Spiritual Core Training 101 ~ blog
Why do you think God saved you? Think big picture with me. The simple answer is because He loves you. He chose you to be one of His kids, to be a member of His Family so that you could be living in a relationship with Him for part of our lives here on earth and then for all eternity with Him in heaven.
In that moment when you believed in Christ and accepted Him as your Savior, the course of your life was changed forever. You went from being spiritually dead in your sins to being alive in Christ. You became born again by the Spirit of God. He delivered you from the kingdom of this present darkness and brought you into the kingdom of His Son.
Also, in that moment He sealed you with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of His promise to grant you an inheritance in heaven. And it is because you are sealed with the Spirit that we are called to live a life pleasing to God by growing in a deepening relationship with Christ every day of our lives. We started on a journey where we can experience God’s love and forgiveness every day.
However, as we are all too aware, that journey is not without its challenges. The challenge we all face, and we face them every day, is living a Christ-like life while living in a non-Christian world. Being a child of God’s by grace through faith we are bound for heaven but are living in this domain of darkness. And while we are alive here on earth, we have three battles we face every day.
We find that we are tempted every day by the things of this world that are appealing to our flesh. Our flesh is that part of us, which is filled with selfish lusts, wants to rebel against authorities, wants to indulge in sinful behavior and is selfish to the core. To make matters worse we live in a fallen world that offers our flesh sinful choices on a daily basis.
And then to make matters even more difficult we battle against demonic forces. So, we have an enemy within us, the flesh, an enemy outside of us, the demonic, and we are living behind enemy lines with a target on our backs and temptations waiting around the corner.
So, in one sense things can look pretty grim for us. And when we become addicted to sexual sin, we feel distant from God and begin to believe lies our enemy whispers into our ears. Lies like God has abandoned us. That we have lost our salvation or may not have ever been a true born-again Christian. We forget what 1 Corinthians 10:13 teaches us;
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
So, that is our situation. We are born-again children of God living in a fallen world and facing a daily battle especially in the area of sexual purity. We need to know and understand our position and the battle we are in so that we can now discover what God has done to help us survive in this fallen world and even more, to grow into godly Christ-like Christians.
To begin to strengthen our spiritual core we must first understand that God has not left us on this earth alone. We can survive and even thrive if we will use the resources He has given us. These resources have far more power than the issues and enemies we face. The problem is we either do not know what these resources are and therefore are not using them or worse yet we know what they are and choose to not use them.
So, the very first part of our core training is to check our attitude. If it is one of defeat, discouragement, self-loathing, and condemnation then we will be likely to abandon hope and stay entangled in our sins. Our flesh will be in the driver’s seat and we will continue to indulge our flesh leading to the discipline from God our Father and suffering the consequences of our sin. Remembering that the wages of sin is death and even though you have been born again and are a child of God’s you will not be experiencing the life of Christ in you.
We must enter our core training with hope and faith. We must believe that God has saved us out of His love for us and that there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of our Father. We must place our hope not in ourselves and our abilities to live a pure life, but instead place our hope in Him, the Holy Spirit.
He dwells inside of our bodies and is infinitely more powerful than anything in all the universe. He will never leave us or forsake us. He can give us the power to walk in the Spirit so that we will not give in to the desires of our flesh. And God has promised that He will complete, He will finish this work He has begun in our lives.
For that to be happening in our lives we must begin by surrendering. We must ultimately understand that we are not strong enough to win this battle, but He certainly is. We must realize that our flesh has whipped our butts in this battle for sexual purity. However, in our weakness, we can experience His Strength. He has the power to literally change us into more godly men who can be filled up with all the fullness of God.
So, Step 1 of our core training is we must begin each day surrendering control of our life to God and do what Romans 12:1-2 commands us. Memorize and pray this passage at the beginning of every day and your core training will begin.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
That is the morning prayer we should begin every day praying. Surrendering control of our body and our life to our Father. To stop being conformed to this world and to experience the Spirit transforming and renewing our minds every day. We will dig more into this passage tomorrow.