Some time ago, I found a set of sermon notes with no name titled Why Many Christians Live and Look Like They Are Not. Ten reasons for a defeated Christian life were listed.
1. Disappointment with God: I prayed, but He did not jump through my hoops as I wanted Him to.
2. Distractions: worldly preoccupations come between me and the life I should be living.
3. Dangerous relationships: lost friends and acquaintances who influence me more than I influence them.
4. Unchanged tendencies: not dealing with the allure of old practices and habits from the past. As a recovering alcoholic, I dare not dwell on the euphoria of the drink and deny the havoc it caused to every dimension of my life.
5. Self-reliance: living in isolation, thinking that I do not need God or other believers.
6. Prayerlessness: no relationship is nurtured without communication, especially with God.
7. Carelessness: going into situations or hanging out with people where temptations are known to be strong and where I know I have little resistance.
8. An unexamined heart: Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and desperately sick. Who can understand it?”
9. An unseen enemy: to believe in good is to believe there is evil; to believe in God is to believe there is the devil; to believe in angels is to believe there are demons.
10. A lack of accountability: not having an intimate circle of friends with whom I can be brutally honest about myself without shame or condemnation.
At the bottom of the page were two quotes. Former Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry said, “The job of a coach is to make people do what they do not really want to do in order to make them become what they really want to be.”
The other one, which was not attributed, said, “The work of the Holy Spirit is to make people become what they are incapable of being in order for them to do what is humanly impossible.”