Repentance is a Deliberate Process

 

God’s Promise – I will Forgive and Forget

You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.
Proverbs 28:13

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame; he is mindful that we are but dust.
Proverbs 130:10-14, NASB

We are thought to repent, which is asking God’s forgiveness for committing a sin, i.e., doing something that does not reflect Christ in you. Our problem is that as humans unless we intentionally ask forgiveness, and then work to eliminate the sin, we repeat the act over and over again. Once we repent, that is, make our confession to the Lord, we must work to eliminate the action from our behavior, from our heart. We have to work to follow through on our word.  It’s our word, our promise to change.

Like any parent, God accepts our apology, but tires if  He does not see change and repeatedly hears us asking for forgiveness like a broken record.

I told you my sins, and I am sorry for them.
Psalm 38:18

Repentance is deliverance from the sinful action we confessed to the Lord. This is an intentional process to change.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that he will forgive your sins.
Acts 3:19

Don’t break promises to God. He knows when we are sincere and when we are asking out of guilt and not repentance.

Image –  Google Images

Resource and Scriptures – Unitedbiblesocieties.org; Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Free-Will, Water Cooler Talk, and Responsibility

We have free-will, but is it really free. God gave us free-will, the ability to act as we see fit, but it is not without responsibility. We have the freedom to choose to

live a Christ-like life or to live in the world allowing sin and self-righteousness to lead us down the earthen path.

But because Christ has risen, we have been given the gift of repentance. Repentance is not a free ’ get out of jail’ card. It does not mean that we can ask for forgiveness and then repeat the action over and over. It means much more. When we study the Bible, we learn the precepts instruct our daily lives. We repent to acknowledge our mistake before God and ask His forgiveness.


Christ has risen and we should not squander our birthright. Christ suffered the cross to save us from sin that was destined to doom us. Today we live a life that is afflicted by sin, but one that we can be redeemed from through repentance.
The sinful and wicked do not fear God. They flatter themselves to much to detect or hate sin. Their words are wicked and deceitful and they fail to act wisely or do good. They lay in bed plotting evil and commit themselves to a sinful course. They do not reject what is wrong, Psalm 36: 1-4 NIV. But for the grace of God, we can turn from our evil ways. Our free-will is like a two edge sword, we can cut away the evil sinful ways of the world and turn to our Lord. We can repent. The requisites of repentance is to turn away from evil and turn to the good. Our free-will gives us the ability to choose. (Read my Post, Pt.2, Wisdom Directs Your Steps.)

But what does that mean in our daily life? We must be diligent and listen to our thoughts and words in much the same way that you listen to your thoughts and how to verbalize them at work, school; to bosses, parents, leaders, associates and friends. Have you ever run free, doing as you pleased, and then looked around and realized you were running in circles – obstructing your ability to move forward into your destiny? How many times have you experienced doing what you pleased only to learn that the end result hurt or adversely affected your wellbeing? How often have you heard His quiet voice, or ignored His nudge only to wish you had followed His direction? As humans we often find ourselves in these situations.

Water Cooler Talk

For example – What about gossiping by the water cooler? How many times have you gossiped at the water cooler, feeling guilty about it, but continuing on to discover the person you are talking about is standing behind you? We know we should not gossip but we do. When I was working I tried to stay out of the gossip circles, away from the water cooler during lunchtime and breaks, but from time to time joined in and found I shared private information that got back to the person that shared it with me. I heard the quiet voice telling me not to get involved in the conversation, was warned through the nudge not to say it and then I heard my voice speaking out anyway. It was quick and I did not take heed. I immediately felt guilty but could not take it back, the act created the consequences, and my relationship with the person ended as abruptly as when I spoke about them. Other times it created a sense of distrust and our conversations became matter-of-fact, no longer friendly or open. These were learning moments. I learned to think before I spoke. I learned how betrayal hurt the person that was the topic of discussion and me. I learned to avoid environments that led to my downfall.

As humans, we always stumble over our own feet. We are always learning from our mistakes and attempting to apply God’s values in our daily lives. Thus, I go back to free-will is not free, it comes with responsibility. God gave us free-will as a gift, and it is our responsibility to use our free-will wisely. It is a lifelong learning process.

