I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Rom 7:21-23)~ there is a war going on in each of us; a war whose only mission is to steal us away from our destiny, kill our relationship with the righteousness of God and destroy us by the use of our own bodies. Like a hunting lion the enemy stalks us waiting for the opportunity. As soon as we determine in our spirit not to do a thing, our mind and body go into overdrive against us as evil plots our demise. We determine not to stop by the ice cream store on the way home and we feel good because we passed it up, but now every red light shows us the Krispy Kreme with the Hot sign on! We vow to do right in our lives but evil opens doors that make it more appealing to our minds, hearts and bodies to choose the other option. None of us is immune from temptations and all of us have fallen and will fall again. Christ warns in (Matt 26:41) to “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Jesus knows that our spirit is intent on His righteousness and this is our warning … that our enemy knows this as well; but also knows our vulnerability and therein will come the attack. This is a daily battle in what is the longest and most grueling war in human history…one that will not have a cease fire nor truce as long as we walk the earth in this state. Our biggest battle in life is indeed against…ourselves! The Lord knows US and He knows that in our spirits and in our hearts we serve Him, even when our bodies fail and we sin; We must pursue the willing spirit – we must walk in that true desire to serve Him. Though sometimes we fail; He indeed delivers us from these bodies of this death – – Thankfully there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:1). Be inspired my friend, that you may focus on your faith and not your flaws. No BODY is perfect but in Him our spirits are made into His righteousness. God indeed knows the heart and the Spirit! Be Blessed!
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith (Heb 10:35-38)~~ God intends that we are all blessed…when HE is ready to bless us. So often we give up on His promise for our lives because it doesn’t come in our lives when we are ready to see it. We think that if we don’t have something by a certain point in OUR time that He is not going to give it to us at all when actually God JUST might be blessing us through the manifestation of prerequisite events. Every blessing has a path that must be traveled. Christ had to go through the years on earth, the sufferings, the cross, and the grave before He could rise and be in the power of The Promise… He went through HELL! Think about that next time you think things are bad!! In order to get TO the greatness of your blessing, you may have to go THROUGH a time that requires your commitment and patience. Therefore you can’t give up on God’s promise just because you feel like it’s not happening in your time or plan. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than yours. He sees a bigger picture and HE knows the best plan and the best time for everything. If you stop believing just because of the delay, you miss the true blessing! While you’re spending your time and life complaining. .. you are missing the blessings He has for you. You can’t be in control of everything…but rather be happy and trust in Him who IS in control. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Don’t give up! Wait on Him! While waiting… keep on doing what’s right. Keep giving God your “yes” while He works out your mess. Be not weary in well doing. .for in DUE SEASON … HIS due season you shall reap if you faint not.
Feel like giving up? Think on THESE things:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Eph. 6:10
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. Psalm 71:16
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. I Cor. 9:24
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Heb. 12:1
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zech. 4:6
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. II Tim. 1:7
It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:32
Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)~ When we think about God, we think about Heaven, salvation, victory, triumph, strength, peace, joy, eternal life…the list goes on with all of these great and wonderful things that God brings us. Jesus promised us that by believing in God, who sent Him…believing in the Word He brings…we are free from the imprisonment of sin in our lives. Because you believe in Him, you are set free from the fear of death and can look forward to living forever with God in heaven. Yet we always find ourselves in a position of basically saying ‘Lord, I do believe…but help my unbelief!’ Yes, we come to a point where as much as we believe in Him, we exhibit unbelief! That unbelief is our “fear”. Not the fear of dangers and harm to our person – but the fear of walking in what we claim to believe God for! How can we talk about all of the great promises of God and know all about the ‘finished’ work of Christ, yet be fearful to walk in the deliverance of them? Why do we let fear imprison us? We have been given the victory but we walk in the shame of losers! We want to know victory and greatness in life and it’s given to us, but we keep living our lives like where we used to be! We want to see things differently but we keep walking the same and we eventually dread our lives because we think nothing ever changes…then it turns out that the only thing that DIDN’T change…was US! Those of us who do not love the lives we have are the ones who were afraid to change…our fear of what change might make us has imprisoned us in