Help For The Journey
One writer describes Christian growth as "A long obedience in the same direction." We love and obey the Lord because he loved us first and gave his Son to save us. Obedience grows out of gratitude. Here are a few practices to help you love and obey God.
Remind yourself everyday that you are a new person in Christ. You have been given a new heart, a new family and a new capacity to keep God's law. You may feel like you can't quit a particular sin or follow through on an act of obedience, but through Christ the bondage of sin has been broken. Preach this to yourself daily.
Verbalize your surrender to the Lord multiple times a day. Just wave the white flag in prayer. I pray these words from Matthew 6 every few hours, "Your kingdom come, your will be done." As I pray I remember that it's not just on Earth, but also in my heart, where I need His will to be done. It's a reset button reminding me that He is in control of my life. You can pray this prayer on breaks, at lunch, or before a meeting. Making multiple verbal commitments a day to the Lord will help you stay in His presence.
Practice today the disciplines that will give you the power to overcome tomorrow's temptations. Dallas Willard used to say, "it's presumptuous to ask what would Jesus do?" The assumption is that you have the power to do what He would do in temptations. We ought to ask what Jesus did every day of his life that gave him the power to overcome temptation. Jesus prayed, fasted, served, and spent time in the Word. If you want to defeat sin and become obedient to Christ, you must do so indirectly. No one has the will power to overcome temptation in the moment. But, if you spend time with Christ daily, in the moment of temptation you will have his mind and strength.