Peace in Christ,
The more I experience and walk the road of faith, the more I find how special the walk is. Throughout all of my life’s experiences I have found how wonderful God really is and how special he is to me and those I love. I am constantly reminded how wonderful God’s unfailing love is, especially when I consider his forgiveness & patience towards me. God’s loving nature has profusely impacted me in many different ways and at various levels. His love has taught me to love, his patience has taught me to understand others, and his forgiveness has taught me to forgive.
Then I see my “natural man” (my flesh, and me before accepting Christ) and I am reminded of how difficult it is to be a sincere Christian. It seems at times that my flesh experiences separation anxieties, from the old man (2 Cor. 5:17), and I see my old self desiring to return. It seems that the old me creeps out from nowhere, and quickly. I don’t completely understand the old man and why he is the way he is, but I do see how dangerous the old man is and how easily he can take over, if I let him. I use “I” to exemplify all of us and the struggles we all face within ourselves.
We are constantly faced with the reality of our flesh, to this extent Paul wrote to the brothers in Rome and explained that within us (our mind) we face a war between the spirit and the flesh. It’s a war that will not end until we die and or at the LORD’s return. Because of this reality, being a faithful Christian is a difficult endeavor and it is no wonder that so many that reach for the title of Christian cannot live up to its demands. This reminds me of the Special Forces within the U.S. Military. Not just anyone can become a member of a special operations unit; anyone can apply, however, not everyone makes it (Matt. 22:14). I see the test of Christianity in this light, we are currently going through the trial period (boot camp) in this world, a period that will determine our eternal status.
During this trial period, God asks of us some very difficult things. When I consider what it takes to be a true Christian I must say I see no easy task. The LORD has asked of us, among other things, love our enemies and turn the other cheek (Matt. 5:39), forgive or we will not be forgiven (Matt. 6:15), and not to be brawlers (Titus 3:2), I see how very difficult it is for one to be true to God. This walk is not for the faint of heart, it requires complete dedication and sacrifice, two very high prices.
You might be asking what the disciples asked, “who then can be saved” (Matt. 19:25). The LORD responded by saying,”with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Through many of the LORD’s teachings we have come to understand that when we are struggling we need to go to him for help and he will get us through our struggle; don’t run away from him, run to him. When we are running to him [God] we must bear in mind what Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 6:10-18 when he talks about putting on the full Armor of God. Like soldiers we must be equipped with all the elements of war so that we may battle this flesh and the attacks of the enemy and win. Let us continue to battle our old self so that the old will not dominate the “new creature.”
Your brother in the faith,