Why doesn’t God allow us to lose our sin nature completely when we decide to serve Him? I do get why he made free will. He desires praise from every person and thing but not just from robots with no choice. He wants us to choose Him over everything else this world offers.
But once we do, why then do we have to live the remainder of our lives with this constant battle between the holy God we want to serve and our sinful nature that wants nothing to do with God?
First off, I realize I just like things to go easily and smoothly. Don’t you? It’s so nice to plan a day and have it all fall in the place – no missing the bus, no fevers, no grumpy moods, no terminal illnesses or suffering or death. The problem being,
I’m not going to grow much in the super easy places
and I end up just focusing on myself. Those around me needing the good news of Christ aren’t attracted to fake, happy robots. It’s in all the inconveniences and frustrations, raw emotions, struggle with sin that the important stuff of life really happens. Best to give up on my ideal life of ease, because not only does it rarely exist, it doesn’t seem to be where God usually wants us. Heaven is the place where no sin exists and where we will experience perfect unity with God and people. There, sin is not allowed. No more struggle, just peace and an undivided heart toward God.
However, here on earth, I am a warrior every day.
It’s really not a choice. We’re in the midst of an intense battle and we must persevere. End of story. We follow God’s orders and we strive to serve Him well and willingly. Sure, we have the option to take a break and remove our armor, but then we probably are going to get injured.
But there are a few things that help me have a good attitude in this place of struggle and difficulty called life:
1. Life is a battle regardless.
It’s just before I became a Christian, I was on the wrong side and over there, false peace is one of the enemy’s favorite tactics. Satan is totally fine luring us into complacency and fixation on momentary pleasure. If we are not seeking God, he’s happy – he’s not picky. Defeat in hard times or obsession with constant enjoyment in good times…same result. Either way we are in chains. Whether we are in captivity willingly, with the prison cell door wide open, or chained to the wall, it’s still a prison cell.
2. Jesus paid for my salvation with his very life.
Can I spend the rest of my earthly life as a thank you to Him? Yes, I can and should. When I’m really seeing His sacrifice and what he rescued me from, it makes sense to do whatever He asks me to, joyfully even. It’s when I take my eyes off Him and look everywhere else that I become preoccupied with myself and all I deserve.
3. Real life is in the difficulty.
That’s where Christians can shine. Yes, we also fail, but regardless, Jesus is glorified in the process. When hurting people see other people with an unexplainable peace and power, they are drawn to Christ. Or, when hurting people see equally broken people messing up and repenting and getting back on the right path with God, they are also drawn to Christ. Christians aren’t magically perfect with easy lives. We are broken people that have found the answer. That answer, God, then makes us a magnet toward Himself, for the lost and hurting. The pull isn’t our “perfection” (because that is nonexistent!), but our brokenness. It’s that place where our sin meets our Savior that we are being transformed and God most draws people to Himself.
Just living in sin and defeat is pointless. And pretending to live effortless lives is pointless. God’s constant transformation is the point. So instead of hating struggle and difficulty, we volunteer to be used by God for His purposes, no matter how seemingly hard or easy that is. Heaven is really coming sooner than we realize. We can do this for this short time on earth.
Now is our chance to grow in our love of Christ and be used to draw others toward Him. Daily repentance. Daily surrender. Daily transformation. That’s where life is. It is a warrior’s life, a life of battle. But it’s a blessed life, the life of victory in Jesus, becoming a little more like Him every day.