Our whole being: spirit, soul and body, is being preserved blameless in view of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are a spirit being, who has a soul and lives in a body. Keeping our whole being in view brings understanding in our battles and in our growth.
Our spiritual growth comes first. It is by the spirit that we can walk in authority over our thoughts and learn to take our body into subjugation. When we try to pursue a diet, follow a therapy plan for the healing of our emotions, or make the right choices without seeking God’s wisdom and guidance, we run into defeat. When we feed our spirit man first through the Word of God, prayer, and worship; our care for the rest of our being is more effective.
When sickness battles our bodies or we go through a painful trial and are emotionally overwhelmed, we find grace and peace knowing that nothing can hinder who we are spiritually. In those times we cannot question our spirituality; we need to trust it. It is human to go through things, but it does not determine our spiritual state. When we are weak, the Spirit of God living in and through us remains strong. He helps us rise stronger and stronger, from glory to glory!
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As we are in the process of our transformation into the image of Jesus, we discover areas where we need freedom. Waiting to be victorious over an unpleasant habit or a fleshy tendency like anger or impatience can frustrate us. The enemy adds guilt and condemnation to our struggle. Praise God for His patience, His grace, and never-ending work in our lives!
We learn to yield to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. When pride prevents us from responding to His conviction, He gently keeps tugging at our hearts until we surrender. We know that without His power, we cannot win the battles. But with Him, we can. It might not happen instantly and take many tries, but He will continue to work in us one layer at a time.
Before we try to conquer other things, God has a way to conquer us. It is salvation, the greatest victory. We belong to Him and His glory dwells in us. We are victorious because we are glorious. It’s not our victory, it’s His victory. He won it on the cross, over sin, death, depression and disease. He is triumphant, and so are we in Him, from glory to glory!
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Many things might come against us to move us away from our place of victory. It is a challenge to remain determined and stay put regardless of the situation.
Circumstances can cause us to move in the flesh and react with anger, frustration or worry. We then feel out of place. It disturbs our inner peace and we must press through to experience it again. The time we spend to regain that peace becomes shorter and shorter as we walk in Him. It helps to remind ourselves that the peace of God is still there, regardless, because of the reality of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
Whatever happens to us cannot change what the Lord has done in us. Our strength in Him enables us to endure what is outward. When we find that things get to us, we can rush back to Jesus through worship, prayer, and His word. In Him, our strength within increases. The Holy Spirit binds us to Himself and never lets go. We hold on to Him and lose what tries to cling to us.
Our focus then is to increase our time abiding in His presence. We can rest assure that even when it appears trials move us, He remains immovable, and makes us immovable, from glory to glory!
Act 20:24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Our unbelief hinders our witnessing to the reality of God. We either proclaim our faith or unbelief in the way we respond to God’s Word. We see in Luke how two people responded to messages from the angel Gabriel. He visited Zechariah to announce to him that even though his wife had been barren, she was going to have a child, John the Baptist. To Mary he announced the miraculous birth of Jesus.
Zechariah looked at the circumstances first and God second. He focused more on what he knew, his reality. The consequence of his unbelief was that he became deaf and mute for a time. It didn’t make God take His promise back; it kept him from enjoying and sharing the glorious news. Mary didn’t question the actual news that she was going to birth Jesus miraculously, only the how. She believed with a wonder filled, child-like faith and submission to God’s will.
To overcome unbelief, we keep our eyes on Jesus and take Him at His word even when we don’t understand how He will bring it to pass. We pray for Him, the author and finisher of our faith, to help our unbelief, known or unknown. We humbly submit ourselves to His Will, His Way, His Word, from glory to glory!
Luke 1:38 “Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
When we have faith in God, we please Him. Not by what we do for Him, but that we believe He exists, our Lord and Savior. Through faith, we are born again and as we grow in the knowledge of who He is; we grow from faith to faith. We come to Him with our struggles, even when we question what He might do, believing that He is, with no doubt.
Our thoughts of unworthiness might cause us to hesitate to come to Him, but God loves and accepts us just the way we are. He understands our battle between the flesh and the spirit. He helps us fight our flesh as the author and finisher of our faith. He sees our faith in Him above all and receives us with open arms. Our eyes cannot be on who we are, or others, but on who God is.
He rewards us with Himself and all that comes from Him. Our faith cannot be in our faith otherwise it would feed on our pride. As our faith in Him increases, we trust He will do above and beyond what we ask or think. We focus on the who, not the what, and submit to His will, with joyous anticipation, from glory to glory!
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
We might not be certain of God’s will, but we can protect ourselves from deception by submitting our desires to Him and guarding our hearts. Humility guards us from believing what we think is always right and seek God for what is truly right.
Unbelief can come as believing more in what our flesh wants than what we know is of God. We can recognize it when people want something so much that it becomes an obsession. That desire is all they talk about. Obsession leads to deception. It’s as though they are asking God to believe what they have decided. Their focus then is on the thing they want, not on God. It can turn into covetousness. Contentment in the Lord brings rest and fulfillment.
It’s not that this or that cannot happen. All things are possible with God. God does not want people to desire anything more than Him. He is more concerned with our character transformation than pleasing our prideful, fleshy, desires. Our faith is in Him; and we surrender our will to His. We believe His will to be done, even when we don’t know what it is specifically. Faith in God is the gateway to what He has for us, from glory to glory!
Matthew 26:42 “Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.’ “