\One of the clearest indicators of spiritual that we are in renewal might surprise us! It's loathing ourselves! Yes, this is what Ezekiel placed at the end of a long list of "I will" declarations made by Yahweh. Once Yahweh has done what "He will do" in and for us, Ezekiel wrote that our response would be ..."THEN you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices." Only when we enabled by God's grace to compare our old man before His Devine influence, with our new man quickened by His grace, can we see how pitiful and corrupt our old man really is. Without Devine mercy we can not see the depth of our former depravity; sinners always flatter themselves in their own eyes too much to detect or hate their sin. Once we have been touched by His grace, and renewal has begun its dynamic work - we can then look back through the eyes of the Spirit and we will loathe our old man and his corrupt ways. This is a great help to deepen renewal even more, because seeing our disgusting our old man was and is, we are all the more eager to "put him off"! We naturally guard the things we cherish and get rid of the things we consider trash. This is the discovery Paul wrote about to the Philippians - "the things I once thought were to my profit, I now consider them loss for the same of Christ....I consider them garbage, that I might gain Christ!" When grace has begun a work, it causes us to see our old man as garbage and Christ as gain! This makes "denying ourself" just as joyful as the man who found the treasure hidden in the field. Jesus said that this man went and in his JOY ran to sell everything else he possessed so he could purchase the field and gain the treasure! Yes! Loathing ourselves is a direct result of catching a glimpse of the glory of Christ because only then can we truly compare the former with the later. When we loathe ourselves properly, we will deny ourselves purposefully - and do it all joyfully!
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon