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Ups And Downs Of Christianity

For me the ups of Christianity are when I experience the power of God at work in my heart and life. The joy of those experiences is immeasurable. The downs of Christianity are when I lose sight of Him and His work. The only thing I can see in the downs is me. I get painfully frustrated with me. My sinful flesh blinds me to the glory of God. All I can focus on are my failures, my weakness, my mistakes, my frustration, my ignorance and my short-sightedness. Yesterday I had just completed an article and touched some mysterious key on my computer keyboard and . . . poof . . . the article was gone. It happened so quickly that I don*t even know what key caused it. I rewrote the article and sent it to my email readers. I neglected to proofread it. After I emailed it I discovered some obvious errors and things I had forgotten to include the second time around. I am sure most of my readers are astute enough spiritually to understand the article anyway. I corrected some errors before I uploaded it into the website. Then I discovered more errors and corrected them too. I have the vague notion that the second article was still not as helpful spiritually as the first one would have been. I was frustrated with me for a long time.

Sometimes the downs are our own fault but sometimes they are given to us by the Lord to teach us something. Christians need both the ups and downs else God would not permit them. Being frustrated with ourselves but thrilled about the Lord should be the normal pattern of a Christian*s attitude. The downs can make us appreciate the ups. The downs can come when we are walking in the flesh. The downs can alert us when we are walking in the flesh.

Galatians 5:16-17: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

There are two ways to end the conflict between the flesh and the Holy Spirit. One is to surrender to the flesh and the other is to surrender to the Holy Spirit. Notice that the word Spirit is capitalized in the passage. That means that it is definitely referring to the Holy Spirit.

As we look at ourselves and the Christians around us we should be frustrated that so many times we surrender to the flesh. Some seem always to be surrendered to the flesh. They don*t pray. They don*t study the Bible. They don*t attend church. They don*t serve the Lord. They don*t give a thought to what the Lord wants. They don*t confess and forsake their sin. Their flesh seems content for a time. They are like the proverbial frog that stays in a pot of water because the water is heated so gradually that he doesn*t realize that it will kill him to stay in the pot.

Matthew 6:13a: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: . . .

Psalms 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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