HINDRANCES TO GODLY THINKING
“Hey Carolyn, there’s more in this present for you. You didn’t get everything out of the box. Come and see what else is in it.” I was so excited to find the black sweater I wanted I was trying it on, admiring it. In my excitement, I went on to other presents, not thinking there would be anything else in the gift box. As I dug deeper into the box I found a pair of slacks, a blouse and pretty socks to complete the outfit. Wow! I was glad someone pointed out to me there were more goodies in that package. “All this for me?” was the thought that stirred overwhelming gratitude to the person giving me the gift. The complete package made a beautiful ensemble. To think I could have missed out on enjoying the whole gift is sad, indeed.
When we don’t know and understand the provisions available in the gift of salvation, we hinder our walk into wholeness. We have a belief system that is incomplete, or perhaps even erroneous.
Salvation is like that for many of us in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift given to us by our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, His Son. When we receive the gift of salvation, many of us think the only benefit to receiving Him as our Lord and Savior is eternal life. While it certainly is that, it is so much more. The Greek word translated as salvation is “sozos.” It means “being saved out from under the devil’s power and restored into the wholeness of God’s order and well-being by the power of the Spirit.”
When we receive, embrace and begin to apply the provisions of salvation, we first are excited and full of joy to know we have eternal life. We get to be with our God, knowing and enjoying Him forever.
But wait…there’s more…so much more!
Salvation means to be saved, to be healed and to be delivered. Jesus has, is and will continue to provide for us in every way. Jesus brings good news to the poor, he heals the broken-hearted, declares freedom to captives and opens the doors to those who have been kept in a prison as a slave to sin.
As we continue to learn what salvation can mean for our daily walk, we can’t help but stand in amazement at the realizations that open our eyes to the provisions we can access, receive, embrace and apply.
He heals wounds that are inflicted upon us by others. We don’t have to carry them around, allowing them to cause us to become bitter and resentful. We don’t have to develop a victim mentality that can trap us in a lifestyle of bondage to depression, anxiety and anger. We can forgive and live in peace, because He gifted us with that grace. It’s part of the wholeness of the gift of salvation.
He offers a BIG EXCHANGE for us – our old way of living that was full of destructive, dysfunctional behaviors for a new way of living. The exchange is this: we get to give Him our life and He gives us His. (Galatians 2:20) He wants to live in, for and through us. That is an exchange we don’t want to miss out on.
Our frustrations with daily life can defeat us if we don’t have a revelation of the wholeness of the gift given to us. When we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), we receive His DNA (2 Peter 1:4) which incudes the power that raised Him from the dead. We are now raised with Him! (Colossians 3:1, Ephesians 2:6-7) Now we are longer dead, but alive because of His life within us. We are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)
Sin no longer is our master and cannot control us. (Romans 6:14) His presence indwelling us is the power that enables us to walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4) Is that not the GOOD NEWS? If we don’t know this is part of the gift of salvation, we lose out. We continue to live in defeat. God has given us a great exchange. Let’s ask for the revelation to receive all that is in the gift of salvation. This power, as we acknowledge it and walk in it, empowers us to be more like Jesus. It enables us to actually live the Fruit of the Spirit even in our most challenging relationships and situations. This is all part of the gift of salvation.
Wouldn’t you like to dig deeper into the gift package and see what you are missing out on? What does salvation mean to you? Does it match up with what God says is His intention when He made and is still making the offer of salvation to those who choose to come to Him? (Acts 2:21)
Changing your thoughts on the meaning of salvation can change your life!
PAL (Pause, Ask, Listen) these journaling questions today: “Holy Spirit, what have I been missing out on in my life because I haven’t understood what is available to me through your gift of salvation? Would you please open the eyes of my understanding so I can begin to apply the provisions in my relationships? I welcome you to teach me as I listen.”
“…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21
Rev. Dr. Carolyn Allen has partnered in pastoral ministry with her husband, Ron, for 50 years. She has seen and lived a wide spectrum of church life in rural churches, suburban and city parishes. She has experienced several streams of the expressions of the Body of Christ.
Carolyn has a Masters in Christian Counseling and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies. Her own journey into wholeness evolved while raising a family and caring for others. She is an ordained minister on staff at the Heartland Parish, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Carolyn recently published Journey Into Wholeness, a book that helps you learn foundational biblical principles that will lead you through practical ministry and personal application. Learning to ask key questions will enable the reader to evaluate thoughts that produce feelings that lead to ungodly behavior, if not challenged and changed.
Journey Into Wholeness is available on Amazon: www.amazon.com
You can reach Rev. Dr. Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.