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Guest Blogger: Seth Roach, “Why We Struggle – A Fresh Perspective”

I would like to introduce you to Seth Roach, one of the brothers in the church here in Gainesville. In “Why We Struggle – A Fresh Perspective,” Seth captured the reality and essence of Romans 12:2 that drove me to start re:Think. He was gracious enough to let me share it in it’s entirety here. Not only does it embody the essence of re:Think, but I believe it is vital to being a follower of Jesus. I encourage you to read it, or visit Seth’s blog, Straight Plow, and read through the comment thread as well.

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The World’s system lies in the hand of the evil one and all people have been indoctrinated by it from birth. Your identity, your worth, your status, etc., is measured by standards set by this world. By necessity there must be a death to that old life, that old estimation of who you are and a birth of new life springing forth of the true reality of your identity in Christ.

Christ Displaces the Enemies Hold
Struggle both spiritually and mentally are not simply a matter of the enemy bombarding your mind trying to bring you down, discourage you, make you feel like a failure, telling you, look what you have done with your life, you have wasted it or look at these people and their accomplishments comparing yourself with others.

The inward struggle you’re facing is a result of a conflict. Your mind has mindsets already built in that are strongholds of the enemy. These mindsets have been built there as you have grown up and are encouraged by the world system which is under the sway of the evil one. These strongholds support the independent self life that Christ has put to death on the cross.

As Christ comes in and begins to shake all that up, breaking in with the truth of who you are in Him. As He displaces the enemies hold (mindsets) bringing in the truth of Himself you begin being transformed by the renewing of your mind. This is the process of becoming who you already are, waking up to the reality of who you are in Christ. Putting off the old man and putting on the new man, Christ Jesus. See Ephesians 4:22-24, “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (ESV)

A New Perspective
A new perspective that I now see from having learned that when you feel the struggle it may seem like you are really under attack and perhaps you are but in reality Christ is overthrowing the enemyís stronghold in your mind. Christ is bringing victory into reality in your life. This is when the enemy does all he can to maintain his hold. This is not the time to give in or give up it is the time to press in more resolute to your Lord looking to Him, trusting Him being encouraged that He has done it. At this point to trust in your feelings and emotions or rely on the old estimations comparing yourself with others will only be playing into the enemies hand.

The struggle is important to go through. You will know your Lord in a much more intimate and real way as you pass through this struggle. The battle is already won. Christ has already defeated the enemy. You have already been translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Embrace Christ and the reality of who you are in Him and go through the struggle. Shrug the feeling that the enemy is really trying to overtake you but instead realize that your mind was already under the influence of the enemy and the world system but now Christ is setting you free as you are conformed into His image.

The enemy is losing ground in you and is mad trying to get you to let go of the truth of Christ. This struggle is necessary for you to go through and it is a positive thing. You must cling to the truth even if you donít feel like it. Remember your faith is not based on feeling but in who He is. 2 Cor. 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. (ESV)

Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind
Paul states in Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

This appeal from Paul is for us individually and as a corporate body to respond to in faith. It is vital to apply in order that the life of Christ may be lived in and through you within the community of the saints and as you read the rest of Romans 12 and beyond you will see what the fruit of doing so looks like.

A Final Exhortation
When we make a resolute presentation of our lives continually to Christ as a living sacrifice not being conformed to the pattern of this world, that includes the estimation of yourself, success, power, money, material possessions, past mistakes, age and accomplishments and lack thereof, etc., and begin to be transformed by the renewing of our minds according to the realization of Christ, the revelation of Christ in you and in you all as the community of believers we will see the ever growing expression of the glorious Christ in and through us. That is why this is called a walk of faith because we cannot trust ourselves and the Lord is showing us that He is all in all.

The enemy is defeated and the only place he has ground in us is when we either lose sight of the truth and begin relying on the old man again or have an area of our heart that is not submitted to the Lordship of Christ. Either way the Lord is merciful and faithful to work in us both to will and do His good pleasure. Turn to Him now, Call on His name and thank Him that He has placed you inside of Himself and that you can safely rest in His arms trusting in Him fully.

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You can find the full post and comment thread at Seth’s blog, Straight Plow.

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