God Gold of the Day
‘Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. ‘
-1 John 4:4
‘Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. ‘
-1 John 4:4
“4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
–1 John 5:4
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
There is so many times that I’ve heard about this “freedom” we have in Christ, the victory that He has already won for us. I have heard it, you’ve probably heard it a lot too, but what does those truths change for you?
Despite hearing this truth and knowing it’s true, I have still faced many areas of my life where I am in a battle, I’m fighting face to face with the enemy and it’s a struggle. At times it almost feels like a tug of war, my fleshly desires want to give in so bad and I hear all these lies pulling me in that direction but today I found myself in this similar spot except this time I walked away different.
I looked into the face of temptation, a usual comfort spot for me and a place that I usually fall or at least go through this tug of war of a battle with it. So many times I have felt helpless and wondered why I can’t stop myself from sinning? It felt like no matter what I did, I was doomed as soon as temptation showed up. Today, something clicked. Usually during these times of undergoing the battle of spiritual warfare, I can feel the pull of one side saying, “it’s not that bad, you know you want to, you know you’re going to fall like all those other times.” And then there’s always this other side speaking truth over the lies, reminding me of who God is and why I don’t need this sin in my life. The easy choice is usually just giving in and walking away like nothing happened but today I searched for any piece of truth I could to hold onto. What I found was so simple and so powerful.
It finally just hit me, after spending so much time in my struggles with sin and different strongholds, sitting as a slave in them and seeing no way out. I had heard about the freedom and victory Christ brings to our lives but hearing it and actually believing it are two totally different things. This thought popped into my head and began to break off the chains of bondage that I had worn for so long.
“Why am I fighting and struggling so hard to win? The fight has already been won and Jesus has set me free, I don’t have to be pulled by sin anymore, I’m free. I don’t have to give in and I don’t even have to fight. Jesus has already won the victory.”
You may read that and it just be words but for me today it just made sense. God has freed me from sin and bondage, He’s already won the victory. All these times I’ve struggled so much in this tug of war of spiritual warfare but it just hit me today that I’m free, I don’t have to keep fighting a battle that’s already been won. Belief of this truth covered me in these moments of being tempted and a peace came all over me. I walked away grinning and overwhelmed at how TRUE and AWESOME this freedom is that I have in Christ. It made me see that I don’t have to keep struggling and listening to the lies, I don’t have to feel defeated because it’s something I’ve fallen to in the past. As Christ has won the victory, that gives us a position to stand in victory, confidence and power over sin and anything of this world. It’s like playing a basketball game where the score is 77-0, it’s obvious the game is over and you’ve won, so you don’t have to keep playing so hard, you’re free and a victor.
Just felt freedom today in the biggest way I ever have and it felt good!!! Wanted to share that with you today with the hopes that you too can hear this freedom but even more so believe it and live it. Apply these truths to your daily battles and you’ll feel the chain breaking love of God working you through it. The battle has been won and we’ve been set free. It’s the truth but do you really believe it?
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”
1 John 1:1-4
I had heard a pastor do a short devotion on these verses a few months back and his words never left me. It was a truth in this Word from God that I had never dug deep enough to see and the cool part about it, it’s simple!!!! Yesterday I had this lesson and these verses come to life as God opened up some doors to serve Him! Really excited to share this gold with you today and I pray these lessons, and my experience can encourage you and open you up to the truth of what this life is all about!
John is speaking here to start off the Book of 1 John and he’s laying a foundation for what’s to come. This foundation isn’t just for the Book of 1 John, it’s a foundational truth for me and you also. John is speaking of the moments he’s spent with Jesus, “we have heard,” “looked at,” “our hands have touched.” He’s talking about his experience with Jesus and referring to Him as the Word of life. You see John speaks of his personal experience with Jesus but doesn’t stop there, he goes on to say when this life appeared, that comes from Jesus and is Jesus, “we have seen it and testify to it.” John doesn’t just keep his personal experience with Jesus to himself, he has been close to Jesus and experienced Jesus, even to the point of touching him, now he is testifying of all he has seen and experienced. John is proclaiming the “eternal life,” which is Jesus. Why???
“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”
I wanted to make a point to underline everything starting with the “so”…..so you can see why John was proclaiming and testifying to the name of Jesus. We can see here why it’s so HUGE that we share our experiences and times spent with Jesus. So that others too may have fellowship with us as followers of Christ but more importantly have fellowship with God Himself! Then John speaks about how writing this is only to make our joy complete.
The main lesson here is that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have experiences with Jesus, you have a story and testimony to testify and proclaim. That is what this life is all about, sharing Jesus with others through our experiences we’ve had with Him. We don’t have all these life changing moments with Jesus so that we can sit quietly on our hands and keep them to ourselves. God has given us such a blessing and privilege by giving us His Son, it’s a relationship that’s meant to be shared, and as Jesus has said several times in His Word. Sharing Him with the world is all we are here for, it’s our only mission and as John says, “we write this to make our joy complete.” There is no greater joy than sharing Jesus and the life he’s given you with others. No greater joy! It fills us to a point we’ve never imagined to see others get to hear about the life-giving and life-changing Son of God, and to also see others come to fellowship with Him. What can be better than that???? NOTHING!!!
