If God’s People, Who are Called By His Name, Turn from their Wicked Ways

Turn from Your Wicked Ways: Becoming Vessels of Honor

Thus far we have covered the fact that we live a world in need of healing, and that healing comes from revival which comes through the people of God.  Then we learned who the people of God are and the process that we must go through in order to bring about the healing that God has promised.  Then we covered in depth what humbling yourself, effective praying and seeking God’s face look like.  Now we come to the fourth and final (and the most important) step: turn from your wicked ways.

When we say turn from your wicked ways this is what we mean: as God’s people we must genuinely repent (i.e. turn back, make a complete change) for going our own way and resisting the will of God.  This involves confessing and forsaking specific sin and anything that has taken priority over God.  It, also, means depending on God for mercy, forgiveness and spiritual cleansing.  To put it another way we must become vessels of honor.

To understand what we mean when we say vessels of honor we are going to look at 2 Timothy 2:20-21.

Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Paul in this passage is using the analogy of household items to describe believers and our ability to be useful to God by serving him and fulfilling our respective destinies.  What Paul is saying here is this: every person is at a different place in their walk with Christ.  So no two stories are the same, and no one starts out as silver or gold; it is a process.  And if you are unsatisfied with where you are in the process, God is eager to take you to the next level.  God is the one who prepares us, refines us and makes us honorable.

What we are talking about here is the difference between justification and sanctification.  Justification is what happens when we are saved, or when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  What happens when you do this is that every sin of your past, present and future is wiped clean.  God essentially makes it just as if you had never sinned.  Which makes justification an event and not a process, because justification is God declaring you not guilty for all your sins.

However, sanctification is not a single event, but is a process.  Which makes it a journey through which God molds and transforms our character.  It is a process through which God continually makes us more like him.  And it is the process through which he sets us free from habitual sin, purifies our hearts, and empowers us to fulfill the kingdom purpose for which he created us.

What then are the steps that we can take to become vessels of honor?  There are three steps we can take to become vessels of honor: offer our bodies, renew our minds, and surrender our wills.

  1. Offer Our Bodies

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Romans 12:1

The body is the place where sin functions.  So we have to be intentional with our bodies.  And when we are intentional with our bodies, we are able to make a conscious decision to avoid sin.  We will make great progress toward becoming vessels of honor if we are willing to say each day, “Here I am Lord; clean me up.  Take each member of my body, and the things I have done and wash me.  Take my appetite, my addictions, my habits, my tongue, and my attitudes, and consecrate them.”

  1. Renew Our Minds

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2

Sin functions in the body, but the mind controls the body.  Sin begins in the mind.

For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Here we see that spiritual warfare is an essential component of the Christian life.  And many Christians love God, but have no clue how to fight the enemy.  So we must become equipped for battle because the devil is seeking to destroy you.

And one of the ways we fight the enemy is by demolishing “arguments”.  And an argument is simply an “idea”.  Which means the enemy’s goal is to plant thoughts in your mind contrary to God’s thoughts.  And a lot of the ideas we have been subjected to, even about God, are simply wrong because they are contrary to scripture.  And we defeat this by exchanging the report of the world for the report of the Lord.  Thus causing peace to reign in our hearts when we align our thoughts with the truth of God’s word.

  1. Surrender Our Wills

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2

The body carries our sin, and the mind controls the body, but the will controls the mind.  And as we surrender our will to God, his perfect will become the motivation of our lives.  Jesus tells us to pray this way in Matthew 6: “Your kingdom come, your will be done.”  Instead of coming to God with our agenda, we should approach prayer with this mentality: “Father, I want what you want.  Have your way.”  When we pray like this and surrender our wills, we are able to honor God with every part of our lives.  And we become honorable and useful to the Lord.

Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.  2 Timothy 2:25-26

How then do we break out of the bondage that the devil wants to keep us in?  We have to repent of our sin and cast off the power of darkness.  But how do we repent and cast off the power of darkness? We confess, repent, cast off, and bless.

  1. Confess

Healing starts with admitting we were wrong.  We must first acknowledge that we have believed something that is not true and have agreed with the lies of the enemy.

  1. Repent

To repent means to change direction.  When we repent, we chose to turn around and go the opposite way of our previous path.  Stop your agreement with the enemy in its tracks and set your minds on a new course of thinking.

  1. Cast Off

We must refuse to allow the enemy to continue to use destructive words or events against us.  With the authority of the name of Jesus, command the enemy to leave.

  1. Bless

Once the enemy has been removed, fill the place that he held with truth and promises found in the scriptures.  Speak life over yourself by declaring an accurate view of how God sees you.

The question now is what stage of the Christian life are you in?  Are you an unbeliever looking to become a believer.  Are you a believer looking to become a disciple who has begun to grow.  Are you a disciple looking to become a leader who has found their purpose in life.  Or are you a leader who has become a servant.  Everything discussed here only applies if you are a believer.  If you are still unbeliever then you must first become a believer to become a vessel of honor.  And the way to do that is to pray this simple prayer:

Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from you.  Thank you that Jesus Christ died in my place.  I ask Jesus to forgive my sin and to come into my life.  Please begin to direct my life.  Thank you for giving me eternal life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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