Your Obedience is the Key to God's Work in Your Life
- Thursday, July 21, 2005
God wants to transform you more and more into Christ's likeness. But He won't force His power on you. If you're passive about your relationship with Him, you can't expect to grow. God is looking for an invitation from you. He wants you to show Him you're serious about a relationship with Him by being willing to follow wherever He leads. Only then will you experience His transforming power.
Here's how your decisions to live faithfully can invite God's transforming power into your life:
Seek true life. Don't look for life anywhere else but in a relationship with Jesus Christ, whose life is the light of humankind, revealing God the Father to us. Understand that everything necessary to create, sustain, and transform you flows through Christ. His Spirit working in you is the spirit of the perfect child toward the perfect father. Just as Christ laid down His life, decide to lay down your own life in obedience to Him, sacrificing your own agenda and embracing His plans for your life. Trust that, in doing so, you will open yourself up to a better life than you could ever hope to live on your own.
Embrace an abundant life. Remember that Christ came to supply all that you lack. Make God your all in all, and rely on His unlimited power. When you feel discouraged, weary, or doubtful, pray for the courage, strength, and faith to rouse yourself and fight rather than giving up. Decide that you won't settle for a mediocre life, but that, no matter what your circumstances, you will constantly pursue a richer and fuller life than ever before. Don't limit God's plans for you. Ask Him to keep you growing.
Deny yourself to find rewards in Christ. Decide to reject all ways of thinking that are not divinely inspired - ways that don't take God into account and don't set His will supreme as the only law of life. Choose God's ways over the ways of our fallen world. Rather than asking, "What would I like to do?," ask "What would God like me to do?" in every situation. Don't let your own ambition rule your heart. Do nothing to please other people that wouldn't please God. Don't place your trust in money or any other worldly resource. Understand that everything you have is a gift from God, and trust in God alone. Deny your fears and have faith in God's power to accomplish whatever He wants to in your life. Forsake falsehood in all its forms and pursue the living truth that can only be found in Christ. Realize that no great works or sacrifices of your own can possibly be great enough to earn you a closer relationship with God. Give God what He's really looking for - an obedient heart that is willing to do whatever He asks, every day. Then expect to experience pure joy, directly from the source of all that is good.
Break free. Don't let sin hold you a prisoner in your own life. Know that Christ died not to save us from suffering, but from ourselves, not from injustice, but from being unjust. Understand that we are all slaves to either sin or to God, but that when we're slaves to God, we're also free, because we can master sin through His help. Realize that Christ alone can break sin's destructive power over you in the midst of our fallen world. Get to know Christ, who embodies truth, and let that truth set you free by deciding to listen to His voice rather than sin's urging.
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