Sinai or Calvary?

I can’t believe we are already in chapter 6 of our study through Roy Hession’s book, We Would See Jesus. This week we are going to ask ourselves a very important question: Are we running to Sinai or Calvary? Last week, we saw that Jesus is the Door, open on street level. Entering through Jesus is not just the only way of salvation, but also the only way of living the Spirit filled life. As we reach the point of conviction of sin and humbly approach Jesus, there is a battle that takes place in our hearts just outside the door.

The Holy Spirit wants to lead us to Calvary, but Satan wants to lead us to Mount Sinai. You may recall the significance of Mount Sinai in the Old Testament. This is the place where God gave Moses the 10 Commandments. Mount Sinai represents the Old Covenant full of bondage and law. Calvary represents the New Covenant full of grace and freedom! This new covenant was established by the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary (see Hebrews 10:19-20).

When we are convicted of sin, we need to be careful whose voice we listen to. Satan will immediately try to derail the Holy Spirit’s work of conviction and take us to Sinai in order to accuse us. Revelation 12:10 rightly calls him the “accuser of the brethren.” He not only accuses us to God, but he accuses us to ourselves producing in us a sense of condemnation. After accusing us, Satan will try to tell “us what we are not in order to get us to struggle in our own strength to make up for it” (Roy Hession). He might tell us things like, “you’re not praying enough, witnessing enough, reading your Bible enough” and “you’re not humble enough, loving enough, or patient enough.” He says all these things simply to try and get us to do or be all these things out of the energy of self. Once we get caught in this cycle, we are in true bondage because now Satan has got us trying to climb the wall instead of entering in through the door on street level.

The Holy Spirit however, has a completely different approach! Regarding conviction of sin, “He takes that sin and us with it, to Calvary, to Jesus our door. There He shows us that that sin, and much else, was anticipated and settled by the Lord Jesus in His death upon the cross” (Roy Hession). The powerful effect of the Holy Spirit’s approach brings freedom to admit to God what we’re not and rest from “self-initiated activity” (in trying to get ourselves right with Him)! Isaiah 30:15 says, “In returning and rest shall ye be saved” (KJV).

Whatever the Holy Spirit is convicting us of (lack of love, worry, not spending enough time in His Word, etc.), instead of making a list of how we can do better, we need to bring that conviction straight to Calvary and admit to God the truth about ourselves!

“As we rest as sinners in that low place, Jesus pours into our hearts His own love for that other person. In that low place where we confess our worry, He gives us His own faith… There too He will lead us to those devotions which He wants on each occasion. And so, instead of trying to ‘climb up some other way’ into victory, we enter into it by the door as we bow in repentance at His cross. In this way, seeking soul, we find the reality of ‘Not I, but Christ liveth in me,’ for it is into His love, patience, and victory that we enter, not ours. And so it is that we learn by experience, ‘in returning and rest shall ye be saved” (Roy Hession).

Whose voice are you listening to today? “How differently does the Holy Spirit work from the devil. While Satan accuses only to bring despair, bondage and striving, the Holy Spirit convicts only to bring comfort, freedom and rest” (Roy Hession). If the reproof you are feeling is negative, nagging and blaming in nature, it is probably the devil accusing you and leading you back to Mount Sinai. But, “if the reproof is clear and specific, and if we instinctively know that we have only to be willing to say yes and repent to have peace and comfort, then we may be assured that it is the voice of the gracious Holy Spirit” (Roy Hession) leading us to Calvary.

I am going to close this post with the poem used at the end of the chapter. I pray that God will teach you to hear His voice! Don’t listen to the voice of the devil and your flesh leading you back to Mount Sinai. In Jesus, we have a new and Living Way!

“Under the law with its ten-fold lash, learning alas, how true, that the more I tried the sooner I died, while the law cried YOU! YOU! YOU!!!

Hopelessly still did the battle rage, ‘O wretched man’ my cry, and deliverance I sought by some penance bought, while my soul cried, I! I! I!!!

Then came a day when my struggling ceased, and trembling in every limb, at the foot of the Tree where One died for me, I sobbed out, HIM! HIM! HIM!!!”

Here are some things to meditate on throughout this week.

Day 1: What is Satan called in Revelation 12:10-11 and how is he overcome?

Day 2: Read Galatians 3:10-14 and write down why man is cursed under the law and what Jesus did about it. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:22-26?

Day 3: We saw in Day 1 that Satan is our accuser. While he stands to accuse, Jesus stands to advocate for us and intercede! Read the following verses and write down everything you learn about Jesus being our advocate and praying for us. 1 John 2:1-2, Romans 8:34Hebrews 7:24-25

Day 4: Read Romans 7:14-25 and describe the conflict Paul was having. Do you relate with Paul? Now read Romans 8:1-11 and write down how God has set us free from the law.

Day 5: Read Romans 8:26-39 and write down all of the promises of God listed in these amazing verses. Now read Hebrews 4:16 and write down how we are to come before the throne of God when we pray.

As you reflect on God’s Word this week, prayerfully answer the following questions.

  • How have you discerned the voice of God from the voice of the devil? In what ways are they different and how can you tell?
  • Pick one of the verses from Day 3 to meditate on and memorize. This will help you when you hear the devil’s accusing voice.

“At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the Light, and the burdens of my heart rolled away! It was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day.”

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