If we desire to live our lives close to the Spirit of God, we need to be quick to humble ourselves and not make excuses for giving way to our fleshly desires and bad attitudes. Our resistance to the Holy Spirit’s conviction hinders His ability to lead and guide us in the way; whereas, our humility to receive the correction and convicting work of the Spirit will bring us more grace: “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). Whenever you catch yourself justifying something that the Holy Spirit is showing you to be wrong, know that the enemy is busy trying to get you to rely on yourself rather than God’s intimate presence and power. To walk closely in step with the Spirit of God, you will have to resist self, sin, and Satan.
Paul the apostle, in his letter to the church at Rome, wanted to help the believers there with the same difficulties we face. He taught them that there is 1) Something we must know, 2) Something we must consider, and 3) Something we must present. Let’s look at those three:
1) Something We Must Know
3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?... 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin… 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him (Romans 6:3, 6, 9).
Hosea, the prophet said that God's people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). I want to emphasize again that we cannot lose our salvation if we have been born again; we are secure in His love (John 10:28). It is possible, though, to be completely ignorant as to how to draw on God's grace and power to overcome sin, self, and Satan. We are called to be overcomers. In the Book of Revelation, in each letter to each church, the Lord said, “to him who overcomes…” (Revelation 2-3). God expects us to overcome self, sin, and Satan. To do that, we need God’s tools to overcome with the Word of God being our chief weapon—the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
Do you know and believe what Christ accomplished for you when He died and rose again? This belief is paramount to living a life in tune with the Spirit and empowered for ministry. If you are not firm in this knowledge, the enemy will quickly condemn you and rob you of the authority you have in Christ. Jesus tasted death for us and was raised to newness of life. When Paul wrote the above scripture, he states that we are baptized into Christ’s death (v. 3), this is a spiritual transformation that has taken place in the heavenly realms. The word baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo, which speaks of identification. It was a term used for dying cloth. When the fabric was dipped, it was transformed. We too are changed by this baptism into Christ and His Body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:13). Christ's victory over sin was our victory. You may not feel victorious, but by faith, regardless of your feelings, you need to understand what Christ accomplished for you and know that He obtained this victory for you to walk in, not just to mentally comprehend, but to live in the power of this truth. To keep these meditations short, let’s think tomorrow about 2) Something We Must Consider or Count On, and 3) Something We Must Present. Keith Thomas
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