The purpose of free-will is to allow us to experience how to use it to further Gods will on earth. We are his ambassadors on earth. Freedom is not free, it is a choice. Freedom permits us to follow God and spread the Good News because we choose to follow our Lord. Free-will requires denying or dying to self, (Read my Post – Dying to Self) and putting God first. It means following his instruction, not picking and choosing, not being selective, but following all of His principles. It means that while we are experiencing our attempts to follow the principles, we mature as Christians, and in the process when we make mistakes or err, we can ask God’s forgiveness.

When we repent, our sin no longer exists, we will no longer carry the weight on our shoulders. It has been removed from us. Living a Christ-like existence leads us down the path of favor. He will help us spend our lives humbling ourselves, choosing to lookout for others and putting ourselves second, helping us to build our Christ-like character in this life. We practice are denying ourselves and following the Lord. Though our decision to deny self, we become obedient to the God’s call on our lives.

This leads us back to obedience, dependence and love, our March focus. No matter what we do, we can never get to far away from being obedient or dependent upon the Lord. It is through obedience that we can exercise our free-will and live a Christ-like life, embodying the character of Christ. It is through dependence that we become aware of our actions, behaviors and outbursts and, it is through love that we have the strength to persevere.

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:23-24‬ ‭NIV

“But don’t just try to follow a list of rules or be a ‘good Christian.’ Following Christ means believing you have no righteousness of your own and choosing to trust and enjoy Christ, knowing He is all you need.

The more you seek after Him with all of your heart and follow Him fully, the more He will become your All in all, cleansing you, satisfying your longings, healing your wounds, and forming you into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:29, Colossians 3:10).” [Know God’s Power and See His Glory. Bible.com]

Free-will is a gift, but like all gifts we choose how to use it. We can stray from the word and live in this world subscribing to its values of selfishness, lust, hate, pride, greed, dishonesty, and trustworthiness or we can turn to turn God and live using the values Jesus demonstrated during his short time on earth. Please do not think that the sin we fear is always boisterous, it is generally subtle and subdued. It sneaks up on you when you are distracted from the Word of God.

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
Peter 5:8 AMP

Christ has risen, we have free-will and the responsibility attached to free-will is our gift to live by. Becoming an intentional Christian and joining the body of Christ, is a joy; our salvation is our rock, as we follow the Lord who is our light and our way. Jesus said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6 NKJV

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Dying To Self

The Bible is our manifest for life. It is our operations manual, others call it our guidebook. Its precepts are designed to teach us how to govern ourselves, as we mature as Christians, and travel down the path to our destiny.

The Old Testament precepts provide our travel instructions and through them we are encouraged to stay the course regardless of how live appears on earth, looking to our destiny, heaven as the purpose of our time on earth. The precepts offer hope in what can be defined as the godless world we live in today.

According to John Gill, learning encompasses: instruction “in the knowledge of Christ, of his person, offices, grace, righteousness, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension; and of the great salvation and redemption he came to obtain, and has obtained; and to teach us the doctrines of grace, of pardon through the blood of Christ, atonement by his sacrifice, justification by his righteousness, acceptance in his person, and eternal life through him; as also to inform us of our duty, and how we ought to behave both towards God and men.” (Romans 15:4, BibleStudytools.com/commentaries/Gill-exposition. March 23, 2018)

What Does that Mean for Us?

The theme of the month is dependence upon God and our obedience to Him. This scripture is yet another dimension of how we are to follow his instruction and rely on His Word to govern our lives. It informs us as to our duty as Christian Warriors in not only applying the precepts to our lives, but to demonstrate them through obedience to the Word. It describes the Trinity and how we can access the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The application of the precepts ensures that we are living a Christ-like life.

Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior

When we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we received our Salvation and insurance that we are part of God’s family. We have been pardoned through the Blood of Christ. We are justified in his likeness and he dwells in our being.  As a member of his family, we received the promise of eternal life.

Instruction Requires Obedience to and a Dependence upon God

In an earlier post I discussed Obedience and Dependency. Both require our allegiance to our faith. By this I mean, it is impossible to live a Christ-like life without being obedient. Obedience is ascribed to the practice of our faith and is one of the initial acts of obedience and is essential to our character. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, pp 438) This again takes us back to the Fruit of the Spirit defined as the characteristics of Christ. Living by these characteristics is a life long process because we fall daily and are in constant battle with our own demons given birth by Satan, and represent the opposite of Christ’s fruit.

Knowing we are susceptible to failure, we rest on the fact that as long as we are dependent upon our Father and rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, our ability to overcome our flesh rests in the constant reminder of being obedient. Whenever we feel the nudge or hear the quiet, soft voice warn us of doing wrong, doing things expressed in our fleshly desires (acts of omission), or are not doing things we know we should (acts of commission). Paul said it thusly,

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 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. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15 NKJV

“So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Dying to Self

Our struggle is harnessing our fleshly desires to live like Christ. One author defines it as ‘carrying the cross’. It’s literally, dying to self. Dying to self is the true essence of the Christian life. It is part of being born again.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:3-7 NKJV

We also die continually. To die to self is part of the process of sanctification. Dying to self is both a one-time event and a lifelong process. Dying to self is denying our flesh and living a spiritual symbolic life while living here on earth, and in so doing, as mentioned above, find eternal life in Christ. Dying to self is the reality of the new birth; no one can come to Christ unless they are willing to see the old life crucified with Christ and begin to live anew in obedience to Him. (Got Questions. What does the Bible mean by ‘dying to self’? gotquestions.org. March 23, 2018)

Humility, the Ultimate Dying to Self

Giving up your old self, dying to self, is living in a state of humility. Jesus died to self on the cross, surrendering himself in exchange for our sins. Though our rebirth we are freed from our fallen nature, our sin nature. Jesus accomplished this when he came down from heaven to dwell with us. Through the crucifixion he won life through death. “Humility and death are in their very nature one: humility is the bud; in death the fruit is ripened to perfection.” Humility leads to perfect death. Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death to set us free.

“The death to self is not our work, it is God’s work…the full manifestation of the power of this death is in our disposition and conduct and depends upon the measure in which the Holy Spirit imparts the power of the death of Christ. We must humble ourselves and surrender to God.” (Humility and Death of Self. biblestudytools.com. March 23, 2018)

Our primary responsibility in life is to die to self through meekness and humility. To accomplish this we should draw our strength from the Lord. We must (fully and completely) trust in God. I discussed sacrificing ourselves for others in an earlier post. We are to become dependent upon the Lord through prayer and study. We generally find that God’s grace abounds when we have come to our own end.

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [a]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [b]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [c]forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21, NASB

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com
gotquestions.org

Other Resources
Vine, W.E. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary. 1996
Nouwen, Henri. Can You Drink the Cup. 1996

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Miraculous Healing

Jesus told the disciples, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭NASB

Miraculous healings are not open for debate. There is an ongoing theological debate over healing. Some say miraculous healings only occurred in the Old Testament, others believe they still happen in the New Testament dispensation. Many people do not weigh in at all. They have no need for miraculous healing and think little of it, but when you are in need, it is no longer open for debate, you start calling on God. I believe miraculous healings still happen today. Why you may ask, because it happened to me. What I can tell you is that I was one of the uncertain many. I asked for healing for many years for one thing or another, but my faith was weak, lukewarm at best. This post is not about theological debate, it is a witness perspective. This has been a difficult topic for me to write. I have been grappling with it for days. This topic, nudged in prayer, was an assignment. But because it is such a fluid topic, has not been easy to express.
Let’s begin with, miraculous healing requires radical faith, extreme faith, uncompromising faith.

