Psalm 119: 5-7, O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
One of the most difficult things I have found is the ability or desire of God’s people to make Biblical long term change in our lives. Through many contacts here at Hope Biblical Counseling Center, I have seen many people ask for help in their home, children, or marriage. It is our desire to help. However, the willingness to make long term biblical change has to be in the life. Unfortunately, responding to our old nature is many times extremely deceptive in our lives. Most of the time we do not see it. What I want to do in this article is give us some help in practically having biblical long term change in our life.
In Luke chapter 15 there is the story of the prodigal son. The prodigal story is a story that is being told over and over in everyday life. It happens around us every day with an infinite number of different hog pens. We here at Hope Biblical Counseling Center are contacted many times with different hog pen stories. The pull of the far country is ever so powerful. Even though it could happen a thousand different ways, the basic elements of what Jesus gives us in the prodigal story is almost always present. Many of God’s people have the same thing as the prodigal: (1) An independent spirit. (2)Willful rebellion against rightful authority. (3) Jealousy of the other child or others.
Where do we start to make biblical change in our lives? With the Bible. Most people have come from a habit lifestyle built around flesh gratification and senses orientation which is ingrained in their life. It is imperative to begin responding to our new nature because it is right rather than to the old nature simply because it feels right. Those who do not understand they have to respond to the new nature rather than the old nature end up spiritually useless at best or in the hog pen at worst.
Proverbs 25:28, He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
The Bible describes a person who has no rule over his spirit as a disaster with no defenses. Many people struggle with the simplest matters in their spiritual life because they have no rule or control over their old nature. You will either respond to your old nature or your new nature. Most Christians respond to their old nature continually. They are then led by their emotions and make disastrous decisions in their life which only makes things worse in their lives. They are unhappy and question whether God is there or if He cares, or why has this happened to my children or family? Their life becomes more complicated with each passing disastrous decision they make. There are seven areas that God gives us in the Bible that we need to have under control of the Holy Spirit. I have given a few passages of Scripture to look at but I would encourage you to look at more Scripture on each subject. These are to help you get started.
- Personal relationship with God, II Timothy 2:15, Psalm 119:9.
- Spouse, Wives Ephesians 5:22-23, I Peter 3:1, Husbands Ephesians 5: 25, 29, I Peter 3:7.
- Children, Ephesians 6:1, Deuteronomy 6: 6-7.
- Church, Hebrews 10:25, Ephesians 4:11-12.
- Job, Ephesians 6:5-6, Ephesians 2:10.
- Witnessing, II Corinthians 5:20, Matthew 5:16.
- Leisure, Mark 6:31, Joshua 1:8-9.
Here is what I would recommend for people who desire to have real biblical change in their life. Write down these seven things on a pad of paper. Read, study and meditate on the verses. Then determine what is my (1) attitude on this? Write your attitude down after reading the verses. Ask yourself this question. Is your attitude the mind of God on this? Remember there is only one goal for our life.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
To glorify God by being like Jesus in obedience to God and service to others.
In my attitude, what does God say about this in His Word? Study to understand, think about, and meditate on God’s mind on what God says in His Word about this area. You will almost immediately know whether your attitude is God’s mind in this area. You will know whether your life is operating like God’s mind in this area of life.
(2) Behavior-Write down
- What do I have to do to do right in personal disciplines (personal life) on this?
- What do I have to do to do right in interpersonal disciplines (relationships with others) on this?
- Ask God to forgive me in repentance if my mind is not His mind. Pray asking for forgiveness and then intercessory prayer asking with thanksgiving, and yieldedness for God’s help in correcting this area of your life.
(3) Communication-Proclaim the Word of God to the eternal benefit of every personal contact.
1 Peter 3:15, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
If I change my attitude and behavior to match God’s mind on the matter then my communication will change to glorify God. Remember our goal in life is to glorify God.
Let me give you the secret of an abundant life. The more in conformity to the Word of God you and I become, the greater our joy and peace will be. This is what the Psalmist explained in Psalm 119: 5-7, O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.