I have a whole lot to learn about following Christ. When I first accepted Jesus as my Lord seven months ago, I was thinking: “Okay, I now understand that Jesus died for my sins in my place and I want to honor Him with my life… I also see all the lukewarm attitudes within Christianity, and all the pagan culture and practices that people follow blindly… I am set to fight in this lost world.” Shortly thereafter, I fell flat on my face. And a little while after that, I fell flat, again.
I had heard this over and over, but, truthfully, I did not pay it much mind: When you give your life to Jesus, the Enemy will set you up and come at you, so you fail. It’s true. But the scary thing is that it is so very subtle, that you may not even realize what is happening, especially when you’re not a mature Christian. You begin to find that many of your thoughts start out with, “Well… technically….” And the justifying starts.
I think this is why the Apostle Paul said, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). We are NOT set when we say we believe in Christ or when we get baptized. That is only the beginning. It takes work to be on your guard against sin. Jesus showed us to pray against it daily: “Lead us not into temptation…” So we cannot do it on our own—we need God’s power. We need to become dependent on God and understand that we are a big pile of nothing without Him. It is God who gives us the power to overcome and endure. Our willpower over sin is pitiful. Our independent efforts are pitiful. It is the Creator of this universe who puts the right desires in our hearts so that we can cut off sin as a lifestyle. We are going to be very frustrated people unless we understand that we can do nothing for ourselves.
My mind is small, but my Father knows all. My heart is scared at times, but my Savior has already won the victory for me. I don’t need works to please our Creator, but I want to offer my heart, soul, strength and mind because it is all that I have.
Father, help me to hold on to you for everything. Help me to give up those things over which I secretly think I have control. Destroy my pride and make me humble. Fill me with passion for You and fill me with loving kindness for everyone I encounter. In Jesus’ name, Amen.