Weekly Devotional 6-24-19 It’s hard Being a Christian
Recently, I was talking with a Christian brother who the night before was a participant in a Bible study that had as its subject, “a faithful Christian walk”. He took from that study that it’s hard to be a Christian in the world of our day. He had in mind the allurements of the world, Satan’s tempting us, and the ongoing battle with our old natures. There can be no argument, Christians do face these things, daily, but we do not face these things alone. God the Holy Spirit is with us. He abides within us to aide us in our struggles against the three entities mentioned above, the world, Satan and our old natures.
As to our old natures, we only need to turn to Paul’s letter to the Galatians to find the road to success in our combat against it. We read; “16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God…. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:16-21…24 NKJB).
Paul told the Galatians, and he is telling us, that victory over the flesh (one’s old nature) is possible with this caveat, we must put to death our old nature. This is to be our all the time practice if we want to have victory. Secondly, if we want victory we must abide in Christ. That is, make Him our daily portion. We must feed upon Him. We must allow Him to dwell in us. Considering this truth we turn to His encouragement to those who had accompanied Him during His three-year first advent ministry. He said to them and to us by extension, “1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 3:1-5 NKJB). Of course this has to do with bearing fruit, but what greater fruit is there than walking righteously before the Lord? We must not depend on ourselves to win a spiritual victory over our three adversaries, the world, Satan, and our old natures.
Finally, to be successful we must, as Paul writes, “11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:11-18 NKJB).
So, as our brother mentioned
above, the Christian walk is a hard walk, but it is a walk that can be bathed
in victory. If we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, if we abide in Christ,
and we put on the whole armor of God, we will be successful. This, of course,
means that we are sold out to Christ. We cannot have one foot in the kingdom of
heaven and the other foot in the kingdom of this world.
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man