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, and began to read the Bible for first time in my life, 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 change true heart changes without the help of the Holy Spirit and that was something He'd help us to little by little and day by day.
Most Christians think about changes they believe they should make continuously. The challenge is, not to become numb and callous to those godly calls to change. We don't want to suppress and bury or sweep under the carpet, yet we don't want to always feel guilt and conviction about how we are living. The only answer their is, it to pursue learning God's will for our thinking, behaviors, and His will and work toward them day by day. It is never about Him being mad at us! It is about the Lord knowing that those changes will result and a more blessed and happy life for us. He is God, He is a father, He is love, and He is the best of coaches!
Satan love and works to keep us enslaved in bondage to sin. He works to lead and tempt us into wrong thinking that become deep seeded habits, physical and psychological addictions, and so much more. He tempts us to sin, works to hold us in bondage to sin, and 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…”
God is merciful, patience and kind but for good reason, He wants change. Those things we need change in—especially the hidden things, hurt ourselves 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.)"
Prior to giving my life to Jesus, I thought addiction ran in my blood line. 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. 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, and out of His mercy 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 and into the blessing of life.
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