Spiritual Life / Struggle Or Success?

Rita Hanks

July 8,2009

The whole world seems to be in turmoil! When we listen to the news reports, we don’t have to think like a rocket scientist to see that we are living in very trying times. Families in crisis, disease, civil unrest, violence and disturbances in weather patterns are common news today. I would like to offer hope to many who may be discouraged and made fearful by the current events. In the midst of it all, by the mercies of God, we can also sense a very strong spiritual awakening! In everyman’s quest for security and answers to his fears, many are looking to various religious teachings, all which claim to have the answers to modern man’s dilemmas. In troubles, the right way to look is upward!

However, although it is true that all who look to God for help will receive help in measure, it is possible to be overcome by false doctrines of men, which are powerless and therefore are harmful. Many are hearing promises that sound great, but sadly, they are quickly disillusioned. The life changes they are so desperate for are eluding them, and they are left with heavy burdens of guilt because they can’t find the power within to see the promises become real in their llfe experience. Regardless of the name man has labeled his doctrine of religion, the fact remains that if it is not based on the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is powerless, and can lead to eternal loss. I, one among many, am fully persuaded that the only true solution to the condition of man and the world is found in the good news of the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

If you are one of those who has struggled repeatedly and failed to find the success the world’s religions promise, I would like to offer some gems of wisdom that may encourage you to seek deeper. Even the great apostle Paul confessed that he understood the wretched state of one who had tried religious form and failed.

Romans 7: 17-25 “But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”

Paul found that he needed a saviour. He found that even though he had a desire to do good, he could not. God tells us in one place that the goodness of a man is as the morning dew. I understand that to mean that dew comes regularly, but dries up quickly. As Paul taught here, our sin nature is a beast! It cannot be tamed by man. Only by the power of Jesus Christ though the indwelling Holy Spirit, can we learn victory and obedience. Paul shows us clearly how the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. The mindset we have formed through our worldly learnings and experiences is said to be corrupt. It cannot believe or obey God. Submission is not natural for the carnal man, the carnal nature desires to rule and rebels often at God’s  total control. Through the renewing of the mind by our life changing commitment to faith in God’s word we learn new ways and form new mindsets.By practiced submission, the mind can be renewed and set free from fear and the unbelief that traps us in our sins. The new more abundant life in Christ is the result.

I suggest to you and pray that you would make a small beginning step toward seeking the Lord’s help to get established in regular times of prayer and study of God’s word. Man made doctrines of good works and empty church routines will always leave us empty. We are desperate for the love of the Father, who desires passionately  to save his children, and has provided salvation from our sins through the cross of Jesus Christ. 

The book of Romans is very rich in revelation of God’s plan for salvation for his children. The Message Bible is a very good translation for the learner. You can search and read it online at http://biblegateway.com.. God’s mercy and grace go with you as you seek to grow in his grace and knowledge of him, and yourself.

Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).

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