You’ve asked Jesus to come into your life, you put matters in order with people as far as you know, you’ve received forgiveness for your sins, and you have peace with God. A burden has been lifted from you and you feel light and ready for a meaningful new life in Christ.
The Bible says, “In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn't obey God. Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds [our sinful human nature]. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else.” Ephesians 2:1-3 (CEV).
We see here how great God’s mercy is to have rescued us from what looked like impossible circumstances. Not only are we saved from our sins, but also from the influence of the evil spirit powers that had power over us.
A new life in Christ = a whole new desire
These verses also show us how our lives as Christians should be. Even now, we find that we are still bound by our own nature—the way we think, the way we react to certain people and situations, the way we react when our feelings go up and down, the times when we can’t stop ourselves from doing wrong.
We find that we are sometimes “ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds” without realising it at the time. We only see it afterwards. But the big difference between now and before we gave our lives to Christ is that we no longer want to be ruled by our desires. And God has greater plans for us than to just keep forgiving us for sins we keep committing.
We read further in Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIRV), “God's grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn't come from anything you do. It is God's gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it.” Because we believed, God gave us the gift of His grace, and He forgave us our past sins when we asked Him.
We must keep this faith throughout our Christian life: this faith that will cause us to keep asking God for grace – and grace doesn’t just mean that God shows us mercy and forgives us our sins. Grace is also His power that will help us whenever we are in need (Hebrews 4:16).
It is the power we need to say “No!” whenever we are tempted to follow our old way of life or our old habits. It is a power that we can use to not get angry, suspicious or jealous, or become bitter against others because of how we have been treated. It can help us to rather forgive them and pray for them! In short, the power that God’s grace gives us when we ask for it will change our lives.
Seek power from God to live an overcoming life
This is the Christian life—a life where we fight against sin and Satan; and where we can overcome just as Jesus overcame (Revelations 3:21). He overcame sin by being obedient to His Father’s voice throughout His life, and then He won His final victory over Satan when He was crucified on Calvary’s cross. Paul says in I Corinthians 1:18 that “the message of the cross is the power of God”. This is the power that we also need to live an overcoming life.
Jesus Himself tells us in Luke 9:23: “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.” The Holy Spirit will give us the power to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. It is the power that Jesus promised the disciples before He went to heaven. How do we get this power? By only wanting to please the Lord!
Read also: What is the task of the Holy Spirit?
Think to change from someone who would get angry for the smallest reason, to someone that has become a gentle, patient person. When our whole attitude of mind is to please God only, then we receive power to overcome in temptation. This is a tremendous testimony to those who know us - when they see that something has happened in our lives – we have changed!
We can’t do this alone
To grow as a Christian, we need spiritual food. We find this food through reading the Bible - it tells us how to live - and by praying to become more like Jesus. On top of this, we need the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can read what God’s will is in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit will explain to us what is written. We also need to come together with people who are overcoming sin as far as they understand. To talk with one another about our hope to become like Jesus is a great help for us to grow in our own lives.
We must go to God for help. He is our Father—a Father who only wants the best for His children—and He wants to have a personal relationship with each of us.
“Every morning he wakes me. He teaches me to listen like a student. The Lord God helps me learn, and I have not turned against him nor stopped following him.” Isaiah 50:4-5 (NCV). Let us wake up every morning and let God speak to us, teach us and let us do what He says. He will give us all the power (grace) we need to do as He has asked. This is what it means to give our lives to Jesus: we who start as sinners have been called by Jesus to live a completely new life in Christ – a life that will bring praise to His name!
You have made a good decision when you chose to turn to Jesus. He wants to help you and change you completely from the inside. He wants to bless you far more than you can imagine or desire. Trust in Him with all your heart and you will experience great things in your life!