Protection (Deliver us from temptation)
Read: Matthew 23:12; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 2:12-13; James 5:16; 1 John 5:14-15
“God cannot fill you with Himself when you’re full of yourself.” Reading this quote earlier today sort of summed up the overarching takeaway of this month’s sermon series for me. I want to pray more. I want to be more forgiving. I want my prayers to be more effective like Elijah, who prayed that it would not rain and, because he was living right with God, there wasn’t a drop for three and a half years. Ultimately, I want to pray like Jesus taught us to pray in The Lord’s Prayer. If you are reading these devotions, those are probably your desires, too. So, what is standing in my way, and maybe yours, too?
The bottom line is the only way to be more like Jesus is to be filled WITH Jesus. No matter how committed we are, how good our intentions are or how much willpower we have, we will never live out the life God has called us to live without the power of Jesus at work within us. You want to praise God more? You want His will for your life? You want to forgive others more freely? You want to overcome temptation? ALL of that is possible and available. Paul tells us in Ephesians that God can do ANYTHING - far more than we are even capable of imagining. And then, he reassures us in Philippians that it is God working in us to bring about a life that pleases Him.
So, how do we unleash the power of God in our lives? Well, I think we’ve got to get ourselves out of the way first, and ask God to do a work in our hearts. Honestly, for me, sometimes that is simply asking Him to give me the desire to pray more or the desire to read His word or a heart that passionately seeks after Him. I’m confident God wants all those things for me - and you. But, here’s where it gets really powerful … in His Word, He promises that ANYTHING we ask according to His will is ours; I’ve yet to find a promise He did not keep. So, are we ready to turn our families, our workplaces and our community upside down for The Gospel by the power of God set free in our lives? All we have to do is ask.
Pray: Father, I am so thankful for Your word. Please change me from the inside out. Give me the desire to please and seek You above all else. Put a burning desire in my heart to pray more, read Your word more and be used by You more to reach the hurting world around me with the hope of Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.