The Way is a process
When the Father draws us, and we decide to accept Christ and turn our life and will over to God. This decision obviously changes our life, and our futures take a mighty turn for the better. We discover light, we discover hope. Hope of life of freedom of things that enslaved us before. We are at the beginning of The Way. The Way is what the early followers of Christ called Christianity. ln John 14:6 Jesus says "l am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me". The Apostle Paul also refers to
himself as a follower of the Way in Acts 24.
Before the knowledge of Christ, we followed our own way, but now we must follow and very different way, a way contrary to the world. A way maybe our friends will not understand even maybe some of our family members will not accept or understand. But this is also a way we ourselves are not used to.
We have lived a certain lifestyle for however long and then now bam! A new life! A new way to do things. But God is good, he does not leave us stranded. He has given us everything we need to walk in this new way! He gives His Holy Spirit; He gives His Word (the bible) and He gives us people who have gone before us. For some of us in the beginning we feel an immediate change for others it is a little slower, but either way God sort of holds our hand for a time, it seems what could go wrong? Then the time in every believer's walk with God comes. The Flesh ! That old part of you that still can rise up do the things you don't want to do.
The process begins. ln Peter 4:1-3 it says "Therefore, since Christ suffered [for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,2that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries". Here Peter clearly says to arm ourselves with a mind that understands it will suffer a bit when walking in this new life. What do I mean? For the sake of using the scripture, maybe you having a hard time staying away from some of your old friends that you used to drink and party with. You start to think I'm bored (God is not boring). I want to get drunk. But instead, you pray or call a brother or sister in Christ. You read the Word of God. You struggle but you make a good decision and decide
not to go because let's be honest, we know not much good happens at most of those parties we used to go to.
Guess what? You just suffered in the flesh and you ceased from sin (missing the mark) you hit the desired target!!! Maybe your caught in a situation where you think it would be easier to lie, maybe in a business situation or feeling pressured by friends to lie but you decide no, I will just be honest. Maybe it's that extra piece of cake. Maybe it's not having an anger outburst. Maybe it's saying no to alcohol at a Christmas party or family function. lt's not always easy, it involves some suffering. The Apostle Paul refers to it as walking in the Spirit, so you won't fulfil the lusts of the flesh. But Peters point here is to remind us of the war between our new spirit and our flesh. He also points out you might even suffer some ridicule. Verse 4 says "ln regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you" But your reward is much greater. You have honored the Father and what Christ has done on the cross. And saved yourself potential trouble.
But in the case you do faulter, there is grace and forgiveness but there are always consequences. We all fail at times so let us have grace with one another.
This process continues as we grow in levels of walking in the Way. Be encouraged it gets better and better and better!
Always remember! For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Family at Gates