Summary: It is both difficult and easy in accepting Christ. Once done we begin to grow and finally after much study begin - "Putting on Christ "
Putting on Christ
While our natural hearts desire is to have our own way - being centered on money, ambition and pleasure our hearts as Christians hope to acquire - Integrity, Honesty, Chastity and and the good Christian Principals that Christ so inspired us to possess.
Through Christ’s own words we know that following him, will be both hard and easy.
How is that you say ?
Hard in that it is against our own selfish nature,
He warned us that when we followed him we would be taking up the cross. Implying there that there would be difficult undertakings to deal with.
and come, take up the cross, and follow Me."
and yet easy if we are to give into His way taking up his yoke and becoming good Christians- glorified in the reaching of it, and unburdened as we have given over our struggles to Him.
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
There for I say both hard and easy - hard in the learning to take up his Cross but easy when we have accepted it as he will now assist us in every way and certainly lighten our burdens thru association. Yes we will still have burdens (perhaps even more- as the devil will not be happy with our new association) but those burdens will not appear heavy as before.
At some point we begin to transend the basics and become true Children of God - a brother of Jesus and begin to work diligantly at "Putting on Christ". I like to think that many of us are there now. Funny isn’t it, that we never intended to be ? Many of us as adults came into this whole thing just trying to save ourselves. Now we are talking about, evangelizing, witnessing, giving and doing for others and even "Putting on Christ".
Perhaps it is easier to see it this way -
We might imagine ourselves as a house, we were aware that we were in pretty bad shape and needed some repairs and invited God in to make them.
We were quite content when he fixed the leaking pipes and repaired the roof that we so knew needed to be fixed. Lets face it there were those obvious flaws in us.
However at some point our expectations have been primarily met and yet God seems to continue. We had come to consider ourselves Christians and farily good people, but yet through additional trials (we now know are orchestrated thru the Holy Spirit.) He has continued to grow us - continued to fix the house beyond our original desires and expectations, and arn’t we surprised that this house of ours in becoming much more than we ever expected or even initially wanted it to be ?
It is certainly so because he means to live there - to live within us, but if that is to be, we must conform to his standards. Our old house would have been fine for us (once of course He had fixed the faucets and leaking roof.) But he yearns to make it into a mansion in which he might comfortably reside with us and within us.
"Putting on Christ" is a point that we reach as Christians when we have indeed become God fearing and God enhanced - We have learned that his powers are what have come to us and desire to be more - desire it as the Holy Spirit in us desires it.
Now we are not just baby Christians anymore, He has grown us to the point that we must reach up to a higher standard and "Put on Christ" it is indeed a difficult undertaking, but one we are already programed for by the Holy Spirit. Were it not so, we would have never made it to this point. (Remember we just wanted the Roof and Faucets fixed ?)
We need to apply diligance in all our endeavors. Asking ourselves always "is this what Christ would have done ?" If the answer is no, amend your dealings and for God’s sake and your own - "Put on Christ."
No it will not be easy but we will have much help .....we never would have got this far were it not for your benefactor the Holy Spirit ....now lets work with him in that he may take us the rest of the way.
† Yours in Christ †
Cocoa Beach, Florida