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Love is Tough!

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 25, 2009


In our Sunday school class today, the teacher, asked a question with no answer given – “Why is it so hard to do right and so easy to sin?”

Paul asked the same question (Romans 7:7-25) and posed this thought:

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

First thing to understand… sin is fun!

If it weren’t appealing, nobody would sin.  Try tempting me with brussel sprouts.  Now try tempting me with a chocolate chip cookie.  Your success in tempting me lies in direct proportion to the pleasure I get from said temptation.

Second thing to understand… sin is natural.

You do not need to teach children how to do bad things.

If you say, “stop!”

They go.

If you tell them, “Don’t touch!”

They touch.  You get the point.

You need to teach them how to do good, and they learn very slowly usually complaining all along the way.  Our selfish nature drives our sin nature and causes us to constantly desire to do what we should not do.

Third thing to understand… obeying God costs you everything.

I know that you don’t want to hear that.  But I can’t take credit for it.  Jesus said,

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)

Doing the right thing means that you probably won’t be “pleasing yourself”, at least, you won’t be gratifying your “sinful nature”

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. – Ephesians 2:1-3

God told Adam, “Don’t eat from that tree.”  The devil told him, “God doesn’t love you, he is holding back the truth.”  Adam made a choice to satisfy his flesh.  Doing right would have meant that he would have had to trust that God knew what was best and that he, Adam, didn’t need to know everything.

All of this is both the blessing and curse of Love.  You must be given a choice not to love in order to show love.  And we show God love by obeying Him. Even the angels had this opportunity.

When Lucifer tried to take over heaven, he took 1/3 of the angels with him in his deception.  Two-thirds chose to trust God, the rest thought he was holding out on them.

Final thing you need to understand… You can trust God!

Yes, at times it seems that he is holding out on you, and to be honest, He might be.  But I can guarantee one thing,  if He is holding out, it is for your good, not your harm.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

The key to it all is to…

“Trust the Lord with all your heart and not to lean on your own understanding.  Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your path!” (Proverbs 3:5,6)

It’s a battle to do right, but it is definitely worth it in the end.

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4 Responses to “Love is Tough!”

  1. What about those strongholds (which I think in one way Paul is addressing)? Those sins that come back and come back and don’t go away? How do you do the right thing in that case? Isn’t more than just a choice to DO?

    • undergroundchurch said

      The short answer is that, the Bible doesn’t deal with those any differently than any other sin. Paul uses that reference to get to this point, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. The Holy Spirit gives you strength, and Jesus tells you how. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mat 26:41.

      The tool is the same no matter how big the job. The only difference is in your perception, not the power of God. When you struggle, you have to be fighting back through prayer and vigilance. In doing this, it will build character and a road to victory (hope). – Romans 5:3,4

      The struggle over sin is a battle. No battle is easy or pretty, but must be fought. Keep up the fight; don’t give in. Jesus never promises easy, only victory. With victory, will come freedom.

      Paul prayed that his struggle would go away, but God just told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9

  2. You say to fight the battle, but with what tools? Taking captive thoughts (via quoting scripture to battle lies), prayer, vigilance, fighting. And trusting that God will work.

    But I don’t think strongholds come down with these alone. Many a person has fought the good fight only to fail again and again, some to walk away from the faith in despair.

    In fact, I don’t think strongholds come down without getting way below the surface, and not without a great deal of pain, either the pain of sin or the pain of circumstances brought by God. And then with community who can walk with us through the pain. And finally, with a work of God alone which brings deep brokenness and repentance.

    Sadly, I think alot of people live without victory because they don’t understand the role of suffering in the Christian life or because they don’t have adequate guidance and friendships to walk them through the pain.

    Alot of people are fighting sin without the proper tools and either failing to win or replacing the clearly sinful set of fleshly activities with more righteous looking fleshly activities.

    • undergroundchurch said

      Well said!

      Romans 5:3,4 gives the importance of suffering as a Christian; the process leads us to hope. When I was saved, God delivered me completely and immediately from some struggles in my life. Other things he left me to struggle with for years and still others, I battle everyday. I appreciate the deliverance that cost me nothing, but I learned nothing from it except that God is awesome. But it is the struggles that give me strength and build my relationship with God. Paul said, “I want to know him in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering.”

      Most people do not want to go past the power of the resurrection because the suffering part hurts. But it is an essential component to the Christian life.

      But I still say the tools are the same, they just intensify. Prayer, Bible and Fellowship are the keys. They keep us grounded, and focused upon what really matters. Prayer intensifies to fasting, Bible intensifies to greater surrender and Fellowship intensifies to greater accountability.

      Much of the failure in people’s lives though, as you say, is in the improper application of these principles. The church isn’t really being the church to others. It has become more, “what can I get out of it” as opposed to “how can I be the body part I need to be to bring victory to the rest of the body.”

      None of us are called to be alone in our Christian walk, we are part of the Body of Christ, which requires a close journey with others. The process of salvation is an ongoing process in many other aspects of our lives, “acknowledging the Jesus is Lord, Repenting, Confessing, surrender…” In implying that the tools are simple, the process is not. It is a struggle and from my experience can take a long time, but you have to keep moving. You can’t give up, stop or give in. You may need others to help you through that process, and that is where the church needs to step up and take on the real role God ordained for them.

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