The Power of Christ

I absolutely LOVE the movie Jesus.  Every Easter and Christmas we watch it as a family, at Christmas including the newer film The Nativity.  It makes me cry every time… and think, “How could I ever sin against someone who loves me that much?”

Well, we all know emotions won’t guarantee good works, and a few days after the movie temptation will rise again, and good feelings aren’t going to help me fight them.  As Paul said, “…I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Rom. 7:18-19)

I sought the answer to this problem in my Bible and in multiple other books.  I knew that the root of it was in making time for God, and cultivating the relationship I had with Him, but in the moment of temptation, what am I to do?

Then one Sunday at church, I was running our portable library — a bookshelf with wheels that has Christian books to borrow — and was flipping through When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  I have read this book many times — highly recommend it — but this Sunday I opened it to a page I had missed in my reading before. Eric was writing about sin in the life of a believer, and how to conquer it, and he summed it up in one sentence:

Yield to the power of Christ in you.

That was it.  It was like all the lights in heaven came on for me.  So basic — but so profound!  Christ lives in the Christian, but when she insists on her own way of doing things — even in confronting temptation — He has no influence over her behavior. 

My pastor said something several months ago that relates to this topic:

“Your life is only as big as your faith; your faith is only as big as your God.  If you spend all your time looking at yourself you will be discouraged, but if you look to God you will be encouraged.”                 ~ Pastor Mark Manzer, 11-18-06

Looking at our failure, wallowing and dwelling in it, is scorning the forgiveness we are given – if in fact, you have confessed and repented.  God wants us to move on after failure, to stand up and walk forward, remembering that next time you will not yield to the power of the flesh, but to the power of Christ in you.  So yield.  Submit… and watch His strength become evident.

 

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