At our worship gatherings, we have been talking about the privilege that is ours to have a deeper relationship with God. Our denomination describes a reality about that privilege, “The movement from the believer’s privileges in Christ to the actual experience of Christ’s power over sin and selfishness is not automatic.”
One reason for this is because of conflict. Primarily, spiritual conflict. It might look like this, and let me explain…
In this photo there is a family (one of which is separated from the rest and taking this photo) — a family which set out to do something they are very accustomed to doing and enjoy.
Suddenly, they noticed dolphins started to appear and circle around them, eventually at rapid speeds! That is because just out of the view of this photo there is a huge shark with bad intentions.
This family unexpectedly found themselves in a whirlwind of conflict between good and evil. Life can be a lot like that. We may find ourselves in a spiritual conflict where it feels like the forces are raging around us.
Galatians 5:16-17 describes a conflict between flesh & Spirit. When it says, “let the Holy Spirit guide your lives,” have you ever asked, how do you do that? In my view, He works through what has already been revealed. If you’re in obedience to God, then you are in His will and free to carry out your good intentions now! Not live in guilt or shame of what you may have missed out on in the past.
Romans 8:5-8 discusses this same conflict. Verse 6 is extremely important, “letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
I have seen so many fall victim to the first part of that verse. Most may never realize that what they just went through was a spiritual battle. If anything, remember — your enemy is never a believer. It’s bigger than that.
And for every shark in life, there are a lot of dolphins. We’re all in this. Romans 7:21-25 is great,
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”