Do you ever feel like a Jekyll and Hyde character? Desperately wanting to do the right thing but choosing instead to do the thing that you know is detrimental to you and that you know you are going to feel guilty about at a later stage?
Do you ever wonder ‘why on earth did I say/act/do that?’
What on earth possessed me?
Why do I persist in behaving in a negative way?
We so often don’t even know our own thoughts.
You are not alone in feeling this way. God even stated it in black and white.
“For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11).
There are so many things that we battle with. Anger, being judgmental, fear, substance abuse, addictions, worry, self-worthlessness, self-pity… the list is endless.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are immediately sanctified. We are consecrated and made holy in Jesus. There is nothing we can add to that. It is through Jesus ALONE, grace ALONE that we are made holy. Our good works and good behavior cannot make us any more holy and, in fact, count for nothing towards our holiness!
Corinthians goes on to say “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” God has given us salvation and “whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit”. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
And yet, we struggle. We struggle to forgive ourselves, we struggle with addictions, we struggle with worry …
Some people who come to know the Lord are immediately set free from things that have plagued them in the past. Others are instantly, miraculously healed from an illness whilst the rest of us just continue to struggle. Terribly unfair that and it really sucks!!
And yet, Jesus said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because …He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).
There are so many of us today who are badly bruised, blinded to God’s healing power, and kept in prison through the chains we ourselves have made!
What would it mean if, instead of us praying for healing, for deliverance from an addiction/habit, for healed relationships, we asked God instead for:
the courage to seek help
the courage to admit we have an addiction
the courage to face the situation we are in
the courage to be honest with those around us
Oswald Chambers said the following about prayer, about asking God for things:
“To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying, ‘prayer changes me and then I change things.’ God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things.”
“We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.”
Fulton Oursler said:
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future”
Can you just imagine how our lives would change if we actually saw Jesus Christ crucified and identified ourselves with that crucifixion? Instead of just seeing ‘ourselves crucified’.
If we actually believed the fact that “whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit”?