God’s Grace & Our Faith (Part 31): Winning The War Within (Part 3)

by Rick

Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our primary scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. In our last message, we also looked at Galatians 5:17. We will go back to these verses today.

(John 1:14 NIV)

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 NIV)

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

(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).  

— God is a Spirit, so when He speaks to you, He speaks to your spirit. While He does things that your body and see or feel, and He does things your soul can understand, when He “deposits” things in your heart, He is speaking directly to your spirit.  

— When you are Born-Again, the only part of you that is changed is your spirit. God’s Spirit comes in and connects with your spirit, bearing witness that you are a child of God (Romans 8:16).

— When God speaks to your spirit, and He reveals things about you TO YOU, these things are “future” to you, but they are “past” to Him because He is in eternity, and you are in time.  

— When God does this, He is revealing to you what He called you to do and what He has already given you the GRACE for. However, it requires faith on your part. Faith is required for two reasons: 1) because you can’t see it (sight) yet, and 2) because it hasn’t happened yet (time). When you are at this point, what your spirit is telling you to believe conflicts with your soul because you are not accustomed to believing things you cannot see. All your life, to that point, you only believed things you could validate with your senses. But your spirit tells you to perceive and believe, as a real fact, something that has not happened yet (in time) and something you cannot validate (in space).  

— To live by faith, you must overcome this internal conflict and train your soul to accept the things you cannot see simply becuase God spoke them. Further, your soul must be conditioned to live by the reality of the spirit and accept the UNSEEN as “more real” than the seen (2 Cor 4:18). At first, this is very difficult, but it is possible over time. I wish someone had explained this to me when I was a baby Christian.  What I received back then was a bunch of fiery preaching but not much Biblical explanation. I pray my explanations are helping you gain a better understanding of the war that occurs within you and why it is critical for you to WIN it!

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 you 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. (The answer, by the way, is GRACE!)

e) You then think about the life you wanted (the one you made plans for) before being Born-Again, and you realize that you have to sacrifice it for the life God planned for you. This is part of “dying to self.”

f) You wonder if you can make the sacrifice. At this point, some wonder if it is worth it because they are not sure if they should give up their plans. Others are willing to give up their plans, but they wonder if they “have it in them” to become and do what God is revealing. They consider what the Holy Spirit is saying, and they just “can’t see it.” It is so far beyond their wildest dream that it takes time to believe what God believes about them.

g) At this point, if you focus on the grace of God and how God is willing to do what He is revealing, simply because He loves you, you will OPEN YOUR HEART to the size of the blessing, you will believe and receive it, and you will attempt to become it, BY FAITH. However, if you are in a religious setting, and your focus is on your works/performance, then you probably won’t believe what God believes about you, becuase your performance will never measure up to the size of God’s call. This is why I spend so much time teaching you about the grace of God.

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.  You eventually get to the point where you must choose to make your life about God and His purpose or you and your selfish desires.

— 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 over time. This is why believers struggle to become the person they were born to be.  

— The only way to truly maximize your purpose and potential (what 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.  You must win the war between your history and your destiny.  

— Many people base their future on their past. That’s how the world thinks. But as a believer, you can’t do this because God does not think like the world. God is not concerned about your past. He is not hung up on your hangups. He wants to use you by grace, not merit or your performance.  

— If you read the Bible and understand God’s grace, you realize how foolish it is to judge your future by your past. Becuase God is in the business of making holy garments from flawed material. God takes people the world “threw away,” and He does amazing things through them, by His grace and for His glory

— When you are at the crossroads between your history and your destiny, you must consider, contemplate, and fully embrace the grace of God. Because if you don’t, you will never believe what God believes about you. In this world, people emphasize your history. They want to consider your qualifications and past performance.  But when it comes to the things of God, God puts more emphasis on your destiny and the grace He has placed on you to perform it.  

— God is not limited by your lack of education or experience. God is not limited by your lack of past performance or your ability to perform. God is not limited by your lack of resources or connections. God is not limited by anything!  God is able to release grace that will empower you to do what you could never do without Him.

When you are contemplating the destiny God has called you into, you cannot base the expectation of your future on the performance of your past because when God calls you to do something, He is focusing more on His grace than your qualifications. In many cases, God factors out the fact that you’re not qualified, so if you make the mistake of factoring IN what God already factored OUT, you run the risk of putting a “NO” where God put a “YES!

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 have already prepared for my success.  Everything I need to succeed in life is already mine.  What I need is stored up for me, and it will be released at just the right time.  Therefore, when posed with a decision between the life You planned for me before the world began and the life I came up with before being Born-Again, I choose YOU and YOUR LIFE every time!

This means I must die to self and my selfish desires.  I declare that I do!  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 am OPEN to all You planned for me.  I refuse to allow my history to keep me from my destiny.  Living this way, I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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

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