Christian, are you terrified? You should be! Have you ever read James 4:5?
I mean really read it?
"Or do you think the Scriptures say in vain, 'The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously'?" (James 4:5, NKJV)
The word "yearn" is translated from a verb that means to "greatly desire, long, earnestly desire, long after, greatly long after, lust or desire."
As a Christian you are subject to two (2) forces that which greatly desire, longs earnestly, desires, and even "lusts" to govern or rule you. The Christian has the Holy Spirit of God who lives within the Christian which "yearns" or "lusts" to the point of outright jealousy.
What does that mean? What does the Holy Spirit lust after in such a jealous manner? You! The Holy Spirit desires, longs, yearns, or lusts to make you to be conformed to the image of His dear Son. The Holy Spirit is given to you at the very moment of your regeneration in order to enslave you to righteousness. You are under the power of the Holy Spirit to become "perfect"or complete in Christ-likeness.
God puts a "principle" of divine life in you at the moment of your regeneration. This principle is righteousness. This principle works on us. God works on us. The Holy Spirit works on it. This principle of righteousness enslaves us and continues to do so until the day we enter the presence of God.
So, why is that terrifying? Why do I say that being a Christian can be a terrifying thing?
God has many ways of making us faultless and blameless and conforming us to the image of Christ. Many ways, most which are uncomfortable. The minute we become Christians we must be very careful of what we think, say, or do. If you do not work at killing sin in your body, obey the principle of righteousness, and/or resist the working of the Holy Spirit God can and often will:
- Inflict chastisement upon us
- Develop difficulties in our life
- Develop confusion in our lives
- Produce pain, suffering, or sorrow
These things are all a part of God's gracious plan for our lives. These things mean that God is at work perfecting and maturing us.
"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification." (1 Thessalonians 4:2)
"He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)
God is gracious and merciful. However God's Holy Spirit lusts jealously for us to be conformed to the image of Christ. A part of God's gracious mercy is to bring the level of necessary pain or discomfort in to our lives in order to work out His process.
This is why I say at times it is terrifying to be a Christian. At least for me. Yes, I have great comfort and God is so good and gracious to me. But maybe I am so far from where I need to be that the pain and suffering is a welcome thing.