by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday October 20, 2004
The Believer's Struggle
Many people think that life will be clear sailing after they get saved. Instead, they often find that life seems to be filled with more struggles than before. We should not be dismayed, however, because this is the normal Christian life. Before we met the Savior, we were drifting downstream, but upon salvation, we began a journey through rough waters and hellish currents.
In the epistle to the Galatians, Paul warned us not to use our newfound freedom in Christ as an excuse to revert-instead of drifting back downstream, we must take the yoke of Jesus and learn to walk in the Spirit. Paul specifically says "walk" (v. 16) because the Christian life has direction. We are climbing new heights toward a specific goal, and climbing means struggling.
We grapple every day with lust, jealousy, and pride because we live in a world filled with such things. At the same time, we can learn to walk by the Spirit and rise above our temptations and enemies. Yes, it's tough to be in a perpetual fight. Many people have no stomach for such constant exertion; when they see the high standard of Jesus' example, they sometimes drop out of the contest and settle for doing the best they can in their own strength. But doing the best we can is exactly what Paul says won't work - it is simply not good enough. That's why the Holy Spirit came. We can learn to let Him do the best He can by fully submitting to Him. Then we will walk in victory.
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