Posted by: Michael Stevenson on Fri, Mar 2, 2012
Just why is it that we are not more successful in living God’s ways?
Have you ever had some sort of temptation in life that you want to overcome? Are you struggling in life with a temptation that is getting to you? Have you failed in life to be an overcomer because of sins?
Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction. Perhaps you are a slave to something that you want to overcome. Well, here is the precious truth that you need to overcome.
Only TRUE Overcomers
Sin is serious and we need to overcome sins—we need to get past them and quit sinning, get past our bad habits and temptations and become clean from them—completely! This is because if we want to truly inherit eternal life and be a part of God’s awesome government, then we must become overcomers!
Jesus promised that those who will overcome “will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”
He who overcomes and keeps the Works of Jesus Christ will be given the awesome responsibility in ruling over the nations (Revelation 2:26-27, 3:21) and therefore, this article is a very timely article that we need!
Not all people are now called in this life time. Many, however, may have heard the truth, have never been given a convicting knowledge of it and this is not yet the time that God is calling them to the Church.
But yet, God is now calling SOME to a life of separation from the world…to a whole new and different way of living and a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life—hence, in order for us to live this way of life, we need to become completely cleansed—completely changed from the old self into a new person so that we can GROW in grace and in knowledge, thus becoming prepared and trained, fit for the leadership in the awesome world tomorrow—in God’s Kingdom! And it is only those who will qualify b the training, overcoming, developing spiritually and growing that we can take part in that Kingdom Government. But, we must overcome in this present life so that we can take part in that leadership! There is a parable that you need to study on your own and understand it in Luke 19:11-27 regarding the parable of the pounds!
So the true Christian life is a whole new way of life and a different kind of living—an overcoming life. Sin needs to become torn out, rooted out and taken out—turning to a holy and righteous way of living!
Why We Sometimes Stumble and Fall
Why then, do we sometimes stumble and fall? Yes, even those who do strive to live will sometimes struggle, and even pray and pray harder for help, victory and to be overcomers—yet, they sometimes also find that they have habits which they just cannot overcome. But, why?
First off, let’s read what Paul said to the Philippians so that we can get a better picture.
“Ad be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”—Phil. 3:9.
Notice that it is not our righteousness—but God’s! We cannot do anything on our own—but, rather, we need to rely upon God!
David told us that “All thy COMMANDMENTS are righteousness”—Ps. 119:172. Yes and love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:10).
The Right Kind of Love is Required
Here is the problem! There are too many who are seeking to live the Commandments on their own power and merits. They think that it is their own personal love which is what helps them to fulfill the Law of God.
Too many have only been converted to the argument of keeping God’s laws rather than actually being changed—converted in Spirit. They do not fully experience a true spiritual conversion! Such people need to go and get alone with God and ask Him to truly convert them to His way of living—to that LOVE!
It is no wonder then, that so many people have become discouraged so often of the time and feel like giving up altogether!
We do not even have the kind of love that actually in reality fulfills the Law of God and makes us a righteous people! Love is of God—God is LOVE! And it takes “the love of God, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit”—Romans 5:5 to actually fulfill the very law of God, making us true keepers of the Commandments—those who truly live by obedience to God’s way of living—giving us God’s true righteousness—that kind of life that God wants of His people! The law is SPIRITUAL (Romans 7:14) and we are carnal! It takes a true love which is spiritual to actually fulfill a spiritual law. The Holy Spirit living within us is merely God’s law in action! Since God is the only way that love can be supplied to make us righteous, then it becomes God’s righteousness—NOT OURS!
How to Gain Real Faith
But, just how can we receive this love? Let’s see again that “…the righteousness which is of God BY FAITH.”
Therefore, love comes to us through faith. Now most people seem to think that the faith by which we are to receive everything God gives us, is something that we, ourselves, must work up and supply, by some sort of working effort. It does become an effort, when trying to build up that type of faith they think we need—of course, it does take effort to have faith—but, let’s look further.
Most of us are like foolish babes in Christ! Can’t we understand that if we are able to supply the faith that brings all things that we, ourselves, would earn our own salvation through works? It would be the kind of righteousness then that is only filthy in God’s eyes!
We need to stop trying to work up faith—you have NO faith! The Scripture that I have quoted speaks only of the faith of Christ—NOT YOUR’S—ONLY Christ’s faith. Jesus had real FAITH! He performed the miracles through real faith, not of his own accord—but through real faith! He rose from the dead—and HE LIVES TODAY!
