Guess what? We’re not perfect Christians; nobody is. As hard as we may try to be “good,” sometimes we make mistakes. We have to admit that we’ve messed up. We may even have to admit that according to what the Bible says, we’ve sinned. Every Christian still sins and people sin against us. The best we can do is ask the Lord for forgiveness, accept it and move on. The thing is, we CAN change. Now when you fly, you have to pay for extra baggage. It’s the same with our lives—and it costs too much. So let’s see if we can get rid of some of the baggage we’ve been carrying. Let’s lighten up our load. We can’t really move forward if we keep adding to the pile of stuff that we take with us from year to year.
So this is what we can do: First thing is to think about, then write down one temptation that took us away from doing God’s will this past month. Look at that thing and forgive ourselves for doing it.
Jesus is our savior. We mess up; we admit it; He picks us up. He forgives us and we forgive us. Done. But how do we stop from messing up in the same way again?
We need to ask ourselves, “Why did I mess up?” “Why did I allow it?” “What is it in me that may have contributed to bringing this thing to pass?” Once we can see the answer to this “why” question and we have an understanding of it, we can forgive ourselves and get healed.
Any mistakes we make are not in our spirit man—that’s perfect. But mistakes are in our thinking, emotions and decisions—all soul-related.
God said, “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds” (Jer. 30:17). There are no wounds in our spirit, only in our soul. God sent Jesus to earth to show us how to get our souls healed and drop the baggage that is so hard to drag around with us. The older we get the heavier and more cumbersome the bags get.
Paul tells us his deep desire in Philippians 3:10: “That I may know him [Jesus Christ] and the power of his resurrection.” The original Greek word for “power” in this verse is “dunamis.” Dunamis is defined as “miracle-working power, moral power, excellence of soul.”
The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is the miraculous power that refreshes and changes our souls.
It’s in our souls that we err against God, but we’ve been given “dunamis,” which is excellence of soul. We have excellence of soul. Say it, “I have excellence of soul. I have moral power, by the grace of Jesus Christ and the love of God to me.” It’s the same miraculous power that it took to raise Jesus from the bonds of hell, that will miraculously break us free from the bonds of sins and errors in judgement in our soul lives.
The world pushes us to do things that are not good for us. We are taught by the media and by our social, business and political environment, that to succeed we must tell half-truths and lies and it’s okay. We can cheat on some things that don’t seem right to us anyway. We can park in the handicap parking even though we’re perfectly able to walk: little things like that, things that don’t seem to matter much. And yet, they are wrong living. Righteous living just isn’t practical in our world today and less and less people are willing to risk what it takes to do the right thing. But what about God? Do we really think that He doesn’t see or doesn’t care about honesty, morality, integrity? He does. It’s against the flow, but we truly can live a decent, honest life and even prosper doing it. Jesus helps us to do it and one thing at a time, we can be the people who really do have integrity, standards, prudence, sincerity, conscience, justice, kindness, remorse and virtue.
We have that miracle-working power of dunamis in us already. We just have to release it and follow its (His) leading. We can release it by letting the light of dunamis power invade our souls. Like it says many times in the Old Testament, “open the gates.” We say, “I have miracle-working power in me I have excellence of soul and moral power because God gave it to me.” Excellence of soul is to make the right decisions, right choices, the right thoughts according to the spirit of God in Christ in us. It is a choice against the norm. It is a fight for what is right, even if it is a fight against ourselves, against what society dictates. We have the right to win this fight and be free of the bonds of the world around us.
We soak in dunamis like we’d soak a stained piece of clothing. We don’t just dip it in and take it out. It needs to be immersed for a while. We soak our innermost being by meditating on the truth that Jesus Christ wants to heal in our souls. The results are miraculous, not natural, and that’s why we have to keep going to the Lord and soaking in what the Bible says is right thinking. You won’t find right thinking in the ways of the world, only in the ways of Christ, that we find in the writings of those who were inspired by God to write what He wanted said.
Second Timothy 2: 24-26 tells us that when we don’t have excellence of soul in a category of life, we are opposing ourselves and that we are to “awake ourselves out of the snare of the devil.”
As we start to claim our right to exhibit excellence of soul and moral power we will begin to see in our lives where the origins of our errors came from. It takes some reflection.
Did something make you feel rejected or not good enough as a child? And do those triggers still come up and do you react the same way as you did as a child? Are you still seeking what you lost a long time ago? Do you feel you have to close the door on your real self in order to protect and defend yourself? Did something or someone make you so angry you did and still do things to hurt yourself or others? Did you hide in pain killers or alcohol to protect yourself after a disaster you caused or something else you saw that you don’t ever want to see again? There are so many things in our lives that can keep us doing the wrong things and not stepping out bravely as adults, to do the right thing.
It’s totally understandable, but also totally changeable with Jesus’ help. We may not be able to help someone else with their baggage, but we can understand that they do have baggage just like we do. To change the world, we change ourselves first. We start with our own baggage.
Many of our hurts and errors in judgment started when we were children, or they started at the points of trauma in our lives. Everyone has drama and trauma as a child and as adults. But we have the power to confront the drama and the trauma. God’s Word says we have the miracle dunamis power within us, that as we shine the light on it, we can have our souls changed and healed.
God tells us: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord” (Jer. 30:17).
Those “wounds” include soul wounds: defeats, blows to our minds and our emotions, causing erroneous defenses, actions that hurt us and others. As we look to God’s Word, that extra baggage that we are still paying for, drops away and we can become the true free people we want to be, an example of integrity and light to those around us.
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