So now the rubber is meeting the road.

The Christian life takes effort. While the Apostle Paul called it a walk, he also called it a fight (1Tim 6:12) complete with full armour and other weapons (Eph 6, 2Cor 10). He makes it clear that it is not just a walk in the park. Yes, much of the time our lives can be happy and smooth, but not always.

There are two reasons for this: 1) we live in a world that is hostile to the things of God, and 2) we live in mortal, corrupt flesh. Both of these things will exert influences to try to keep us from walking in Christ.

We get external pressure from society to conform to its standards and norms. While some of these are fine, some are not, and we are to live according to God’s Word rather than the prevailing winds of culture (Rom 12:2).

When I became a Christian, my spirit was made new but my flesh was not. My body and mind still had the same desires and tendencies they used to. Again, some of these are fine, but some are not, and we must actively resist those that aren’t (Gal 1:16).

All this takes disciple and self-control – like Paul said, it’s a fight. Sometimes we may ask ourselves if it’s worth it – is it really necessary?! At this point we need to ask ourselves another question: Do I want to live the truth or live a lie? Do I want to be real or fake? If we choose to identify with Christ – to identify ourselves as Christians – the answer is obvious.

Our spirit is new, created in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:24). This is the truth. So for us to walk in this truth, we live lives of righteousness and holiness, of unity, forgiveness, good works, service, boldness, wisdom, acceptance, and peace. While no one perfect at this, being a genuine Christian means that we will aim at it.

This is not something that just happens all at once; we take one step at a time. It is a walk. There is a destination, but at this point we are all still on the journey toward that destination. And every step we take on the road of truth takes us closer to our journey’s end.

 

Consider:

Am I committed to maintain my identity in Christ – to walk in the truth of who I am?

Am I willing to resist the temptations to contradict my true identity in Christ?