I wish to encourage you to live as those who are spiritually alive in Christ, not as those who are spiritually dead in sin. While the body of Christ is by design an ingenious living organise, made up of believers from all walks of life, it still requires guarding. Peter urges us to “be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Members should always be alert to dangers energised by the arch enemy of both God and believers.
The Church is never exempt from its fleshly vulnerability to sin. Regardless of how you may hate it, sin is ready to hatch a bad attitude into a bad thought, and then grow it to an even worse behaviour. Recognise Satan’s strategy; “resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9). Your battle with sin is not unique to you. Feeling tired from the relentless onslaught of temptation is common. So, stubbornly dig your faith toes in, and stand determined in your faithfulness to Christ.
The fact is, sometimes the Lord will walk you through prolonged periods of struggle. You may not like to think of it as being approved by God, and obviously you don’t enjoy it, but it’s true. God is training you for holiness, and it almost always involves discomfort (Heb 12:10-11). There will be struggles, pains, temptations, fears, and even stumblings. However, realise that “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
For the child of God, no suffering lasts forever without the Saviour’s intervention. Therefore, “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). Keep your eyes open for what the Lord is doing in and around you. As you observe His activity, pause to be thankful, then, come back to Him with modified prayer in response to what you have noticed.
Should you find yourself ensnared by sin, seek the help of a stronger believer who will help restore you to a healthy and stronger walk with Christ as Lord (Gal 6:1). Invite a more steadfast believer to stand by your side as you call for the Almighty to do what seems impossible. Genuinely, in full surrender, plead as David did; “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10).
Don’t allow yourself to wallow in the mud of discouragement. The devil loves self-pity and a defeated attitude. Ask the Lord as David did; “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalms 51:12). Plead with God to make you as stubborn for living a righteous life as He is. Rejoice in God’s patient perseverance with you. Express gratitude for the certainty of your salvation, for His forgiveness, and for the security you have in Christ which is sealed by His Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13).
Be encouraged; live as those who are spiritually alive in Christ. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).