by Pastor Tim Burt
There are many areas within our lives that God speaks to us about—when we listen—that He would like us to make changes in. When I received Jesus as my personal Savior at the age of 24. I began to read the Bible for first time in my life but it didn’t seem like much of anything in my life was really aligned with how I was reading that God wanted us to live. It was truly a dilemma for me. That is until a wise person helped me understand that the process of aligning our lives with God’s word was a life-long process of change. He helped me understand that we can’t make true heart changes without the help of the Holy Spirit and that was something He’d help us to walk out, one day at a time.
Many Christians continually think about changes they believe they should make—changes that would make their life more pleasing to God. To think about becoming more Christ-like, is to stay tender toward God and His desire to work in you. To not think about becoming more Christ-like is to become numb and callous to those godly calls to change. We don’t want to suppress the leading of God to make changes, yet we don’t want to always feel guilt, shame, and condemnation about how we are living either. The only answer there is, is to pursue learning God’s will for how we should think, speak and conduct our lives, and work toward them day by day. You must know this concerning God: It is never about Him being disappointed or mad at us! That might be the traits of human parents, but God has already forgiven us and sees us as His righteous. He sees us through His robes of righteousness so that we washed in His eyes. He wants us to become His ambassadors and the light of Jesus Christ to this world, and for that reason, He desires us to be ever-changing to be more like Him. He is God. He is our Father. He is love. And He has give us the Holy Spirit to coach us so that we can do this! And, He knows that becoming more Christ-like will help usher more of His favor and blessing into our life.
Satan loves to keep us enslaved in bondage to sin. He works to tempt us and lead us into wrong thinking and sinful thoughts and actions with that hope that they become deep seeded habits, physical and psychological addictions, and steep us in bondage to sin. He then accuses us before God for the very sin he tempts and leads us into. Revelation 12:10 (NKJV) says he is “…the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night…”
People keep secrets—many of them being secret sins. They hide their secret sins hoping that no one will find out. Sin can hide for a while but it eventually becomes discovered. Numbers 32:23 (NLT) says, “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” God already knows. That is why He is speaking to you about change. But what too many people often fail to realize, is that God isn’t condemning them in His admonishment to change. If you feel condemnation, it’s from Satan’s accusing. God talking to us over and over is like the parent training his child and asking, reminding, and admonishing out of love Please clean your room and pick up and put away your clothes.
God is merciful, patience and kind. He is for good reason. He wants change. He does because He knows that sinful thoughts and actions will hurt us and others. Wrong thoughts and actions never hurt just you. They always find a way to touch someone else. So, out of God’s love for you and for others, He keeps talking to us (if we will listen) about those changes.
The Apostle Paul reveals God’s power within us. Romans 8:3-9 (NLT) “… But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins…Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)”
These verses are not to condemn you but to remind you of the power of God through the Holy Spirit, living in you! You are not a slave to sin. You need to say that over and over until it sinks in and you learn to lean on the power of God within you!
When I learned what Jesus did for me and that sin had no more power over me, I applied my faith to that truth. When tempted I’d say out loud, Satan, the power of the life-giving Spirit of God has freed me from the power of sin leading to death. You have no more power over me. I am free. I am no longer your slave. I am who God says I am—His child empowered by His Spirit. I rebuke this temptation in Jesus name. I had to say these things out loud to overcome the pesky lying thoughts that had run through my head for so long. Those thoughts changed over time! So did the sinful patterns in my life. They dropped off one by one.
There is power to change. It is supernatural power to change. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within every believer of Jesus Christ. If you lean on yourself you will fail over the long haul. If you will lean on the Holy Spirit knowing that God is on your side, you’ll change. If you lean on His mercy knowing He wants to help you change, and if you apply your faith and ask and pray according to His Word and promise, change will come! It will lead you from a life of destruction and bondage instead, into the blessing of life—a day at a time!
Romans 8:2 (NLT) “And because you belong to Jesus, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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