Monday, December 14, 2015
Keep Moving In The Right Direction ... Even If Only In Baby Steps
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Heb.12:1.
That "race" is the Christian life, seeking His will, studying His word, a prayer life, following Him, giving witness to His judgement, love, grace, forgiveness and salvation. That is "the race that is set before" every Christian.
This scripture is not speaking to to the unsaved who are not yet in "the race", which God has set before every Christian. It does no good for non Christians to try to "lay aside every weight and besetting sin". Only those believers who have had all their sins forgiven, past present and future, who also have the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit to deal with those weights and besetting sins can overcome them. One must first have Christ before they can ever successfully do battle with the devil and temptation. Without Christ there is no hope of overcoming sin of any kind.
There must be a million different varieties of sin which hound us down, plague us throughout life even unto death, and undermine our yearnings to be more Christ-like. Sin destroys nations, churches, homes and Christian testimonies. And yet, as believers, we are God's children, and he does not give up on us any more than a good parent gives up on their child. He does allow suffering and difficulty to discipline us and get us back in the race, but He doesn't stop loving us and convincing us of our guilty sins. Though we will never be perfect, we must continually seek forgiveness and a closer walk with Jesus, to be more effective Christians.
I think the most egregious sins are religious ones, perverting the Gospel, Christ's church and His Holy word. There are certain denominational "doctrines" that are off target, out of focus theological positions, which have their appeal in the faulty mind-set of their adherents, that their witness is neutralized. Some are just perverted enough to confuse and mislead, but not so much as to alarm the hearers. A twisted, tangled mind is attracted to a twisted, tangled religion, as a perverted mind is receptive to perverted input. Satan knows all the idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities of each person's flesh and the besetting sin each of them is inclined to, and he is there to supply it.
I believe God not only knew Adam and Eve would yield to their lust for "the tree of knowledge of good and evil", but also knew the besetting sin of each of their millions of descendants ... yours and mine. The conflicts we all face daily, are nothing more or less than our individual part in this Battle Of The Ages, between good and evil, God and the devil, which every human has faced since Genesis 3. And don't delude yourself; we are all guilty to some degree .... "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8.
The whole purpose of Christ's coming into this world and paying our sin debt on that cross was to first forgive our sins and second to give us grace to overcome our besetting sins that we might effectively spread His good news to a sinful, lost world. Don't quit trying, or give up on yourself ... God hasn't. Trust Him to help you through your temptations and trials ... and keep on sharing the His saving grace. Even though you and I aren't perfect Christians .... and never will be, we must stay in God's word, prayed up and with a repentant heart. The important thing is to keep moving in the right direction ... even if only in baby steps. RB