Day 22 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 1:21 min reading)
He Was There All the Time
First, please realize that Jesus does literally abide in you. He said that He does, and we can believe Him. This happens as we daily receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18, 1 John 3:24). With Jesus living in us we have His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-23), His likes and dislikes, His pure thoughts, His forgiveness; the list could be endless. Every virtue of Christ is in us through Christ abiding in us.
It is essential that we believe this fact. It is with this knowledge that we are to meet the temptations that come our way. However, even with this knowledge, the majority of Christians live their lives in the following way. They have accepted Christ by faith and believe they are forgiven. Then they think they need to work hard at becoming Christlike by putting forth efforts to obey Him. In their efforts to obey, they ask God to add His power to these efforts. As I have stated previously, all such efforts are doomed to failure.
What I am presenting is not becoming Christlike or always having Christ’s help or power to resist temptation. What I am presenting is so much better than that. The truth is that Christ wants to literally live out His life in us; not simply add His power to our feeble efforts.
- T. Jones wrote:
And remember that we are to be perfect with his character. His standard of character is to be ours. Yea, his character itself is to be ours. We are not to have one made like it: it itself is to be ours. And that alone is Christian perfection. (Lessons on Faith, 137)
Personal Reading for Discussion:
How Does It Work?
How does this happen? Simply put, the steps are these:
- When you become aware of a temptation to sin, choose to turn your mind immediately away from it (Philippians 4:8).
- Believe that your sinful nature’s attraction to the temptation is broken.
- Believe Jesus is in you.
- Ask Him to manifest His virtue in you in relation to the temptation. Be specific.
- Believe that He will manifest Himself in that manner.
- Rest in that belief, and don’t fight the temptation. When we fight the temptation, we are actually focusing on it and trying to resist it in our own strength.
- Thank Him for the deliverance He has just given you.
Let’s take the example of anger. Someone does something to make you angry. Perhaps they cut you off while driving or says something hurtful to you. The application of these steps would go as follows:
- As soon as you become aware of the temptation to become angry, choose to turn your mind away from what is making you feel anger.
- Believe that the “angry you” was crucified at the cross and that the power of your sinful nature’s desire to become angry is broken.
- Believe Jesus is in you.
- Ask Jesus to manifest His “non-anger” or “peace” in and through you.
- Believe that He is doing just that at that very moment.
- Rest in that belief, and don’t fight the temptation to become angry.
- Thank Him for the deliverance from anger He has just given you.
Another example is when you are tempted to think impure thoughts. Do the same thing with that temptation.
Every time you are tempted turn to Jesus. The temptation may be so strong that you may have to do this several times. That is OK. Through these experiences you are learning to abide in Christ’s victory moment-by-moment.
Day 22 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 22 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 73 to 75 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 93 to 95 of the PDF version])
- Does Jesus literally abide in you?
- When temptations come, what steps do we take to overcome?
- When and how does Jesus “literally Abide in you?” (See John 14:16-18, 1 John 3:24) (Page 93)
- Why is it essential that we believe that Christ “literally dwells within us? (Page 93)
- List the attributes (traits) of character we will possess when Christ abides in us. ( See 1 Cor 2:16, Gal. 5:22-23) (Page 93)
- What is the difference between becoming like and having the power of Christ’s help in times of temptation? (Page 93)
- List some steps we can take to make “Christ in us” victory and power over sin and temptation. (Page 94)
Day 22 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 75 to 80 (pages 95 to 100 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 23.
- Prayerfully answer Day 23 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 23 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.