When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
For years, I thought that I didn’t want what Jesus had to offer–but it wasn’t me who didn’t want it, it was my unrenewed mindsets. As Christians, our minds are constantly being renewed by the Spirit. This simply means our identity is different than non-believers because our spirits are new and are joined with God’s Spirit (see Colossians 3:3, Romans 6:6-7, 1 Corinthians 6:19). Truth be told, we are already sitting with Christ in heaven because we are one with Him and He’s not bound by time (Ephesians 2:6, 2 Peter 3:8).
Therefore, my spirit has always wanted exactly what Jesus has wanted! However, the battle going on in my mind as it was being transformed by His Spirit caused me to live in a manner which was not authentic. Authentic to what? To my identity! A spiritually perfect person with the mind of Christ! (See 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Corinthians 2:16).
Our minds grow and expand in wisdom, grace, and heavenly knowledge–or the opposite–depending on whether we’re walking according to our heaven-ready spirits or by old coping mechanisms. When we make sinful choices, or holy choices, our minds adapt to those decisions.
The good news is, 9 years old or 90, if you’re a believer it’s never too late to make healthy changes that match up with your spiritual perfection! Christians actually do want Jesus to change their lives and He has by giving us His life! (See Colossians 3:4). All we have to do is walk it out with our choices and attitudes!
The sad thing is, some Christians never decide to change. They ignore what they truly want. The enemy has them blind to their identity because of something which grows from old stinking thinking: pride. Pride is the root of all sin choices as well as a terrible life! Out of pride, grows:
- Unforgiveness. If a Christian continues to listen to the enemy’s sales pitch of acting on pride, even to the point of refusing to forgive others as Christ forgave them, then they can expect a frustrating life. (See Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13). Once we begin to forgive as we’ve been forgiven, pride fades away and we feel free!
- Self-Pity. In John 5, Jesus approached an invalid sitting by the Pool of Bethesda. This man had been stuck in self-pity for 38 years and Jesus said to him, “Do you even want to get well?” The man replied with the same stale excuse he’d been giving everyone for years, “Nobody will help me.” He blamed others and took no initiative. Jesus didn’t reply with, “Oh, you poor baby. You’re right, everyone is mean to you. Please allow me to fix what you’re saying is everyone else’s fault.” No, He said, “GET UP!” God is not an enabler. He cares for us, He knows what we’ve been through, but He doesn’t want us to stay in a state of blame, even if our bad circumstances are someone else’s fault. Therefore, His Spirit will point out our excuses and then expect us to do something about those excuses with Him. Pride will prevent us from listening and moving forward.
- Sin-Soaked Choices. We are dead to sin (see Romans 6:11). So when we continue to be so prideful as to act on what we are dead to, we can expect a sorry life. I was the worst with this. Because I kept walking by the flesh–rather than my true self–and because my immature mindset kept giving me tons of excuses to sin, I’d act on the enemy’s temptations quite often. “Get drunk! You deserve it! Relax! You work hard! Nobody appreciates you anyway!” Or, “Go ahead and watch that porn, nobody’s around. You’ve not had sex in a while, it’s no big deal.” Or even, “Get them back! They need to get what’s coming to them so they can learn a lesson!” SIN. SOAKED. CHOICES. I had to begin acting on what my spirit wanted in order to stop this ignorant stuff which is not of God. Therefore, pride had to go.
- Arrogance. Please don’t get arrogance confused with confidence. God wants you to be confident! (See Hebrews 10:35). The Holy Spirit will reveal the difference to you as you grow in His grace. You are not arrogant–you’re a holy saint! Arrogance is prideful, it says, “I don’t need to change anything. I’m never wrong. People make me like this.” Pride breeds arrogance. Truth exposes identity and confidence! Confidence comes from knowing you are set apart, at peace with God, and blameless at your core! (see Colossians 1:22, Romans 5:1).
So today, my friends, know this: As a Christian you do want to change your life–that is, when it’s not matching up with who you are! God’s not trying to bribe you or scare you to change–instead, He’s gently guiding you to change. Change into what? Into who you really are! Who are you? You are His child! (See John 1:12, 1 John 3:1, Galatians 3:26).
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for being patient with me as you taught me the truth of who I am. Thank you for your continued patience as you teach me more! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of them have been taught they don’t want what you want–and that’s a lie. If they have believed Jesus has forgiven them, they have a new, perfect spirit, and you’ve joined them IN their spirits. You’ve given them new desires from the heart! Desires of your Spirit! Romans 6 tells us this truth, so does 2 Corinthians 5, Galatians 2, Galatians 5, and many other parts of your Word! Teach them the truth, Dad! Open up their minds to what you’ve done! Amen!
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!