Showing posts with label Decisions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decisions. Show all posts

Sunday, April 10, 2022

We Never Have To Stop Praying

We never have to stop praying. We are encouraged to pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17

There are formal and informal ways to pray. When we accept this, the many ways to pray 24/7 open up to us. We don't always have to get on our knees with a scripted intonation of phrases and quotes.

Prayer, in it's essence, is talking to God. Talking to Jesus. How much more candid, honest and heart-felt are conversational words versus rehearsed prayer speeches.

Being tired or discouraged and not feeling like praying is not even an excuse. We can ask the Holy Spirit to pray for us. He will then utter on-target words that we cannot.

Pray without ceasing and grow closer to God.



Sunday, March 20, 2022

Make It Happen With The Help Of God

 

Don't just dream about it. Make it happen, with the help of the Lord. Receive God's ways of thinking. He's sharing them with you. 

You can't just spend the rest of your life wishing it could happen. Learn to see things God's way. He's showing you how.

Don't just keep thinking about it. You're either serious or you're not. Do what God is telling you to do.

You can't continue to just wonder about it. Accept the knowledge that God is constantly imparting unto you.

Don't just hope that it will come to pass. God is a do something God. You have to step out and do it. You know what to do. Faith and courage are being built up in you by Our Lord. You have been asking for it and he is faithful. God has been giving to you the building blocks of faith and courage. 

You can't continue to spend your life dreaming about it, wishing about it, thinking about it and wondering if it will ever happen. You have to take the risks necessary for God to bring to pass your most cherished dreams.

Some of God's most faithful servants from the Bible went out, went forward, moved on, sometimes not knowing how the gap between where they were and where they were going would be bridged.

They had ideas about how they needed to do it but they ultimately had to make their uncertain way, with God always before them. They had to go forward when things were not perfect or when there was opposition, when no one believed or supported them, when God did not tell them all of the facts.

They had to take steps, often with blind faith, to arrive where they wanted to be, where they should be and to where God promised them they could be. If they had kept waiting for things to be perfect or for situations to be the way that they thought they should be, they would never have went forward and obtained what God had already provided.   

Don't just dream about it. Make it happen, with the help of the Lord.




Sunday, March 6, 2022

Believing What We Pray For

In order to see the realization of our fondest personal prayers, we have to first believe what we pray for. We don't have to believe that we can do it through our own planning and orchestration but we do have to believe that we CAN receive them from God.

We also have to believe that we can be faithful in managing them after we receive them. This is one way to believe that our prayers will happen, that we'll be getting a favorable answer from God. 

The problem is that we pray for things that we're not committed to, that we're afraid of and that we don't even believe that we can really do. We pray pipe dreams, fanciful hopes or plans that would come to naught if we were given them. This is one reason that in our hearts we secretly say, "I don't believe my prayers will come true." Why don't we truly believe what we are praying?

Many Christians promote that we should ask God for big things, impossible things, things that are beyond what we can do on our own. Yes, we should, but we still have to believe in our own prayers. We have to believe in what we are asking for to improve our lives. We have to believe in the prayers that we pray on our behalf.

How is it possible to receive what we unconsciously don't believe? It is not possible because we would miss all of the signs and open doors that would lead to obtaining the favorable answers that we desire. The challenges that we would see would be obstacles to us instead of opportunities. Because of that, we would blindly pass them by.

In fact, we already see many challenges as insurmountable obstacles or we would not be asking God for help. What exactly are we asking for though? How can we start our journeys to believing what we pray for?  

There's something between the prayers and the receiving of the answer to the prayers that we ask. It is us. We have to work with God and it's up to each one of us to work out what our place is in the fulfillment of the desires.

When we understand that, we can then work with God and receive favorable answers to our fondest supplications. What if we can't see our part in it? What if we just wait for God to do it, like we've been doing?

If we can't understand what our place or part is in believing in our prayers, then maybe we should not be praying for those things or praying in that way. Maybe that is why deep down in our hearts we don't believe what we are asking. 

Maybe our prayers need to be adjusted or re-designed. Maybe the focus of our fondest hopes needs to be altered. Is it possible that we even need to replace a long-standing prayer for another, more accurate one?

If we ask our Father God to help us to develop accurate prayers, he will do it. We don't want to keep spending time and energy on prayers that are never going to happen because we don't believe them. We don't want to spend a lifetime praying inauthentic prayers.

We want to pray prayers that move things, that change things, that bring things to pass. We want to pray prayers that are faith-filled, accurate and effective. Words come first and powerful, faith-filled words bring things into being. These scriptures make it plain:

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Hebrews 11:3 Things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Our prayers are our tongues, our words and the things which are not seen, the invisible things. The things that we are praying for, on our behalf, are the things which are seen, that can be brought into being by our unseen prayer words, if they are accurate. 

