Since the soul, the complete us, was invented and then created by God, He is the one who is able to instruct us in its best purpose and use. When we examine exactly what those purposes are, we might discover that we are far from where God desires us to be, and that is usually due to the fact that we have wandered far off the path upon which God has prepared for us. But God doesn’t forsake us. And though it is possible that we may run out of time, while we still draw breath we have the opportunity to return our spirit to the Holy Spirit of the living God and forsake our sin or sins. We see this in the 55th chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
God’s mercy is always welcoming those who come in truth. One of the greatest acts we can perform in this life, if not the greatest, is humbling ourselves before God in true repentance of our sins. For that one act, that single action will change a person for eternity. We have but to hold on to that by living a life that has been changed in every single way and in every single thing we do in order that we might glorify the One who saved us, Jesus. If every single thing does not change, then we have not yet come to the place where we should be. Paul put it like this: 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Boy that doesn’t sound easy at all. Thank God we have some help here. But here’s the thing about help. It’s no good if you don’t do two things. First, pay attention when the help is given to how it got there and particularly how that help was given (word or deed) and then secondly how am I able to put this assistance, this word or deed, to work in my life? How can it propel me toward my goal of being more in Christ?
And that’s the one of the ways we can be sure that we are in Christ. That will be our goal. To be more in Christ. He will be our desire in everything we do, for He will be in the text or the sub-text of everything we do and say. Our life will focus on Him as well as His will in our life. We will be in the world, but not of the world.
You see what we are experiencing in this new creation that is being formed, (and this is a process that may take a lifetime) is crossing over from a place where we once lived a life of frustration, defeat, and darkness to a place of peace and victory and light. But it is a treacherous and difficult crossing, kind of like a tightrope walker. One thing I noticed about this guy who is on a tightrope is that his eyes are focused on the goal, not on the place where his foot will land next. We would do well to do the same.
There are several reasons I like this example of a tightrope walker to demonstrate the point of crossing over from the world and the flesh to the spirit and spiritual things. Mainly because to fall off the path for this guy will probably mean death. It may not for us if we fall off the spiritual tightrope we have placed ourselves on, but it could be. Once we leave the protection, the provision and the presence of God, we are in a pretty dangerous place. And if we are on a tightrope that can be an extremely dangerous situation. And every time we sin, that is exactly what we are doing.
Also notice that while this person is in the process of crossing over, he has his back on where he came from while his eyes are focused on where he is going.
Were he to turn around and return to where he came from, he would then have his back toward the first goal and be facing that from which he came. There is no other direction to take…he must choose one or the other.
If you look at our friend there, you should notice that there are buildings nearby and there was obviously someone taking a picture of him who was at the same height, so there were lots of places where people could have been a distraction and very dangerous distractions. Deadly distractions. but the man on the tightrope is focused and is not going to allow himself to be distracted from the goal.
We must do the same. John gave us three things that will make sure we are distracted and weaken our relationship with Christ. 1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The word lust here in Greek is epithumia which means a longing for something, especially that which is forbidden.
Do you think that’s a human trait? We desire whatever we are told we can’t have. Sometimes we have such a desire for that which we are told we cannot have or cannot do, that we make it our main focus in life to do exactly what it is we are told to not do or have what has been forbidden. If you have been a teenager you have experienced this phenomenon and if you have teenagers, you are experiencing karma to the same extent to which you made your parents experience this phenomenon.
Hopefully we survive ourselves and our children going through such rebellion. Some don’t. If we are living in Christ we are walking the tightrope and we are surrounded by the world, the flesh and the devil. And those three things will bring us to the other things John spoke of: lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Let’s face it, since we are human, we are built differently than just those who have only spirit bodies. Our flesh is everything to us before we realize we have a spirit and to ignore that flesh, to subjugate it to a lesser place, to make it secondary to our spirit,…this flesh that has been with us for….well, pretty much all of our life, is to say the least difficult. In fact without the help of God, as I said already, it is impossible.
These 3 things will take us from the will of God, the presence of God, and the protection of God. There are so many stories in the bible of people whose lives were ruined because they chose to leave God in their desire for things not of God.
But just to mention a few, the first one was Eve, the second, Achan in the book of Joshua and of course, King David. All three were prone to the lust of the eye and David carried it to extremes and resulted in the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Of course, Eve was no slacker here because her sin caused a problem for me and for you.
The transition, the crossing over from sinner to saint is not a journey for the lazy, the unprepared or those who do not desire to complete the journey once begun, for if you are on a tightrope, it’s really hard to turn around, you are much more likely to just fall.
We must focus on our goal of being one with Christ if we truly want to obtain it. The corruption caused by sin can be overwhelming, so we must fight against it with all we have. We all know that it is not easy to conquer, to overcome our lusts, our desires, but if we fail at this we may well suffer eternally. Repentance is not trying, but succeeding in overcoming those sins that plague you. God is merciful, but He is also just and justice requires satisfaction.
God pulls us back to Him in many ways, but it is a gentle pulling, it is the draw of love. He only works in love and gives us guidance, not a forced march. We must follow that guidance in order to become successful and I can guarantee that if you are honestly following the guidance He gives in your life in its entirety, you will be blessed. There can be no other outcome for you will be walking in the light of the love of God, Who has promised to never leave you or forsake you and He will guide you into all righteousness.