Starting While Stopping

 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.          Romans 7: 15-17

I say to myself I must lose weight. I tell myself I need to exercise more. I say to myself eating healthy is the way to go.

Good news: lost a few pounds and started to exercise. Not so good news: healthy eating is not in full gear, and I need to exercise everyday.

I need to stop.

The need to stop is evident in all of us if we admit it. The will, the desire to do better is there, the difficult challenge is to not only think about implementing it, but have the stick-to-it element that will enable us to achieve it, reach the goal. Why is it we want it but can’t fully obtain it? Paul had a similar thought.

In the 7th chapter of Romans, Paul spoke of what should be done isn’t, and what should not be done is. He goes on to surmise that because of the sin nature we all have, we can’t do what we know is the right thing to do. We need help that will aid us to stop doing the wrong thing.

Further Paul presents another thought: Once Christ is received, the right can happen, as it is no longer him but the Christ that lives in him that enables him to do. Perhaps that is the true issue. Why is it that those who profess to be Christians have a daily struggle with stopping the wrong actions? You missed it. I just gave you the answer.

We struggle because we live life in our own strength, living life devoid of the ample assistance that is at our disposal if we only ask for it. If we stop stepping in, trying to resolve the problem with our limited reasoning and allow instead the Help to come, then the newness of life in Christ can begin.

There are songs being sung lately that speak of a profound thing. The power that raised Christ from the grave is the same power that lives in us, in those who profess and possess Christ.  It is in Him that we live and move and have our being, which includes the ability to stop. It is also where the start can begin.

  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

Dying is not an easy thing to do, especially when you’re still alive! Paul was in prison, but yet he allowed himself to stop, allowing Christ to have center stage in all that he did, whether it was writing letters of encouragement, preaching, or being bound in prison, he stopped so Christ could begin, which allowed Paul to start anew. Dying to self to become alive. What a lovely concept! Challenging, but lovely nevertheless.

And so whatever your struggle is, allow yourself to admit that you may not have all the solutions, and that you may not be as powerful as you think. But also acknowledge there is Someone who can not only jumpstart you down the lane of complete wholeness, but is also completing the work he has already started in you…if you just stop.

Tomorrow I will exercise, purchase the healthy stuff, and eat right for four days, stopping in the process while allowing the Help, the Power, to start.

Be strengthenized…

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