A life that’s been set free from sin is a beautiful sight. When you turn from your sin and live a life more in tune with God, you testify to the glory of God and give others hope that he can change their lives. You know that the suffering, affliction, and brokenness come from going and doing things your own way. You know what its like to be enslaved to your passions. Yet you should also know there is more to life than bondage’more to life than alcohol or pornography ‘more to life than envy and jealousy’more to life than work or football. There is healing and freedom. There is beauty and joy. There is love, forgiveness, and mercy.
And you have the wonderful privilege of proclaiming this Good News to those around you, both in your vocal testimony and in the testimony of your life. I love the saying: Go out and preach Jesus to all you meet, and when necessary, use words.
When you surrender your life to Jesus, he’ll put you on a path of new life. Your salvation is assured, and now you will live a life of gratitude. You’ll change from the inside out because God got a hold of you. Others will notice, and God will be given the honor and glory.
God wants to move you out of your broken past and into a better future. As you cooperate with God’s process of redeeming your past, you need to honestly evaluate your life so you can redirect your course according to God’s design.
Jesus said, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). The path to freedom always leads through the truth, even the truth about your past. The apostle Paul examined his past, making an honest review of his earthly accomplishments, his wrongs, mistakes, gains, and his losses. It was from this broad perspective that he wrote, ‘I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be’ (Philippians 3:12).
Freedom from the past also involves facing up to times when others have harmed you and turning them over to God. In a letter to Timothy Paul even states the truth that someone has hurt him but leaves the matter in God’s hands.
When you hand over your past to God with the prayer that he work it out for the best according to his will, you can finally let go of it. Then you can redirect your course toward a brighter future and help others to do the same through the lessons you’ve learned.
We know more about the spiritual life of David than probably any other person in the Bible. The extensive record of his life and the Psalms he wrote show us that he studied and meditated upon God’s word, he fasted, and that his entire life was yielded to God’s service.
Two things he did stand out to me: he worshiped and he prayed. These spiritual exercises renewed David’s spirit over and over again.
For example, David’s first role in the king’s court was as a musician. His ministry of worship touched Saul’s heart, as it has untold millions of others since David lived. His worship is so powerful because it’s a natural, unforced mixture of David’s heart (when he was up and when he was down) with an unwavering faith in a gracious, almighty God.
His prayers often begin with an honest confession of anger, despair, or frustration. He didn’t hide his feelings from God and he didn’t pretend that he was ‘super-spiritual.’ Spiritual renewal flows from the freedom to be totally honest with God. Psalm 145 is a good example of what I’m talking about. Read Psalm 145 and you will see David’s progression from anxiety and distress to faith filled assurance and confidence.
When you consider the worship and prayer in David’s life, you soon recognize that being someone after God’s own heart doesn’t mean you never fall’it means when you fall, you look to God to restore your spirit, and you fall to your knees in worship and prayer.