Why Am I So Horrible at Being a Christian? …Thorns …Thorns

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pig-people-410-200You ever ask yourself that question?

I know that I do.

Just because someone is in the ministry does not make them some superman against sin.

I am going to let you in on a secret, I sin just like everyone else.

I hate it when I sin. It literally eats me up inside. I feel horrible and I want to make things right as fast as I can so that the pain does go away.

When I am in the act of sinning or sinned, I have even asked myself “ Why Am I So Horrible at Being a Christian?

I try, I mean I really try, but no matter what something happens and I just botch things up.

Want to know something else, one of the reasons is that we ALL have our “pet sins” that we like to indulge in.

It is that “swine” mentality that we still indulge in.

Well let me back up, I like how Paul called it… “a thorn in the flesh.”

2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Meaning that the thorn is there and it hurts like no tomorrow to pull it out. What is worse is that most times you can’t get at it to pull it out.

Ever have a pet who got a thorn in their paw? Where we lived in Texas there were these massive thorn bushes and our dogs would sometimes get a thorn in the paw. You would notice them limping and we knew what was up.

By the time they get to you or you see them limping, the thorn has worn down and becomes flush with the flesh. What that does is makes it very hard to pull out. When that would happen we would have to use tweezers, clippers, a needle, etc to get to the thorn.

Even then, sometimes we could not get to the thorn and we would have to allow it to come out on its own.

That is the type of thorn that Paul is talking about. A thorn that is so deep it can’t be pulled out by one’s self. A thorn that is not going away and one you learn to live with till it disintegrates over time or a doctor takes out.

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Lots of Thorns At First

When we first come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have a LOT of thorns that needed taking care of.

Some of these thorns Christ, the Great physician, takes care of and pulls out, others the Holy Spirit disintegrate and are slowly dissolved from the inside out.

When we are a new Christian in Christ these thorns are painful to us and we hate them. They prick at us and at times are very painful, constantly reminding us of the sins we have in our lives.

How do we combat that sin pain?

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But this is just a temporary fix. Not that Christ forgiveness is temporary, us not sinning is temporary.

Until the thorn is removed or dissolved that thorn remains with us. That pet thorn sin keeps popping up over and over again.

It is how we live with that thorn that matters.

Some people hate the thorn (the sin) and they work hard not to do it. Avoidance is great and it helps. But doing this of our own flesh will work for just a short time.

Sooner or later that thorn is going to rub us and eventually we will entertain that sin again.

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

God allows us to have thorns in our life so that we are cognoscente / mindful of them. We know our sins / thorns are there and we as Christians have the choice to entertain the sin / thorn or fight against and flee from the sin / thorn.

It is a freewill choice.

So why is it that I seem to be such a horrible Christian at times?

Because I choose to play in the thorns and not flee from them.


The Power to Flee From Sin

Over and over again God’s Word tells us to FLEE from sin.

Here are some examples…

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry…

1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things…..

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts….

So often we think we are big bad strong Christians and we can take on the devil and all his minions. We want to charge the gates of hell with a squirt gun.

But what often happens is that we fall short of the glory and usually botch things up even more.

Remember that saying “Pride cometh before the fall”?

Here is the scripture that it is taken from…

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

See it is our own pride in ourselves and our haughty spirit that tells God “HEY… I can handle this sin on my own and take care of it myself.”

Yea right.

Seconds later after the battle with sin you then realize / find yourself wallowing in the sin. It almost always happens that way

You fall to sin.

Why?

Because you did not listen to God’s Word. You did not trust in what His Word said and did not obey His Word.

So what happened?

You fell to your sin / bunch of thorns and now you are feeling the pricks and pain from indulging in your sin.

See, when you play in the thorns, you’re always going to come out of it with some wounds and pain.

Some people learn and don’t go back to the thorns.

But others keep playing in the thorns and as they play more thorns stick inside them.


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Children of the Thorns vs Children of God

Do you like playing in the thorns?

Do you find that after a while the pain of being pricked by the thorns thrills you and “feels good”?

This is what can happen to you if you do not learn to FLEE from the thorns.

But there is something else that you need to think about.

If you keep playing in the thorns, are you a Child of God or a Child of the Thorns?

See, if you are truly a child of God, you may like the thorns, but only for a season.

After a while the pain will start effecting the Holy Spirit that lives within you. When that happens, life becomes pretty miserable. The Holy Spirit will convict your heart for living in the sin / thorns that you are living in. He will make things more and more painful till you call out to Him and ask Him to get you out of the thorns / deliver you from the sin.

Now He does that only if you have the Holy Spirit living within you.

See, if you do not have the Holy Spirit living within you, then the pain of the thorns will be easy to overcome and after a while you will get used to it.

