Friday, 27 July 2018

Tired On The Inside

Proverbs 4:2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.  
      
      Job 10:1 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
      My mother has an expression to explain her tiredness. She says, "I am tired on the inside." That normally means she has to go lay down and have a rested sleep and regain her energy for the day. There is a tiredness on the inside that cannot be dismissed with a short nap. It is the weariness of the soul that occurs when someone has tried everything but God to gain peace and stability but finds none. They have become tired of an empty life with no blessed future on the horizon.
      How many people are tired on the inside and like Job says of his soul - he can no longer keep the tired bitterness from coming forth? Many people are good at hiding the emotional war going on inside their soul, and with great showmanship are able to display a strong front to the world. This pretense of face-saving can only go so far before the walls will eventually come tumbling down, so to speak. 
      King Saul had a hard time hiding his jealous heart when it came to David and God's favor on David's life. Saul was so weary and tired on the inside that he needed David to play music to help quell the spirits that oppressed and tormented him. 1 Sam. 16:23 And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away. Even though it was David who helped Saul gain peace - Saul, with hatred in his heart, still attacked David ruthlessly. 1 Sam. 19:10 Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but he escaped from Saul's presence and the spear drove into the wall. David escaped quickly that night. 
      Unless the Lord is your peace, the little peace you have will be temporary and fleeting. Mark 4:25 For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
      Many workers in ministry give testimony to their tiredness on the inside. This sometimes happens when the ministry itself becomes a god and Jesus is left to become a subject of religious conversation and an exercise in weak apologetics. Having lost the real conviction of Jesus, these workers of religion become empty of heart. Jesus is relegated to a side-note preached, rather than the Savior who lives. Phil. 1:15 To be sure, some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of good will. 
      God within our being gives life and will quench the thirst that weariness produces. John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.''' If you have become tired on the inside, then it is time to allow the spirit of God that lives within you to fill your soul with life and assurance. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with the first love you had when Jesus was everything to you.  Prov. 4:2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 
      Jesus himself asks us to return to our first love for Him. This will heal the tiredness inside. Jesus is Lord and not just a conversation piece. May we all find and keep Him in our hearts. Amen.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Everyone's A Critic

Proverbs 29:1 If you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover.

      Norman Vincent Peal said, "The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism."
      False praise can get us into trouble and can trip us up into believing our own self-made doctrines brought forth from the gospel of self. Gal. 6:8a For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. Submitting and listening through discernment, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit will guard and keep us from falling into the traps of false and unrealistic grandeur caused by the hype of the crowd. Gal. 6:8b But he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
      Jesus understood what motivated man. The human condition judges from a platform of trends and the nuances of the majority, even when the majority is wrong. John 2:23 In Jerusalem during Passover many people put their faith in Jesus, because they saw him work miracles. 24 But Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and he would not let them have power over him. 
      The crowd is with you one moment, then with a Twitter storm of slander will criticize you the next. The standard the crowd uses for non-constructive criticism of others is fear based and driven by insecurity of their own self-worth. It is hard to accept others when you cannot accept yourself. Sin consciousness will cause this behavior in people. 
      Fickleness and populous opinions will make critics out of everyone. We actually have the audacity to sit back and judge, criticize, and belittle God for what goes wrong in the world, but not take the time to thank Him when anything goes right. Everyone is a critic, but not everyone can build with the critical truth of the Spirit of God. 1 Cor. 2:14 Now the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can't know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
      When God corrects, convicts, or is critical of our behavior toward Him or someone else, He directs us through love and helps us overcome that area of our lives needing work and change. Isa. 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." 
      God's direction will be led by the truth of His word. His will for us is victory over the stubbornness of our flesh so that we eventually come under God's authority and will through Jesus Christ. God wants us to be healed in life, not crushed because of disobedience. Prov. 29:1 If you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover.
      If we are going to be critics in life, then let the criticism be on our own behavior so that we can line up with the will and call of God. As is often said, "There are three fingers pointing back at ourselves when we point at others." 
      Perhaps the three points should become three questions we ask ourselves before we speak out with some ungodly criticism. Is what I am about to do pleasing to the Lord? Am I going to inspire faith with what I am about to say? Is what I am about to act out going to be a blessing? Maybe you have your own three questions to help you become what God wants you to be. Then ask them and respond positively in Jesus name. Amen!

Friday, 13 July 2018

What's The Harm?

Proverbs 10:10 He who winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will be ruined.

