Empowered Living: Romans 8:18-25
February 03, 2015
Hello, my dear friends. I’m fascinated with the way God is working through this study of Romans 8 to reveal more truths to us and how to live empowered by the Holy Spirit! I even will dare to say that some answers will come for things we have been asking for breakthroughs for a long time.
Lynn talked about secret sins on Monday and many of us shared things we are struggling with. I shared my own battle with overeating (gluttony) and how that has affected my perception of my appearance and weight. I have battled with this since I was a young teen. I can look back and see how the enemy moved in during a very difficult time in my life and deceived me to believe food was my comfort and then condemned me over and over again as it affected my weight and appearance, even to the point of depression at times.
Well, you know what I say now? I am dead to that sin and I am no longer a slave to it (Romans 6:6-7). I declare the truths in Romans 8 that there is no condemnation for this anymore, that I am set free from the law of sin and death and am alive through Jesus and the law of the Spirit (Romans 8:1-2). I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome this issue and I will make this declaration every day, over and over again until I walk in complete freedom from it. because the more I do this, the more the truth lives in my thoughts, feelings and emotions and the less power the lie of the enemy has until it is completely defeated.
Why? Because the more I do this, the more the truth lives in my thoughts, feelings and emotions and the less power the lie of the enemy has until it is completely defeated.
Because I am now a witness to how the Word of God transforms our minds (Romans 12:2) and can testify to its power to do so. Because the Word of God transformed my mind to believe the truths and promises He has for me. Through the difficulties of last year, I stood on the truth of God’s Word, writing down Scriptures to pray and declare out loud. I did this almost every day. One in particular I am seeing happen in my life right now.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. — 1 Peter 5:6-11
Nearly a year later, God has lifted me up, is restoring me, and is making me steadfast and strong. He is doing this, not me. What did I do? I believed His Word. I prayed it over myself and claimed its truth and promises. I rested in God and believed He would do this for me. Now He is and I am stunned at the things He is doing.
My friends, if there is only one truth I ever manage to share with you clearly, then let it be this one: God’s Word will transform you. Read it, believe it, and trust Him to do it.
So let’s delve into more of God’s powerful Word and take a look at the truths of Romans 8, specifically verses 18-25. I confess I find these a bit more challenging to understand but here goes:
ESV: 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
VOICE: 18 Now I’m sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us. 19 For all of creation is waiting, yearning for the time when the children of God will be revealed. 20 You see, all of creation has collapsed into emptiness, not by its own choosing, but by God’s. Still He placed within it a deep and abiding hope 21 that creation would one day be liberated from its slavery to corruption and experience the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 For we know that all creation groans in unison with birthing pains up until now. 23 And there is more; it’s not just creation—all of us are groaning together too. Though we have already tasted the firstfruits of the Spirit, we are longing for the total redemption of our bodies that comes when our adoption as children of God is complete— 24 for we have been saved in this hope and for this future. But hope does not involve what we already have or see. For who goes around hoping for what he already has? 25 But if we wait expectantly for things we have never seen, then we hope with true perseverance and eager anticipation.
Paul gives us encouragement right off the bat with verse 18. He’s reminding us to keep our eyes upward, that our present situations and sufferings can’t compare with the glory God will be revealing to us. And I love what he’s explaining in verse 19 because we catch another glimpse of our Abba Father’s heart for us. Even creation waits for us to be freed, because it will be set free too! Is that not astonishing?
If we go back to Genesis, we see God’s original plan for us to live in harmony with creation—trees, plants, animals, etc. And I personally believe when we see amazing stories of an animal rescuing a person (like a dog or a dolphin), or we see those cute home videos of a bird and a cat being buddies, or witness the comforting affects that pets have on people even to the point of healing (and I’ve witnessed this in my daughter’s life), that we are seeing a part of creation being revealed in truth. We catch a glimpse of what God intended this world to be.
Just as we long to be liberated, so does all of creation. I love how the Voice translates verse 20: “Still He placed within it a deep and abiding hope.” To think that just as we wait and hope for what is to come, so does all of creation. My friends, I find myself outside more and more when I spend time with God and pray. It’s a connection I have found growing stronger and stronger. I believe this shared hope is why. Can anyone else relate?
Verses 22 and 23 further the connection and yearning that we share with creation—our spirits recognize what is not right and what is to come. So we wait in hope and expectation for Christ’s return, when God’s plans and purposes will be complete and His will on earth will be as it is in heaven. No more sin or the enemy to create separation. No more warfare. No more sickness and disease. This the revelational promise of salvation—ETERNITY!
So, my friends, what challenges you as we walk in this place of living in the now, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and knowing there is so much more to come? What words of truth are you clinging to, praying and claiming in and over your life? How about your pre-believer? Let’s share and encourage each other! Your words of wisdom may be the very thing someone else needs to put the pieces together.
And I am so excited about the last two parts of this series. They hold two of my favorite truths and promises from our Great God. We’re almost there…