Page 2 of 4
Page 2 of 4
The person in pursuit of more of God will be led by the Holy Spirit into a discovery process—shown a way of escape for some issues (1 Cor. 10:13) and a way of healing for others. While they focus on the glory of the person of God and pour out their love for the One they encounter, God reciprocates by opening up a healing path, guiding them on it, empowering them in it and imparting whatever is needed along the way (Ps. 23:3; 119:133; Prov. 3:5-6; 4:11-12).
Progress in sanctification is hastened by complete surrender, childlike faith, humility and the willingness to do whatever God reveals to be necessary. It is slowed by self-effort, unbelief, distraction from the pursuit of God and an unwillingness to do whatever it takes. It can also be hindered by perfectionism (a variant of works righteousness that is unsatisfied by partial healing) or by a transformation process that is painful or lengthy.
Another common impediment is demonic deception and the embracing of lies. This is where knowledge of the Word of God is invaluable. The Bible is a sword in the hands of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:17), to sanctify believers (John 17:17), to cleanse them (Eph. 5:26), to renew the mind (Rom. 12:2) and to give them hope (Rom. 15:4). It is living, active, sharp, penetrates soul and spirit and flawlessly judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Heb. 4:12). The one who rejects the divine origin and entire counsel of Scripture will not get very far.
Two deceptions for which believers seem to fall the most are:
1. the idea that temptation is sin, and
2. the idea that they are defined (and/or condemned) by what tempts them.
Were either of these true, even Jesus Christ would have been a sinner (Matt. 4:1; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2; Heb. 4:15) and we would all be without hope.
The first lie is easy enough to reject on an intellectual level, but when the temptation actually invades the heart, the defilement of it can cause us to feel as though we have sinned. But the truth is that we do not sin unless we embrace the temptation and give it a place in our fantasies and actions (James 1:14-15). And should we indeed cross that line, we have the provision of grace that offers forgiveness and cleansing should we repent and ask God to deliver us and forgive us (1 John 1:9; 1 Cor. 10:13).
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.