Another time was when we were looking for a house. (923 Lay Blvd.) The minute I stood inside that house something went off inside me. I knew as well as I new my name, this is it!
Again, that still small voice, that inward voice said, “I am going to give you this house . . .” my wife and I returned to the realtor’s car and my wife said that we would need to pray about it. I looked at her and said, “Don’t worry, I already know that the house is ours . . .” My wife looked at me and said, “Well . . . okay, we’ll see what happens . . .”
Suddenly that inward voice said, “You watch me.”
Without going into all the details, it would surprise you how God gave us that house—it took over two years; several offers; the owner switching realtors and the final deal was better than my original offer . . .
What was interesting is that he was unable to sell the house at a time that was “hot” for sellers. He had no offers for so long the original realtor’s listing ended and the owner switched realtors. I called the new realtor and explained that I had made several offers when it was listed before but the owner was unwilling to accept our offers. Again, I was not trying to take advantage of the owner; I wasn’t trying to “rip-him-off.” I told the new realtor what I had offered and she agreed my offer was very reasonable.
Also, by this time I was a little frustrated and I didn’t care who knew where my confidence came from. I told the realtor, “I know this will sound weird and you will think I am a nut, but when we first saw the house, the Lord told me that it would be ours and I don’t care how long it takes, we will eventually move into that house.”
The realtor chuckled and assured me she did not think I was a nut. It just so happened that I knew her husband because he was one of the pastors of Agape Christian Fellowship—a church in town I was very familiar with.
We made another offer to the owner and he countered our offer with an even better offer and gave us the down payment; washer and dryer and a few other items that he did not want to move out of the house . . . Whoa! But it is important to realize that this whole adventure took over two years to finally come to pass!
Again, like Abraham, I refused to allow any distrust of a definite pronouncement of God to make me waiver. I drew strength from my faith, and, while giving glory to God, I remained absolutely convinced that God is able to implement his own promise. That is the faith that was “counted unto him for righteousness.”
Abraham looked at what was promised and believed God and he was justified by faith. David, although he was guilty of the twin sins of adultery and murder, believed God and was justified, so that he could sing about the man “to whom God would not impute iniquity.” Both of these men are examples from the Old Testament of how God justifies.
Unfortunately, many Christians stop right there. They think that is all salvation is about—a way to escape hell and get to heaven. However, there is more to the human life than the spirit; there is also the soul and the body. Beginning in chapter five, Paul sets forth for us the way God works to deliver the soul—our mind, our emotions, and our will.
The soul of man, as he is born of Adam, is under the reign of sin. The flesh (if you want to use the Biblical term for it) rules us. The life of Adam possesses us, with all its self-centered characteristics. Even though our spirit has been justified, it is quite possible to go on with the soul still under the bondage and reign of sin. Although Christ has settled our destiny, our experience is still as much under the control of evil as before we were Christians. That is the cause of the miserable experience of being up-and-down, sometimes depending on the promises of God for justification, then experiencing again the implacable bondage of sin ruling in the life, causing selfishness and self-centeredness.
Well, what is God’s program for this? To sum it up in one word: sanctification. God intends us to see that in Jesus Christ this whole thing has been taken care of, even as our destiny was, so that we can be as free from the reign of sin as we are from the penalty of sin.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome