We are living in a culture that is headed in the wrong direction; who’s values and perspectives are in opposition to the laws and principles of God’s Word. As the world’s inhabitants are flowing with the current of this prevailing culture, we, as Christians, are called to live a life that is ‘counter-cultural’ to that. This is a difficult and taxing prospect but is nonetheless mandatory for the child of God.
This can be compared to the Atlantic salmon that when it comes time to spawn it’s offspring, it finds it’s way from the ocean to a river and begins to swim ‘upstream’ in an effort to get to it’s destination. It swims, jumps and struggles with all of it’s energy against the strong currents moving rapidly in the opposite direction. When it has reached it’s spawning waters, releases it’s eggs and then out of sheer exhaustion, it dies.
Christianity is fraught with immense struggles, particularly against the tide of the post-modern world, where spiritual truth is considered relative, sin is merely an alternative lifestyle and to stand for the teachings of Scripture is condemned and ridiculed. However, we must ‘swim upstream’ and be determined to use all of our efforts and resources to ensure that we get to our destination.
Not only do we have to endure the world but we also wrestle against our own flesh that again is inclined to go towards only one direction, sin. Paul tells us in Romans 7:18 that in our flesh dwells no good thing, but it is inclined to do evil. Our spirit must walk against this natural tendency in order to live a life free from the bondage of sin. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory.
So swim upstream saints of God, even though at times it seems there’s little progress and you feel like your swimming on the spot. Give it everything you’ve got, knowing that your God will never allow you to go through that which you can not handle. We will get to our destination.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26
This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.