Grace For The Journey
Many in the church mistakenly think their greatest problem is out there somewhere. They think it is the environment . . . the culture . . . the government . . . the neighbors . . . the boss at the office . . . the list could go on and on. I counsel many married men and women who are convinced that their greatest problem is their mate, their mother-in-law, or their family. But the Bible has something altogether different to say about our enemy, and until we understand what is going on inside of us, there will be no measurable change outside of us.
The Bible says in Galatians 5:17, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are contrary and opposed to one another, so that you do not do the things that you want to do.”
For the Christian, the Bible makes it crystal clear that our enemy is not out there somewhere. It lies within us, as the old man (the desires of the flesh) wages war with the new man (the desires of the Spirit). Before we asked Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, we were content to honor the desires of the flesh, living to satisfy our sin nature. But after we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the war began between the old nature and the new nature. The enemy is not “out there.” It is deep inside of us! Our Lord teaches this in Matthew 15:18-20, “But those things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander and blasphemy. These are the things which defile a man …”
Jesus provided a penetrating and profound diagnosis of the root problem that lies deep within the soul of every one of us. Years ago, a newspaper article invited readers from all over the world to answer the age-old question: “What’s wrong with the world?” As you can imagine, there were most responded that the problem was “out there.” Many years earlier, G.K. Chesterton, the great British writer and thinker responded succinctly, “I AM!”
He got it!
It’s important to remember sin’s goal in this battle: to separate us from God. The comfort of God’s Word is that the child of God cannot be taken out of His loving hand (John 10:28-30), but we can be tripped up and buried under the burden, guilt, and weight of our sins. Satan wants to do to us what he did to Adam and Eve – to make us believe that God cannot be trusted. The devil brought Adam and Eve to an utterly insane conclusion: that God – the One who created them . . . sustained them . . . gave them everything good . . . walked with them in the cool of the day . . . their loving Creator and Friend – could not be trusted.
The devil tries to make us believe the same thing today. He is still asking, “Has God really said . . .?” Every time we sin and give in to the desires of the flesh, we prove we doubt the goodness of our great God. That is why we need to keep the Gospel truths before us moment by moment. The truths of the Gospel give us the necessary motivation to keep getting up every time we stumble and fall, because we know we are secure in Jesus.
Ultimately the victory has already been won for us at Calvary. Now go out and walk in that victory!
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”