In a generation that preaches, “If it feels good do it” and “Just follow your heart” is it even possible to live the life of a real disciple? Should we abandon meaningful spiritual pursuits and capitulate to the cultural currents that surround us? Are our half-hearted efforts good enough?
According to many popular voices today, we have been far too obsessed with trying to live a good life. After all, haven’t we learned by now that it is simply too difficult? Instead, we are told that God’s love is enough and that His grace renders the effects of our sin null and void. “Live and let live.”
Unfortunately the practical outcome of such a life fails to measure up to its high sounding philosophy. Instead, it leaves us dissatisfied and empty. We intuitively know that there must be more. Although the pseudo-spiritual teachers of our day tell us that this is just some kind of socialized response to centuries of moral teachings, and try to convince us that the moral expectations of the past were somehow abusive and unrealistic, the real world illustrates that the effects of sin are not so easily assuaged.
Most of us have personally been witness to the truth of Galatians 6:7, we truly do reap what we sow. Immoral and amoral decisions have devastating consequences. Although God can and does forgive us of our sin when we ask, the fruit of our actions far too often ripple on, not only in our lives but also in the people around us. We pay, our children pay, our friends pay and the list goes on. Yes, there is still a great price for sin.
“I will be careful to live a blameless life… I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar…” – Psalm 101:2-3 (NLT)
Centuries before the age of Grace even began, David wrote about a disciplined life. Even before the Cross and the coming of the Holy Spirit in His modern manifestation, the psalmist understood the importance and value of a life worth living. In this psalm he goes on to talk about finding the right friends and associates and makes it his daily mission to not only avoid evil, but to root out wicked people wherever he finds them.
Grace is a wonderful and powerful gift! It was not given to us so that we could sin with impunity, but rather so that we would have the power to overcome sin in all its forms. After a long dissertation on the power and effects of sin, Paul sums up the power of Grace in this way; “And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:2 (NLT)
Yes my friend, it is possible to live a disciplined life. It is possible to resist the spiritual and cultural currents that desire to sweep us away. And, even though our efforts will never be good enough, if you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of your life, His power is at work within you to overcome everything the world or of the devil may throw at you.
Father, give hearing ears to the readers today to understand and follow the truth of Your Word. Give them faith and courage to stand strong against the evil tides that swirl around them, even when those tides come in disguise as good and attractive things. Father for those readers that have not yet accepted You as their Lord and Savior, I pray that this will be the day. In Jesus Name I pray and ask. Amen.