The Divine Life

The divine nature of Christ was not changed when the Word became flesh (John 1:14). He was fully human and still fully divine.

 

All the fullness of the triune God resides within Christ, and Christ dwells within the spirit of every Born Again Believer (Colossians 2:9). We are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, which resides within each of us (1 Corinthians 3:16).

 

Therefore, all the fullness of the triune God dwells within each authentic Christian. We often struggle with our human and spiritual natures, which war against one another.

 

However, we learn obedience through the things that we suffer, just as Jesus did (Hebrews 5:8). Even though we dwell in a mortal body, we are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

 

We are transformed by God’s Holy Spirit who renews our mind until we have the mind of Christ, and who enables us to absorb the truth of the Word of God (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5, 4:8).

 

Through regeneration we come to identify, understand and seek after the things of God. We live a fulfilled life of faith, love and complete holiness, absorbed in the presence of God.

 

We have the divine nature of Christ within us (Colossians 3:3). As our life decreases, His divine nature in us increases (John 3:30; Acts 17:28). This makes a huge difference in how we face life and what we accomplish in it.

 

We have more faith, because of God’s faithfulness to us. We have more power because we cease living in our own efforts. We enjoy God’s divine presence within us, because we know that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, never let us feel superior or prideful because You dwell within us. Humble us in Christ’s humility and remind us that it is only through Christ that we can accomplish anything good (Romans 7:18). You are the Vine and we are the branches, and You cut off any branch that does not bear the fruit of Your Spirit (John 15:2-5).

 

We cling to You with our whole being, knowing that this world holds nothing for us without You. You are our motivation, our success and our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We meditate on Your Word day and night, and we find our only source of life within the verses on each page.

 

Thought for the Day:

As Believers we grow to enjoy the divine nature of Christ, free from the passion of sin and loving only what He loves. – Romans 6:6; 1 John 4:4; Galatians 5:22

 

 

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Healing Relationships – Part 3

Any time that we give power over our self-worth to another person, rather than to God alone, we are making that person an idol in our life.

As we discover our healthy self-worth in Christ, based on knowing His Word and how He feels about us, then we can follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in forming safe relationships.

We will still experience negative feelings, such as hurt, fear, anger, loneliness, etc. These feelings are an integral part of life, and they come with the human experience.

It is impossible to love without opening our self up to be hurt. When we choose to love someone, we are giving him/her the power to love us and to look to us to be loved.

However, we can love without also giving them the power to hurt us or to allow their words and actions to cause us to feel insecure, angry or frightened.

When someone’s words or behavior trigger a negative reaction in us, this is a sign that something is very wrong. We can take that negative emotion to God and ask Him to reveal the origin of this sensitivity in us.

There may be an unresolved conflict from our past, which is still very much alive in our subconscious mind; or it may rise from some current situation that is causing this negative feeling. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we submit to God’s healing, these slights and rejection no longer have the power to devastate us like they used to, because we have a spiritual perspective now.

God helps us to resolve our negative feelings, and we have peace within once again. At the same time, we can keep communication open between our self and others.

We can even mention, in a non-accusatory manner, that their behavior or words triggered a fearful or hurtful reaction in us. However, we do not have to attack them or cause a negative reaction in them, just because we are hurt.

Prayer:
Father God, it is so difficult to heal emotionally once we are in a caustic relationship. Our mate expects us to act as we always do. They feel threatened and confused as we start to change.

Remind us to share with them what we are learning and how we are changing, so they will not be surprised by any sudden transformation in our behavior. Create in both of us a clean heart that lives only to serve You in this life.

Thought for the Day:
The best motivation for mutual change in a relationship is to realize that change gives us a better connection.

For more information on our identity in Christ read:
http://fulfilledchristianlife.blogspot.com/2015/02/normal-0-our-identity-in-christ-alone.html

A Life of Change

A relationship with Christ changes our whole life. Our nature, desires, friends, spirituality and lifestyle will all change. Sometimes, it even changes our address, family dynamics, church attendance, values, goals and dreams. The biggest change comes in the form of who we are. We are brethren, related to other Believers; and children of the Light, adopted into God’s family.

Satan attempts to convince us that we are still sinners. We even call our self “sinners, saved by grace.” This cripples our walk with God and keeps us tied to the earthly realm. Our focus is negative, which does not allow us to live in victory over sin. We subconsciously think that we have no recourse but to sin. Satan cripples our walk with this lie (John 10:10).

