“Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.” – Exodus 4:30-31
“You desire to give yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life of sin. Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you, but you need not despair. What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections, but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus, your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him.”
– Steps to Christ, 47
The power of the devotional life is that we become like Jesus as we spend time with Jesus. We become like that which we behold. If we behold the glory of Christ—His character—we will be “transformed into the same image.” But, we must not just glance at God’s word, doing it like a checklist or to-do list. It is not just about the information, but it is about the transformation.
EW wrote, how much better to display a Christ-like character! Sympathy, humility, and love should be evident in all our interactions with others. We are told that “Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention … with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul” (Steps to Christ, p. 12).
By studying God’s word our lives can be transformed and our behavior can change. In Christ’s object lessons she writes that a noble character is not inherent, it does not come by accident. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. The Holy Spirit was sent by Christ and He will aid us in this battle.
But it does not stop there, it does not help if we just form our behavior. If we carry on thinking or feeling the same way and just not acting on it. Behavior, thoughts, and feelings make up the moral character. Just because we do not act on our thoughts does not mean it is accepted by God. Jesus said in Matt that if you look at a woman with lust you have committed adulty.
That is why Jesus gave this advice with that statement. That if your eye causes you to sin, cut it out because it is better to lose one eye than the whole body goes lost. In today’s time, there are many temptations before us. We have constant access to the internet and whatever you want you to have access to in your pocket. But if we take that principle as presented in Matthew 5, then if pictures on Instagram is tempting me to sin, delete Instagram and if that does not work, disconnect your internet. Same with TV. Friends, we must take this seriously because the bible teaches the only thing, we are going to take to heaven is our character. We must form it according to the will of God and as Jesus’s example that he set for us.
The amazing thing he sent us a helper. He gave us the way out. He never said it will be easy. But these challenges and battles will form your character. Like James wrote “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
In your daily devotional life, Pray that prayer that the psalmist wrote, Search me O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Surrender anything that would hinder your relationship with the Lord. “In giving ourselves to God, we must necessarily give up all that would separate us from Him” (Steps to Christ, p. 44).
Friends let us commit our lives to Him today. Let us give over everything.