From Self-Effort to Christ-Reliance

Living in this world apart from Christ is wearisome at best. Even as Believers we embrace the false doctrine that we have to try harder and strive more to please God and to grow spiritually.

We struggle from day to day and almost never awaken without some trepidation over what will happen to us next. Trouble seems to happen in “threes,” and we are always waiting for the next shoe to drop.

We think of these trials as building character in us and transforming us into the image of Christ; so we patiently continue to prod along making the best of every negative circumstance.

Most of us need a breaking point in our life in order to step over the line from self-effort to Christ-reliance. Therefore, trials are actually like the Law – designed to bring us to the end of our self and to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24-26).

God encourages us to take our focus off our competent human abilities or our mortal frailty, and to concentrate on the reality of Christ in us instead (Colossians 1:27; Colossians 3:3-4; Galatians 2:20).

As we do, we start to live a victorious life apart from human effort and understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). We enter into rest in God’s presence, which provides us with deep inner peace and fulfillment regardless of our circumstances (Hebrews 4:10).

Jesus delivers us from the bondage of every negative emotion, wound and issue we experience, and brings us astounding joy which defies description and is full of His glory (1 Peter 1:8; James 1:2-18).

God’s Spirit helps us to see our problems as adventures rather than as challenges. Our supply for each circumstance, and the wisdom to deal with it come from Christ in us, our only hope for success (Colossians 1:27).

God orchestrates every nuance of our life. His abundant light overcomes the densest gloom. His power and majesty slay every demon in spiritual darkness, which comes against us (1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3; Daniel Chapters 9 and 10).

As we decrease, He increases (John 3:30). We exhibit more and more of Christ’s divine nature and we never, ever leave His presence (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

His Spirit leads us moment by moment in the center of His will for our life, transforms our character with the nature of Christ, and replaces our carnality with the fruit of His Spirit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, nothing this world has to offer can take the place of Your goodness and grace. When the issues of life become more than we can bear, we sit on Your lap and snuggle in the safety of Your arms. This provides us with a ring-side seat to view the seed for a miracle, which You place within every trial, as it sprouts into fruition.

You designed salvation so that abiding in Christ is accomplished by one swift act of total surrender. It may take a deep trial, a layoff from work, rejection from a mate or a week-end retreat; but when our soul finally yearns for You alone, we readily relinquish our will to Yours.

Thought for the Day:
We no longer work out our own issues in life using God’s strength to fuel our human effort, because we come to the realization that we can live life only as His Spirit leads each moment of our day and provides us with the desire, wisdom and strength to walk in the center of His will. – Philippians 2:12-13

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God’s Truth or Satan’s Consequences

There is no mystery in life for the Born Again Believer. The Spirit will prompt us each moment as we ask for His direction, wisdom, insight and inspiration in every task we face. The Bible teaches us about nine fruit, which the Holy Spirit gives to us as He chooses (Galatians 5:22-23). He also gives us gifts for the benefit of God’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:7, 31; 14:1,39).

The Spirit also protects us from the devil, who roams the earth seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) to deceive us and to sidetrack us from experiencing God’s Truth. His counterfeit tactics will give us the impression that what we are experiencing is from God, when it is actually drawing us away from God.

One way to detect whether an experience is from God is if it brings peace or confusion. Satan is the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you hunger after more of God, then you are safe. If you want more of a person or a certain experience, then it is Satanic. If your experience does not align with God’s Word or if you feel a red flag in your spirit, don’t walk away…run!

God inspires us to go deeper into His Word while Satan encourages us to spend more time on our self and to neglect God’s Word, our family and our church family. As we sit in God’s presence and walk in His Will, then His Spirit empowers us to do the works, which God chose for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). As we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we commune with God throughout the day.

Prayer:
Father God, give us discernment by Your Spirit to know when something is of You or Satan’s counterfeit. In these last days, he wants to draw away as many people from You as he can. He is sending false prophets into the world to preach a false doctrine and to cause people to focus on their self instead of on You. Help us to relinquish everything in our life, which hinders us from growing in our relationship with You. Remind us to walk in Your truth each moment of the day, so that we do not reap the consequences of an evil life.

Thought for the Day:
Doing things God’s way is much more productive than doing them to the best of our human ability.