The devil wants us to believe that we have not changed, that God is not real and that the Christian walk is ridiculous or impossible. However, God is the author of sweeping transformation. He changes us at our very core, and His power has a positive effect on our daily walk, as well as our eternal destination. We can certainly resist sin, because it no longer appeals to us.

God turns us into Saints who walk away from sin and toward Christ. We leave a world that is dark in disobedience and deprivation and walk toward the light of the Lord (Ephesians 5:8). Our spirit, once dead in sin, is now Born Again (Colossians 2:13). We no longer struggle with our identity, because we see our self as a child of God (1 John 3:2). We have value in our relationship with Him.

Prayer:
Father God, when Christ moves into our life, He radically changes our motivation and behavior. Your Spirit gives us the desire and the power to walk in holiness (Philippians 2:12-13). Our character takes on Your divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). The fruit of Your Spirit replaces the negative characteristics of our personality (Galatians 5:22-23). We live and move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
We build on salvation with sanctified living and we reach for the prize of the high calling of Christ. – Philippians 3:14

No Higher Honor

Have you ever met a “control freak”? They attempt to subjugate the people and events around them. Some of them desire to wield power. Others are insecure and endeavor to control their environment to ensure their safety. A third type of control freak was oppressed as a child; and, as an adult, vowed never to allow that to happen again.

The greatest problem with control freaks is that they are rebellious to God’s authority in their life. They do not seek His will, but they make their own plans and move mountains to attain them. Some of them manipulate, demand, steal and finagle to get their own way. Their motivation is to preserve their concept of their own self-worth, because their value comes from their achievements (Colossians 2:8).

Control freaks actually believe that God let them down; therefore, they must make their own way in life. Satan reinforces this confusion by using commercials, billboards, social media, office politics, family expectations and a host of other worldly standards to force the unwitting to base their value on earthly concepts.

The problem is that even the richest, most powerful, successful and beautiful people in the world never really believe they have attained the pinnacle of acceptance they so crave. The devil convinces them that they are actually unlovable and unacceptable in order to keep them on the rungs of that illusive ladder of success.

They even perceive rejection from others when it is not there. A muddle of inferiority, hopelessness, insignificance and self-criticism overwhelms them. It is only in the very center of God’s will that we find our true joy and contentment (Philippians 4:11-13). He redeemed us from our sinful lifestyle and adopted us into His very own family (1 John 3:1). There is no honor in life higher than this.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for creating us with Your purpose in mind (Psalm 139:13; Ephesians 2:10). You gave each of us gifts and talents, which we need in order to accomplish Your will for our life (Romans 12:6). There is no need for us to strive to achieve success that is out of Your will for us. Even when we accomplish our goals, they will ring empty and hollow. Thank You for adopting us as Your children. Help us to find our worth only in our relationship with You.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Biblical principles are our standard and give us wisdom for living; apart from Him we are nothing. – John 15:5

Filled with God’s Spirit – Part 2

Once we surrender possession of our life to God’s Holy Spirit, our total motivation in life changes. We are directed each moment of the day to walk in the center of God’s Will. The still, small voice within us whispers our marching orders (Isaiah 30:20-21). The Spirit permeates our life and dictates our thoughts, words and deeds (Romans 8:14).

If what we hear contradicts the Word of God, we never act on it (John 16:8-11). Satan is an angel of light and His whole purpose in life is to deceive. He will give us promptings that will lead us to a ruined life. God’s Word is our measuring rod to gauge what we hear (John 16:12-15). God’s Spirit will never oppose His Word.

The power of God’s Spirit within us allows us to make wise choices for our life, to live by Godly principles and stewardship, to have a word for the weary in due season (Isaiah 50:4) and to witness to people in every situation, which God provides for us (Acts 1:8). Through God’s Spirit we have a new song in our heart (Psalm 96:1).

We speak to one another in spiritual songs, giving continual thanks to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19-21). God’s Spirit teaches us God’s ways, conforms us to the image of Christ’s divine nature and keeps us on a solid footing on the rocky road of life (Romans 8:29; Psalm 27:11; 2 Peter 1:4). God’s Spirit is our guarantee and assurance that God abides in us (1 John 4:13; Romans 8:16).

Prayer:
Father God, if we follow the vain idols, which this world offers to us, our heart will faint away and we will end up in desolation. Only You give us Your eternal life and salvation (Jonah 2:7-9). Teach us to continually walk by Your Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). Help us to hear Your Spirit and to walk in Your statutes (1 Kings 8:61), and to memorize Your Word and to hide it in our heart, so that we will never sin against You (Psalm 119:11; Acts 20:22-23).

