“Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” ~Philippians 3:13-14.
Whenever I write or represent our ministry at conventions or build relationship with people, I worry that I will come across as someone who has achieved, who has all the answers, who doesn’t have a care, but these things are far from the truth. I struggle a lot more than I would like to admit but these struggles remind me how much I need the Lord. I don’t write because I consistently live a victorious life, but God is continually showing me the areas that I need to grow in, and as I strive to become more like Him, I want to encourage others to do the same.
We live in a society that tends to accept the fact that we are all sinners covered under the blood. First John 1:7 tells us that the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin. This means that it washes it away. It doesn’t just cover it up so that no one can see it; it completely removes it. If you have not experienced that complete cleansing, then you need to examine yourself to know whether or not you are really in the faith (2 Corinthians 3:15).
The fact is, we are human. More than likely, we will mess up. We may lose our tempers, become proud, say things we shouldn’t, maybe even fall into sexual sin, but we should not live there. When you see yourself doing these things or any other sin that grieves the Spirit, repent immediately, asking God for His forgiveness and His help to live a holy life. He has promised to be there for those who fervently seek Him (James 5:16).
I think too many people give up. They assume they will never be righteous so they don’t even try. This is the quickest way to failure. The apostles weren’t perfect but they saw their need for the Lord and, when they received the Spirit, they were completely changed. They still had disagreements and relational issues at times but they sought the Lord, desiring to please Him in everything. This is what we should do continually.
In closing, I just want to encourage you to press on. Don’t give up. Keep the faith. If you are struggling, and Godliness seems so far out of your reach, cry out to God and ask Him to change your heart. Begin to consciously change your attitudes and ungodly actions. You may be surprised how far God takes you as He sees that you truly desire to become more like Him.