By Allen White
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:10-11
I’m often frustrated that I’m not a better Christian. I committed my life to Christ almost 40 years ago. Why am I not further along?
Some things in Scripture are just so contrary to my nature. Take for instance: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” (James 1:19). Now, put that verse in reverse, and I’ve got it nailed: quick to get angry, quick to speak, slow to listen. It’s much easier.
Yet, God didn’t give us a book of rules that is impossible for us to follow. Well, let me put that a different way. God gave us a task that is too much to accomplish on our own: to conform to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Sure, we can try harder, but after a while, we just run out of steam. (Anyone broken any New Year’s resolutions lately?) So, what are we supposed to do?
God has already given us the power to achieve His will for us. The same Spirit who inspired God’s Word to be written (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21) is the same Spirit who lives in us (Romans 8:9). This is also the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead. Read that again. The Spirit of God who lives in every believer is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. What could we not accomplish with that?
One of our small group leaders, Shane, was advised by his doctor three years ago to undergo weight loss surgery. That wasn’t the first thing that Shane wanted to do. But, as time passed, he learned that he would need to start medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But, he really didn’t want to start taking medication.
Shane chose to lose the weight instead – on his own. He started watching what he ate and exercising. In just a couple of months, 30 pounds fell off. Then, he got stuck.
By his own admission, his self-control got 30 pounds off, but couldn’t get him any further. Shane turned to God and prayed, “Lord, if you will help me, then I will work to get the rest of this weight off.” It’s been seven months now since Shane first started his weight loss. He has lost 101 pounds. His blood pressure is lower. His cholesterol is lower. He’s never taken any medication. Shane’s willingness and God’s power have transformed his life.
You have the power you need to fulfill God’s vision for your life. The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead lives in you. What is impossible for God?
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