A SEASON OF PREPARATION
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
In the last post we looked at how a new identity was essential for change. But God has done even more for us: not only have we been made new, He has also come to live inside us, through the Holy Spirit, to empower us to live in a new way:
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
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.
...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.
[Philippians 2:12, 13]
The good news is that repentance and change is not about our will power. It's about God’s ability in us.
The webpages THE HOLY SPIRIT AND YOU and THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT give more information about the work of the Holy Spirit in us, and how to be filled to overflowing with His life.
CO-OPERATING WITH THE SPIRIT
Although it's not about our ability and effort, there are things we can do to co-operate with the Holy Spirit's work in us. We can...
1. Believe in our new identity and declare it over ourselves. The 'story' we tell ourselves and other people is important. (Jesus renamed Simon, 'the reed', as Peter 'the rock', long before he was one in experience.)
2. Obey the nudges of the Holy Spirit and keep short accounts with Him. (See Walking in Forgiveness post.)
3. Employ some common sense. The book of Proverbs talks at length about the foolish young man spending time around the prostitute's house [Proverbs 7]. The lesson for us is to take steps to remove ourselves from a source of temptation, or the temptation from us, and to find a profitable alternative.
4. Make ourselves accountable to a trusted friend, or family member, This can be really helpful in dealing with habitual sin.
Let's take some action to walk as new creations today...
NEXT WEEK: CELEBRATE JESUS, OUR PERFECT PROVISION
Take time to reflect on the most portentous period of history…
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN...
[Photo credits: Priscilla du Preez (girl with flowers); Aziz Acharki (man & sun);
Adam Solomon (neon sign) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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