The world does not respect or honor God, but the world understands many truths that we ignore. We can learn from the truths that those who do not love God nor his Son are telling us everyday. The knowledge all belongs to God. They don't care to realize it but their knowledge belongs to God. We can take it, along with the Scriptures, and work with God to pray prayers that we can believe in.

I don't know if Dr. Margie Warrell worships God or not but she says this in her article Your Words Create Your Reality:

The words you speak hold power. Power to create new possibilities or to close them down. We unconsciously sabotage our success. Whatever direction your words lead, your mind, body and environment will follow. It’s therefore extremely important to be intentional about the words you use.

We can make our prayers, our words, the fruit of our tongues authentic so that we can believe them and work with God in bringing them to pass.



Sunday, February 27, 2022

Should I Be In This Relationship?


All Christians are at various levels of growth, though we are all sisters and brothers in Christ. However, just because a person is a Christian doesn't mean that what they have to offer in association with you is pure, edifying, honest, worthy or supported by God.
When the Bible says "How can two walk together unless they be agreed?", that can pertain to Christians also. It's not only a matter for Christians in association or relationship with non-Believers. It's important to consider between Christians, especially when it comes to young Christians and those who are more experienced and advanced. We should always be asking ourselves what is a Christian Relationship in reference to our upward walk? 

Just because someone says that they are a brother or sister in Christ does not mean that they would make a good friend, spouse, business partner, spiritual mentor or other. Some Christians are constantly growing and some Christians never grow up in Christ. Many Christians want to grow and many do not. It's an individual choice which means that all Christians are not compatible.

Babes in Christ and those who refuse to submit themselves to God's requirements for growth are still carnally-minded. They are still operating in the ways of death. (Romans 8:6) Whether they will choose to grow in Christ Jesus always remains to be seen.
When it comes to romance and dating, new Christians have not yet had time to develop pure Christian dating principles. It is difficult for them to receive and understand the necessity of Biblical dating principles because they haven't yet had time to absorb enough of the Word of God to begin to manifest their transformation. Others have chosen not to eat and drink the Word daily. In doing so, they have chosen not to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. (Romans 12:2) Maybe they will later but again, maybe they won't.

We are experienced in Christ. We are advanced. We should not be embracing into our lives everyone who identifies as Christian. Wisdom and common sense tells us that we should be applying Matthew 7:20 and 1 John 4:1, in one way or another, to all of our relationships and potential affiliations. Evaluation takes time. The more the potential for our Christian advancement to be compromised the longer that evaluation should take. That means watch and wait before we embrace connections.

You say that as an advanced, growing Christian you can help the babes to higher heights in God. There is some truth to that because the Scriptures encourage the strong to help the weak. That thinking with undisciplined, unwise actions, however, is how many growing Christians have downfalls. Those downfalls become harder and harder to overcome.

Some Christians will never be compatible with us. The inability to accept this can lead to discord, disappointment, emotional exhaustion, sorrow, loss, tragedy, the undermining of our Christian faith and more. None of it is necessary if we accept the truth and value the riches of our growth, rather than the lure of compromise. 

Understanding this should also impact our Christian business relationships definition. We should always be measuring our business alliances with the ruler of God's Word and our advanced knowledge in Christ. As you well know, growing in Christ is often a lonely life. While we can look forward to rewards, even here and now, it's not easy to take that journey and stay in the path. It takes:

  • becoming more spiritually-minded everyday,
  • learning to crucify the flesh,
  • being purged and pruned by the Holy Spirit,
  • being cut by the Word of God,
  • learning to resist the devil,
  • learning how to cast down imagination,
  • learning to deny ourselves at times,
  • learning to be moderate in all things,
  • learning to walk humbly,
  • learning to not think more highly of ourselves than we should while being thankful and grateful,
  • letting God have his way,
  • learning to recognize God's will,
  • being obedient to God's will,
  • continually giving more over to God,
  • suffering with Christ in all the ways that God ordains,
  • and more wonderful things like that.
I know you get that I'm saying those last few words with tongue-in-cheek, with a little humor sprinkled in but they are oh so true. For those who want to go higher in Christ in this world, who want more of God, who want to live a life of storing up riches in Heaven where the moths and rusts of this fallen, dying world cannot corrupt them and steal our rewards, it is the desired way. Being purged by God is welcomed. It can be exhausting but we'd rather be exhausted for The Kingdom than exhausted for the world, the flesh and the devil, like we were in the old days.
Many accept Christ but never take the first step onto the narrow path of transformation and renewal. Many think they have given it all over to God. Many know that they have not. However, in their secret heart, the minute that a spiritual offense comes, the minute that they suspect that God wants more from them, they choose not to move forward. There is no compatibility with those who do not want to grow in Christ and those who are. Good Christian friends are those who are on an upward track of continual growth, similar to ours.
Those who don't want to grow think that those who are growing are fanatics and over-doers. They are still blind and conceited and will try to undermine the growing Christian and convince us in subtle ways that we don't need all of that. How do we know? We were there once! We may not have consciously tried to undermine other Christians, but we had thoughts of not needing all of that that an advanced Christian displayed. They were spiritually beyond us. 
Don't allow your hard-won development and maturity in Christ to be compromised by not recognizing the difference between you being sold-out to Christ and someone who is not. Don't be brought down by anyone who, by virtue of their lack of growth, is still dabbling in the dark places from where you came or who simply doesn't want to go higher in Christ.

