Change. All of us want to – need to – change in some way. We try all sorts of tactics, theories, and drugs. All of which are shortcuts, focused on defeating the desires of our flesh. Too seldom do we seek God’s wisdom, thinking His way takes too long, requires too much effort.
But change is the wrong goal. It’s what the flesh wants and it’s a shortcut that will lead to disappointment or destruction. Knowing Jesus is the correct goal. In Him we are complete (Colossians 2:10). Whatever change is truly needed in our lives will be wrought by the Spirit of God if we abandon our plans for self-justification and pursue Christ. Not improvement, not change for the better, not relief from our pain; just Jesus.
Pursuing the wrong objective – a better life, defeating a habitual sin – is like attacking a heavily defended fortress (a stronghold) with toy weapons. We will be defeated. When we focus on the enemy, the sin, the stronghold that assails you – you are drawn away from the narrow path that Christ calls His brothers to walk. Only by keeping your eyes focused on your Guide can you keep from straying from the narrow way.
Christ is more than our goal. He is our creator, example, savior, teacher, brother, and King. All battles against sin will be – and can only be – won by making a determined, get-up-when-you-fall, faith-based pursuit of Jesus the Christ. When you or I fail to pursue Him, we grow complacent and disenchanted with Him. The allure of the flesh entices (James 1:14 & 15) and we fall – or jump – into sin. Why didn’t God stop us? Why didn’t He prevent it? He gave us His Spirit and His Son – and the choice to walk in Him or walk in the desires of our flesh. He gives us the promise that if we walk in Him, we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16). The flip side of that coin is also true: if we walk in the flesh we will not fulfill the desires of His spirit, but of our flesh.
Seek to know Him. Paul told the church at Corinth, “I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2) Christ alone – good enough for the Apostle Paul. Is He enough for you? If not, it’s not because He is lacking – it’s because you and I choose wrong and fail to be thankful for Him. Choose Christ – above all else – regardless of your emotions.
As Jesus was deliberate in coming to Earth (Philippians 2:5 – 11) to seek and save you and me, we who are redeemed by His blood must be deliberate in seeking His will, His Word – Him.
If a man expects to drift into spiritual obedience or maturity, he is mightily deceived. This is what Satan would have God’s children believe – that we can mature to Christ-likeness by going with the flow.
Remember: The path of least resistance makes both men and rivers crooked. Choose to pursue Christ and he we will make your path straight. (Psalms 27:11)
Thank you for this. Growing in Christ on His terms with no short cuts hurts very much. It feels like what I imagine surgery without anaesthetic would be. Not because of Christ, but because of how long and how dearly I have cherished sin in my heart. What I don’t understand is, why am I still reluctant to face up to sin when the word of God points it out in my life even though I remember that the last time it happened (two minutes ago), and I repented, God was faithful and just to forgive me and the feeling of liberation was fantastic.
InChristAlone – Thanks for stopping by and being honest. We who are in Christ will fight sin, lose, seek forgiveness, be given repentance, and rise up and walk in the light, until He returns and takes us home. Therefore, it is written, while it is yet today, we are to spur one another on to good works; to pick one another up when we fall, and press on for the glory of our God and King. He who began a good work in you is faithful to bring it to completion – He is faithful, even if we are faithless. Let all the saints PRAISE HIS NAME!
InChristAlone I relate to your comment very much. Thanks for sharing. I found the post challenging but its spurring me on as well