When people are impressed with us – or when they see the “value” in something we are doing – we tend to bring them readily into our circle of supporters. Jesus, however, knowing all things — took a different route — one that should be taken note of.
Instead of allowing the praise to go to our ego — we must take a step back and remember the nature of men. One minute, they love you — the next, they don’t. A man’s heart — yes, our hearts – are deceitfully wicked and not to be trusted. Because we cannot know what lies beneath the praise that man gives — we would be wise no to entrust ourselves to men – instead we must get and stay firmly in the grip of God’s unfailing grace.
Jesus had no issue discerning the hearts of men – because He knows every man and because of this, He did not put His confidence in their faith … only in The Father.
Please Father, do not allow us to be deceived by our own pride when people rush to praise us because of what they see us do. Remind us that it is You, who is at work within us – to accomplish ALL that we do. And that it is You to whom the glory is due. Remind us of our own hearts so that we might judge well the hearts of others. Help us to put ALL of our hope in You. Humbling ourselves as we wait for Your perfect exaltation!
As I have been on this journey with my King, I am continually learning what it means to lay my will down for His. I have learned that laying down my will does not always mean that I am choosing not to sin (though that is a choice I make daily) — but that I am choosing to do things His way; for His glory.
Sometimes it’s an issue of whether or not I answer my phone when I know someone needs me to do something I don’t want to do. Sometimes it’s having to leave me house in disarray because I need to get out of the house for ministry. Sometimes it is holding back from rescuing a person – so that they can learn from their issue. Living according to His will all the time is not easy to do, but it IS simple.
Each day I will make the choice to depend upon Him to guide my words, thoughts and actions; when I commit to do this I have found that my will and my way are the LAST things I think about. For me, it looks like waking up each day and going to the Word of God first (my Ghana pastor** used to say “No Bible, No Breakfast”)
This simple decision – reading the Word in the morning before I interact with any person or any situation; hearing what He has to say to me first will help me to be less frustrated during the day and help me stand firm against the temptations that I am sure to face throughout the day.
Simple– practice giving ourselves to Him each day; decide to rely totally on Him each day and we might just find that we are walking in His favor and we might just experience what it feels like for Him to take pleasure in our lives. Ask Him for direction in all things (thoughts, actions, words); I believe we will find that our lives are richer, fuller and less stressful. I’ve tried it – it really does work! **Thank you Pastor Steve Asante!
I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. I’m a child of God. I’m a branch of the One True Vine; a conduit of blessing to the world. I’m free from the law of sin and death. I’m accepted by Christ and am a joint heir with Him. I am a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. I am God’s workmanship, created for good works. I am complete. I am holy and beloved. I am loved and cherished.
The craziness swirling around us right now can trick us into believing that we are victims – losers – without hope. But the Word of God tells me that this is not so. When I am careful to set my mind on His kingdom each day my heart will want to give and not receive; to serve and not rule over; to forgive and not avenge. I will see the world and all its happenings as my Father in Heaven sees them and not as a person separated from His Spirit.
My feet are surely on this earth – but my mind is the mind of Christ and it must be my aim to help make this earth more like heaven. Both my outward life and practical pursuits and my inward life and spiritual focus will reflect the image of The One True God.
It is my given role to practice the presence of God every single day no matter what!
Many people in America are being victimized right now – abuse, injustice, false accusations, and violence – but as a believer in Christ we are assured that we will overcome and that these sufferings will be glorifying to our Lord dependent upon how we endure and how we choose to walk after being mistreated. How do you adjust your attitude? By setting your mind on things above – including your identity according to the Lord your God! Instead of dwelling in the ‘what you see’ – choose to have a mind that dwells on our true lives which are hidden with God in Christ Jesus.
God has never misled us telling us that we’d walk on a bed of roses in this world — in fact He was quite clear in John 16 that we would have many and various trials; but just as Christ overcame by renewing His mind with the truths of the Father — So Can We! 2 Timothy 2:3-4 tell us that we are to “Suffer hardship … as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” and reminds us that “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”
It’s alright to feel hurt and even to demand that the offender see what they have done to you. But at the end of the day none of us will ever get the justice we want from men – it will only come from God. If you don’t believe me have a conversation with a family whose offender was executed on death row and they’ll tell you that they expected to feel vindicated, but it did not happen.
I encourage you to give God your hurt and lean into His truths about you and you will walk victoriously! and when God gives the victory it cannot – will not – be taken away from you! His plans for you include victory – His way.
Do we ever think about what it means when we, who believe in Christ, just believe and do nothing to show the life of Christ to the world?!?! Christ tells us that this kind living is useless!
Unless we are living out our righteousness in the world by sharing the truth – by showing others the way to Christ … we may as well just STOP!!
We may be a preservative for some — keeping the hand of the Lord from the wicked because we are here keeping good alive and active. We are meant to cast out darkness so that people will know in Whose name we have come. In the words of Fred Hammond, “not called to sit upon a shelf”!
Our salt and light are meant to preserve goodness and illuminate this world with the light of Christ … Not Just To Sit Upon A Shelf! We are not keys hidden to ourselves.
Father, Help me to see the importance of giving my life to the people of this world. Use me to show many the way to Christ. Have mercy on the people who worship other gods, who worship the enemy. May an encounter with Your children be an encounter with You. May our lives be lived in such a way that people have no doubt Who we serve!
How hard it is to stand fast in faith when the circumstances swirling around you press hard to prove to you that there is no hope? It seems that no one understands your plight. And worse, it seems that those who understand your plight, don’t care enough to bear under the weight with you. Living in this world can move you to lose heart – were it not for The One in whom our hope lies.
Difficulty is not only this virus that we ALL or facing. When you or someone you love is sick, and there is no human cure for the disease. When sadness and hopelessness overtakes your mind in depressive thoughts. When financial burdens seem insurmountable. When a besetting sin seems to gain more and more control over you day by day. When you have followed the voice of God, yet see only hardship. When those who say they love you disappoint you. All of us have faced one of these moments – or perhaps you are in one of these moments right now!
Know this – God really is a faithful God. It is hard for us to fathom sometimes that He is faithful – or even that He is good when things seem to go so very wrong. But remember that God is the God of all things – he brings both the wonderful and the dreadful.
The great theologians say create and allow are two very different terms. God certainly does not create moral evil – that comes through the willful rejection of His will by His created beings, namely us! But, whatever you are going through – know that as a child of God (one that is obedient to His will and believes upon His son Jesus, who is the Christ) it is all for the glory of God! All of it!
Psalm 34:19 is our comfort: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
No matter what, my friend, you are not desolate because The Almighty One has not forsaken you.
As for me, God is my hope. He is my only hope! More than that, I am faithful to believe that He is faithful to complete what He has started and he is faithful to accomplish His word. So – don’t fret – pray! Stand Firm! See the Salvation of the Lord! Be faithful to Believe that He Will Deliver You!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38-39