We Only Have A Lifetime

by Mar 27, 2024Devotional6 comments

Ecclesiastes 12:13 When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.

 

      I was listening to a brother in the Lord lamenting about his struggles in his faith, and he said, “How long will this battle go on in my heart? I have the Lord’s righteousness through Christ living within me, and yet, I struggle to obey some of the simplest instructions of the Lord.” I thought of some battles I was wrestling with, and said to myself, “Thank God, we only have a lifetime to get it right.” I was not being flippant, I was being grateful that the Lord gave us His righteousness and we can walk in it for the rest of our lives. Rabbi Berel Wein wrote – It is our nature to filter all rules and laws through our own intellect. If somehow it makes sense to us then we are willing to obey but if we are not able to rationalize the command to ourselves then we feel that we are not obligated to obey. This is the crux of the matter that the flesh wrestles with – do I submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit or not? My heart wants to obey God but my flesh wants its own way.

 

      I see this dilemma at different times working within me when I FEEL I am not obligated to obey. Yet, this is not what the Lord asks of us. They are not the Ten Suggestions or The Ten Platitudes. They are The Ten Commandments. The first commandment deals with all the issues of life. It says, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. If I break this commandment, I have in effect, broken every other law of God. This command establishes the fact that I cannot act as a god determining whether or not I will obey the Word of the Lord. How can I dispense or make righteous judgments and live in Godliness when not obeying the Lord? 

 

      If I set myself up as a god in my life, then it will be difficult to hear the Almighty God when He points this sin out to me. It will also be a slippery slope to breaking all of the Lord’s instructions that He gives me. James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole Law, but shall stumble in one point, he has become guilty of all. Obeying the first commandment determines whether I will love the Lord with all my heart, and my neighbour as myself. If I am on the throne of my heart, then obviously God and my neighbour are in line behind me. Rom. 7:24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? How do I keep myself off the throne of my heart?

 

      Obedience to God within the ability of our flesh is near impossible. It’s worse than that, it is impossible to obey God one hundred percent of the time. This is why we need a Saviour. As the Apostle Paul describes in his battle with obedience to God’s Word, we see his struggle is real. Rom. 7:23 But I see a different law and rule of action in the members of my body in its appetites and desires, waging war against the law of my mind and subduing me and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is within my members. We can only overcome the battle of submission to God’s leading through Christ’s righteousness. Our self-righteousness does not have any holy substance that holds up next to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We fall short of His perfection.

 

      We only have a lifetime to embrace this message of hope so that it remains strong in our hearts. The fact is, it will take a lifetime of coming to the Lord daily and declaring our need for His love and righteousness that is freely given to us through Christ. We will always need the love and discipline of the Father who keeps us saved through His Son. We will always need the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort our souls. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. We will always need God every step of our lives. 

 

      The Word of the Lord points out that we will have battles to win and egocentricities to overcome in the realm of our will. However, the Lord has given us His armour to fight the selfishness that we wrestle with in our hearts, plus the ability to overcome the tricks, seductions, and temptations of the enemy. When we look around at the circumstances in this world, it seems overwhelming and that a lot is coming against us, but we need to remember that God is for us and that our victory has already been won through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. We only need to accept this eternal and wonderful gift of salvation, and then allow God to shape our hearts into His Son’s likeness and be the author and perfector of our faith. Heb. 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

      Now Saints, is this transformation of willpower and submission to the authority of Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our life going to be a walk in the park? No, and no again! If it was a matter of monastic ritualistic observances it might be easier because we would be in charge of the rules we are willing to suffer for. However, there is a reason for the scriptures saying “Fight the good fight of faith. They that overcome shall receive a crown. Resist the devil and he will flee. Give and it will be given to you. Pray for those who persecute you. The list goes on forever. This is a warfare for the mind, soul and spirit of our being, and praise the Lord who is the captain of our faith. He has won our victory and we must get up and take the victory He has given us by faith. Thank you, Lord, for our lifetime gift of salvation.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Well Norm, Jonah says in chapter 2 verse 8 (KJV)… THEY THAT
    OBSERVE LYING VANITIES FORSAKE THEIR OWN MERCY.
    There is so much spin in the church these days that sticking to the
    simplicity that is in Christ and Him crucified is the only safe harbour.
    If we want God’s mercy, stop listening to the spin doctors.
    Happy Easter to everyone.

    Reply
    • True Helen. keep our eye on Jesus. As Timothy says there will be spin doctors.
      2Tim. 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

      Reply
  2. Thank you. If we are the god of our own lives, it will be difficult to hear Almighty God. Very good point to ponder.

    Reply
    • Like it says in Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
      It is easy to set ourselves up on the throne of our hearts.
      Blessings Jami

      Reply
  3. Love this Norm!
    To highlight John 14:17
    His Spirit is in us, we are a new creation…we have the mind of Christ. The scripture concerning a double minded man, James 1:8, I for some reason thought that was someone who went back and forth in their natural mind but I’ve recently come to understand that it is between the natural mind and the mind of Christ(our spirit) that this is referring to.

    Reply
    • Thank you Roxana
      Yes, be still and know that God is who we keep our ming on. Blessings

      Reply

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