By The Rev. Bob Holland
The path to victory was never promised to be an easy one. It’s filled with faith blended with hard work, persistence, and a passion to follow God’s directions. What type of victory are you referring to? The only success and accomplishment that has eternal value is when we follow and accomplish God’s will. So, what is this? Well, there is His general will which includes His written word that is given to help us learn how to live for Him. There is also His specific will where God has designed a personal blueprint for each of His children as it pertains to their unique destiny and is available for all who seek Him.
With all of the knowledge that is in the world, there is nothing more important than to know who God is and what He desires. We have an open line of communication with Him to listen to His voice and to talk to Him and yet His general and specific will is largely ignored. Why? Human nature is more concerned with its own plans instead of submitting to what God is demanding. The Lord revealed to me about ten years ago that we can be as close to Him as we want and the only thing preventing this from happening is our rebellion. Every person has been given the free will to choose and make their own decisions about whether they will serve God or themselves. The carnal mind does not enjoy being told what to do, and this resistance is commonly referred to as the war between good and evil. This reality of spiritual warfare is woven throughout scripture and is seen when Lucifer rebelled against God. He is now the ruler of the dark kingdom and is trying to deceive and persuade every person who will listen to ignore God’s eternal truth.
It’s wise to seek the meaning of life and to examine if where we are spiritually is where we need to be. If we desire to build our house on the rock, it’s essential to know this requires a willing surrender of our will. Without yielding our will to God we will not be able to fully express our love for Him or others which is the core of the Christian life. Loving God with all of our mind, heart, and soul, comes with developing a constant awareness of His presence. Jesus is quoted in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” He was in such agony interceding, the Bible says His sweat was as great drops of blood. This is an intensity that most people including myself have never experienced. He could have decided to fight against the government or He could have escaped out of town, but He abandoned all of His ideas and opinions and yielded to the one whose thoughts are higher and is perfect in all His ways.
There is no doubt that many including myself have a lack of understanding of spiritual things, but what about when we know what we need to do and still refuse to do it? An example would be that it’s easier to do good deeds than to develop a consistent and fervent prayer life. Christians are usually willing to do something that looks religious because it is noticed by all. The secret place of spiritual intimacy with God is not seen by anyone and has no recognition. No one will ever want to pray until they become saturated with a relentless passion to love God. They might mention someone to Him and ask if He would help them, but this is on an elementary level like, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” There comes a time when a true disciple of Christ must graduate from kindergarten and move to deeper spiritual levels. We notice that Jesus would often slip away to find a quiet and private place where He could be with His Father. The concept of making spiritual communication with God our highest priority is hardly mentioned in today’s hectic world because the average person does not want to be convicted about how they are too busy to think about it. The popular message is about how Jesus paid it all and now we just need to wait for His return. Yes, it’s true the sacrifice of Jesus indeed provided the opportunity for the fellowship with God to be restored, but we are accountable for how interested we are about it.