LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
And he[Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. - Matthew 22:37-39
Do you ever feel like this picture portrays how to operate your Christian life? If you can turn this knob while pulling that lever and minding this dial, then you are kind of doing it right. All these instructions and things to juggle and do perfectly. All these old sins to tackle all while fending off new ones popping up.
This is opposite of the picture that Jesus paints of following Him. "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."(Matt 11:29) Well, then why is it just so hard to follow Christ? It does not seem easy or light.
Often, the struggles we see are not from the requrements of God to love Him with all our heart and love our neighbor as our self (Matt 22:37-39). What we see as difficult is the really the result of our own sin entering the mix as well as the consequences and pressures from the world as followers of Christ. Having accepted Jesus as our saviour and lord means the dominion of sin over our lives is gone (Romans 6:6), but the influence of sin will never leave us. We are to continually put to death the deeds of the body by the power of the Spirit (Romans 8:13). We actively put off our old selves and keep it off(Col 3:9, Eph 4:22, 2 Cor 5:17).
"Be killing sin, or it will be killing you." - John Owen
There is NO neutral ground in this! It is one or the other!
We should be sure that we are giving God glory, thanks and/or honor in all that we think, say and do, as this is the whole reason we exist, and praying without ceasing is key to this(1 Thess 5:17-19). If we can focus on doing this as best we can and checking our actions against these things, it will help us ensure that we are operating as the new creation that we are(Gal 6:15), with the gift we are given of newness of life(Rom 6:4).
Therefore, we press on toward the goal in the race that is set before us, looking to Christ as we cannot do it without Him(Heb 12:1-2)! We focus on Him, and let Him operate the controls.