Showing posts with label Obedience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obedience. 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, 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. 


  

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Healthy Faith Versus Foolish Faith

Many dangers that we fear today are justified. To move forward with plans that include these dangers, when we don't have to and when we know they exist, is foolish. It's misguided faith that is not faith at all, but a type of tempting God. We know that Our Father will help us when we make mistakes. Being resistant and disobedient to warnings is very different.

Faith in God's deliverance doesn't mean we should take any kind of risk and expect him to save us or repair the situation. If I feel that God is leading me, confirming my plans and opening doors, despite my anxieties and the obvious dangers, then it would be ok to move forward with the challenging goal. That would mean that He has a plan for my plan.

From Religion/Tempting God at encyclopedia.com:

It is tempting God for anyone to expect miraculous protection while neglecting the immediate and obvious ways of protecting oneself that divine providence has already provided. 

It also says that tempting God is when we don't heed and regard warnings and what we know in order to prevent and avoid misadventure. 

We can choose to trust God about anything that we want to do. It is personal and relative. However, before moving forward with questionable goals that can be alarming, we should ask ourselves,

  • is this a wise choice or is this just foolishness rooted in a rebellious desire to have our way?
  • Is our determination rooted in the fear that we won't obtain, in any other way, what we want?
  • Is our plan and the determination to enforce it a sign that we don't trust God?


When we make an unwise choice that we could have avoided, we end up blaming God when he doesn't prevent the negative results of our foolish actions. Our relationship with Our Heavenly Father is then damaged because of our unhappiness as a result of our presumptuous decisions.

Sometimes, we also bring upon ourselves the fears that are related to what we know we should not do, without a direct impression from God. That's why we end up kicking ourselves and paying heavy prices. We end up berating ourselves with inner statements like,

  • You knew this could happen, so why did you do it?
  • Why didn't you listen to your instincts?
  • Why didn't you listen to the reborn spirit within?
  • Why didn't you sincerely check with God first?
  • Why didn't you listen diligently for God's prompting one way or another?

If a goal that you have could be questionable, presumptuous, foolish or just plain dangerous in any way, stop and consider the wisdom of it, any fears that may be clear warnings and if your trust level in God is high enough regarding the fulfillment your desire.



Monday, September 13, 2021

Trusting In God

We who love God choose to lean on him in spirit and in deed, just as we lean on the arm of a person for support so that we will safely arrive at a destination. We lean on Our Father God to arrive at a destination of strong faith and obedience. (Isaiah 51:5)

Trust means to not turn right or left off of the path on which we discern God has us. We might not know all of the facts about what God is doing in our lives but we have an impression in our spirits of how and where God is leading us.

Because we can't see very far in advance, we hesitate, ruminate and complicate our obedience to Our Heavenly Father. Despite that, we know that his Spirit is bearing witness with our spirits that The Most High God is doing this thing.  

Because we choose everyday to live by trusting The One True God, we know him and he knows us. (Nahum 1:7)

We have a personal relationship with The Great I AM. We know that we can go to him anytime of the day or night, physically in formal prayer or mentally when we can't be alone with him. We do this so often that we are familiar to each other. We trust him because we ask all according to his will and in the name of his precious Son and the only Savior to mankind, Jesus Christ.

We are meek and humble. We choose to not only trust in God but in his very name. (Zephaniah 3:12) We may not know what to pray but we remember that we can call out any name in the Godhead when we are afraid, distressed or confused. Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Father! Father! Father! Holy Spirit help me! Help me! Help me! God recognizes and honors our trust in him everyday.



Sunday, August 8, 2021

How Can I Forgive II?

Forgiveness is a choice.
Forgiveness Is A Choice


You can forgive by saying to yourself and to God,

I forgive her, I forgive him, I forgive them. 

Forgiveness is a choice that we make, just like the choice we can make to be happy against all odds. 

Just choose to say to yourself that you forgive someone, even though you feel you can't. Choose to say it to God even if you feel like you hate the person. When we are obedient, the heart feeling eventually comes.

Our job is to be obedient. God will do the rest in our hearts and spirits.  

This guidance does not include actions after forgiving, such as,

  • what you should do regarding those that you forgive,
  • whether or not you should approach the person(s) and tell him/her that you forgive them. Often we don't have that option, so it's a different subject than forgiveness between you and God.

For now, just focus on the basics of confessing forgiveness to yourself and to God. Don't bite off too much. God is not trying to burden you. God is leading you to a place where sincere forgiveness will be not traumatic but automatic, no matter what the offense. He want you to become strengthened to where you will not allow the flesh to afflict you about forgiveness.

In 2 Corinthians 2:8-11, Paul talks about forgiving through obedience and how Satan can take advantage of us if we refuse to understand.

8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.


9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.


10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,


11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Take baby steps and just say it. No one has to know at this time when you find it so very difficult to forgive. You don't have to try to say it to anyone else at this time. When we are obedient in private, God always rewards us in the open. He is always faithful to strengthen us.

 


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Walking With Christ: Esther From Germany Shares A Few Thoughts

We draw closer to God through the reading of his word for ourselves and in having faith in him alone.

Growing spiritually requires dying to our flesh daily. It isn't easy but our willingness to please God gives room for the Grace of God to help us grow spiritually and to overcome our weaknesses.
Regarding age difference and marriage, the Lord knows our needs. His will concerning this area in our lives, regarding a Christian partner, will be done.
 
As Christians, we are supposed to be dating with a purpose. Sadly in today's society, not a lot of Christians see it that way. They have fully embraced the way of the world when it comes to dating.
There are many new, born again Christians out there but unfortunately many are being continuously fed milk instead of hard meat. They totally depend on the pastor, not reading the Bible for themselves.
 
Many of these new Believers still believe that fornication is okay in the eyes of God. 
One of the problems with new generation Christianity is that they are not rooted in God's Word. They are sensitive and easily offended at the same time. They think it's okay to keep having a little bit of the world and a little bit of Jesus.
 
They think the Grace of God is there to continue to endure willful sin. When someone tries to show them light in those areas, they scream don't judge me.
 
See Esther's mini-bio below.
 
 
 
Esther is 43, single/never married and she has no children. She lives in F├╝rth, Bayern (Bavaria) Germany and is a Christian who fervently loves the Lord. She works with elderly nursing home residents who are living in their final stages of earthly life and are in need of full support and assistance, including palliative care, on a daily basis. Esther shares about her personal life and relationship with God:
 
My last romantic relationship was 7 years ago and I was unequally-yoked. I remember while taking a shower that I told God I was going to totally commit my life to Him. I vowed that the next relationship I became involved in was going to be courting to get married. I promised my Heavenly Father that I was going to honor His word and not defile myself again with sexual sin, which the Bible calls fornication. By God's grace, I will not have an intimate relationship again until after I am married. 
 
I came to a point in my life where I decided that if I am going to fully dedicate my life to Christ, I would have to let go of one very obvious sin. I was a slave to the sin of fornication. That turning point was 7 years ago and I have never looked back. My relationship with Jesus has grown ever since, through His grace.
 
My relationship with Christ is my top priority and means everything to me. The more I see how the devil has perverted marriage in our world today, the more I am becoming focused on living for Christ. The shocking part is that I have actually met single men who professed to be Christians but confessed that they can't wait for marriage in order to have sex. They have accused me of being too "religious and extreme" because I have quoted scriptures which clearly state that fornication is a sin. Because of this, they deserted me.
 
I am very active in my local Church but since I started working full-time and studying, I have become less active. That has not, however, negatively impacted my relationship with Jesus.