Step 2—Look Inward

run down shack with man looking out window

This is Step 2 of the 4-Step Peace Plan that can help you on your journey to becoming the amazing woman the Lord calls you to be. (There is a summary at the bottom of this post.)

The second step in this plan is that we look inward into our hearts, minds, souls, and lives with God’s help. We have invited Jesus to be our Lord, now we allow Him to take control of our lives and make any changes He wants to make. And the truth is…

He wants to make radical changes in each of us for the better!

  • Jesus doesn’t just want to tidy up a bit, slap on a new coat of paint on the walls, and dust. A good spring cleaning won’t begin to address the severity of the issues in our lives. We all need total heart change!
  • He wants to tear down the old, contaminated house and completely rebuild something heavenly from scratch, His way.

It is important to remember that HE does the heavy lifting in this and every step. We can’t clean ourselves up. We simply cooperate and invite Him to have control.

TWO THINGS HE WANTS TO HELP US TO DO:

  1. Put off our old sinful self—by crucifying and burying it with Jesus.
  2. Put on our new Spirit-filled self—by receiving all of Him and His provision.
Photo by Stephanie Watters Flores on Unsplash

ONE: DIE TO OUR OLD SELF AND THIS WORLD

Jesus didn’t come to just put a bandage on a small wound to make us spiritually whole. Our old sinful selves are completely corrupt. They have no good in them at all.

The only solution is to have a funeral.

The wages of sin is death.

Rom. 6:23

Jesus knows that the only way out for us is death. Death means “separation.”

  • Spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from God—that is how we all start in life, as spiritual stillborns.
  • Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body.
  • The second death is the permanent separation of the spirit from God in hell.
  • The death of our sinful nature is the separation of our sinful nature from our new nature in Christ and the separation of our sinful nature from God.

When we come to Christ in salvation, at that moment, God counts our old sinful self as dead with Jesus and counts us as dead to this world and alive to Him through Jesus!

The tricky part about the death of our sinful nature here is that we still have access to our sinful nature as long as we are in this world. We can choose to take our old sinful nature off the cross or out of the grave where it is supposed to be, or we can “take up our cross” and kill it daily.

But we are no longer slaves to our old nature like we were!!

What great news!

Now we have a choice!

We can choose to follow our sinful nature’s desires and temptation from the enemy of our souls by feeding and cherishing it. Or we can choose to follow our new nature in Christ by feeding and cherishing it.

Of course, if we belong to Jesus, He gives us a new nature and changes our desires so that we long to walk in His ways, not our old ways. We hate our sinful nature and any sin and it will grieve our hearts. We want to avoid sin like the plague and we want to repent from sin ASAP once we know it is there.

We die to our old self by rejecting and resisting lies from the enemy, temptation, sin, and anything that is not from God by the power of God’s Spirit. We stop feasting on the world’s spiritual junk food.

The essence of dying to self is that we yield our will to God’s will in everything like Jesus did, “Not My will but Yours be done.”

This part can be painful. But it is more than worth it!

It’s scary to let go of our old lives, our old shack is all we have known. It can seem like Jesus is asking too much for us to let Him tear things down. But Jesus wants to replace our dirty old shack with a beautiful new spiritual mansion that can stand every storm of life and is fit for the King of the universe to live in.

We purposely deny ourselves what our old nature wants and seek God and His righteousness first.

We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Rom. 6:2-4
Photo by Walter Sturn on Unsplash

TWO: PUT ON OUR NEW SELF IN CHRIST

When we come to Christ as our Savior and Lord, God counts everything He did during His life as if we did it. Isn’t that the most incredible love?!

This means that we put on all that He has done for us. We put on our new identity in Him. We put on His promises, His power, and His truth. We put on His love for us. We put on His Word and build our lives on the Solid Rock.

We receive His Spirit and choose to give Him full control and Lordship of our lives every moment. We feed on God’s Word, prayer, praise for God, and thanksgiving.

We receive His:

All of the things He has done are finished. They belong to us completely when we come to Christ in faith.

Then we “work out our salvation” day by day learning to walk in all of these truths and gifts that we already possess fully to a greater and greater degree in everyday life in the process of “sanctification.” (Please see note at the bottom of the post.)

We obey Jesus because we love Him, we are so thankful for all He has done, and because of our new nature—not to try to earn salvation. We depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to obey, not our own. That is the only way we really can walk in obedience, victory, and holiness. (John 14:23-24)

When we live in our new identity in Christ and the power of His Spirit, we are new people inside. We have new fellowship with God. And this completely changes the way we interact with other people, even if they haven’t changed!

In the next post, we’ll focus on Step 3—Looking Outward at other people and our relationships.

SHARE

What is the Lord speaking to your heart about this? Do you have some insights or frustrations you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it.

RESOURCES

Romans 6—dead to sin, alive to God in Christ

What Does It Mean to Be Dead to Sin?—by www.gotquestions.org

Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation? — by www.gotquestions.org

Who Am I in Christ? — by www.gotquestions.org

What Does It Mean That a Christian Is a New Creation?—by www.gotquestions.org

A SUMMARY OF THE 4-STEP PEACE PLAN

  1. Look upward—at Jesus and yield fully to His Lordship.
  2. Look inward—at yourself, get rid of toxic things and receive good stuff from God.
  3. Look outward—at others with a whole new divine perspective and approach.
  4. Look forward—to how Jesus will create beauty from everything you’ve gone through, from even the most painful, difficult times of your life. And look forward most of all to being with Him forever in heaven.

When women are whole in Christ they are empowered by God to have divine relationship skills that greatly bless their marriages and other relationships.

The process of a believer’s journey:

  1. Salvation—At this moment, we experience justification before God, meaning, He declares us right with Him.
  2. Sanctification—We are positionally holy before God at the moment we are justified by our faith in Christ. But then we experience a process of spiritual maturity where we learn to live out what we possess fully in Christ as we grow.
  3. Glorification—We are finally completely sinlessly perfect and we have glorified, heavenly bodies like Jesus does now.