Have you ever had a week? One where God shows up, gives a clear direction, you do the hard things, obey Him, follow through and expect the heavens to part releasing the miracle.
Yeah, I had that week. But when the clouds parted all I got was a huge thunderstorm.
God gave us this crazy opportunity to buy this really great house. All I have to do is sell my current home. My real estate skillz put two houses under contract (one of them mine) last week. I submitted the offer to complete my real estate trifecta.
I got declined. As in, “Seller declines your offer.”
Yeah, that’s me. Officially homeless in just under 5 weeks. On the bright side, that first weekend I will be at the SDG retreat with you. *smiles*
tempted to get bummed. Then I remembered what James says of trials. “Count it all joy.”
So I count my joys.
I get unemotional.
I see the thunderstorm clear and the open clouds revealing another opportunity.
Although God closes one door, He opens another. Literally. We’re talking about front doors. *LOL*
Today I count the joy of working from wisdom instead of from the emotion that governs my life, my mind, my decision-making process.
Because I have access to His Power, the impulse to act on impulse in my life is silenced. Amen.
And that’s why you should check out Ashley Linne’s amazing Bible study “Inseperable” Ashley is visiting today to share a bit from her study. Let’s give her the biggest SDG welcome. Sisters, be encouraged–be in Christ.
Why You Are Free to be Holy
Much like any other child, when I was very young I liked to push boundaries.
My mother told me repeatedly not to touch the red ants I’d found crawling along the sidewalk. But I just had to know for myself why not.
The temptation was just too strong!
After being bitten by several of them, I realized Mom was right.
There is always a way of escape if we decide to take it, but in those moments when our flesh is warring against the Spirit it’s very difficult. Difficult to stop. Difficult to take a step outside of the situation to evaluate what we should do next.
So many times it’s easier to go to our default “flesh” reaction and run with it. In my own war with my flesh, it seems each battle is won or lost in a split-second decision. I hate it when I go down the path of sin, and all the while the Spirit within is crying out against it.
It’s almost like an out-of-body experience.
I know in my heart that what I’m doing is the total opposite of what I really want to be doing. What I should be doing. But there I am, doing it (Paul expressed a similar battle in Romans 7).
If I listen to the Spirit and keep looking for the escape route, I can bypass further consequences and take the exit right to God’s feet, where I can seek His grace yet again. But in my experience, the longer I wait and the longer I ignore the Spirit’s prodding toward that exit, the more difficult it becomes to recognize His voice.
Everything starts to get muddy. I start confusing my own wild thoughts with His gentle whispers, and I begin to feel more confused than confident. It’s not a fun place to be.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about here. There is probably that “thing” you do that came to mind for you. And I’m going to take a guess and say that you hate that “thing.” You hate that fleshly reaction that just seems so natural in so many situations.
I want you to know that it is possible to lengthen the time between temptation and reaction so you can choose a more Spirit-led path. You probably won’t choose the Spirit-led path every time in the future, but I pray you know it is possible. In Christ, you are free from both the penalty of sin and the power of sin (Rom. 6:14). Sin doesn’t hold you as a slave anymore (Rom. 6:5–7, 22).
You absolutely can say no to whatever temptation comes your way. Remember, the power of the living God is what you have access to, and His power crushes any illusion of power that sin has.
We have been freed from the basic law of sin and death because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and thus are adopted as God’s children. As God’s children, the Holy Spirit resides within us—within our very souls. “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4:6 NASB).
He has set us free from sin, and that is what makes us holy. Not our trying really hard to be good girls. The fact that we are in Christ is what makes us holy. And overflowing from that freedom will come good works and right behavior, not as an attempt to pay God back, but because we can’t help it. When we’ve been forgiven of much, we love Him much, and when we love Him we want to obey Him.
I pray that as we find more of our identity in Christ, we will recognize His love and the power He gives us to overcome temptation. And when we do miss the mark, I pray we realize we are still God’s holy, beloved children who can approach Him for forgiveness and grace. Praise God for His neverending love!
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3, ESV)
Excerpt from Inseparable: Who I Am, Was, and Will Be in Christ by Ashley Linne. Download a FREE Chapter from all three new Inscribed Studies Here.
Ashley Linne is a wife and mom who loves to write, sing, and travel. She is passionate about discipleship, mentoring, and sexual abuse prevention. She has been leading small group Bible studies for over 15 years, and is the author of Inseparable: Who I Am, Was, and Will Be in Christ. Ashley lives with her husband and son in Bellingham, WA.
Just remember, who you are is not separate from who He is.What habitual sin are you ready to separate from by grabbing hold of being inseparable from his holiness?
This week’s SDG Connections Posts:
On Wednesday and Friday, Arlene will share in two posts how her marriage went from infidelity to infinite love. She also addresses her time in a mental hospital and how the shame literally started to drive her crazy.
SDG Gathering Important Information
Lisa Smith is helping me facilitate our gatherings each week. She is visiting those of you who link up on “even” numbers and I am visiting the “odd” (don’t worry, I’m not calling YOU odd). She will also be sharing on Mondays with you from time to time, opening up her heart and life to you, as you faithful do with us each week you link up. We do have some important housekeeping items about this gathering, so if you have not read them, please come here to catch up. The condensed version: Link up ONE post that shares your heart authentically and be sure to check in with some of your sisters who have linked up with you. Leave a heartfelt word of encouragement for them after you visit their space. This is a community where we actively seek to get to know each other. (Note from Jen: I am so sorry I didn’t get to people last week due to the launch and a speaking engagement last weekend. But I’m back and ready to see what’s going on with my sisters this week!)