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…
- Confession and Repentance (gracewalkerton.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness – Part 2 (pastorlamb.com)
- No Regrets (cbnindiablogs.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness and Consequences (gbonsy.wordpress.com)
Sarah Trimmer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
God Never Promised
That He Wouldn’t Give Us
More Than We Can Handle!
1 Cor. 10:13 “ No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (NAS)
This scripture has been misquoted for so long as, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” that we believe it. So what is wrong with that you ask? It’s dangerous; if we believe this than we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. And this type of disappointment could separate us from God!
First off God does not “give” us anything bad. To imply such is a lie. He may allow bad things to happen in our lives for many reasons. This is a very devious plan by the enemy to make God accountable for his schemes! And we fall for it! It is up to us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that we can discern why things happen the way they do. But rest assured, it is not God that is doing it to you. We misquote this verse to comfort one another. Let’s look deeper into this verse so we can understand why we need to be careful.
What is this scripture saying? God says that He will provide a way of escape for us when we are tempted so we can “endure” it. Now if we are to believe the misquoted version of this verse, we are told that He will not give us more than we can handle. This implies that things will only get so bad and then poof; we will be delivered from the current situation! Not correct, we are given an escape so that we can endure. That means so that we can stand strongly and firmly rooted in our faith and hope. He provides the way for us to stand firm, but we still have to endure it! When our faith is tested in such a way it strengthens us, it grows us.
So what is this “escape route” that God gives us? Let’s cross reference this verse with 2 Peter 2:9 “…then the Lord knows how to rescue the “godly” from trials…” (NAS)
If we are “godly” we can escape temptations, in other words, we do not have to give in to them. They won’t go away, but we will be able to endure them. The word godly means to be devoted to God’s ways. The word rescue means to set free. So if we will be devoted to God’s ways He will set us free from temptations. Not take them away, but rather give us the ability, the tools to endure them. If we are never tempted or tested how can we know that we have faith? If I say I have the stamina to run a marathon, but never do then it is just words. Being a Christian is more than just saying it, being a Christian is an action. It is a way of life. Jesus (the one for Whom the title Christian is derived from) did not sit back, He did things, He was active in His time here. He set the example that we are to live by. So rejoice in the temptations and trials 1 Peter 4:13 “Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world….”(NLT).
God will free us from giving in to temptations and trials, but only when we choose to be godly. This is His free gift to us! Our escape route! But you may say I am not being tempted, I am being persecuted. So what are the choices you have in that situation? To stand firm or give in right? But I say this to you, isn’t the TEMPTATION to give in great? Of course it is! It’s easier to swim with the current than against it. It is human nature to want to be accepted not rejected. All of these things are temptations. We just don’t see them in that way. I implore you all; we need to start seeing things that way. In every trial there is a temptation; God has given us an escape route, to be godly. He has not promised that the problem will go away; He just gives us a way to be victorious. And that should be more than enough for us…
The next time you or someone you know is suffering, do not misquote this passage. But rather be reminded, and remind others, that if you are willing to be godly, than God has given you an escape route to be able to stand against temptation and trials.
Remember faith is only faith when it is put to the test! Otherwise it is just words that we speak. 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;…” (NLT); James 2:14 “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (NLT); James 2:18 “Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (NLT)
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…
How Does Jesus Fit Into Your Problems?
When problems arise there are things, as Christians, that we must do to overcome them.
1. Ask yourself where does Jesus fit into the problem?
Am I relying on His strength and teachings in my life to get through this; or am I relying on my own wisdom?
A. Am I being persecuted because of my faith?
If the answer is yes, than rejoice! You are a threat to the devil and he is trying to stop you!
B. Did I walk outside of God’s will?
If the answer is yes, then repent! Be honest with yourself and God and tell Him that you are a sinner that needs saving, mercy, grace and forgiveness every single second of every day.
C. Is God allowing this situation to grow me?
This is a tough one for all people. We do not want to be uncomfortable. We do not like to be called out of our comfort zones. But if we are not growing then we are not active in our faith. Growing pains are a normal part of being a Christian if you are doing it right. Remember, no one wants to get water from a stagnant spring.
2. Where does scripture fit into your problem?
Are you seeking guidance from the Bible or are you looking to the world for the answer to your problem?
A. If you are being persecuted for your faith then get into the word. The Bible has the answer for every single problem you will ever face. Test this and see if it is not true!
B. If you are suffering because of sin, find out what the Bible has to say and apply it to your life. Be obedient and honest in this situation, so you can receive God’s blessings.
C. Paul talks about having a thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7) so that he would be kept humble. Seek God’s wisdom and see if He is not using this situation to grow you into a more mature Christian. He uses trials of all kinds to help us become better warriors for His Kingdom.
Open your Bible and read Job, read the crucifixion account again. We are called to be warriors, we are called to be strong and to suffer for the Lord’s sake. The Bible tells us to rejoice in these times (Romans 5:3 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” (NLT)). To me the key advice that I can give to anyone that comes to me when they are suffering trials is to encourage them with words that God spoke to me years ago…
The devil must think that you are a threat to his kingdom if he is attacking you. So rejoice and stand firm because you are doing my will and I will bless you.
We do not serve a selfish and hurtful God. Rather, He is merciful and gracious to our sufferings. If we face trouble, He comforts us. He has given us a guide book for every single thing that we will ever encounter. AND He tells us how to overcome every single obstacle!
3. How do people fit into your problems?
Are we fighting people? Because the Bible tells us that our battle is not with them, but rather the evil that is in this world that uses people.
A. There are people that will target you because of your faith. You will be held to a different standard in this world. As Christians we say that we want to be set apart from the world. But the truth is, when we are called out for doing what the world around us does we get upset. Unless of course it’s for praise. We all struggle with this. We try to walk the fence, one side in the word and one side in the world. This is not how we should be. We are to live blameless lives before God and this world. If I act like the world than I am part of it. How can I be a witness for the holiness of God if I am carrying on like everyone else? I can’t!
So how do you overcome this? How do you handle these people that come at you because of your faith? Don’t just throw around the rubber stamp answer like “Pray”, “Read the word”, or “Stand fast”. Apply them! If you say that you are going to seek God and His will then stop right then and do it! I understand that sometimes you may be in a place where it does not seem possible. But prayer is ALWAYS possible no matter where you are or what you are going through. Prayer does not have to be pomp and circumstance.
It has to be from your heart, a broken and humble heart. Matt. 6:5-8 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (NIV). James 4:3 “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure.” (NLT).
It is when we have deep awe and respect for God that He listens to us. Is. 29:13 “And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” (NLT)
Let Jesus be the solution to all your problems. You may not get immediate answers or comfort, but He promises us that if we will ask according to His will that He will comfort us in His time. Until then we must stand firm and believe that God knows what He is doing.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…
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…