Surrender

Quenched

Have you ever asked for something, but then changed your mind when you received it?

Throughout the walk of a believer, inevitably we will ask God to change us. There is a pure desire within the heart of us to become like Jesus. Our prayers beg God to remove things within us that don’t please Him. We pray for development of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Subtle changes appear, and faith is increased. There is a transformation happening.

But then the flesh notices the change. Something is off. It’s territory is threatened, and it will not go silently into the night. Our flesh starts to put up a fight. As Matthew 26:41 says, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We start to resist the work of the Holy Spirit. We cover our ears, pretending not to hear His whispers. The slow fade begins. We return to our sin. 1 Peter 2:22 is so blunt as to compare it to a dog returning to it’s own vomit. Instead of resting easy in the newness of the Spirit, we prefer the dingy familiarity of our old nature. Why do we not remain?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 

God is an all consuming fire…but He won’t spread if we keep snuffing Him out.

Yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit is what will truly bring breakthrough, power & freedom in our lives. This means laying down our will…our stubborn, hard-headed wills. Deep down, we know that we don’t know it all. God is not at all put off by any of this. In fact, He wants to use that weakness to display His power in our lives. His best work is done through broken vessels. Ones who have surrendered and admitted that they need Him, and that His ways are higher. If we will allow Him to have His way, imagine what He could do through us.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” – Galatians 5:16

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:4


“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Phillipians 1:6


“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” – Romans 7:15

 

 

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There’s Holiness to be Had

What do you think of when you hear the word “holy”?

Most people will apply it strictly towards God & His character. Some will immediately have the image of nuns & priests appear in their heads. Rarely do we consider ourselves in regards to holiness. Some think it’s an unattainable goal for them, something out of reach. “Only certain people were created for that”. We use the excuse “I’m human” and remain comfortable where we are.

This mentality is hindering the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. There is holiness to be had.

Throughout the Word, God has a consistent message: Be holy. That word hasn’t changed because of the times we live in. Times change, but God remains the same…yesterday, today & forever. Jesus is not a trend. This world will pass away, but His Kingdom won’t. His ways are not our ways…but they can be. We can be on the same page He is. His agenda for our lives can become ours if we allow Him to show us His way. God doesn’t call us to be something without providing a way and enabling us to rise to the occasion.

There is certain surrender when you answer the call to holiness in your life. When you are aligning your will with His, there will be guaranteed sacrifices. It may even be uncomfortable, but not beyond what you’re able to bear. The Holy Spirit will strengthen you to handle the change, and He will give you wisdom to discern what His preference is in daily situations.

Holiness is not the expectation of perfection. Jesus knows & understands that we can never be perfect even if we tried. His patience with us is very vast. He encountered every temptation known to man. He knows exactly what we face and how we feel. Don’t feel pressured to be perfect. But don’t resist the work He will do in your life…no matter how hard it is.

Not everyone will accept who you are becoming.  Expect adversity when you start the journey to holiness. The dynamic of some relationships may change…even those of the same belief. It may surprise you who doesn’t respond to the new you. Don’t take it personal. Stay the course, and show love & grace in the process. You may be the one the Holy Spirit is using to teach them.

You will have new desires & interests. You will lose interest in the things of this world. It doesn’t mean you don’t have fun, or become boring. Your main interest will be Jesus, and all paths to Him. What you watch, listen to and read will start to change. You develop an unquenchable thirst for anything related to Him. He becomes your magnificent obsession.

The closer you get to Jesus, the more you become like Him. The more you become like Him, the more peace you will feel. The fight between your spirit & your flesh gets easier because it’s not a losing battle anymore. The spirit in you is now stronger, and the driving force is Jesus. The flesh will still be a reality until the day of His return, but it’s no longer calling the shots.

God loves us too much us to leave us how He found us. His ultimate goal is to make us like His son, Jesus. He’s preparing us for His Kingdom. Jesus is returning any minute now. You are the reason He is coming back. He is coming to bring you Home. Let yourself be found eagerly awaiting Him without fear or shame.

 

“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,  he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard…” – Colossians 1:21

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6