No Friday Fun post this week. Instead just a reminder of what happened on the Greatest of Fridays.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him (Isaiah 53:4-5)
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. (Romans 3:25)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole. (Galatians 3:13)
Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God’ (1 Peter 1:18)
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter (2:24)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
When I was growing up I thought if I was struggling with some sin or weakness, that it was my job to do more to fix it. I thought if I just read my bible more, prayed more, or tried harder to be like Jesus, everything would get better— it never worked. I have since learned that when it comes to spiritual battles, Jesus doesn’t want me to do more, He wants to do more for me. But that can only happen if I’m willing to let Jesus fight my battles.
Maybe you’d like Jesus to fight your battles but you’re unsure of how that actually happens (I was for a long time). So here are three ways to start:
Tell Jesus exactly what’s on your heart and mind-Jesus is one person you can be so honest with, that in his presence you can feel emotionally naked. (It’s like the Garden all over again). Without fear or shame, you can tell Jesus exactly what you’re feeling, and exactly what you want in any moment. No matter how bad it is. Often I will literally say things like “Jesus right now I’m feeling _____________” or “Jesus right now I really want to ____________________”. Whether it’s cheating, sharing gossip, lying, cutting, stealing, watching porn, lashing out in anger or wanting to kill someone, we let Jesus fight our battles when we confess all our temptations to him. Rememberingall the while, that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)
Ask Jesus for healing and removal-Your heart and mind are full of wounds and idols (welcome to the club). Some put there by you, some put there by the actions of others. But no matter how they came about each of us needs our wounds healed and our idols removed. So I will say things like, “Jesus would you heal my heart, Jesus would you heal my mind”, or “Jesus would you show me the idols of my heart…would you remove the idols of my heart”. Until my wounds are healed and my idols destroyed I will continue to be overpowered by temptation and a slave to sin. Thankfully Jesus can heal and remove, as 1 Peter 2:24 says, Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so that freed from our sins, we could live a life that has God’s approval. His wounds have healed you. Jesus has done all the necessary work on the Cross and so that now you can receive all the benefits.
Speak God’s Truth over you- Finally speak God’s Truth over your life. This is where all the real power is. As you proclaim God’s Word over your life, you will feel Jesus giving strength to your body and soul. It is like letting Jesus breath life in places where there was death. Do it out loud, because there is much more power in God’s Truth spoken out loud. I will say things like:“God says, I am His adopted child” (Galatians 4:6),“God says, I am valuable” (Matthew 6:26),“God says, He has good things planned for me” (Ephesians 2:10),“God says, nothing can separate me from His love” (Romans 8:38-39).
In Jesus there really is victory! I pray these practices help you, as they have helped me. And I pray you would know the joy of watching Jesus fight and win all your battles.