Here is the secret then! He gives to us—imparting to us—HIS faith to you and also to me! Yes, even faith is a real gift from God—one of the spiritual GIFTS (Eph. 2:8; 1 Cor. 12:9).
So then just how can we go on getting more of it? By yielding and submitting ourselves, our ways, our purposes to God! By asking of Him in real prayer, by trusting completely in God!
God’s Word gives us promise that “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; BUT WILL, WITH THE TEMPTATION; also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it”—1 Corinthians 10:33.
But, has it not often seemed, in your own experiences, that God has failed to keep His promise to you? Temptations do come. You have struggled with them, even praying about them, you still are overpowered with them and you still find no real way of escaping! So then, just what is the matter?
Jesus has said that He would never leave us nor forsake us! “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” God’s Word also promises us that “Sin shall NOT have dominion over you.” Yet, here you have not found that sin has had dominion over you, it holds you completely a slave! Have you also not fought it with all that you have, even to the point that you have had tears on your face because you seem to always fail?
How to Apply and Use REAL Faith
So then, just what is wrong? Simply that we have not known in reality how to receive, apply and use the real faith that God has actually promised to us!
First off, there is something that WE must do—something that is required of us! Some will to one extreme and then the other to do it all. Others will go to one extreme and stop there and yet others will plead with God and yet, they make little effort and expect Him to do it all!
James has told us to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”—James 4:7.
Here then is what we are to do! We are to first off, submit ourselves to God. Then next we resist Satan—don’t even take hold of his ways—but avoid what he has out there in front of us!
Peter also tells us that we need to become humble, casting all of our care upon God, being sober and vigilant, because the devil is always around, watching for whatever opportunity that will present itself so that he can come and tempt us when we are off guard, thus, we must always RESIST and be steadfast in the FAITH (1 Peter 5:6-9). We must resist the devil, always being found in the faith of Jesus Christ—but, how?
The key is that we must “BE VIGILANT” and to always be on watch—being on guard all the time. Be watchful, prepared and always read! This is the area that we fail in—we are not watching and being prepared! We must always be watching and prepared!
Unless we, ourselves, put forth some effort to be watching and prepared, then we cannot become true OVERCOMERS! But, if we had power to do it all, we then would not need God either! So thus, it requires both us to be watchful, keeping a sharp eye out—and then we must also rely upon God and upon the Holy Spirit living within us to help us to become overcomers!
James tells us to “Draw night to God, and He will draw nigh unto you”—James 4:8. Now we are starting to find the answer! When temptation does come in our lives, then we are often too far from God. We must draw closer to Him, relying upon Him, taking hold upon Him—asking for His help in delivering us!
Sometimes it will take time to get close to God—into that real intimate relationship with Him so that we can draw close to Him for the power that we need to resist Satan—but, when we do draw close to God, then things will work out if we put forth the effort!
In other words, when temptations do come about, we have found ourselves out of contact with God—cut off from Him!
Yes, we are really in a contest with Satan. Satan wants to do all that he can to keep us in bondage and to keep us from drawing closer to God—but, if we don’t let him have his way, then he can’t win for us!
Think of a prize fighter who suddenly let’s his guard down while in the ring. Do you think that he can win? If he is not prepared, if he is not on guard and being watchful, then he is going to be knocked out for the count—not able to win the prize!
The same is true with us—we must always be watching, prepared and on guard. The enemy—Satan—is always trying to get in a final blow that will knock us out for the count!
We constantly need to be in training, constantly feasting upon the Word of God, constantly vigilant when we are in the ring—which is a lifelong battle! We need to always be in prayer, always seeking and striving to live God’s ways! We need to be drawing closer to God on a daily basis! Keeping Him close to us so that we have His help and assistance in times of trouble—helping us to always become the overcomers that we must be!
If we keep ourselves thinking upon spiritual matters of importance, if we keep ourselves constantly in training for the prize (Col. 3:1-10), then we will be able to gain the right ways in our lives that will help us to win—always remembering to seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness!
Prayer and fasting is often a key that will help us to become more humble so that we can win!—Let’s do more fasting and prayer and being on our knees daily to help us to overcome, always becoming the kind of people that God intends for us to be—OVERCOMERS!
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