How often have you said or heard; "we need God?" No doubt more times than you can probably count, but the more I grow in the grace of God the more I realize that " I really do need Him ." I am not just talking about needing Him to get us out of a jam or give us things we want or need, but for ordinary day-to-day living.
Many of us ( Christians ) think that as long as things are going along relatively smoothly we do not need God's help until things get beyond our control. However God is not a genie in a lamp that we summon to help us when we in trouble, or want something. I am sure most Christians will agree with me when I say that "Christ is our life," but do we really believe and understand what it means?
A while ago, I was surprised to hear about the conduct of a certain Christian brother. I thought to myself ; "brother ______ should know better than to do those things or act like that!" The reason that it surprise me so was because I had always esteemed this brother as being spiritually mature.
As time passed I found myself in an odd situation beyond my control. A nd to my surprise, I acted in a way that was not becoming as a Christian. "How could I have acted like that? " I know better ," I said to myself. Then I was reminded of what I had thought about the brother in whom I was so judgmental towards and I repented to the Lord.
There are countless well-meaning Christians all over the world who continuously live and act in non-Christian ways. Although they repent and are ashamed of what they have done, they find themselves powerless ( as it seem ) to stop it from coming again. And yes, " they know better ." If the truth be told we all know more that we actually do .
For most Christians the real problem is not knowing better, but rather the lack of ability to accomplish what we know. Although we are Christians, many of us are traveling on the wrong set of tracks ( so to speak ), and do not realize it. And we are even more surprised when we arrive at the wrong destination. ( This point will become clearer as we go on ).
The apostle was written in Galatians 5: 16-17: "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. " He also wrote in Romans 8: 1-2: "T here is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. "
The road that is free from condemnation, sin, and death is the " Holy Spirit controlled life. " We choose this road when God reveals to us our insufficiency in life apart from Him, and our need to hide in Christ. This in essence is to live in a place of constant surrender and dependence on the Holy Spirit. So regardless of what comes to the believer along the road of the " Holy Spirit controlled life," Christ's adequacy is more than adequate in every circumstance.
The other road is the " road of self-gratification ," and many Christians ignoreantly choose it along with the non-believers. This road is the way of the flesh which in essence is the state of being influenced by something or someone other than the Holy Spirit. This is meaning of " flesh " often spoken of in the book of Romans by the apostle Paul. He said in Romans 7: 5 and 8: 8-9: " For when we were in the flesh , the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death ..," So then, those who are in the flesh can not please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit , if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. "" Here Paul is saying that a Christian is not in the flesh but in the Spirit. "" Flesh "here is not referring to the physical body, but the position of a person under the influence of something other than the Holy Spirit. For a Christian to walk after the flesh is for him / her to resist God, whereas the believer chooses their way over His. Consequently it leads the believer down the path of sin and condemnation resulting in much frustration.
Many who travel this road do not openly set out to resist the Holy Spirit. In fact they love God, and often set out to please Him. However sooner or later they realize that something is wrong. The further they travel this road the more frustrated and depressed they become. Some have said; "The Christian life is so hard," or " there is got to more to life than this !" Others have said; "things just do not seem to work for me;" what am I doing wrong? "" I might as well give-up, and go back ! "
Others look to their own ability to fix what they think is the problem. They believe that if they become more dedicated, prayed more, or give more etc., God would be pleased and bless them. However because of failure after failure, some often spiral deer into anguish, and give up all hope of ever living the Christian life the bible speaks of. Some in despair one often beg God to help them fix the crisis with the promise of being a better Christian.
Some believe they can do what pleases God if He helps them. However they do not realize that God is not going to strengthen their flesh to deal with their flesh. The Christian life can only be lived when Jesus lives it in us, and He does not need our help only our surrender! " We need God !" We are always weak, helpless, and hopeless apart from Him .
Therefore it is often necessary for us to travel the road of pain in order to reveal this to us. When we have learned this important lesson, we realize that our need for God is not an option, but more vital than the next breath that we breathe.
The fact is, the believer is just as weak and helpless after becoming a Christian as He / she was before they trusted Christ. That is why " we need God, " – He is the strength of our lives. All the good virtues revealed in the life of a Christian are really the expression of Jesus! Without we hide in Him i .e. , walk in the Spirit – led of the Holy Spiri t, we will have the propensity to sin in measures comparable to the vilest of sinners ( read the works of the flesh in Galatians 5: 19-21).
Dear friend; " we need God !" When I truly know this I can humbly say; "Jesus I can not live this life only you can, and I need you. So I welcome you Lord to live in me, and to be my righteousness, my goodness and acceptance before God. I invite you to be my love even for my enemies, my strength, my joy, my peace, and my wisdom.
In Jesus name – Amen.
Dr. Theory Stringer