Day 28: Christ in Us
THE DOOR TO OUR HEART
Doors allow us to control what comes in and what goes out. They can be locked, unlocked, left ajar, entirely removed, and made out of all kinds of materials. Doors are especially important to our homes - they are the entry and exit point, determining what we allow to pass. So, when we read Revelation 3:20, what kind of door is Jesus talking about?
In the past, I was letting all the wrong things through the door to my heart. In my pride I thought that I could overcome sin on my own and I kept Christ from working in my heart. I was honestly being downright childish in this matter. A child has a limited capacity to know what is good or bad, whereas adults have more discernment. We are called to be spiritual adults.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. -1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
As I was first starting out in my walk with Christ I frequently neglected the importance of his presence in my life. This is more than regular prayer and Bible study, I’m talking about a living recognition of his saving grace. This, in part, means knowing and understanding that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that with him we can do all things.
When was the last time you felt strong? When was the last time, if ever, that you felt truly free from sexual sin? According to Philippians, is it possible to have complete freedom from sexual immorality? Of course it is! Many have found that freedom, but many have not. I can assure you that those who have found freedom found it only through Jesus.
There are many purity ministries out there with stories of men and women who have found freedom through Christ. One of these, Purheart Ministries, has a great testimonial page where you can read some of these stories:
Do you relate to any of the stories on this page? These are real people who have found real freedom. The mentors here at The Risen have all risen from the depths of sin addiction and are here to tell you that freedom is possible for everybody. Draw strength from these stories... use them as a weapon against the enemy, who tries to tell you that you're different. He tries to tell you that you're the exception, that you'll never be free... but it's a lie!
I tried to do things on my own for close to ten years. I thought that I was relying on Christ but in reality I was selfish and prideful. After experiencing a few days, weeks, or even months of victory, I quickly became puffed up about my own ability to beat temptation. As a result, I continued to struggle and stumble for years. It was only when I opened my heart to Christ and his glory, recognizing that I’m always going to be indebted to him, that I began to experience victory. When you have nothing to offer God, yet He still extends grace to you, there is freedom in that. It stops becoming about being perfect in every given moment. Instead, you'll want to please God, regardless of your shortcomings.
As discussed, lean on the testimonies of those holding you accountable. Remember there is no pit so deep that another has not gone deeper. You are never too far gone to return back to the grace that God offers, no matter how long or often you've struggled.
CHRIST IN US
So then, what does it look like to have Christ dwell within us? What specifically can we do each day to make that a reality? Below are a couple of steps you can take to ensure that Christ is the sole occupant of your heart:
- Kick Out the Enemy
We’ve allowed so many lies from the enemy into our heart that we hardly seem to notice anymore. Things like “I shouldn’t pray to God," “Christ won’t forgive you that many times," and, “You’ve fallen too hard.” Rid yourself of these lies. Instead, invite Christ in. So often, we want to feel put together before we go to God, so we end up staying in our own messiness until we feel worthy to be in the presence of God. Inviting Christ in means allowing him to see you when you feel humiliated, ashamed, and naked. Oftentimes it is our stubborn refusal to be vulnerable that allows sin to continue.
- Soften Your Heart
Often a hard heart in other areas of our lives will cause us to have pride in our walk towards freedom. If you have a spouse, how do you treat them? Is it with love and kindness, or is it with impatience and frustration? How to you act towards your parents, friends, co workers? Soften your heart so that you will recognize when Christ is speaking to you.
- Remain Humble
There is no place for Christ or his Comforter (the Holy Spirit) when we have pride. Why do we need a comforter if we’re already comfortable? Why do we need a savior if we believe that we have it all together? Humble yourself before God, allowing Him to complete His perfect work in you.
Day 28 Application
Do you remember your life before the knowledge of Christ and the grace God offers? What did that feel like?
What does it look like for you to live as if Christ were physically walking beside you day by day?
How has having an accountability partner (or lack thereof) shaped your journey of sexual purity?
Since the last lesson, how have you been with maintaining your sexual purity?