Friday, October 21, 2011

Abiding Fruit Study: Why We Struggle

Abiding Fruit: Why We Struggle

Scripture Passage: Romans 7:15-24
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
   18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
   21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

The amazing about becoming a Christian is…

That’s right! When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, believing He is the ONLY way to heaven, we are SET FREE from the bondage of sin.

Does that mean we don’t sin? No! I fail ALL the time, but thank God for this verse:

“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.”
Proverbs 24:16

Though we may fall, we will rise again.

The importance of this passage is that we realize the following:
·        I am not perfect.
·        I do make mistakes.
·        I do not always make the right choice.
·        I am not Mrs. Always Right!

Is the picture clear yet?? No matter how hard you try.  No matter what you may think you are.  You are NOT perfect!!! Actually, I’m far from it.  When there are days that I have a whiny son, no sleep, an impatient husband… I just about lose it and my self-control disappears (to where? I have no clue!) and anger arises in me that I’ve never seen before.  It’s like I went from “fun” to Cruella Deville! Ugh! And I feel absolutely horrible when it does happen… the words that flare up and that end up spoken – I wish I never had said.  And once they are out and on the table, I can’t take them back, I can only apologize and try harder next time to not let anger overtake me and let the peace of God surround me!

I’m learning when I have days like that, to just take a “time out” for myself – walk away, pray, and let God give me the words to say, the strength I need, and the peace to tackle the day.  When I do that, I find my home is at more peace and the attitudes of everyone changes!

The passage here in Romans 7, is a reminder of where I was before I found Jesus – a slave to sin! But thank you, Jesus that you have FREED me from the bondage of sin and all my mistakes are wiped clean and separated as far as the east is from the west.

This passage also reminds me, I am NOT a finished product.  As Romans 8 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who live in Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.  He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.”
The importance of Romans 8 is that though we have been freed from sin and no condemnation is upon us, we still have TO DO something – FOLLOW THE SPIRIT!

We must listen to that still voice that whispers in our ear or sometimes stops me in my tracks with a shout to get my attention because at times I just am too busy.  But God will stop me and get my attention.

It’s in that moment, He has given you the advice you need to follow.  Then I have a choice to make – do what I “feel” I want to do or actually do what I “know” I need to do.  Do I always choose the right way? No! There are times where I have argued with God and said, “BUT”… and yes, I have followed my own way and realized the hard way! And then I end up doing it exactly like what God had told me and the blessings pour in – but think about how many more blessings I could have had, if I had just responded the right way the FIRST time?!?!

Obedience is the key to remaining in Him and Following the Spirit!!!

Something, we are moms, desire to teach our children – “obedience”… and yet, here I am still learning myself how to completely surrender myself to authority!

That’s why I love this verse:

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:3-4

The key in this verse is “tested”.  A test, something that is given to see what you know, you might pass it or you might fail it – but again it’s ONLY a test!

Tests are given to us in our life to prepare us for the TRIAL! I truly believe God gives us tests in our life because He is waiting for us to learn the right way.  And once we have passed the tests, God does give us the trial, but thankfully God gave us those tests, so we CAN get through the trial (because we learned what to do, how to respond, etc.).

And my tests aren’t over yet… I have them daily, but I know it preparing me for the trial that is yet to come so that I can PASS it!!!  Because God is molding me, shaping me, pruning me, and delighting in me!

Things to Ponder…
What tests are you going through right now?
What is it that God is trying to teach you?

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