Throughout this month, my emphasis has been on our dependence upon God and our obedience to the Word. As these two practices strengthen, our Christian life matures and we develop a radical faith, in other words, we do not doubt or question what God is able to do in our lives, we recognize the Word as the TRUTH, and believe that everything the Bible says can happen though FAITH. This being said, we cannot command our own healing, but we can ask God to heal us. We have the authority to pray in the name of Jesus to answer our prayers.
‬‬

Uncertainty —> Certainty —> Healing

As humans, we think to much, we query everything, even the Words and instructions in the Bible. I shared that God no longer gave me the option of studying the Bible or spending time with him. He did this because he loves me. He did this because he wanted me to share the Word and let everyone know that what he did in the Old Testament, the precepts, he does today. I had many questions and over a few years stayed in prayer and communication learning to hear his voice and follow his instructions for my life. I spent time in prayer learning from the Lord. I mentioned that I prayed for healing for this or that over the years, no miraculous healings, though God did direct the doctors to perform surgery and God gave me quick healing.

Recently my Pastor called congregants who wanted healing from tumors and cysts to come forward. I had a cyst on my finger. I decided to go up and was anointed. This was not a cyst I imaged, my doctor said she would have to remove it before severing the sheath around my tendon causing a trigger finger. One week after my anointing for healing the cyst disappeared, but the trigger finger is still present. I asked God what happened, why was the cyst miraculously healed but the trigger finger still exists.

His quiet voice said: I instructed your pastor to call up people who needed tumors, of all types, to be removed through faith. I wanted you to know that I am still in the healing business and wanted you to share your (personal)experience others. I removed your cyst.

I then asked, when you perform miraculous healings, and you heal someone, why don’t you heal everything in the persons body? He answered, there are numerous examples of healing in the Bible for one thing or another, they were specific to the need. In your case, you cried out for me to heal the cyst on your finger, not your finger or other aliments. I may had done so had you asked. Sometimes I will heal everything and other times not, depending upon where you are in your Christian walk and what lessons you embrace.

So why is our faith weak, we ask for partial healing and when we receive it, we ask why didn’t we receive more. I believe, it is important to remember, whenever asking our Lord for anything, including healing, we must believe the Lord is able, nothing is impossible for God.

If God answers his children and he also answers others, is radical Christian faith necessary to be healed? God does not discriminate. He healed believers and at least in one case healed non-believers. See the John 5:3-6.

Jesus performed 37 miracles in the Bible. I believe 30 are shared in the New Testament. Healings were performed by Jesus or his disciples, today his disciples are our Pastors and church leaders. They often perform healing miracles for member’s of their flock, but God still performs miraculous healing for non-Christians, and non-devote believers as well. Where is the proof? There is a saying, the proof is in the pudding. Doctors often report healings that cannot be ascribed to their practice or medicine. Many doctors contribute unknown healing as being a miracle, and Christian doctors may tell you it is a miracle from God, the recipient (believer and non-believer) will almost always tell you it was God. The doctors don’t know why the person was miraculously healed, they just know it did not happen as a result of anything they did. This leads me back to my premise, miracles still happen and require radical faith.

Christ and his disciples no longer walk the earth. Jesus is not physically here to lay hands on the sick, speak to the spirit as in the case of the little girl, or simply speak the word and then visit the healed servant. It is through faith that we are healed today. All who receive miracles today have heightened faith. Christians may know God and cry out in full faith, and non-Christian’s may call on the Lord because they are desperate and need healing. These are forms of radical faith, regardless of who is petitioning God.

Radical faith is the key. Your dependence on the Word and your obedience to God build radical faith. Radical faith is where miracles reside. It is where maturity lives. It is where we experience healing of all types, spiritual, emotional and physical.

Radical faith is needed and attainable if we spend time in the Bible, in study and in prayer. Our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is eternal, our relationship with him is eternal was well. The flow of communication resides in our understanding of the Word.Miracles are ours upon request. Our faith activates them. Our faith in God, if we are Christians, and faith in a higher being if we are not Christians, or follow a different Christian doctrine. It is a faith issue.
Jesus once said,

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?
Matthew 8:26 KJV

My take away is – when God steps in Miracles happen. Radical faith is required to be healed yesterday, today and tomorrow. Your faith may be heightened for a time such as this, or it may be out of desperation, but it is radical faith non-the less.

