Defeat Or Victory?
Are you having difficulty living the Christian life? Well, if you are trying in your own strength, give up! It is impossible.
One of my very dear friends was always the leader of any Christian cause in his city. He appeared to be radiant and joyful in every situation where I had observed him. One day I was passing through the community, I had a few moments at the airport, and decided to give him a call. I said, "How are you doing?"
He said, "I'm miserable. I wish the Lord would take me home." I was shocked. I'd never heard such words from this man.
Then he went on to say, "You think I'm a victorious Christian. I'm not. I'm a miserable sinner. I've been unfaithful. Ever since I became a Christian, I've put on an act. I've tried to convince people that I am a very wonderful Christian, but I am a hypocrite, constantly failing the Lord. I have tried everything I know to be a victorious Christian, but nothing works for me."
I felt impressed to read to him from Romans 7, where the great apostle Paul says. "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.... What a wretched man I am. Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (vs. 15,24, NIV).
He responded, "That is my biography!"
But Paul went on to give the solution in the last verse of that chapter: "Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!" The Living Bible says, "Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free."
I explained to him that there is no possible way he could live a victorious life in his own fleshly effort, no matter how many masks he may wear or how many resolutions he may make. The only one who could live the Christian life is the Lord Jesus Himself, living in us through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.
This is a great liberating truth that needs to be known to all Christians who are struggling to please God in their own flesh. There is no way I can live the Christian life unless the Holy Spirit enables me, no matter how long I pray, fast, beg or plead. I am not capable in my own strength of pleasing God.
We need the Helper -- the Holy Spirit. And He is available. But first I must recognize that my old "Bill Bright" was crucified with Jesus.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.