Day 21 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 2:12 min reading)
How Can It Happen in Your Life?
So what is the answer to how we can live a consistently victorious Christian life? The answer is letting Jesus live out His life in us. This truth is taught throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament we find references to it. David understood that victory came through God’s presence with him.
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (Psalm 16:8)
Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11)
Isaiah understood the necessity of continual connection with God for victory and peace in one’s life.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)
One would not experience a life of perfect peace if he/she was living a life of constantly falling into acts of sin knowing they were falling short of God’s will for them. No, their life would be a life of continual discouragement.
The New Testament is very clear about the necessity of Christ living in us in order for us to have the victory over temptation and sin. Jesus used the imagery of the vine and branches to illustrate this truth.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
Paul taught this truth throughout his writings:
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:11)
“We have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Christ’s mind was filled with pure, holy, virtuous thoughts. If we have asked Christ to live in us through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, if we believe He does, and if we believe He will manifest His love and His pure, holy, virtuous thoughts in our minds, He will do just that. It is a matter of faith—believing He will truly manifest Himself in our lives. Paul recognized this fact when he wrote:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. . . . (Ephesians 3:16-17)
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Personal Reading for Discussion:
The Problem of Previous Definitions
I am sure that these verses are familiar to you. Most Christians know the words and phrases I am using and yet give them their own definitions of meaning.
Usually the personal application of these verses by the Christian is the belief that we must stay connected with God in order to have His power added to our efforts to obey. We often believe that Christ living in us means that He is there to strengthen us in our efforts to overcome the temptations and sins in our lives. However, that is not what these verses are saying.
The Bible is clear that our efforts are ineffective in overcoming temptation even when we have faith in God adding His power to our efforts. Paul described that ineffective method in Romans 7. We have all tried that method and failed again and again. So I challenge you to lay aside your definition of what it means to have Christ in you, and prayerfully ask “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17-18).
Day 21 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church to understand and experience complete victory over temptation through faith in Christ’s righteous obedience in your life
- Those on your prayer list
Day 21 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 69 to 72 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 89 to 92 of the PDF version])
- David’s victory in life came as he “set the Lord always before me” (Psalm 16:18, Psalm 16:11.) In what ways can you set the Lord always before you? (Page 89 PDF)
- Read Isaiah 26:3. What was Isaiah’s understanding of the deep bond between God and man? (Page 90 PDF)
- When we experience discouragement and despair, what is it that is keeping us from claiming the bible promises and fulfillment (Page 90 PDF)
- What is the remedy for a life of despair and finding victory over temptation and besetting sins? (John 15:4-5) (Page 90 PDF)
- Christ’s mind was filled with pure, holy, virtuous thoughts. How can this statement be true of us also? (See Gal. 2:20, Eph. 3:16-17, Phil 4:13, Col. 1:27) (Page 91 PDF)
- What erroneous ideas do we hold regarding the nature of overcoming sin and having Christ within us? (Page 92 PDF)
- Answer the following questions as true or false.
T F Christ living us means He adds His power to our strength.
T F We must stay connected to God and then add his power to our efforts to overcome temptation
8. In finding the true definition of “Christ in you,” why must we ask God for wisdom and revelation? (Eph. 1:17-18)
( Page 92 PDF)
Day 21 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 73 to 75 (pages 93 to 95 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 22.
- Prayerfully answer Day 22 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 22 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.