Tuesday 18 February 2020


We must lead a holy life

Dear Friends,

Today I come to you not as a preacher or a biblical scholar; rather I come as a warrior who is defeated in battle. My defeat has opened my eyes to see few facts regarding spiritual life which I would like to share with you.

Very often in my life I managed to attain to a spiritual status which made me indulge in self-complacency. And it has been my experience that on such occasions I would consistently fall into temptation, and that too so easily that after being overcome by it I could not help wondering how terribly weak and miserable a being I was.

I spend considerable time in reading Bible, praising God and doing prayers. I frequently observe fast. But, nothing really helped me overcome temptations. It is truly frustrating. At times my defeats literally make me a pessimist, bending me to view myself as a confirmed failure and a good for nothing.

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There was time I used to consider myself a better person than David. I was not mature enough then. It is only after repeated failures in my spiritual life that my vision got clear enough to enable me to see myself as I was. Of course, it did not help me better myself. On the contrary, for such a long time I continued to lose my battles that very often I thought of giving up my profession as a warrior and retire myself to lead a civilian life. By civilian life I mean a life that is confirmed to the ways of the world which lead people away from God. It makes them friends with the world, and the Scripture says that friendship with the world is enmity with God. That’s what it is.

But having once known the truth and walked a long way in its light, it became impossible for me to confirm to the ways of the world. So I tried to stick to the Way and the Truth and the Life and kept on failing…consistently. I kept on doing what I did not want to and did not do what I wanted to. I agreed with St. Paul when he said, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Unfortunately, my agreement with St. Paul did not make me the man that he was. I could not go beyond the ‘wretched man’ situation to be able to say,

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:12)

So, for a long time I wondered how the solution he found in Jesus and in the Spirit of God worked itself out so well in his life. I too believed in Jesus and accepted Him as my personal Savior. I also received the Spirit of God as the guarantee of all the promises that I found in Him. Yet I kept on committing sin! How?

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I loved myself so much that I never saw myself actually hanging there on the cross with Jesus! I did not want to see myself hanging there even in my imagination!...Even after hearing Jesus umpteen times say in Matthew 10: “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

I never thought that there was any need to be worthy of Him! I thought what He did for me sufficed to make me worthy of Him! In other words, I never truly understood what actually He did for me! How very strange and surprising, isn’t it?

It rendered my faith as good as dead! It could not lead me to bow down on my knees and say to God, “…not my will, but Yours, be done.” I could not exercise my free will to subject it to God’s will. Therefore, the Spirit of God could not help me in spite of His willingness. How could He help me against my will?

Only when we are ready to do God’s will in our life, our belief in Christ’s supreme deed on cross is confirmed. And only when we believe in Jesus in this way, the Spirit of God can step into our life and fulfill all the promises that we have in Jesus.

Speaking from the point of view of the present discourse, the Spirit of God takes us out of the order of the body of sin and subjects us to the order of the spirit. Once in the order of the spirit, the order of the body of sin has no hold over us. Then, and then only, we are able to lead a holy life. There is no other way out.

We must lead a holy life; for that is the purpose why we are called.

It is the greatest challenge that we, as believers, can face in this world. And we can never meet it adequately unless we receive help from the Holy Spirit. We can never receive help from Him unless we seek it from Him. If King David wants to enjoy Bathsheba’s beauty even though it is sinful, he will not seek the Holy Spirit to help him overcome his lust. In that case, He will stand by and let him have his will at his expense.

In this case, faith can never reach its logical end. Therefore, if we truly believe in Jesus, we should not mind denying ourselves. It is the way of life. It makes us worthy of Him, and of all the benefits of the faith that we put in Jesus.



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