For some time, I have been thinking a lot about God's will and perfect timing; of how for our own good He will make us wait, for it is by waiting that we learn patience, endurance, and develop character through intimacy with Him. And when we persevere in patience and waiting, our faith is strengthened when we see His will for us, and perfect plan unfold before our eyes!
This week in particular I have been thinking about people who continually struggle to overcome self-inflicted, habitual problems. Our flesh is such a cruel thing which we must continually fight to lead godly lives, but victory is absolutely possible with Christ.
The Gospel is that Jesus Christ is the power of God to save. And it is not just salvation for eternity to come, it is salvation now from a dead life of sin for eternity. You see the power of God through Jesus Christ is a transforming power that takes individuals and molds them over time, more and more into the likeness of Jesus. People do not lose their unique qualities, rather they are refined to become more beautiful versions of themselves as God intended them to be, for it is then that they shine the likeness of Christ to others, through their truth and genuine love.
It is the truth of the Gospel to save and transform people, that is being lost in a world which dilutes the truth, by saying that there are no absolutes unless it comes out of the mouth of an atheist. It is why I can say to a young person fitting all the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa that they need professional help, and they basically say that my opinion of them is only my own and not necessarily right. Our young generation are being fed a whole heap of garbage and we wonder why they struggle? Our young people are not being taught to think for themselves, rather to swallow a hypothesis like a pill. Too many are told it's dangerous to believe in moral absolutes and we wonder why they struggle to make wise choices.
So many young people have no concept of working for anything much at all, and we wonder why they have no concept of repentance and faith. Both repentance and faith require action but the majority of people are too lazy to model this for our youth.
Our youth constantly get told how beautiful, loved and valued they are, but it's by a world that only flatters to use and abuse them as consumers.
When our youth get to hear the truth of the Gospel that they are not born children of God, that they need a spiritual rebirth through Jesus to be saved from their broken human state...that there is power to have their life set free from their bondage of self-inflicted, habitual problems, then progress can happen...but there is more. You see, I know people who hear this and think everything will change with one prayer and no effort on their behalf...but this is not faith.
Faith is not only believing in what we cannot see...that is only the first part. Faith is also an action – it is acting upon what we believe will happen which is why we say, “It took them a lot of faith to do that.” It is why James says faith without works is dead. It's obviously not because we are saved by anything we do, we are saved by Jesus alone, but I believe we must step out in faith in Christ's power for us to overcome to have victory over self-inflicted, habitual habits.
In the New Testament Jesus could only heal those who had faith.
I know people who continually struggle with self-inflicted, habitual habits and lament their problem/s, yet who are also unwilling to surrender them. They may understand intellectually that Christ's power is available to Christians to overcome, yet they are unwilling to have action-faith.
Yes, it is difficult during temptations to push into The Lord for His strength to overcome – that is why it is a temptation – but it is what we must do for victory. Each time it gets easier because each time our faith increases. It is difficult to patiently endure, but we will grow closer to Jesus and become stronger as we become more like Him, and have victory over our flesh. Not all healing is instantaneous, often is it a journey because The Lord wants us to draw close to Him and grow in our faith. When we forget that healing and victory requires action-faith we do not tap into His available power and will stagnate.
While we patiently endure and wait for complete victory, we can step-out each time in action-faith and grow. Yes The Lord wants to bless us with healing and victory, but do we really have faith in Him and trust Him enough to die each time to our flesh?