If you are anything like me, you go through periods of doubt when Satan tries to weaken your faith and tell you you’re not good enough. Recently, I went through a period of doubt in a time of affliction, that really pressed my faith to the limit. However, God always comes through in the perfect time to bring deliverance for you in time of need.
I was saved about 3 1/2 years ago from a life of failure, alcohol, and drugs. I had reached a low that I never thought I could reach. One day we got an invitation to visit a small baptist church in our town. From that day forward, God began to work mightly in my life and turned me around. I won’t go into all the details since it doesnt bear on the discussion, however, I will tell you I have spent the last three years addicted to God’s word. I have excepted the call to ministry and devoted my life to equipping myself for ministry. But as I went down the road to knowledge I learned that all roads don’t lead to truth.
I studied the word from every theological angle possible. I kept an open mind and heart, while praying for a discerning spirit. I studied the doctrine of the pentecostals. I spent much time in the study of the reformers and the calvanistic doctrine of the puritans. I mastered the doctrine of the southern baptist church and even looked into the doctrines of Catholicism. I gained a rock solid foundation of biblical knowledge that led me to one place,….doubtville.
In all this knowledge I forgot one key piece of truth, that in its absence, all is apostacy. That key of knowledge and truth was the cross of Christ. I had the same view as many other Christians out there as pertains to salvation and spiritual growth. No matter whether it was conscious or subconscious, I picked up and embraced the doctrine of salvation by faith and sactification by self. I had it in my head that the cocumstances in my life and my moral ability to live holy would determine my salvation in the end. I, my dear friends, had become a judaizer- living by the law. Nothing in the world could be more damaging than thinking you can live the christian life on your own. Yet, if your faith is in the wrong object, that is exactly where you will end up because the Holy Spirit operates by faith and apart from that he will not work in your life.
The truth is, you are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. However, your are also kept and sancified by grace through faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. He accomplished so much more that just our salvation on the cross. He also broke the back of sin and its bondage in our lives. He paid the price so that we could have victory over sin, sickness, and every other stronghold that tries to keep you down. Satan has one main goal in everything he does to you nomatter what route he chooses to take. That goal is to destroy your faith in Christ. And he is very good at what he does. It is true that he that is in me is greater than he that is in the world, however, our faith has to be firmly planted in the one that is in you or you will be defeated.
You cannot defeat sin in your life. You cannot beat the devil at his own game. You cannot overcome addiction, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, or any other stronghold in your life by your power. We must put our faith back into Christ and him crucified if we are to have victory. Make the decision today that you will stop wrestling with sin. Put your faith in Christ and look to the cross to defeat satan. Then you will see the Holy Spirit work mightly in your life. It may happen today, or it could be 40 years down the road. But if you do not faint, and you stay firm in your faith in Christ and his work on the cross, deliverance and victory will come.