Daily Devotional for Sunday July 7, 2013
Controlled by the World or the Spirit of God
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I am confused, please help me. The Bible says if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth 'Jesus is your Lord and Savior' you will be saved. Then is there a second condition, that you must also surrender your life 100% in addition to believing to be saved?
ANSWER: NO! Salvation is by faith and God's grace..plus NOTHING! Ephesians 2:8,9. The fact is you surrender your life to Christ when you make that decision by faith. That is what you are doing, giving your heart and life to Jesus. The Bible says we have been bought with a price. Surrendering to Christ is what happens when a person makes the choice to accept Jesus.
One of the most incredible challenges we have each day in our Christian journey, is what controls us. The ultimate goal of every believer is to be controlled at all times by the Spirit of God, instead of the spirit of this world. It is when we are controlled by the Lord that we are able to fulfill our purpose in life, enjoy the peace, joy, and abundance of this life, and know God's richest blessings.
When we allow ourselves to be controlled by the things of this world, we distance ourselves from the Lord. Whatever pleasure we enjoy are temporary followed by much pain, and we miss God's best for our life. What controls our lives becomes the ultimate battle we fight each day.
The choice on what should control us is an obvious one. Making it happen is not so easy to accomplish. Before we became Christians, it was never an issue. There was no choice. We simply lived our life the way the world lived. Our lives were totally controlled by the spirit of the world. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are now confronted with a choice each day.
Continue to live the way the world lives, the way we are used to living, or live under the control of our new Master, Jesus Christ. We must learn how to let the Holy Spirit control us. It doesn't happen overnight but over a period of time.
How do we do it? It starts with our daily relationship with the Lord. Praying, reading the Word each day. We need to be part of a local fellowship and finding ways to serve the Lord. As this becomes our daily life and focus, as we are more in touch with God throughout the day, we get used to the Holy Spirit controlling our life as opposed to the things of this world controlling us. We learn how to be controlled by the Spirit of the living God.
The critical key becomes having our lives controlled by the Lord consistently, day after day. Never get so comfortable that you aren't aware that you have to work to maintain that intimate, daily walk, since it is from that daily walk with the Lord, that we allow our lives to be controlled by Him.
When we stop praying each day; stop reading the Word each day; stop going to church; stop finding ways to serve God, that is when we become open to having the things of this world take control over our lives. So this becomes a daily challenge that we must take seriously, since it is when we allow the world control, we are capable of doing anything and everything that is not pleasing to God.
I love you and care about you! You can count on my prayers today, for you to really digest these complicated words. It is this principle of allowing the Holy Spirit to control your life each and every day that allows us as Christians to make a difference in this world.
It is when we are being controlled by the Spirit of God that God can work through us, giving us the power to do those things necessary to advance His plan and touch the lives of people. It is when the Holy Spirit is controlling us that we are fulfilling our purpose in serving and glorifying God with our lives.
Reaching this plateau, getting to this level each day, is the absolute ultimate in our Christian experience. There is no high from alcohol, drugs, sex, power, achievement, anything that can even come close to the spiritual high when you are being totally controlled by the Holy Spirit. It is the ultimate experience that should be the goal of every follower of the Lord Jesus
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,