Proverbs 11 5-11-22

Supernatural power on the outside = miracles. Supernatural power on the inside = martyrs.

11:29 The way of the LORD is a refuge for the blameless, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

There are many ways that we still think like our old selves rather than with the mind of Christ. One way is that we still think we can live the Christian life under our own power. We were never meant to even try! It is the interaction with the Spirit of God that gives us first the want-to, and then power to live godly lives,

13 For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 (Amplified Version)

Paul talked about this freedom in Christ to put off our old selves and put on our new selves. Let’s read it:

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

In Romans 13:14, it says, 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” The idea is to stop thinking in our old, deceived ways and start thinking like Jesus. It requires surrender. The process of surrender is not as hard as we might think. It means that whenever we have a question, feel the tension, or are tempted, we step back mentally and ask, “Lord, what am I to do with this situation?” The giving over of ourselves to Him in that moment is exactly the interaction for which He was hoping with all mankind! At that point, He will either empower us outwardly to be a sign unto unbelievers of the power of God, or He will empower us inwardly to endure with grace and humility anything that comes our way (which, too, is a sign unto unbelievers).

In the words of a favorite song of mine,

Sometimes He calms the storm,
With a whisper, “Peace, be still,” but it doesn’t mean He will;
Sometimes He holds us tight
and lets the wind and waves go wild;
Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child.

Abba, thank You that in either way we have Your promise to never leave us or forsake us. In fact, we are never closer to You and You to us than when we are in difficult circumstances. You’re awesome, Lord. Amen.

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