Showing posts with label Understanding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Understanding. Show all posts

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, January 16, 2022

God's Will Is Not Offensive

Whatever God allows is for a reason, no matter what pain it causes in the flesh, in the mind, in the heart, in the feelings, in the emotions, in the life of his children. What God allows is for a reason and it is without offense, if we love him.

In other words, as we grow in devotion and understanding of God, we don't see what he allows in our lives as offensive. That does not mean that we don't struggle with enduring it.

It is hard sometimes to acknowledge and accept God's will. Our Heavenly Father, however, is always there to help us as we endure what he allows.

In the reborn spirit of each of us who loves Jesus Christ, there is no pain, no suffering, no offense, no feelings, no problems. It is in the flesh where all of the troubles start. The flesh is not compatible with God. The flesh cannot be reborn. It cannot understand nor accept what God does. Our flesh, in fact, is always against God.

It is when we are in our reborn spirits, spiritual thinking, that we walk with God and where we do not suffer prolonged mental and emotional hurt nor hate him.



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.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

God's Light Shines Through You

 

No matter what it looks like,
the God of Peace is with you. 
You are a channel for God's goodness.
It is not your flesh that is the channel.
It is your reborn spirit.
No matter what is going on with you,
your body is still the
Temple of the Holy Spirit. 

Sometimes it may not seem like it

but you are valuable to God.

The light of His life is always

in you and shining through you.

Be encouraged that the Spirit of God

operating in you is always working

 to promote life and peace,

in you, through you and around you,

to the far reaches of the earth,

to the end of time.

 


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.



Sunday, October 10, 2021

Evaluating Our Relationships

It is critical to our growth in the Lord that we associate ourselves with people who uplift us. At the end of a conversation with someone, if we exit feeling down, disturbed and not quite right, we should be wary and watch closely. If this happens consistently, something is wrong.

It doesn't matter if we are praying for that person, always lifting them up and trying to be a Godly example and inspiration to him or her. If we don't feel elevated and at peace at the end of any encounter with them, our growth in God will be hindered. We hear the following statement often and we should take it more to heart. Some people we will need to love and pray for from afar.

How often do we ignore this truth in the name of being good Christians? We are good Christians when we attend to our own advancement in the Lord first, at all costs. We are good Christians when we guard our hearts with all diligence. Our Father does want us to come to him with broken spirits and broken and contrite hearts but not through being ignorant about our detrimental relationships with others.

There is no doubt about it; we need to discuss with God if we should be closely associated with these types of persons. The ones whom we need to love and pray for from afar are the very persons who drain our spirits, depress us and prey upon us, whether purposely or unintentionally. It is difficult to deny these people access to our lives when they continually burden us with the same conversations, the same complaints and the same attitudes.

When we realize, however, that they never take our Godly advice and that they never do what we suggest to resolve their own issues, it becomes clear that our relationships with God are being eroded through our relationships with them. They are toxic relationships, a form of being unequally yoked. If we persist in the belief that we are slowly influencing them and that we are long-suffering for good, then we need to think long and hard and often about the wisdom of that train of thought. 

Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits. (I Corinthians 15:33)

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? (I Corinthians 5:6)

We have to also be sure that WE are uplifting to others. If we are critical of them, unfairly judgemental, always oppressive, non-receptive to learning from them, bearers of bad reports, complainers, holier-than-thou, etc., then maybe we should be removed from their lives through their own recognition of the truth. It works both ways. 

If we ask, God will give us seeing eyes and hearing ears to honestly evaluate our relationships so that we can walk in the light. The purity of our close associations is paramount to maintaining and strengthening our connection to God. Healthy relationships inspire and motivate us to higher heights in Christ Jesus.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Finding Romance, Love And A Christian Spouse

We should always pray and expect God's confirmation when we feel we have met the one.

