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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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…

Vindication

Vindication
Luke 21:12-19, 34 “But before all these things, they will lay hands on you and persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues…for my name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all on account of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives…Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap;…”

    It’s not up to us to defend ourselves. God will vindicate us. In our times of deepest trouble He will answer for us if we are willing to walk in obedience with His Spirit. In V 14 it states that we should not make up our own minds “beforehand”; as with anything, this too is a choice. We choose to defend ourselves or we allow God to not only to defend us, but vindicate us as well.
    We serve a mighty and awesome God, who is faithful and just. In V 18 it states “yet not a hair of your head will perish”. If we are truly repentant and living our lives according to Gods ways,  then we are already vindicated. This vindication comes in the gift of Heaven. We struggle on this earth, we suffer. We want to be vindicated, especially when we feel that we are being persecuted and we are innocent. But God tells us to stand firm in Him and trust that in that day if we are being obedient that He will give us the words to speak that our enemies cannot refute. He tells us to beware that our hearts are not to be weighted down with the cares of this world.
    Sometimes that seems like it is easier said than done doesn’t it? But if we can fully rely on God, if we can fully trust in Him and His promises to us than we will be ok. I know that it is hard to stand when the world is trying to knock you down, but remember this is not our home. We have stored up for us treasures in Heaven that we cannot even begin to comprehend. Jesus wasn’t welcomed open armed most of the time, but He kept on with His Father’s business. He suffered for our sakes, even though He Himself was innocent. We are not innocent; we are sinners that are saved by grace. We are called to follow Him and walk as He walked. Jesus tells us several times in the scriptures that we WILL be persecuted for His names sake. The Christian life is not for the weak, it takes the strength to stand up when the world is pushing you down. It takes nerve to be the only one swimming against the current. It takes power to keep up your strength in turbulent times. But I warn you, make sure that your POWER is coming from God and not yourself! If we rely on our own power than we will 100% of the time FAIL. Live for God and love the world despite how they treat you. This is the recipe for success.
    V 19 states “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Endurance means long suffering. Think of the long suffering our Father in Heaven goes through, His very creation rebelling against Him; especially those who say that they will follow His ways and the teachings of His Son; but then do not. Often times we have a hard time standing firm in the word and testimony of God in times of trouble, especially of that trouble seem to last longer than we want. If we can look past the temporal and into the eternal and remember that all things are passing away, but the word of our Lord abides forever and that He will speak for us in our times of trouble; then we need not fear. Casting all our burdens upon Him, and taking up His yoke, for it is easy and His load is light.

(This was written 3/28/01)
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

Ministry of Reconciliation

Ministry of Reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
“Now all [these] things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”(NAS)

    This is a study that I wrote back on March 18, 2001. This is more of a personal account than a study really. I wanted to share it with you for encouragement. May the Lord bless you as you read this. And my prayer for you is that you would be inspired by the Holy Spirit to go forth in this ministry of reconciliation and be successful. For its only when we stop thinking about ourselves that we can truly focus on the things that are outside of us and make a difference in this world for Jesus.
    We worry so much about our personal relationships with people that we lose focus on the ministry of reconciliation to God that He has given us. We should be more concerned with others reconciliation with God than their relationships with us. We all want to be popular, it’s human nature. We all want to feel important to someone. John 12:43 “For they loved human praise more than the praise of God…” (NLT) But our focus must be on the ministry of reconciliation.
    I want to share with you a couple of examples of this ministry of reconciliation in my own life. I met my next door neighbors son one day when I was out in my yard gardening. I was going through a very rough time in my life; I was sitting in the sun in my front yard planting flowers listening to Christian music. A car pulled in next door and a man got out and went to the door, he knocked and no one answered. I told him that she had just left. He asked me what was the band that I was listening to; for the next 2 or 3 hours I talked with him about the love of Jesus, and my testimony and how God changes lives no matter what your sin is. We said our goodbyes and he left.
    (Now my reason for sharing this account with you is that in that time I never once thought about the impression that I was having on this person, I was focused on sharing with him the work that Jesus had done in my life. (Of course I didn’t know it at the time, but I was sharing the ministry of reconciliation.  I was just talking to a stranger about Jesus.)
    In any case, a month or so later I ran into him at my church! His grandmother was a little old lady that I used to sit with every Sunday. For years she had been witnessing to him, trying to get him to know Jesus. I asked him what changed for him. He told me that the biggest reason that he was there was that the time I spent with him telling him about all the things that Jesus had done for me to reconcile me with the Father. I was blown away; all I did was talk about what God had done for me. I didn’t worry about what I would say, I didn’t worry about the impression that this perfect stranger would have of me. I was struggling in my life and God used this time with a stranger to remind me of all that He had done for me. In fact, I remember as he left that day feeling grateful to God for all that he had done for me. I felt blessed to have been able to share my testimony, because it reminded me where I had come from, and no matter how bleak life seemed at that time, it was still better than where I had been. I never guessed that God would use that time to bless someone else.
    Another account of the ministry of reconciliation that I would like to share with you is about my mother. We never really had a good relationship, then, when I came to know Jesus I longed for a closer relationship. One that was focused around God. I tried and tried to witness to her. But it seemed as though it would never happen, she would never come to know Jesus, and I would never have the relationship that I longed for. She came for a visit one time and I had plans to go to a friend’s house for Christian fellowship, I invited her to come along. When we got there, we kind of went our separate ways. Throughout the night we spoke a couple of times, but I was focused on fellowship. I laughed, I joked and I had in depth biblical conversations all night long. On the ride home we exchanged pleasantries, and got home and went to bed. She left for Florida to go home a few days later.
    Weeks went by then she called me one afternoon and said “I did it!” I asked her what she was talking about. She told me that she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior! I was so happy; I asked her what had changed. She told me that it was watching me interact with my friends that all of us seemed to glow and there was no alcohol or drugs involved. She said she saw a change in me that she had not noticed before. She listened to the testimonies of the people that were there, she saw with her own eyes the ministry of reconciliation in my own life.
    You see when I stopped focusing on “my” relationship with her and what “I” wanted, then God stepped in. I knew that the relationship that I desired with my mother was only possible if she knew Jesus; I tried and tried to get her to know Jesus. But now I see that it was for the wrong reasons. I was focused on my reconciliation with her, not on her reconciliation with God.    
    “…Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
(I would like to say that it has been 12 years since I wrote this account; and my mother is one of my best friends, in fact she has come to live with my husband and I and our 4 children. God is good and faithful; we just need to yield to His ways. He will make a way where there seems to be no way.)
    We are ambassadors for Christ, not ourselves. We have an obligation to this world to share with them the ministry of reconciliation. Reconciliation to God.  After all, one of the meanings of reconciliation is redemption.