complacency and mediocrity! Have you ever seen a team win a championship and go to the showers like they were the losers because they didn’t want to take the trophy they went all season for? No, they walked in the victory! The prison gates are open and we have been exonerated, yet we sit there in our same old position of imprisonment because we’re scared to change our pattern and walk out the door in that freedom we have! To expect great results, while never changing your actions is a recipe of consistent failure (and insanity). Experiencing that freedom and that new life you’re looking for comes from the walks of faith, to dare to be and do what you have never done before. Fear will cause you to become complacent and remain in a continual prison of mediocrity, never growing or becoming more than what you have always been. But when you walk in the faith of the belief in the Lord, you will find that renewed strength that gives you limitless LIFE under His freedom! We are fearful to step out in faith because we think our lives will turn out different than we planned for. My friend, that is the GREATEST thing that could happen!!! God said “.. I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jer 29:11)”; and “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways (Isa 55:8)”. In other words, when you walk in that victory God has given you and drop that fear of being different from your own plans…trust in Him with all your heart rather than your own understanding, your life WILL be different than YOU planned. It will be what HE planned! What would you do if you had no fear? Think about a time when you faced your fear…you’re still here aren’t you? You got through it! It felt liberating didn’t it? God did not give us that spirit of fear… let it go … in fact, send it packing…and be free…and be blessed!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1)~ There comes a time in all of our lives when we need faith. It’s those times when we can’t see what’s ahead but we must go anyway. It’s in that darkness where we find our inner light. It’s in that darkness where we grow. It’s in that darkness where we become the person we were born to be. Faith always happens in the place where one cannot see. A faith walk is like a blind walk, it’s dark. You have to keep pushing forward with the belief that everything will work out in your favor. While in the situation, your thoughts will shape the darkness. If you allow yourself to be consumed by the darkness, it will stop you. But if you shift your thoughts to those of powerful assertions, you will illuminate the darkness and you will come out on the other side like brand new. We all have gone through rough seasons in our lives. We’ve been tested from every angle. You have to know that it isn’t meant to break you, but to build you. Yes, you want to give in and give up but instead you have to decide to shift your thoughts. Begin to think about the peace in the midst of the storm. Begin to think about the other side of defeat. Illuminate the darkness and your days will begin to change. Out of nowhere your breakthrough will come. The adversary will flee because you will beat him down. Your trials will become triumphs and your life will open up. In faith claim victory in the midst of challenge until you receive victory. Your thoughts can shift the atmosphere. I urge you today to keep walking through that dark tunnel. You may not see the light at the end, but know that it’s there. Let the light inside of you, guide you! Illuminate the darkness with your thoughts and you will see things begin to change. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. There’s only one way out and that’s forward…in Faith!
TRUST in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov 3:5-6)~ God’s promise to us has a process. Take the Israelites when they were brought out of Egypt. They wanted “instant” Promised Land. But God’s promise had a process! The process was for them to not just be delivered, but also healed and set free… from their past. Many of the Israelites though were not willing to go through the process and as a result of their impatience and actions, they missed the opportunity to go into the Promised Land. God’s plan wasn’t fast enough! The small victories along the way weren’t big enough! They got so wrapped up in the “rewards” of the Promise… they had to have it “right now”… and so they pursued it in their own ways rather than the ways of God. We need to see that if we will just walk through the process, we will continually see blessings and miracles making us gradually better along the way. Not only will we see, we will experience and receive. As you pray for your ‘Promised Land’, don’t be discouraged that you may have to cross a ‘Red Sea’ and take a journey through the ‘desert’ for a period of time. That journey is God’s process. And what a journey to walk, especially when you are walking it out with The Lord! Rather than trying to race to the promise at the finish line, take a walk through the process with the Lord! Allow yourself to see what He’s doing with and for you along the way. You’ll find so many blessings in that itself! You’ll be glad to have gone the process route over the convenience of “instant” gratification!
For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen,
unto the glory of God by us… (2 Cor 1:20)
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors (Matt 6:12)
Have you ever had to forgive someone but really didn’t want to? What happened when you didn’t? When you did? One of the lessons we have to learn repeatedly in our life is the art of forgiveness. As God’s children, we all need to learn how to forgive.
