Summary: God wants us to stop doing what’s wrong; He gave us His Spirit to do it, but we still have a fallen nature that makes it tough. I don’t think God wants it to be easy, because He wants us to work hard to show Him how much we love Him. Sin is easy, just ask
Give Me a Week
I’ve been Amazed by those that are so quick to criticize someone’s character often struggle the most with their own. One thing I’ve learned in my 29 year relationship with God is that I’m messed up, and always am in need of His Grace.
The Bible say’s that God desires change, and that change needs to become more reflective of His character and less of our own sinful one. One only has to read Romans 7, which balances out Chapter 6 to understand how hard it is to achieve this. The Apostle Paul is often referred to as the Chief Apostle aside from Jesus Himself, and yet my favorite passage is the “Passage of Balance.” “I do what I don’t want to do and what I want to do I find it at times almost impossible, my paraphrase.
God wants us to stop doing what’s wrong; He gave us His Spirit to do it, but we still have a fallen nature that makes it tough. I don’t think God wants it to be easy, because He wants us to work hard to show Him how much we love Him. Sin is easy, just ask me and I’ll tell you that I still struggle with things after trying to stop for 29yrs. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough one might say. Maybe it’s true, but “Give Me a Week” and I will find your faults and you will find mine. So what do we do about it, beat each other up or sharpen each other in His grace?
We can say, “You know, it’s just too hard to stop this or stop that, I’ll try later.” Procrastination is always successful for one thing, nothing, ha. I know because I’ve done it many times and I have to say how disgusted I sometimes get when certain sins get the best of me. I had a bumper sticker that said “Life is fragile, Handle it with Prayer.” I remember once realizing that when my Prayer time was sorely lacking, sin was having a field day with me.
There have been two major things in my life that took about a decade of prayer to kick. One was a tobacco habit and another was a drug addiction almost 20 yrs ago. My favorite line to anyone that would hit me up to go get high was that; “I fix airplanes for a living. Do you want to fly on a jet that I worked on after doing that?” It’s worked every time. Some bristle when they find out that on occasions I have a drink. That’s a tough one because there are scriptures that back up that taking a drink is not a sin and also that drinking is bad.
First of all Jesus turned water into wine. Now some believe it was grape juice, but if they do a little research on Jewish culture and have a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance they’ll find that it was fermented wine. Now on the other hand I have alcoholism in my family with my Grand Parents, maybe that’s why neither of my parents drink. My point is a passage by one of my favorite Pastors, Jack Hayford. “Be slow to judge and quick to forgive.”
I’ve met so many Christians that try to deal with someone’s sin before they have the Spirit and they are often pushy in doing it. Friendship Evangelism is my favorite, and believe the most effective, especially when they get to know me and find out that Christians are not better, but forgiven and also still struggle with a fallen nature and there’s plenty of room at the Cross, come join me. Another of my favorite bumper stickers is “Be Patient with Me, God isn’t Finished Yet.” My doctor told me one time after telling him that I wanted to quit chewing tobacco. “You engaged in this habit for so many years, it’s going to take time to undo it.” Now God can take it in a micro second and did, but sometime later after an agonizing time of trying to do it myself.”
We will struggle with sin until our redeemer takes us home and at sometime think we are useless for the kingdom, but that’s not God talking. God’s mercy is greater than our sin, not that we should take a cavalier attitude towards it, but also not to beat ourselves into the ground, that’s not of God either. There is a way that may seem right, and yet God will show us a more excellent way.