      "What's the harm?" These are seductive words. How many people are sitting in jail or have dealt with unwanted pregnancies after submitting to that little phrase? How many bankrupt people brought on through scams are there, or addicted addicts craving the day away because they stepped into the quick-sanded affect listening to "What's the harm?" Prov. 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
      The enemy of our soul and those who are out to influence us into breaking God's laws have a smarmy way of stating the question - "What's the harm?" This is said while pretending to be genuinely attentive to our needs. "Go ahead, have another drink - what's the harm? You only go around once. Hab. 2:15 Woe to the one who supplies his neighbor with a drink! You are forcing your bottle on him, making him drunk so you can see them naked. Come on, try it, what can it hurt?" 
      Temptations will come in all forms and from all types of people in our life - even our closest friends and family members. It is up to us individually not to submit to the words that detract us from what God has put in our hearts to be and to do. We belong to God through Jesus and we were created for His purpose and not for the will of others. 
      Our resolve to walk with God can be influenced in the wrong way when we are not attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we are not listening to the words of life God is saying to our soul from our inner being, we can end up resisting the Holy Spirit and therefore vexing Him. Gal. 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. 
      We want to be sensitive and obedient to what God leads us into because it is birthed of God. We never want to be the one tempting someone into sin so that we can have our own way as this is displeasing to the Lord Jesus. Luke 17:1 One day Jesus said to his disciples, "There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting!
      So what's the harm you say? The harm is that causing someone to sin through manipulation or stealthy tricks that cause a person to fall after Jesus Christ has sacrificed Himself for their sins is a fool's game. God will take it personally. The Lord knows the intent of every heart, whether the intention is good or evil. Jer. 17:9 The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? God knows us and He knows our motivations clearly.
      Keeping our lives clean through faith in Christ and walking without deceit in our hearts will help us be strong in righteousness when we are tempted. When someone says, "What's the harm?" we will be able to tell them on the spot what the harm is. There will be no fumbling of words or difficulty in explaining the hurts, harms, and casualties that will come by disobeying what God has said "No" to. Joel Osteen said, "Don't put a question mark where God has put a period." Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. 
      We have been saved and delivered from death through the cross of Jesus Christ. Let us keep going forward in the joy of the Lord's incredible life-giving gift. Stay blessed and stay in the righteousness of our God because that is where real life and happiness is. Psalm 32:1 Happy are those whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Not Negotiable

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.

      I have been asked many times how I was able to lose over 80 pounds over the last four years and keep it off. Also, how I was able to come back from the effects of a stroke in that same amount of time. I have explained on numerous occasions that I had to developer a 'Not Negotiable' attitude within the lifestyle changes I made. My decisions to stick to what God had been teaching me during my time of healing and recovery is the difference maker in my life. Isa. 30:21a Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go."
      The hard choices I had to make - exercising every day, and eat only real food - had to become a not negotiable stubbornness within my heart. I can eat whatever junk I want, but choose not to. I can lay around like a lump on a log, but I choose not to. I can justify and rationalize laziness in all areas of my life, but I say "No, this is not negotiable. I will live and thank God for the second chance He gave me." I heard a character in a movie say, "Get busy with living or get busy with dying." I decided this was good advice and I decided to get busy with living. God willing, I will keep choosing life.
      One of the reasons people slowly fall back into old bad habits is because they have let their guard down and negotiated their will away for the cravings being dangled before them. Compromising becomes a way of getting through the maze of countless decisions everyone has to make on a daily basis. Eventually, the body dictates what it wants and negotiates its' will away by reasoning that it is easier to just give up and lay down. This is a lie of the enemy of our soul. We can do better than submit to mediocrity.
      When Satan was tempting Jesus in the desert, he tried to get Jesus to negotiate outside of God's plan for the redemption of man. Matt. 4:8 Again, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. God's plan was a mystery hidden in Christ. Satan's plan was pathetically obvious and short-sighted, as usual. 
      Even though the devil recognized Jesus as the son of God, he did not really believe Jesus could win the redemption of man from the position of a human being. Satan was used to seeing man compromise and see them negotiate their will down to a piece of bread or anything prohibiting a life-threatening situation. Job 2:4 Satan replied to the LORD, “Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life." The devil was not accustomed to having someone step forward with a not negotiable heart. Jesus was that man and the one to demonstrate to us how to overcome the temptations of the evil one - through God's word and our not negotiable will.
      When we come to the realization that we have been paid for in full through the blood of Jesus, by the Lord of lords and the King of kings, we too will develop a heart attitude of a not negotiable standard. When we believe we can overcome the cheap and disingenuous negotiations of the devil, we will not fear raising our banner Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord is my banner. Ex. 17:15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).
       When we finally decide to wave the banner of our God high and forcefully over our heads, we will become men and women of God who will not negotiate with sin. When life offers us cheap short-cuts around the will of God we will bravely say, "No! This is not negotiable." I admonish each one of you who reads this to give it an honest try. Shout from your heart, "I have been paid for in full by Jesus my Lord and my will is not negotiable!" Blessings Saints.