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Yielding to God's Power

This week we continue reading Paul's letter to the first believers in Rome and his second letter to the believers in Corinth. Throughout these readings, we see Paul's instructions on how to live as believers -- instructions that are still applicable to us today.

In Corinthians, we read and learn about all the ways confusion can enter our lives: through unbelievers, through false teachers, and when approached incorrectly, even through the law. Our constant attempts to be good enough on our own (keeping the law) can often replace the reality that we are good enough because of what Christ has already accomplished through His death and resurrection (grace).

How can we keep a clear mind and not forget that, as believers, we are children of God? According to Paul, we must continually "examine ourselves" (2 Cor.13:5) through the reading and mediating of God's Word, spending time with fellow believers, giving of ourselves in service, and administering our gifts and generosity. For "he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
(2 Cor. 9:6)

But this is hard work, and if we do it in our own power, we will fail. I know I do. As much as I want to live my life in all the ways of God, I fail.

I fail because too often I try to do things in my own power and in my own way. I fail because my flesh will always try to take charge of my mind and convince me I'm not good enough, not smart enough, not interesting enough to be used by God.

Paul reminds me, however, that as a believer in the death and resurrection of Christ, I can count myself "dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:11) This means that my flesh is to be continually regarded as dead and has no power over me, that my thinking should be about what I can do when I become yielded to the Spirit of God.

Sin is no longer my master when I am a servant of Jesus, and the dreams God has put in my heart cannot be stopped when my body, mind, and emotions are submitted to Him.

We can be obedient to God and our heart can be willing, but our power must come from Christ. In the words of Paul:

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, I am strong.'" (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

How can we be strong? We can be strong by yielding to righteousness and by offering ourselves to God "as those who have been brought from death to life," by offering every part of ourselves to Him "as an instrument of righteousness." (Romans 6:13)

We offer ourselves to something each and every day. Sin can run our lives, or we can yield to God -- but we cannot do both. We can embrace the cross, or we can live in the world -- but we cannot do both. If we want to be used by God as He made us, we need to surrender our will to His will. Only then can we receive His power.

~ Anna-Maria Adair

November 25th Readings
ROMANS 5:1-8:17

November 26th Readings
ROMANS 8:18-10:21

November 27th Readings
ROMANS 11:1-14:23

November 28th Readings
ROMANS 15:1-16:27

November 29th Readings
2 CORINTHIANS 2:5-6:13

November 30th Readings
2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-10:18

December 1st Readings
2 CORINTHIANS 11:1-13:13
ACTS 20:7-12