Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Living Our New Life In Christ Is A Battle – Don’t Surrender

Take up the whole armor of God…praying always…”  —Ephesians 6:13,18

“You must learn to wrestle against the things that hinder your communication with God, and wrestle in prayer for other people; but to wrestle with God in prayer is unscriptural. Don’t become a cripple by wrestling with the ways of God, but be someone who wrestles before God with the things of this world, because “we are more than conquerors through Him…” (Romans 8:37). Wrestling before God makes an impact in His kingdom. If you ask me to pray for you, and I am not complete in Christ, my prayer accomplishes nothing. But if I am complete in Christ, my prayer brings victory all the time. Prayer is effective only when there is completeness— “take up the whole armor of God….” –  Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

Do you brush your teeth in the morning?  Seem like an odd way to start a devotion?  Brushing your teeth is a discipline.  So is getting up to go to work.  If you don’t do either one, there are negative consequences.  You value your teeth … and you value your source of income .. so you make yourself do those things.  After a while, they become more routine, but still …. You must choose to do them.  That is the same with prayer and obedience.  We must discipline ourselves to do them.  Our natural selves push back – or wrestle with our spiritual selves.  The message is – you are too busy to brush (pray) this morning … you can do that later … or I will just call in sick today … I don’t feel like going to work (doing the will of God) today.  Something I have noticed as I grow older … the speed at which my body atrophies …. How quickly it loses strength .. stamina … tone … is accelerating.  And the difficulty I have getting back to where I was, ugh!  If I slack off in any way, BOOM!  I am sliding down the steep slope of atrophy. 

It’s the same with our spiritual life.  A life without spiritual discipline is a life of spiritual weakness.  The danger is .. you can become used to that condition and start to think that it is normal.  Well, it may be common, but it is far from “normal” if you are a Christian. I want to encourage you to get serious about your spiritual condition … God has called you to so much more than mediocrity in your faith walk.  I can encourage but the Spirit must convict your heart, if you are in need of conviction.  A dear friend said that my devotions were poignant.  Isn’t that an interesting word! Not used much anymore and frankly, although I have heard it and seen it written, I was never really sure of its meaning.  Some synonyms (another sparsely used word) are; affecting, emotional, impactful, impressive, moving, stirring. If what I write does those things then I know I am on the right track. My goal is to encourage and motivate – not to discourage or condemn. Most often what I write brings conviction to me – all we like sheep!

Consider your new life in Christ.  As Christians, like Jesus, we have two natures.  Your spiritual nature should be dominant. Like Jesus, we should seek to do the Father’s will.  Like Jesus, we must stand against temptation with the Word of God.  Like Jesus, we must be disciplined to talk to the Father and look to Him.  Like Jesus our lives should bring Glory to God , the Father, through obedience and devotion.  Like Jesus …. Our desire should be to fulfill the purpose the Father has given us. 

Believe it – walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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