Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).
As I mentioned yesterday, after we are born again, our biggest problem is self-will. When Adam and Eve yielded to sin in the Garden of Eden, self-will took the place of submission to God. And ever since then the exalted self has challenged us through the ages.
The New Birth cleanses the human spirit of the nature of sin, but its reside remains embedded in the soul of man. Even after we are born again there is a huge tendency towards self-will. Satan seeks to use our personal issues with self will to get us to into a place of disobedience to God. Satan dangles the carrot of the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life before us, seeking to get us to follow his lead and walk away from our fellowship with our Father.
You can see this plainly in the wilderness temptations of Jesus in Luke 4. Jesus knew where He came from, who He was, and where He was going. Satan sought to sideline Jesus by enticing Jesus to use His God ability without the Father’s permission. If you really are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into bread. If you really are the Son of God, throw yourself off this cliff and let the angels rescue you. If you really are the Son of God, then bow before me and I will give you the power of the kingdoms of the world.
All of these statements were directed toward Jesus’ will, seeking to move Jesus to use His Divine power in a selfish way without first of all consulting with the Father. And that’s what Satan seeks to entice you and me to do; to use our will to satisfy the flesh, the world, and our human pride.
Independent living is Satan’s plan for you and me. If Satan can’t keep you from being born again, then after you receive salvation, he seeks to move you to use your will to act contract to the Word and to love. My challenge every day is to use purposely submit my will to the will of the Father. My biggest problem is not Satan. My biggest problem is my stubborn self-will!
Let me urge you to take time every day to relinquish your will to the will of God. Tell the Lord of the urges and thoughts that come to you to live contrary to His known will as revealed in the Word! Purposely commit yourself to Jesus, to the Father, and to the Word every day. Willing lay your will at Jesus feet. Commit to His way of living as revealed in John 5:19 and 30 (NLT): So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.(30)I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.