Monday, February 15, 2010

How Do Christians Live the Life of Faith?

What inspired me to put my previous thoughts on the blog today about whether the Christian life is hard or easy was a great post by Adrian Warnock, an excellent blogger to follow, that is full of insight on this. Adrian quotes D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and adds some good thoughts of his own on why the Christian life isn't "automatic". We really do need to practice certain things and focus our attention on knowing God in order to get somewhere. Becoming a Christian doesn't mean that everything good in the Christian life necessarily follows without any attention on our part.

Those who experience Christianity but don't learn to practice spiritual disciplines like reading the Word and prayer will most likely be disappointed. They may think they found that Christianity was lacking, but in truth they never really lived it.

As I said in the last post, the hard part is overcoming our tendency to keep doing things the old way instead of doing them in the Spirit of God. We have every reason to be encouraged in this, though, because it isn't something we have to overcome by ourselves. Our stubborn tendency to live life by our old habits - what Paul calls the life of "the flesh" - is something God will conquer in us if we trust Him to do it. Jesus talked about the difficulty of leaving the ways of worldly life behind: "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:27b). And John promises: "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith." (1 John 5:4).

To sum it up: "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:5-6). So set your mind on Jesus Christ and study Him, seek Him, read His word, and meet Him in prayer. That is how to live the life of faith and bear His easy yoke.

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