Abundant Life’s Great Enemy

The greatest enemy of the abundant life is the superficial life.
God is able to make all things new, including you.  This theme for our re:NEW series is a refreshing, yet challenging topic.  The great truth that “He who sits on the throne” is making all things new is both a comforting and concerning thought.  It comforts because we have hope.  It concerns us because some things have not changed.
Real and lasting change does not always come easy.  Actually it takes some real authenticity and vulnerability.  That is why the greatest enemy of the abundant life is the superficial life.  Those who pretend to be what they are not yet will never become it. 
In James 5:13-20 we learn the principle to release to resist.  The first step in resisting temptation is release.
1.  Release yourself by admitting your situation.
Honesty about suffering, praise, sickness, and sin is the first step in healing.

2.  Release your fear by hiding nothing.
We have nothing to hide when nothing is hidden.  Releasing this fear will be the scariest thing you have ever done.  Just like Adam and Eve, we all know the shame of our spiritual nakedness.  Releasing this fear means we know others know.

3.  Release your control in honest and open communication.
Real community is necessary for real change.  Real community requires real communication.  We must learn to be honest, open, compassionate, accountable, and responsible with and for one another. 
As long as you think you have a sin under control you are still under its control.
Put the darkness in the lie…and the darkness will flee.

4.  Release the results through prayer.
Trust God to do what he wills and not what you will.  This is toughest part of healing and change.  Some things God does not heal as you want nor changes as you planned.  This passage speaks of being saved and raised up.  These words are the same for salvation and resurrection.  God’s change often does not come in the time frame nor the package we prefer.

If you hide the part in you that is dying, you hide the part in you that is living.
You have nothing to hide in Christ, but much to find.  Press into the Body of Christ and learn to live in hope with other followers of Jesus.

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