Do you ever feel overwhelmed in your Christian life? Do you ever think the demands are too much? Do you feel that the bar is set too high and that it is impossible to attain the standard called for? Well, you are not alone. There are many Christians who become quite disillusioned and discouraged when they look at the expectations and then look at their own performance.
It is true that we are called to be holy. It is also true that we are expected to be different from non-believers because we live by a different standard and by different rules. Our thinking is different which should result in a difference to our living. However, knowing that does not make it any easier for us to attain the aspirations we think we should.
In that last sentence is the secret of our sense of failure and discouragement. The phrase “we think we should” is the problem. In and of ourselves we can attain nothing. Why we get discouraged is that in our humanness “we try” and often the harder we try the more difficult it seems to be. Our natural human nature does not want to be holy. It has no desire to please God. If you are discouraged then you know the struggle. So what’s the answer?
Firstly, although we are responsible for making choices in our lives, we recognize that it is impossible to live the Christian life in our own strength. Secondly, we acknowledge the strength and grace which comes to us through the indwelling Spirit of God, and thirdly, we allow him to live his life through us, the result of which is the fruit of the Spirit expressed in us and through us.
While we are in the flesh we can never attain sinless perfection but I guarantee that if we attempt to fulfill our responsibility to “live in the Spirit” and “keep in step with the Spirit” then our sense of failure and discouragement will dissipate. We will quickly realize that any, and all, spiritual achievements rely upon him and not us!