The Day I Stopped Living for Jesus

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You and I can do what pleases God when we depend on the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, it’s impossible to conquer temptation and sin or gain victory over ungodly habits or hurts.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

There was a quiet hurt in my heart for decades. For some reason, being a Christian wasn’t working out like I had hoped. I was lacking real peace and intimacy with God like I’d seen in others. Deep inside myself, I knew there had to be more to a relationship with God than what I was experiencing.

What’s wrong with me? I wondered.

Daily, I struggled with secret thoughts and desires. Worse than the struggle, I found myself promising God I would give up some sin, only to repeat said sin the next day. It was a never-ending cycle.

Regardless of my sincerity to keep my vow, I failed religiously. I lost my temper with my children. Willpower evaded me. After consuming an entire bag of Oreos, I wrestled with feeling fat. Defeated. Worthless. At times, I even hated myself.

Wasn’t Jesus supposed to liberate me from all of this?

Perhaps you can relate. You desire to do right, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t.

Desperate to understand the reason behind my confusion, I turned to God’s Word for insight. In due course, I came across our key verse.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

It was an “aha moment” for me. Jesus not only saved me, but through His power, I’ve been given an inexhaustible heavenly resource that enables me to live a godly life.

This is good news! You and I can do what pleases God when we depend on the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, it’s impossible to conquer temptation and sin or gain victory over ungodly habits or hurts. We must depend solely on God’s supernatural power to do in us what we cannot do ourselves. 

Suddenly, it all became clear. There was never anything missing from my relationship with God. He hadn’t left me unequipped. I was simply trusting in my own ability instead of relying on God’s supernatural-ability in me.

It’s no wonder I was frustrated. True Christianity isn’t about me living for Jesus; it’s about letting Jesus live through me.

Trying to live the Christian life in my own strength was exhausting and discouraging. Once I began relying on the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ life was free to flow through me. Now, I have what my heart longed for most — an intimate relationship with God.

If you’re wondering, Can God really free me from my ungodly habits that I’ve tried so hard to change? Empower me to let go of past hurts? Survive life’s storms? Experience intimacy with Him and develop an unshakable faith? The answer is, “Yes!”

There comes a time, perhaps it’s today, when we must give up control, stop trying to be good enough and let God be God in us — doing what only He can do, leading us where He will and conforming us into the image of His Son for His glory.

I can honestly tell you the life Jesus promised is real. A supernatural change takes place in our lives when we stop trying to live for Jesus and let Jesus live in us.


Dear God, I give up trying to do right. I can’t. Forgive me for trusting in myself instead of You. Today, I surrender all my efforts and give you complete charge of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (NIV)

1 Peter 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Have you been waiting to see the fruit of God’s promises? As the biblical resources from Proverbs 31 Ministries intersect with your day-to-day life, we hope they’ve helped you keep believing God’s promises … even when things don’t work out as planned. Will you help us continue to walk alongside you and many others by making a donation to Proverbs 31 Ministries? Click here to learn more.

CONNECT:
Connect with Micca Campbell on her blog for more about living the Christian life in God’s power.

As the 21-year-old mother of an infant son, Micca’s world was shattered when she lost her husband to a tragic accident. In her darkest moment, she discovered God’s remedy for our deepest fears. Get your copy of Micca’s book  An Untroubled Heart — for yourself or a friend who needs a reminder of God’s goodness in the darkness.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
The only person to live without mistakes is Jesus. This is why He joined His life with ours. In what ways have you been trying to live a godly life in your own ability? How will depending on the power of Christ in you make a difference? Share your thoughts in the comments today.

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