The Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of Jesus as we grow in Him, but we do not always see it. Seeing and understanding it is the key to witnessing our divine identity. His character can be more evident. We become more loving, patient, gentle, peaceful; more like Him. Seeing more of Jesus in our lives than we did before encourages us in our walk.
What hinders us is paying attention to what the enemy shows us: our weaknesses, shortcomings, and humanity. His lies bring guilt, shame, and condemnation. The veils of religion, pride, self-effort, and fleshy ways stop us from beholding God’s transforming glory in our lives. Satan tries to put back the veil that the Lord removed when we turned to Him and received salvation.
The more we pay attention to Jesus in our own lives, the more we can fight off insecurity. It encourages us to focus on what the Lord has done instead of what is still in the process of transformation. What holds us back from seeing God’s glory diminishes as we magnify His presence, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 3:16 “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
Divine wisdom is available to us, but we forget to seek after it because we question whether we will hear the answer. God desires for us to hear and receive His wisdom even more than we ourselves.
Our past errors in hearing God make us unsure, and we doubt what we think is of Him. We hesitate to trust what we hear and end up going with what we know for sure, with natural instincts leading instead of His spirit. We also question the divine wisdom that comes through others because past events have broken our trust.
Forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, by God’s grace, is the key to opening our hearing of faith. We need to understand that we hear partly and that our hearing improves as we grow in the knowledge of who He is. Trusting that He loves us, even when we err, helps us pursue His wisdom with fervency.
We can come boldly to the throne of grace, ask, and receive His wisdom by faith. Keeping a journal and talking to Him about what we sense in our spirit becomes a joyful journey of discovering His love, guidance, and care, from glory to glory!
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
At the start of a new year, we might tell ourselves things like, “I’m going to start a new diet to improve my health, lose weight, and begin a new exercise program. I will give up drinking so many sodas. I will be nicer to my mate.” We entertain so many thoughts because of the new year.
Even though it’s important to set dates for our goals, the actual date cannot be our motivation for them. When it is, we set ourselves up to fail. If it’s because the year starts that we endeavor a new diet, we will give up when we miss it one day, and because the first will have gone by, so will our incentive. When the date is just part of the goal and we fail, we rise and try again and again until we succeed, no matter how many dates we set.
Every day is an opportunity to give another try to our aspirations. God’s mercies are new every morning! Every single morning. In God, every day is New Year’s Day! Hallelujah! Let’s do whatever He leads us to do, again and again, until dates no longer matter. Only Him and His faithfulness, from glory to glory!
Lamentations 3:22-23 “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
Fasting makes us stronger spiritually and increases our emotional and physical well-being. The results are not seen immediately, but progressively as we reach new and enlightening levels of encounters with God, ourselves and others.
With every encounter we find we are walking more in the spirit and less in the flesh; and some of our ways that we wanted to change are now changed because of the fast. We realize that by taking authority over the flesh, we have submitted to the authority of God in greater measure. In doing so, we have resisted the enemy and he had to flee. We now are moving faster, free from what was holding us back. Things are clear and our focus has been sharpened. The hurdles have been moved and God is taking us fast forward into the glorious journey He has prepared for us.
Our transformation is spiritual, emotional and physical. In every area of our being we are moving quickly, supernaturally, and surprisingly into a new place in God, with God and for God. We are advancing in a fast forward mode. The progress is not seen immediately, but when it’s seen, it is greater than anticipated, from glory to glory!
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”
Periodically, the Lord leads us to fast so we can be ruled by His Spirit instead of our flesh. In the Word, Paul speaks of disciplining his body and taking it into subjection. To bring our body under complete control, or subjection, means we conquer and master the flesh by the Spirit. As a spiritual being, we know there is a constant war between the flesh and the spirit. Even though the flesh should never dominate us, we face an ongoing war with temptations. Fasting, led by the Spirit of God, helps us walk victoriously in this daily battle.
Abstaining from what our flesh desires is different for each individual. People crave different food or drinks. A beneficial fast is the one that enables an individual to say no to what the body desires most. For some individuals it may not be food or drinks, but watching TV, surfing the web on a computer, playing games, relationships or speaking negatively. Based on what needs to be overcome in the flesh, it may be helpful to first say no to one thing before attempting to rule another.
Saying no regularly to our stomachs makes it easier to say no to other temptations that come our way. The key is for each one of us to seek the Lord on how He specifically wants us to fast. When we do so corporately, in one accord, we are strengthened and find ourselves walking in the Spirit, from glory to glory!
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
When we make a choice that brings a change in our habits and our well-being, it’s important to take the time to prepare. The temptations come when we don’t know how to do what we have decided to do. The enemy tries to set us up for a step down from our place of obedience. The Spirit of God will lead us to set up for a step up.
Often defeat comes when preparation has not been put in place. In counting the cost of what we purpose to achieve, we must take into consideration what we have. When we decide to eat healthier, we need to shop, prepare meals and plan our week accordingly. When we prepare to fast from specific foods, we should not only make sure we don’t have these items around; we should make sure healthy alternatives are on hand. Even though there are some things for which we cannot prepare, wisdom is for us to do what we are able to do today, as led and enabled by the Lord.
When we prepare for a better job, a relationship or the next step up — we need to make sure nothing from our past, or present, can keep us bound. We walk away from the past, refuse to be stuck in today and are ready to step up into our future. Every step the Lord leads us to make is a step up from where we are to a better place, from glory to glory.
Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”