Any genuine Christian will tell you that living a life that pleases God is very difficult. The first few months after being born again you are driven by excitement and eagerness to see what this new life has in store for you. As time goes by you discover that being a Christian is not about having a title, or wanting to be seen and applauded, it’s a lifestyle that you have to work out every single moment of your life.
In a society where we are pressurized to be like everybody else, how can we possibly live a life that is pleasing to our Father? As we advance and grow in our spirituality there will be a certain point where we feel like we are constantly disappointing God even though our sincerest desire is to please Him. What causes us to fail then? The Apostle Paul says in Galatians that we should walk according to the spirit and not according to the flesh. The flesh works against the spirit disabling us to do what we know we should do. (See Galatians5:16-17).
Falling into fornication has produced several lasting lessons for me, that’s why I always point back to it. We learn better from personal experience although it is a wise thing to learn from other people’s mistakes. When I look back I learn that the reason I fell into sin was because I was not walking entirely in the spirit. One moment I am feeling spiritual, the next thing I allow a man who doesn’t even support my beliefs to flirt with me. I knew that was wrong but I could not help it because a part of me was still walking according to the flesh! (Whoseoever is born of God doth not commit sin for his seed remaineth in Him: and he CANNOT sin because he is born of God! 1John 3:9).
The problem is we don’t know who we are.
I was having a very productive day one day following a tight schedule. I knew that at a certain time I had to study, attend lectures, hit the gym, and so forth. In the evening while studying a housemate came over to me asking if I could go out with her and a couple of housemates too. I was reluctant, trying to give my reasons of how I need to finish what I’m studying. I didn’t want to go but I was not firm with my decisions so she eventually succeeded in convincing me to go out with them. For how long are we going to compromise what we have to achieve just to please the other person? We have to learn that we cannot please everybody because people take advantage of people who can’t utter the word “No”. Although I felt that I was rebelling against the authority of the spirit in me I still went out with four other housemates. And guess where we went to: A Casino! What a sad place to be in! People holding stacks of money but deep inside are broken. Men spending their money on women just to be satisfied for the night, and the next day…back to that place of loneliness. I was sitting behind a man who according to my housemate is addicted to gambling. His wife came over to him, kicking him, trying to grab those coins on the table, crying, and pleading for that man to come home! Oh, that broke my heart. How often do we allow people who don’t know our worth to treat us like we are of no value? The problem is we don’t know who we are.
How can we know who we are if we don’t know whose we are?
There’s a story in the bible that created a desire for more of God in me, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel chapter 3. The King Nebuchadnezzar had set a golden image in which he felt that everybody in that area should bow down to. He was a king so obviously he had the greatest influence in the province of Babylon. And here comes three men who refuse to bow down to the golden image because they knew whose they were! The King threatened them by heating the fire seven times more yet the three young men were not moved in their conviction. They say, King Nebuchadnezzar, we respect your kingship and everything else but we cannot bow down to something that we don’t know as our god. They said, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace!” In the midst of pressure, where everybody was following the crowed only three men stood up for what they believed in. They knew whose they were!
When my housemate came in my room and asked me to go to the Casino with them even though I was studying, trying make something out of my life, I couldn’t say no because I didn’t know whose I was. I’ve always tried to invite them to church but they haven’t even come once, but they invite me to casinos, and immediately I bow down just to please them. One of my greatest achievements in life was the day I learned that it’s okay to say no! It is okay to stick to your standards and refuse to be like the world. It is okay to be different and not strive to be understood by the world. "There are so many pressures in the world to conform and be like the world, but God will give us power and strength to resist the enemy. Many of my friends who were “cool” and thought I was crazy then, when I look at them now, it’s so sad!"- Lesego Serolong Holzapfel. You see what I like about Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego is that they were rewarded for standing up for what they believe in when it was against all odds! (Then the King PROMOTED Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon. Daniel3:30). When you go through the fiery fire of temptation, just hold on and stick to your convictions. Do not bow to the god of masturbation, do not bow down to the god of fornication, do not bow down to that god of gluttony! Say like those three men, “I know that my God is able to deliver me!”
Read Your Word!
How can you know whose you are if you don’t read your bible? Everything in life flows from the Word of God. Not all of us come from awesome families where we were made to feel loved, beautiful, and important; in fact, many of us have gone through circumstances which deranged us mentally. I used to be so negative towards myself, always blaming myself in the presence of people, condemning, saying the worst things about myself even though others saw something beautiful in me. People would ask, “Why are you always bringing yourself down?” I was doing it because that’s how I was made to feel, that was who I believed I was. I never thought that I would make it in life because society had evaluated and declared that I would not be of any good to anyone, yet Jesus did a miracle in my life. Some things will not change if people don’t read their bible, regardless of how loud we preach. Through His Word I am learning principles that no one ever taught me. I am learning about the God who created me and who I really am! I am learning to stand up for God and let my light so shine before men so that they may see my good works and glorify my sweet Father in heaven!
Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither know Him! ~1John 3:6