The Hard Stuff…

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I am blessed to be writing about the Holy Spirit right now. Billy Graham’s book* is speaking directly to me. I am asking God to help me, to change me, to lead me in another life direction. So, today I am writing about a problem I have always had.

I have always had a problem with submission.

What does Graham say about submission? After developing a deep understanding of the power that sin has over your life, the next step in being filled with the Holy Spirit is to deal with your inability to submit yourself to God. “By submission I mean that we renounce our own way and seek above all else to submit to Christ our Lord and be ruled by Him in every area of our lives” [Graham, 140].

Why is this such a struggle for me? Maybe it is a struggle for you too. God is asking me to quit trying to control everything. God is asking me to get my “self” out of the way and put Him first.

David, Christ is at the center…

Not my will…

Not my “self”.

God intends Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life.

What is He asking directly of me?

Hard stuff…

Confess, really confess my sin. Not one of those “I am sorry God” confessions, knowing that I really don’t mean it. Knowing I will be returning to my sin soon [in a thoughtless, weak moment]. Knowing that I will be confessing all over again, and again, and again, and again and getting nowhere in my progress of eliminating my sin.

God wants to take me in a new direction; He wants me to let go of my sin and make real progress. He wants me to draw closer to Him. His will be done, not mine. His Glory is my one desire, not my “self” at the center of my little universe. Now here is the tough part, especially if the sin is a long-term habit. Letting go of it will leave a hole in your life. Maybe the sin is exciting. Maybe the sin gives you a thrill. Maybe the sin helps you relax. You have thoughts like “now my life will be dull” or maybe “what will I do now for fun.” As I let go of the sin, I let go of the part of life associated with it. Confession can just be words though. You can easily return to the sin you are trying to leave behind. God does not desire that for us.

More hard stuff…

Repentance. Graham says that the original Greek word for repentance is “renounce.” Renounce means a complete and total change of mind. “To repent is not only to feel sorry for my sin, or even just to confess it to God. To repent of my sin is to turn from it, and to turn to Christ and His will” [Graham, 141]. If you have a habit of seeing people and immediately judging them according to your own scale of acceptability, you have a problem with judgement. God will change your penchant for judgement and bring it more in line with His will. You may mistreat someone in your life; you have evil thoughts about them and act in hurtful ways toward them. God will change your heart toward that person and God will help you eliminate your hurtful ways. He will bring you more in line with His will.

Graham says that confession and repentance are the negative sides of submission. He thinks yielding to God might be the positive side. “The fullest meaning of the word ‘yield’ is to place yourself at the disposal of someone…we do not simply sit back and hope that God will somehow work through us. No, instead we place ourselves at His disposal, and You may do with me whatever You will” [Graham, 143]. Romans 6:13 says it best: “Lord I am Yours, to be used in whatever way You want to use me. I am at Your disposal, and You may do with me whatever You will. I seek Your will for my life, not my own will.” Essentially this is saying you need to put yourself at the disposal of God.

Maybe yielding is easy for some…

Not for me…

God is asking me to quit trying to control everything.

God is asking me to get my “self” out of the way and put Him first.

For selfish controlling people, is this easy? Not so much…

Not so much at all…
*The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power in Your Life

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