God continually shows me how sinful my thoughts are. I am desperate for change too!! And even more desperate for His constant mercy and love as I repeatedly tell Him sorry for my sinful thoughts and actions.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.11 'Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'"
These verses remind me to ask for God's help. To continuously ask Him to fill me with the things of the Holy Spirit.
"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
I need to continually ask God for more of every fruit. For more faith and peace so that I will not be anxious and fearful. For more love, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness as I interact with others. For patience with God to work in our hearts! For self-control to not give in to any temptation. And for joy over His love and promises. I need to ask for me to be filled and controlled by the Spirit as I interact and talk to others. I need to pray to let the Spirit control me instead of my flesh so that God will speak and love through me.
We already have the Holy Spirit inside us always, but God wants us to ask and pray to be led by it. To walk with it. To be filled more and more with the fruits. And to give the Holy Spirit control instead of ourselves!! God is a gracious Father who loves to fill us with the Holy Spirit!
For me it takes constantly asking over and over through out the day for God to fill me with each fruit, and it mostly takes choosing to live by faith. Believing we already have the self-control we need to say "No!" to temptation. Believing God is answering our prayers and working. Believing God is speaking and loving through us. Choosing to live by faith instead of fear. Choosing to embrace the peace and joy that comes from knowing of God's forgiveness and promise of Heaven.
These verses in Luke also remind me to keep praying for those who don't know Him. Who don't have the Holy Spirit inside them yet. I pray that they will begin to seek and knock. I pray that they will knock so that God can prove faithful and open the door of their hearts to Him.
I wrote this entry about a month ago as well. Around that time I chose to live "by faith and not fear." To live by hope. To allow God to fill me with peace and joy over Him, even when others are still struggling or depressed. I chose to embrace freedom in Christ!
I was struggling with little bits of depression each day until I made this choice to live "by faith not fear." I haven't felt those depressed feelings since!! I've still struggled with anxiety every day, but through it all I have peace, joy, and hope in me at the same time. Always. I know that God loves me and forgives me. I know that I have Heaven to look forward to. I know that He is working inside those who are struggling. He is answering my prayers!!!
Satan often fills me with lies. Makes me believe my hope and joy hurts others, but the truth is friends of told me, "Abby, we need that! We need to see that joy in Christ. It gives hope to us who are feeling so hopeless."
So, I am stepping out, bringing light and hope to this dark dark world.
I will keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep smiling over the thought of His love and grace. Keep holding onto the beautiful promise of eternal life with Him. And Keep living by faith not fear. It doesn't mean I will be happy all the time. I will still feel sad often for those who are struggling. Still feel sad and disgusted by sin. My heart will still break over how lost our world is. But God has shown me, He doesn't want me to be depressed. He wants me to put my hope in Him. He's in control and knows exactly what He's doing at all times.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."