“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” ~Luke 5:32
How can we ever really change? First off, we must admit that we need changing—that we are sinners—then the answer is quite simple, ask! God gives us a very easy way to change our hearts. He will fill us with a desire to change into the person He created us to be once we admit that we need and want to change. He will enable us to finally let go of our reoccurring sins, as well as our overwhelming desire to control everything.
God loves us and truly wants to help us. He will show us the iniquity that we hide deep in our hearts, and then it’s on us to surrender it up to Him to remove.
We must become obedient if we want Him to hear our prayers. If we choose to hold onto our savored sins, better known as iniquity, we’ve made a choice . . . a very bad choice. We must learn to choose Him over sin.
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” ~Psalm 66:18
Giving up iniquity all on our own is impossible, we will do nothing but run in circles trying to shed our old ways. I compare it to rowing a boat without putting the oars in the water. Yes, we’re rowing, but we sure aren’t getting anywhere. It's the same thing when we're trying to stop doing what we know we should be doing. We must surrender. It’s all about turning in our old (effort filled) ways that don't work, for His (effortless) way that does work.
Once we become willing to see that our way doesn’t work we can finally become supercharged. For Pete’s sake, put your oars in the water and get turbocharged with God’s almighty power! Only by surrendering to God will we ever be able to walk in His footsteps.
“I will give you a new heart and a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” ~Ezekiel 36:26-27
I used to think that surrendering to God was the equivalent of a lobotomy, that I would lose my unique personality—my thoughts—my very essence. But the truth of the matter is the complete opposite. When we surrender to God we are empowered to become all that God has created us to be.
The only thing we lose is the trash that Satan is stuffing into our heads . . . the fear, doubt, anger, and lies. Surrender is the secret to peace and the only way to achieve freedom from the devil’s bondage of sin.
Even though I surrendered to God many years ago, I still have to re-surrender all over again every morning. Some days I find myself in such a state of panic that I have to literally force myself to stop trying to control things, and just let go. Only then can I truly surrender and allow Him to take charge.
I must die to self daily—hourly, if need be—some days it’s literally a minute by minute effort. But I've learned that this is what I have to do to get through, to get out of God’s way so He can fix the messes I make.
This life is like a pancake, we get to choose which side is up, we get to choose who we will listen to, God or Satan. It’s either one or the other— just like the pancake—you can’t have both sides up at the same time.
The apostle, Paul, put it very well when he said, I die daily. We must die daily to our carnal desires . . . lust, greed, envy, and most importantly, control. We must die to sin in any form, no matter how much it tugs at us. Only through accepting that choosing sin, any sin, no matter how small it might be, is choosing to sever our connection with God. He won’t force Himself on us. He won’t take our free will away from us, even if it means losing us forever.
You’d think by now I would've learned to stop trying to steer my life. I know that God is in control and will do a much better job than me, but I still find myself grabbing the wheel. When will I learn? On my own I will fail, I will succumb to sin, but with His empowerment I will have the victory every time.
We must learn how to be over-comers. We must allow God to work in us so that we can overcome evil with good. Once the Holy Spirit of God resides in us, we can do anything. We are God’s people, His chosen people, we are spiritual Israel.
The term spiritual Israel is a reference to the entire body of Christian believers. We, the faithful followers of Jesus, are the children of promise. Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are His heirs.
“And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” ~Galatians 3:29
We can all become overcomers! The term overcomer represents a spiritual victory over sin, just as spiritual circumcision implies a cutting off from sin.
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.” ~Colossians 2:11
However, we must remember that on our own we will surely fail, but with God’s empowerment we can, and will overcome sin! We must surrender and allow God to give us a new heart, only then can we give Him our whole heart.
“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” ~Jeremiah 24:7
Now that we’ve discovered how to surrender in order to change… join me next week as we ask; How do I stay changed?
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