“Even so, consider yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” Romans 6:11 (NAS).

My friend Randy had given up on the Christian life. He said, “I have tried, but failed so many times; nothing seems to work. God doesn’t hear my prayers, and I am tired of trying. I’ve read the Bible, prayed, memorized Scripture, and gone to church. But there is no joy and I don’t see any purpose in continuing a life of shame and hypocrisy, pretending I am something that I’m not.

After listening to his account of his many failures and defeats, I began to explain the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He interrupted me with, “I know all about the Holy Spirit. I’ve read everything I can find, everything you and others have written – and nothing works for me.”

My thoughts turned to Romans, 6. I asked him, “Randy, are you sure you’re a Christian?

Yes,” he answered. “I’m sure.

How do you know?”

By faith,” he responded. “The Scripture promises,

For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it’s a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.’ I know I’m saved.

Why,” I asked him, “do you trust God for your salvation, but do not believe in His other promises concerning your rights as a child of God?”

I began to read from Romans 6 and reminded Randy that every believer has available to him the mighty, supernatural power of the risen Christ. With the enabling of the Holy Spirit, the believer can live that supernatural life simply by claiming his rights through an act of his will. The same Holy Spirit who inspired Ephesians 2:8 and 9 inspired Romans 6, and, by faith, we can claim that sin no longer has control over us and that the mighty power of the resurrection is available as promised.

That day, God touched Randy’s life, his spiritual eyes were opened and he began, by faith, to live in accordance with his God-given heritage.

Bible Reading: Romans 6:12-18

Thought: Today, by faith, I will claim the truths of Romans 6. As an act of my will, I surrender the members of my body as instruments of righteousness unto God, to live that abundant, supernatural life, which is my heritage in Christ. Enabled by the Holy Spirit, I will encourage other believers to claim their kingdom rights, and non-believers to join this adventure with the risen Savior.

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They  will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by life’s problems? You want to soar above them but you feel yourself being sucked under. During one such time, a chaplain’s true story gave me hope.

“A friend and I were paddling down a river. To one side, high on a cliff, sat a bald eagle, its white head feathers glistening in the sun. As we watched, it soared into the blue sky, then swooped into the water, thrusting its strong talons into a big fish.

But then, the eagle got caught in the rushing current. Up and down it went with its beak firmly in the fish. Then both fish and eagle were sucked under the water. Why doesn’t he let go of the fish, I thought why does he insist on keeping it?

We were startled by a commotion downstream. “The eagle,” I shouted “It’s come up again.”

Sure enough, the majestic bird had broken free of the fish and the deadly torrent and headed for the surrounding rocks.  For a moment the bird rested in the sun preening its soggy feathers. Then it spread its enormous wings and rose above the tree tops into the sky.

Aren’t we like that?” the chaplain asked. “At times we feel sucked down into life’s raging torrents. Is there something that’s dragging you down? Like the eagle who wouldn’t let go of the fish, are you  hanging onto a weight of resentment or bitterness or unrealistic expectations of what life should be like? Release it. It’s a weight that will drag you down into despair. Let the spirit of the Risen Christ buoy you up and give you strength to rise above your circumstances.

You are not meant to be tumbling in the undertow; you are meant to soar. Because Christ lives in you, you can live triumphantly.”

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is an offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23,24).