"This Treasure… In Earthen Vessels"
We all have matters about which we seek to trust and submit ourselves to the Lord while everything in us seems to flow with the opposing current of dread, fear, and unbelief.
"The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).
Contrary thoughts and feelings do not always mean that we are have succumbed to unbelief. Regardless of how well we know the Lord Jesus Christ and how much we may trust Him about the matters of our lives, we still live in a realm of temptation. This includes our own humanity in which a "law of sin" still remains that can be enticed (Romans 7:22-25). Thus, we may commit our hearts to a course of confidence in the Lord about an issue. Nevertheless, we may also experience conflicting sensibilities that challenge our determination. The flesh may indeed "lust against the spirit".
Victory over temptation in our present existence does not involve eradication of carnal tendencies, but rather the overcoming of them. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). Genuine faith can reside concurrently with contrary thoughts and emotions in born again believers. We must understand this in order to continue in confidence because if we believe that trusting God eliminates contrary sensibilities, overwhelming discouragement awaits us as we seek to faithfully walk with our Lord. Again, overcoming rather than eradication presently constitutes life in a fallen world. No less than the Apostle Paul testified to such experience: "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair" (II Corinthians 4:7-8).
Thoughts and feelings of doubt may indicate we have not genuinely trusted God. However, they may also indicate the challenging of a genuine confidence. "Fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12). If to the best of our awareness and understanding, we have committed our confidence to our Lord and His Word, we recognize that conflict calls us to reaffirm His faithfulness and our faith. Herein we stand, and herein we walk in these "earthen vessels" wherein dwells the heavenly "Treasure" whose abundant life enables us to overcome not in the absence, but in the presence of our enemies.
"Stand fast (firm) in the Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
(I Timothy 2:1-2)