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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

Rocky 2 was a fun movie. Cool story of rocky going from hungry and determined fighter to fatcat celebrity boxer and then how he regains his edge by realizing how he has changed. The song *eye of the tiger* seemed to have a good beat, maybe not the best lyrics lol but it had a pulsing drumline and bass beat that made you feel the energy as you saw rocky go back to training hard in order to beat Mr T.

I have talked so much about my struggle with fear on here. I have struggled so much inside on why and how of it. Everyone dies, just the way it is. Jesus had to die. Jesus resurrection is what provides any of us hope to live after we die. I believe in Jesus, so why then my struggle with fear of death??? The Bible has so much inside it. It is truly our playbook for the game of living life and knowing God is our Coach. Law and grace, mercy and judgment,chosen and unchosen. There are so many verses that talk about our actions and our thoughts, basically what we do. Equally so are all the verses that discuss Gods love mercy and grace and the fact that there is nothing we can do,none of our behaviors or thoughts can make us any better or worse.

The apostle Paul talks in the book of Romans about himself and that he does not do what he knows he should, and he does do what he knows he shouldnt. This is the man who was personally confronted by Jesus in a special vision and spent many months being discipled by Him to become the amazing apostle he was. He says flat out that he sins and it happens in an ongoing manner, he uses present tense,active voice in the sentence he writes!!!!! Another verse talks about how Jesus came into the world as the Light and He was not recieved because men loved the darkness instead of the Light and didnt want their deeds exposed as being evil. How is this to be applied??? Was it the jews, His chosen people who were supposed to be looking for Messiah that this refers to??? Is it all of us??? Is it Paul still struggling with sin even after becoming an apostle??

I am not totally sure my whole point here. i know we will never be totally free from sin and failure in this life. We still have struggles even as believers. I am challenged by the thought of what kind of an example am I as a christian to those who dont believe if i continually share my problem with fear and other sources of shame and guilt??? Is that something i should not have and that becomes a roadblock instead of a window?? Can christians actually live their whole life with areas of deep struggle and conflict as well as ones of victory and maturity??? Are there things that need to happen and be chosen and lived out before God intervenes in a hidden way and decides someone has become beyond possibility of growing more mature and strong in faith hope and love???

This hurts to contemplatem it hurts to write on. Would be so much easier to just love God 100% every single second of everyday with all i have but that isn't real, not for me and not for pretty much everyone I know. We all have things we stumble on or fight with. We think bad thoughts or we feel bad emotions or we act in bad ways. We are caught in the reality of our fallenness even as believers. Maybe this is what Paul meant by saying *thanks be to God Christ Jesus will rescue me from the body of this death* Jesus gives us the eye of the tiger.


At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes you are right Robert.. We struggle on a daily basis.. Sometimes I think without even noticing sometimes, until it really gets to a certain point.

As I talked to you before a lot of things stay behind a curtain and it is not revealed until something sparks a thought on that memory!

Yes I am glad that Yeshua's Love is there for me even after I close my eyes in death.. I am glad that he pardon my sins with his love.

It is only when we sit and think and stop giving in to flesh (yeah right) lol that we will be able to fully accept our mess that most of the time we created!

Maturity is a process... Most of us are still on milk, because we do not wish to eat and chew meat.. some of the meat is really tough, because we don't want to give up a lot of flesh eating wrongs.


At 2:23 PM, Blogger Robyn said...

Hmmm...this was an interesting post. I do agree on the point that we all have 'struggles'. And sometimes I too, am gripped in fear about DEATH at times. Not sure where I am on the whole process of turning everything over to God...but it's a process isn't it?!

Again, thanks for making me ponder this post!
Thanks for stopping by...it is lovely to see you there!

At 10:20 AM, Blogger jennypo said...

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
(Romans 8:12-17)

Whenever we struggle to overcome the flesh with the power of the flesh (strength, will-power, etc.) we end up in the kind of struggle Paul describes. What Paul points out is that in the end of such a struggle, we come to the realization that it's not a matter of 'wanting a little bit harder', but of needing someone to deliver us from the power of the flesh. This is what Christ does.

It is only in the power of God's Spirit that we can put to death the deeds of the body. This is not a comfortable process. It doesn't mean we find ourselves carried to a place where we don't struggle anymore. It is a surgery that we cannot perform on ourselves, but we must consent to. It means allowing God (by the bowing of the will) to put to death the part of us that fights against him.

In this death, there is freedom and love and the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Keep struggling. But don't start thinking that the struggle is the goal - God does mean to set you free, and he can. In my experience, any sin that I have become aware of and burdened by is one that God means to deal with. It's not easy saying 'yes' to his surgery. Sometimes it takes me a long time to make that decision. But he is kind. He knows how much it hurts to be a human and not sin, because he experienced it. And he will never be satisfied until I am tired enough of the stench of my own sinfulness to hand my will over to him and let him kill that part of me - because where the power of my flesh is put to death, Christ lives in me, and I am free!


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