Did you just say that walking with Jesus is hard?
Do you want to know what’s hard? Walking in the flesh is hard. The truth of the matter is that whenever I conclude my Christian walk is difficult, or challenging, or wearisome, that’s not my thinking — it’s the Holy Spirit reminding me that I’ve crawled back into my old skin. I believe my Father reminds me of this because I routinely ask Him to…
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23-24
Remember this, Christian: a life lived one hundred percent in the Spirit is the easiest thing we can do this side of Heaven. If somebody tells you otherwise, don’t listen. Don’t listen because they’re either struggling in their flesh and they don’t perceive it or they’re struggling in a sin and trying to justify it. There may be other reasons, but these two seem to be the most significant.
Do I walk 100% in the Spirit?
Not quite yet, but that’s not the point. The truth be told, even as I am writing this, I am walking just a tad in my flesh — I’m the one who needed this counsel this morning, but the meat on this bone is so satisfying, I just had to share it. Recognize that one hundred percent is the ideal. No one has achieved it, but we should try to surround ourselves with those believers who seek it. Do not put yourself under the yoke of those who complain or suggest the Christian walk is hard. That sort of negativity reveals that they are distracted from the goal and to some varying degree, focused on themselves.
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3
Ask yourself this simple question, “Is Jesus a liar?”
Obviously, He is not. So what was Jesus trying to convey when He said…
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
If Jesus said His yoke (that is to say, ‘His way;’ His teaching) is easy, that is exactly what He meant. Jesus qualifies His own remark by adding that with every yoke there comes a burden, but His burden is light. James told us to be ‘doers‘ of the Word, not just hearers, with the understanding that the ‘doing’ is the light burden Jesus spoke of. The teachings of Jesus, and the application of the word that must follow, is the most rewarding, most manageable, mild, and pleasant thing a person can do (unless of course you’re doing it in your own flesh).
If you think it’s hard, compare His method to the ways of the world. You know, the ways that lead to everlasting death.
Meditate on this passage:
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:11-18
What about it? You do realize that with Christ or without Him, a person will still experience suffering. I am here to tell you that any suffering you encounter with Jesus will be far easier than any you undergo without Him. God promises to be with us through every trial. Nobody of this world can make such a claim. So stop whining and start walking in the manner in which He has prescribed for you. And if you should face a situation where you errantly think your Christian walk is hard, rejoice, don’t lament. God is merely revealing to you that you’re entertaining your flesh. Acknowledge and obey the Lord and then share it with someone. Confession is good for the soul!
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:14-16
Christians who embrace hardship are essentially putting off Christ and quenching the work of the Holy Spirit. Nobody who has removed filthy clothes would put them on again, when clean ones have been made readily available. You might even agree that doing so would be stupid, and as the Duke has already pointed out, stupid is hard.
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Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Whosoever believeth in Him (Jesus Christ) should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
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