The moment we receive Christ, we step into a lifetime journey—a journey where we continually grow in right behavior. Little by little, day after day, our behavior improves.
But it is vitally important that before you try to change your behavior, you know who you are in Christ. You must know that God loves you first.
Not only does He approve of you, He delights in you (see Psalm 18:19)! You need to get that so deeply rooted within your heart that nothing can ever take it from you.
The Power of God’s Word in You
When you’re rooted in God’s love, He’s going to help you stand up in faith and start walking. But you can’t go ahead of Him trying to do good works on your own. You have to know the Word. And it’s not easy to get the Word in you. Your human nature will fight it.
I remember feeding my babies and as long as I was giving them bananas and peaches, everything was great. But when I’d slip in a spoonful of peas, they’d go “Phfttt!” So I’d scrape the peas off their chin and shove it back in their mouth again. It took a while, but sooner or later they were eating peas.
It’s the same with new Christians. When we first come to Jesus, we’re hungry for the love of God and the sweet scriptures that draw us close to Him. After a while, when His love has made us strong, confident and secure, then we’re ready to eat our vegetables.
Eventually, we all want to be able to say, “I’ve improved. I’m more patient. I’m more giving. I’m less selfish.” And we can have that kind of transformation if we truly want it. It just takes time to learn to trust God and submit to His Word.
Loving God & Longing for Conviction
God’s love for you is unconditional, which means He loves you even if you never change or grow. However, you will miss out on the blessings of deep intimacy with Him if you choose to keep yourself separate from Him in spirit.
You see, it’s through obedience that we show God how much we love Him.
Now, you may be very familiar with condemnation, which the enemy uses to shame us. Conviction, on the other hand, is very positive. It is a tool the Holy Spirit uses to guide us so we can stay in sync with God’s Word!
Conviction is the Holy Spirit letting you know in your heart that your attitude stinks or that you’re on the wrong path. It’s a signal to turn around and go in the right direction—and it’s something worth celebrating.
Take Time to Celebrate!
Most of us take time to celebrate birthdays, graduations and other special occasions. But I think our growth in God’s Word is worth celebrating too.
When you overcome something that has been a hindrance in your life, go ahead and celebrate! Give God a shout! Sing a victory song! Tell your friends what He’s done for you! Let the devil know he’s under your feet!
Sometimes we just need to say, “God, I’ve come a long way. I’m going to celebrate!”
Shake Off Your Mistakes
There will be times when you make mistakes…but God already knows you’re going to make them.
King David wasn’t perfect, but he knew God delighted in him (see Psalm 18:19)… and God is pleased with you!
So, don’t focus on your mistakes. Don’t let the devil condemn you. Shake off any guilt or shame you may feel, and believe the truth that God loves you (see John 3:17).
If you keep on walking in sync with God, He will help you get to where you want to go!