This post is for those who have already invited Jesus to be the Lord of their life.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior & Lord, and don’t know why you need to, that’s OK…keep reading.
Again, for those who do know Jesus, think about how you will answer the following question:
How do you respond when you recognize an area of your life that is not submitted to God?
Let’s say you confessed Jesus as Lord many years back. As you progress in your relationship with Christ, certain aspects of your life come to the forefront, and they aren’t particularly flattering. In fact, some things are downright wrong, ugly or sinful.
It doesn’t even have to be a sin that comes to light. When we are crying out to God for mercy & relief, in His mercy He will show us what is at the root of our problem. So again, I ask, what is your response to the Lord?
Whether it’s a habit that is detrimental to our health, or a mindset that does’t line up with God’s heart, we all are faced with a choice in how we respond. We can either acknowledge it before God and ask for mercy, or we can stuff it back down and go along as if we didn’t see that thing the Holy Spirit was shining His light upon.
The righteous response is to acknowledge it; to fess up, in Texas parlance 🙂 .
I love this passage of John from the Living Bible paraphrase: “There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust him to save them. But those who don’t trust him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God. Their sentence is based on this fact: that the Light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the Light, for their deeds were evil. They hated the heavenly Light because they wanted to sin in the darkness. They stayed away from that Light for fear their sins would be exposed and they would be punished. But those doing right come gladly to the Light to let everyone see that they are doing what God wants them to.” John 3:18-21
Confession. That sounds simple enough. Bring it to God and ask Him for mercy.
Got it. Done!
God is compassionate, merciful and kind. He will never reject anyone who comes asking for forgiveness from a sincere heart: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
And just in case you think your heart is too dark to be saved, or your actions beyond the boundaries of God’s mercy and love, let me encourage you with one of my personal favorites:
“Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!” Isaiah 1:18 The Living Bible
But what about those times when you are struggling with a habit or sin? You’ve acknowledged it before God, yet you still aren’t experiencing the freedom, release and joy promised in His word. In these instances, I’ve learned to ask Jesus to be Lord in that area of difficulty, whatever that area happens to be.
Let’s use food as an example. In the course of your life, you come to realize that you have a problem with food. It has been your means of comfort in times of stress. You know you need to eat for life, but you live to eat. Meal planning and special treats dominate your thoughts. Even though you have the knowledge that clean food and exercise will be to your benefit, you can’t seem to pass up the chocolate cake no matter how hard you try.
As you read the word, you run across a scripture that says, “They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.” (Philippians 3:19)
The part about …their god is their appetite…stands out to you and you feel a tinge of shame or fear. You can either keep on reading like that tinge never happened, or you can stop and confess something along these lines, “Father, forgive me. I have been crying out to you for help with my eating habits and things haven’t improved. I don’t want my appetite to be my god. Jesus, I am asking you to be Lord in this area. I turn it over to you.”
Trust that when you humble yourself and invite the Lord in, He will be faithful to take over and redeem every bit of land you cede to Him– whether it’s spiritual, emotional or physical. And He is a gracious ruler. So many times we resist the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives because we’re afraid of what will happen when we let the walls come down. Maybe we won’t like what God offers in place of that thing that we keep so closely guarded in our heart and soul…
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to conform us to Christ’s image. It’s part of God’s good plan for our life:
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29 New Living Translation
Go gladly to the Light when He shines upon you. What you gain will far outweigh that thing that is trying to hold you down.