Return to the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.
What is (or was) your New Year resolution? Many people have resolutions at the turn of every New Year. Most last a week or a bit more…isn’t it? Some plan to lose weight, some plan to stop smoking or drinking, some plan to give up some other bad habit, some plan to be more wise in spending or saving up and some others plan to regularly go to the gym. How long these resolutions last is anyone’s guess!!
There is nothing wrong with having resolutions and giving it a go. In fact, they can be really good..….if you have the will power to consistently do it. As simple as that may sound, that exactly is the problem too isn’t it? Will Power…People boast about their will power, their strong determination to do something. Will Power is a great gift from God and sometimes it can save your life. You’ll know that’s true if you ever watched any episode of “I shouldn’t be alive” on TV. But man’s will power is really weak when it comes to giving up something pleasurable. It seems a lot more easier to give up something you don’t like anyway. It seems like we have all the will power we need when it comes to chasing after a juicy carrot dangling in front of us., (Whatever your carrot might be. For sports athletes that carrot is a medal, what's yours?). But when it comes to giving up a pleasurable habit, when it comes to giving up something we know is wrong, there seems to be a struggle. We all know, its just a matter of time before we give in. There goes the resolution…. :(
So….what’s going on here!! Why is it we find ourselves weak?....Maybe , God has an answer. And if He does, then it should be there in the bible somewhere.
Yes indeed…Read Romans 7: 15 onwards through to verse 25. “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead I do what I hate. But if I know what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law of God is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is the sin living in me that does it.” NLT
Wow! What a profound truth. Paul goes on to say “Nothing good lives in me, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I cant.” Read the rest of it. It’s fantastic.
The fact is that we are all sinful and the sin nature in us wars against our minds. This life of ours here on earth is dominated by sin and death. This war will always be there and most times we lose this battle. Could this be a reason why resolutions don’t last? We try to win a spiritual war with human strength. We come up with clever strategies and action plans, but it only goes so far. The root cause is guilt and condemnation. As long as we have guilt in us we will always lose this battle every now and then. It only takes one incident that upsets us to indulge in something we know is wrong.
Praise God, Chapter 8:1 starts off with “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life giving spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” NLT
I urge you to set you mind on Romans 8:1,2 this year. Your firm belief in the fact that Christ has set you free and that there is now no condemnation, will EMPOWER you to be free from anything you want to be free from. Nothing will have a hold on you. Keep feeding your mind that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. There is now no condemnation for you because you belong to Christ and watch yourself be filled with immense joy, gladness and most importantly, liberty from all bondage. Christ has set us free and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. You will KNOW the TRUTH and that TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.
This New Year, let your resolution be to feed your mind on Romans 8. I believe you’ll not only be free, but also begin to experience an amazing influx of revelation on the truth of the real gospel message from God’s word. This is the gospel, the Good News. We are free from sin, guilt and condemnation. We are free not because God decided to be soft on us, but because Christ His Son took ALL of our sins, (past, present, future) upon Himself and already bore the wrath of God on our behalf. That's why there is now no condemnation for us. When you get this, guilt will have no hold on you and when guilt has no hold on you, sin has no hold on you, sinful habits have no hold on you. Oh! What wonderful news. That is the gospel my friends. Blessings in abundance to you for 2013, in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.