Our Lord said,

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV

These are not just words, our lexicon. They are the words and actions of radical faith. Radical faith is an ‘all in’ faith. If you want to be healed of an ailment , infirmity or disease, ask for complete healing and tell our Lord what you want to be healed. Don’t ask for partial healing when you can have complete healing. Don’t be dismayed of it is not immediate, it took a little over a week for my cyst (the operable cyst mentioned above) to disappear. Yours may take less time or much more time. Our time is not God’s time. We do not know what he is teaching us through the healing as it is occurring. And, just as importantly he may not remove the problem for years. He wants what is best for us and he knows what will happen over our life time. He heals today and tomorrow, and gives us the strength to endure. Just keep telling yourself, our Lord is still in the work of miracles. I am his child, and he wants what is best for me. I am the recipient of a miracle today.

Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalms 27:14 ESV

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, healing and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Note
I read a good post today about healing and faith. Take a moment to read it, entitled: Stop, waiting, you are wasting. By chilavertnmezi.wordpress.com

Pt. 2, Wisdom Directs Your Steps

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A few days ago we learned what Solomon said about wisdom in Proverbs 16, Old Testament. Today we are going to learn what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2, New Testament, about wisdom. In the last Post we learned about knowing God’s Voice and acquiring wisdom. I also shared that through this wisdom we develop our character, in fact, I wrote an earlier piece on knowing the Voice of God (February 2018) entitled: Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice. Today we are going deeper into our relationship with our Lord and the benefits of building a Christ-like value structure. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬ is a message written by Paul about hearing the Wisdom of God, referred to as the Mystery of God.


“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined, what God has prepared  for those who love him.” 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts God's Master Planexcept that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

‬‬1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Corinthians 2 is about power and wisdom. Power and wisdom are reliant upon one another and together keep the Christian life balanced. Warren Wiersbe succinctly stated, “Allow the Spirit of God to teach you about the Son of God from the Word of God, and grow up in Him.” Holy wisdom calls for us to rely totally on God for spiritual wisdom and rejecting the wisdom of the world. The discussion about Christian maturity speaks to our belief in the cross. Jesus’ accession to heaven by way of the cross. Do we believe God’s wisdom is greater than our interpretation of wisdom?  Do we believe that Christ’s crucifixion is part of God’s unfolding plan?

Without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark. We can either believe in the wisdom of this age or the wisdom of God which is eternal. One theme in most of my Posts is the belief that as Christian Warriors we must live a Christ-like life. As Christian’s, we must first accept Christ as our Lord and Savior to establish our faith. As Christian’s, it is important that we believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – the Trinity. It is important that we establish a relationship with our Lord and learn to hear His voice in prayer.  It is our responsibility to read and study the Word. It is our responsibility to know and embrace the Fruit of the Spirit. Once these have been accomplished we begin to mature as Christian warriors.

1 Corinthians 2-9

The question then becomes, do we apply the Word to govern our lives? Is our faith enough to address how we act or respond to difficulties in our lives? Does it support reconciliation, the restoration of friendly relations? Do we use our faith as the justification for overcoming conflict at home, social settings and work? Do we rest on our faith to maintain a respectful relationship with those we are at odds with or did harm to us? Do we have the right perspective and maintain our Christian walk regardless of what this world offers us?

The Trinity5True wisdom is accepting that God has a master plan that we will never fully understand, but accept as the truth. This faith resides in our relationship of the Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The wisdom of accepting the Trinity opens the door for our relationship with the Holy Spirit who communicates with us through prayer.  God’s thoughts are revealed through the Holy Spirit, who reveals these deep thoughts to us, the believers.

