Am I actually clean right now? I keep wanting to think no, it can't be. I can't be clean, but that's a lie from the enemy. There are times when I am aligned with God's will. It's not just for a moment and then I go off and sin again. Not sinning I think I am redefining. Sinning is when I am not resting and abiding in God and Jesus Christ. It's not about my actions at this point, it's about abiding. Allowing Christ and God to direct my actions and decisions alone and not others over Christ and God.
When I am abiding in Jesus and He is abiding in me, I cannot sin by this definition. Sin is not an action. It is a state of being, a state of the heart. And this can change moment by moment. As a branch, I can cut myself off from the vine (Jesus) by hardening my heart, refusing to listen, giving myself Lordship over Him. Or I can soften my heart by surrendering and being humble and allowing His life to flow through me. This will lead to me acting in a manner consistent with God's Word (Torah).
In my own power and by my own will, I can mimic this by myself for a little while, pushing against the flow of my own will, and that is actually sin, because I am trying to act consistent with God's Word (Torah), without submitting myself to God. That does not bring eternal salvation. It does bring some temporary earthly benefits in this life, which is how an addict (or overeater, shop-a-holic, etc) can get clean, and receive the benefits of sobriety, without the benefits of eternal life. This is what I have heard some refer to as "playing church."
What I need is for Christ to abide in me, and for me to abide in Christ. For me to live out God's Word (Torah) through the power of the Holy Spirit. As I allow the Holy Spirit to direct me I will be transformed. My mind will change to be like Christ's mind, always surrendered and giving glory to God. It will be transformed through renewal. Instead of "working hard" to try to do what God's word says, it will become my nature. It will actually be offensive and difficult for me to NOT do God's Word (Torah). His yoke is easy and His burden light. He does all the heavy lifting in that respect. Our hardest job is to continually die to self so that it does not keep quenching the Spirit.
If I do quench the Spirit in my life, I need to repent and die to the self-willed thoughts and actions that are not motivated out of love for God, but love for myself, or others. Not that I will never love myself or others, but in order to refrain from sin, these loves are ALWAYS subordinate to my love for God. And I remember that God loved me first. He made me in His own image and when I was unwilling to surrender to His way and thought mine was best, even in that moment, Jesus Christ died to pay for that sin so that God could reconcile me to Himself.
Praise You God for Your infinite glory, power, grace, love, and shalom (peace). Guide me in staying in a posture of humility and surrender. Quickly reveal to me when I am hardening my heart that I might repent and return to you by crucifying the self will and surrendering and inviting You to dwell in me again. Thank You for loving me like this. Thank You for disciplining me, even when I hated it, so that I would return to living the right way. I pray that others will read this and know that they too are made in Your image and that no amount of self-willed following of Your word will bring them to eternal life, but only by You abiding in them and they abiding in You through deep trust will they reach that goal. Amen.