by Wade E Taylor
In the early days of my being a Christian, there were times when I became spiritually stirred and promised the Lord all kinds of things. I felt that I had received specific direction and purpose and thought, “at last, I am on my way.” The next thing I knew, I had fallen apart, and all spiritual vision and inspiration disappeared. Then I picked myself up, shook off the dust, returned to the starting line and began again. This was repeated many times.
This pattern may also have taken place in your spiritual experience, or, it may be a present problem that you are seeking to overcome. Life is never easy. We all have our ups and downs. There have been times when I told the Lord, “I will never doubt you again.” Soon, I was saying, “Lord, where are you?”
It is time for us to grow out of these patterns, and begin to move upward and onward without vacillation. It is very important that the foundation upon which we stand is “The Rock,” our Lord Jesus Christ, and that our life is hidden “in Christ.” If our spiritual experience is resting on sand, that is, if we are trusting our own abilities, we will fail when the pressures of life increase.
When difficulties affect us and we begin to lose our spiritual direction, if we will become quiet and look to the Lord, we will recognize that beneath our vacillations is a layer of spiritual strength and hope that had been deposited within us through our identification with Jesus in His death and resurrection, which was confirmed in the peace that came when He took up His abode within us.
We need only to realize that we are a new creation – that old things have passed away and our life is hid in Jesus, and that our strength comes from Him. With David, we should be able to say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation….” (Psalm 27:1). If we will meditate on the past victories that we gained by placing our lives in His hands, this will become personally real to us.
Paul said, “I press toward the mark….” (Philippians 3:14). This “mark” is the finished work of Jesus upon the cross in our behalf. The Lord looks through our vacillations to see if there is within us a deep inner determination to press through to the place where our responses no longer emerge from our Adamic nature, but from the new creation that we have become.
Most of us have a settled “knowing” that we have gone too far in our spiritual experience to go back, and that at any price, we have no choice but to press upward and onward. Once we realize that we have gone beyond the “point of no-return,” we can only say, “Lord, for better or for worse, my life is Yours.” The Lord is pleased with this, for He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” (Matthew 5:3). That is, “Blessed are those who have come to the end of themselves, and of their own abilities.”
We are called to be “overcomers.” However, we cannot overcome unless we have something to overcome. Thus, when one of these “spiritual lows” hits us, we have a choice opportunity to deny our feelings, refuse to feel sorry for ourselves, and rise above our circumstances, as an overcomer.
“Overcoming” is not seeking to defeat the enemy in our own strength, but rather to recognize that our Adamic nature is dead and buried, and that we are a new creation in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Then we enter into the life of Christ, and overcome in His strength.
The varied struggles that each of us face are very real. However, it is not the “struggle” that is important, but rather the way we view and respond to it. We live in a worldly environment where all sorts of things war against us, and many times, it seems that there is more against us, than for us. This gives us ample opportunity to either feel sorry for ourselves and fall into despair, or to rise above these things and meet our Lord, as an overcomer.
There is a desire in the heart of the Lord for those who will stand on the bedrock of the full redemption that He accomplished in their behalf, and trust in His faithfulness alone. This requires of us a breaking out of the mold of our past insecurities, and an entering into the security of our being seated with Him in His Throne, at the right hand of all power and authority.
Here, as we rest in His victory, the Holy Spirit who brought Jesus forth from what appeared to be a total defeat, will also lift us from our place of discouragement and vacillation into an overcoming victory in His presence.
Have you ever felt, when others are entering in or being blessed, that “this” is for everyone but me? Each of us desires to be wanted, appreciated, and understood, as this is built within our makeup.
Since we were created in the “likeness” of the Lord, this desire is also in the One who created us. Thus, the Lord desires that we come to Him alone in trust and appreciation for His redemption in our behalf. These vacillations in our faith can rob us of our being able to give this satisfaction to our Lord.
“And said, Verily I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
In relation to our new creation life, if we will hold the potential that rests within us before the Lord in simple child-like trust, we will be enabled to rise above the limitations that we place upon ourselves, and enter into all that He has made available for us.
Now, we can walk in stability and confidence with Him.