“According to Paul, the Holy Spirit searches the very depths of the heart and mind of God. He can do this because He is God-the third member of the Trinity. Paul’s point is that the Holy Spirit functions within the Trinity the way our human spirit functions within us” (Ben).  The Holy Spirit knows God because He is God. We know our spirit because it is our spirit. The Holy Spirit has access to the workings of the Godhead.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the direct link to God, do you ask him in prayer to share the Lord’s wisdom in what you are praying about, asking for his guidance? Do you spend time in prayer until you hear from the Lord or is your prayer a drive-by prayer? Spend a few minutes in prayer, do not maintain silence and calmness, say, ‘okay’ get back to me and then, guilt-free, having done your due-diligence, act on your own wisdom? This is exactly what Paul was concerned about so long ago. Do we say we are Christians and live by the wisdom of the Word of God, or do we say we are Christians and default to our own understanding? Paul 00-end-time-bible-prophecy-word-of-god-is-aliveexplained that some people do not respond to the Holy Spirit: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised.” The natural man is someone who does not have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. If you do not have this relationship you cannot understand the deep wisdom that is being shared. People that do not understand the wisdom of the Word are controlled by their behavior, feelings, urges, logical choices, moods, and worldly goals. People who have access to deep wisdom and abide by the Word have Christ-centered lives, Christ-like values and behaviors, and live according to the Word.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”  

Romans 8:11 

Are Christians perfect and live Christ-centered lives 24/7? No. The beauty is that through Christ, we are not only saved, but can repent of our sins, our shortcomings, and are forgiven. Our responsibility then becomes a journey to eliminate the sins of omission we commit by not doing something we should have done, as well as sins of commission which we knowingly commit, sins that the Holy Spirit warns of and we do them regardless.  It is difficult to commit a sin of commission and get away with it, but it is quite easy to commit a sin of omission without others knowing.

Omission, comission3Some sins of Commission are:

Committing sexual sin, adultery, fornication, bestiality, molestation, homosexuality, pornography; theft, covetousness, murder, physical abuse, bullying, mental abuse; gossip, slander, backbiting, lying, manipulating, cursing, etc. Many of these things are opposite the Fruit of the Spirit.

Some sins of Omission are:

Failing to pray regularly, failing to pray for others, failing to tithe, failure to be faithful stewards in our finances, failing to help others when nudged from the Holy Spirit, failing to provide for your family, failing to read and study the bible, and failing to fellowship with other Christians (corporate fellowship is important), etc.Sin is Sin2

The fact is, at the end of the day, sin is sin, and God hates all sin. Sin keeps us from our fellowshipping with the Lord, and strengthing our relationship with Him, as well as other Christians.

One sin stands out more than any other, the sin of rejecting the Holy Romans 10-9,10Spirit and not receiving Christ as your Lord and Savior. The most important thing we can and should do is receive Christ as our Lord and Savior and ensure our Salvation through this simple prayer. It is not enough to say it, you must believe it with all your heart in faith.

Johne 316

Romas 8_1

Resources

Hayford’s Bible Handbook. 1 Corinthians 2
Wiersbe, Nelson’s Quick Reference. 1 Corinthians 2

Websites

lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
Sins of Commission vs Sins of Omission: The Two Types of Sins Humans Commit. http://www.revelation.co/2015/07/21 by Ben

Scriptures – Bible.com
Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection, CanStockPhoto.com

 

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Who Directs Your Steps?

Proverbs 16_9

One of my favorite Books of the Bible is Proverbs, written by King Solomon in the height of his reign. It is one of my favorites because it tells us how to order our values and establish our character. Proverbs 16:9 speaks of wisdom and the direction we should follow, juxtaposing wickedness and obedience (following the Word of God).

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Who directs your steps? Are you led by God’s sovereignty, or do you take responsibility for your own affairs as acts of free will? This scripture describes the actions of two types of people, the wicked, self-determined person, and the good, righteous person. A wicked person directs his own steps, and is in lockstep with the world, coming to his own ends. He does not look for guidance or direction from the Lord. The end justifies the means. The wicked continually sow discord which seems to be common practice in today’s society.

“with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hawaii-rocks

While is true that we are not all wicked, we are all sinners. Many of us are saved by grace, but even those of us who have received salvation tend to walk a worldly path. We aspire to greatness in our careers and our relationships. We are comfortable cutting corners, aligning ourselves with questionable associates and engage in company practices that in our hearts know are wrong. We direct our own steps, we listen to the evil one that paves our road with gold overlay. We reenact the days of Rome in our daily lives. And, to many, the question becomes, if we have free will, why would we want God to direct our steps when we have the freedom to discover and conquer at will? The wicked man, the sinner, charts his own path and when disaster strikes, calls upon the Lord. How many find that our own actions, intentions, and plans cannot stand the test of time and eventually cry to the Lord for help, promising to change our wicked ways only to head down our own path once He has placed us on solid ground?

