Monday, May 21, 2012

Walking with Jesus: It's not so easy.

Nobody ever said walking with Jesus was easy.  Sometimes it is easier than others, but there’s this thing about walking with Jesus.  The more we walk with Him and the deeper we go means more and more of our selfishness/pride has to go too.  This is the difficult part.  Our old self, all the sin/pride/rebellion/self-righteousness/whatever dissipates as Jesus begins to fill us with His love and purpose.  The less we have of ourselves the more beautiful we will become as Christ begins to take over every area of our hearts.    

There will be times in my life when I feel like I’ve finally taken hold of a stronghold in my life.  But then those moments come where I am reminded of the sin or challenged once again with the question will I choose life and follow Jesus or will I choose that path I hate, but are so often drawn too.  Yes, I want to follow Jesus.  Yes, I want to live more for Him.  I cannot conquer strongholds or overcome temptation on my own, and neither can you.  By the power of the Risen Christ in us we can, but only according to His good purpose and glory.  Did you hear that last part?  Only according to His good purpose and glory.   I think it’s a very important piece.  Let me explain.  If for some reason God desires for me to struggle through an area of sin for longer than I’d like, my response should be that of praise and thanksgiving because “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose (Phil 2:13).”  I may not understand it, I may not like it, I may even wish it never happened but it’s not my feelings that give me any sense of Truth, it is His Word which guides me in Truth.  His Word must be my focus and yours.  God’s character and our identity in Christ are not determined by how we feel but on who God is revealed to us in His Word. 

I have learned over my years of walking with Jesus that we can pray a prayer for God to help us live victoriously but that does to mean the prayer is immediately answered.  Sometimes it is, but I think most times it isn’t.  Why?  Because God has so much more to do in us and it’s the journey of trusting Him in faith, even when the lies continue, the fears do not cease, and the battle seems like there is no end in sight.  Think about it friends, if God just answered our prayers in an instant, would we truly seek Him?  Would we really get to know Him?  God would be at our disposal giving us whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted without us having to submit anything to Him.  This is not how God works.  He’s a redemptive God who longs to make us whole and complete.  This work takes time. 

God loves us with an everlasting, perfect, complete love.  Let us not forget though that the Christian life is a battle.   The world, the flesh (ourselves), and the devil are all working against us.  My friends keep pressing on.  Keep putting your faith in the promises of God revealed in scripture.  Don’t regret the struggle, but remember God is working in you to make you more like His Son.   The journey may not be easy, but the reward is well worth it. And what is our reward?  Well eternal life for one, but in the meantime it’s the amazing journey of walking with the Lover of our souls.  The Apostle Paul sums it up pretty well in Phil 3:7-8 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

Jesus really is real and alive.  The more I walk with Him, the more I realize this truth.  He is alive and He lives in me.  God knows exactly what He is doing, keep trusting, keep seeking, and keep believing Him for far better things.  “Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay (Hab. 2:3b).”

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