By Denita Thomas
Living a Holy life is a process. When you decide to give your life to Christ, satan will try to send hurdles and stumbling blocks your way so that you won’t succeed in your walk in the Spirit. Satan’s goal is to divert your path and send you back into a sinful way of living. But, did you know, now that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God is in you and He gives you the ability to turn away from temptation? Corinthians 10:13 reads “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (NKJV).
How can a believer, especially one who is new in Christ, avoid temptations and pitfalls to be successful at living a Spirit-filled life with Christ?
Believers must pray in faith often. You are not going to be perfect in your daily living, but fervently pray in faith for forgiveness. Some Christians stumble because they can’t pick themselves up after falling. But, if you pray for forgiveness and remember to forgive yourself, you can continue on with your walk with Christ. God knows that we will fall short. But, He offers the opportunity for us to pray and repent. The Bible even teaches us to “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
You Are Not the Same…You are Set Apart
When Jesus comes into your life, you are changed! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The past is the past…forgiven…you are renewed! It’s sweet relief to know that you are cleansed, renewed and have a fresh start in life. You’ve been given a second chance!
With this change, you are set apart from the world. Your “newness” may draw people to you and it may turn people away from you (they may even hate you for it). But, always remember that your newness is based in Christ and your desire to live for Him and have eternal life. You have made the awesome decision to live HOLY. Christians are supposed to be different!
Also, we are to be truthful and uncompromising. Satan loves to use compromise to infiltrate and corrupt the minds of believers. When you seek to live a godly life, satan may send people or ideals your way to make you feel the need to compromise your belief or your stance in God. He may surround you with people who will make you feel like you should compromise your convictions instead of dealing with disapproval of those people. That’s why it is important to set yourself apart from those who are worldly. Don’t allow the world to mold your value system and priorities. Here is what God’s word says about this:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?… Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14, 17-18)
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Be Transformed…Resist the “World”
To be successful at resisting the “world” and making sure that you are able to stand firm in your convictions, you must renew and transform your mind (daily even) and maintain your relationship with God. How can you do this?
Fully surrender to God.
Don’t go back and forth from Holy living to the sinful ways of your past. Pray that God will strengthen you and renew the Holy Spirit afresh in you each day. Base your thinking on the instructions that God gives us via the Word of God.
Keep God on your mind.
In today’s society, there are many avenues that satan uses to try to fill our minds with FILTH. Those avenues include people (even family and friends), television, radio, the internet, etc. Choose to surround yourself with other believers who will help you grow in Christ. Choose entertainment on TV and radio that are clean and can offer some inspiration and support in your Godly living. Once again, pray that God will give you the discernment to be able to filter out the avenues that may lead to corruption in your mind. Use this as a guide in making choices on what should enter your mind:
“…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil 4:8)
Meditate on the Word.
Make sure that you really “KNOW” Jesus Christ. The way to know Him is to gain knowledge and a strong relationship with Him. Know Him intimately!! When you meditate on His word, spend time with Him and seek understanding through Him, you develop that intimate relationship. Through an increase in knowledge, you can avoid wrong turns and voids in your Christian walk, which satan can use to cause hurdles in your life. With knowledge and meditation, you begin to understand the true depth of His love, strength and His purpose for your life. In the Bible, Paul understood the importance of having faith in the Lord and understanding how great God’s love is for us so that we (believers) could be successful in our godly living. He writes: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Having Christ in your heart and mind changes your way of thinking and living. Through a relationship with Him, you gain strength by His spirit and you can feel Christ living within you. Your day to day thinking and decision making will be rooted in Jesus Christ. As a result, you will develop a sense of how to live a true Christian life, even in the state of this world today.
Realize that you are living for Christ.
You have been saved, not only for your personal benefit, but also to bring praise and glory to God. Ephesians 1:12 reads “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” In the Amplified Bible, this passage reads “So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!” We are here to praise Him and live for Him. Your life should be representative of God and bring glory to Him.
Understand that your reward is in Heaven.
Being saved and living a godly life gives you assurance that, when Jesus Christ returns, you will be ready for eternal life with Him. No matter what comes your way, who turns their back on you or issues you face because of your decision to live for Christ, you must stand firm and continue to live for Christ. You will have comfort in knowing that you are going to see Jesus Christ one day and live in eternal peace, love and joy with Him and the Father. That is the greatest reward one could ever have!!!
Trust in God, stand firm, and be bold in Christ! Share Christ with others!
Culled from God1st.org