That’s what this life is all about and that’s where we find more joy than anywhere else we could ever look.
As I mentioned, God opened up some doors yesterday that made this so real in my life. I had the chance to talk to somebody around me that I’ve mentioned “faith” type things here and there before but nothing major. He just walks up to me and starts sharing about when he was saved and all these different things he’s got to be apart of in His walk with Christ. Now to give you context, I didn’t know this person was saved, most of the conversations we had went a totally different direction than talking about Jesus so I just felt the need to share my experiences with Him, to just share Jesus in anyway I could. My conviction feeling the need to do that is because it was a dude that is in a similar place I used to be, surrounded by bad influences and at a crucial place in his life to make some really bad decisions. I made a lot of those bad decisions and fell to the influences I was surrounded by, so I’m just thankful to have my experience with Christ to draw from, even from the lessons learned in my life without Christ in the “wild years.”
This guy started talking about Jesus and all these different things so I was stunned, I didn’t know what to say but it was obvious God just opened a door so wide to tell this guy about my experiences with Jesus and being some encouraging truth into his life.
I’ll be honest, I was overwhelmed, fearful, and doubtful. This opportunity seemed so big and I felt so incapable of saying the right things. I don’t know about you but the truth is, after spending so many years being conformed to this world, always hearing and living in the lies that “it’s not cool to talk about Jesus.” To go along with that being someone who is scared of confrontation and a people pleaser at heart, I have a fear of man. I have a fear that I may offend someone or say something that doesn’t make them happy with me. There is a stigma in today’s world where I know myself and probably a lot of you, have a lump come up in your throat when it comes to sharing Jesus with others. It’s not an easy thing to do but yesterday I had some of this fear come up so as I paused the conversation I walked away praying under my breath. I had nowhere else I could turn to but to God. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity that could change this persons life but I also felt so incapable. I took my fears and doubt to God and all I could hear was, “just be you.”
Usually, in those Jesus sharing moments I turn into someone else and try to say all the right things so that person isn’t mad at me and I have a better chance of converting him. How stupid is that? First off, I can’t convert anyone, only Jesus can and secondly, it doesn’t matter if that person reacts harshly towards me. At least he has been faced with the truth of the Good News. Their eternity and chance at life with Jesus is BIGGER than my reputation. So God was saying, “just be you.” But I also learned it’s not on me to do this, it’s all through God and the power of His Holy Spirit working within me. “Just be you,” was basically telling me not be anyone but who God made me to be, be my natural self and share the experiences that I’ve had with Jesus. It’s simple and it’s honestly super easy. Think about it, if we are willing to share on social media all these different things about ourselves or share with others “what we had for dinner the night before.” If we can share things that are so small like that then why shouldn’t we even more fine and confident in sharing the greatest experience we’ve ever had, with Jesus!!!! That convicted me when thinking about it yesterday, how easily I’ll share some random fact about my life that happened to someone but then when it comes to sharing the greatest part about my life, I close off and shut up.
As I continued to pray for words and for God to continue open up bridges in the conversation to walk back to talking about Him, God continued to faithfully open up doors!!!! And every time I caught myself trying to say the right things, God reminded me, be you, share what you’ve experienced. It became easy, my heart was calm and my confidence was high, the weight I always felt when sharing Jesus was lifted by that one big truth that sharing our experiences with others is so much easier than trying to say all the right things or thinking we need to know more. Instead of trying to over spiritualize it, just share how you have experienced, felt, and been with Jesus in your life. Dude!!! That’s not hard at all!!!!
At the end of the day, this is what we’re here for, this is why we’ve went through the experiences we have with Jesus, to proclaim and testify about how good He is!!! I was so scared of others and now seeing how important and life changing it can be to speak of what Jesus has done in my life to other’s lives, others feelings towards me don’t matter any more. At the end of the day we need to care more about their heart and relationship with Jesus more than how they feel towards us. Through a lot of prayer yesterday I had the chance to share bits and pieces of my testimony with a guy in a similar spot. It was obvious how God spoke because I can’t even remember half of what I said. I just remember looking at this guys face and he was shell shocked after getting hit by some very real and convicting truth. Thank God for teaching us how to get out of the way and allowing us to be guided and empowered by His Spirit to attack this mission He’s given us! I ask you pray for this young guy and continue praying for opportunity’s to share of your experiences with Jesus.
There really is no greater joy, after working a 10 hour day and feeling so exhausted, I was so full! I was almost skipping I was so happy and energized. There is nothing more important, nothing greater, and nothing better than sharing what Jesus has done in your lives with others!!!!