Bethany Seventh-day Adventist Church

Charlottesville | VA

By: Pastor Nathaniel Drew
I remember taking part in a tug of war battle once, and it seemed like the game lasted forever. For when one side seemingly had the advantage, somehow the other side would muster up enough strength to pull the rope harder and gain the advantage for their side. And just when it seemed like that side was about to win, the other side pulled the rope even harder and gained the advantage back for their side. And it went back and forth like this for a while. And we gave it everything we had; pulled as hard as we could, but despite our best efforts we could not secure the victory for our side. In my own spiritual life, I find myself in a similar battle. And I pull as hard as I can. And on one side of the rope, I find myself, my flesh, my sinful nature. And on the other side of the rope is the Spirit of God. And I’m pulling on the rope as hard as I can. And what do I mean by pull? Well when I say pull I mean by praying and reading the word of God, and doing good deeds and service; with the wrong motives though! And I’m pulling as hard as I can, and even with all of my best efforts, I still can’t seem to secure the victory for myself. For just when it feels like I’m about to win, I fall right back into the same pitfalls of sin that I did before. And every time I do that, I would pray and I would promise God that the next time would be different. God, there is no way that I will fall back into the same sin that I did before. If you forgive me this last time Jesus, I promise I won’t do it again! And it seemed that the more I prayed that prayer to God, the faster I fell back into sin. And I would condemn myself and judge myself and get down on myself because I could not seem to win. And I wondered to myself, is there even a solution to this problem that I face? Well Paul gives us the solution in Romans 8:1-4. And it begins by saying that there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus; because through Christ Jesus, the Law of the Spirit of life frees us from the Law of sin and death. Now what is the Law of the Spirit of life? Simply put, it is God sending His son, in the likeness of man; to bear our sins and die the death that we deserve to die. And when He resurrected from the grave, He rose with all power and authority in His hands! And with that power and authority, instead of condemning us, because of His love for us, He chose to condemn the sin in us instead! The very thing that causes us to do the things we shouldn’t do. And all He asks in return is that we surrender our lives to Him. That we give up control of our lives to Him. Now how do we surrender our lives to Christ? Simply put, it is giving up the tug of war rope to Him. Letting Him have control now, allowing Him to be in charge, and it enables Him to live a life through us that will please Him. So the good news that Paul tells us is that we don’t have to try to make ourselves better! We don’t have to attempt to secure the victory for ourselves. Because as we die to self, Jesus makes us alive in Him! And so I ask you, have you surrendered your life to Christ today? If not, I encourage you to do so. For the moment you do, you will know what it feels like to be alive!
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Michael Williams
2015-05-01 2:58 AM

Letting God have control is the best thing we can do.