Succeeding in Making Personal Changes

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Shhh! I want to tell you a secret! Don’t tell anyone this but people keep secrets. And some of those secrets are sinful things they do in hiding.

Let me state the obvious. People hide sins hoping that no one will find out. Sin can hide for a while but it eventually becomes discovered as revealed in Numbers 32:23 “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” God already knows. That’s why He’s speaking to you about change. What too many people often fail to realize is that God isn’t condemning you 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. His motive and cry is love—not condemnation!

Does God hate sin? Yes! Enough to send Jesus to die for them. Why does He? Because He loves you! And because sin hurts the sinner and others! Sin never just hurts the sinner. It always finds a way to negatively impacts others! Always! But… God does not hate you or me! God is merciful, patience and kind. For good reasons better known to Him than understood by us, He wants to help us make the changes that we already know we should make. He wants us to especially change the hidden things that we do and hide from others. He knows how they are hurting us and others. So, out of God’s love for you and for others, He keeps talking to us (if we will listen) about those changes. You know this is true! There are changes you’ve thought about making for years!

The Apostle Paul understood that change could not be accomplished through man’s will power. The power of sin is stronger than our will power. Paul, like you and I, learned that the hard way. He said, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong… When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway… Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin… For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 7:15 – 8:2 TLB)

Paul continues to reveal that this power to free us from sin resides within us—within every believer. Romans 8:3-9 TLB “… 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.)

Prior to giving my life to Jesus, I thought addiction ran in my genes. I was even told that! I believed I had no control over it. I guess in a way, it became a convenient excuse. Then I learned what Jesus did for me and that sin had no more power over me. What a wake up call that truth was! 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 were continuously running through my head saying otherwise. Over time my thinking changed and my mind was renewed to the truth of God’s word. Sinful patterns in my life were eliminated one by one and I finally saw godly character forming in me. What a wonderful day and a new chapter that was!

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 your own will power, you may have occasional marginal success, but over the long haul, not so much! Instead, lean on the Holy Spirit knowing that God is on your side. Know that His mercy is there to help you change. Lean on God’s truth and declare it over you and your life. If you apply your faith and ask and pray according to His Word and promise, your God-given ability to make serious life changes will begin to manifest. It will transform your life from destruction and bondage. It will change your character and you as a person! And those changes will lead you away from blessing stealers, and into a life of blessing and great purpose in God and being a light to others! Oh Happy Day!

Romans 8: 2 “For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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