    As always, God Bless you till we meet again…..

Armor og God Part 2

The Armor of God
Part 2

    Ephesians v11 “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

    Schemes (3180 lexical aide) (methodeia): artificial
    Devil (1228): evil spirits in general

     What is the purpose of armor? Why do you think Paul tells us that we need to wear it? What does he think we need protection from? Let’s break this verse down and answer these questions.
    The first thing Paul tells us here is to put on the FULL armor. Let’s stop there and look at this closer. What would be the purpose of only putting on part of your armor if you are going into battle? None. It is important that we realize that we must put on the whole armor of God not just pick and choose which pieces we want to wear when the time seems right. Every day is a battle, we have to face challenges everywhere we turn. Moral battles, spiritual battles, physical battles, the list goes on and on. The most important part of any battle is to make sure that you are always fighting the good fight and standing firm; being confidant in your decisions that they align with the spirit of God. Now, as we go further and further into this study of the armor of God we will break down what each and every piece of the armor is for. Then we will understand better why it is so important to be fully suited up and prepared for battle.
    The armor of God reminds me of 1 Corinthians 12. Paul talks about the body being made up of many parts, but that it is still one body. He goes on to tell us that the parts of the body that seem less important to us are still valuable, because every part has its job and without it the body would be incomplete and not functioning properly. This is the same for the armor of God. It is one suit made up of many parts, all equally important to the proper functioning of the completed suit.
    The next part of this verse that we are going to examine is “that you may be able to stand firm” .
    Not stand tall, not rooted, not sitting comfortably, but standing firm. What does that mean? To me the word stand represents an action taken on by us. To be firm means to be steadfast, or unwavering. This is usually terms used when talking about ones morals and convictions. So to stand firm is an action on our part to stand up for what is right and true, despite what comes our way. Also, being firm means that we are moveable not rooted to one place. Sometimes it is necessary to remove yourself from a situation or place in order to remain walking uprightly before God. This is ok, as long as it aligns with God’s word and will. We need to not be so set in our ways that we may miss a message from God about change. We need to learn to be firm not stone like. God can work with a willing heart, but a heart of stone is not easily molded.

    Let’s look at the next part of this verse, “against the schemes”.
As we know from above the word schemes in the lexicon is artificial. The word artificial means something that is fake, or false. It is something that is designed to mimic something else. Like fake sweeteners, they are artificially made to taste sweet like sugar. Do you know that it has now been medically proven that consuming a certain type of artificial sweetener has been linked to a myriad of health problems, including causing diabetes! Wow! And isn’t this the intended audience for these products, diabetics? With that random thought out of the way,. My point is, that a scheme is something that is derived by someone/something to make you think it is something that it is not. It is a “false reality”.
     So a scheme is something that may appear to be one thing, but in the end it is not at all what you thought it was. So what makes schemes so dangerous? It is easy for people to fall for schemes because they take on the appearance of something else. Have you ever met a believer that is caught up in something that you can clearly see is worldly (or not from God), but they will tell you with all genuineness that they believe that they are serving God with the action, or behavior? More than likely it is a scheme. After all a scheme is what? “Artificial reality”. We have all fallen prey to it at one time or another, but this is where it is so important to make sure that we are fully armored. To be able to recognize them for what they are, artificial.
    And now let’s look at the last part of this verse, “of the devil.”
The devil (in this verse) means evil spirits in general. Now the reason I think that it is important to mention this translation is that I do not want you to give Satan more power than he deserves. He is not omniscient, he sends his minions to tempt us, to torment us, to try to side track us with their schemes. It may not seem like an important detail but trust me it is a crucial detail for us to grasp. Satan cannot be in all places at all times like God, he is just not that powerful. Sometimes I feel like people give in to the power of evil because they give it so much control. They feel overwhelmed by a bad experience that they are having, or they feel overwhelmed because the bad doesn’t seem to ease up. I am here to tell you that the only places that are fertile enough for the fruits to grow heartily are a valley. The mountain tops are great, but it’s when we are in the valleys that we truly grow.
    Life is full of hardships, negativity, and trials; but if we can stand firm, putting on the full armor of God; we will come out on the other side a much stronger and hopefully wiser person. This is why it is so very important to me that people truly understand what the armor of God is. If we wear it the wrong way, than its intended purpose will not work.
So let’s stick together and find out what God has to say to us about protecting ourselves against the false realities that the evil spirits have lined up for this world. Take this journey with me and stay tuned for part 3 of this study on the armor of God. And as always, God bless you.
(Tomorrow’s study will be on V. 12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” I hope you come back tomorrow for this next part…)