‘All who receive God’s abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ.’ Romans 5.17 (Good News Bible)
Ruling in life is a distant dream for many of us, as we struggle with circumstances, temptations and difficulties. Even as Christians it’s all too easy to feel downtrodden and near defeat, rather than have a sense of ruling (or ‘reigning’ as the NIV puts it).
Paul says that the way we reign in life is not by effort or will-power, but rather by receiving what is on offer.
This is a similar theme to the opening verses of Psalm 103, where the psalmist lists a variety of needs common to us all – guilt, sickness, the sense of being in a pit etc – and the solution is not human effort but rather to receive from the one who is able to bring change to these needs. So how do we receive?
It begins by regarding prayer as a relationship, and not simply as a time to give God your list of wants and needs. Take time to sit with him; you don’t even have to speak. It doesn’t matter whether or not you sense him there – simply sit in his presence. As you breathe in, recognise that you are breathing in the air of his presence. Receiving does not mean trying harder, but is all about acknowledging God’s presence with you and seeing what happens naturally as a result.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission