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Monday, June 30, 2014

Learning How To Be Free

Learning How To Be Free

Ephesians 2 : 4 – 9, But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. NKJV

If we are made complete in Christ, and we are according to scripture, why do believers struggle with such feelings as rejection, unworthiness, isolation, etc., after accepting Christ? Paul teaches us about salvation in a way that helps us to overcome the feelings of our heart. As we have accepted the gift of God, salvation into our heart, we have also received the Spirit of Truth as well. He begins revealing to us the inadequacies of our flesh nature- the old man.

This is where many Christians begin to struggle in their faith walk and might make a premature decision to give up and believe their feelings. This struggle stems from being a carnal being that has lived according to their feelings and desires their entire until salvation set us free. Now we are required to walk by faith. As we learn to walk by faith and not be driven by our feelings or desires there will be times of weakness where our old mindset will try to pull us back into walking according to the flesh through guilt and shame of having those old feelings. We can overcome the feelings of our heart by continuing to walk by faith.

Let’s use an example to help you grasp what the Lord is saying to us today. A person isn’t feeling well and they go to their doctor. Once the doctor has listened to the person’s description of the symptoms, he begins to examine the patient to determine what is causing the discomfort of the person. After the examination the doctor determines that his patient is suffering from a health condition that is treatable through proper diet and exercise. This would be the equivalent of someone beginning to walk by faith according to the truth and hearing the Holy Spirit reveal to them the weaknesses that have held them back from obedience in the past. Like the patient who receives directions from their doctor, we should be willing to hear instructions from the Holy Spirit as He reveals the weaknesses in our walk.

Instead of listening to the Lord for instruction, we tend to get hung up on the fact that we have a weakness or desire that must be corrected. Instead of moving forward by obeying the Holy Spirit, there is a tendency to want to give up because we now know what the root cause of our issues is. If we draw back into unbelief instead of walking with the Lord in faith it can cause us to either begin to take ownership of the feelings of rejection, unworthiness, etc. as a being a part of our new identity or try to do works in the strength of our flesh nature to earn what is only given to us freely.

If this word describes what you have been fighting in your spirit and know that it is truth than submit to what the Holy Spirit is saying and follow His instructions. Just like the doctor gives people a diagnosis and then a prescribed cure, so does the Holy Spirit but in a spiritual context. This means we have to accept it and obey His direction by faith.

As we learn to walk by faith and listen to the leading of the Spirit of God, we are now walking in our new identity by God’s grace. Sometimes as you follow doctor’s orders on the way to recovery, you will have flare-ups from the condition; it can also be that way in our spiritual walk of faith to recovery of leaning on the understanding of our flesh nature. There will be those times when the flesh nature will hinder your development because we’re all human, but we must also remember that this battle with our flesh nature and weaknesses is fought and won by faith that it might be by God’s grace. Salvation is the gift of God and no one can earn it through the works of their flesh. Obey and walk by faith and you will see victory in your life.

Learning to accept the free gift of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

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