I really hate when my sinful longings push their way to the surface and expose the ugly nature within me that remains in conflict with righteousness. I find that no Christian is immune to the relentless territorial warfare that exists between the forces of good and evil sparring for our hearts and minds. As children of The Most High, we claim to understand our problem of sin... we accept that Jesus remains the only way to freedom... we believe that He has the power to change us.... BUT in this life, we still remain at risk to stumble in our race toward heaven. This is due to our pathetic attention span and our default nature to keep company with the enemy.
It is hard to accept that while we remain on earth, we will never completely overcome our sin or be free from worldwide turmoil. Sin will always be a reality in this lifetime. The more we look at mankind, the more we realize that we are indeed sheep that need Shepherding! We are stubborn creatures that frequently forget God's ways are ALWAYS better than our own.
Instead of absolute, unending gratitude and submission to a perfect Master, many of us spend our time questioning the motives of our King. It is in this moment that we become annoyed with the inconvenience to do what is right in the face of trials. For if we do not succumb to accepting God's way in all circumstances, then we are faced to admit our fear to trust His plan. This truth will indeed expose our desire to shift power to our self and away from The Almighty. So, we look to each other to validate our need to question God's way - because we can always find company in sin. We begin to rationalize and compromise how important our faith and commitment to follow an "unseen" Savior really is by redefining what being a Christian really means to us rather than what it means to God. Why?... Because we feel sanctioned in our position to question His motives. For where is He? Why does He allow such bad things to happen in this world? Let's face it, we secretly feel safer trusting our own ways over God's. Satan has contained us in the familiar of our own bondage. Yes, it is corrupt... but it is also predictable. Here we live at the center of a cosmic holy war where our vision remains clouded with our own ego. We believe the underlying lie that we can view ourselves somehow equal to the Creator and thus consider ourselves bigger than we actually are. Oh Lord, help us to overcome such selfishness! Less of me.... more of YOU!
You would think that after we accept Jesus as our Savior, everything would be easy and perfect and we would be transformed to be just like Him instantly... but alas, that is not how God chose to make life work. Instead, He uses our time and experiences here on earth to mold us to become more like Christ while we deal with the aftershocks caused by sin. This is where we learn true humility. I am certain that we need a Redeemer that can take our souls out of orbit from the planet "Me" and oversee our spiritual healing process. But this process is indeed just that... a process. God wants us to go through the effort of daily sacrificing our self to follow His ways. We must lay all that we have at His feet and ask Him to change us... to teach us His path. His ways are straight, correct, just, right....good. In short, if we are not following Him, we are sinning. It's that simple.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
Ladies, I challenge each of you to look at how you view yourself in contrast to how you view God. I further encourage you to look at how you react to trials and tests in your life. Circumstances, both pleasant and difficult, are intended to teach us how to live godly... meaning, how to live like God. We must accept that we are not God. We will never be God. We are, however, made to be like Him - created in His image. God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. We are not. To be like Him, we must always strive to know Him... to follow His ways... to be with Him always.
Human beings cannot expect to be able to fully understand God’s ways and why He allows bad things to happen. But God has given us every reason to trust Him. God makes it abundantly clear that all of mankind is tainted, infected with sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 6:23; 1 John 1:8). Because of this, at this very moment each person on this planet deserves instant death. Every second we spend alive... every breath of oxygen we enjoy is only by the grace and mercy of God. He is good. Even the most terrible misery we may face on this planet is still merciful compared to what we really deserve due to our sin. Without His love, we all would be doomed to eternal hell in the lake of fire. He has made it possible for us to have hope to move past the muck and mire of our corruptness. He has given us our Messiah... our Savior. God is faithful and just to those that accept Jesus as Lord. He will deliver us from sin and purify us if we accept His ways over our own. To become a new creature in Him, we must own up to our humanity and accept that we are plagued with sin. Then we must choose Jesus. We must ALWAYS choose Jesus. Let's believe His promises over everything we know until we are one day blessed to see Him face-to-face. With every decision to trust and follow Him, it becomes easier for us to grow closer to God. All because He first loved us. All because He is love.
We are special to God. Outside of Him, we are nothing. God allows all things on earth to happen for His reasons, whether we understand them or not. Often things happen to us that we simply cannot understand. Instead of questioning His motives, let's lay down our lives for Him to use. Let's remember that His ways are good, just, loving, and merciful. Let's love Him with all our heart - for he sees what we cannot. He rules where we cannot. He is in control of everything... and, thankfully, we are not. His Kingdom Come... His Will Be Done! Amen.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)