Changed from the Inside Out

As I learned to enter God’s rest and walk in His Spirit, I experienced intense withdrawals from my former codependent lifestyle. I acted like a schizophrenic.

 

One moment I would say or do something codependent and the next moment I would step into my new role as a Spirit-led Believer and say or do the opposite. I confused people by this dual personality.

 

Gradually, I decreased in my role as a codependent and Christ increased in me. I learned to say “No” unless God told me to say “Yes.” He taught me to let the job go undone; so others whom God was calling to that role would step up and do it instead of me.

 

I started to see and appreciate the gray hues and tones in life, rather than seeing only black or white. My flexibility increased and my rigid extremes decreased.

 

The demon of perfectionism left my soul and I found joy in the messes of life as I had more time to enjoy other pursuits, which God called me to do. I actually left dishes in the sink and went to bed.

 

God’s Spirit slowly changed my perspective from a carnal, earth-bound outlook to a spiritual, heavenly-minded one. He also healed my wounded soul, traumatized and dysfunctional since childhood and young adulthood ( http://www.theophostic.com ).

 

I released the shame and feelings of defectiveness attached to the wounds of the past and accepted His divine character and the fruit of His Spirit in their place (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for exposing Satan’s lies, which made me believe that I had to earn love by my behavior. Your Agape love opened me up to expect unconditional love from the significant others in my life. The fear, insecurity, defensiveness and over-sensitivity, which plagued my life decreased as I learned to trust You in spite of the untrustworthy people in my life.

 

You taught me the reality of the fact that You work out everything for our good, even the negative experiences in our life, which threaten to choke the very life from our soul (Roman 8:28). You trained me to look for the seed for a miracle in every trial. You are our worthy, benevolent Father and we are completely loved by You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Self-destructive behaviors – driven by frustration, anger and a wounded soul – diminish as we learn to enter God’s rest and bask in His peace and joy, which are our true source of strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

 

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The Soul’s Rest

In the Old Testament, Believers worshipped in temples of stone and mortar. Their contact with God was from the first five books of our Bible. Today, God dwells in us, not in temples made with human hands (Romans 10:9). In the New Testament, we have 66 books of God’s Word to encourage and instruct us, along with God’s Spirit within us.

 

Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which all of us, as “living stones” in His Temple, are centered (1 Peter 2:4-6). We have a deepening understanding of the reality of Christ who dwells in us (Colossians 1:27). This reality changes our outlook on life and affects our body, soul and spirit. We enter God’s rest forever (Hebrews 4:9-10).

 

God rested after He created the universe. Jesus rested after carrying the burden of our sin to the cross. Now, we can rest from serving God through compulsion. Instead, we serve Him from a place of love. The doorway to this rest is through total surrender to God’s will and to Christ in us, which is our hope of living in glory both now and in eternity (Colossians 1:27).

 

Our humanity is dead and we are a new creation with Christ living in and through us. We decrease so that He can increase (John 3:30). We cease from our human striving and follow God’s Spirit through every moment of every day (Galatians 5:16-25). Our ultimate rest will be when we leave this sin-cursed world behind and live instead in the Kingdom of Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8).

 

Until then we dwell in Christ, as Christ abides in us. We die with Christ and He raises us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). We live by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2). We seek His will and He directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). The peace of God rules in our hearts (Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us not to strive in our life, but to submit our will to Yours each and every day. Help us to accomplish the works, which You prepared for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Bring people our way to whom we can share Your love and give us the boldness to proclaim to them Your truth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Yoke up with Jesus and find rest for your soul. – Matthew 11:29