It’s not easy to truly confront this head on…and mean it.
We all talk a good game, but when it comes to the follow-through, I think most of us fail.
I’m really not here to beat you up today, I just want to peel back the veneer that we have erected around this topic. I want to expose this wound and bring it out into the light. It won’t be comfortable, but it is necessary.
I believe that we as an Army aren’t progressing forward as we once were because we are too invested in our communities to confront sin as we once did.
If we don’t hold the standard high (with grace infused) we become more than bystanders, we become accessories to sin. I don’t say this lightly, because I have work to be done in my life with this as well. I merely want to poke at this festering wound so that perhaps it might heal if we expose it to the right kind of healing.
For the devoted Soldier:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:1-4)
Jesus has given us victory over sin, so why is it that sometimes we act like we’re still stuck in it? Could it be that we don’t truly believe Christ has delivered us, or that we can be truly delivered? I don’t mean to say that we won’t still struggled with temptation, but it doesn’t mean we have to act upon that temptation. We have been delivered, shouldn’t we act and live like those who have been given a second chance? We have been granted this new life, isn’t that something to be joyous about? Why is it then that we still struggle with this doubt? Why is it then that we still feed the old, sinful ways?
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:5-6)
I will be the first to confess that I do not have it all together yet.
I know that I have my many flaws as a Soldier of this Army as well as a Child of God…but I do know that Christ’s death and resurrection has transformed my life! Do I still struggle? Yes, but I also know that I have this new creation – and because of it, I deeply long to resemble Christ…but it MUST become more than that. I should want others to see Christ and not me. I should want this life to be Christ and not me. If we do not have this deep desire to see lives transformed by His Holy power that once transformed us, then I do not know why we are still engaged in this Army. That may be a bold statement, but this ought not be an army of mediocrity and wishy-washy doctrines that incorporate tolerance of sin within its ranks. We are born of something far bigger than ourselves in this “New Creation”! We are an Army of Salvation hell bent of fighting against sin – not embracing it.
Dear Soldier, this does not mean that we discourage and forcibly condemn those still struggling with sin in their lives, but it does mean that we stop placating to the culture of habitual sin. If we ignore these chains will they still be chains? Of course! We can’t simply ignore the metal bars that hold in the prisoner, we must fight with all of our strength to open the prison doors – and this is only possible with the power of the Holy Spirit!
Get On With It!
Please don’t use the phrase – “Well I’m only human” – this, I feel attempts to excuse our behaviors and indiscretions. We were made for so much more – if we have accepted this amazing gift of salvation. If we have allowed His transforming power into our lives through the workings of the Holy Spirit then we are indeed a new creation. He might still have work to be done in us, but we must be patient and continually pray for deliverance from sin as we avoid temptation.
These are bold words today, but I believe that we as an Army are up for this challenge!
Either we believe the Holy Spirit can transform from the inside out or He can’t…which is it?
Doctrine # 10 says this, “We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So where are you today?
This is both a personal and corporate question.
Are there still strongholds in your life?
Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit access to those strongholds?
He longs to sanctify you completely…but it requires your willingness to sacrifice every aspect of your former self.
My prayer is that we might all be challenged to live out this new creation as Soldiers of Salvation!
Something more for our Army world to ponder today!
To God be the glory!
Disclaimer: “The Views and Opinions shared in Pastorsponderings are strictly the writer’s views and opinions and do not necessarily ALWAYS reflect the views and opinions of The Salvation Army.”