How To Triumph Over Problems If You Have Walked Outside Of The Will Of God

 

1.    Repent. This is easier said than done, I know. If your sin has caused others to stumble ask for forgiveness. But also be ready to accept God’s forgiveness for yourself when you repent and ask Him to forgive you. Remember, God always forgives a truly repentant person, humans may not. This is not your battle to win, accept that if you have done the right thing and asked another for forgiveness you cannot make them forgive you.
2.    Rend your HEART and NOT your GARMENT (Joel 2:13). This is true repentance. To rend your garment (tear) is a public display of your sorrow, grief, etc.; but to rend your heart is a private matter that is done before God. He alone knows when a person is truly repentant (rending their heart) or just putting on a show (rending their garment). Be sure that when you ask God for forgiveness, when you ask another for forgiveness, that you are doing it from a changed heart. True repentance leads to changed behavior.
3.    Confess your sins. Confess them to God, confess them to yourselves and confess them to a godly person that will hold you accountable. Confession is hard because it calls to light those parts of us that we want to keep in the darkness. But when we confess our sins we own them, rather than them owing us. Confession is God’s plan for our freedom from the flesh. Without confession of sin we are slaves to our own flesh. This happens because we want to protect the sin; because if people know then we may be judged, and no one likes to be judged. After a time we condition ourselves to justifying the sin. Now the sin owns us, and it is our master. Confession brings about the freedom that we long for as believers. It allows us to conquer the flesh and its demands.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

 

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How The Human Mind Is Conditioned…

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

How The Human Mind Is Conditioned…

 

    We touched a little on how the human mind is conditioned over time yesterday; today I want to go a little deeper into the subject.
    We talked yesterday about how our minds can be conditioned to see prayer as a negative thing, or how our minds can be conditioned into thinking that prayer is like a genie in a bottle. (Please see How Do You Triumph…posted 5/20/13) Today I would like to talk about how we allow our minds to be conditioned in our marriages, our relationships and with our children.
I try to tell people that it is never a good idea to have heavy conversations with your spouse in your bedroom; and most importantly NEVER in your bed! You see, when we have heavy conversations our minds will link places with feelings. Your mind will condition itself to thinking that the room or the bed is the source of the negative feelings. Now I understand (living in a house with 7 other people) that you may not have a place that you can go to have a private conversation, if that is the case for you than maybe you could set up a couple chairs in the corner of your room. Or maybe you could go for a walk (exercise will allow your brain to release endorphins, serotonins and norepinephrine which will hopefully lessen the negative effects on the brain.); in any case, please try to avoid this as much as possible.
    Why do you think that it is bad for us to tell our children, “do as I say not as I do?” The obvious answer to this is, “because we are to lead by example.” Well I say this; we are conditioning our children to be hypocrites and to distrust people in authority. So if my relationship with my earthly Father (or Mother) is one that is built on hypocrisy and distrust than what will my relationship with my Heavenly Father be as an adult? Probably the same; have you ever wondered why some people struggle with obedience to God? I would venture to guess if you sat down with them probably more than half would not have a very functional relationship with their parents.
    Why as a single person do we put our best foot forward when meeting the opposite sex, but after marriage our spouses are supposed to accept us for who we are, not what we appeared to be? Because we want the other person to see the best parts of us; this conditions our minds into thinking that giving our best is a tool for us to receive things, rather than a blessing to give others.
    Let us “be still and know that He is God”.  Quiet your mind, even as I write this my mind wanders and I have to keep refocusing. The Bible tells us repeatedly to meditate on the word, the way, the will of God. Quiet your mind, focus on God, see if the areas that you are struggling with are not areas that you have conditioned your mind. If they are then recondition them in the correct way! This is simply done by focusing on the Will of God, anything contrary to it should be cut out and thrown away.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

The Selfish Scheme (The Trick of I) Part 1

The Temptation of Christ, 1854

The Temptation of Christ, 1854 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cover of "Stop It!"

Cover of Stop It!

