Giving Up or Overcoming?
God tells us to sin no more (John 8:11), yet we still sin. He tells us to heal the sick (Luke 10:9), but we can’t overcome our own diseases. He calls us overcomers and gives us abundant life (Romans 8:37 & John 10:10), and still we feel no different from those without Christ. We want to believe, but experiences seem to tell us something else.
I remember reading Romans 6 in college and making the note in my Bible, “living a 3rd day faith in a 2nd day world.” My thoughts were that we were to live as if we were a certain way even though we were not yet. Paul writes that we are (presently) dead with Christ and we will (future) be raised with Him. At that time in my life I was constantly aware of my struggle with pornography. While I found times of success, there were plenty of times of failure. Maybe the overcoming will come in heaven? Maybe I’m just to long for heaven?
Downgrading Our View of God and Self
Disappointment sets us back where we downgrade our view of God so we will not get hurt again. We say, “God didn’t heal me. Therefore I should stop believing Him for things that are impossible.” We as Christians too often base our beliefs on circumstances or experiences instead on what the Bible really says. When we form beliefs that pushes off Jesus’ promises until heaven we fail to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10).
I now realize that I had the note wrong. Unfortunately, we have chosen to live a 2nd day faith when there is a 3rd day power available. We tend to act like the disciples with Jesus still in the ground. We feel there is nothing we can do. We prayed for a miracle, but it didn’t happen. God didn’t come through like we assumed, so we are giving up. We guess it is not God’s will for us to overcome. Nonsense, it is for freedom that we have been set free (Galatians 5:1)!
Process of Overcoming
Jesus came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18-19), then He gave that ministry to us. What I choose to believe Paul was saying in Romans 6 is: if you have been buried with Christ, keep believing for the resurrection life because as you keep trusting in what God has promised, you will receive it. God is a good father. As you keep attaining for those things God wants to give, you will have them. Just don’t get discouraged in the process. If you don’t give up, you win.
The good news is that God wants you to win. He is rooting for you. And, if God is for you, who can stop you?