Sometimes I imagine what the war against my spiritual life would look like if it were a physical war. I can see the powers of darkness raging at me every time I obey God. Those same hellish demons fly into fits when I pray in the will of God. They disguise themselves as angels of light to tempt me and throw lies my way to detour me from truth that I’ve learned, even truth given to me only hours before.
This is the importance of daily devotions. Without a word from God each day, truth can be snatched away or I can be totally sidetracked.
Each day brings its own challenges, so each day I need God’s direction and encouragement. He constantly amazes me with His way of orchestrating devotions and current experiences so I am hearing what I need to hear in the situations and problems of my life. I’m also amazed at deeper understanding of truth that I already know.
Yesterday He reminded me of the certainty of my salvation. Today He reminds me of the certainty of being resurrected to new life in Christ . . .
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:5–11)
The last line is about attitude. God says I am united with Jesus in His death and alive with Him in His resurrection. He tells me to consider or reckon that this is true. This is an accounting term. That is, I am to put this transaction in the proper column on the ledger, crediting it to my account. Like financial records are on paper and I might not be able to see the money, so also is this reckoning. My new life is sometimes hidden (sometimes due to the lies of those hellish evil forces), but God says to consider the truth rather than their lies. In doing so, I am holding up the shield of faith and protecting myself against the enemy. Obedience does the same thing. Satan cannot touch me if I am abiding in Christ.
The resurrection life of Jesus shows itself in holiness, and as Chambers says, that life invades every bit of my human nature. He does not come in as a guest but comes in as the Owner, taking charge of everything. My part is to serve Him as He reveals His will to me.
Considering myself dead to sin and alive to God takes practice. It also requires keeping short accounts with God and not beating myself up over sin that has been confessed and forgiven. Instead, I’m helped by looking at Jesus instead of my old self. Doing that makes my life a mirror. I may not see the good that gets reflected, but perhaps others will. In addition, that focus will turn me away from any despair of realizing that I fall short and have not yet reached the fullness of the freedom for which He died.