I was taught about sin a very long time before I was born again, however that didn’t create a desire in me to seek God. I simply felt God was an unapproachable Holy God who would probably be wasting His time on me if He spent any. I felt that I was simply not cut out for a life of sainthood and holy things. If ever I heard about someone’s amazing experience with God, I would just shrug my shoulders and think “too bad that can’t be me”.
I was born again in desperate circumstances actually and that was the last option I had left (which shows my attitude that God was last in my life then). I have briefly described my experience through this encounter in one of my previous posts Know that I am God. Either it was a miracle from God or as my wife and I had declared to the unapproachable, incomprehensible God that even if you were God we would not be responsible for the next step that we were to take if we were not rescued. That’s when we received our miracle and we both were born again. As you might have guessed we received no teaching or preaching about being born again or of repentance and baptism during this encounter. So here we were miraculously saved and in love with God for what He did, yet innocent and ignorant about the matters of God. As I mentioned I did have a knowledge of sin a very long time back and our born again experience made me think about God and my sin.
We were now in an awkward position of having a great love for God, yet we were struggling with sin in our life. Every couple of months or so, I said to God “Lord, I will do all I can to fight and keep myself free from sin”. The more I tried the more miserably I failed. At certain times I felt we were now in a far worse situation than when we were before being born again, because we had a love for God that nothing would take away, yet we were miserably failing to keep ourselves free from sin. We knew that God forgives sin, so we could just go to God whenever we did something terrible, but the point is we did not want to see ourselves constantly losing this battle of sin in our lives and going to God as a defeated warrior. I would liken it to a King sending a commander of his troops to battle and each time the commander takes the troop to a war, he returns defeated from his enemies. I felt hopelessly frustrated with all this.
But our God is great and merciful and He began revealing Himself to me and I was excited, I told God “I want to know who You are and everything about You so that I can have a real relationship with You”. The Lord spoke to me several times in the words of [Mark 6:31 – NKJV]“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. As I have mentioned in some of my previous posts, the Lord put a desire in my heart to attend a bible college, so I quit my work and attended bible college and that was where I spent quiet and quality time with the Lord being at rest and the Lord set me free from my struggle with sin.
I would like to reveal one such truth which gave me great joy as I began to understand His word. Firstly as the bible says in [Romans 8:1 – NKJV]“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” that when we are in Christ there is no condemnation, so I stopped condemning myself for my failures. I realized that I need to walk in the Spirit so that I do no accept any condemnation too.
The next verse is even better it says [Romans 8:2 – NKJV] “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” This verse shows me that one law made me free from another law. The law that was trapping me and getting me frustrated was the law of sin and death and truly I was struggling here without a doubt. My mind was all the time thinking about sin and how to overcome sin. To clearly demonstrate my struggle I would like to take an example. I ask you right now to read this statement and follow what it says “Close your eyes for 10 seconds and think about a green apple”. If you followed what I said you would be having a picture of a green apple in your mind. Now once again read the next statement and follow it “Close your eyes for 10 seconds and now don’t think about a green apple” It’s impossible to hear the instruction ‘don’t think about a green apple’ and not think about it. Well that’s the struggle I faced when I kept on thinking about not sinning. What would work well is if I gave you the instruction “Close your eyes for 10 seconds and think about the blue sky” This will work because now your mind is set on something else, your focus has shifted and the old subject is out of focus and out of memory. The same with sin and as long as it is our focus and in our memory, even though we will to ‘not sin’, yet we ‘sin’ this is what Paul talks about in [Romans 7:19 – NIV]“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing”. Have you done this or experienced this? I have! too many times to number and that’s why I write about it. This is exactly the context of Romans Chapter 8.
But the Lord revealed to me that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and death so instead of trying to not sin, I instead live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. I would like to give an analogy of how one law can set us free from another law. Imagine two birds sitting on a branch of a tree. A hunter comes with his gun and fires a shot, the bullet hits one of the birds and it dies. Now as this transpires two things happen. (1) The bird that is hit falls to the earth because it is now dead (2) The other bird flies away. Notice there are two laws operating on these birds. One the law of gravity because of which the dead bird falls to the earth. Second the law of life which causes the second bird to fly away. Why isn’t the law of gravity working on the bird that’s alive? Because of the law of life. Why isn’t the law of life working on the bird that has fallen to the earth? Because of death and the law of gravity. In the same way you can be operating under the law of sin and death or under the law of life in Christ.
When I understood this my struggles against sin ceased, I am now at rest as the Lord assured me [Matthew 11:28 – NIV]“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.