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit will teach us God’s ways, so that we can have faith in His faithfulness, and walk through life with our focus on the glory of His name. – Psalm 86:11

Serving One Another

The work of God’s Spirit within us depends upon our cooperation with Him. We cannot produce fruit without His presence in us; but He cannot produce fruit in us, if we are not willing to surrender every area of our life to Him. As the Spirit gives us God’s character and special gifts, we use them to serve one another (1 Corinthians 12:4).

The Holy Spirit enables us, by the grace of God, to be good managers of His diverse gifts within us (1 Peter 4:10). God instructs us to care for others, but He also cautions us to care for our needs as well (Matthew 22:39; Philippians 2:3-6). If we neglect our own salvation, or our physical, emotional and mental needs, then we will have no resources to share with others.

We will run out of emotional and physical energy. We will end up bitter and resentful, because we will do all of the serving. It is important for us to care for our self too. Some believe it is selfish to care for our self. I used to think that as I served others, they would serve me, and both our emotional tanks would be full.

This put an undue burden on others to give to me as much as I gave to them. They did not have the resources within them to do this, so we all ended up losing. My expectations were constantly disappointed and I battled to keep myself encouraged and motivated to continue serving anyway. What I finally learned was that codependence with other people is an illness.

We are to depend only on God in our life. We are to obey His Spirit’s direction each moment of the day. If we serve someone, without His direction, we may divert God’s dealings in that person’s life. As we function in God’s spiritual anointing, we never run out of energy to serve those to whom God leads us to minister. We can even meet our own needs as God’s Spirit brings them to our attention.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to rely on You for every need in our life. Please encourage us with the truth that it is acceptable to ask for our needs to be met too, and to meet our own needs if no one else will. Help us to make friends who will bring blessings into our life rather than those who suck the life right out of us. Teach us to erect boundaries for those toxic people who attempt to take advantage of us. Remind us that we should minister to others only as Your Spirit directs us throughout the day. We will show the love of Christ to others as You make a way, not as our human compassion demands.

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Believers dwell in, exhibit and function from the righteousness and holiness of God in our service to those God brings our way.

Walking in the Spirit

God’s Spirit motivates us to live a liberated and active life, which is centered on spiritual matters. Yet, the sinful, self-centeredness that dominated our life prior to coming to Christ still interferes with our ability to walk in God’s Spirit. These contrary desires war within our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – and pull us in two opposing directions at the same time (Galatians 5:16-26; Romans 7).

There is no way to reconcile these two areas of thought and behavior, because the Spirit fuels the one and the flesh drives the other one. The good news is that once we are truly Born Again, God breathes His life into our spirit within us, which joins forces with our soul and influences our behavior. His constant presence within enables us to walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh (Galatians 5:18).

If we live by the flesh, we are motivated by the destructive behavior of impure thoughts; immoral pleasures; demonic practices; placing people, things and activities before God; hatred and bitterness, anger and jealousy, complaining and criticism, exclusivity and intolerance; worthless worship; alienation; ruthless rivalry; making enemies; addictions and frenzied grasping at illusive goals (Galatians 5:19).

Even authentic Christians can decline morally and fall back into compromised living. If we use our freedom in Christ for this type of behavior, it bars us from the gates of God’s Kingdom (Galatians 5:20). However, if we choose to live according to Godly principles and wisdom, He brings fruitful blessings into our life (1 John 3:9, 1:9). Holiness allows God’s spiritual fruit to permeate our life (Galatians 5:21-22).

Desiring to have our own way or to follow the crowd is no longer part of our thought process. Self-effort is useless; it only hinders our walk with God. Our human nature is crucified with Christ and our new spiritual conviction turns into submission and obedience to Him (Colossians 3:3-4). Our life flows from God’s will and requires little effort on our part (Galatians 5:23-24). We have God’s love, power and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for preparing our salvation before You ever created the world. You knew that our stubbornness and pride would prevent us from submitting to Your will before You ever created the first person. However, You also knew that some hearts would be humbled by life, and would eventually reach the point that we realize that we need You both now and for eternity. Thank You for crucifying the Lamb before time even began (Revelation 13:8).

Thought for the Day:
Our life in the Spirit is not an ethereal concept or a sentimental attitude but a reality, which infiltrates every area of our life. – Galatians 5:25-26