Sound familiar? I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this cycle of desire, effort and defeat. Diets, exercise plans, bible reading and study programmes are just a few of the disciplines which routinely fall foul of this display of self-effort. And so often our dreams and visions remain tantalisingly out of reach.
There is another way – and it works. It is to live inside-out; instead of imposing disciplines and strategies from the outside, to allow change to well up from within.
Consider these verses:
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.
[Ezekiel 36: 26,27]
It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose.
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me,
as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
As children of God we understand (mostly) that we have been set free from the demands of the Law, and have been given the Spirit to enable us to live a transformed life. We also know that we need the supernatural flow of the Spirit in our lives to be able to release the realm of Heaven on earth – but often we try to do the ordinary stuff of life in our own strength.
When we think of our dreams and goals for 2018, instead of trying, what if we prayed? What if, instead of strategizing and planning, we asked for the Lord’s plan for success to flow from the inside? We will still have to apply discipline, but as desire and ability also come with His strategies, living them out is so much easier.
I’m a slow learner, and so often get drawn into self-imposed schemes for change, but my testimony is that this other way works. Anyone want to join me in living inside-out this year?
*The folk definition of insanity is to do the same thing repeatedly expecting different results.
I can so identify with this. The diets I've started, the Bible studies I've tried. Even books started and left unfinished. I'm going to try what you've said in your blog. God's strength, not my own x (Angela, used by permission)
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