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Fighting the Fight of Faith
July 13, 2012 by Larry Lazarus 1 comments
I promise...I really do hope to write soon about how the gospel impacts our struggle with envy. For now, I thought it might be useful to post a little weapon that I use to help me fight the fight of faith.
If underneath my sins of action or attitude is unbelief in God and who I am because of God's work for me in Christ, then the way to make war on sin is to fight the fight of faith. And faith comes as we hear the truth about Christ (Romans 10:17).
This is a little tool I use often to help reorient my soul around key truths of God that I have found I need to return to over and over again:
Who is God?
The Almighty Creator of the universe...All-Powerful Ruler over everything...Infinite in Wisdom...Supremely good and loving (Hebrews 11:3, Psalm 135:6, Isaiah 55:8-9, Lamentations 3:22-23)
Who am I?
A beloved, adopted, justified, forgiven, cleansed, child of God (Psalm 103:11-12, Colossians 2:13-14, Romans 8:15-17)
An ambassador of Christ; the circumstances, relationships and experiences God gives me are not first for my happiness and comfort, but the context in which I am called to represent Him and His agenda (2 Corinthians 5:15-21, Philippians 1:20-21)
A servant of Christ and others. Servants don't choose what they do on a given day; they carry out on that day whatever it is that the Master has for them (Luke 17:10, Mark 10:43-45)
A Disciple of Christ, one who is learning to bring the gospel to bear on absolutely every area of life. Today's circumstances are God's classroom in which He is teaching me how to apply the gospel to every crack and crevice of my life (Luke 14:33, Matthew 28:18-20, Colossians 3:17)
A sinner. Though I've been rescued from the penalty of sin through Christ's sacrifice in my place, deliverance from sin's power is a daily, progressive struggle. So I should not be shocked or wallow in despair and self-pity when I am confronted with my failure to serve, represent and learn from Christ as I ought. Rather, I should run quickly to Christ and rejoice anew in His boundless mercies toward a wretch like me (Romans 3:23, Hebrews 10:14, Galatians 5:17 1 John 1:8-9)
What Do I Deserve from God Today?
On account of my sin, God owes me nothing but damnation, today and every day. So I would be wise to spend more time marveling at and cherishing all the good things He graciously lavishes upon me, rather than lamenting, complaining, or worrying about what I don't have (Romans 6:23, 1 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Matthew 6:25ff).
Whose Opinion of Me Matters Most Today?
Since the Creator of the universe loves and delights in me so much that He would deliver up His own beloved Son to the agonies of the Cross in order to adopt me into His family, I need not seek from other people the love and acceptance that I have already been given in Christ (John 15:9, Hebrews 13:5-6, Galatians 1:10, Psalm 27:1, Luke 6:22-23)
Where am I?
I am in a fallen, broken world that God originally made good and will one day fully restore, but is now in bondage to corruption because of humanity's rebellion against God. So I should not expect that everything is going to go well and smoothly for me today, because I am a stranger and an exile here (2 Peter 3:13, Romans 8:20-23, Hebrews 11:13, 13:14)
What is God's Plan for Me Today?
God's plan for me today, as every day, is to conform me to the image of Jesus, who is the happiest being in the entire universe (Romans 8:28-29, Colossians 3:9-10, Hebrews 1:9)
How is God Fulfilling this Plan for Me?
Through my daily struggle with sin in this fallen world, God is enlarging my vision of His mercy in Christ and killing my sinful nature to make me more like Jesus (1 Peter 1:6-7, James 1:2-4, Hebrews 12:11)
When Will my Happiness be Brought to Completion?
My best life is not now, but will be when Jesus comes to resurrect all who hope in Him, to judge the world in righteousness, and to renew all things for His glory (Hebrews 11:35, Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, 1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 21-22, Matthew 19:29)
Why is God Doing all this?
God's ultimate purpose for His work in me and throughout the world is to magnify the infinite riches of His own glory. The universe is not about me, but it's about Him (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11:9, Malachi 1:11, Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14)
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