In order to know more about God and His plan for you as a follower of Jesus Christ, you must make a definite break with the world. Why? Because this world operates according to sin, greed and destruction. However, since we are human, we must use the world’s resources to live, but we are not supposed to get caught up in its snare. We are not supposed to think, act, or look like people who have not given their lives to Christ.
In order to be made new in Christ, we must give up almost everything we did not consult God about. (Do not rush out and get a divorce or give your kids away!) We must also release everything that hinders our relationship with Christ. This does not mean you are to become unbalanced and quit your job, isolate your friends that curse or become a nun. It means that when you finally get fed up and begin praying about your powerless, loveless life, then you must allow the Holy Spirit to clean out whatever is necessary to give you a fresh start in Christ.
Seeking God’s kingdom means you want spiritual truth, love, abiding faith, eternal life, and all the gifts that God wants to give you. Seeking the kingdom of God means you must stop praying for a new car, a better job, a husband or whatever material things you thought would make your life better. You have to make up your mind to focus on God and not on the material goods of the world. Besides, “all of these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33) once you truly understand how God is working in your life. Quite simply, seeking God first means you have decided to love Christ more than anything in this world, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to manifest and reflect that love in your life.
Jesus said that whoever tries to maintain the life they have created in the world will lose it; however, those who lose their lives for His sake will gain eternal life. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:24 KJV). This verse not only suggests your literal life as with the martyrs in the Bible, but also your material life (e.g. money, car, career, future goals). Although God’s way is straight, narrow and bittersweet, it brings prosperity to your earthly life and eternal reward in heaven. You can only gain life in Christ by giving up your attachments to the world.
In his classic book, The Release of the Spirit, Watchman Nee characterizes life in Christ in the following words: “Brokenness is the way of blessing, the way of fragrance, the way of fruitfulness, but it is also a path sprinkled with blood.” Brokenness means that God has penetrated all of the pain and lustful desires you accumulated in the world, and is breaking that hard shell to expose His spirit that is within your heart. The shell of a seed has to be broken before the life giving roots can be released from it. Likewise, God must break the shell of your flesh to release the spiritual roots and fruit He has sown inside of you. This process does not feel good. In fact, it creates wounds that only the Holy Spirit can heal.
This is the process that creates blood, according to Watchman Nee. In the words of A. W. Tozer, the veil that separates us from Christ is made of flesh, and when that veil is severed, it hurts us because it contains the living matter of our lives. Once the veil is torn, however, there is nothing hindering full fellowship with Christ. A wound must hurt before it can heal. Therefore, we can expect our hearts to be broken, so that those old wounds can be healed at the root. God in His infinite mercy and love gives us the grace to pass through this process without the memory of the pain; much like a woman who endures the travail and pain of labor, but forgets once the baby is in her arms.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:17 KJV). You have got to give it up! All of those things that you do or have in your possession that do not glorify God must go!
I cannot overemphasize how important it is to commit to a lifestyle of holiness. God is a holy God who will never recognize or encourage anything that satisfies the flesh. Those who allow the flesh or their carnal appetites to rule their lives cannot please God (Romans 8:8). The trick of the devil is to make you think it is unnecessary to clean up your lifestyle, because God will just forgive everything. The other is to make you feel weird or ostracized for your new commitment to holiness.
I can attest to the fact that although your basic personality will remain the same, and God will not make you weird, that your mind, heart and soul will undergo an amazing transformation. I have not abandoned all of my old friends, but more than one has told me that I sound different now. More than one old guy friend has told me I seem more relaxed and less man hungry! The Holy Spirit will make precious and abiding changes in your life. Committing to Christ is bittersweet, but you will experience more sweet than bitter.
READ MORE: “Some Bitter, Some Sweet” Book.
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Ashan R. Hampton is the author of several Christian inspirational books: “Prayers & Confessions for Modern Christian Women” (2020), “Still Single Over 40: Reclaim Your Love Life” (2019), “Prayers & Confessions for Teens and Young Adults” (2018), “MCW Living Single Bible Readings” (2017), “Prayers & Confessions for Everyday Victory” (2017), “Before You Start Dating Again” (2016), “Some Bitter, Some Sweet: Becoming a Single Woman God Can Use” (2016), “Soul Thoughts: Poems & Essays” (2015), “Girl Please…Know When to Let That Man Go” (2015). Visit our website for ordering information at www.mcwwisdom.com/books.
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Great reading your poost