Be friendly with care, mentor with care, relate with care, exhort with care, partner with care, share with care, be compassionate with care, join with care, contract with care, remembering always that the Bible makes it plain. Two cannot walk together unless they are agreed. (Amos 3:3) That goes for any association that we have or could have in this world, whether it's with one person or fifty. 


  

Monday, February 21, 2022

Wisdom For Life's Trials: Dr. Charles Stanley On What It Means To Count It All Joy

In this 30 minute message, Dr. Charles Stanley helps us to understand what God means when he tells us to count it all joy when we struggle and suffer in difficult times.

It really blessed me, especially when he said that God knows that we don't like him at all at certain times. When he said that we may as well tell God exactly how we feel because he knows anyway, that is a practice that I've developed.

When I pray and throughout the day as I talk to Our Heavenly Father, I share with him exactly how I feel about everything. It takes such a burden off of me. I'm still working on doing better.

We, in this world, have been so used to shouldering feelings and attitudes that it's automatic. Just like when we attempt to solve our issues ourselves, we just don't think about telling God. When we have bad feelings, we don't think about telling him.

I don't lift up any preacher, teacher, pastor, minister or anyone with a Christian title as being a model of perfection. I don't promote anyone who shares Christian knowledge as someone whom everyone should listen to and follow. I do enjoy sharing messages, and occasionally music, when I am blessed.  

Dr. Stanley has always had such a calm and comforting voice. He is a teacher who will help you ascend to the next level of your walk with Christ. I like to learn from his son also, Andy Stanley. This is an interesting story that defined his impression of his father.


His dad was the Associate Pastor of First Baptist in Atlanta when the senior pastor was asked to resign. Charles Stanley was asked to preach on Sundays until a suitable replacement could be found. As he preached, the pews began to fill, young couples started to return, the youth ministry started to grow and volunteerism grew to an all-time high. There was a new excitement in the church.

Yet some of the longtime members of the church resented Charles Stanley's growing influence and popularity. It didn't help that there was a grass roots movement started to elect him as pastor. The old guard thought he was too young, too evangelistic and too spiritual, emphasizing a personal relationship with Jesus.

The powerbrokers started to politic to have Charles Stanley removed. People started to take sides. Two weeks before the vote to hire or fire Charles Stanley, Deacon Myers walked up to the pulpit as the Wednesday night service began. He started to talk about the growing controversy and as he did, horror upon horror, he used the word damn.

Charles Stanley calmly walked to the pulpit and said, Now you need to watch your language. With clinched fists the man responded, You need to watch yourself or you might get punched. Charles Stanley didn't back down or step away and then all of sudden Deacon Myers reared back and punched his dad.

His dad didn't retaliate. It was his dad's response to all this that marked Andy for life. He stepped right back up and stood by Deacon Myers. Andy Stanley said, In that moment I wanted to be that kind of man. From that moment on, it didn't matter what anybody said. Because actions speak louder than words.

That event revealed his dad's character. When we open the pages of scripture, we discover that character is defined by the very nature of Jesus Christ- a stumbling block for some but a rock solid foundation for others. Character is the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost. Andy Stanle
SermonCentral 

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Stop Anxiety In Its Tracks!

An anxiety-ridden man asked this at a FBook group that I recently visited:

What should you do if you’ve divorced and currently remarried? How do you truly repent from this? Should you divorce a second time -the person that you’re currently with? And what about the children involved?

My advice to him was:

Simply ask God to forgive you for any wrong decisions that you have made. Believe that he has forgiven you through the Blood of Jesus and it is done. Ask him to lead you on how to proceed but stay where you are for now. Don't hurt any more people, including yourself, by making decisions and taking actions that you don't yet understand. Love your children. Stay where you are until you get direction otherwise from God. Accept where you are and continue to build yourself up in your most Holy faith. Blessings to you, your family, friends and to everyone in your circle.

I try to remember to take the advice that I am always giving to others, and it is this:

If you don't know what to do, pray and turn it over to God. Then, if you don't know what to do, do nothing. If you're not sure what to do, but you must make a decision, do what makes the best sense to you while waiting on God.

We are always to wait on God, but often a decision must be made immediately. We can't help that. God will give us an immediate answer, or he won't. One thing that he has already instilled in us is common sense. If we must make a decision and we don't yet have clear direction from God, we must use our common sense.

If we are afraid and must make a decision, we have to do it afraid if we don't have clear direction from God. An ideal situation would be for us to not have to make a decision yet. Whether we make a decision or not, whether we make a move or not, whether we choose one way or another, we are always dependent upon God. 

So, stop anxiety in its tracks! Pray and give it to God. Right now. Do nothing if you don't know what to do. Do what makes sense to you if you have to make a decision now.

Keep stopping anxiety in its tracks by reminding yourself often that it all is in the hands of Our Father. Remember that because we love and trust him and have a prayer session of giving the issue to him, we can't hurt his plan for us through any decision that we make.


  

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Receiving God's Magnificent Blessings

Many of us were raised in the church, got baptized and/or saved but did not understand entirely what we were doing. In addition to that, adults pressed their personal ideas and hangups on us in an attempt to guide us in the name of Christianity. It caused most of us to reject the Christian life, especially during our teen-aged years when we wanted to be appreciated and accepted by our peers. 

In later years, when we began to seek God again, we learned about him for ourselves through personal Bible reading and consistent prayer. In the Bible, we found out things that we never knew were in there. We learned about the never-ending, unqualified love of God and how it can make a difference in our lives.

What Christ did for us began to personally touch us and we learned, and continue to learn today, how to relate to God. The great value  in growing in Christ is to not only read the Bible but to grow in learning how to practically apply what's in it to our everyday lives.

I'm grateful that through daily transformation and the ongoing renewing of our minds we learn how to receive the healing, deliverance and prosperity that God provides for us through his precious Son's sacrifice. The magnificent blessings for accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior are not only for the coming New Heaven and New Earth, but for our lives today. I thank God that we can learn to receive all that he offers.

How To Be Saved

Say with your mouth that you receive that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only Savior. Believe in your heart that He is alive because God Our Father raised Him from the dead. Now you are saved. 

Romans 10:9–10 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 




Sunday, January 2, 2022

God's Blessings Through Transitions, Transfers And Changes

I've learned that nothing that God does in our lives is necessarily permanent. Though I thrive on changes, transfers and transitions, some that are unexpected and unwanted are very difficult to cope with.  As Christians, we are often ashamed to accept a change when we shared that God did the thing and blessed us.

We think because God did it that it is engraved in stone and can never change. God gave it and we have it, for good! When the blessing circumstances begin to change, we are apt to and often encouraged by less-enlightened Christians, to believe that we made a mistake. Maybe God did not do it after all, because things are now changing. If God did it, it would not change, right? As we grow in Christ, we learn that this is not true.
God gives and takes away, shifts and turns things in our lives, opens a door for a season and then closes it and opens another door. He even brings people into our lives temporarily to bless us in various ways.  He then moves them out because they were not meant to stay. We are confused and wonder why these relationships are not retained. We lament and look back, when we need to learn to let go and move forward.
We should anticipate the new things that God will do. It helps to remind ourselves that everything in this fallen world is temporary. It all seems so solid to us because we endure time while we are here. Time seems to make permanent things but that permanence is all temporary. God shifts all according to his will and we are not to hold on to what he allows to change.
Transfers and transitions are more often experienced in the lives of some rather than others. Despite this, we all can grow through God's big and small changes as we listen to and obey His Spirit each day. If you have proof within yourself that you made a mistake and God did not do it after all, admit it and move on. Growth is good and God knows where you're at.
When things begin to change, however, regarding a blessing that you know came from God, don't degrade your relationship with Your Heavenly Father by choosing to believe that he never blessed you. Don't allow others to convince you to demean your spiritual growth and your commitment to God. Know that God does not change, but he changes things.
Our Father does not intend for the changes to hurt us. Because of the condition of this damaged and swiftly-deteriorating world, hurts and pains must come. God allows his planned and ordained changes to bring about his purposes. His end result is not for us to suffer for no reason. He plans and allows changes in his blessings to benefit us now and in the New Heaven and the New Earth, in ways that we cannot imagine. We just need to stand firm in what we know and accept what Our Heavenly Father changes, as we grow in our understanding of how He does things.