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 and foremost change that the spirit of each and every person yearns and cries out for in their life, even though all do not recognize it, is to be forgiven and loved by God. From there, the ongoing desire is to become Christ-like. This is an inner yearning not yet clear to those who do not know God. It is a desire instilled by God within every human being. This is what puts every human being on a search for the answers to questions like, “Who am I?” and “Why am I Here?” Those questions will never be understood or answered correctly until a person surrenders their life to Jesus Christ! And when that happens, so does change!
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, God’s nature working in and through us, through faith. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, who comes to live within every believer of Christ. Everyone learns the hard way, if at all that they cannot live the way they should without the help of the Holy Spirit. This is why people in this world spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with weight loss, chemical addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction, and on and on. They struggle to control themselves. What they don’t know is that people who are not surrendered to Christ are under the influence and power of Satan. That power and influence can only be broken by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is where God’s supernatural strength and help come from and where transforming change happens.
I read a piece of research 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 lives. Why is that? Because without God, the power to be completely transformed 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, 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 which is called a stronghold. That could best be understood as a wrong desire within a person that they 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 desire 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 is why alcoholics, sex offenders, criminals, liars, and law-breakers repeat their offenses 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 says, “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 heart’s daily reality. When it does, you then continuously lean upon the Lord for help in everything. Because you do, you will immediately begin to draw His supernatural strength and help through the Holy Spirit.
How do we begin to lean on God and draw that strength? By discovering and putting your faith in 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 His help through the Holy Spirit, 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 to. 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, and it’s God’s desire for you! You can do 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.”
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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