Why is forgiveness so important?
Quick! Rattle off the Lord’s prayer right now—GO!
Alright, now about that “and forgive us our sins/debts as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us (our debtors).” We can’t appreciate the depth of God’s forgiveness given to us until we are willing to experience what it’s like to forgive. Even if it’s forgiving repeatedly. Even if we were unjustly treated. Even if what was done was deliberate.
The only person we hurt by not forgiving is ourselves. Forgiveness protects our heart from bitterness. Some have said that not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is an act of the will. It is saying, “I am not going to hold this against them, but instead I’m going to trust God to deal with the situation in His time and His way. I’m choosing to show grace.”
How do I show forgiveness in injustice? Injustice will happen. You’ll be accused of something you didn’t do. A confidence will be broken. Betrayal of trust at any level may occur. Peter writes about this using Jesus as an example saying, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted himself to Him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23)
You may hurt. You may grieve. There may be consequences to your offender’s actions (i.e. a rebuilding of trust, or possibly the loss of a relationship). But the choice to forgive is about your heart before God.
Forgiveness is often not a once and done event. The indignant feelings of being done wrong can come up at any moment. Each time, you have to make the conscious choice to say, “I have chosen forgiveness. I will not hold this against them. I am trusting God who judges justly.”
Often the question arises of whether or not to tell someone that you forgiven them. It depends – Will telling them reveal to them a hurt that they unknowingly caused you? If so, it’s better to discuss with them what took place and why it hurt so that there is better understanding. In that context you will have to discern if you need to verbalize your forgiveness. Are you telling them you forgive them to induce guilt in them—as a form of payback? Then it’s better to remain silent. Vengeance belongs to God and God ONLY! If they have expressed repentance on their own initiative to you…then offer forgiveness immediately and be willing to talk about what broke down between you and how to guard against it.
It’s up to you, and our challenge is to make the choice to forgive in the little or big things as you build your relationships. May God help you to have a forgiving heart!
Our Father is the rescuer and deliverer of our souls. Through His Son, He stooped down in order to lift us up. We were dead in our sins and trespasses. We were held captive in the snare of the devil to do his will, but Jesus came to overthrow this bondage and to liberate us, to call us His beloved. God has granted us the glorious gift of acceptance and welcome in Christ. Through the powerful work of the Savior, We are rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred into His kingdom, without fault, without blemish. And He will not hear an accusation against us again. Just as He has accepted and forgiven us, may we also accept and forgive those who have sinned against us. Rather than despising those who have done us wrong, may we reach out to them with His healing love and mercy. In the name of Jesus… Amen!
For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin (Ps 38:18)~ Taking ownership of the truth of your guilt is the first step toward repentance. If you cannot be truthful because you’re trying to gloss over or diminish or hide facts of your guilt, you are not owning up to the truth of it. You can’t repent from a sin that you aren’t ‘man’ enough to truthfully admit you’ve committed. Confess it to GOD and HE is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us (1 John 1:9)~ Stand before GOD and declare your inquity! No PERSON is in a moral position to condemn nor forgive you for your sin! Those are God’s exclusive privileges! And HE chose in Christ Jesus to forgive us! Now get ready – Owning up to your ‘self’ and being truly sorry will bring some pain to your heart.. you will even mourn over it! But Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted (Matt 5:4)~ That Godly sorrow brings true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind and continual dependence on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus! Finally, the hardest part for many of us…turn away from it and move on from it!! Yes, you can do this because you are no longer bound by it! He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but he who confesses AND forsakes them shall have mercy (Prov 28:13) and There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:1)~ We have to stop holding onto stuff that’s already been forgiven. Stop holding onto self-defeating grudges and stop standing on the shore fishing out what God has thrown into the sea of forgetfulness! God has forgiven it and you are FREE from it! Why keep going back to it? Don’t imprison yourself any more…Own it, confess it, move on from it – Be blessed!
Casting ALL your cares upon Him; for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7)….
