How would you like to have abundant life in 2009? It is offered as a gift to all believers in Christ, however many of us leave this gift unclaimed.
It is like living in a house wired for electricity, but never flipping on the light switch. So you stumble around in the dark, falling down, getting banged, and ending up bruised.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Turn on the light in your life with the reminder of 1 Corinthians 6: 19:20:
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
The key to experiencing life abundantly is remembering that when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you entered into an agreement with God: In exchange for forgiveness of your sins and receiving everlasting life, you agreed to make Jesus Christ Lord of your life. You agreed that you no longer belong to yourself, but you were bought and paid for with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Then, you became a new creation: the Holy Spirit came to live within you…the Spirit of Life.
The Holy Spirit gives us power to become all that God designed us to become and obey his will. However, our old nature still lives within us too. That old nature contains all the inclinations of the flesh: envy, jealousy, hatred, sexual immorality, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, and drives of excess like drunkenness and gluttony.
The Spirit of Life can give us power to subdue the old nature and guide us into a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. However, to receive this wonderful gift, we must be willing to humble ourselves, submit to his leading, and obey his direction.
And that is what the old nature fights against. It is hostile to the things of God. Two attitudes are the hallmark of this old nature: “You can’t tell me what to do” and “I want what I want when I want it.”
In the Garden of Eden, Eve was tempted to sin because in spite of God taking care of her every need, she did not want to follow Him, but instead wanted to take the reins of control herself (see Genesis 3: 1-6).
The “I want what I want when I want it” attitude lives in the story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob asked Esau to trade his birthright, a double portion blessing that Esau was entitled to as the oldest son, for a mere bowl of stew Jacob had prepared. Esau was hungry at the time and without barely a thought traded in a double, permanent blessing for a pleasure that would be digested quickly and eliminated from his body (see Genesis 25: 29-34). He came to regret what he did later but by then it was too late.
Don’t live a life of regrets over what you might have had and become: Resolve in the coming year that you will allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to live a life that honors God. Resolve to be:
Courageous: Being honest with God in prayer about your weaknesses and trusting him to strengthen you to handle them. Also being quick to confess your sins, repent of them (change your heart and mind toward them), put them away, and receive forgiveness.
Steadfast: Recognizing that your old nature never goes away, but you will stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has set you free and you will never entangle yourself again in a yoke of bondage.
Humble: The origin of the “You can’t tell me what to do” attitude is Pride. And God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. So you must be willing to surrender your will to God and allow Him to direct your life. He will teach you through the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you pray, study His word, and seek His face.
So keep this scripture in mind in 2009: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” Romans 8: 5-6
To help you on this path, there is a free resource available that I believe will richly bless you as you learn about the Holy Spirit and the abundant life his leading can bring you.
Operation Good Shepherd: The Holy Spirit
May you receive a double portion blessing as you pursue the path of life and peace in the coming year!