Even though we are new in Christ, we all still struggle with our sinful natures, and can fall back into old behavior. The other day I was very tired, and I’ve learned that it is when I am exhausted are the times that old behavior creeps in. It’s a foothold that the devil will use, because if he sees an opportunity to steal our testimony for Christ, he will take it every time. But it is our responsibility to know where we are weak and do our best with God’s help not to allow those footholds. “So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will be receive what He has promised.” (Heb. 10:35-36)
Hebrews encourages believers to persevere in their Christian faith and conduct when facing persecution and pressure. While we don’t normally think suffering is good for us, it can build our character and our patience. When we fail, it’s the time to quickly repent and ask for God’s help. During times of great stress, we may feel God’s presence more clearly and find help from other believers. The Bible gives us a clear choice between two life directions, and we are encouraged to take the higher road. That road gets steep in places, maybe even lonely because not many are on it. It gets slippery because the enemy blows ice on narrow passages. Despite it’s dangers, the higher road is bound for the peak, and we’ll make it because God has a lifeline around us.
When we put our faith in Jesus, He graciously delivers us from sin and the hold that Satan had (notice the past tense) on us. However, because it may take time to change our sinful habits and behavior, Satan can make us feel trapped. But God’s Spirit has set us free. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:1-2)
Through our reading of His Word, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit, God works in us to cleanse us and to help us live for Him. Scripture encourages us to be confident in our walk with Jesus without feeling as if we are still chained to our sinful nature. The Holy Spirit will also guide us as to what to do when we are running on empty. The other night when I was exhausted, I went to bed early and slept for over nine hours (something very rare). I awoke refreshed in my sleep, refreshed in the Lord, and the day went so much better. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)
Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). May the freedom we have in Christ spur us on to love Him, serve Him, love one another and let His light shine through us.
- My Bible study in Life Application Study Bible (NIV)
- Our Daily Bread