Sunday, January 24, 2016

God, Please Change Me!

Every so often, my focus shifts to the keen awareness that nothing I do is really good enough to present to the Lord as a gift. During these times, I wonder, how much of what I do today as I serve my God and fellow mankind, will actually survive God's Quality-Control-Test by fire as described in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15?
 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have--Jesus Christ. Anyone who build on that foundation may use a variety of materials--gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames." (NLT)
The times I have brought this concern to the Lord, He has always lovingly and faithfully encourages me. Today, I wanted share with you a compilation of my conversations with God about this concern. My hope is that His words of loving-kindness will strengthen, encourage and help refocus anyone else who is having the same concern and give hope to those who are looking for help and for a solution.

My Prayer:

"Heavenly Father, I come before Your great presence in the name of Jesus Christ, to place a concern at Your feet. Father in heaven, I am concerned for the state of my heart. I am aware of my inner flaws and am concerned that what comes out of my heart may infect the service I do in Your name.
"My heart (mind and emotions) can at times be an ugly place. It can be fearful, prideful, selfish, self-deceiving, judgmental, self-serving, manipulative, frustrated, disappointed, taking offense, resentful, impatient, self-protecting, and downright lacking in trust/faith. Though my words and behavior are usually in line with my faith in Christ, I feel like I am constantly struggling with the sin nature to bring it under submission to Christ. It's an everyday battle with myself. I need to be changed even more than I already have because I want Messiah Jesus and the Holy Spirit to feel at home in my heart.
"At times I fail because I'm exhausted from my activities, or confused by switching situations, or surprised by the unexpected, or just lack the strength to follow through. I know you love me and accept me but I also know that my heart is just not good enough. It hungers and thirsts after holiness and inner righteousness. In every situation, it wants to be filled with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8-9.)  I desire to have the heart of Christ! A heart that's faithful and true. Any good works that proceed from such a heart will make it through the trial by fire on that Day when our works are judged.
"Lord, I need a changed heart! Please transform me so that Messiah Jesus can fully and freely rule in my life without any interference from the sin in my heart. I want to change to allow Messiah to rule in all my thoughts, plans, emotions and perspectives. I hunger for a much deeper walk with Messiah. In Jesus' name I pray, amen."

The Vision:

As I finished the prayer, I saw a heart shaped bubble and I had the knowledge it was in my chest. and Christ, my Savior was sitting on the throne that was at the center of the bubble and He was smiling joyfully. Something a little like this...

God's Holy Spirit:

"My grace is sufficient for you. I know you by name. I see your heart. I know your concerns. But you forget that I did not choose you for your perfection. I chose you in your disgrace while you were still in sin. I extended my hand to you and you responded by accepting My gift of salvation, grace and peace in Messiah Jesus: Salvation from the punishment for sin, grace for a life of victory, and peace to have a personal relationship with God the Father who is in heaven. This grace is My favor. I favor you, because you love me. And in spite of your shortcomings and failures, you are determined to deny your flesh, take up your cross, and to follow me. I know you inside and out--And I love you. I am pleased with you. Haven't I always stepped in and graciously helped you find your way back into My plans? You have consecrated yourself to Me and have never turned back. Now you are Mine. I will never forsake you. I will never abandon you. In that Day when you receive your resurrected, new body, you will also have a blameless heart. Every good thing that you pray for now, if you do not receive it in this life, you will receive then. So, what often seems like a "No" to you, is in reality a "Not yet."
"But just as Jesus had to live a life facing temptation, so must you. As he conquered by obeying Me, so will you because he lives inside of you. You are not fighting these flaws alone. So, do not be too discouraged by them. Atonement has already been made for you. Your mistakes have all been covered by the blood of the Lamb. And you will overcome, in Christ Jesus, by My Holy Spirit.  
"Actually, I am very pleased that you hate, renounce and reject any sin you see in yourself while still acknowledging My love for you and how precious you are to Me. You don't justify your own sin, or make excuses for it, or give in to it, or seek support to continue in it. On the contrary, you do your part battling the sin nature bravely and faithfully every day, instead of fighting with or blaming others. You never give up. You try and try, over and over again, gaining more and more insight and power, until you achieve victory. I see the hope, comfort, wisdom and joy you bring from your experiences to those around you. You are My child, a citizen of My kingdom, and these flaws are really no longer a part of you. You know that you are a new being and that as such, those flaws do not reflect who you have become. They are merely roots of old things that are vanishing--They are waging a losing war. I love what I see in you. So, be encouraged, keep up the good fight; the blood of My Lamb has made you free to become more than a conqueror. Continue running the race to win. It pleases Me every day to see your victories. They are the highlight of My day. Don't worry about the minor battles you have lost. They just help you develop better, more effective strategies for the next time. Haven't you noticed that every time you fight the same flaw you gain more self-control? That with every battle it becomes weaker and you become stronger? Focus on the big war you are winning. So, be at peace my daughter--Rejoice! I am proud of you and I delight in you."

Encouragement from Joy:

Now, my beloved brothers and sisters, I pray this fills all of you who know Christ, and who are getting to know Him more and more every day, with renewed joy and peace. 

And, for anyone else thinking...

I Want To Change My Life -- I Need Change In My Life

You might be asking yourself if this change is possible for you too. Yes it is!--It is for anyone and everyone who wants it! 

Do not feel discouraged because of all the failures you see in yourself. We all sin, every day. And no one can fix themselves on their own. It is futile to try to fix yourself before coming to Jesus. Christ did not come and died and rose to life again to condemn us. He did it to save us from our sin and from the punishment for sin, to help us live a life pleasing to God overcoming our flesh, and for us to be able to have a son/daughter relationship with Father God. We are weak but Christ is strong. He is the solution, the antidote to our sin.

We do not have the kind of ability or level of self-control needed to fix ourselves. Sure, there are tons of techniques out there we can learn to help us cope with and control much of our toxic behaviors. But only Jesus Christ can bring true, complete and lasting transformation from deep within our soul. If we surrender our will and our lives to him, he will transform us from within and this will empower us to change our behavior. We need Jesus to give us the kind of ability and self-control that we need to help us conquer sin. When Christ rules in us, his spirit produces life in us and everything inside of us begins to change. As we grow, the situations around us also begin to change.

All our sin does not go away all at once. Our struggle with sin is a daily matter. By living inside of us, Jesus Christ gives us the ability and power to be victorious as we daily battle the different areas of sin in our lives. He sets us free from being slaves to sin. A slave is a prisoner. In Christ, we are freed from the imprisonment of sin so we can victoriously grow into who God created us to be. It happens progressively--not all at once, but one day at a time. 

When I look back at who I used to be and consider how far Christ has brought me, I am amazed and I feel so blessed and happy! You too can start today on this same new path of victory in Christ and begin to experience everyday miracles and see change! When Jesus lives in you, you walk in victory!

Has this blessed you? Please let me know how, in the comments below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are much appreciated. Thank you!