The Selfish Scheme
(The Trick of I)
Part 1

I discovered last night another scheme of the Devil.  I was told that when someone comes to you for advice, or asks for help you should not say things like “ You should do this…” or; “You should do that…” That it makes people “feel” like you are telling them what to do.
HOLD THE PHONE! Isn’t that why you ask for advice? Isn’t that the very reason you ask for help? I am told that we should use different words like; “This is what I would do…” or, “In my opinion…” Now while I agree that in times when someone seeks my advice or help if I have personally gone through the same thing I will say something like that. However, “herein” this “advice” lies the “scheme of selfishness”. This political correctness that is infecting our society and destroying it like a rotten tooth; is now creeping its way into our Christianity. It is poisoning us; if the enemy can keep us focused on feelings and the quarreling over words than he wins. 2 Tim 2:14 “…Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them…” (NLT)
So how exactly does the enemy use this quarreling of words to defeat us? Look around! If you call me and ask for my help or advice in what to do; and I tell you what to do; you are then offended because of my choice of words; because it makes you feel like you are being told what to do! (This is an analogy, not directed at anyone). Are we not doing EXACTLY what this scripture tells us not to do? Of course we are. STOP IT! They are words, as long as they are spoken in love with the intentions of God’s will to be done by the hearer than stop bickering about the choice of words and start listening to the meaning of the message.
2 Tim 4:2 “…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” (NAS) We are all called to be servants. Each and every one of us; no matter what your gifting is, no matter what your calling, we are all called to be servants to that gift or calling. Because in the end it is all for the same purpose, to tell the world about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice upon the cross. It is to tell the world that God loves them and forgives them; that He is waiting for them as the father waited for his prodigal son to return. We need to be ready in season and out. In other words, we need to be ready even when we don’t feel like we are ready.
It’s hard to serve others if you are focused on yourself and your feelings and your wants isn’t it? So you see this is where this scheme of selfishness starts to use its poison to paralyze what God has planned for us. If we change our vernacular because the people who seek us out with THEIR problems, the people who seek you out for your advice are offended, or put off by our choice of words what happens? We start to believe that it is us that are being rejected. We start to take it personally; we no longer make it the act of trying to help someone else, but rather that it is an attack on us personally.  We start to think that our opinion is the only one that counts, not that it is God that is working through us in the ministry of; 1 Cor. 12:8 “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit…” (NAS) This is a crafty, stealthy scheme that is systematically destroying this world! It takes a gift from God and makes it a selfish burden that we hide so that we can be accepted by our peers rather than focusing on obedience to the words that God has stored up in our hearts on the basis of correction and exhortation one to another. Foundations are crushed, friendships are lost, families destroyed. All because we want to quarrel over words instead of looking the meaning of the message.
Let me give you one more example then we will call it a day and visit this topic again tomorrow. This example is another direct result of this scheme of selfishness.
We don’t want to offend anyone with truth or our opinion. So we say things like “if it makes you happy…” or “what does your heart tell you, because in the end that is all that matters…” Before I go further let me give you a few scriptures to back up what I am about to say; Ecclesiastes 10:2 “A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left.” (NAS); Proverbs 23:12 “Apply your heart to discipline And your ears to words of knowledge.” (NAS); Proverbs 23:15-16 “My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.” (NAS); Pro 23: 19 “Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path…” (NAS); Pro 23: 23 “Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well…” (NAS); and last but to me the most important verse; Pro 23:26 “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my way…” (NAS).  THIS IS A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL! It is being use to systematically destroy! This is the definition of selfishness! To only be worried about yourself, your own needs, your own feelings and desires. So when we change our vocabulary to be politically correct with others and say things like, “whatever makes you happy…” ECT. Then what we are telling them is that it is ok to focus on your own selfishness. We get hurt and offended if we are having a problem and we go to someone for godly advice or counsel and they don’t tell us what we want to hear. We walk away upset because our needs were not met. Well this is what scripture has to say about that; 1 Corinthians 3:3 “…for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?” (NLT); Romans 16:17 “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” (NAS); 2 Peter 2:1 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves…” (NAS); Jude 1:19 “These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them…” (NLT); 2 Cor. 12:20 “For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.” (NLT). This is the result of political correctness.

Join me tomorrow for more in this subject…
As always, God bless you till we meet again…

Godly Confidence and Godly Righteousness

Godly Confidence and Godly Righteousness
(There will be no blog for tomorrow. May you all find blessing in the house of the Lord on His day.)
(Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s that read my blog’s. May God bless each and every one of you!)
Philippians 3:3b, 9c “…put no confidence in the flesh…” “…the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith…”

    The word confidence here means to obey. So what Paul is saying is don’t obey your flesh. Your flesh has no righteousness in it. Walk in consultation of the Holy Spirit, not the passions and desires of the flesh. For it is in this confidence of our own abilities apart from God that we get carried away with temptations and sin. We have to seek God’s righteousness in our lives.
    And how exactly does one “obtain” the righteousness of God? Through faith Paul says. This is true righteousness. I think sometimes that we confuse righteousness with good works. This doesn’t make you righteous, believing in God’s goodness, believing in His promises of deliverance, believing that Jesus has set you free from your past, believing that He is coming again to bring us to Heaven. This is faith, and this is where the righteousness comes from that God wants us to attain to. Good works is our way to show the world Gods love, but also to show God and the world that we are changed.
    I see so many people struggling with temptations and the sins that follow. It breaks my heart; if we would just stop and really focus on what God wants for our lives, but instead we only focus on our flesh. I see people putting themselves in bad situations, then being carried away by the sins of their flesh, just because they think they can “handle” it. We put confidence in other people’s flesh too. We get ourselves into compromising positions thinking that the other person can “handle” it. Or worse, we use the other person as our scapegoat to act ungodly. Why is it so hard for us to be faithful to God? Because we put confidence in our flesh! We do not have the righteousness of God because we do not have faith. We have the ability to be so much more than we are if we would be willing to let go of our old ways and live for Jesus. We need to get to that place in our lives where we are willing to say “Not my will Father but Yours be done in my life…” until that day comes for us, we will always struggle with putting confidence in the flesh.

