by Pastor Tim Burt
Every human being was created with the desire to experience change. People desire it and are afraid of it at the same time. One of the biggest fears of change is the fear of the inability to successfully make changes. The universal change that the spirit of all men yearn and cry out for, even though all do not recognize it, is to be reconciled to God by receiving the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
From there, the ongoing desire for change every Christian experiences is to become Christ-like. The pursuit of becoming like Jesus––to conform our character, our heart and our purpose to His––is a lifelong quest but one that always stirs continuing desire for good and godly change. This is good and it is from God!
The other ongoing inward desire for change that every person yearns for is to participate in the supernatural. I’m not kidding. Why do you think people love to read and watch media about superheroes so much? We are made in the image of God and God IS supernatural! This desire is within every human being whether it’s understood or not. You can see this truth as clear as day in 2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may PARTICIPATE IN THE DIVINE NATURE and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Escaping the evil desires that are in this world is only possible by participating in the divine nature––in the supernatural––through faith. Why do the people in this world spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with weight loss, chemical addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction and on and on? Because they are unable to control themselves in these areas. Satan has power over those in this world that have not surrendered their lives to God through Jesus Christ.
I read a report that said that 95 percent of all overweight people who lose weight, gain it back. Other studies show that between 65 to 75 percent of criminals released from jail are arrested again. Studies show that most people with addictions are tormented by them all their life. Why is that? Because without God, the power to completely change doesn’t happen. With God 2 Corinthians 5:17 becomes true! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, ALL things have become new.” In Christ, you become a new person with the grace and power of God to help you become Christ-like!
Outside of Christ a person remains in Satan’s grip and power. God wants to rescue them from Satan’s power and his clutches and that keeps them powerless to make lasting change. Colossians 1:13 (TLB) addresses this saying; “For he has rescued
us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the
Kingdom of his dear Son.”
When someone just can’t stop doing what they know is wrong or that they should change, the Bible says they are caught in Satan’s power in what is called a stronghold. That could best understood as a wrong desire that we just can’t seem to get control over or break free from. There are negative desires that have power over people. These negative desires or strongholds are broken only with God’s power.
You may say, “But Pastor Tim, I know people who have gone to groups and overcome these addictions.” They may have gotten some control over their flesh but the desire and the battle over the desires almost always remains within them. They often feel like they are living with a tormenting demon. This is why alcoholics always consider themselves alcoholics. This why alcoholics, sex offenders, criminals, liars, and law-breakers repeat their offences over and over again. This is why those outside of God repeat their sins over and over again.
Through Christ, that isn’t true. We have the power to change! This is why 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIVsays, “And we… are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Only through the supernatural help of God can wrong desires be removed and replaced with good desires. That is a continuing change that everyone desires. No wonder our spirit yearns for the supernatural help of God.
Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) That must become your conscience daily reality. Because it is, you then continuously lean upon the Lord for help in everything. Because you do, you will immediately begin to draw His supernatural strength and grace (His supernatural help.)
How do we begin to lean on God and draw that strength? By learning to know what God says about you and making it a part of your new foundation in Christ. Philippians 4:5 KJV says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” God wouldn’t tell us to be something we couldn’t! If God instructs us to be moderate, then with the help of His grace, we can! If you’ve shown behavior other than moderation it’s time to say, I am not an addict or a slave to anything. God says I am to show moderation––that means I can! I am moderate in Jesus name. Think that in your heart and speak that out your mouth in every situation until you see change begin to take root in you.
That verse finishes “The Lord is at hand.” What does that mean? The picture it paints in its original Greek form is that there is a hand to grasp your hand as one giving aid and strength. That is the supernatural power of God. If you apply your faith and walk it out, you will see God there to help you. Apply this to any scripture that speaks of what you should change toward. Then receive God’s grace and “…walk in God’s divine nature and escape the corruption in this world caused by evil desires!” As you do, your light for Jesus will become ever increasingly evident to all! Change is good! Go for it!
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) “And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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