[ecko_quote source=" 1 Timothy 4:8"]"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come[/ecko_quote]
If you want to build up muscle, exercise is a must. Left alone, the muscles become soft and weak. Likewise, same thing happens to a spirit that never faces turmoil or struggle. Apart from the strengthening effect of strife and pain, our faith would be weak and nearly useless. That is the reason why God does not remove our fleshly self upon salvation to change us immediately into a perfect obedient person. The tug of the flesh against our spirit gives faith a constant and regular workout.
The Apostle Paul says that believers should “ walk by the Spirit, and (they) will not carry out the desire of the flesh”(Galatians 5:16). That means we have a spiritual trainer in the Holy Spirit- someone committed to getting our spirit into good shape so we can resist the temptations of the flesh. What we have to do is get on His exercise plan for the healthy faith!
We must be fully persuaded that we cannot live the Christian life apart from the Holy Spirit. Until we grasp this truth, we will keep trying to live our lives in our own strength. Frustrated, we will repeatedly fall back into sin. Alone, we repeatedly find ourselves confessing the same old failures, but the Spirit will show us how to have victory if we surrender to Him. In other words, we must ask the Holy Spirit to live through us, guiding us to make wise decisions and teaching us to be loving.
Surrendering is a constant decision. Every new choice brings a fresh opportunity to submit to the guidance of the Spirit rather that the temptations of the flesh. Moreover, each time we choose to walk by God’s Spirit, our faith is strengthened.
Source: Jonah Ravinder- UEC Ministries
[ecko_quote source=" Acts 5:33]When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them[/ecko_quote]
Suppose you were in a battlefield and someone’s charging at you. You warn him, “Don't come any further, I'll shoot!” He answers, “I don't believe in your gun. As a matter of fact,” he says, “I don't believe in guns at all.” That's not going to change anything, is it?
Likewise, the Bible is the Sword of the Spirit. Somebody may say, “Well, I don't believe in the Bible.” But it will cut him anyway! The apostles preached the Bible; and when the people heard it, the word pierced their hearts. The Word cuts even an unbeliever. It's a two-edged sword. It cuts to heal, or it cuts to judge. But it will cut—believe it or not.
Before going into a battle, soldiers are dedicated to training in the use of their weapons. How foolish is it to go into battle without training. How familiar are you with your Sword?
God has given you a powerful weapon for spiritual battles…the Sword of the Spirit. In the armor of God, it is the only offensive weapon—the rest are defensive. To have the victory that God wants for you, you must check to see the sharpness of your sword, the Bible, and you must be trained in it.
Source: Jonah Ravinder- UEC and LMF Ministries