When I first decided to surrender my life to Christ as my Lord and Savior, I had never read the Bible. I ignorantly thought I would spend the rest of my life loving God and serving my fellow man. After all, that was what Jesus wanted me to do, and doing His will was my number one priority. I thought my marriage would become what it should be, my kids would behave as they should, and that I would no longer be the jerk I had been. It didn't take long before I realized that nothing had change except my relationship with God. The marriage was still a disaster, the kids were still rebellious, and I was still a jerk.
As I studied the Word with an insatiable hunger, I began to understand that God had begun a good work in me but the work was not yet complete (Phil. 1:6; 1 Jn. 3:2). I learned from Romans Seven that even the great Apostle Paul struggled with sin. That was thirty-nine years ago, and very little has changed. My marriage is still a struggle, my kids, my grand kids, and my great grand kids are still rebellious, and I am still a jerk.
Another thing that became obvious to me early on was that even though my life was now being lived with the desire to please God and serve the brethren, others did not seem to be able to separate the old me from the new. I made the mistake of attempting to implement the Joshua 24:15 approach to family relationships and immediately received "negative feedback." Actually, it was more like laughter than distain, but the result was the same. I decided to try modeling Christ-like behavior but unfortunately, my old nature would often win the battle, and the jerk ruined it.
Paul wrote, "This I say then, 'Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh'" (Gal. 5:16). When we walk, we place one foot ahead of the other. It is a deliberate exercise of the will. With each step, we find ourselves at a cross-road, a place of decision. What should I do or say at that particular point in time? Where should I direct my next step? When should I take that step? The Christian life is a life of decisions. If we realize that our nature wants to do "its own thing," and it almost always is the opposite of what the Spirit would have us do, we at least have a fighting chance to choose correctly. We must decide to behave like either the list in Galatians 5:19-21 or like the list in Galatians 5:22-23. Life is nothing but decisions for the Christian. The lost can, and often do whatever they like, but we actually want to do whatever He likes.
The fact that I have to make decisions is evidence that I am a Child of God. Hallelujah! Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Lord help me to make the right decisions this day in Jesus' name. Amen!