Welcome back for part two of Walking Step by Step in the Light.
Before I jump into our lesson, I’d like to celebrate with YOU, my dearest ministry friends, my new book that will come out in early 2018. This book shares the beautiful lessons and stories the Lord taught me as I walked through the pages of 1 John. Last week and this week’s messages are a preview of what’s tucked inside this study. If you missed last week, click here to read it. I will share more about my new study in the months to come with fun giveways and ways to participate in helping me get the word out.
Let’s get back to our message about living in the light.
Last week we received the great news that we aren’t perfect. Best news ever, right! However, that’s not an excuse to keep sinning. We talked about how important it is to recognize and agree with God about our sin because that ensures our sin doesn’t stay hidden in the dark.
What’s the best way to do that? As I struggled with my tongue a few years back, God took me through a process. He gave me a script to follow when I find myself struggling with a sin. But following this process is an intentional choice. We must choose to:
Interrupt our thoughts
Sin begins in our thoughts. Our thoughts lead us down the path of disobedience. And it’s our disobedience that interrupts our fellowship with God. So, learning to recognize and interrupt our sinful thoughts before they lead us to action is the key to uninterrupted fellowship with God.
The best way to counter our sinful thoughts is by drawing close to God. Praying and spending time in His Word sensitizes our hearts to the leading of His Holy Spirit. Something deep within our soul discerns that we are walking outside His Will and grieving His heart.
Confess our sin
How will we respond to what we feel from the Lord? We’ll either feel convicted or condemned. And which one we feel will depend on how we view God. If we know God as a loving God who desires to redeem and restore us, that feeling will convict our hearts. We will respond in trust and obedience. But if we know God as a harsh judge who seeks to punish and shame us, that feeling will condemn our hearts. We will feel shame and guilt and run from God.
If you get nothing else from our time together today, please understand the distinction between conviction and condemnation.
Conviction is from the Holy Spirit. It’s from the heart of our Creator, our loving Father. It is good because He is good. He is safe. He is trustworthy. He uses conviction to intervene in our mess and draw us back into the light and into perfect fellowship with Him.
Condemnation is from Satan, our enemy. It is not good because he is not good. He is not safe. He is a liar and the father of lies. In him, there is no truth at all. Satan uses condemnation to intervene in our mess and move us further from our Father’s heart and deeper into darkness.
God never condemns. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
So beware of the evil one’s lies. Replace them with truth from the One who created and formed you and deeply loves you. Ask forgiveness from the One who is waiting to draw you back to Him.
Turn around and step back into the light
Make intentional choices to keep from repeating the same sin.
It might be memorizing a truth you can speak or pray when that temptation to gossip, criticize, or control comes your way.
It might be resolving in your heart not to yield to what tempts you and inviting a friend to pray for and with you and hold you accountable.
It might be changing friends.
Sometimes there will be a cost. But it will be so worth it, my friend.
Remember, we don’t fight this battle alone. God equips and empowers us with spiritual discernment to alert us to the people and situations that seek to lead us into sin and darkness. His Spirit provides us with the strength and courage to resist that temptation and stand on the Truth.
Walking in fellowship with Christ, day-by-day, step-by-step, ensures who we say we are, matches who we really are.
We are blood bought baby girls of the One True God. We are daughters of the Holy One of Israel. We are loved. Chosen. Redeemed. Beautiful in His sight. Created with purpose.
Don’t let the devil interrupt your fellowship with God or mar the beautiful woman God has created you to be!
I would love to hear from you today. Share one step you need to take today to walk in the light.