The following column is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of The Georgia Virtue.
By: Dr. William F. Holland Jr., minister, chaplain, and author of the column series ‘Living on Purpose’. You can read more about the Christian life and see other works by Dr. Holland at billyhollandministries.com
The greatest life-changing story ever told is that Jesus died for you which proves he loved you more than anything in the world. He knows your every thought and intention, listens to every word, and sees every act and deed. He has never taken His eyes from you, nor has he ever been distracted or too busy to listen to your concerns. More than anything he wants us to stop living for ourselves and begin to live for him so that he can renew our mind and revitalize our life for his glory. Nothing is impossible with Jesus and the most wonderful revelation that can be realized is that he desires to live inside of us and guide us in all our decisions. What dream or imagination could be higher than to know that God has opened the door for us to live with him now and forever? “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” Isaiah 58:11.
When we subconsciously adopt negative ideas and attitudes, the enemy uses these as building materials to construct a despairing fortress within our mind to discourage and disengage us from Christ. If we choose to accept this negative direction, sadness and frustration will lead us into even lower levels of depression and misery. If you have experienced these difficult places in the past and the Lord delivered you, you have an understanding of God’s grace and his compassion to leave the ninety-nine, and rescue the one. Have you ever become so desperate for God’s presence that you have fallen across your bed and wept as your repentance released His floodgates of cleansing within your heart? The Lord is holy and the continual desire to acknowledge our desperate need for humility and brokenness is critical within our personal relationship with him. Developing a spiritual awareness of his presence will remind us that we will never have his peace until we deal with our issues as the longer we carry them the heavier they become.
God uses clay to describe the human conscience and explains how important it is for us to be pliable as the potter cannot mold a vessel that is hard, dry, and stubborn. Our Creator’s solution is to break the vessel, crush it to powder, add water, and make it soft so that it can be re-shaped and transformed into what he has envisioned us to be. There is much symbolism in the miracle of being born-again, but to make a long story short, the Bible says in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Within this process of spiritual transformation is the opportunity to refuse or to embrace honesty and obedience. Meekness is not pity but rather comprehending that a power much higher than our own desires to change us into His image. Yielding our will sounds simple, yet it is the most difficult path we will ever follow.
No matter the challenges you are facing today, God is with you every step of the way. Dale Carnegie is quoted as saying, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” In times of doubt and fear, you can know that God has never forsaken you and never will. As you walk through trials that are a part of this temporary existence, you can trust without a doubt that His loving presence is surrounding you. In fact, He promises that He is watching over us and wants to comfort us with His mercy which endures forever. Deuteronomy 31:8 declares, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” If we have allowed Christ to purify our heart, our eyes are opened to see His truth, and this is the power that sets us free from sin and the dark negative influences which try to defeat us. Learning to have confidence in the Lord and embracing the endless commitment of His love is a revelation of His unfailing covenant to be with us even to the end of the world.