Many of the decisions we make are based upon our beliefs. The commitment to those decisions often reflects the conviction behind them. In relation to God, what we believe about Him will determine how we respond to Him. Likewise, what we believe about ourselves influences the way we interact with Him. How we receive His Word and at what depth it takes root in us, affect our ability to endure hardship and whether we allow His righteousness to reign in our lives (see Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-18). If we pay attention to the daily decisions we make, we may be able to ascertain how committed we are to following Jesus. They may be a reflection of what we believe.
Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24, KJV). If we believe Jesus truly is Lord of all, then we will deny the self the right to rule and completely surrender our will to Him and allow Him to rule. If a person does not believe Jesus is Lord, he will not surrender to Him. If a person only partially surrenders, there may be some trust issues. More than that, there may be some love issues, and often these are intertwined. For example, if a person does not believe God loves him, he will not trust Him. Obedience is also an indication of our love for God. 1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous (KJV). That means a person who will not obey Him, does not love Him. That is not to say if a person has an occasional act of disobedience, he or she does not love God. When disobedience arises, it is time to find out why. Sometimes the why will help a person come to full repentance. As we know, repentance means to think differently or have a change in the way we think, which results in the way we behave. Behavior modification is not repentance; it is restraint. When a person truly sees the error of his ways, godly sorrow will ensue. That may or may not include tears, but it will lead to change. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter (KJV).
Truthfully, much of our struggle has to do with the way we think and what we believe. If we truly believe we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (see 2Corinthians 5:21), will be able to walk righteously. If we believe what God says about us, we will conform to that belief. If, for example, we do not believe, we will have difficulty conforming to the image of Jesus at best. Behavior modification says, “I must be good in order to be righteous”; however, the Word says, “Jesus is good, therefore, I am righteous in Him.” As long as we try not to sin, we will sin because we are not walking by faith and we are minding the flesh (see Romans 8:1-13; 14:23). If we count the flesh as crucified with Christ, we will walk newness of life and sin will not have dominion over us (Romans 6:1-22). When our focus is walking righteously in Christ Jesus, our feet will not walk down the path of sin. Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (KJV).