( Matt. 12:33-37 ) We are the sum of what we encountered in life and our reactions to these events. Being conditioned by life’s experiences, we are prone to react to life impulsively and instinctively rather than to respond on the basis of considered judgment. Such actions reveal a man’s inner life – his focus – and who and what determines his peace and joy ( 1 John 2:3-6 ; Matt. 5:44 ; Gal. 5:19-21 ; Col. 3:5-9 ).
Our usual focus is on what others have done or failed to do. As we maintain a self-defensive and self protective posture, we are inclined to judge, to condemn, to criticize, to blame shift, and similar reactions. This self focus is a breeding ground for anger, frustration, despair, bitterness, self-pity, and the like – a life of feelings. A feeling-oriented life is a fertile area in which Satan operates and upon which he feeds ( Gen. 4:7).
( John 14:21 ; James 1:22-25 ) The ungodly live by their senses. Their lives are directed by how and what they feel. This is what distinguishes a committed Christian from the world: a Christian lives by the will of God, not by feelings. However, nothing wrong with feelings in themselves until we act upon them. We are not to be directed or to live by feelings. We are to take stock and make note of our intents – the spirit that is being manifested. Then ask God for the grace to insure that we respond in a manner that honors and glorifies Him.
Regardless of how we feel we are to do what the word of God says to do. As we do to please the Father, godly feelings follow – the joy of the Lord. Living by the word, one serves God the Creator. Anything done without faith, without reference to God’s word is sin ( James 4:17 ; Eph. 4:29 ; Rom. 2:6-9 ; John. 3:21 ; 1 John 2:3 ; Prov. 1:22-31 ; Rom. 8:13 ).
( 2 Cor. 5:17 ; Jer. 17:9 ) Our responses and reactions to life reflect our roots, the source of our being. Man’s thoughts, speech and actions convey the character of these roots. Here we can identify the sin patterns and strongholds developed over the years that characterize the lifestyle and personality of the individual.
Category of root problems are many: hypocrisy, manipulation, lying, cheating, stealing, boasting, blame shifting, self-centeredness, self-protection, self-interest, anger, impatience, self-pity, lust, immorality, greed, malice, deceit, etc – a life characterized by self being on the throne of one’s life.
We establish godly roots by changing I to We , you in union with Christ. This begins with the new birth, followed by daily renewal of the mind. Thus life is confronted on the basis of God’s word – the will of God. As we do the word, the Holy Spirit changes our roots which affects our feelings. This is a purification process. And we, in turn, begin to respond to life in a manner that glorifies God ( 2 Cor. 10:3-5 ; Gal. 5:22-23 ; 2 Pet. 1:3-8 ; Eph. 4:22-24 ; Col. 3:10 ).
2.2. Approach to Solutions
( Isa. 55:8-9 ; Prov. 14:12 ) We are to look at life from God’s perspective, His view, not from our way, experiences, ideas, opinions, what others say, the world’s philosophy or its psychology. The basic problem and the supreme challenge you will face in making Christ-honoring changes is dying to self. The biblical perspective concerning ‘self’ is exactly opposite to what the wisdom of this world proclaims ( Luke 9:23-24 ).
Accordingly, to live biblically is to respond to life’s challenges in a manner that pleases and honors God, no longer pleasing and gratifying self ( 1 Cor. 3:19-20 ; 1 John 2:15-17 ; 1 John 2:20,27 ; 1 Cor. 2:12-13 ).
( Heb. 6:18-20 ) Hope is an anchor of the soul because it affects our mind and emotions. Christ within me, the Anointed One, breaks the yoke of life’s pressures on me. And my job is to develop this inner image of Christ within me, that in Him, I am more than a conqueror, never under but always over circumstances, no matter what I face in life.
To really believe this in the inner core of my being that all God’s promises are mine depends upon my living in and by the living word of God ( John 16:33 ; James 1:2-4 ).
( Ezek. 36:26-27 ) God gave me a heart of flesh, put His Spirit within me, and gives me power to carry out His commands.
( 1 Cor. 2:12-13 ) Being a child of God, I receive revelation knowledge by the word of God in and through my human spirit.
( Rom. 8:28-29 ) No matter what happens to me in life when I call upon God He will intervene in my life, He will reach into my experiences, redeem my past, and cause things to work out for my benefit.
( 1 Cor. 10:13 ) God is the One Who is faithful. As I put my faith in Him, He will bring me out successfully.
( Heb. 4:15-16 ; Heb. 7:25 ) All I have to do is ask boldly, and God’s Grace is available to me, and the blood of Jesus Christ intercedes always, washing and cleansing from all sense of guilt and shame whether real or imaginary.
( Rom. 6:3-6 ) My old human nature and all my past has been buried with Christ when I was baptized into His death. At the burial I was also raised with Him into the newness of life, freed from the power of sin, and free now to do acts of righteousness.
( Gen. 4:7 ; Eph. 5:14-16 ) We must choose to change. We cannot take living for granted, being careless or casual about our thinking, speaking and acting. God put us on this earth to actively replace evil with righteousness.
( Matt. 7:1-5 ; 1 Cor. 11:28-31 ) Critical that I judge myself daily, that I am walking in the Spirit, responding to life God’s way, then I will be in the position to help restore others.
( Rom. 12:1-2 ) My total being belongs to the Lord for His use. This requires a total overhaul of my person, separating myself from my past, and the world’s system and influences in order to be conformed to the ways of the Lord.
( Eph. 4:25-32 ; Col. 3:5-17 ; Rom. 12:9-21 ; 1 Pet. 2 ; 1 Pet. 3 ) Listed in these references are the basic put-offs and put-ons to guide and lead one to live a biblical lifestyle.
( Rom. 8:29 ; 1 John 3:8 ) Examine self daily to see if I am living by God’s standards for that day, being a blessing and destroying the works of the devil.
Work Out Your Salvation
( Phil. 2:12-13 ; Ps. 1:1 ; John 15:5 ) The enemy never stops working. This compels us to be completely dependent upon the Lord 24 hours a day: to be conscious of His Presence, and to be actively involved in the pursuit of establishing His righteousness in all of life’s endeavors.
( James 1:21-25 ) Through the meditation process, we change our inner man, the root. And from the godly root, our thoughts, our speech, and our actions. This continues until we experience the fullness of God and express His Presence wherever we go.
( Eph. 4:22-24 ; 1 John 2:3-5 ) We are to identify areas that need changing, being specific to identify put-offs and appropriate put-ons.