This morning I had a neat experience.
In my prayer time, one thing I was praying about was my frustration with myself–over my own lack of growth in some areas, my continued struggles to break through some spiritual battles, once and for all, etc.
As I was praying, I believe the Holy Spirit led me to a verse. I looked it up and started studying it, along with several related verses.
The verse was Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
This verse, along with several passages similar to it (Romans 6, Galatians 4, Ephesians 4, etc.) tell us that the New Life we have–through our faith in Jesus–isn’t about ‘trying harder’ or ‘doing more’ for God. It is, instead, about letting Him have more control, realizing that He is The Only One who can change me. My responsibility is to walk with Him, to remain with Him (through prayer, worship, etc.), and He will change me more and more to reflect Him.
He Lives In Me!
So…I went along my way, and then, when it was time to exercise (today was Treadmill day), I selected a YouTube video–as I often do–of a sermon. In this case, it just happened to be by David Platt, Lead Pastor of McLean Bible Church in Washington, DC. It was called ‘The Secret to the Christian Life’. I was intrigued, so I pulled it up.
What was the secret?
It was the truth found in Galatians 2:20!
This was THE Scripture he was preaching on!
His point was this: Far too many Christians (all of us, at times) are frustrated and discouraged in their faith because it seems as though all their efforts don’t change anything. They’re essentially told ‘Try harder. Do more.’
His point–and the point the Lord had been communicating with me about this morning–was that ‘Trying harder’ is NOT the way to ‘Full Life’ in Jesus. Rather, giving Him more control, letting Him change me…being continually re-filled and refreshed in the Holy Spirit…that is the way!
This is why, later in Galatians, we are told that ‘The fruit OF THE SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23, emphasis added).
That takes a bit of the ‘discouragement factor’ away.
It’s not about ‘being better’, ‘trying harder’ or ‘doing more’. It’s about walking closely to Him, letting Him change us.
THIS is the secret to ‘Full Life Living’ in Jesus!
…and it’s a whole lot more genuinely enjoyable than ‘religion’!
Here’s a link to Platt’s sermon: https://youtu.be/4HBEWJbmexM
You can skip to the 12:00 minute mark–that’s where he starts talking abou it.