How can you have VICTORY over your defects of character?
Voluntarily submit – voluntarily submit to every change God wants me to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings. “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2, The Message)
In Principle 3 we made a decision to turn our lives over to God’s will. Now “you are entirely ready to have God remove all your defects of character” (Step 6)
It is important to understand that Principle 5 is a process. Lasting change takes time. The remainder of this lesson outlines the process to have God make the positive changes in your life that you and He both desire.
Identify character defects – identify which character defects you want to work on first. Go back to the wrongs, shortcomings, and sins you discovered in your inventory. Ask God to first remove those that are causing the most pain. “In his heart a man plans hi course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
Change your mind – when you become a Christian you are a new creation – a brand new person inside; the old nature is gone. But you have to let God (change) transform you by renewing your mind. The changes that are going to take place are a result of a team effort – your responsibility is to take the action to follow God’s directions for change.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. “(Romans 12:2)
Turn over character defects – turn your character defects over to Jesus Christ. Relying on your own will power has blocked your recovery. You have tried to change your hurts, hang-ups, and habits by yourself and were unsuccessful. “Let go; let God.” “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
“The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
One day at a time – recovery works one day at a time! Your lifelong hurts, hang-ups, and habits need to be worked on in twenty-four-hour increments. “Life by the yard is hard; life by the inch is a cinch.”
“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34, TLB)
Recovery is a process – rnce you ask God to remove your character defects, you begin a journey that will lead you to new freedom from your past. Don’t look for perfection; instead rejoice in steady progress.
“And I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” (Philippians 1:6, TLB)
You must choose to change – to ask for help to change your hurts, hang-ups, and habits requires humility. We need to stop trying to make the changes on our power. We need to “humbly ask Him to remove all our shortcomings.” We need to rely on His power to change us!
“God gives strength to the humble, so give you humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you.” (James 4:6-8, TLB)
Principle 5 Prayer
Dear God, show me Your will in working on my shortcomings. Help me not to resist the changes that You have planned for me. I need You to “direct my steps.” Help me stay in today, not get dragged back into the past or lost in the future. I ask You to give me the power and the wisdom to make the very best I can out of today. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.
Principle 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” (Matthew 5:6)
Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
Step 7: We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)