''Christ in You...'' with Dale Krebbs
Originally posted on 09/13/2020
Last week we discussed the enormity and the peril of the sin of unbelief - the greatest sin, the very first sin. In conclusion I implored the reader to BELIEVE. If you have not, I continue to pray that you will. If you have - now all things are possible (Mark 9:23)...
Believing has now empowered you! The very first thing that believing has done for you is to enable you to REPENT. There is an initial repentance or change of direction in your believing. But now repentance takes on a far greater and deeper profoundness and meaning. If you have truly believed, the Holy Spirit will now work in you a new realization about not only what you have done and are doing that breaks God's law, but about what and who you ARE in His sight. One of the most damaging and subtle beliefs in today's world is that "repentance" is about what we have done. This is getting the proverbial "cart before the horse". We must repent of who WE ARE - not just of our deeds that have been wrong in God's sight. What we have done in the past is simply the fruit of who we are. Therefore, now you will begin to realize things about yourself that you were totally unaware of before believing in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. This may occur immediately, or over a period of time - it will happen, in God's time...
Now, the Holy Spirit, with your cooperation, will begin the process of shaping you into the image of Jesus. For many, depending on the personal makeup and history of the individual, can become discouraged and even dismayed when He begins uncovering the layers of self deception and pretense that the world and Satan have built into the fallen nature over the years. This can affect a brokenness that leads to genuine humility that was never experienced before (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). When it occurs, do not be tempted to "give up" (as Satan would have you do...), but look toward Jesus, confess the revealed truth about yourself, in openness and honesty. He will instantly and abundantly pardon, and begin to perfect that which is lacking (1 John 1:5-10; 1Thessalonias 3:9-10). In all this, accept what He is revealing to you. Sometimes, it may be very difficult to to accept; perhaps even more difficult than it was to see in yourself. There is a temptation to turn our eyes away from some awful realization about ourselves, and to run away from it. However, sooner or later, as you yield more and more, and become more and more pliable, you will be able to face it (Isaiah 64:8).
As this process continues, sometimes it is only through our tears that we learn to see - to see ourselves as our God and Maker sees us. We also learn to see Him AS HE IS - all wise, all knowing, all loving, almighty - and HOLY! When all this begins to take shape and as it continues, you will begin to see more and more how MERCIFUL God is. It is a wonder that we were not destroyed on the spot! But in His dealings with His children, God never forgets MERCY. In His judgments, He remembers mercy! The more we see His mercy in our lives, the more we are enabled and compelled to extend mercy. This is one of His greatest attributes, and one that we should be very thankful for. One way or another, He will form it in you and me. In all of your relationships, in all of you dealings, at all times, never forget the principle - "in judgment, remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2)! Also remember: he that has shown no mercy shall receive none...
Eventually you will begin to feel that somehow you are becoming "new". Many of your desires, affections, habits, and interests are beginning to change (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). You will begin seeking after the things of God more than the things of the world. The world is obsessed with "things"; all kinds of things. The more it attempts to possess them, the less it enjoys them. It is a vicious circle. Instead, you must actively seek to build on the new person you are becoming (Colossians 3:1-17).
As the Holy Spirit molds you in the image of Christ, you will find that you begin to think, and feel, and desire the things that God thinks, feels, and desires, which were not a part of you before (Isaiah 55:6-11). There is something very important in this that directly relates to prayer. Prayer is defined in many ways, and reasons given for answered prayer and unanswered prayer. There is the observation that at times, UNANSWERED prayer can be one of God's greatest blessings. We would do well to plead with God not to always give us what we want. However, pleading is not necessary, because He will not give us all the we want. We should be very thankful! But as you grow in the grace and knowledge, and image of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), you will find that mysteriously you are receiving more and more of your requests in prayer. Strangely perhaps, the answer lies within your heart and mind, not within God's heart mind (although God DOES change His mind at times...). In becoming more like Jesus, it is YOUR desires that are becoming more and more aligned with His mind. This is the key to understanding several scriptures (Psalm 37:1-8; 1 John 5:13-15; John 14:13). More and more you are being built into the image of Christ, a true temple of the Holy Spirit, and new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
Yes - you will have trials and tests. We must all take up whatever cross God has appointed for us to bear, and follow Him. The crosses are all different, because God is creating an utterly unique child with each of us. NO ONE will ever have YOUR unique grace. We are all "one of a Kind" in the family of God's adopted children. Trials and difficulties should not surprise us - the world has "trials" and troubles.
God is using ours for a Holy purpose!
Let Him make you into the pinnacle of a new creation beyond all comprehension, that He has planned for you, that will last for eternity (Philippians 1:6).
You are now a child of the King...!
"And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" - 2 Corinthians 6:18