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 Category:  Spiritual Non-Fiction
  Posted: May 25, 2020      Views: 31

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"Strain and Pain Can Equal Gain" by Deniz22



Back in the day, one of my first jobs was driving a truck similar to this one. Let me hasten to clarify; it was similar to this one in that it was also a truck. It had wheels, an engine and the same designation (truck) and was definitely not a car.

And it wasn't a semi-trailer either but rather a "straight job", i.e., a 2.5 ton moving van, in this instance. It was in reality, a used and abused 1953 Dodge and the year was 1959.



Dodge trucks later on moved up to V-8's and even later,
V-10's...and those were mere pick-ups!


However, this particular Dodge van (known affectionately as #3 in a massive fleet of 6 was owned by a local Cape Cod business) had a "reliable" six cylinder engine and 5 speed transmission.


This description, with the addition of 6 years of hard use, is better encapsulated in two words; underpowered and s    l    o   w !


To this combination of underpowerment, some safety conscious nerd had added a (can you believe it?) GOVERNOR! Installing a governor on this truck is similar to putting an emergency brake on a turtle. It was set at 55 MPH, and #3 would not go faster, even with a Wizard of Oz tailwind. 

Trucks are always called "she" by truckers because one does acquire an affection over time for their redeeming features, no matter how few they may be. #3 had one such quality I still derive pleasure from, remembering it now, some 50+ years later.

When conditions permitted, I would do my level best to again challenge the restrictive governor. Put the "pedal to the metal" and hang on, not because of the speed, but the agony the old girl would go through to achieve maximum RPM. Shake, rattle, and roll! Fairly new terms at the time but fully applicable to #3 giving birth to 55 MPH.

But oh, how sweet when the double-digit goal was reached! All of a sudden, #3 would be in her comfort zone, and she almost literally PURRED! 55 MPH was her sweet spot and it was almost as if she was reborn a smooth-running Rolls-Royce.

It seems we believers have similar "governors" built in and they always work in opposition to each other. Paul described this spiritual oxymoron in Galatians 5:17: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."

Our old flesh nature restricts our fully serving the Christ we love, while our born-again new nature restricts our old nature from fully expressing itself in the sin it loves.

Paul describes the painful condition of this continual conflict of spiritual interests in Romans 7:24: "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" So what is the answer for overcoming the power of sin which dwells within us? In a number of scriptures, the Apostle Paul points to the empowering of the new nature by the Spirit of God as gaining us the victory.

First of all, by virtue of our faith in Christ, we are indeed possessor's of new natures through our new birth. This new nature is sinless, just as Christ is sinless. Therefore the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in His new temple and no one has the power to oust Him.

Just as Jesus, though God, yet as a man had to learn the scriptures and increase in knowledge, so we too should and must do if we are to overcome the sin which so easily encumbers us.

We must rely on the Spirit in two ways. One is to reject legalism as a means of spiritual growth and go with grace. Someone wrote about the contrast in this way:
Run and do, the Law commands,
But gives me neither feet nor hands.
Grace speaks of better things,
Bids me fly and gives me wings.

The second thing to remember is this; although the Holy Spirit is in the believer just as God was in Jesus, yet Jesus did all of His works by the power of the Spirit. It follows if we are to do great things for God, we too must be continually filled with the Spirit to follow His guidance in the Scripture.

Paul speaks of this in Ephesians 5:17-21: Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God."
Notice the good results of being filled with the Spirit! Wine can put us "under the influence" but so can the Spirit. Choose wisely!

Keep on truckin', straining to go as fast as you can in pursuit of Christ and His good will for you. Sometimes we have had those wonderful experiences of the Spirit where we can sense God fully has us, even though we have shuddered and groaned in the process.

And how sweet to achieve by His Spirit!

Galatians 5:16: I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

 
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