from Pastor Blain  

Starting 2010 With God’s Blessing

1.   IN GOD’S SPIRITGal 5:16-17; Rom 7:18:  These verses remind us that unless we walk in the Spirit, we will not do God’s will.  No good thing dwells in our flesh.  And the desires of the Spirit and of our flesh are hostile to each other.  When we are in the flesh, we are foolishly wasting time. Here are some steps toward walking in God’s Spirit. 

a.   Ask God to search your heart and lead you in His way.  Ps 139:23-24 

i.    Verses 1-4 reveal just how intricate, precise and complete God’s knowledge is of our inner soul, [“deep under our outer skin”].  We need to have the courage to allow God to show us our true inner person.  God will be good and kind.  He will show us both the good and the bad.  He will both commend and convict.

ii.     The good will allow God to build our morale. Nothing compares to allowing God to build us up with Him love, encouragement and comfort.

iii.   But God will also reveal areas in our inner person [“hurtful ways”] that grieve Him.  In some cases this convicting exposure will produce great godly sorrow and almost make us “sick to our stomachs”. But if we are to grow, we must let God show us our spiritual immaturity, sin, rebellion, etc. until we are moved to depend on God’s power, until we are in the Spirit hungering and thirsting after righteousness so that He might satisfy our desire to be led by His Spirit into true spiritual change –into God’s “everlasting way”. 

b.       Keep confessing and repenting of all known sin. I John 1:9

c.       Be surrendered to God’s will.  Rom 12:1-2   

  d.   Be filled with God’s Spirit/be filled with His Word.  To be filled with God’s Spirit is to be
  driven, empowered, propelled propelled and under the control of the Holy Spirit.  Compare
  Eph 5:18 and Col 3:16.  If you compare the larger passages in which these two verses are
  found, you will see the tight interrelationship between the filling of God’s Spirit and the rich
  indwelling of God’s Word.

2.   IN DEPENDENCE ON GODProv 3:5-6:  Here the Lord promises that our paths will be straight if we walk in faith. We are urged to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and acknowledge Him in all our ways.  Practically speaking, this means that we need to ask God for direction.  When you wake up each morning, Come to Him and ask Him to guide you that specific day. As you go through the day, lean on the Lord moment by moment. Sprinkle prayer throughout your morning, afternoon and evening, asking for ongoing direction. Use good common sense.  But lean on His power to Guide you rather than relying upon your own personal judgment

3.   3.   IN GOD’S WISDOMEph 5:15-17:   The Apostle Paul reminds us here that the days are evil.  Therefore we need to be careful how we walk.  We are to redeem the time.  This New Year, let us be extremely cautious so that the important things in life get done.  Determine the non-negotiables and don’t compromise!  Things like prayer, feeding on God’s Word, family devotionals must be put on the top of the priority list.  We need to put first things first.

4.   IN GOD’S STEADFASTNESS1 Cor 15:58:  Given our ugly sin, how can we be steadfast?

a.   By faith we must trust that God’s steadfastness dwells within us.  Col 1:11 indicates steadfastness is a product of God’s indwelling might. 

b.       We need to abide [to remain constantly in a state of clinging to Christ, depending on His life within us] as “branches” in the “vine”, so that the “sap” of the vine, Christ’s strength, vitality and freshness, is energizing our souls, [John 15:5].

c.       We need to get back up every time we fall down [Prov 24:16 24:16 with perseverance getting up every time we fall] because we love God [James 1:12], and because Christ is stronger than our sin, the powers of darkness, and the influences of the world, [1 John 4:5; Eph 6:10].          

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427