I’m watching the Portland Trailblazers play the Sacramento Kings and something came to my spirit. This game, now in the 2nd quarter, will end shortly. In fact, every basketball game I’ve ever watched or played in, ended. I know that sounds simple, but it’s true.
You may be thinking, “Duh, I know it’s true. What’s your point?”
I am so glad you asked (I assume you asked at least).
The Super Bowl ended. March madness college basketball will end. Our worship set on Sunday will end. My workday will end. The day will end and the night will end. Your favorite television series will end. That “new car smell” will end. Most of the things we experience day in and day out will end. But there are some things that seem like they will never end. Will cancer ever stop killing people? Will St. Jude Children’s Hospital ever be irrelevant? Will peace ever come to the world? Will I always live paycheck-to-paycheck? Will I always be unhappy in my marriage? Will I ever quit battling the sin I struggle with daily? Will women ever stop having miscarriages? Will it ever end?
My point is that perspective has everything to do with “how you live.” Let’s discuss the negative things that seem to never end. Granted it’s hard to simply say that perspective is the key to handling the seemingly never-ending muck of this world. But give credit to simplicity because it’s simply true. So what business do I have blogging about the muck and pain of this world. Well, some of you will have experienced more and some less than me, but I’ve experienced my share of pain. I’ve lost a child to cancer, I’ve experienced divorce, the loss of a highly honorable job (fired), porn and sex addiction, materialism, children seen only on scheduled visits, and jail.
There seems to be no end to delegation of pain and suffering (suffering is determined by one’s perception and is different for everyone). But in this particular blog, I’d like to talk about the never-ending battle we have with sin. this battle seems to never end; not for you and not for me. Is there a day that goes by in which you aren’t tempted with sin? Let me go a step further; is there a day that goes by in which you don’t, in one way or another, sin?
So how do we handle this never-ending battle with sin? Look, this battle is never going to end (at least not in this lifetime), so how do we handle it?
There are two ways we can look at this battle. First, we can look at this battle and become spiritually overwhelmed and just quit trying. Many Christians get so discouraged with this battle that they change their spiritual walk from having spiritual disciplines that help them grow to having no real spiritual disciplines and then claim they are living under grace. In other words, the Believer says they are no longer trying really hard to grow through spiritual disciplines such as reading God’s Word daily and daily prayer, but will do these things as they go with no real discipline and take everything in their Christian walk as it goes. When they sin, they claim that they did not try to sin, but although they sinned they are forgiven so all is well. This kind of lifestyle of their idea of living under grace is a result of their discouragement, tiresome, and frustrated spirit due to the battle of sin. Their faith is weakened because they are overwhelmed. They aren’t bad Christians or anything, but hurting Christians.
Let me say this; yes, we are living under grace, but grace is not to be used as an excuse to take sin lightly. Nor do daily spiritual disciplines cause a person to minimize the daily battles and become victorious in them. Grace is good and spiritual disciplines are good. They are tools for spiritual freedom and spiritual growth & strengthening. How you use them makes all the difference in the world.
The second way to look at these seemingly never-ending battle with sin is to see it for what it is. As a Believer, you have the opportunity to see pain, suffering, and trials like no other unbelieving person can.
Read James 1:2-4
You must see these things for what they are. You are under grace.
Read Galatians 5:1
And you are free. You are under grace and forgiveness for all your past, present, and even future sins. But this grace is not to produce a spiritual laziness. It doesn’t mean that you stop your daily spiritual training through reading and meditating on God’s Word and daily diligent prayer. It doesn’t mean you flow through life just taking things as they come. It doesn’t mean that you become relaxed in the way you live.
When you realize, truly grasp the grace and forgiveness you have through Christ, your reaction will be to simply seek Him out even harder, pray even harder, pray even longer, and spiritually train even harder than you did before. Not become lazier in your pursuit of God.
Read 1 Timothy 4:6-16
Meditate on this passage and ask God to show you how to battle daily with the world’s muck. It’s not going away. And your daily battle will not end until you get to Heaven. The battle is not meaningless. The battle is important; each and every day of it. The battle will end…and how will you have fought? Will you have fought with little resistance of the evil one because you were “living under grace”? Or will you have fought with an intensity and tenacity of a Christian soldier bent on the pursuit of personal holiness through humility and fueled by your passionate love for the Father?