It’s SO important it is that we learn to cast all our cares upon the Lord. But can the Lord handle all that . . . would He WANT to handle our little issues… with each of the Christians around the world casting their cares upon Him on the same day…at the same time…constantly and continuously? Can He take care of all those things? Is our issue even important to Him that He would consider us? How many calculations can He handle in His head at one time?
All questions that probably go through our mind every time we feel the desire or need to go to the Lord in prayer! But friend, those are all seeds of doubt that the enemy wants you asking because if he can get you to doubt just how much God cares for you, he knows you’ll just stop going to the Lord and try to figure out your own way and … BAM!
Understand this – There’s NO limit to what God can handle. There’s NOTHING you can’t ask of Him! EACH of us is important to Him. And as EACH of us cries out to Him, looking to Him in time of need and trouble, He is able to handle all of that . . . and INFINITELY more.
And THIS is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing “according to His will”, He heareth us: And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him (1 John 5:14-15). Do you like to just talk into the air? Or do you like to talk when you know someone is listening? God is listening when we pray. He wants to hear us pray, and He wants us to pray in the realm of His will. He wants us to pray about those things which are important to us: that we would bring our cares to Him and cast them at His feet, leaving them there and trusting in Him. He said that if we would do this, committing our way unto Him, then He would bring it to pass. He’s assuring us of an answer.
Things do trouble us. But we all have to learn how to take hold of the Word of God, letting it be used and made manifest in our lives, where we’re ever committing our way unto the Lord: every day, in every thing, committing our way to the Lord.
Do you get up in the morning and hurry off to work? Wouldn’t it be better to stop before you leave home and commit your way unto the Lord? There’s your answer! God’s Word would tell you this is the way. Try it; it will make the day change so completely! Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass (Ps 37:4-5)…
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour (1 John 2:18)~~ Two-thousand years ago, when the apostle John wrote this passage, he sensed that the end of the world was upon us. Yet people who want to refute the Bible say things like, “Well, here we are two-thousand years later, and the world hasn’t ended!” But isn’t it funny how many of those same people believe that the world is hundreds of billions of years old, yet a measly couple thousand years is their proof that John’s statement was wrong?
The apostle Peter, moved by the Holy Spirit, wrote the following:
First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: ‘Jesus promised to come back, did He? Then where is He? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.’ …But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief… (2 Pet 3:3-10, NLT)
Jude also forewarns in the 18th verse of his letter that in the last days, people would attack, retaliate against, ridicule and make fun of us who hold to the truth of Scripture. And what will be the primary reason that they will do so? He makes it clear that it will be so that they can have freedom from guilt as they follow after their godless desires.
We who believe the Bible become lights that a sinful world does not want piercing its darkness. After all, the apostle Paul even wrote that Satan is the god of this fallen world (2 Cor. 4:4). So just by being witnesses for Christ and walking in His word, we remind this world of its guilt before God. And though we are by no means perfect ourselves, we are in the only Christ who paid for our sins. Therefore, being light in darkness is something we need never be ashamed of! Yes! There are antichrists (or enemies of Christ) alive and well everywhere today. And rather then making us ashamed or afraid, it should make us emboldened and encouraged that we are constantly seeing the prophetic words of Scripture being fulfilled right before our eyes! So, Christian, don’t fall for Satan’s ploys to make you feel ashamed of your religious beliefs because there are bad examples of religion in the world. The Lord warned that the enemy would sow such tares among the true wheat (Matt. 13:24-30).
It would be far easier to get away with just being who we are and blending in with those of the world rather than standing out and having our difference from them show. We who represent Christ will be attacked very easily and comfortably by atheists and others who do not see Jesus Christ as Lord, because this fallen sinful world is their home, not ours; we’re on their turf. We’re not like them, and we don’t live like them although we live here with them, but because we’re washed in the blood of the Lamb, we are hated by the world. But once again, Scripture proves itself true, because Jesus said it would happen (see John 15:18-20). This world is not the home of the true Christian. If it were, then there would not be so many anti-Christians around.
“Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and now is already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:3-6).
“Be of good cheer,” said Jesus, “For I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
And, therefore, so have we…