“It gets easier”, I said to a friend of mine who talked of their inward struggle to obey the teachings of Christ.
Jesus taught some radical sounding doctrine: Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you (Matt. 5:44), don’t worry (take no thought in KJV Matt 6:25), don’t let (let not in the KJV John 14:1) your hearts be troubled, let not sin reign in your mortal bodies (Rom. 6:12), let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5).
We all grow in grace and from faith to faith in our relationship with God, but those first few years of growth can feel like war because the Bible says the desire of our spirit is contrary to the desire of our flesh (Gal 5:17). We may be born again, but our habits and thoughts that have developed over our lifetime are still there.
At times during my walk with the Lord, I wished I could just erase some of the things I had learned from the world, because they were so contrary to the teachings of God, but I couldn’t. What happened, was as I filled my mind and fed my spirit with the words of God, and learned to yield myself to the Holy Spirit and apply God’s way of being in my life, the fleshly side of me got weaker and the spiritual side got stronger. Is it comfortable? No, not in the flesh, but every time you obey what God tells you to do, your spirit strengthens and the flesh weakens. That is why it gets easier. The balance of power tips from your old habits and ways of thinking and living (the flesh) having control, to the word of God having control by your born again spirit yielding to God.
The only man who yielded to God perfectly over his lifetime was Jesus Christ, and he is our example to follow. He not only taught it, he lived it! Jesus understands perfectly what fleshly ordeals we endure as we desire to do the right thing and obey him. If we fall short, he is faithful to supply grace when we ask for forgiveness. Why? Because this is about having a relationship with God. He loves you, and the Bible says in Heb. 2:18 that Jesus is able to help you in your walk with him. Jesus loves you, dear reader. Have faith in Jesus. Have faith in God. Keep filling your mind with the good word of God and act on it. Be a doer of the word of God, and during those moments when you are having growing pains, be encouraged! You’re growing! You are fighting the good fight of faith in God.
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.