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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Surfing With God"

Date published: 09/22/2019

Isaiah 48:18 “If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

 

   Most Christians qualify for this verse at one time or another because of failures in their walk with God.  Such failures have natural consequences that are not fun.  The flip side of failure is paying attention to God’s commands.  Who does not want a peace resembling the most tranquil river you can imagine or righteousness that exudes exhilaration by God’s power, grace, love, and peace?  Romans 8:6 helps explain this spiritual disconnect: “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”  If you want life and peace, you must be willing to yield every detail of your life to God.

 

   Paul found success in Christ when he died to self as he described in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Paul could not find success by merely trying to live righteously, because his flesh was corrupt.  In Romans 7:16, Paul accentuates this, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”  Paul expressed his success in Romans 8:11 when he learned to rely on the Spirit, “He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”  We must learn to live as Peter did when his eyes were firmly on Jesus as he walked on water.  He began to sink only when he lost his focus on Jesus.  This point takes us to the last part of Isaiah 48:18: “Your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”  When you are living by faith, dead to self, alive to God, with your eyes on Jesus, you have the full force of God’s love, grace, and power on your life.  As wonderful as this is, life’s volatility will still at times take you under.  Though life’s volatility can be painful, it provides a wonderful opportunity to experience God’s loving, redemptive power to put you back on the wave.  Yes, you can be overcome by the waves of life, but you also know that God can give “life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit.”  Just like a surfer, you bounce back to catch the next wave allowing God’s overwhelming love to once again give life to your mortal body.  Righteousness can be consistently experienced in both good and bad times as you yield your life to the Spirit. 

 

Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  

 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area:  “Satisfaction” and “Hard Times.”