Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? – 2Cor. 13:5 NIV
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That the world is a battle field of some sorts is not in argument. Every individual right from the time of conception is in a battle for survival, more so when medical experts have revealed that of the millions of sperm cells released during the interaction between a man and a woman, only one, in most cases, eventually succeeds in fertilizing the egg produced in the woman, this also in most cases is only one at a time. It is thus clear that the human being is a product of the successful struggle of that single sperm cell with other millions of sperm cells, which was followed by nine months of development in the womb, surviving all the possible reasons that could have led to a miscarriage. The process of entry into the world is also not a pleasant one as the birth canal is not the widest of routes that can encourage a comfortable passage, so one begins to wonder why the individual who successfully navigated all these challenges expects to come into a world where success can be achieved without some level or form of discomfort. Anyone who was conscious of the above processes would be expected to have prepared for a battle-like situation to achieve success of any form.
Alas, the reverse is the case as most people, rather than constantly working out survival strategies that will produce success at every stage of life opt for the self pity mode that will lead to no where but failure. They consider every life challenge as the work of imagined enemies and begin to chase shadows giving the impression that, once a particular battle is won, all life battles would have been won. This can only be the height of self deceit as nothing can be more false than this. Fact be told, victory in one battle marks the beginning of another battle which if not properly prepared for will render whatever successes that may have been achieved earlier null and void.
However, some of these battles are outside the ability of man to overcome and will require the possession of a supernatural ability to become victorious in them with the lack of this ability being the reason why many turn out to be losers in life. Many, though deny the existence of such battles asserting that all life challenges are solvable through human wisdom. This may not be true as the bible points to the fact that there are indeed different levels of challenges in life (Mk. 9:29), so the fact that one has not been confronted with the kind of challenge that will require supernatural ability to overcome may not be sufficient reason to do a wholesale discarding of the idea that spiritual battles do exist.
Intense desire to overcome these life challenges, especially those that require supernatural ability has made many resort to seeking help from varied spiritual sources.
Victory over these type of challenges ironically is one of the benefits that Jesus Christ promised all those who accept him as Lord and Saviour. He pointedly identified and invited all those who are laboring and are weighed down by the challenges of life to himself with a promise to grant them rest from all these challenges – Matt. 11:28-29. All they have to do was to exchange their own yoke and burden with that of his, one which he described as been light and comfortable. So it is not expected that any true Christian would backslide because of any challenge in life. This is because no challenge can be considered bigger than what Jesus Christ can overcome.
The disciple Peter, knowing this called on true Christians to cast all their burden on Jesus because he actually cares – 1Pet. 5:7. Both scriptures in addition to the omnipotent character of Jehovah should be sufficient to grant total assurance of victory in all life battles by the true Christian. Therefore it will always be surprising to see supposed Christians backsliding due to challenges of life.
The Apostle Paul having made it clear in his letter to the Romans that nothing can separate him from the love of Christ, and going ahead to list them (Rom. 8:38-39), expects the true Christian to have similar confidence in the saving ability of Jesus Christ. It is therefore incomprehensible to him as it is with any Christian today that the one who is a true Christian will reference a life challenge as the reason for backsliding from the Faith.
As far as the Apostle Paul was concerned, as noted in the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional, the one who regards self as a Christian and is still expressing such worries and concern, to the point of considering the option of backsliding will need to do a honest self-examination and carry out self tests, with the view to assessing whether indeed such is in the Faith. This is because the one who after this honest assessment comes to the conclusion that he/she has the spirit of Christ within should have no reason to consider any battle of life too much to overcome, more so, begin to consider back-sliding. The one who cannot confirm the existence of Jesus Christ in him/her has no business been referred to as a Christian as anyone who has not undergone the baptism of the Holy Spirit will lack the seal that identifies those who belong to the kingdom – Eph.1:13.
It is simply impossible for the true Christian to consider back-sliding or express frustration to the extent of leaving the faith as all it reveals is that such was never the true Christian that he/she has been claiming to be. It insufficient to make verbal claims to being a Christian as the proof is in the successful navigation of the many life challenges and come out standing. Those were the same people that John was told in his revelation, to have successfully confronted the challenges of life and came out unscathed – Rev. 7:14. They were thus clothed in white and were seen serving their God day and night eternally.
That situation that you are being confronted with is one of those tests that will prove that indeed you are a Christian. Do all you can to come out as an overcomer by resisting every lure away from the Faith. That is the only way that you can be considered a true Christian, not just by men but by Jehovah and will have Him confirm your status in Him. May Jehovah keep us standing so that we may be proved be worthy on the day of His judgement in Jesus name. Amen.