Jun 11, 2009
June 11, 2009
Naughty By Nature!!!
A Word of Encouragement
My Dear Friends in the Faith:
Children can often be little angels. They are so sweet, cute, kind and kissable. But, a few moments of idle time and they can get into all kinds of mischief. They can take a clean room and make it look like it has been hit by a tornado. They can take a neat closet and literally create chaos. And, for goodness sakes do not let them any where near a toy rack of any kind. This spells trouble with a capital T! Yes, they are sweet but I guess you could say that they are just naughty by nature.
Well, if the truth were to be told, kids are not by themselves in this human predicament. Grown folks can get themselves into a mess too. Did you just say ouch? I'm sorry it must have been my toe that I stepped on. Let's be real for a moment. There are times when we can get ourselves caught up into things that we had no business in at all. We do things that we are ashamed of, we go places that our feet should have never trod, we say things that should have never fallen from our lips and we think thoughts that can sometimes require prayer, a day of fasting and re-baptism! Have you been there yet or is it just me? I hope that you said "yes!" Because if you did it means that you too are naughty by nature every now and then.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior the Holy Ghost sets up residence in your soul. You start to discover that Jesus Christ is the greatest thing that's ever happened to you in your entire life. But, all of a sudden you have a rude awakening. You come to grips with the fact that your old you is still with you. So you end up trapped between the born again you and the old you that you thought you got rid of.
The Apostle Paul understood what it felt like to be naughty by nature when he wrote,
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:19-25, KJV).
Now if Paul was naughty then you know that there are times when we are too. There are times when we know better and we just don't do better. But, here's a good devotional question for you today, what do you do when you find yourself being naughty by nature?
First of all be real about the struggle. There are only two types of people who do not have any struggle at all. Those who are dead and those who are too crazy to admit the truth. The worse lie that you could ever tell is the one that you told yourself and then convinced yourself that it was true. Living holy is not always easy and there are days it can be a real struggle and the only way to deal with it is to be real about it. Paul puts it like this, "For the good that I would, I do not..." By this he means that my struggle is real but I still love Jesus Christ. Please hear this, if you conceal it, God will not heal it. But, if you are real with it, God will be real with you.
Secondly, be rugged in the battle. I read a church sign once that said "the enemy is the in-a-me!" It was so awesome I had to see it again because it was true. There is a battle going on and sometimes it is between my three closest friends, me, myself and I! Paul puts it on this wise, there is "warring against the law in my members..." The idea connotes that there are times when his soul is a battle ground between what he wants for himself and what God wants for him. Have you ever been there before? It happens when your flesh wants one thing but the Holy Spirit inside of you wants something greater for you. When this happens to you and it will, move out of God's way and let the Holy Spirit win the battle for you. No one celebrates losing, but if you let the Lord win within you it will be the one loss that you shout "thank you Jesus about!"
Thirdly, be ready to surrender. I once met a man who told me that he was tired of his struggle with alcohol. I realized that his heart was ready for a change and that God was going to do it. Many times when people get tired they desire to just quit. But, when you get tired remember this, your breakthrough is starring you in the face. Paul cries out "O wretched man that I am..." A much better translation of this would sound like this, "I am so sick and tired of myself right now that I could just scream!" When you get sick and tired (and you will) you will discover that God is tired of you being sick and healing is on the way. And besides all of that, being in custody after you surrender is not all that bad. You have the greatest care-taker in the world keeping you, Jesus Christ. Let me ask you a question, are you tired yet? If you are then surrender and let God fix what you can not repair.
And, lastly be relieved by being thankful to God for the Savior. The nature of a thing, tells you what the thing is. For instance, a duck quacks, a dog barks and a pig walks and grunts. You get my drift? They do what comes naturally. And, this is why a Christian should always be thankful! Thank you should be as natural for a saint is barking is for a dog or swimming is for a fish. It is just a part of our new nature. Paul closes this argument by saying "I thank God for Jesus Christ." Why is he so thankful you asked? Because he has found a God who knows that he is naughty but died for him to have a new nature. A deity so sweet that He would help him through his private struggle and not give up on him at all. Paul has a Lord strong enough to take from him what he does not have enough sense to put down. And he has a God that is great enough to fight the battle for him and then let him carry the trophy home!
Yes children can get themselves into a mess. But, no good parent gets rid of them or throws them away. They simply keep them until they grow up and grow wiser. Yes, living holy can be difficult when we are naughty by nature, but if you let the Lord fight the battle you will win every single time!
Your Friend and His Servant,
Dr. John R. Adolph, Pastor
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
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