say, I'm not quite sure why we hafta be patient and wait for Christ's return. I mean, don't You think it's ok to be a little impatient wanting Him to return?

 

lol

 

I know, I know, I know...just hush Darlene and believe, right? lol

 

I love You Father. Be with me and all of us, as we go through this day. Pour Your Spirit out over each of our lives in an abundance, growing us, maturing us and getting us ready for the days to come.

 

I love You Father.

 

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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As I sit here looking over all that I've just written I can't help but think to myself, "oh geez, do I really want to post all this rambling?".

 

The answer, simply, is YES! Thank you for those words. I agree wholeheartedly. The "war"...in the spiritual sense, certainly has begun already. Scary....yet we don't stand even on our own courage. We stand with the power of the God's Holy Spirit within us....as long we remain willing to stand under HIS umbrella of protection. ...not go wandering off on our own interests, short-sightedness, distractions, temptations, grande ideas :busted: etc. HOLD FAST is the theme of so many recent exhortations. Hold Fast to the source of our protection, provision and guidance. Hold fast to the ONE who loves us and has the power to keep us thru anything.

 

MtRider [....as for Christ's return....yeah, ;) tomorrow's good for me..? :bounce: ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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