Friday, June 23, 2017

“The Good Fight"

"The Good Fight"     
   It is not required that we feel our faith, as it were.  The Apostle Paul referenced this truth in his testimony to the Corinthians.

   "We are perplexed, but not in despair" (II Corinthians 4:8).

   Emotionally, Paul felt what we all feel at times, namely, confusion and doubt.  By the power of God's indwelling Holy Spirit, however, the Apostle's conviction remained - "not in despair."  In a life lived amid the world, the flesh, and the devil, believers will often experience conflicting sensibilities even as we trust God.   "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).  Few lessons regarding our walk with the Lord are more important.  If we wait until emotional and physical sensations perfectly unite with our spiritual confidence in order to consistently live by faith, we shall wait a very long time.  We will be required to "fight the good fight of faith" as long as we live in the world as presently constituted (I Timothy 6:12).  Not one godly human being, including the Lord Jesus Christ, has ever experienced the complete absence of temptation that may include feelings of hesitation regarding the will of God.  "And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39).  Our blessed Lord felt the challenge - "tempted in all points like as we are" - but as He always did, He overcame by faith and submission to His Father - yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

   Feelings can reflect problems in our walk with God.  But not always.  Sometimes we are nearest to the Throne when emotions would tell us that God is far from us, and we are far from Him.  We do well to keep an open heart to the possibility of the need for correction when we feel perplexity.  But we also do well to realize that our humanity has not yet been glorified.  There will be many occasions when feel is not real, so to speak.  Recall the two sons commanded by their father to work in his vineyard.  The first said no, but later realized his truest privilege and responsibility involved obedience to his father (Matthew 21:28-31).  The Lord Jesus affirmed the young man as having "done the will of his father" despite his initial reticence.  Walking with God by faith often involves such the process of fighting "the good fight."  We must overcome how we feel in order to "walk in the Spirit and... not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).

    The Day will come when no fight will be necessary.  This is not that day.  Presently, we walk by a faith that often conflicts with our human sensibilities.  We must expect the challenge, learning to make choices of the heart that counter and overcome the feelings of our flesh.  Again, it not required that we feel our faith, nor are feelings always the reflection of our heart's determination.  Few lessons of the Spirit more set our feet firmly on the path of righteousness, thus providing the enabling to overcome as we access God's grace revealed by faith.

"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing."
(II Corinthians 6:10)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
(Romans 5:10)

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