“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
We have all made some mistakes. We have all experienced our share of ups and downs and we all have some hidden areas that still
need some working on.
There were times when even the Apostle Paul looked at himself and knew that he was not yet complete. He knew that every day was an uphill climb. When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that, “old things have passed away,” and “all things have become new,” he had come full circle in the realization that he was no longer the man he once knew himself to be. That’s why he once urged us to move beyond our past, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)
Paul also understood that our spiritual walk is a journey, one that is fraught with disappointment and failure as much as it is with success and victory. The truth is it doesn’t matter how long we have been saved, we will always have those days when we come home and wish we could take back something we said or did.
There is a wonderful passage in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Rome that has always been a source of comfort to me, especially when I have had one of those days when I didn’t feel that I acted or very much resembled the Christian I claim to be. In fact, I believe Paul had one of those days when he sat down and wrote, “It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned, but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is – my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.” (Romans 7:21-25, TLB)
The comfort I get from that passage is not just in what the Apostle Paul said. It’s also in the fact that he wrote it some 20 years after he was saved. In other words, while we all mature as Christians, all of us will inevitably stumble along the way, saying and doing things that are not consistent with the new life we claim to have.
As Christians, we must remember that we can’t defeat the devil by ourself. He is very crafty and cunning. He has been around a long time, and has tried every person at one time or another.
There is good news and that news is that you have Jesus and he has enough power to keep you from falling. As long as you got Jesus, you are going to make it, and you are going to withstand your storm.
Rev. Darrick Whitfield is pastor of Shady Grove M.B. Church in McCondy, his column appears regularly in the Chickasaw Journal.