There’s an old saying that goes, If we’re not growing we’re dying. Walking with the Spirit is intended to be a daily thing that must continue to go deeper. I’ve got a lot of experience with moving forward in my Christian walk and then growing complacent, then stalling out, and then I look around me and I’m suddenly immersed in old habits, clinging to dead things.
This path I’ve chosen to walk only goes one direction and there’s absolutely only one way to walk it out. I must continuously stay in the word and connect with the Spirit. I must follow His commands and obey his word. I can say all day how great my faith is, but if I’m not actually living out what The Word says to do, then what do I have? Nothing.
There’s a line in the big book of AA that says half-measures availed us nothing. This is true for the Christian way of life as well. If I’m only half-heartedly attempting to connect with God then I’m sure to be met with silence. Don’t get me wrong, God absolutely meets us where we are at. He is always present in our lives, but when I’m failing at staying true to my own commitment to Him I’m handicapping myself. He can hear me at all times, but when my head is filled with worldly things and I’m committing actions that aren’t righteous those thoughts are louder than His voice. I’m literally walking away from Him instead of toward him. The fault is my own. So when you’re sitting there wondering where He is, frustrated with your circumstances, don’t doubt Him, look at yourself.
Even in the worst experiences life can throw at us, we have no excuse to become stagnant. Read through the book of Job. In fact in the midst of the storm, we have many reasons to press forward and rely on the strength of God to see us through it. One of my favorite quotes is, when life becomes too hard to stand, kneel. We must trust that God is good no matter the season. Let him transform your pain into something beautiful. Your pain is a tool that can be harnessed to combat the enemy, not only in your own life, but somebody else’s. God will use what was meant to harm you to strengthen you, to help you, to raise you up and mold you into a warrior. He’s done it for me. Not that long ago I was a troubled and angry girl. I was doing awful and shady things. I had experienced tragic loss and endured what was to me great consequences. In my mind I was the furthest thing from a Christian woman, now I would shout about the mercy of God from the rooftops if I knew it would help someone. His love is life-changing.
I cried out to God in my anguish and he answered me. He met me in my pain and healed me, but only because to the best of my knowledge I obeyed his Word.
When I fail to do so and don’t do the good I ought to do I can’t grow. I shut myself off from the sunlight of the Spirit. It’s a matter of time before old wounds start resurfacing.
The good I ought to do? What does that mean? It looks a little different for each person depending on where they are in their walk of life.
I can only speak for me, because this is the path I’m on. I’ve experienced these revelations through my own trial and error.
The good I ought to do for me is simple, but first:
For each and every one of us we are commanded to all obey the Word and live a righteous life. We are absolutely supposed to uphold the law written in the bible, but we are saved through grace, meaning we are accredited righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Meaning, yes, while I’ve sinned, Jesus’s sacrifice covers my sin, when God looks at me he sees me as righteous and holy. That does NOT mean the law does not matter. We are still called to uphold it, but without the power of the Spirit we absolutely cannot.
We must uphold the law, because we are still called to do good works, not to achieve salvation, because we are gifted it through faith, but because we have salvation.
If we are not committed to the the our good works, how can we say we have faith? Our faith is shown by our good works! Faith without works is dead. Faith is an action. Think of the story of Abraham.
The law was meant for good. The law was setup to save us from ourselves after sin entered the world. The law is just and perfect, because God is just and perfect. We are not, we once were. We were created in God’s very own image, but when we disobeyed him we fell from grace. The law was meant to bring us back into right standing, but because sin is in the world as we are in the world we failed it’s purpose. So God gave us an amazing gift. The Holy Spirit.
When Jesus died for us, we were then given the gift of the Spirit who resides in us. He sets us apart. He makes us holy and righteous, no longer a slave to sin. The power of sin in our lives is defeated, but ONLY if we live in a daily dependency upon our Creator.
Why wouldn’t we want too? Why wouldn’t you want to have an ever growing relationship with your creator?
When we fail to do so, sin sneaks back in. I say sneaks, because the enemy is crafty. He’s the ultimate trickster. He lies and deceives us and turns us away from the truth, but that can only happen if we don’t arm ourselves with the truth. How do we do that? Obey the word. If you don’t know it, how can you do it?
Sometimes we know the word, and then choose to not follow it and that’s how the enemy gets a foothold in our lives. Stealing, killing, and destroying everything he can, but only because we’ve left the door open for him to come in.
The good I ought to do is simple and not easy.
As a follower of Christ, I must obey the Word.
As a wife, I must submit and love my husband.
As a mother, I must raise my children up in righteousness.
As a daughter, I must respect my parents.
As a friend, I’m called to be loyal, honest, and giving.
As a citizen, I must obey the laws in my country, state, and town.
As a good neighbor, I must be helpful, loving, kind, and giving.
As an example to other believers, I must do all of those things and more.
Each of those areas are way more in depth than I’ve written, but to save time I’ve kept it simple.
When I fail to do any of these things I’ve listed I’m failing to do what I ought to do, meaning I’m a sitting duck for the enemy and I’ve absolutely allowed this to happen.
Then down the rabbit hole I go. Depression, anxiety, fear, control, anger, indulgence, and all kinds of different multitudes of sin have free reign in my life.
God provides a foolproof way to save us from ourselves and the answer lies within the pages of our bibles. You want to change your life? Read it. You want to be “right” with God? Obey it.
It is that simple. I speak of years of experience in the rabbit hole. I’ve found a way that truly works and that has saved and transformed my life. My way got me at the bottom of a bottle, staring into a pool, thinking it would be totally fine to just jump in and drown myself while my husband was looking on and my child sleeping peacefully inside.
I’m not sure where your way got you. It could be worse, or it could be better, but it’s nothing compared to living in true freedom with Christ. I can absolutely promise you that. So if you haven’t opened your bible today and intimately connected with Christ, you should do so.
I can only speak of these things, because I’ve lived out these experiences. All of this was absolutely learned the hard way♡♡ It doesn’t have to be learned in the way I had to learn it. I’ve lost friends, time, lengths of sobriety, and many opportunities as consequences for my stubbornness and foolish and selfish choices. Yes, obeying the word is a sacrifice. Yes, we must die to our flesh and it’s painful. Yes, for lack of a better word sometimes it just sucks to choose righteousness over flesh, but it’s nothing compared to the Joy that’s coming and the joy it can bring to your present life now. How free do you want to be? Then do the good you know you ought to do.