A New Way to Live
When you become a Christian by receiving Jesus as your Savior, He actually comes to live inside you by His Spirit, and you can be led by His Spirit throughout your life. You no longer have to feel you must follow religious rules and regulations, thinking you can please God by doing everything “right.” The Holy Spirit will guide you into God’s plans for your life, which are better than anything you could plan for yourself. This is truly a new way of living—a way of love, peace, freedom, fulfillment, and joy. You can begin it today, and it’s a journey you will be on for the rest of your life.
Anytime you try to do anything new, you have to learn how to do it. That’s also true with a new way of living. Some of what you learn may seem unusual because it’s different than anything you’ve done before, and it’s usually the complete opposite of what this world teaches us. For example, in God’s new way of living, people who try to be first end up last, while those who put themselves last end up first (see Matthew 20:16). If someone wants one thing from us, we can give them even more (see Matthew 5:40), and instead of holding grudges against people who’ve hurt us, we’re empowered to forgive them (see Matthew 18:21–22).
Jesus’ teaching to forgive those who use, abuse, or wound us—and then to go even further and actually love and bless them (see Luke 6:27–28)—was a difficult one for me. It meant forgiving my father for sexually abusing me and forgiving my mother, who knew about it and ignored it, choosing instead to treat me as though I were the one doing something wrong. Forgiving them seemed totally unreasonable to me. It took a long time for me to be willing to do that, but when I finally did (only by God’s grace), it set me free to move forward and heal. I urge you to forgive anyone that you have anything against.
Learning to forgive is only one of many lessons God has taught me about His way of living (which is why I say it’s a lifetime journey), and it’s one I’m still learning. I want you to know that every path the Holy Spirit has led me to take on this new way has always brought me to a better place than I was before, and He will never ask you to do anything difficult unless it’ll lead you into something greater.
Because the new way isn’t always easy, you might be tempted at times to fall back into your old ways, which is totally normal. But if you’ll resist that temptation and ask God to help you press on in His new way of living, your life will become better and ultimately easier than you ever thought possible.
Prayer Starter: Father, please help me keep going in this new way of life that You have for me. Thank You for making a way for me to heal and move forward into more and more freedom. In Jesus’ name, amen.