I recently saw a video that someone shared at an online group, where a young Christian woman was advocating that we don't have to wait on God for a mate. She said that this principle was a part of Christiandom, or some contrived word like that. She felt that too many Christians sit around waiting for God to give them a marriage partner, when they can pick the person themselves. I feel that it is a combination of both. We should make an effort to be active and put ourselves out there to meet people.  Along with that, we should pray and expect God's confirmation when we feel we have met the one.
Moderation and merging of both searching and waiting for Christian love is important.
I think that to put all of the responsibility on ourselves to choose a holy person to marry is foolish and dangerous. However, I think to wait indefinitely on God to drop the person into our laps, while doing nothing to be friendly and attractive, is also foolish and self-defeating. Both attitudes are needed, but a moderation of both, a merging of them.
Don't go by feelings, which got you into romantic trouble before.
Dating around to feel our way to finding someone with whom we click got us into trouble before. Going by our feelings got us into trouble before. Depending upon our own devices is the reason that we are alone today. Being led of the flesh is the reason that we have so much baggage today, so that the Holy Spirit can barely get our attention.
We Christian woman have to learn how to submit to a man after God's own heart.
My point is that Christians lean too far to the right or the left about everything. The Bible plainly says to not lean to the right hand nor the left, keep our feet from evil. (Proverbs 4:27) The order of the relationship and marriage has to be established by God, in the beginning, for the union to be successful and righteous. This is even more so in today's world, where for generations women have had to assume the authority of men. This is because men have become so slack and lax in being men and heading the families as God desires. We, as Christian women, don't have any idea how to submit to a holy and righteous Christian man. Most of us have only known strong, overbearing women and weak men. We don't have healthy examples of the order in the Christian marriage.
God will confirm in the heart of the woman that indeed that man is the one.
So, to establish the relationship on Holy ground or a powerful foundation, we have to be able to submit in the beginning. In that regard, I believe in the way that many other Christians believe, that God will confirm with the man that yes indeed he has found a wonderful Godly woman who would be a faithful, holy and diligent wife to him.  The man will then show his interest in her and she will return that interest. Most important though, not the man, but God, will confirm in the heart and spirit of the woman that indeed, that man is the one.
God never changes and his order is supreme.
Basically, God will tell the man and the man will tell the woman, and God will confirm to the woman. It may sound old-fashioned and distasteful to some, but no matter what the variation is, you will find this holy process in all of the great, true, authentic and enduring Christian marriages. God never changes and his order is supreme.

The sad thing is that most of the time we operate in the flesh when it comes to romance and marriage. There is another, more excellent way, to work with God to put the flesh under. As reborn spirits, we possess the power to crucify the flesh that seduces and misleads us. We can learn a new way of experiencing romantic love. That infallible way is God's holy way.


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Thursday, May 24, 2018

You Are Here: Tired Of Praying & Weary III

Guilt is debilitating and useless, and comes from the influence of the devil.
 I know how it is to weep your heart out because of distress over a circumstance. I know how it feels to be overcome by struggle, fear or tragedy. Breaking down in tears is a relief, but it is also horrifying and exhausting. We often feel guilty for being human, though we ARE human. God acknowledges this by coming in human flesh to experience what only humans can, and dying for our human frailties.

When we feel tired of praying and believing in prayer, guilt tries to set in. We feel like we should be able to do better, fix things, make something work out, not grieve, not feel trauma, not feel bad. Guilt is debilitating and useless, and comes from the influence of the devil. If we are ever guilty of anything at all, there is always the answer of accepting a washing that makes us whiter than snow, through what Jesus did.

There is no level of black guilt that cannot be covered by Jesus' sacrifice for us. All we need to do is ask to realize what is already there for us. Feeling overcome and tired, and not feeling like praying anymore is nothing to feel guilty about. It is human. God knows that we are human. He created us.

After we have accepted how we feel, and have called upon the Holy Spirit to pray for us (see You Are Here: Tired Of Praying & Weary) , we should as devoted, growing Christians, desire to get our prayer life back on track. Sometimes it helps to change up how we pray, the words and scriptures that we use, the times of day, the subjects, etc. At the same time, we should continue to thank God for specific things that we have asked for. Don't keep asking, begging and pleading with God for the same thing. You ask him once and you have it. You ask according to his will and it is done. Plain and simple. I John 5:14-15 says If we ask anything according to his will, we know we have the petitions that we desire of him.

Sometimes it helps to change up how we pray, the words and scriptures that we use, the times of day, the subjects, etc.

The next step is to crush the fear that things will not work out, that nothing will ever change, that we will never be happy. When the desire to beg and plead for that same thing tries to rule you again, stop the thought and thank God for the answer. Thank him that it has been done, according to his will. Our faith in his will is what puts us in a position to receive his answers to our prayers.

Now move on and petition or ask God for the next thing, leaving it at the Cross. From then on, thank him for it until you recognize an answer,