Monday, March 15, 2010

Church, Failure and the Will of God

It is easy to sit around and tell others what would make your life perfect - a better job, more money, less stress, relationships that would come in line with our thinking. I bet you could rattle off at least a few things that would improve your life, things you might even be praying for.

This week your Kingdom Bloggers are going to go topic-less and just write something personal and meaningful to them. I'm sure that it will be exciting to see what overflows from their hearts.

I don't know about you, but since I became a Christian I have failed at being what I thought God wanted me to be. I have made life decisions that weren't just sinful, but they caused a domino effect of subsequent bad decisions. This is the kind of stuff that convicted me when I first met Jesus. I thought it was all behind me.

We've written about all kinds of God experiences here on KB. I love how each one of us engages our living God in a personal way. The principals are the same but the outworking of God's grace is intensely individual. In church we get sermons on different facets of the Christian life: prayer, study, salvation, love, longsuffering; and the list goes on and on. This week I was thinking about how I have not measured up to the gospel, and so many times I desperately wanted to.

Over the years it has been easy to put on the "church face" - some of that is my fault, and some is theirs. I only have to take responsibility for me - I need to be transparent. One day I was meditating on this scripture:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

I just could not understand how I could be new and be so bad - so hypocritical - and a new man. No matter how hard I tried - and I tried - I couldn't seem to get it. I continued to meditate on it. I found this verse where Paul asks the same question.

Romans 6:2-11 How shall we who have died to sin, live in it any longer?

Therein lies the key. We can't live in sin any longer. It is the old us, the old nature, the sin nature that will always want to be boss. To be led of the spirit means that we can't go back there. That is what the power of the resurrection is, the ability to live in and by the spirit.

So how do we get out of this cycle of the flesh? Well, this is the revelation for me. We DO NOT try to fix the old us, we need to learn to release the Spirit. We have self-help groups, Bible teachings, sermons, books, tapes, blogs and Bible studies and never once should we have heard, fix yourself, and just start doing what's right. Spending every waking moment trying to be good, or ethical or "do the right thing" is futile. Even thinking that is of the flesh!

We must hear God, and be obedient. If we do that, we will not have to fix anything. We simply begin by hearing God and doing it. It seems simple, but unless we get there, we will be Christians by the flesh, and the two cannot coexist.

If we get it figured out, we can look forward to some great things in Christ.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


eaglegirl said...

Maybe that old Hymn "Trust and Obey, For there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey".
And the verse that says obedience is better than sacrifice seems to apply. I still have a lot to learn about obedience myself.
I think we have all read too many self-help books and I am guilty of not reading enough of "The Book".

Anonymous said...

One reason I feel/am more sinful after 30 years as a committed Christian is because my 'sin-meter' is more sensitive.

Joyce Lighari said...

thought provoking and down right convicting today -- I like the comments as well... Trust and Obey is a good theme song and having a sensitive sin-meter is really good for the soul.

Anonymous said...

Trying to live up to a code is just that, "trying". When we fully understand the commitment of Jesus to us even though we are in a Job trial it makes it easier to walk through. To Love Jesus as HE loves us is to walk in sinless life as a result because our love for him automatically directs us as a rudder on a ship. If you are commited to someone you never do anything to harm them, this is Love, this is how to walk with Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Sort of a paraphrase of "the law killeth"?

photogr said...

Still as long as we are of the flesh, sin or Satan will lurk just around the corner to divert us back to our old ways of the flesh. That is why God sacrificed His son Jesus to give us salvation and forgiveness. As long as we willingly ask for forgiveness in Jesus name we will be saved. Now this doesn't mean we can go around committing the same sins over and over again then ask for forgiveness over and over too.