by Pastor Tim Burt
People that sincerely desire to become conformed to the image of Jesus, have the most potential to experience His empowering grace. Grace is not only the mercy of God in your life, but it is also the supernatural help that comes from Him. Grace is the source of His power to do those things that you cannot do in your own strength in order to become partakers of His divine nature.
The devil loves when we've become enslaved to sin. He loves to see people become habitual liars. He loves to see people enslaved to pornography or in sexual immorality, smitten with sexual disease and trapped in losing relationships through the lust of sex. He loves to see people trapped in addictions or habits that waste their time doing nothing profitable instead of using their God-given gifts with great dedication, faithfulness, and commitment. Satan loves to see people waste or abuse their finances through gambling or reckless spending—digging a deeper and deeper hole that feels impossible to climb out of! He loves to inflict people with disease and then get them to believe that it’s God’s will to teach them something. After all, who is going to fight what they believe is God’s will?
Slavery to sin is what Jesus came to destroy. 1 John 3:8 KNJV says “...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
In our desire to change and become more like Jesus, it is God's grace—His supernatural help, that gives us the strength to break free from old sinful patterns that we felt enslaved by. The first chord of bondage that has to be broken is the lie that we are enslaved to sin! We are not! When you received Jesus as your Savior, Satan's power over you was broken. That truth is empowering and acknowledging it is the first step of taking back your life. Then we discover through God's word that we have His power within us—the power that sets us free and position us to discover the ability to live an entirely new life of godly desires. His grace gives us the inward strength to say yes to that which is good, and no to that which we know the Lord would have us say no to. This is the meaning behind 2 Peter 1:3-4. "God's 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."
When you decide to make changes, it would be foolish to think that the devil will simply let go without a fight. Habits, which become mental strongholds, will try to get you to repeat what you have repeated over and over for so long. But it won’t have the same strength to hold—not when you know that you've been enabled to participate in God's divine nature. Temptation is his game and he will bring it on. The difference will be this: when at that moment you look for God’s grace within you and lean upon it—God help me—you will sense it there! You just need to make the decision to receive it and walk in it. The temptations will no longer have the same power over you. You will be able so say no and let it mean no. You'll have the strength to walk away from it and do something good and appropriate instead. Do that! Make the devil pay! It’s at that time, you'll know you've changed because your faith senses God's grace and power. That is the freedom Jesus died for—for His grace and strength to give you back your life! In his strength, you can become more like Jesus and experience more and more of His divine nature through the Holy Spirit with you. It will be a force for the devil to recon with as you purposely live for God in this earth!
Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man—Adam, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign and triumph over sin and death through the one man, Jesus Christ.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt