Winds of Change

My child, the winds of change are blowing through this coming season. It will look as though all is lost, but hang on. This is just the beginning. Wait and watch My mighty hand of deliverance. Do not look around at the impossible. I am God who created you. I am God who created this world. I will never be silenced. I will never be defeated. “Look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

Sold into Bondage to Sin

I doubt that Paul had huge personal problems with sin. Still, he had the wisdom to realize what lived on in his flesh—this “bondage to sin,” as he describes it. He knew that pride—the underlying root of all sin—remained a powerful enemy which could resurface at any moment. Even though he had become that new creature in Christ, Paul makes it very clear that he carried his old man—his flesh—into his new life in the Lord.

It’s a problem for us, isn’t it. Regardless, Paul totally understood the issue: “It’s not really me doing it, “but sin which dwells in me.” Instead of finding fault with who we have now become in Christ, Paul lays the blame for this weakness at sin’s door. Yet it’s not “the devil made me do it” syndrome. It’s simply me: “I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.”

From Free from the Power of Sin: the Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself

The Challenge of Besetting Sin

Besetting sin is one our most daunting challenges. It’s the kind of sin that doesn’t happen once or twice, but a recurring problem you just can’t seem to conquer. When I received Christ, much of my sinful behavior simply seemed to drop off. I just didn’t have a problem with certain things anymore. But other weaknesses persisted, causing me to fall into the same old sin time and again. “Well, you had the choice,” you might say. I sure did! But because the temptations seemed so overwhelming, I kept making the wrong choice.

Why would God give me instant relief from some weaknesses, while allowing others to remain? It’s because of choice. The weakness of our flesh presents us with choices to make. It’s simply a part of God’s plan. We have a rocky road to travel. And our choices along the way reveal a lot about our faith.

Joy and Strength

My child, as you surrender yourself to Me more and more, I will open the doors I have for you to walk through. I will lead you by My Holy Spirit as you yield yourself to Me. Listen to My voice, not the many voices of the world or satan. Keep your eyes on Me alone. Rest in My Presence. Joy and strength will flood your soul as you set your heart and mind on Me. 

The Secret to Moving Forward

Jesus wants us to be constantly moving forward with Him. Discovering God’s purpose for our life is kind of like driving a car. It’s impossible to steer a car that’s standing still, but easy to maneuver once you give it the gas. Yet being in motion isn’t the only issue; reliable steering is also vital to our progress. We must not only step out, but be willing to be steered if we are ever to get where we need to go.

It’s like a ship on the open sea. If its rudder is broken, it doesn’t matter if the engine is pushing it forward.  It will drift wherever the wind carries it. Thus shipwreck is unavoidable. But if the ship can be steered while under power, its direction can be changed at key navigation points, bringing it safely to harbor—even if it starts out heading in the wrong direction.

Intimacy With God

What does intimacy with God look like? Spending time with Him. Talking and listening to Him. Giving yourself completely to Him. Worshiping Him. Thanking Him. Praising Him. Believing Him. Obeying Him. Allowing Him to have His way with you. What does intimacy with God look like to you?

My Timing

My child, My timing is perfect. You can always trust Me. Never allow the present circumstances dictate your faith in Me. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Finally Fed Up with Failure

Can we bear fruit without being personally transformed? Yes, if we’re willing to settle for a skimpy crop. But we won’t be successful in producing what Jesus wants—“much fruit.” God wants to see us radically changed. And since we know we can’t transform ourselves, He must have a method to bring it about. God has His part in the process, and we’ve got ours.

If transformation is ever to happen, we must cooperate with God as He goes about working in our life. For us, it’s all about choice! But we often have to come to the end of ourselves—finally fed up with failure—before we are able to make that commitment. You may be at that point in your life right now! If so, unconditionally give yourself over to God, and then take action by walking in obedience. Remember, this is a choice we make day by day.

From Free from the Power of Sin: the Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself

Immersing Yourself in God

A fruitful relationship with Jesus can never be built only by attempting to obey God. Though obedience certainly has its place, relationship based on it alone will never succeed. Genuine fruitfulness can be achieved only one way: immersing ourselves in the very life of His Spirit—communing with God. Jesus wants us to “abide in Him.”

But how do we do this? First and foremost, personal time spent with God is indispensable. On a human level, have you ever heard of a strong relationship being built without the investment of time spent together? Genuine friendship is impossible without such a commitment. Just like in any human relationship, our bond with God depends on personal interaction. And it needs to be a two-way street—not only speaking to God, but also listening with the expectation that He intends to speak back. It often happens as we meditate in Scripture.