Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: Tug of War

Wednesday's Word

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Tug of War



Although, I've posted about the war against the flesh before, this is my confession: I write it more so as a testimony that I can look back upon years later and hopefully see some growth. Some evidence of increased understanding and fortitude based on better actions. I also pray that if you read this and recognize any similarity in your own struggle, that you be encouraged.
You are not alone.

If you look up ‘Tug of war’, the definition goes something like this: A contest of two forces, pulling opposite ends of a rope until one is pulled over a central line. Most times, I break this down and consider that both sides have ‘equal’ opposition or it wouldn’t be much of a contest at all. I also consider what that central line is – the measurement for achievement, which I also find funny, in such that when I looked up “tug of war”, I also saw a variety of images: One of God and the devil pulling at a person, two dogs pulling at one chew toy, two people pulling at money and one guy in the middle of the pulling between his head and his heart.

For me personally, I grapple with what’s being pulled and what is the central line. It seems that I identify with the head and heart thing but is that what it should be? If my head is one side, I can see it pulling for what makes sense; in that case, my heart then pulls for what feels better….I’m not so sure, because in that case you’d be hard pressed to always be on one side rather than a ‘deciding’ that needs to take place in regards to who SHOULD win the tug. I rather like the idea of the central line being a striving for righteousness and Holy living, which then pits the opposers as my old understanding. My old way of living and things that used to make selfish sense to me. On the other side is my ‘new man’. My redeemed self that cares more about the things of God than the things of this world. But then WHY the struggle? Is not my redeemed self, empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, much stronger than my old man? I believe that it absolutely is.
When I consider this, I’m left with the revelation of a continued expressed brokenness that lives in a word I touched on earlier….’deciding’. My old man is considerably weak when compared to The Spirit, and that weakness is where the power of the flesh wrestles with the strength of the spirit….doesn’t that seem contrary?

Here’s The Word:

Romans 7:22 -23 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Paul is speaking of a real and present negation happening: A tug of war if you will between two decidings: One is the Law of God and righteousness which concludes on the grace of God expressed in the sacrifice of Christ and His deserved Lordship …versus the “Thou shalt not” list in me that my flesh keeps arguing, using ad hoc extenuating circumstances, keeping me from my desired freedom in Christ.

Here’s The Word:

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

So, this tug of war is not against equal opposers, just consistent ones. While we remain here, in the flesh, we must keep a persistent rein on our desires; great as well as what we could consider insignificant….we have to stay vigilant to ‘check ourselves’.
The central line is not central, but advancing to the degree with which you decide to give strength to one side or the other. The perception of stagnation is only to be considered as a tactic of deception used by the flesh side to gain ground. And finally, YOU are the rope: Your conviction, your fortitude and your resolve. And as such, if you’re in Christ, here are some valuable promises given to you: The rope will not break NOR will the flesh claim lasting victory in this contest. You may stumble and regrettably be pulled to the point of discouragement. However, you must choose to let God’s decision strengthen your deciding.
He sees this war very differently than you do – you may simply be trying to increase good and lessen bad, but God is strengthening a piece of rope, purifying you to pour even MORE righteousness into you for this life now and the life to come and only He knows what He’s preparing you for, but rest assured after this life now, we can expect responsibilities and strength to fulfill them to God’s glory. There will come a day where this will all be a distant memory where we'll hardly even remember that tug of war.

In Him,
Cros

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