Grace and Truth (Part 31): Winning The War Within Yourself (Part 3)

by Rick

Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus.  Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17.  Let’s look at them again.

(John 1:14 New International Version)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John 1:17 New International Version)

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

In this series we studied Galatians 3, 4, and 5.  I have been stuck on Galatians 5:17 for a few days.  Let’s go back to it again today. I will share it in two translations.

(Galatians 5:17 The Passion Translation)  

For your self – life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self – life from dominating you! So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self – life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit.

(Galatians 5:17 New Living Translation)  

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

So what does this mean for you today?  Once you are Born-Again and God begins to reveal his purpose to you, by His Spirit, you will be conflicted.  The conflict will be both internal (from your own soul), and external (from your friends and family). I will just focus on the internal portion today.

1.  The revelation of your divine purpose causes internal conflict (from your own soul).  Your soul is comprised of your mind (the way you think), emotions (the way you feel) and will (the way you make decisions).  The moment you are Born-Again your spirit is made new, but your soul is not. Your soul must be changed through the mind renewal process that occurs when you learn God’s Word and you willingly place His will above your own.  Those who never die to sin or selfishness, can be Born-Again, but they live as carnal Christians. Please don’t let this be you.

2.  The moment you are Born-Again and the Father begins to reveal His purpose for your life to you, through the Holy Spirit, a myriad of things happen:

a)  You realize your are not a mistake.

b)  You finally know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you were born for a divine purpose.

c)  The enormity of the assignment begins to sink in and you feel unworthy.

d)  You think of all the mistakes you made in the past and you wonder why God did not give up on you.

e)  You then think about the life you wanted (the one you made plans for), before being Born-Again, and you realize you have to sacrifice it for the life God planned for you.

f)  You wonder if you can make the sacrifice.  You wonder if you have it in you to become the man/woman God planned.  The answer is YES. Not by your power, but by His. Not by your works, but by God’s grace!

3.  After the initial euphoria associated with the revelation of God’s purpose for your life wears off, you are left with tough decisions.  

a)  You consider the investment you made in your own desires and pursuits and you wonder if this new life is worth giving it all up for.

b)  The Holy Spirit is leading you to a new life and new ventures, ventures planned from the foundation of the world for you to enjoy, but your old mindset is pushing back and it wants to keep you on your old path.

c)  Your old path will lead to nothing but your old self.  The problem is, that person is dead. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17).  You just don’t know how to live like who you are.

d)  You quickly realize that you are a new man in an old body and you need a new mind.  Your mind must be renewed to accept, embrace, and walk in the life God destined you to have.

e)  If you don’t renew your mind through the Word of God you will never walk in the life God planned for you.  You run the risk of missing out on God’s best.   

4.  At some point you must choose between the life you came up with (on your own) and the life God planned for your to have (before the world began).  You will have to make this choice over and over again. You will choose God, His plans, His purposes, and His destiny, but if you don’t renew your mind, your own soul will draw you back into your old life.  This is why believers struggle to become the person they were born to be. The only way to truly maximize your purpose and potential — which God placed IN you by God’s unearned grace — is to die to the old man, to renew your mind through the Word of God, and to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into the life the Father intended for you to live.

5.  There is a war going on inside of you.  It is a war between the person you were and the person God has called you to be.  You cannot win the war within by trying (human effort). It can only be won by dying.  You must die to sin and self.

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your grace and my requirement to live by faith.  You made plans for me before the world began. I am not a mistake. I was born for a reason.  That reason is my divine purpose. Along with my purpose, You already prepared my success. Everything I need to succeed in life is already mine.  So I am then posed with a decision. I must choose between the life You planned for me and the life I came up with on my own. I must die to self and release my old life in order to embrace and enjoy the life You birthed me to live.  Many struggle with this decision. I have even struggled with it in the past. But those days are over. I die to self. I release the old man. I renew my mind through Your Word. I see myself the way You see me. I win the war within.  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name. Amen!

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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