As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

Armor of God Part 8

The Armor of God
Part 8

    Well this is it, the final installment in this study on the Armor of God. I want to thank you for reading each day; I hope that you have had some new insights into the Armor and how to properly wear it. Blessings, Cindy

V. 17 “And take the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

•    Salvation (4992) (Lexicon) Soterion: meaning the hope of salvation, saving, bringing salvation, and describing God’s grace.
•    Spirit (4151) (Lexicon) Pneuma: Holy Spirit, the part of a man that gives him the ability to think of God
•    Word (4487) (Lexicon) Rhema: to speak

I think the first thing that grabs my attention in this verse is the way Paul changes the words he uses in regards to how we are to claim this part of the armor. He tells us to “take” the helmet of salvation. The dictionary’s, meaning of the word take is: possession by voluntary action. Salvation is the free gift to us from God, but not everyone will be saved. Why? Because not everyone will volunteer his life to follow Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness. True repentance leads to salvation, not all will be capable of this.
This is the breakdown of salvation according to the Exegetical notes of the New American Standard Bible. “We misinterpret our decision to follow Jesus as salvation. The first step is God’s offer of salvation through the convicting powers of the Holy Spirit. Our acceptance of that offer is not salvation. Our salvation comes when God sees that we are truly repentant of our sins. That our repentance is genuine. Then He accepts us and makes us part of His body. Therefore we should never speak of salvation as a decision of ours only, but rather as God’s acceptance of a truly repentant sinner. If God were to accept someone whom He could not keep to the end then Christ has failed.”(pg. 1623-1624 of the NAS Greek – Hebrew study Bible)
So what does all of that have to do with the “taking” of the helmet of salvation? Paul is trying to tell us to be sure that we are taking the free gift that God gives us. He told us in the verses leading up to this one that we are to be mindful of how we live for God every single day, every moment. That we are living lives that are above reproach. This is the acts of a repentant heart. One that God will choose to save for Himself.
Let’s go a little deeper here, what is a helmet used for, to protect the head of course. How do you think we can save our minds from being drawn away from the things of God? By focusing on the salvation that God offers us. And how to obtain that salvation; God has taken the first step by offering salvation through Jesus, with the convicting powers of the Holy Spirit. The 2nd step is our decision to follow Jesus. The 3rd step is to truly have a repentant heart; it is when God sees that we have truly repented of our sins that He will save us. If we follow these steps then our minds will be protected.
All too often we take the power away from God by giving it to ourselves. Take salvation as an example; I always thought of salvation as a choice on my part. I would say I have to choose to follow Jesus. I know that salvation comes from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, but I left God’s power there. Hanging on the cross. Until today I always thanked Jesus for His gift of salvation, but I think that I gave the power to myself for choosing to follow Jesus. It is not my power, it is God’s power, I may have chosen to follow Jesus, but it is God who chooses to save me! If I say that I am a follower of Jesus, but the actions in my life do not show it than how can I truly say that I am a changed person? How can I say that I have repented of my sins, but still do them? Forgiveness is not a free pass to continue living the way I want. Forgiveness means that I am willing to live my life the way God wants me to.
“…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Remember that we struggle not with flesh and blood but that our battle is a spiritual one. We cannot build a house without tools right? Well we cannot fight a spiritual battle with human tools. We must be armed with the sword of the spirit. This is the Holy Spirit; it is also the part of man that allows him to think of God. Our first instinct when we are under attack is to fight or flight. God tells us that our first line of defense is the Holy Spirit. He is the revealer of truth; he is our conscience (if you will allow such a trivial comparison).
Why do you think that Paul put the helmet and the sword together in one verse? I think that it is because we need to understand that the Holy Spirit can help to guard our minds by giving Him the free reign within us to speak to us. We need to be sensitive to His tugging on us. Sometimes He is a small voice nudging us in the right direction. Other times He screams and tells us to run. It is our free will to listen or to turn aside from His convictions. With all that said, the sword can protect us IF we are willing wield it properly. That is, as long as we are willing to be sensitive to the urgings of the Holy Spirit.
This is also the word of God. Get to know it; we cannot defend our faith if we don’t know what it is that we are defending. Remember that Paul told us that we are to be prepared to bring the message of salvation wherever we go. Well likewise, we need to be prepared with the word of God. This is our first line of defense. When we are under attack it is easy to forget why we are standing up for God’s truth; if we keep it always within us to know it in our innermost parts than we will be successful with wielding the sword in truth and justice.
Let us keep in mind 2nd Timothy 4. We need to be ready in season and out. We need to be ready to commit our lives at all times. Whether we are living with plenty, or whether we are living with none. We need to be ready at a moment’s notice to do the will of God. We can only do all of this if we are fully armored and ready for the battle. Each of the pieces of the armor of God has a function, it is our duty to be fully armored and ready for battle with the evil spirits that are sent from Satan himself to deceive, kill and destroy. We are called to be ministers to a hurt and dying world. Let us therefore, take up this armor, wear it properly and be diligent to live the lives that are worthy to be called followers of Jesus Christ!

