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11th June 2012, 03:58 PM
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Join Date: 21st August 2009
Reps: 612,283,549,918,745,472 (power: 612,283,549,918,751)
To all those who feel like failures in their Christian walk....
How I have struggled over many decades to be a "good Christian". I have tried every method known to man to become the person I want to be in my heart of hearts but the battle was always lost, and in the end, self and sin won out....for 38 long painful guilt-filled years.
I know me and who I used to be and I fear there are far more out there who like I was, are "hanger-oners", with Satan's accusations loud and clear in their ears, drowning out God's still small voice.
You see, I wanted to love, to be selfless, to simply obey all the Word commanded me, to always choose love as the option, but there was a battle within that I could not win. Self was simply too strong, my patience too limited. I was mired in an unwinnable battle and was a poster boy for the wretched man of Romans 7, finding after all my efforts that the things I sincerely wanted to do, I did not, and the things I wanted desperately to avoid, these were the things I seemed to naturally gravitated towards.
This man in Romans 7 needed something more than to just be told to imitate Christ, to simply choose to love. The willingness was there, the power to do what the will desired, ahhhh, that was what was lacking. He was a prisoner of sin, of self, of the flesh....as was I.
People who truly seemed to so easily walk the walk actually discouraged me, not because they were trying to do so, but because it made me feel even worse, even more defective as a Christian, for they could do what I could not do, and the self-condemnation I felt multiplied.
Paul, in this part of his walk, needed deliverance, a power far stronger than will power and choice. He needed a new nature, a new heart and that is what I want to share with you. Over three years ago now, in my desperation, I cried out to God in my failure and told him I was hopeless and could not walk the walk He asked of me. I was ready to throw in the towel and give up.
He responded, audibly, and told me that for this He was well pleased with me. Talk about confused! He continued and told me the following and it has never left me. He told me why He was pleased with me.... because He knew all along I could not walk the walk, but I did not as yet know it!
In that instant, I saw. I had finally given up all efforts to love as He loved as fruitless. i saw clearly that it was not to be on MY shoulders to walk in holy obedience to His commandments, for if it was, I was hopelessly lost. He would do it for me, through me. How? By giving me a new heart, a new nature. I was finally ready for full grace.
He then directed me to Romans 6 and asked me in all my tryings, Bible memorization, fasting, prayer, service, did I ever do what Paul instructed me to do there. What was it that He spoke of?
Had I ever reckoned myself dead to sin dead to the flesh, dead to the world? Had I ever truly, in a transaction with the God of Heaven, put off the old nature by faith and put on the new man, received the new heart?
Dumbfounded, I realized I had not. I wasted no time and in a heartbeat climbed out of the boat of unbelief and walked towards the Master, confessing with my mouth what I did not see, nor feel. I spoke the truth of God's covenant out for my own ears to hear. I am NOW light in the Lord. I reckon myself dead to sin and alive unto Him. I had finally entered the "good fight of faith".
Did I deserve such a thing? Who can? But praise God, He never let me sink. He did in me what He has promised to do for all of us who see clearly our true impotence, to cause us (Ezekiel 36) to walk in His ways. THAT is the new covenant! And how was this accomplished? By our humbly laying claim to the new heart, the new nature, one that can love, one that can bear fruit and have it remain, one that can obey no matter the temptation. Here is where all the promises of God can find fulfillment- when our shield of faith in HIS ability to keep us from falling is fully up, quenching all the fiery arrows of the enemy. Praise Jesus!
From that day to this, I have share in hopes that some that find themselves in the same sinking boat as I was, desperately looking for a way to be able to actually DO what they so long to do, to walk in His footsteps in love, will find the answer so clear in His word.
Brothers and sisters, I have so far to go to become like our Lord, but if you had known me before, you would praise God for the change He has begun to manifest in me. I was a legalist, a pharisee of the pharisees. I served a hard, demanding God and brother, everyone else was not going to get off easy. Now, I see fruits growing in me that are truly a miracle, fruits that were totally absent for the previous 38 years of trying and I am so thankful for His covenant of full grace. Our Christianity works! It was only my pride and unbelief in His goodness that had kept me out of the proimised land of rest, a stranger to the "glorious liberty of the children of God".
Do I boast in this change I see? Ha! I know the source. I know it is because I finally saw my abject weakness that I was finally able to believe in HIS ability to keep me from falling, to make me fruitful, to truly begin the process of being changed into His likeness.
As Paul said, "Where is boasting? It is excluded". I have found this, dear struggling friend. Any truth worth its weight in salt will be accompanied by this one trait. Humility. When we finally see clearly our total impotence, that in us dwells NO GOOD THING, that in God's eyes, ALL our righteousness is as filthy rags, it is only then that we can finally look away from our futile efforts, and trust completely. It is only then that we can finally "only believe", reckon our flesh DEAD and put on the new nature, not because we deserve it, or because we have earned it with our spiritual "work", but because of God's pure grace.
May any who struggle with the 'black dog' fighting within them, those ready to quit because they can't ever seem to "get it together" be encouraged in your God. He knows our failures, ourt total weakness, and praise God, He also knows that the strength of His Son in us will win the day, if we will but cry out for it, receive it by faith and trust Him to do what He has clearly promsied He would do. We serve a God who cannot lie. Let us finally learn to fight satan's incessant accusations with the same "It is written..." that our Master did, amen?
"Whom the son sets free is free indeed" is not a marketing slogan invented by God. He longs to do exactly as He has promised us. Let us not limit God by our unbelief, for if we will but believe, He will do exceedingly abundandly above and beyond all we ask or even think.
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"May God bring us to a level of hunger for Him and brokenness for our lack of brokenness as we all begin to search for the secret of walking pleasing to Him."
11th June 2012, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: 9th May 2006
Reps: 445,939,863,775,782,080 (power: 445,939,863,775,794)
Nice one mate !
thanks for sharing.
my struggles ended in 2008 when I realised what Grace was (Romans 5v2)
I am a man of no reputation and I am relieved to be so.
Gods love a trier, I fell Big time recently, but amidst the Christian mafia trying to kick me whilst I was down, God said get up and carry on.
I have nothing to prove anymore, I am weak, but I try to share the gospel with as many as I can, and take the hits along the way.
IF people think they have this thing together, more power to them. I don't, I know I could fall flat on my face again.
I know I'm just a blob of mud that he uses despite my shortcomings. I just don't try to repeat the same mistake twice.
I too stopped struggling and reckoned myself dead, by simply believing it.
welcome home buddy !
12th June 2012, 01:12 PM
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Soldier Of The Cross
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Join Date: 17th May 2011
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Reps: 137,997,439,945,421,824 (power: 137,997,439,945,425)
Absolutely amazing! Praise the Lord for your testimony! I still struggle at times because I feel so helpless, but I know that it was all designed for me to fail... IF I TRUSTED MYSELF TO SUCCEED. I still struggle, and find old sins have a nasty habit of biting me in the end. One thing I have had to do is realize that if I can't do anything to earn salvation, then after salvation I can do nothing to earn forgiveness.
I think the major problem for all of us in our modern society is we are taught from birth almost that nothing is free. We all must earn everything we get that is worth anything and if we don't then it's either not worth it or it's not really free, there's some small print. That is really hard for me overcome, as I know how deficient I am and feel I must earn salvation. I honestly at times don't know/understand how to just accept something as special as eternal life.
I am writing to all the Churches and I enjoin all, that I am dying willingly for God's sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you, do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God. ó Ignatius, Letter to the Romans
2 Corinthians 5:20, "We are therefore Christís ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christís behalf: Be reconciled to God."
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