Welcome to the Christian Life
One of the most common ways that committed believers suffer is through the pain we feel from living in this sinful world. And this pain is not only found in the vexation of being around others who are sinful...but equally so, another vexation surfaces and rises to the top, that causes a self-realized pain. A pain, a vexation, a suffering caused from our own appetite for sin...an appetite that must be denied. And its in this denial that we suffer for Christ by taking up our cross and losing our life that we may gain it.
So, we suffer not only from without: but from within. The infliction of this sinful world, where others is concerned, is not the only agitation we endure. The vexation of how our sinful flesh is provoked by this sinful world is a troublesome spark that initiates an inner war that pits the flesh against the spirit. Both are fighting for dominance and influence so as to inspire you to act upon their dictates and desires. If you sow to one, you'll reap life. If you sow to the other, you'll reap death (Galatians 6:8). Naturally, when you sow to one, you automatically deny the other.
The decision to follow one brings you pleasurable peace in the Spirit while simultaneously agitating and attacking the flesh.
The other brings you temporary pleasure and satisfaction in the flesh while simultaneously attacking disturbing the Spirit.
Both instances are realized and experienced as a war...two contradictory sides that are diametrically opposed to one another.
Welcome to the Christian Life.
Know this: Any time a believer suffers in the flesh in order to obey and serve God, he is losing his (natural) life that he may gain a greater portion of an eternal one. Such a one is fulfilling the command to deny himself and take up his cross. Any time a believer suffers in the spirit in order to obey the flesh, he is gaining his (natural) life that he may lose a vast portion of his eternal one. Luke 9:23
Be vexed and groan...so long as our vexation and suffering arise from an obedient life in holiness, who cares? This is much more expedient than to have a false, fleeting peace in the midst of tyrannical disobedience to Christ. Many in the church are living like the devil while having no vexation or conviction whatsoever. What does this tell us? It tells us they no longer have a conscience by which God can communicate his intentions through.
Continued-habitual disobedience causes scar tissue to form on your conscience from the years of continued willful sin.
Willful sin is as destructive to the mind and conscience as habitual drinking is to the alcoholic's liver.
Through years of willful physical abuse, the alcoholic suffers from cirrhosis of the liver.
Through years of willful soulical and spiritual abuse, the Christian suffers from cirrhosis of the soul.
This destructive layer of self-inflicted scar tissue prevents communications of the God-kind and traps in communications of the Satanic-kind (1 Timothy 4:2). Therefore, if the sinfulness of this world...if the sinfulness of yourself causes vexation in your soul...praise the Lord you still have the instrument intact, whereby God can communicate his wishes, through the tender receptors of your heart! If sinful things are making you sorrowful...this is God's way of communication to let you know change MUST occur. In order to keep this instrument intact and in working condition, we must remain in a constant state of obedience to the dictates and wishes of the Spirit. To do otherwise is to sear over your conscience and be given over to reprobate mind. Such a condition causes a strong delusion in regard to the Truth to come upon you. This delusion will place you in such a state where you will begin to believe lies in place of Truth. Yes, in this state, lies will become your truth. Romans 1,
1 Timothy 4:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:11. Is this not the condition of the vast majority of the modern church?
No matter how you live, all roads lead to the Judgment Seat of Christ. 2 Cor 5:10
If one who calls himself a child of God is not vexed, nor does he groan at all instances and confrontations with sin...he has not the attributes and nature of Christ at work in his soul.
When we give into sin we refuse to suffer for Christ. When we do this, that Christ-like side of us begins to suffer and hereby fade. Remain in this state for a long period of time and He will fade altogether...causing you the ultimate suffering.
One way or the other, you're going to suffer for Christ.
Let us embrace the temporal suffering that leads to eternal comfort, ease and relief.
May we never be found embracing the temporal comfort, ease and relief that leads to eternal loss, regret and judgment.
We must lose ourselves that we may find Christ. The extent you are willing to lose yourself will be the extent of Christ you receive.
Book of Acts type power and intimacy exists just beyond the threshold of resisting sin to the point of shedding blood...how much of Him do you want? Hebrews 12:4
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present age ARE NOT WORTHY to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us..." Romans 8:18..."we ourselves groan within, eagerly awaiting the adoption, the redemption of our body". Romans 8:23-