May God bless you all and keep you till we meet again!

Armor of God Part 6

The Armor of God
Part 6
    V. 15 “…and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;…”
•    Shod (5265)(Greek dictionary to the NT) Hupodeo:  to bind under ones feet
•    Gospel  (2098) (Lexicon) Euaggelion:  The Good News of Jesus Christ
•    Peace (1515) (lexicon) Eriene: peace as a Messianic blessing is that state that is brought about by the grace and loving mind of God wherein the derangement and distress of life caused by sin are removed. Hence, the message of salvation is called the Gospel of Peace.
When I hear the word shod I think of a horse getting shod. This is something that is bound to you. The word bind means to fix in place.  What are we to fix in place? The preparation…let’s stop here for a moment. Paul is trying to tell us to be prepared to do this. This is the thing that will carry us. Imagine being suited up, but not having foot coverings going into battle. Your feet would cause a distraction, you would lose focus and stumble and fall; rendering the armor useless.
Our feet are what carry us to and fro, what is it that we bring with us when we are about? It is supposed to be the gospel of peace. But how can we do that? By being prepared. We must make sure that we know what it is that we believe. We must make sure that we have faith that can move mountains. I think it is interesting that the meaning of the word peace here is a messianic blessing that is given to us by God through the salvation of Jesus Christ. We have touched on Christians walking with God’s joy in other studies; I think it’s worth mentioning here too. If we are trying to witness to someone about the gift of salvation, but we are showing with our lives defeat and grumbling than this is what the world sees and translates that into the meaning of salvation.
We are to shod (fix in place) our feet (the thing that carries us about) with preparation (the state of being prepared) of the gospel of peace (the message of the salvation of Jesus). If we are walking around grumbling about this and that like the world, then we are not fixing in to place on our feet the right attitude. We are given a messianic blessing from God that we are forgiven the sins of this life. This does not mean that we will not have troubles in this life, what it means is that we have an obligation to God to share the message with people. It’s hard to want to follow Jesus if the people that are supposed to represent Him look like the world; sometimes even worse. This is not the way that God wants us to be.
What is the significance of feet? I am still trying to figure this one out completely. The feet are referenced so many times in the bible I know that there must be some big message here. What keeps coming to mind is Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. This was an act of humility and service, so perhaps that is the meaning here; that we are to take this salvation message to the world in humility (meaning humbleness) and as an act of service. In any case, we need to be prepared. Have you ever found yourself in the midst of witnessing to someone and been caught off guard by a question that you were not prepared for? I’m not saying that it is possible to be prepared for every single question that people have; what I am saying is that we need to be prepared to share and be knowledgeable about the message of salvation. This is imperative for all Christians.
I just had another thought about the feet. They are our foundation; the “shoes” of a suit of armor are the foundation to that suit. And likewise, salvation is the foundation of our faith. So to make sure that we are fitted with the preparations of the message of salvation is one of the most important parts of successfully wearing God’s suit of armor.
So far we have learned that we are to be strong in the Lord (meaning to take up His strength), we learned that we are to take up the whole armor of God, not just part of it. We have learned that we are to stand firm against the false reality that the devil (meaning evil spirits) uses on this world. We learned that we do not war with people, but rather we are at war with the false reality that the evil spirits that are at work in this world. We are told again to put in the whole armor (not just parts of it) and to work at standing firm. We are told to keep ourselves from stumbling sexually, because this is a sin that we take into our own bodies (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the home of God and Jesus). And today we need to make sure that we are prepared in the foundation of our faith to be able to tell others about the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Just 2 more studies to go and then we are done learning how to properly wear the Armor of God. I hope that you all are being as blessed by reading this as I am by writing it. If you have any questions please send me a message. I will try to answer you as honestly as I can.
There will be no study for tomorrow. But I will be back in Monday to share with you part 7 of this study. And as always, God bless you till we meet again.