Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Often Willing, More Often Not Strong Enough

Often Willing, More Often Not Strong Enough 
by David Brenneman 

Both of these, especially in these days in which we live, are very strong reminders of the reliance upon God that I need. 

I might have a relatively high IQ, but I have a very potent sin nature.  I am constantly under both overt and subtle attacks from the enemy of God.  

So are all who are in Christ Jesus.

Whereas Jesus wants an intimate relationship with each who would be called by His Name, our sin nature wants nothing to do with it. 

Whereas in Christ Jesus we find our identity, our sin nature wants to assert a new identity as shaped by the world. 

Whereas in Jesus we have the free gift of salvation, in our sin nature it wants us to set it aside to live for self. 

We are too easily prone to letting go of the hand of God.  We are far more easily distracted than a dog over a squirrel.  

All it takes is something shiny and off we go.  

We are so easily prone to getting ahead of God as well.   We often struggle to keep pace with the Master.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB 

"But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NASB 

"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, To give to each person according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:10 

See the wisdom?  See the truth?

I have often mentioned of an old gospel song of Charlie Pride called "This Highway Leads to Glory" 

 "I remember when I was a little boy
Down on an ole country farm
We'd go to church on Sunday and I'd hear the preacher say
If you want to see my Jesus you gotta stay on the King's highway

This highway leads to glory but it's no easy ride
You'll find all kind of exits can throw you off your stride
Some will lead to fortune and others lead to fame
Some will lead you so far wrong you won't return again

Oh you just stay between the white lines
Obey all the right signs
Keep your eyes open all the time
Oh you just stay between the white lines
Never pass o're the yellow line
And you'll get to heaven right on time

Satan's on this highway he walks on every side
Tryin' to flag you down don't give him a ride
He will try to stop you at just any cost
You may stop too long and your soul maybe lost

Oh you just stay between the white lines
Obey all the right signs
Keep your eyes open all the time
Oh you just stay between the white lines
Never pass o're the yellow line
And you'll get to heaven right on time
Oh yes now you'll get to heaven right on time.

We are on a journey in this life we live. 
When you and I came to Christ or if you're reading this and are seeking that for yourself...we become a new creation.  

We gain a new, right, relationship with Jesus Christ after receiving the free gift of salvation.  Our walk with Jesus begins with learning more about each other. It grows in time and we learn of things to let go of and things to lay hold of.  We learn of what living life was meant to really be. 

But we can also be presumptuous. 
We can get excited and get ahead of God. 

Been there, done that, just didn't get a t-shirt to prove it.

A long time ago I indeed was a form of Prodigal Son.  I got ahead of God. I was the one who learned the hard way of letting go of His hand and running headlong into something that I was ill prepared to handle.  I was lost. Buried in sinfulness because I didn't know what to do or how to handle such things.  I kept struggling to make amends on my own and I kept missing it that Jesus was still right there waiting for me. 

Satan loves, and as Jesus said of him, to lie.  He's a liar and the Father of lies. 

He will try in all kinds of ways to alter our thinking on our relationship with Jesus. To find some reason or excuse to get Believers to stop doing what the Spirit wants of them.  Even to the point of making them believe that their choices are going to be in service to God.  Then they begin spending days, months and years doing things that weren't God's calling for them to be doing.  Becoming yet another Prodigal. 

We are going to mess up. We are going to sin. We are going to be the wayward child. 

We aren't strong enough in ourselves. 
We DO have an Advocate, the Spirit of God, who's in every Believer.  Still able to get us back to where we needed to be in Christ. 

Sometimes the strongest prayer is one word long: Help!

We who are in Christ are never alone. 
If you haven't come to Christ, my Dear Reader, you are alone.  This world is too scary a place to go it alone.  There's nothing you need to do to receive salvation in Christ.  Nothing more than what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans. 

"But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

What holds us back most often is our pride in thinking we can handle it.  That we got it.  Just watch young children trying to do something bigger than them.  They don't know what's required but will try anyway...and usually if a parent doesn't jump in they will have a disaster. 

Our spirit is willing but in our flesh we are weak.   We indeed need to pray as the one picture describes.  Pray for God to hold your hand tightly.  Pray for His help because He knows you.  He's already seen all the secrets of your heart that you've shared with nobody.  He knows how you've deceived yourself.  He's still doing His work in the lives of Believers...and if that's you...He's still working in you. 

The older I get the more mentally tired I often get.  Seems that with leaving behind so much in our former hometown we left behind a ton of "baggage" that had me so busy that I wasn't living.  With less in my life I seem to struggle with Spiritually doing more.  Learning that I am still recovering and still learning to walk again Spiritually is sometimes hard to accept. 
But Jesus says that He's still with me. 
Still there. Still holding onto my hand.  Not letting go. Some remember the poem Footprints.  Oh how often do I feel like Jesus is carrying me.  I sometimes do feel like the sheep that He had to go find...again. 

Jesus loves me this I know. 
For the Bible tells me so. 
Little Ones to Him belong 
They are weak but He is strong 
Yes Jesus loves me!
Yes Jesus loves me 
Yes Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so. 

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