“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.”
Proverbs‬ ‭20:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hawaii-road

The second half of the scripture focuses on the godly person. The saved person who seeks after the Lord, the person who applies the Fruit of the Spirit in their daily lives. The good person who is a righteous person. The person who is influenced by the Spirit and grace of God to think and act in a Christ-like manner. He does not order his own steps, the Lord directs his steps, he does not veer to the right or the left but walks safely through difficulties, challenges and day-to-day activities, all the while listening to the voice behind him directing his steps and avoiding the landmines of life.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.””
‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Hawaii-ocean

PONDER THIS – Who do you listen to? Who directs your steps? To quote Shakespeare’s Word in Hamlet, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-new them how we will.” Septuagint, “Let the heart of man consider what is just, that his steps may be by God’s directed might.” (Pulpit Commentary)

I am providing a summary of the Book of Proverbs to provide the scope of this discussion and offer a blueprint to acquire wisdom, direction, and obedience to the Word.

Nelsons’ Quick Reference, Proverbs 16 Summary

A prepared heart(1-3, 23) is a heart that receives God’s truth and submits to God’s will. Since the mouth speaks what the heart has treasured up, the Lord can guide your words when your heart is prepared (Matt. 10:19-20).

A proud heart (5, 18-19). Pride is one sin that God especially hates. It leads to all kinds of trouble and robs you of the blessings of the Lord.

A purposeful heart (7, 9, 25). If your heart is not devoted to God’s purposes, then it will lead you astray. Take time to think and pray, meditate on the Word, and make your plans; and then trust the Lord to guide you.

A prudent heart(20-24). When wisdom is your food and drink, then you will be able to make prudent decisions. A prudent heart is revealed by lips that speak sweet words of wisdom.

A perverse heart (27-30). What is in the heart eventually comes out in the life, and the life described here is anything but beautiful or useful. No wonder Proverbs 4:23 is in God’s Word! Are you heeding it?

Supporting Scriptures

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
Jeremiah‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.”
Proverbs‬ ‭16:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Resources

BibleHub.com. Commentary Proverbs 16:9, Benson Commentary, Gill’s Expositions, Pulpit Commentary
Hayford’s Bible Handbook. Proverbs.
Wiersbe. Nelson’s Quick Reference. Proverbs 16

Scriptures – Bible.com

Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Naked Without the Armor

The Bible offers everything we need to be active Christian Warriors. It gives us spiritual authority and is our manual for living a Godly life. While in prayer this morning, something came to light. Many of us may read parts of the Bible from time to time, But we do not study what we have read. We understand what we read intellectually, but there is so much more. To understand the spiritual intent, we have to study what was read. When reading Ephesians 6:10-18, we understand we should clothe ourselves in the armor, but do not necessarily understand why we should do so, or what each piece represents. This Post will explain the what and the why. The most important point is that we are naked and vulnerable without the armor. As the adage says, ‘don’t leave home without it.’

In reading the Book of Ephesians, particularly chapter 6, we see Paul wrote to Ephesus alerting them that the enemy is always near and ready to attack. In Ephesians 6: 12, 13 NASB, he warned:

” 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. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”Armor2

There is no question that our struggle continues to be a war against the rulers of darkness. We can see it in our daily lives, on the news, and social media. The evil forces are in play, we see violence and hate in every aspect of life. We are in the midst of an invisible war, one that works through people. We struggle with uncertainty, fears, and doubts. Scripture makes it clear that much of our self-doubt, our difficulty in keeping healthy relationships, and many of our fears are rooted in the efforts of those same ‘spiritual forces of evil’ that plagued the Ephesians. Paul warned that we cannot be passive Christians. We cannot use the term ‘Christians’ without acting Christ-like. Christians have to exude Christ-like behavior through our actions. We must actively change our position and become Christian Warriors because we live in a time of full engagement against the evil forces of darkness. The evil one is present and works through people, he will not back down and neither can we. We are in the war, like it or not, there are no deferments. God calls for peace, and the evil one calls for chaos in all that we do. We cannot go quietly in the night, we have to rage against the evil forces that try to debilitate, paralyze and destroy us.

‘The evil one continually tries to infect us through our wounds inflicted by sinful words and actions that warp and twist our self-image’. He tells us we are unlovable, useless, hopeless, frail, weak, not good enough, and failures. He intentionally places difficulties, trouble, and chaos in our paths. He tries to destroy our inner peace and distort our harmony that should exist in our relationships with others and our surroundings.

Always be alert. It is important to recognize that we are prey to the evil forces of darkness and as in other parts of our daily living, must protect ourselves, and put on the Amor of God. The Armor of God is our invisible clothing Each morning when dressing for the day, putting on our visible clothing, is the perfect time to also put on our invisible clothing. In fact, we should begin the day with prayer and put on the Armor before getting out of bed.

The Armor

The Helmet of Salvation covers your head, mind, and eyes. 

The helmet is our invisible filter and keeps evil out of our mind. It helps our focus on the Lords will and not on sin. It helps ward off and reject harmful words and actions directed at us by others. It protects us from evil. It deflects hurtful things people say and do to us. It protects us while we live out our ‘true identity in Christ’.

The Breastplate of Righteousness protects your heart.

Righteousness is the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit that lives in us; it is a gift from God, and cannot be earned. Righteousness is much like a filter that strains out unGodly things and reinforces our desire, to be honest, trustworthy, kind, good-hearted, loving, and joyful. (Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23). It guards our mind and emotions.

The Belt of Truth holds us together. 

It keeps all the armor in place. It is like a belt or a girdle-like support strap. It supports our core. It helps keep our heart and mind focused on Christ. Without the belt of truth, we are not prepared to stand and fight. The belt represents living a life of honesty and integrity. It supports our total commitment and devotion to God Almighty.

The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace (the Good News) weaponry covers our feet.

Everywhere we walk, we walk in peace. Our footwear keeps us from hurting our feet. The gospel of peace is the Word of God that we share with others as we walk in His Word. Without the Gospel of Peace, we are barefoot and cannot walk without fear. The footwear brings ‘inner and interpersonal peace when we commit to living by God’s Word, which means forgiving those who may have harmed us.

The Shield of Faith protects us from the weaponry of the enemy. 

God gave is faith to protect ourselves from the things we cannot see and may not understand. It enables us to advance, despite adverse circumstance.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  

Gives us boldness to reject and attack misinformation. We can use it to defend ourselves from things we may or may not know are wrong. The sword cuts through everything the enemy can send our way. It is the only defensive weapon we have. Everything else wards off the offensives of the evil one. The sword is the way, the truth, and the light. It is the Word of God. This sword is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise. When wielded by us, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core and uncover the truth.

We are naked when we do not wear the Armor of God. Never go out without it. We put on a coat to protect us from the cold and our armor to protect us from the evil one.

Faith, Hope, Love, Dependency, and Obedience Synopsis

Finally, our March theme is affirmed by this Post. To be Christian Warriors we must have faith, hope, and love. When we are in a relationship with a loved one, we have faith in them, love them, are in a dependent relationship with them and are obedient to the values and intent of the relationship. Putting on the Armor of God is a faith move by which we are dependent upon the fact that it works to protect us. We are obedient in that we put the Armor on every day. We have hope that our armor will hold up and invite others to live as Christian Warriors, and for non-Christians, to receive the Lord’s salvation and join our family. Love, the most important of these, operates in faith and dependence upon the Word of God and his relationship with us.

Sources

Books:
The Full Armor of God, Larry Richards
Waging Prophetic War, Jennifer Claire

Websites:
The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. Bible.org, Mar. 3, 2018
The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Freebiblestudyguides.org, Mar. 3, 2018
Helping Children Put On Their Armor Through Prayer, Lisa Blair, Youngchristianwarriors.com

Images – Google Images
Scripture-Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.