Overcoming

There are things that I used to to do as a child. Childhood bad habits. Did I outgrow them or did I overcome them?

I was a thumb sucker. I was a serious callous on the thumb thumb sucker. My parents tried many things to make me give it up. Nothing worked and then? I quit. I no longer suck my thumb. Did I overcome or outgrow thumb sucking?

More painful to admit, more embarrassing, I was a bed wetter. I don’t remember getting spanked for it but I do remember a couple of humiliating instances where the entire extended family got involved. Many things were tried. Fluid restrictions etc. nothing worked. And then it did. I quit wetting the bed. Did I overcome and or outgrow bed wetting?

What was it that changed? In both instances of leaving behind a childish behavior I had to change a pattern of action. I had to want change more than I wanted comfort.

I struggle with believing all of the Good News that the bible has to give me. I continue to fail and flop, trip and transgress so where am I once I have misbehaved?

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1 John 5:1-5

Today I was making a change in part of our control logic in a control module. I made the change, saved the change, downloaded the change and opened up the module to find? It had reverted back to the original logic. Sometimes my life is like that. I find a fault in myself, confess it, vow to change it and then…? I repeat the same offense. Back at work I spent several minutes repeating the same scenario, change, save and download and each attempt was met with the same result. The logic reverted to the original unchanged version. Then i found the problem. The issue? It’s the same in me as it was inside the logic I was working on. It had to do with permission to change. There is a click box and an expansion arrow where I had to choose what information got rewritten. Once I told the logic to save and rewrite the logic with the new information my changes stayed when I went online.

In my life I have control over what gets rewritten in my heart soul and mind. If I don’t choose to save the new information, that I am loved by God, that I have been forgiven by God, that I am saved and adopted by God through Jesus, then the same lies and garbage, that I am unloved and unlovable, unforgiven and unforgivable, that I am alone in the universe,  get up loaded into my life. In order to save the changes I need to grant permission to the Saver, that what he has rewritten on my heart will now become the truth about me.

Paul tells us in His letter to the Romans that salvation is a 2-step process.

“Moses writes of righteousness-by-the-Law when he says that ‘the man who does those things shall live by them’—which is theoretically right but impossible in practice. But righteousness-by-faith says something like this: ‘Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?’ to bring Christ down to us, or ‘who will descend into the abyss’ to bring him up from the dead? ‘The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart’. It is the secret of faith, which is the burden of our preaching, and it says, in effect, “If you openly admit by your own mouth that Jesus Christ is the Lord, and if you believe in your own heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” For it is believing in the heart that makes a man righteous before God, and it is stating his belief by his own mouth that confirms his salvation. And the scripture says: ‘Whoever believes on him will not be put to shame’.

Romans 10:5 – 11 PHILLIPS

There step one, confession that Jesus is the Lord of all the earth, and more specifically, he is the boss of me. And then there is step 2, believing that God has raised him from the dead.

I believe that the issue with saving the changes in my heart soul mind and spirit has to do with recommitting myself to Jesus being Lord of my life. It’s like when I first got saved I told Jesus, “you are my Lord”, but that was only over the part of my life that I was consciously aware of. As God continues to rummage through my heart soul mind and spirit we keep getting into new areas, and once again I have to turn to Jesus and say, “Jesus You are Lord of this area too…”

It’s taken me a couple of days to write this. This morning I was struggling to shake off the cobwebs of sleep. My mind and body wanted to either sleep or be entertained. Being transformed by the word of God was not even on the menu so I had to choose. Would I click the box that allowed change to take place? Who would be the boss of me this morning? My self seeking flesh or the spirit of God saying “wake up Peter, God has something new and fresh for you this morning!”

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. ….And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

When I began to write this blog it was the above verses that I wanted to highlight. By believing in Jesus, that he rose from the dead on the third day, that he is in fact the one and only son of God and that his sacrifice is the one and only way to be reconciled to God, by believing that, we are born of God. By being born of God, we overcome the world.

I overcame some things as a child. I made choices that changed my behavior. I chose self discipline over lazy comfort. I cannot choose self discipline and change my sin nature but God can change me from the inside out as I submit to the changes that he makes in me. I will never be made perfect as long as I am breathing, but as long as I am breathing, I am in the process of overcoming the world and its influences in my life. Because of Jesus’ death, I am adopted by God into his family and have access to the amazing well of forgiveness. There is no bottom to it. As I fumble and stumble along in life, God continues to forgive my sin and welcome me back as a child of his.

All of this is open to all.  Who so ever….

Author: Peterloeffelbein

I am a man. I am an older man. I am a husband and a dad and a grandpa. I am a disciple of Jesus. Because I am a disciple of Jesus much of what I write is about him, and I usually end what I write with a question, do you the reader know that Jesus loves you? He does. He loves us all but he loves you specifically. He loves me specifically. What will you do with that information today?