For Part 1 of this series, please click here.
If you have not asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, please click here.
If you have already accepted that you are a wretched sinner, as we all are, and have turned to Jesus as both Savior and Lord of everything in your life-
There are several steps to having the Spirit full blast in your life:
1. Ask God to show you every sin so that you can thoroughly and genuinely see your sin and hate it and see how ugly it is in God’s holy sight. This includes sins that we sometimes think are “little” but they are extremely offensive to God. For me it was things like
– PRIDE – actually living as if I knew better than God and believing I was always right and my husband was always wrong. I had been 100% blind to my pride. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
– self-righteousness – Jesus condemned this sin in the Pharisees. I looked down on my husband and others thinking I was spiritually superior to them instead of seeing that I am an equally wretched sinner as any murderer or criminal. To God, my level of sin was just as heinous as any other person’s on the planet.
– idolatry – trying to find my identity in my husband, or expecting my husband to be God to me, or thinking I was actually in control of way more in my life and in others’ lives than I truly was, or seeking to have sovereignty over my own life instead of God, or seeking my way more than God’s way. (I had never seen or known that I had idols – that was a pretty shocking discovery) I had been breaking the first commandment in the 10 commandments every waking moment for decades. There is no worse sin in God’s eyes than idolatry.
– disrespect – I had been treating my husband and many other people disrespectfully for years and didn’t even realize it. My tone of voice was sometimes just awful. I tried to control other people and thought I was justified to do so and would attack others verbally when they didn’t do things my way.
– disobedience to God’s Word for me as a wife and in many areas, such as trusting God and living by faith…
– unforgiveness – I held on to bitterness and resentment and grudges. I wanted to forgive, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to. Jesus says if we don’t forgive others their sins, God won’t forgive us. Matthew 5:14
– worry/anxiety/fear – this is the opposite of faith. I didn’t think I had a choice about worrying. I thought I had to worry. But I actually can choose faith in Christ over worry. I must choose one or the other, I can’t have both. When I can’t set worry down at Jesus’ feet and truly leave it there, worry means I don’t trust God.
2. Turn from the sin and to God. (repent) This is a daily thing – or an hourly thing. Sometimes a minute by minute thing.
3. Set my faith totally on Christ alone. To do this, I had to study His sovereignty. I had to come down in my own mind “thousands of notches” and I had to exalt Christ to His rightful place. The more I understood His great love and His sovereignty, the more I realized that I was so foolish to worry. Trying to be in charge myself was actually the most dangerous place on earth. Trusting fully in Christ is the safest place – because then I am in the center of God’s will and have His Spirit. As long as I am in God’s will and have His Spirit filling me – I know that I am going to be more than just fine – I know I will have access to all the spiritual treasures of heaven and the fruit of God’s Spirit – even if I should suffer, even if trials come, even during storms and grief and loss.
I had to write down all of my fears and the things I worried about and then decide whether God was big enough to handle that thing if it were to happen.
Worry is when I am trying to figure out how to handle trials and bad things all on my own. I don’t see God’s power being with me in the future, because I don’t have His power right now. Worry is all about me – what will I do, how will I respond, how will I make things work out right. I leave God totally out of the picture when I worry. He can and will show up in ways I can’t begin to expect when I trust Him.
So I take every thought captive for Christ – and compare it to His Word.
And I focus on replacing fearful thoughts with Scripture. God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. I Tim 1:7
4. I also focused on being THANKFUL and looking at the blessings and good things and focused on Philippians 4:8 about my husband and marriage and wrote down everything I could think of that I respected/admired about my husband and I focused on that list and meditated on it.
God also taught me to live in His peace during uncertainty by sending me the same trial over and over every month for 6 months when I was learning this stuff. Eventually, I learned to rest and trust in God’s love and sovereignty and learned to live in His peace even when everything was up in the air and in limbo and nothing was certain.
5. God instructed me to do everything without complaining or arguing so that I can shine like the stars in the universe as I hold forth the Word of Life. Philippians 2:14
6. I seek to obey God’s Word in everything. If I am living in faith and obedience and not cherishing sin, God’s Spirit will fill me up. I can stay in constant communion with Him and He can and will and does empower me to obey Him and be the godly wife he wants me to be. I can’t be that wife in my own power.
7. I feast on God’s Word OFTEN – daily or more.
8. I totally submit myself 100% to Christ and hold back nothing. I give him all that I am and all that I have and I say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” I hold everything in life loosely except for Christ and His Word. I set Him clearly as LORD of everything in my life.
9. I die to self, nailing the sinful nature to the cross. Laying down my will, my dreams, my goals, my plans, my desires, my wisdom, and all that is me – and picking up God’s will, His dreams, His goals, His priorities, His wisdom, His desires and loving what He loves and hating what He hates.
Yes, it seems like a huge sacrifice at first to die to self. I no longer seek my way and my will. I give up myself as a sacrifice daily to CHrist. But when I do that, then He replaces my will and my way with His own and then I have His abundant life and His spiritual riches flooding through my soul. It turns out, the things I thought were such a huge sacrifice were trash compared with the life God gave me when I was willing to empty my hands of self and seek Him alone.
10. God renews my mind and heart and changes it so that He forms the mind of Christ in me.
11. I find my contentment only in Christ. Once I have His Spirit, I know that as long as I have Him – I can be full of joy and purpose. And I know that if I had everything in the world, but didn’t have His Spirit, I would have NOTHING.
God’s Spirit is SO good. It’s the greatest “high” there is. Once you taste it, nothing else can satisfy.
12. I embrace suffering from the hand of God – God uses suffering to make me more mature and complete and more like Christ.
It is a process – and something each believer must hash through with God. It takes time to get to that place of trust. It feels scary at first, kind of like flinging myself off of a cliff – but then there was solid ground under my feet once I did take that leap of faith. And I could just kick myself for not trusting Him completely before!
A Huge Key to Contentment by StillJennifer