You know, God made it easy to get saved from your sin. You come into a relationship with God through faith in His Son, Jesus. At that moment, you are made new and right before God. But the Bible also tells us that we are to surrender our lives to Jesus and make Him Lord of our lives. It’s the surrendering aspect of our Christian walk that isn’t so easy. It’s a daily decision to choose to follow Christ and to tap into His power, rather than follow the lusts of the world.
My brother Jim and I had the same dysfunctional upbringing; consequently, we were both a mess. But our lives were not lived out the same. I remember him calling one day and asking, “Bob, how is it that your life is so much different than mine? How do you have a family who loves you and a successful business, and friends and…my life is just the opposite?”
At the time, Jim was addicted to drugs and having serious problems with his kids and his third wife. I told him the only difference between us was that I had Jesus in my life and he didn’t. I told him Jesus was the only reason I was where I was. Jesus is still the only reason I have peace, joy, and the ability to love and forgive. I should be dead in a ditch somewhere; but God in His great mercy forgave me of my sin and made me into a new man.
At my urging, Jim came to see me, and he accepted Christ; but it wasn’t long before he was back to his old ways. Why? Because he didn’t keep his eyes and thoughts on Christ. He didn’t stay in the Word of God, and He didn’t make a daily choice to follow Christ through obedience to His Word. As a result, Jim had no power, and he lived a defeated life. Sadly, my brother took his own life, just as two of my uncles and grandfather had done before him.
Many believers live this same powerless life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Real change can happen, no matter who you are. You can overcome all things—all things!—through Christ Jesus. He will give you His strength to have success and do what you can’t do on your own; but you must choose to operate in Christ’s power. Outside of Him, we are all destined to fall.
How do you do this? Stay close to God. Stay in His Word daily. Stay in fellowship with other believers. Get in a Bible-believing, God-loving church. Put on the whole armor of God every day (Ephesians 6), so you will be able to have success through every trial. If you do these things, if you love Christ and allow Him to love you, you will have success. You will find that peace and joy, that purpose and hope you’ve always wanted.
Written by Bob Williamson
Photo by Jens Moser