UPDATE ABOUT MY FIRST CONFERENCE:
What an incredible time we had in Branson, MO this past weekend! I could feel the prayers of so many of you and the favor of God on our gathering. I am completely overwhelmed with the generosity and hospitality of my host, Charlie Engram from 88.1 KLFC in Branson and his willingness to allow us to use a room at the Doulos Center. We had about 30 precious ladies who joined me. We laughed and cried and shared together all that God is showing us and what He has been doing in our lives. They thanked me for coming to share my message with them and decided they wanted to pray over me and this ministry. What a blessing and joy to get to meet each of them! Join me in praying that God might use the 8 hours we shared together to bring forth much fruit for His kingdom in their lives and in the lives of those they touch. Please pray that God might continue to open doors for me to speak to other groups of women wherever and whenever He wills. (If you are interested in me speaking near you, please ask your church to reach me on my Contact page here on my blog.)
WILL I EVER BE “ABOVE SIN”?
I think it is easy to get the idea in our Christian culture that if I am spiritually “mature enough” and if I grow a lot in Christ, that I will somehow be “above sin” – or “above certain sins,” at least.
Scripture says that apart from Christ:
- There is none who is righteous, not even one. (Romans 3:10)
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
- Our human attempts at righteousness look like filthy, bloody menstrual rags to the holy God of the universe. (Isaiah 64:6)
The Bible teaches that God alone is good (Mark 10:18).
Once I am in Christ, then these are some of the things the Bible says about my identity in Him:
- My old sinful self is crucified with Christ and I am now dead to sin and alive to God. (Romans 6:6,11)
- I am no longer a slave to sin, but am now free to choose to submit myself to Christ as Lord. (John 8:34, Romans 6:18)
- Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. (Romans 8:31-39)
- I am more than a conqueror over sin and this world through Christ. (Romans 8:39)
- The mystery of Christianity is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It is HIM working in me that gives me holiness, goodness, and victory. He is my only power source. It is His work in me that is good and that empowers me to walk in obedience to God. (Colossians 1:27)
- If I do sin, I have an Advocate who speaks on my behalf to God – Jesus – our Great High Priest! (1 John 2:1)
- If I know God, I cannot continue on and on in habitual sin. I cannot be comfortable living every day in anything that God hates if loving, knowing, and pleasing Him is my greatest goal. If I can be happy and unconcerned to be living in unrepentant sin, something is very wrong. It is time to forsake my sin and cling and yield to Christ! (1 John 3:6)
- I must guard against pride or I can fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Now these things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So the one who thinks he is standing firm should be careful not to fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it.… 1 Corinthians 10:11-13
When I was first married, I believed I was “too good” and “too holy” to commit certain sins. I thought I was such a strong Christian that I didn’t even have to worry about some of the “really awful sins,” in my mind.
I no longer view sin in that way – as if I could somehow be good enough to personally defeat sin on my own.
Now, I know that apart from Christ, I am plenty capable, in my sinful nature, to commit any sin. I have no goodness in me on my own. 100% of any goodness in me is from Jesus working in me. It is a God thing, not an April thing.
Now, I have great respect for the fact that I can fall if I am not abiding in Christ. I know how easily I could slip if I am grieving His Spirit or cherishing sin in my heart and if I allow the flesh to be in control. I know I must guard my heart against sin and avoid things that are sinful triggers for me. I also know that I have to have my time with God in His Word and in prayer. I can’t starve myself spiritually and be filled to overflowing with Jesus.
With maturity in Christ comes humility, not pride. We see more and more how completely dependent we are on Jesus for everything!
- We boast in Christ and put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)
- May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which
the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)
- Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it (the thorn in Paul’s flesh) away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected inweakness.” Therefore I will boast all the moregladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.… (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
- God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. (James 4:6)
The great news is that as we abide in Christ (John 15:1-8) and as we allow His Spirit to have full control because we yield to Him as Lord of everything in our lives – HE accomplishes victory over sin in our lives for us. But we can never forget that anything good in us is of Him, not of us! We boast and depend on Him alone.
When we are abiding in Christ, we can hear God’s voice more and more clearly and we can recognize the voice and schemes of the enemy so much more quickly. He gives us His perspective, wisdom, power, and discernment. But if we drift from God, the enemy’s voice becomes so much stronger and more convincing. It is harder to hear God. We begin to have greater darkness and it is more difficult to tell the difference between right and wrong. We begin to be able to justify sin in our hearts. We must continue to press on toward Jesus and immediately shoot down any thoughts that are not of Him! Let’s allow Him to win victory in and through us as only He can do!
- “A dead Christ I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me.”
― Andrew Murray, Jesus Himself
- “Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility
- “Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility
- “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility