by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday October 23, 2004
The Troublemaker Within Us
I used to wonder if the Christian life truly worked. Even after I had been a pastor for a while, I wondered. I would look at the Scriptures and then at my life, and they did not always match. Most people have the idea that the Christian life does not work out the way the Bible says it does, but I could not be content with doubting God's Word. So I fasted and prayed, confessing everything I could think to acknowledge. Still, I believed I was missing something.
I discovered the real reason my Christian life was not working according to Scripture: I had been overlooking one very important truth, a truth that would ultimately transform my life of faith from a burden to a buoyancy. The problem was coming from within me. That is, our greatest troublemaker is our flesh. The main cause of defeat for the believer is the propensity to sin.
We have a new nature when we are saved. But Scripture reveals that, because of the way our thinking has been "programmed," we retain certain desires that do not fit a child of God. These attitudes and yearnings may come and go for the rest of our life, but our desires no longer define who we are. We are new creatures in Christ because He broke the power of the flesh. Therefore, we cannot live the Christian life without God. A battle wages between the Holy Spirit and our flesh, and the only way to win is to allow Jesus Christ to live through us.
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