Have you ever experienced the state of being saved (you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior), yet you just don’t feel satisfied?
I spend way too many years in this state. I was sure of my salvation, but I just knew there was something more. I didn’t have a clue what that something more was until I started walking out my salvation….started doing what the Bible says to do.
Today’s post is not a lesson, nor an article which will answer all your questions. It is me just sharing my thoughts and hopefully getting some input from others.
I recently read an article about a popular Christian who made an epic mistake. The author of the article said something along the lines of “Come on Christians, we got to do better.” I was very quick to throw my “Amen” in there because God had pressing the very same thing on my heart (Not that Christians should do better, but rather I should do better).
Obedience matters to me. Obedience to the Word of God is what finally made everything in my Christian life click. I honestly became free when I started obeying God’s commands. Not that I obeyed perfectly, but rather the desire to obey came and I began walking it out. So, when I get off course and obedience isn’t present as much, I feel yuk; I feel disconnected and out-of-sorts. Lately though, while I recognize why I feel yuk, I have been feeling discouraged and the motivation to do better is not there. When I try to talk to others about it, I get the same trite answers, “God does not expect us to be perfect,” “That is why we have grace,” or “We can’t always live on the mountain tops.”
I was recently talking to my husband about this issue. [I should just tell you upfront this topic is a source of contention between us.] He was explaining to me that at work if the bosses set the bar too high, employees become discouraged and quickly give up. Reasons being: 1) They don’t think they can reach it; 2) If they do reach it once, they will be held to that standard the rest of their lives, which just sets them up for failure. So, his suggestion was to set the bar lower. I was like, oh and then you slowly move it up…..and he was like “no, because they will then still be expected to always match the higher standard.
Honestly, I get what he was saying, but I still find it frustrating. If you never raise the bar, and set it a such a manageable level, what is the incentive to “do better”?
This is where we find most Christians today and it drives me crazy!!!!
In Be Right by Warren W. Wiersbe, Warren describes the state of a lot of Christians:
Too many Christians are ‘betweeners’: The live between Egypt and Canaan, saved but never satisfied; or they live between Good Friday and Easter, believing in the cross but never entering into the power and glory of the resurrection.
Please read Romans 6 (by clicking on link)
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we joined Him in His death and resurrection, meaning we too have died to sin and sin no longer has power over us. Does that mean sin just goes away? Of course not!
Romans 6: 8-11 (NKJ): Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have to “reckon” ourselves, meaning we have to make the choice to not give into our flesh and do what our flesh wants to do.
Do we do it in order to be saved? Of course not. Too many of us get tripped up over this. Obedience is not about salvation. It is about love.
John 14:15 (NKJ): 15 “If you love Me, keep[d] My commandments;
John 14:23 (NKJ): 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
I truly believe we cannot “sin away” our salvation. We don’t walk in obedience to be saved but because we are saved. Our obedience is the product of our salvation. Does that mean we always get it right? Of course not! But shouldn’t we be striving each and every day to be better than we were yesterday. Isn’t that was sanctification is about: to become more like Jesus? If we set the bar too low, will we ever become the people God made us to be?
On the other hand, holding too tightly to obedience, can quickly turn into legalism. Legalism occurs when we start to believe that following the laws of God can save us, but it also occurs when we start to believe that following the Law or doing what is right will make God love us more or it make us more holy. Furthermore, as Warren W. Wiersbe points out:
You were not justified by keeping the law, and you cannot be sanctified by keeping the law.
Meaning: the Law in and of itself does not have power over us. It does not have the power to save us and it does not have the power to help us walk in obedience to the Lord. The Law shows us what sin is, but it does not give us the ability to overcome the desires of our flesh. Holy Spirit is the power by which we can overcome.
Holy Spirit is “the more” I didn’t know about when I was saved, but yet unsatisfied.
Here’s my personal struggle:
I know I need to walk in the ways of the Lord. I strive to be obedient, but sometimes I fail. Okay, a lot of times I fail. This is very discouraging for me. It seems the more I conquer one sin, I start to see more and more sins. It has, at times, become overwhelming. I can get to the point where I begin to believe there is nothing good in me. I totally understand Paul in Romans 7:15-22. I guess, some may say, that this is the beginning of legalism because my walk becomes about my do’s and don’t checklist, which not only sets me up for failure, disappointment, and discouragement but makes me angry and bitter towards others around me not doing the same. Yet, at the same time, I know obedience to the Word unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit.
My Conclusion: stop making everything about the extremes.
It is not ALL ABOUT THE GRACE….It is not all about OBEDIENCE. It is about using God’s grace to walk in obedience to the Word and Holy Spirit the best we can each and every day. But we must choose to do so.
One thing I know for sure, I never want to get back to the place where I was saved, yet not satisfied.
What are your thoughts, feelings, and conclusions?