Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. – Mark 14:38
Over and over again we’ve been talking about coming out of the darkness of sin and revealing ourselves in the light of God. But now let’s talk about this:
How do we maintain our growth? How do we not lose the growth we are making in our Christian life?
Romans 7:18 says nothing good lives in us, that is, in our sinful nature. We want to do what is right, but we can’t. Sometimes we fall back into patterns of thought and behavior that are bad for us. Sometimes sinners fall back into sin. How do we keep that from happening? We can see it coming if we watch and pray according to Mark 14:38. These are the warning signs:
First, we tend to become comfortable with our healing and growth and we stop trying. We see the pain and suffering (problems) we experience in our lives because of sin is reduced, and we become content with reduced pain. We become content with a better life and stop striving for a life that pleases God. In this complacency, we stop “working out our own salvation with fear and trembling”. – Philippians 2:11-13
We become careless
Then we begin to forget how bad our lives were before Christ. We forget how bad our ways were before Christ, and we tend to minimize the seriousness of our sins. We start to justify a belief in our own strength. In our confusion we see ourselves strong enough to stand against our sinful nature on our own.
Finally we start making compromises. We willingly put ourselves in a position to sin again. Falling back into our sinful ways is not such a big leap from this point.
Dear Lord, You alone are God. We worship You because of who You are, and we praise you because of your grace to us in Jesus Christ. Thank you for saving our lives and think you that Your salvation is perfect because we are so weak. We ask you to continue to fill us with your word of truth as we move forward with this study. Help us to stand when we are about to fall. Give us strength when we become weak. We accepted Jesus Christ as our savior because we knew we needed Him. We could not save ourselves. We could not become righteous without Him. We also know that we cannot keep our righteousness or grow in our righteousness on our own. That is because it is really no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us and through us. Thank you for the hope you have given us. In Jesus’ name, amen.