All of us have what can feel like “dead places” within us. Issues we cannot seem to overcome, failings we cannot seem to conquer. They are places where insecurity and defeat dominate.
The apostle Paul says that a special kind of heavenly power is available to Christians today for just those kinds of situations and inner needs. It is, in fact, the same life-giving power that raised Jesus from the grave:
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19-20, NLT, emphasis added).
The heavenly vitality that brought Jesus’ dead body from the tomb can resurrect any of the dead places within us. All God asks is that we cooperate and surrender to his workings. The apostle reiterates the same theme again when he writes,
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV, emphasis added).
Sometimes we can feel so defeated and ashamed that we are even reluctant to bring certain issues before God. But He is especially attracted to the parts of ourselves that we are most embarrassed for Him to explore. He has the power to make them alive.
What we view as only a history of defeat, He sees as a golden opportunity. As both Creator and Re-Creator, God is immensely skilled at turning merely existing into authentically thriving. When we focus on our failings, He focuses instead on the great potential we have in Him. When we cannot imagine successful habit creation, He envisions that future as if it already exists.
The journey may very well be challenging, with missteps and setbacks along the way. But God promises to walk by our side, keep us moving forward, and provide the resources we need to ultimately prevail. Jesus’ own disciples did not change overnight. There were times when they acted badly and seemed to be going in reverse. But Jesus never retreated, never gave up on them, no matter how far they strayed from his ideal. He always had a plan, a strategy that eventually resulted in dramatic changes because they hung in there, kept following, and increasingly surrendered to His loving direction in their lives.
Lord, thank You for never giving up on me. I pray You will heal the damaged areas of my life as I cling to You, my Savior.