It does not take one long to realize that being a follower of Christ is not that easy. Some of you were told that it would be and now you have either realized that it was a lie or you are on the brink of walking away because this is not what you signed up for. The reality is that the Christian walk is hard and we continue to struggle with our flesh, with our selfishness, seeking to fulfill our own pleasures, but we are often fighting for our character with the wrong methods.
In Darrin Patrick's session at Advance 11 he preached from Galatians 5:16-26 on walking by the Spirit. Something that Patrick said that has stuck out in my mind is that, "Most of us our fighting for our character with methods that are not biblical."
This got me thinking about the ways in which most of us try to fight for our character. Often the response is to ignore walking by the Spirit and instead fill it with other things, not necessarily bad things, but other things. This comes in many shapes and forms, but some of the most common are church activities, church programs, church conferences, the newest book, etc.
This turns us into performance driven people who will say one thing with our mouth about our acceptance and salvation being by Christ alone, but then communicate something else entirely. We easily turn to our performances as our means to acceptance and salvation, we turn to God and say, "But look at all that I've done, how many church activities I was part of, how many conferences I attended, and all the books that I read."
We then don't understand when hardships and struggles come our way because we have easily forgotten that we are at war with the flesh and we are using the wrong weaponry to fight it off. We have become legalists with our own forms of outreach and growth because we think somehow adding all of those things will make someone a better Christian then walking by the Spirit and being obedient to God alone.
Now if you know me you know that I am not necessarily against any of those things, well not all of them anyway. But the challenge is to take a look at your own life and to examine how you are fighting for your character? I will finish my post the way that Patrick ended his talk. "You are under the law when you take your moral performance and offer it as your reason for salvation, this is your flesh, you need to kill this!"