Summary: Living a life that is pleasing to God is no simple matter, in fact it is something that takes work, devotion and commitment.

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A complicated matter

I’ m sure that many of you have attended a service or a meeting somewhere, sometime where the pastor or speaker make the following statement: “come to Jesus, and all you problems will be over”.

I’ve been thinking about this statement, and you know, I have come to the conclusion that if this statement is true, then there must be something radically wrong in my life, because I think that the contrary might rather be true in my own life!

In my experience, life became much harder and more difficult the day I became a Christian.

Saint Augustine used this metaphor to describe our pre and post conversion experience. He said that we are like horses, and before we are saved, Satan is the one who rides on the horse. Once we are converted, Christ is the one who rides the horse, but the problem then is that Satan is not willing to give up the saddle, and he keeps trying to regain control of the horse.

If I think back once again to my pre-conversion days, the one thing that I remember is the fact that I was able to do pretty much whatever I wanted to do, and because I had no real regard for right and wrong in biblical terms, I was able to suppress my conscience to such a degree that it never really bothered me when I did something that was contrary to what Scripture teaches or commands us.

Now again, when you become a Christian something happens, because with the rebirth of the human soul, comes the rebirth of the human conscience, so suddenly the things that never really bothered you before, will now become a searing pain in the heart whenever you do something that is against that which we are taught in the Holy Scriptures!

Let me explain it in a different way. In you unregenerate life, you didn’t care about following God or about obeying His will. Once you are saved you come to the realisation of just how important it is to be in line with Gods providential plan for your life and you realise that life is so much more than just a good time, and fun, and doing things which bring earthly pleasure.

You realise that you are in a battle of life and death, and that everything you do has an impact and a bearing on your eternal destiny.

Now, that’s all good and well, but there is a problem, because when you become a Christian, although you also become a new creation, and although your conscience is regenerated, there is still an element of the old you that stays behind, and your compulsion, and I will even dare to call it your desire to sin is still present in your mortal framework.

Your natural inclination to sin is not removed, and now you have this constant and raging battle in your life to do what is right but at the same time you have this almost undeniable and unsatisfiable desire for the things of the former life! (Rom 7: 18-19)

So basically we now have the situation, after we have received the gift of repentance and eternal life in which we are torn between two opinions, or between two ways of life.

This is what we are going to be having a look at for the next few weeks, and to begin with this morning I want to tell you that the Christian life is a complicated matter.

So, in our desire as saved individuals, in our battle against the forces of evil and in our constant battle against our own flesh and blood and evil desires, we have this incredible yearning to life lives that are holy and acceptable to God, and it is exactly this battle that I will be addressing in this series.

Before we can get into any of it, I must lay the foundation for you, and we must understand where we are heading. The only way, and yes, there is only one way in which we will achieve our God given desire to follow Him truly and fully, the only way to do that is to be in step with the Holy Spirit, every single step of the way!

With Him, we will be victorious; without Him, we will fail, and the purpose of this new teaching series is to teach us and show us, how we can be in step with the Holy Spirit, even, and especially in times of trial and temptation and hardship and even in times of failure.

Alright, but let’s get back to what I was saying, and this is such a reality that it is actually quite scary. The Christian life is a complicated matter. There is no peace and quiet, there is no retreat from hardships and there is no escape from temptation!

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