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Fighting The Good Fight

Of late I have pondered much the complexities of God and have often wondered how capable we are as humans to obey the Divine Will. So tempting it is to go our own way, continuously ignoring the still small Voice that urges us onto the right path. And doing this, how swiftly we meet with self-inflicted disaster. Yet on we go, bringing upon our own heads, and upon the heads of those who are close to us, untold misery, unnecessary anguish and most distressing of all, separation from the One who could ease all our sorrows if we would but let Him. Oh how easy it would be if only there were a blueprint for life; if only an instruction manual were available for us to consult along the way. And so there is, but how quick we are to overlook it as being only for the 'religious-minded'. The Word of God is absolute, knowing no religion it guides according to His statutes and precepts.

It is nearly impossible for the naked human mind to imagine a life filled with joy and gladness, and empty of sorrow and pain; even more impossible to envision One who loves us to the utmost, indeed even unto death for our sakes. Herein is the mystery of Christ the Savior, Christ the Redeemer, Christ the Good Shepherd. Having dwelt in His presence for the past 25 years, I am more aware at present of my wretched human condition than ever before. Yet I am aware too, of the awesome grace, mercy and love which He lavishes upon us in ever-increasing measure. With each passing day, nay with each passing hour, I am more firmly grasped in the loving arms of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It seems to me that the more depth we add to our relationship with Christ, the more He reveals to us about our own sinful condition. All of those little thoughts and attitudes of hearts that make up our outward personality become glaringly apparent in the light of the One who judges them. It becomes a cycle of frustration and torment, for the harder we try within ourselves to be shed of these things which separate us from God, the more they seem to overtake us.

Shed your tears on your knees then, and lay your burdens before He whose yoke is easy. You can solve no problem alone, nor can you, acting on your own, right any wrong. Only Jesus, having sent us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit who empowers those who believe and to overcome all darkness, can give the needed strength to rise above failure to success, to go beyond slavery into freedom. Ask yourself why you do not take the outstretched hand He offers, the divine Hand which would shelter and protect you from your self, and give yourself utterly and completely to Him.

Is it not that somewhere deep inside yourself you still think you can handle life on your own? Having a Savior for your soul is well and good for the times of crises and tumult, but the more mundane problems of human existence can be dealt with without 'bothering' God. Oh how foolish we are for not acknowledging our own frailties, our many weaknesses. How stupidly and stubbornly we look away from the only One who calms the storms of life with just a word.

This independence we have is but an overflow of the wellspring of our own arrogance, which is itself a tide of discontent and divisiveness. Oh how often our human pride separates us from the abundant blessings of our Lord. How often our seeking of human glory blinds us to the glories that are ours through Christ. In the wasteland of human arrogance and rebellion in which we walk and live, we totally ignore the Promised Land until that moment when our self-made disaster overtakes us and we fall, writhing in agony at His feet to beg forgiveness. And He unfailingly lifts us to heights we had never imagined, for of all things made in heaven or on earth, He alone is faithful.

Does this constant rising and falling of our faith distress God? It does, for in His benevolence He has divined that we need never stray off that blessed path which He has chosen so carefully for us. A path which is tailored to our own particular clay pot and which no other can walk. Only on this path will we find the guidance we seek. Darkness cannot overwhelm us here, nor can poverty and shame overtake us, for the Light and Glory of the Living and Almighty God illuminates our way. Sickness and sorrow fall by the wayside and we rise up with wings as eagles, renewing our strength as we go.

So, it is with trembling steps that we begin our journey, sometimes stumbling, perhaps even falling a time or two; struggling all the while with the nature of the flesh which ever desires to go its own way. Truly the hardest fought battle is fought within ourselves, yet the victory we claim is surely the sweetest when, having put down the carnal man we rise from the ashes, refined and purified to take our place at the side of Christ.

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