What do you pray about? Do you talk candidly with Him? This year I have been striving to deepen my prayer life and to live the faith I claim to have. I suppose you could say that I have been “praying about praying.” Interestingly enough, this prayer is transforming my spiritual life. Biblical truths that have long rested in my head are now settling in my heart.
One of those truths is that sin has no power over me! It might seem obvious, but if it was so simple the struggle to hold on to joy would not be so real. Christ’s sacrifice has freed us from the claim that sin wants to have on our lives. The jealousy, the anxiety, the anger, the bitterness, the urge to gossip, and every other sin that crosses our minds, do not have to linger in our lives. We can say, “No!” to each and every one of them through the power of Jesus. And not only does sin have no power in my life, the sin that is affecting others has no power over me either. I can’t tell you how many times I have let go of my joy because someone else was having a bad day. Sin, once identified, loses its strength, and the Holy Spirit teaches us how to name and refuse sin. I would like to reiterate that the freedom and joy I have is NOT of my own doing or making. All glory goes to Christ alone. It is only by His sacrifice, His grace, His mercy, and His love that I have joy, freedom and hope. He is alive and He is at work in me, continuing to sanctify me for His purposes.
This morning I was struggling with jealousy and insecurity prompted by something I had read on social media. It stewed in my heart for a bit and I could feel my day slipping downward. “No!” I thought. “I don’t want my day to be ruined. These feelings are wrong and I do not want them to dictate my day.” And that is when I prayed, “Lord, today I am struggling with jealousy and here is why…” I then proceeded to tell Him the ins and outs of the struggle within my heart. After I completed my prayer, I went on with my tasks. Before long, certain things about the situation I had seen became clear and I knew what I needed to do next. After all was said and done, I stood back in awe at that personal, tangible way Jesus had ministered to me today. I am thankful.
Dear Reader, if you do not personally know Jesus as your Lord and Savior please don’t rest until you do. And if Jesus is Lord of your life but you feel stagnant in your relationship with Him, start talking to Him and reading His Word every day. True freedom and joy are only found in Jesus.