God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. In fact, He will never love you more than He does at this moment, and you don't have to get your life all together before you can have a relationship with Him. Here's another wonderful thought: God is not surprised by your behavior and He knew all about you before He invited you to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him.
The truth is, we can't do everything right or change ourselves in our own strength. But we can't just settle for living with sin in our lives and ignore it either. And everyone has something they need to overcome to have the abundant life Jesus died to give us-whether it's self-pity, anger, impatience, unforgiveness, or anything that keeps us from fellowship with Him. So how do we effectively deal with sin?
There are two things we need to conquer sin and develop intimacy with God: Truth and Time. Jesus said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me" (John 14:6 AMP). John 8:32 (AMP) says, "You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." There is a way that Jesus prescribes for us to walk, or live, and a truth He wants to reveal to us. If we will receive that truth for ourselves, and about ourselves, we will experience freedom from sin and real intimacy in relationship with Him. To do this, we are going to have to invest time with Him and in His Word.
Many people love God but they are deceived, and deception is keeping them from having intimacy with Him. Wrong mindsets about themselves, God or their circumstances in life are keeping them from the truth. For example, it's easy to believe "God is mad at me," or "If I can just do a little better, it will make Him love me more." But neither of these things is true. He doesn't like everything we do, but He always loves us.
If you are a parent, you can probably relate to this. I don't always like what my kids do, but I always love them and they are always my kids. At times there are things I would like to see them change because it would be better for them, but I won't ever stop loving them.
That's how God is with us. He wants to cleanse us of the sin in our lives and change us to be more like Christ. He wants to get in the middle of everything we do and He will not leave us alone in our sin because He has a good purpose to fulfill in our lives.
The good news is God can change us if we will spend time with Him and we're willing to be honest with Him. There's a saying "Confession is good for the soul." This is so true. We need to come clean with God and talk to Him about the things that aren't right in our lives. And we need to call it what it is. I recall a time when I was praying, "God, please forgive me; I missed it." I didn't want to say what my sin was because it was ugly, but the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, "Missed what? Let's talk about it. Let's call it what it is."
See, if you're struggling with something you can't get free from, one of the best things you can do is talk to God about it and don't dance around it. Bring it out in the open with Him and sincerely repent of it. Admit your sin and trust Him to forgive you. First John 1:9 (AMP) says, "If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just…and will forgive our sins…and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness…." This is an awesome promise from God!
The next thing we need to do is be willing to change and ask God to change us. Apart from Him, we can do nothing (see John 15:5). You can't change yourself-only God can change you. But He won't change you until you face the truth and sincerely repent with humility. There are times I have prayed, "Lord, I want to change, and I know I can't do it myself, but You can change me."
Have a private meeting with God. Talk to Him. Tell Him your problems and confess your sins to Him. He wants to cleanse you and work with you to help you get free.
Then spend time with Him in prayer and study the Bible. Focus on scriptures about the area you need help in. If you have a problem with being impatient or angry, look up as many verses as you can find about patience, anger and forgiveness. You will find that as you spend time studying and meditating on God's Word, it will take root in your life and all of a sudden, you'll realize you're not responding the same way you used to.
Serving God and having intimacy with Him is the most exciting thing you can do with your life. Don't hold anything back from Him. Let Him love you into wholeness and give you His abundant life today.
© 2012 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries