When we are little children, right and wrong are so very simple. Just do what our parents allow and abstain from what they prevent. Stop when they say stop and proceed when they approve. Not so simple when you grow up.
There are foundational dos and don’ts out of Exodus: no idols, no using the Lord’s name out of place, no murder, no adultery, no lying, no lies, no lusting someone’s spouse; no craving someone’s stuff; honor God as Lord, honor God above any other lesser god, honor the Lord’s day as Holy, honor your parents. And I’m sure we ALL do these with no problem at all. (SMILE!!) Well, at least I know you all do. I’ve got a bad hip from kneeling to repent so often! So very grateful for His forgiveness and His cleansing. But that’s not what I’m wanting you to think about.
What about what happens on the inside of you. If you have a personal relationship with The Lord, there is something in your life that He has asked you to do (or not to do) that is in addition to that list above. You know what I’m talking about – His will for your life. This might be giving your belongings to some person; it might be ending a romantic relationship; it might be writing a book; it might be refraining from some food; it might be moving to some foreign country to serve in missions full time; it might be accepting an illness as His assignment to teach believers how to die, etc. It could be easy and uncomfortable. It could be difficult and unimaginable. The bottom line is – you don’t want to do it!
The Holy Spirit’s conviction is strong within you and yet you don’t act in the way that you are led because of your own confusion or even your own fear. And now – you’re not feeling well, you’re worried about who you’re disappointing, etc. I want to encourage you to trust the Lord enough to act in the way that He is calling you. If you just trust Him the confusion and fear that you are facing will cease! I’m serious! The unrest, sickness, dissension, disunity, fear, duality, and sense of disloyalty to the King of Kings will cease! And let’s just be honest — you’re walking in sin when you act against what you know to be God’s will for you even if that action is not something that is against the teachings of Scripture. I’m praying for you!!
But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
I love reading through the history of God’s people throughout the Bible. Witnessing from the hands of those God ordained to pen it what our fleshly weakness looks like; what human faith can accomplish; and the enormous grace that God extends to us. I think my favorite thing to read is what Our Father has been willing to do for us!
The truth is that there is no issue that can arise in our lives that God is not aware of and from which He cannot bring victory … when we are COMPLETELY COMMITTED to
Nothing is impossible when our trust is in Him!! But when we rely upon ourselves – our knowledge; our own strength; our connections; when we use effort and plotting on our own inventiveness – ANYTHING: we can be assured that we will bring disaster and ruin into our circumstance!
Just look at King Asa. After committing himself to God’s ways he experienced peace and prosperity; but once all was well, he decided he had it under control and in took “the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace” and sent it to a heathen leader to make a treaty that was not even necessary, because He was living under the beauty of a covenant with God Almighty! God’s response through the man of God, “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (The story can be found in 2 Chronicles 16)
My brothers and sisters, read your word and learn from the downfalls of others. Trust In Him Completely! Trust and don’t waver. Trust His strength. Trust His word. Trust His promises. He cannot fail!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I was just talking to my spiritual mama and she said to me, “If the devil is in your ear you need to tell him he’s up a little bit too high because the Lord has placed him under your feet!” That might make you chuckle – but it reminded me that sometimes as Christians we are just a little to timid with our enemy, Satan. Put that joker in his place!!
Have the presence of mind at all times to encourage yourself with the truth that God will act on your behalf. Yes – Satan might seem to prevail, but don’t let that make you lose heart – have faith and be patient because God’s promise is that Satan cannot prevail against you!!
Romans 16:20 – “And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
I’m convinced that many of us are still stuck because we have not followed his instructions and tearing our own strongholds down in the mighty power of God!
God speaks to you saying that He will give you victory over this thing; only be sure to ___________ (you fill in the blank). When the Lord speaks to our hearts and is trying to help us root out the strongholds of the enemy – we must be careful to TEAR IT ALL DOWN!! All the enemy needs is a small space to get in and make you go the way that God has forbidden; to make you disobey or doubt. Non of us are exempt — it is not easy! But it IS the way of victory.
When God tells you to leave a relationship behind; resign from a job; move to a new locale; stop listening to a certain radio program; refrain from drinking; etc.; you can’t then look at your friends and say “well, they’re still doing it!” because His commands for you are for your victory, not theirs!
As I read through the Old Testament, I am astounded by the number of times God sends people in to battle – tells them to destroy it all; and then, they don’t! It seems that there is always someone among the warriors (and often the king) who decides that destroying it all means that they can keep some loot; leave some enemy alive; leave some spring unplugged; leave a wall standing; keep at least the women and/or children, etc. Thankfully we are not being asked to slay people in these days – thank God for Jesus! But we are asked to lay waste to the works of the enemy – in fact it is for that reason that He came! (1 John 3:8)
If you want the victory that He gives (as lasting victory!) – do it His way! He is not a man that He should lie! His promises are YES and AMEN! He will accomplish His Word! Do your part — OBEY!
Bob Carlisle wrote a song back in 1996 that was made popular by Donnie McClurkin, “We Fall Down”. The song talks about a person discovering the grace of God in His failures – realizing even people of God made mistakes and the grace of God covered them and gave them a new start. We all have different testimonies – but all of us have made our share of mistakes – we have all said and done things that we later regretted and as we take a backwards look at our lives, we know it was the grace of God that kept us. As for me – I am amazed at how the Lord has kept me in spite of me! My testimony is that I faltered, but because of His grace – it was never fatal!
God does not delight in our mistakes but He delights in our desire to obey Him. Even when we falter, He sees our hearts and knows whether we are truly seeking His will or seeking to satisfy ourselves. When you desire to obey Him — when YOU desire to obey Him — when you DESIRE to obey Him — when you desire to OBEY Him; He will honor your obedience with His presence and power in your life!
Sometimes we step out in front of God; moving before we get his direction about something that seems urgent. What does stepping out in front of God look like? It looks like: getting something off our chests when we should’ve keep quiet; taking out a payday loan when we need to manage the funds we have; buying that sale item when we don’t really need to be spending; eating that last piece of pie when we know we don’t need it; getting into a relationship that we know is ungodly; compromising our morals because it seems like an easier way; etc. When we move outside of His will, we are failing to exercise our right to rely on The One who will always guide us to the best action and decision for our lives. When we fail to follow His lead – we will miss out of His best for us.
The great thing about being a Christ follower is that because we are His chosen ones – we have access to His grace. Because we have access to His grace — we always have access to a course correction. We might have to go back to the drawing board — but He will be there waiting to redirect us – to get us headed in the right direction. He knew we were going to muddle things; He knew we couldn’t keep His commandments without His intervention; He knew that we would botch even His simplest commands — so, in His great love, He sent us a Savior! He gave us unlimited access to His grace! When we mess up He has a giant eraser AND a beautiful paint canvass! How awesome is that?!
Here’s the deal — we all make mistakes; but He, in His infinite kindness towards us, will always be willing to give us a do over. We can rest assured that as we trust in Him and seek to obey Him (seek to OBEY Him!); He will honor us with His direction and His presence in our situation. Take a step back from your situation; your temptation; your stressor — He will gladly guide you in the right way allowing you to start over because it gives Him great joy to bless your life when you are leaning on His understanding and not your own.
Our mistakes do not have to be fatal errors — we really can start over! CTRL/ALT/DEL — reboot — start again.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23)