What would you do if you were given the opportunity to start over in life? You know, wipe the slate clean, and start from scratch? What changes would you need to make? What do you think that you would do differently?
Well, I’m guessing that you’re looking at the reality of your situation, and saying, “What’s the use of wasting time thinking of all the things I’d change, or do differently, when what is done, is done!”
The truth is that opportunity is possible, and as a matter of fact, it is being offered to each of us by God! He loves us so much that He feels our frustration and pain of the past, and offers to us a future and a hope! Hear God’s words to His people, spoken through His prophet, Jeremiah: “I know the plans I have for you…plans for your welfare, not for disaster; to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”
Only God can wipe the slate of your past clean! He can take all the mistakes, all the bad choices, all the misfortune, and bring newness of life to you, and give you hope for your future! But what then? You might be thinking, “Okay; I’ve overcome the denial; I’ve confessed my need; I’ve even chosen to exercise faith in what you say that God can do for me. But what do I do with these thoughts and temptations that continue to come at me in waves?”
Well, you are now at the stage in the process of change that requires initiative on your part. You’ve accepted God’s forgiveness, and now, you need His power to overcome the struggle with temptation that you’re dealing with. You must now come to grips with the fact that spiritual battles cannot be fought with human weaponry! You need to appropriate spiritual weapons with which to fight this battle! You’re not going to change how you used to be by doing the same things you’ve always done!
The Bible talks about “resisting the devil”; the devil is the enemy of God, and now, as a child of God, he is your enemy, as well. When you became a child of God, you moved from his kingdom to being a citizen of the Kingdom of God! The devil, however, very reluctantly and very stubbornly gives up on territory that used to belong to him. He probably already has begun an all-out assault to return you to his kingdom. The idea of “resisting” him is not just a passive resistance, but is a very pro-active effort on your part. The first step in that effort is to renounce whatever it is he’s trying to tempt you with. For example, if he tempts you to go back to drinking or doing drugs, you must renounce that effort! The Bible tells us, and I firmly believe it to be true, that there is “life and death in the power of words.” What you speak has the power to give you life, or doom you to death—spiritually, and otherwise. So, I recommend audibly renouncing whatever it is that you are being tempted with. For example, when the temptation comes, audibly speak “I renounce that part of me that used to ________(You fill in the blank with whatever life-controlling issue you struggled with)! “I am no longer enslaved to that issue, and I am now a child of God!”
What you have done is take an active stance in resisting the devil! You have served notice on him that his old ploys no longer will work! He will keep trying by continuing to tempt; but as you consistently renounce [resist] him, he will eventually get the message, and you can begin to experience the life that Christ has called you to live!
Join me next time, and we’ll talk about step #2 in the Transformation process. My name is Terry, and I’ll look forward to visiting with you again!