"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Inner Conflict

      William Faulkner recognized the true source of drama, "the human heart in conflict with itself." As a gifted writer, his context was limited to the power of conflict in a story. There is, however, a vastly more critical context for that struggle: inner, spiritual conflict.
      Inner conflict is the essence of the natural man, but in Christ we have peace with God. As wonderful as it is, Christ's peace, that transcends understanding, complicates our inner conflict. When God's Holy Spirit comes to take up residence with our human spirit, that alliance changes our inner balance of power and throws our rebellious, old man into fits of desperation. To that old man, the words, "Lord Jesus, save me," are fightin' words.
      The solution? Daily, strengthen that holy, spiritual alliance through prayer and meditation on God's word. Let your renewed mind overwhelm the old man's feeble rationalizations for sin. Wrestle him to the cross and let Jesus finish him off.
      That isn't a once-for-all solution, but a daily battle that, with perseverance, will become easier over the years. If we're not ready for the campaign with the Whole Armor of God in place, we will ultimately fail. The enemy's flaming arrows are nothing to mess with, and when they penetrate our own meager defenses they hurt like, well, "blazes."
      The first step in receiving His armor is to know it is essential and that it is available. The second step is to make it real through meditation on it. The third step is to pray it on, thanking God for providing it. The fourth step is to master its use, becoming proficient with it through practice and in battle.
      The inner conflict between our spirit and our flesh doesn't have to be a struggle. Romans 8:37 says, "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." We can claim that victory by following orders, or we can live in defeat by going our own way. It's a simple choice.

No comments: