I have asked myself before and people have asked me this question: “If all this is true why do I still have XYZ in my life?”
XYZ = pain, suffering, broken relationships, hurts, hang-ups, addiction, pride, hopelessness, guilt, shame, anger, strife, division or whatever else is your “thorn.” (Check out Infamous Thorn)
I’m going to do something unusual for me. I’m going to give you a program that will guarantee freedom, hope and joy. So if you are ready here are the steps.
Step one: Jesus.
He died so all that junk would have no control over your life. He set you free. He saved you. He took all the power of sin to the grave. Christian or not, that is what He did for all the world. Are you willing to believe it? Are you willing to receive it?
“Yeah but I don’t know about all that. My experience doesn’t include anything that looks like that. I grew up in church and they said we are supposed to suffer in this life. They said I needed to just stop doing everything I liked and instead just suck it up and try to be happy with what I have. They also said my suffering is from God and my pain is a reminder so I don’t get too proud.”
Ok, I get that and understand how maybe you are pretty angry (or just confused) at me, the church, God and pretty much everything that has to do with God. I can say that all those lies are part of the master plan of the devil. He does not want you to know how good God is. He doesn’t want you to know you are already forgiven and accepted. He doesn’t want you to know that God is love and His expression towards us is Grace (mercy provision favor power). So I want to bring you the good news. His name is Jesus. He isn’t a concept or a program or a club or a get out of hell card. He is God and he is real. If you are willing we can move on to step two.
Step two: Jesus.
Would you like to meet Him? Nobody in their right mind would start a relationship with someone without meeting them first. It can be a blind date or extensive resume study followed by a fist date. Either way it is time to meet the one who loves you so much He died for you. That’s right. Here is your creator in heaven who is so desperate for you to know who He really is He comes all the way from king of the universe to servant of mankind. Then on top of that He lets us kill Him. Think about it. Maybe you would give your life for your spouse or your kids but would you give a dollar to your enemy? Would you loan your car to the one who robbed your house? Would you die for the terrorist who killed your family? God was our enemy and still He died for us. Wouldn’t you want to at least meet Him? Once you meet Him you will see His goodness and then you are ready for step three.
Step three: Jesus.
Would you like to change your mind about Him? Once you see His goodness you will be challenged in your thinking. Everything you thought you knew or were taught will likely be contrary to what you experience. Our fallen human nature is to hide from God and not trust Him. Many of our churches and religions teach us how angry God is towards us. Maybe you have a great loss or hurt in your life and you seriously doubt a good God exists. Maybe your XYZ is so paralyzing you can’t see a way to a good God that would let this happen. Regardless of your situation when you meet Him and are engulfed by His goodness you will change your mind. He is that irresistible. Then you are ready for step four.
Step four: Jesus
Now that you have met the irresistible one and have changed your mind about Him do you want to have a relationship with Him? Relationship is born out of trust. Do you trust Him enough to take a chance and fall in love with Him? Can you take the leap and let Him catch you? Just say yes. Just ask Him to come into your life and make you His son, brother, bride. He will, just ask. This is when you are born again. He breathes new life into you and your spirit man comes to life. You are born again. You become a new creation. You become a son of God. You step out of the bushes and see God as he truly is for the first time. You step out of the darkness and into the light. Now you are ready for step five.
Step five: Jesus.
Yep, it is still Jesus. Now it is time to become just like Him. You are a new creation ready for a new room-mate. You are any empty jar of clay ready for the oil of gladness. You are a vessel ready for its intended contents. You are a temple ready for the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Christ. He is the reason Jesus made us new. His habitation is the purpose of Jesus dying for us. So just ask him to come on in and make himself at home. Now you are joined forever with your creator. Now you are one with love. Now you are becoming His love. Now even your body, your jar, His temple, His vessel is becoming love. The power of His Spirit in you is giving life to your body. All the things of death that don’t belong in your body will be removed. This happens by the renewing of your mind, the fruit of a right relationship and the constant reminders of how good God is and how much he loves you. You are now a married couple living as one flesh. And finally here is the best part…ready?… XYZ no longer has a home. There is no room for an extra room-mate. There is no place for death-dealing deadbeats. Nope, XYZ is out of here. While the eviction is taking place you are fully into step six.
Step six: Jesus.
The steps are all the same. Now you have become Jesus for someone else. You are carrying Him where ever you go. He is with you always. He wants to reveal Himself through you to other people. He wants to release His love from you into situations. He wants His glory (power infused goodness) to be your glory. He wants to use you to save others. He wants to see people healed and set free in your encounters. He wants you to bring the Kingdom of Heaven into other people’s lives. He wants you to bring the good news. That is the power of God on this earth. That is Jesus our savior. And guess what? The good news, the power of God, the savior, Jesus is in you!
How is XYZ now?
Directions for the six step program: Repeat all or any steps as required until XYZ is no longer part of your life. (All the steps are the same: just more Jesus)
Caution: many have found such incredible joy and freedom that they forget to ask about XYZ any more but find themselves immersed in the love of God and peace of the Kingdom.
DISCLAIMER: The author is not responsible for the life altering transformation that is inevitable. It is not my fault that God is so good. It is not my fault that his love for you is infinite. This program is backed by resurrection and creation power which is not subject to anyone’s control. The author is not liable for the awesomeness of God.