For many believers, especially new or less mature believers there is a struggle between the old flesh and the new Spirit. It happens to all of us at some point or another. The enemy throws our sins up in our face. The accuser of the brethren whispers allegations into our minds. He points his finger and shames us. Sometimes his evil whispers are so loud we can hear nothing but those charges against us.
But the Spirit in us is stronger than that. He tells us the truth. He guides us in the way we should go. He reminds us, if we will only listen that we are new creations, forgiven, and righteous. Jesus laid down His life for us and rose from the dead for us. He made us new. He gave us new identities.
If or rather when you struggle with this, pray. Ask God to lead you, teach you, and mature you in Christ. King David chose to ignore the accusations of his enemies and put his eyes on The Lord. Verses 1-3 read,
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.”
We may have pasts filled with sin. We may still sin often. But we are forgiven. God put our sins out of His mind. He chooses not to mull them over. We too have to choose not to wallow in them. We repented, and we repent. David said, none who wait for the Lord shall be put to shame. Why give the enemy the right and the power to shame us, when Jesus did such a great miracle to take that shame away? In Romans 8:1-2 Paul wrote,
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Listening to Satan’s lies will keep us stuck, never maturing, rarely making an impact on the Kingdom. We will not develop our gifts, bear fruit, and glorify God, if we are trapped listening to and believing lies. Don’t follow the lies of the enemy, instead follow Christ. Pray, listen, read His Word. The more we know God, the stronger we are against the schemes of the enemy. Verses 4-7 say,
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!”
Pray these verses earnestly, desire the Truth and seek Him wholeheartedly because He is the God of our salvation. He is the author of Life and salvation. He loves us so profoundly and that love doesn’t waver with our behavior. It is constant, strong, and unconditional. God chooses to look at us through blood-tinted glasses. He chooses not to see our sin, our mistakes, and our foolishness. He sees Jesus’ perfect righteousness, He sees wisdom, faith, and His beautiful cherished noble bride. If the one who made us sees us that way, then isn’t His perspective the true assessment of who we are? The Holy Spirit chooses to reside within us, filling us, transforming us, and teaching us. Let Him do this wonderful work. Verses 8-15 read,
“Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For your name's sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13 His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.”
No matter what happens in our lives, no matter how bad things may get, when we stay on God’s path, following Jesus, He will use every circumstance to teach and mature us. Every path regardless of the difficulties will be filled with God’s constant and unfailing love and faithfulness. It is trust in the Lord that allows us to know He holds us and He molds us and it is good. His will and not ours is our desire so we keep leaning on Him. We don’t have to know what to pray, The Spirit will pray for us for God’s will. In Romans 8:27-29 Paul reiterates David’s sentiments.
“And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
We may be hurting, but The Lord is with us and He holds us firmly in His hand and heart. He will lead us through it. He will avenge us for the pain, trouble, and hardship the enemy puts us through. The enemy cannot destroy us because we are protected on every side by the Lord of Hosts. Verses 16-21 read,
“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.”
Even though Satan is our enemy, those following him, those he uses to war against us are not. They are lost and blind prisoners of war obliviously doing his bidding. We pray for their release and freedom, we pray for their redemption. It may be hard to love someone who hurts us, but it isn’t them, it is their flesh which follows the real enemy. They know no better than to fulfill the desire of their selfishness. God loves them, so we do too. Verses 22 reads,
“Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.”
Remember who you are, child of God, bride of Christ, cherished, beloved, priest, anointed, and new. Remember who the enemy is. He is a liar, the accuser of the brethren, and a prowling lion seeking to destroy. Remember who God is. He is I Am. He is Father, Creator, Peace, Love, Almighty, Awesome, and Lord of Hosts.