Rebuilding the Foundations
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I got an email asking how we put the deeds of the body to death by the Spirit. My answer got a lot of positive response on Facebook, so I am sharing it here too:
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In my experience, drawing strength from the Lord requires spending time with him. I get on my knees, and I tell him what I am struggling with. My confessions are without excuses, and I call sin what it is. If I failed to talk to someone out of cowardice, I don't say I was nervous or shy. I tell God I need some core attitude changed. I need the Spirit of love, power, and a sound mind because today I took the coward's route. I don't condemn myself for this, though I mourn a bit. I dealt with condemnation at the cross. I know that my flesh cannot please God. All of me needs to be crucified. Whatever I have done, it is the life of self, and it needs to be overthrown by submission to the power of God.
As I write these words, they don't seem clear or heartfelt. When I am on my knees praying, however, they are real. He gives me grace and peace. I stay on my knees till he sends that grace and peace. When I fail to do so, I find my life is weak.
The other super important thing is confessing your faults to others. You can confess your specific sins to God in naked honesty with trembling and conviction because he saw your sin anyway. To your brothers and sisters, confessing your faults is enough unless you have specifically offended that brother or that sister. You need their prayers. You need them to check on you. You need their advice about battling those weaknesses. Those should be people who know and understand you so they can speak to you clearly. Mature Christians can help even if they don't know you because they know humans in general. Hopefully a mature Christian will speak to you by the Spirit and in love.