Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: Romans 8:1-11
Key Verse: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
It was October 16, 2010, when I was baptized into a new life in Christ. I will never forget this day. It had been a long and difficult journey, but finally I had decided to commit to being part of the body of Christ.
Since giving my life to Christ, I have been learning and unlearning many things. Good habits have taken the place of bad habits, new thoughts have taken the place of bad ones, new dreams have taken the place of worldly plans, and the process is still going on.
I praise the Lord for the promise of Proverbs 4:18: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
This lifelong journey is called sanctification, and as we surrender to the Spirit’s promptings, we continue to grow more and more like Christ.
However, when we’ve discovered a new way to live, if we aren’t careful, we can get caught up in the physical changes taking place, in the better choices being made, and in the new position that we should be in, while we neglect the condition of our hearts.
Let me explain. In the past I made many wrong choices while running from God. But once I gave my life to Him, I began studying the Bible instead of the knowledge of the world, and, as a result, I learned many truths. So I started making changes in my life. I left behind worldly fashions, entertainment, priorities, and plans because I wanted to be a good Christian. Of course, it’s not wrong to do these things. The Bible tells us that if we are friends of the world, we are actually enemies of God (see James 4:4).
However, now I understand more clearly that Christianity is not just about being in the right position (by following Christian standards) but about my heart condition. This is what really counts.
Often in the past I would speak up in Sabbath School or in preaching, trying to make sure my friends understood the position Christ’s followers should be in—separate from the world, united with Christ. However, I admit that I didn’t always do this with the right heart condition.
Now God is changing my heart. Now I ask myself, Are my actions the fruit of a heart rooted in the love of Christ, whether or not I achieve my goal? Can I accept a brother or sister, even if we don’t agree? Can I treat stubborn people with love, with the goal of winning their hearts, not just winning the argument?
As I reflect on these things, I realize how much I need the Spirit of Christ. How much more I need His love, His joy, and His temperance! For without His Spirit, there’s no way I can reach hearts.
So where is your focus today? Is it all about right position and standards, or is it about a right condition of the heart? If the latter is the there, the former will automatically fall into place as we seek to glorify and honor God.
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Heavenly Father, please wake me up from my sleep and self-sufficiency. Help me to see my need of a deeper relationship with You. Open my eyes that I may see You and let go of my self-righteousness. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will follow Your heart and Your thoughts rather than my own understanding. Thank You for not giving up on me, even when I had my priorities out of line. You have been so patient. Thank You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Roman Ril
(To read another convicting article by Roman, click here for “The Subtle Witness.”)