After a while you will actually like living in the thorns because it is “home” to you. The pain becomes pleasure and eventually you will become engulfed and entangled in the thorns so much that you yourself will never escape.

Because you DO NOT have the Holy Spirit living within you, you will never see this sort of life as the trap that it is.

You live just be an “existence” living in and among the thorns.

If this is you, you are a Child of The Thorns.

BUT, if you truly asked Christ in your heart, it was at that moment that you were indwelled with the Holy Spirit.

You became a new being and a changed person. A person that does not like living in the thorns and in fact after a while they can’t even live in the thorns.

It is Christ’s blood that “washes” all the thorns away and it is Him being the Great Physician who will over time remove the deeply embedded thorns.

pig-people2But that is not all, it is the Holy Spirit that will also work from the inside out dissolving the thorns and healing you as well.

When you accept Christ and submit to Him as your only savior, you are made a new creature.

You might be drawn to the thorns from time to time, you may even become entangled.

But the difference between you and a Child of the Thorns (a non-Christian) is that but after a while you no longer wish to even go near the thorns and you grow to abhor / hate the thorns.

Why? Because they hurt and cause pain. Even when you are not in and among the thorns, the pain is still there where you might have been pricked or a thorn is deeply embedded.

As I mentioned, our cure for this is Jesus Christ.

We need do the following…

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Why Am I So Horrible at Being a Christian?

Simple, we are not obeying God and submitting to the “swine” mentality that is in each and everyone of us.

1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

2 Timothyt 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Being a Child of God and having the Holy Spirit within us we are drawn to what is good in God. We crave being with Him, in His Word, in prayer with Him and fellowship with God.

By fleeing sin / thorns and chasing after a life of righteousness, godliness, faith, the pain of the thorns that are still with us will diminish.

Christ will remove those sins/ thorns over time and the Holy Spirit will dissolve the deeply embedded sins / thorns because we are His Children. He knows us because we have been changed into the new man. We are no longer the swine that like to live as Children of the Thorns. We are a new creature in Christ completely changed never to be changed back as the swine living among the thorns.

By fleeing sin we are not wounded by sin. But to ensure that we do not venture close to the sin / thorns, we need to be in His Word, be in prayer and in fellowship with God and His Son Jesus Christ.

This strengthens us and gives us the desire to NOT go among the thorns.

BUT the less we are in fellowship with Him, the more apt we are to venture into the thorns. It is the “Swine” in us that is attracted to the thorns. But it is the power of God working in our hearts that override that “swine” mentality.

What you need to ask yourself is this…” What am I drawn to?”

One day maybe sitting in a church or sitting with someone sharing the gospel with you, you made a “choice.” But were you truthful and sincere about that choice in living for God?

See there are a lot of “swine / Child of the Thorns” who claim to be a Child of God / Christian.

They “THINK” and say that they are saved, but when you really look at them, you realize that they are just another swine dressed up to look like a Christian.

Another name for these people are Christians In Name Only (C.I.N.O)

Are you one of these people? A swine dressed up to look like a Child of God /Christian?

Are you drawn to your old sin life?

Can you live among the thorns and it feels like home?

If you answered YES to any or all of these, odds are you are not truly saved.

Sure you may have raised your hand, checked a box on a card, said some simple little prayer, you may have even meant it at that moment.

But until you truly repent of your sins and ask God to make a change in your life, you will continue to live that swine life as a Child of the Thorns and not as a Child of God.

We who are true Christians were all at one time one of the swine living among the thorns.

The difference is that we came to the realization that we are lost. And being lost means that we will never be with the Father in heaven. In fact being lost means that we will burn in Hell of all eternity.

We came to a realization that we do not want that swine life. We do not want the thorns, we do not want to be forever separated from the Father. We want Him and we want Christ in our lives. We want to live a righteous life and please the Father as a Child of God.

Scripture says…

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

That means that all of us come from a sinful “swine” life… ALL OF US.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

repentant-manThis means that all of those who are “swine” will die. But through the blood of Jesus Christ we are made new, no longer a “swine” but a new creature and a Child of God.

Act_17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

We become a Child of God by repenting of the filthy sinful life that we have been living and we confess to God that we are sinners who are lost and that we need the only salvation that is offered, that being through His one and only son Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It is at that time that God promises us to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We are made a new creature at that moment and become a Child of God.

If you are truly repentive and realize that you are lost and destined to an eternity in Hell, you can ask God to make that change in your life. You can become a Child of God (Christian) where you were once a Child of the Thorns (lost sinner).

Submit yourself to Him today. Make that choice that you do not want the thorns anymore.

Those of us who are His children are not perfect. There are times that we are horrible at being a Christian, but what makes us different is that we have a loving Father who does care for us and wants the best for us. We blow it all the time, but God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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Come out of sin and become a new creation in Christ today.

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By Ray Gano

 

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