When Satan fell from heaven, he had so much hatred for mankind and for God. He believed that human beings are lowly creatures and it was unfair and unjust for God to place so much importance on loving and protecting them. Satan began his ultimate plan from the Garden of Eden and things have not been the same since. We live in a world that is full of contradictions, guilt, sickness, death, injustice, suffering, pain and confusion. For generations, Satan has succeeded in deceiving the human race into disobeying God and turning them away from him. This act of disobedience is what the bible refers to as sin.
I called this message pulled on every side because I find myself struggling to do the right things sometimes. I said I will keep the THOU SHALT NOTs, yet I keep getting knocked by sin. I believe that many people are going through this today. You want to live by the commands of God with all your heart and yet you find yourself doing the things you said you would not do. Paul reminds us in Romans 7:23 that although we wish to do what is right, there are parts of us that remain in rebellion to God. It is human nature (sin nature) to rebel. Even health and nutrition specialists set out for us a day or two for cheating because they understand that the body will rebel against the diet at some point.
The perversions and immorality we see in the world today started many years ago and because we have a faithful God, he chose to show us what sin really looked like. If you told someone their hair is messed up, they would not know how to fix it without a mirror. The commandments (laws) of God are a mirror that shows us what we look like when we sin and a guide to bring back our conscience. Without the law, we would never know the difference between good and evil. Satan does not want us to live the higher life that God intended so he coats the law with so many ear-pleasing names and we find ourselves making excuses for the decisions we choose outside of God.
So sin hid behind the law (sin perverted the law), adorned it with so many jewels and thus created a weapon of guilt and condemnation. In other words, what was supposed to be our guide became a temptation. We see this perversion today in the form of human ideologies and religion. Religion gives us this false assurance that we are in right standing with God when in reality we are marching straight for hell. So instead of leading people to God through a Holy Spirit-filled conviction, religion surrounds us with rituals and lists of fabricated do’s and don’ts.
How do we overcome this rebellion? What is it that makes sin so attractive that we keep finding ourselves going back to old ways and false ideologies? The answer is in knowing that of ourselves we are not enough. God gave us the ultimate answer to sin’s condemnation, and that answer is Jesus Christ. Without Jesus, we are not and can never be enough. Jesus put to death the curse of the law and redeemed us through his shed blood (Galatians 3:13; Romans 7). This is not to say that the law is no longer important, rather we have received power to overcome the condemnation that sin and law brings, and this is grace (Matthew 5:17-19; Isaiah 55:10-11). This grace is open to all and it is free for anyone who will accept it. Grace teaches us that instead of looking to ourselves, we should focus on God and what he is doing daily in our lives.
I knew and believed that Jesus paid for and forgave my sins but I had little knowledge about what grace really meant. I worked and lived like my relationship with God depended on how good I was or how I strived to keep the commandments. It took me a while to realize that my failings or trials will never separate me from the love of God. God always has his arms outstretched; it is we who choose to remove our hands from his.
What is pulling you down today? What challenges keep knocking on your door? What insecurities do you harbor? What sin are you struggling with? Give it all to Jesus because you cannot survive it alone. People who ascribe to the theory of “self-help and self-works” have given up and are afraid to trust God.
Paul tells us in Romans 8:9-11 that for those who receive Christ, although they may witness the limitations of sin, they will experience life on God’s terms. I know it is easier said than done, and the temptation to give up hope and be like every other person in this secular world is strong. So I am here to tell you that the trials and frustrations you are going through are birth pangs. The world is crying out and the body of Christ is under attack from every side but I am here to tell you that this is the time to pray and be patient (Romans 8:22-28). No matter the pregnancy stress or pains a woman goes through, she knows in her heart that this is the time to be patient and wait for delivery day.
I find myself complaining sometimes but when I look back at where I used to be, I can say without a doubt that only Jesus got me through. If you are going through pains right now, I want you to stand in faith and keep looking to God because something is bubbling and growing within you. It is not a time to look at others or worry about what they think, this is your journey. The trials may seem unending but take solace in the words of James 1:2-4 “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing”. We are familiar with the phrase “the bigger you trials, the bigger your blessings”. A pregnant woman gets bigger with time because her baby (reward, joy, gladness, success, victory) is coming to full term.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, no matter how much we are being pulled, please give us the strength to keep our eyes on you alone. We surrender every part of our lives to you and trusting that you have shaped our journey to turn out for good. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!!!