When Christians Fail
By Andy Zoppelt
When Christians fail, it is because they fail to see God’s pure love and the greatness of His power toward them. None of our trials are any match for His love and power to us. Yet in knowing that reality, we too often fail for the single reason, we refuse to acknowledge God for being who He says He is … instead we choose a path that is sure to fail. We don’t fail because we have a God who is incapable of caring for us, but because we choose to live by the inferior forces and dictates of our opinions, emotions and desires. It is those forces we too often have chosen to hear and follow in dealing with our lives. We are thus bound by the forces of self.
Faith lives by God’s ability and life in us; faith recognizes the reality of His immeasurable love toward us until that love brings us into His rest. Faith holds out until the dictates of all our reasoning, emotions and passions are diminished and surrendered to the will of God. Faith will cause us to abandon all the failed resources of the self-life. Faith is not so determined to receive from God, but to see and fully know God as He really is. True faith strips away the control of the inferior self, it dares to live by who God says He is.
No person can have true faith who defines God to be less than He really is. Don’t we all hate when some one defines us in a way we cannot recognize ourselves? We don’t need an “amen” from our reasoning or our emotions or our physical bodies to have faith, in fact we have faith in spite of them.
Often the beginning of our faith is initially mixed with strong feelings of insecurity and unsurity because faith stands in contrast to our self-centered life. It is those feelings coming from the self-life that tends to draw us back into self-dependence, doubt and depression. Such people who continue to live by their feelings, opinions and desires conquer nothing; they have exalted self and made it too big and God too small.
If we complain a lot and worry a lot, that is a sure sign our God is not the God of Heaven and our so-called reality is bound to this world with all its cares.
We can not do all things through Christ if we are trying to do all things through the flesh.
Death to self is the only way we can come to God and to fully know Him. Death to self eliminates the influence that our self-life exercises in our lives. Because we are dead to self, we no longer have to yield to our feelings, our thoughts and our strong desires. When they rise up in us, we must see they are rising up in a body that is dead and paid for when we died with Christ. Death to self must not be a theology, but a reality. In the freedom of the cross, I am free from me and it is important that I make it so and live accordingly. I must cast down every emotion, thought, idea that exalts itself above obedience to Christ and His work on the cross.
God’s life must replace my life. He must, if I am to be free, be my Joy, my Peace, my Life, my Strength and my Righteousness.
We must stop living by what we feel, but we must start living by what He feels…isn’t He our life? We don’t ask ourselves, “how do I feel today? I really feel bad today.” but, “Jesus, how do you feel? I chose to live by your life in me.” Jesus is our peace; few people have learned this and live by this. As we die to self, it is His life in us that conquers all. We don’t look to change our carnal nature with its emotions and thoughts, we reckon them dead and live by His life and peace that He gave us on the cross.
We are changed by seeing Him: Heb 11:27; 12:1,2;2 Cor 3:8; 2 Cor 4:16-18.
We set our minds on Jesus: 2 Cor 10:4,5; Rom 8:5-7; Rom 12:2; Eph4:20-24; Col 3:1-3; Isa 26:3; Matt 22:37.
Christ in you: Col 1:26-28; Gal 4:19; Philem 6; Rom 8:10-14;Rom 6:19, 20; 1 John 4:4.
Rom 8:10-11, And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. NKJV
If the name “I am” given to Moses teaches us anything of His nature, it teaches us that He is all in all. It is only then we can truly do all things through Him who is the “I am” “who strengthens me.” He is our strength and we are now dead and free from living by our weaknesses and sins because of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.
Only through faith in His life in us can He deliver us and mature us and give us the virtues of His Spirit through grace. We have only one battle, we either live by our lives or His; we are either be dead to self or we will be dead to Christ; we will either see our self-life or we will see Christ life in us.
Blind faith in the invisible is scary and does not feed our emotions and our five senses; blind faith lives on the revelation of the cross. The blood of Jesus is highly exalted in value and far above in reality than any thing that comes from self. The blood shed by Jesus remains on the alter in heaven, opening a way for all of us to enter into His holy presence (Heb 10:19, 20). We can now come boldly to the thrown of mercy (Heb 4:16). Through the blood shed by Jesus on the cross places the Holy Spirit in our hearts so that we can become participators of His divine nature (2 Pet 1:4). The love and presence of God desires to fill us. Our hearts therefore cry out in love for Him. Worship is easy because it is the Spirit of God in union with our spirit that cries out to Him. Our bodies are in birth pains for more of Jesus to fill us. To find the love of Jesus is to find a love that far exceeds our expectations. The love of a mate or children may be good, but nothing is equal to the love of God.
The cross wants nothing to do with our natural abilities except to be put to death. The cross demands our total abandonment of all that makes up our carnal nature: that old man that opposes everything that is of God (Gal 5:17). Our old man wants us to reserve those innocent sins it takes pleasure in (like watching TV) and to waste its time and thoughts on them.
We are in a battle for life and eternal life. The sum-total of our lives will some day stand before Jesus and we will all give an account for the things we have done (Heb 4:13). I am sure as we stand there before Him we will wish we had done things differently. If we fail to see that our lives are a battle field and we are alive here at this time to fulfill our time in the history of mankind. We are here to determine our eternal destiny and to determine the one we will spend eternity. This is not a game, a religion, this is not a get-what-you-like time. This is not an I-wanna-be-happy time or an I-wanna-get-my way time. This is not a time to learn neat things about the bible or to focus on nitpicking doctrines. This is a time to worship Him and to learn to be like Him and to encourage and exhort one another. If you are too frail for exhortation… than the body of Christ is not for you… You would do better in a sterile religious environment where a hand shake is all that is demanded of your love.
Whether we win or lose this battle depends on whether we love Jesus with our whole heart. Whether we are willing to abandon our emotions, our understanding and our lives for the sake of Him who shed His blood for us. There is only one access into His presence: “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh…” Heb 10:19-20, NKJV
Who wants to find out, when it’s too late, they missed Jesus and that their life was founded on a self-centered life? Jesus death on the cross did not provide us with the pleasures to fulfill our self-centered life, but He provided on the cross a death to the self-centered life. It is only in death we will find life.
This is more important than just going to meetings or fellowshipping with people we like. This is more important than a little sharing here and there. This is more important than hearing some ear-tickling message. Our coming together is for the purpose of exhorting and encouraging one another to maintain our walk with Him. We are to be a holy body, and if a body, than each should have life and function. The one-man band is a disgrace to God’s purpose and His intention for His body; it is a tradition added by men.
Heb 10:25-27, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. [Why?] For if we sin [miss Jesus] willfully [voluntarily] after we have received the [full] knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” NKJV
This warning is what Peter was talking about in his epistle
“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the [full] knowledge [experience] of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have [fully] known [experienced] the way of righteousness, than having [fully] known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.” 2 Peter 2:20-21, NKJV
We are not to be about holding religious meetings. Our lives should manifest the life of Jesus and our love for one another should be far beyond anything known to natural man. We are to be real and living in the reality of Jesus provided for us on the cross.
Everything we do is to bring us into Christ: individually and corporately. Our faith and our walk is not of this world and things seen, we all live by seeing Jesus. If we fail, we have seen our self-life and not Christ life in us.
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