They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. This post is my first step in providing a series of articles that are going to address the steps that you can take to experience life as God intends it to be.
This blog post is part 1 of the series Eight Steps to Experiencing His Victory
That saying is more than a tagline for the Experiencing His Victory website, it is one of the driving forces in my life. God has called me to help you grow in His grace to be all that He has created you to be.
If that sounds arrogant, I assure you it is not. It is part of God’s plan for me. In the Fall of 1979, God called me to be a pastor and gifted me as a teacher. Listen to what Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-13:
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
That verse is a mouthful. We will not go into great depth in this verse. Just enough to understand the main thing the Lord has called me to do, that is, equip believers for the work of service.
According to Louw-Nida Dictionary, the idea behind the word equip is to “make someone completely adequate or sufficient for something . . . to cause to be fully qualified.”
If you are like me, when you came to Jesus He graciously saved you and made you a part of His family. Many things immediately changed by the power of God in your life, but not everything.
I know I still had many bad habits, wrong thoughts, hurts and wounds in my soul, little true knowledge of who God was or what it meant to walk in His ways. I was a baby in Christ and needed to be taught His ways so I could walk in them and experience life as he intended it to be.
That’s why it is so important to understand the Christian walk is a journey. It is not instantaneous perfection and maturity, though I wish it were. It is not a sprint or even a marathon. The Christian walk is a lifelong journey where you learn to walk in God’s ways.
There is no getting around it. There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth and maturity. Every person must grow in their walk with God.
Today we begin a new series called Eight Steps to Experiencing His Victory. I will be sharing the truths I’ve learned that have allowed God to heal me and equip me for service. These eight steps are not a shortcut to maturity. They are the steps that must be taken over and over and over again as you walk with God.
God is Not Finished with You
It is true. God is not finished with you and you will never be finished while you walk this planet.
There are two ways to look at this. Bummer, I will never be finished. There will never be a time when I will “make it.” That is tough for some to handle, but I want to encourage you to look at it another way.
God will never be finished with you. Things will just keep getting better and better as you grow in Him. That doesn't mean that we have an easy or perfect life here on earth. Jesus promised that those who live a godly life on earth will be persecuted.
The goal of God for our lives is to change us into the image of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that:
We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
This is fantastic news. The Holy Spirit is going to keep on working in our lives, again and again, changing us from glory to glory. That means that there is always more. God has more in store for you than you can ask or think.
A Hunger for More
The Bible is filled with many precious promises. God’s plans for you are greater than you know. Jesus made a declaration that is astonishing. In John 10:10 He said:
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Jesus came to give you abundant life. The meaning of the word abundant is amazing. According to the Louw-Nida Dictionary abundant is:
pertaining to a quantity is abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate - ’that which is more than, more than enough, beyond the norm, abundantly, superfluous.
If you are not experiencing this kind of life, then you can expect more. God has more for you.
The problem is that you may struggle to believe this is true for you. You see what the word of God says, but are not sure that it’s for you. That is why Paul prayed for those in Ephesus:
15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:15-23)
Paul prays a powerful prayer. His prayer is my prayer for you. That you get a deep revelation of God, understand the hope of your calling, know and expect all the riches available through your relationship with God, and how great and incredible God’s power is in your life.
God has more for your life and it all comes from Him and is accomplished by Him.
How Do I Get More?
If all this is true, and it is, then the next logical question is, “How do I get this in my life?” That is where the eight steps come into play. Before we get into what the eight steps are I need to say what they are not.
First, they are not some mechanical steps that if you just do these things in a perfect way, then you will get more. Many of the steps deal with our relationship with God and others and the condition of our hearts before Him.
Second, they are not magical steps that will instantaneously change your whole life in a moment. We already mentioned that there are no quick fixes and no instant change. If you learn these steps, you can use them over and over again as a guide to help you work through issues in your life that are hindering your walk with God.
Third, these steps are not the only way that God can minister His abundance in your life. They are just one part of the process that God can use to help you grow in His grace. There is no one cure-all that can describe the way that God works.
Fourth, I have used these very steps to experience healing in my own life. It is a proven path, but again, not the only path. There is no way that I could ever write something that would encompass the fullness of how God works.
With these understandings, let’s take a quick look at the eight steps and see what you can expect to learn over the months to come.
The Eight Steps
The keyword in each step begins with the letter “r” to make it easy to remember each step. Here is a brief overview of the eight steps:
Step 1 Examine Your Relationship with God.
Everything starts with your relationship with God. God is your creator and desires to have a relationship with you. He is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. Everything you have available through Christ comes through this relationship.
Step 2: Ask God for Revelation
God knows us better than anyone on the planet, including ourselves. We can be deceived, God cannot. It is important to ask God to search and try our hearts to see if there is anything that is harming us. He never condemns a searching heart and will graciously show us the things we need to change.
Step 3: Take Responsibility for Your Own Actions
If you blame someone else for the way you are, you will never change. It is only as you take responsibility for your actions that you can begin the process of change. If you own it. You can change it.
Step 4: Repent and Turn to God
Repentance means that we accept and come to agreement with what God says. Repentance is, as one author put it, “the about-face of a new commitment.” It is where we reject our own thoughts about what is right and wrong and choose to believe what God says is true.
Step 5: Renounce and Turn from Sin
According to Webster’s Dictionary, to renounce something means “to say in a formal or definite way that you refuse to follow, obey, or support (someone or something) any longer.” When you repent (change your mind and actions) to accept God’s truth, you also need to renounce (formally reject) the lies or actions you have turned from.
Step 6: Let Jesus Restore Your Soul
Jesus is your healer. He came to bind up your broken heart. He suffered many things in your place so you don’t have to. Bring each painful situation before the Lord and give each and every aspect to Him and let Him heal your wounds.
Step 7: Repulse the Enemy
Even though this is not a common word in my vocabulary, I chose it for its powerful meaning. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word repulse means “to force (someone) to stop attacking you.”
As believers, we can stand in the authority and power of Jesus and resist the devil and he will flee. It’s vital to stand up to every attack of the enemy and send him fleeing.
Step 8: Receive God’s Blessing
This is where you open up your heart and receive all that the Lord has for you. The Scripture says He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for sorrow, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. It is time to begin to experience life as God intends it to be.
Well, there you have it. If you would like to keep up with the release of each new post in this series and links to videos I produce from time to time, then go to the "I Want to Join the Journey" button below and join us on the journey. Every Friday you will receive an email with all the latest information from Experiencing His Victory.
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