> Living Letter

01/22/2014 - What will you do?

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:15).

Many of God’s children live a great dilemma. When they are sober they enjoy God’s presence in their life and know they are not supposed to do certain things. Actually, when they happen to do those things they feel the most wretched people on Earth. Then, with a heart full of sadness, they truly repent and promise to the Lord they will not make that mistake ever again.

However, when temptation comes with its clamors and allures, they simply cannot resist and fall again. What’s wrong with these people?

In the verse above, Paul makes a startling confession. He, the great apostle, showed in his writings that he had gone through the same drama that many people have experienced. We understand that this problem is common to all God’s children in that they are still in the flesh. Some to a smaller, others to a greater degree, but generally all of us have to fight our human nature. The seventh chapter of Romans helps us better understand this issue. Below are some Biblical characters who serve to illustrate this fact and facilitate our understanding of how to deal with problems.

Saul, an extreme case – We realize through the life of Saul, the first king of Israel, the extreme to which an individual can get. That was why he was disqualified by the Lord so that he would not continue to reign over God’s people because of his persistent disobedience and evil actions. A demon had come upon him, causing him to have very strange attitudes. It all started when the women of Israel – happy with the emergence of a new hero, David, who was God’s instrument to deliver that nation, – sang songs to him whose lyrics said that David had killed ten times more people than Saul (I Samuel 18:7). The jealous king then decided to take David’s life: So Saul eyed David from that day forward. And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice. (I Samuel 18:9-11)

David could not resist – There is a stain on the character of the man who the Lord God referred to as a man after His own heart.

David, the second king of the Hebrews – whose heroic deeds were extolled in songs – on a certain evening, waking up from sleep after lunch, went for a walk on the porch of his house, wherefrom he saw a beautiful, absent-minded woman who bathed outdoors. King David could not contain himself and did his utmost to possess the woman. As always – and the Bible warns us about it – deep calls unto deep (Psalm 42:7a), so the outcome of this action was the vile death (plotted with refinements of extreme wickedness by David himself) of that woman’s husband and God’s disapproval of the life of His anointed.

Peter acted cowardly – When the Lord Jesus told Peter that the devil had asked Him to sift him like wheat and walk about him, (Luke 22:31), the disciples did not believe the warning and fell into sin of reputing the Lord a liar (I John 5:10). Then Peter made another mistake: he denied knowing the Lord Jesus three times, fearing for his life – though he assured he was ready to with the Lord (Mark 14:31) and showed it by cutting off Malchus’ ear, who was a servant of the high priest (John 18:10).

I will never cast you out – Due to the lack of a deeper understanding of God’s Word, many people end up falling into sin when they go through similar situations. Some turn to God and with a bitter and contrite heart they ask Him for forgiveness, which they certainly achieve. They manage to overcome their woes, thus resuming their communion with the Lord. Others, however, albeit having the witness of the Holy Spirit concerning their transgressions and feeling remorse, they do not repent. Such people act like Judas Iscariot, who was also conscious of his mistake but did not regret it and turned away from God to the point of committing suicide.

The true Gospel of the Kingdom must be preached in all the depth of its purity. It must be distinguished from the Law.  One just cannot turn a deaf ear to the illuminating statements uttered by the lips of the Lord Jesus: All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out (John 6:37) .

Christ said that He would certainly not cast out whoever comes to Him, so we can rejoice and shout at top of our lungs, just as the Apostle Paul did, saying: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:35; 38-39).

All those who one day heeded God’s voice and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, can and must affirm before any insinuation of the enemy that it is impossible for them to be separated from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

The devil will never achieve his goals – The lack of knowledge of the revelations made by the Lord Jesus allows the devil to deceive many children of God. Some of them are genuinely saved, but lead a life of defeat, considering themselves a lost cause just because they have not found out that these things they feel are hellish fabrications, they are lies; they are nothing but spiritual nightmares.

The individual who sins puts himself in an adverse spiritual position and is susceptible to all kinds of suffering inflicted by Satan: from a moral pain to physical, financial and family woes, among others. However, that person can never be snatched from the hands of the Lord Jesus. He ensures us: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:27-28). All those who heard the Lord’s voice one day and followed Him are included in this statement. Assuredly, this is the reason for great joy because not even the devil himself will be able to take them away from God.

Perhaps there could still be some people undecided as to the possibility of being taken from the hands of the Lord; that is why Christ was so straightforward, saying: My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. (John 10:29). What do you say?
Paul’s sincerity – The Apostle was not being weak when he was honest about his inner struggle concerning sin. Paul showed that this is common to all human beings, but there is a way of escape: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:8-9).

What will you do?

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