Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holding Fast and Pressing On Without Results Part II

    There is much to learn about holding fast and pressing on when we are not seeing the end result. We saw this to be true of our physical life and we are now going to look at our spiritual life.  When we are saved we begin a journey toward Christ-likeness.  It is a journey that at times can be very frustrating because we will never arrive on this earth.  We will not achieve this until sin is removed.  Until then we will be presented every day with a choice.  That choice is sin or God.  Since anything apart from God is sin that leaves a broad range of choices we have to evaluate daily.  I think of the verses in Romans where Paul is talking about this very battle.  He is telling us why God gave the law but the bottom line is he desires to to right but ends up doing what is wrong.

                              Romans 7:15
                              For what I am doing, I do not understand;
                              for I am not practicing what I would like to
                              do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

    Have you ever struggled with deeply desiring to do what is right and you end up caving to a fleshly desire or to laziness or procrastination?  I struggle with these daily.   I have a deep desire to pursue what God wants for me but at times the pull of my flesh is too strong.  I have come to a place where I realize that much like my physical journey, my spiritual journey is just that, a journey.  It is not the destination that matters as much as the humility of being willing to go through the process. 
     As human beings we have a desire to know we have accomplished a task and that we are achieving an intended outcome.  The outcome, though important, is not as important as the process.  Our progression is how we measure our success not our destination.  I can look back over my life and see that I have grown and matured and that I am walking more closely with the Lord more consistently than I ever have. I still have a long way to go to reach my destination but I look back to see how far I have come because that encourages me to press on to maturity.  As we go through this process of becoming more like Christ we can only fully participate in it when Christ is our center.  When we acknowledge that we can do nothing apart form Him growth can begin.  This is accomplished by changing our thinking.  Our minds must be renewed by the truth of God's Word.  We must go through the process of God's Word transforming our selfishness to sacrifice, our petty perspective to an eternal perceptive and our fleeting frustrations to firm foundations.  We will never achieve what God has for us if we do not go through the process.
     We must be willing to preserver and not quit.   Quitting is more than just saying I can't get there.  It is choosing to interrupt the journey.  It is stopping the process of transformation that is going on in our life.  It could be stopping, backing up, or taking an indirect route.  All of these choices interrupt the process.  The journey then becomes more tedious because you must get back on track where you got off.  God knows us better than we can imagine and when He has us going through something it is for our benefit. When we deviate from His plan He will make us repeat the lesson we tried to avoid.  
     How do we hold fast and press on in our journey? We must be consistent with our spiritual disciplines.  Reading and meditating on God's word, prayer, fellowship with other believers, attending and serving in your local church, reaching out to our community and demonstrating the love of Christ are all habits that will promote spiritual growth. The change will be accomplished because it was ordained from the beginning of time that we be conformed to the image of His Son. Our responsibility is to yield to the process, trust God and be consistent.  Your journey will look different than mine but our destination is the same.  Embrace your journey!

Holding Fast and Pressing On,

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