Let God Do What Only He Can Do!

man carrying sins

If you have seen the movie Father of the Bride, you may remember Franck’s reaction the first time he sees the Banks home:

Oh, it’s adorable…Oh, it’s very nice…Very romantic. We change it all, though. Let’s go.

Max Lucado related the same message years ago in one of his books. His wife fell in love with a certain house—loved everything about it—so they bought it and she changed everything!

This is the way it is with God. He sent His Son to die for us while we were in the filth of our sin. In fact, the old hymn says, Just as I am…I come. However, He does not intend to leave us like He found us. He wants to change everything!

Why Can’t I Change?

Herein lies the crux of the problem: After we get saved we look at ourselves in the spiritual mirror and discover that we don’t look different. We still have our struggles, shortcomings, weaknesses. No matter how hard we try we can’t seem to be “righteous” enough. No matter how hard we try we can’t seem to change in the areas where we are supposed to be different than our old un-saved self.

First of all, the only way we are ever going to be able to be righteous is by faith. We must trust God for righteousness.

Romans 4:4–5

4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

You have to settle this! The more analytical you are—the more introspective—the harder it is. It goes against human logic. This is the leap of faith you have heard about.

Next, the answer is, “Yes: God expects us to live righteously.” That is part of our salvation. However, the only thing that makes living righteously possible is that we have first been counted as righteous by faith. But this part of our salvation does not happen instantly. That is, we become positionally righteous when we trust God for salvation, and we may even experience immediate transformation even in some of the most stubborn areas of sin. But even then we will discover that we have much more growing to do; many more aspects to our inner man that must conform to the image of Christ. There’s no getting around it. But, of course, because we have met Jesus, we love Him and we don’t want to get around it. We just want it to happen!

Here is an important truth that has the potential change everything in your life. It has the potential to set you free!

The same way that you had to trust God for righteousness is also the way you will continue to grow and be transformed. We must trust God for salvation and then trust Him for everything that needs to happen after that.

Bundling Up Your Needs

When we begin to realize just how much we don’t look like Jesus, we can be tempted to show up every day in the Secret Place feeling guilty and burdened down. The fact is, we may even stop showing up in the Secret Place because of those burdens. But there is a better way.

A few years ago, I found myself agonizing over things that I regretted, aspects over my own character that needed to change, things I needed to see happen. But those things were producing a wedge between me and God because I was trying to fix them myself. Finally, wrestling in prayer I began to realize that I could simply bundle up all of my concerns and give them to God, asking Him to bring about His will in all of it. My prayer became,

“Father, here’s the bundle of all of my concerns. I can’t fix them. I invite you to bring about your will in every area of my life. I’m trusting you to bring my life into complete compliance with Your will.”

Now, this is not an invitation to make light of our sins. Nor does it mean that there won’t be things God wants us to do or not do. But it does mean that wherever there needs to be the heart-change necessary to bring us into compliance with His will, He will bring it to pass. He alone can advance us from where we are to where He wants us to be.

The bottom line? Whatever you are concerned about today—I mean whatever—invite God to fix it. We can trust God with absolutely everything. That’s something you can do right now!

Intimacy First!

Can you put it into wordsHad a great reunion of sorts with some of the DPP family this morning! I really love this group of people. I’m proud of them and thankful for them.

I just felt that I should invite as many from the DPP family as possible to come this Sunday to talk about The Foundations of Our Pursuit of Intimacy With Jesus. Ten of them came and it was a joy!

We talked about

  • putting our desire for intimacy with Jesus into words.
  • the progression from praise to worship to intimacy.
  • allowing ourselves legitimacy in prayer by thinking about ourselves as God thinks of us, which, if we are saved, is as righteous. God thinks of us as righteous.
  • how our prayers for others will be more effectual when they flow from a place of intimacy with Jesus.
  • how we have been conditioned to think of intimacy in terms of “doing” and how that doesn’t work in our human relationships and that it doesn’t work in our relationship with God.

Want to be part of the Daily Prayer Project family? Just call 631-265-2485.

Come on April 15!

I can’t wait for April 15! Not because I love paying taxes. But because that’s when the Daily Prayer Project: Continuing Connection begins!

I will be honest with you: I need this! I need the fellowship and the encouragement! I hope you feel that way too.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: We we’re planning to meet in Room A-207. NOT ANYMORE! We will be meeting in Room A-208—the same room we met in for the project.

DPP:Continuing Connection Launches April 15!

I am excited about the launching of DPP:Continuing Connection (DPP:CC)! The truth is, I just feel the need to stay connected to all of you who have gone through the project.

I had hoped that we could stay connected through the Accountability Page on this website. I’m not giving up on that! I think meeting in person will help that along.

So what will be be doing at DPP:CC?

Other than the fellowship and encouragement of connecting together over our common desire to cultivate the Secret Place, I hope to explore with you some important places in Scripture that I continue to return to that encourage me in my pursuit of intimacy with God.

Most of you wouldn’t know this but I have some facility with the original language of the New Testament: Koine Greek. The passages I referred to are rich with meaning and I hope we can slowly but surely—informally but with focus—let these places in God’s Word fuel our desire for Him and bolster our faith!

Please prayerfully consider making Continuing Connection a part of your routine on:

Sunday mornings @ 10:30 in RM A-207