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By Pastor Dennis Smith. Please visit Pastor Smith’s Web Site

He Was There All the Time Post 20 9/21,2011

 

First, I want you to realize that Jesus does literally abide in you.  He said that He does and we can believe Him.  This happens as we daily receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18, 1John 3:24).  With Jesus living in us we have His mind (1Corinthians 2:16), His love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-23), His likes and dislikes, His pure thoughts, his forgiveness; the list could go on and on.  Every virtue of Christ is in us through Christ abiding in us.

It is essential we believe this fact.  It is with this knowledge that we are to meet the temptations that come our way.  However, even with this knowledge the majority of Christians live their life in the following way.  They have accepted Christ by faith and believe they are forgiven.  Then they think they need to work hard at becoming Christlike by putting forth efforts to obey Him.  In their efforts to obey they ask God to add His power to these efforts.  As I have stated before, all such efforts are doomed to failure.

What I am presenting is not becoming Christlike or always having Christ’s help or power to resist temptation.  What I am presenting is so much better than that.  The truth is that Christ wants to literally live out His life in us; not simply add His power to our feeble efforts.

 

How Does it Work?

 

How does this happen?  Simply put, the steps are these.

  • When you become aware of a temptation to sin choose to turn your mind immediately away from it (Philippians 4:8).
  • Believe that your sinful nature’s attraction to the temptation is broken.
  • Believe Jesus is in you.
  • Ask Him to manifest His virtue in you in relation to the temptation.  Be specific.
  • Believe that He will manifest Himself in that manner.
  • Rest in that belief and don’t fight the temptation.  When we fight the temptation we are actually focusing on it and trying to resist it in our own strength.
  • Thank Him for the deliverance He has just given you.

 

Let’s take the example of anger.  Someone does something to make you angry.  Perhaps they cut you off while driving or says something hurtful to you.  The application of these steps would go as follows:

  • As soon as you become aware of the temptation to become angry choose to turn your mind away from what is making you feel anger.
  • Believe that the “angry you” was crucified at the cross and that the power of your sinful nature’s desire to become angry is broken.
  • Believe Jesus is in you.
  • Ask Jesus to manifest His “non-anger” or “peace” in and through you.
  • Believe that He is doing that at that moment.
  • Rest in that belief and don’t fight the temptation to become angry.
  • Thank Him for the deliverance from anger He has just given you.

 

Another example is when you are tempted to impure thoughts.  Do the same thing with that temptation.

  • As soon as you become aware of the temptation to think impure thoughts choose to turn your mind away from what is making you think those impure thoughts.
  • Believe that the “impure thinking you” was crucified at the cross and that the power of your sinful nature’s desire to think impure thoughts is broken.
  • Believe Jesus is in you.
  • Ask Jesus to manifest His “pure thoughts” in and through you.
  • Believe that He is doing that at that moment.
  • Rest in that belief and don’t fight the temptation to think impure thoughts.
  • Thank Him for the deliverance from the impure thoughts He has just given you

 

One example that many Christians find difficult obtaining victory over is over eating or eating the wrong foods.  This may seem most difficult because we all have to eat.  So, how do we deal with that temptation?  First, we have to be enlightened by the Spirit concerning what we should and should not eat, and how much and when we should eat.  The Spirit will do this for us through the Word of God and personally convicting us in a particular situation.  When the temptation comes and the Spirit convicts follow the same steps as listed before.

  • As soon as you become aware of the temptation to eat the wrong thing or take more food than necessary choose to turn your mind away from what is making you want to do this.
  • Believe that the “over eating you, self indulgent you” was crucified at the cross and that the power of your sinful nature’s desire to over eat or eat the wrong foods is broken.
  • Believe Jesus is in you.
  • Ask Jesus to manifest His “temperance,” His “appetite,” His self control” in and through you.
  • Believe that He is doing that at that moment.
  • Rest in that belief and don’t fight the temptation to over eat or to eat the wrong foods.
  • Thank Him for the deliverance from intemperance He has just given you

 

In this manner you will be allowing Jesus to live out His life in you every moment of every day.  The victory is His.  You are simply choosing to let Him manifest His virtues in and through you.  That is your part; to choose, to give your will to God concerning a particular temptation.  You are always free to not make that choice and focus on the temptation.  When that happens the sinful desire is conceived and will bring forth the sin (James 1:14-15).

Perhaps someone has hurt you deeply.  Sometimes in such situations we can experience what I call a “dark pleasure” by holding onto the anger and choosing not to forgive them.  We feel they don’t deserve to be forgiven for the terrible thing they did to us.  However, the Christian knows that God commands us to forgive those who have wronged us (Mark 11:25-26), and to love them (Matthew 5:44).  It is for our good that we forgive.  Holding on to anger and unforgiveness toward someone is like taking poison and waiting for them to die.

Because of our sinful nature the reality is that we are unable to forgive and love our enemies.  We may do it intellectually, but our pride and selfishness will not allow us to forgive from the heart.  In these cases the same principle must be followed.  Jesus got the victory over the temptation not to forgive and His victory can be ours.  Jesus was also victorious over the temptation not to love those who abused Him.  This victory can also be ours as well.

How can we allow Jesus to live out in our life forgiveness and love toward someone who has hurt us deeply?  Let’s use the example of a person named Jim who has hurt you.  You can simply say, “Lord I am a sinner and cannot forgive Jim or love him.  So I give up trying.  I ask You to manifest Your forgiveness and love toward Jim through me.  I trust You, and rest in the fact that You are doing this right now.  Thank You Lord for the forgiveness and love you are manifesting in me at this very moment.”

If you do this you will experience Jesus’ forgiveness and love in your heart toward Jim.  This will happen without you struggling to gain the victory.  Remember, the victory was already gained by Christ’s perfect life and death on the cross.  You simply have to choose to allow Jesus to manifest His victory in and through you, and believe that He will.  I can also say from experience that you will feel the compassion of Jesus for the person you are asking Him to forgive and love through you.  You will feel within yourself the desire to pray for them and perhaps even with tears.  In this manner Jesus’ character, love, virtues become a integral part of our life.

Choose and believe, choose and believe – that is the Christian’s part in obtaining the victory over every temptation and sin.   Choosing means we give God our will on any given temptation.  Where most Christians err is that they think giving God their will means they are to also exert their “will power” in order to obey.  We are to give our will and let God provide the power by Christ living in us and manifesting Himself in and through us.

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