Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings, prayer prompts, and action steps to help you spend time with Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him.
Romans 6:1 “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? (NLT)”
Coming Back from a Detour
Even the most seasoned followers of Jesus can hit roadblocks and take detours in their battles against temptation. In fact, as a believer, the process of learning and growing in maturity is often fueled in the fires of being tested and tempted. It had happened to Jesus on the mountain with Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), so it’s going to happen to us. But if you’ve ever closed the door of your heart to God’s best and chosen instead to cling to the dark comfort of an indulgence rather than learning to find a deeper, more satisfying comfort in Jesus, then you know how hard it can be to recover, shed the shame and guilt, and return to a place of wholeness in your spirit. In Scripture, we find the path back to restoration, although it is sometimes hard to walk and may take far longer than we expected.
If you want to return to a place of wholeness from defeat, start by renewing your understanding of — and gratitude for — the power of Christ that dwells within you. As a new creation in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17), you are not owned by your passions, desires, or cravings, and nothing will improve again until you renew your unwavering belief in that truth and surrender your pride at the feet of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” God performed a miraculous work for us so that we could work to glorify Him through the power of His Spirit. This is the essence of our partnership with God and the key to our growth — we yield to Him and He works miracles in us.
Returning from a detour also requires us to reset our perspective from our earthly habitat to our heavenly home. CS Lewis once said, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” The pleasures that await us by delighting in God far exceed any temporary comforts or excitement we can find here on earth. The problem is that we seem to forget that a “holiday at sea” awaits our souls when we seek out the presence of Jesus continually. We don’t have to wait to get to heaven to be satisfied and happy. It is hard, though, for us with human eyes to keep them focused on something that’s so much harder to see than the common daily temptations that pass through our lives.
Finally, make yourself accountable for your decision to return to wholeness. Whether it’s your spouse, a friend, a counselor, a care group, or your community group, make both your weakness and your intent known to others. This is both a humbling and courageous step that God will bless mightily. A supportive partner in the journey with whom you can be vulnerable and who is not struggling in the same area that you are is very important. Just be careful of legalism and give yourself the grace to make mistakes along the way back. He wants you to worship Him, not the thing you have been stumbling over or even the rules you set in place surrounding it. God knows what you’re capable of now and in the future, and those two versions of you are radically different. Don’t resist the Holy Spirit if what He leads you to do seems small at first. He’s looking for consistency in your obedience over a significant period of time. The more incremental and sustained your changes are, the greater the likelihood of your long-term success. Above all, God doesn’t want your perfection, He’s asking for your heart.
This week as you contemplate the foundational truths of Romans 6, ask God to help you delight in Him and find deep satisfaction in His presence. Remind yourself that you are forgiven and loved completely, so there’s no need to feel guilty once you’ve confessed your sins to Jesus. With each of the readings below, seek His presence with the intent of knowing more of Him, rather than knowing more about Him or receiving something from Him. Before each reading, take a few moments to quiet your mind and simply be still.
Daily Bible Readings
Monday - Read Psalm 51:6 and 51:10, along with Luke 12:2-3. The human heart wasn’t designed to be a labyrinth of sins and secrets. Rather, it was created to be a throne room for God Himself. As such, any unconfessed sin we create will take up space that our Heavenly Father longs to fill up with His goodness, beauty, peace, truth, hope, and love. Spend time meditating and praying these verses back to God. Don’t try to conceal any thought, as He already knows it exists and He is waiting to forgive you for it.
Tuesday - Read Psalm 40:2. This verse gives you a promise you can depend on when coming back from a detour in life. There’s no need to spend time blaming yourself when you revert back into a familiar pit. Instead, kick Satan’s guilt and incrimination to the curb, and give a freedom cry at the top of your lungs, “I have a choice to be free of (fill in the blank), and I choose to love and trust Jesus in this moment.” Spend time asking God for forgiveness and then leave whatever you confessed with Him. Breathe deeply as you feel the release of confession and the confidence that He will never bring it up again. Spend time worshiping Him with your favorite music.
Wednesday - Read Psalm 37:4. It is not the desires of our hearts that make us truly happy, but rather God’s. Read the verse again in several different translations of the Bible, and then sit quietly before God asking Him to reveal to you any desires of your heart that He wants to replace with His. Ask Him to develop in you a passion for what He has planned for you.
Thursday - Read the passage from Ephesians 6 about the armor of God, which is your battle plan from Scripture for fighting temptation. Write down each piece of armor on its own sheet of paper and record any thoughts or action steps that come to your mind about each, including any prayers the Holy Spirit might be laying on your heart. Ask God how He wants you to use this piece of armor in your life.
Friday - Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Spend time praising God for how far you’ve come this week and that you are a new creation in Him. Close your eyes, sit quietly, and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of all the ways you are new in Him. Make a list and celebrate it before Him.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
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