Returning to Holiness ~ God’s Word

How did yesterday go?  Did God convict your heart?  Did it make you squirm?  Good!  Me too!  Squirming helps us to move forward on this journey!

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For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4 KJV

It is God’s will that every believer keep God’s Words in their mind all the time.  We have to make the daily decision to learn God’s Word ~ it just doesn’t miraculously appear.  In my talks with other believers, this seems to be hardest to do… to spend the time with God in study and prayer.  Yet, it’s one of the most important!

Honestly answer all the questions.  Don’t answer with how you think you are “supposed” to answer!  We can only be filled with God if we are willing to empty ourselves and allow Him to fill us up.  Be willing, be honest, be thorough in your confession.

Questions for Reflection

Is it your habit to seriously read and study God’s Word daily?  Do you meditate on key verses?  Does God’s Word have a big or little place in your thought during your day? Have you failed to write down key verses that speak to your needs in your life?

You cannot love God and not love His Word.  When you neglect God’s Word you are, in a sense, neglecting God.   How can we know His will for us if we don’t know His Word?  How can we make decisions if we don’t know His Word?  We can’t!

Confess the sin of not spending time in God’s Word.  Now make a personal commitment to embrace time in God’s Word.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”  James 4:3 KJV

How many times have you had a list of requests for God?  We are always giving Him our lists of wants, of needs but do we think about what we can give to Him?  We can become so selfish!

Questions for Reflection

Are you guilty of seeking God for what He can do for you than out of genuine love for Him? Do you sense that your thoughts are mixed with selfish desires rather than seeking God’s glory?  Are you aware of the desire to be noted and praised by people rather than seeking God’s pleasure? Are you unwilling to pray God’s will when it doesn’t fit your plan? Do your love and worship decrease when things don’t go according to your plan? When you are disappointed, do you “cool off” toward God?

If God convicted your heart of selfish, impure or shallow motives to spending time with Him, confess these sins.  Ask God to give you a deep purity and purpose for His kingdom.

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”  Matthew 15:8-9 KJV

God does not want insincere worship or empty ritual!  The whole essence of worship is to bow before God in total reverence and surrender.  We forget that the extreme holiness and majesty of our Creator.  We compromise with sin but we still want God to honor our prayers.

Questions for Reflection

In coming to worship, is your main purpose to bow before God in total repentance and obedience?  Is your mind filled with holy fear, reverence and awe? Do you mostly seek His benefits?  Do you set aside a day for God or just go to church on Sunday? Have you taken the Lord’s Supper without deep examination and personal repentance?  Do you often sing the worship hymns without deeply reflecting on the words? Do you listen to sermons without much thought of immediate to God’s instructions?

Insincere, ritualistic worship is a serious sin.  Do you need to confess a shallow reverence and worship of God?  Confess your sins and trust God to grant you the spirit of genuine reverence and worship.

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:3 KJV

The pursuit of holiness should be the predominant aim of every Christian.  It is the pursuit of a holy mindset.  When we are spirit-filled there is a burning thirst to experience Christ’s holiness in every area of your being.

Questions for Reflection

Is your mind filled with thoughts of how to experience greater holiness?  Do you often say “I wish I was more like Jesus” and then do nothing or very little to pursue spiritual cleansing?  Do you make consistent time to allow God to search every area of your life?  Do you regularly read comprehensive lists of Scriptures designed to thoroughly examine your heart?

In Matthew 6:33 KJV, Jesus said we are to, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”   Confess to God and ask Him to grant you a heart that hungers for Him, for a holiness that is genuine.  God will answer this prayer every time!

Personal Reflection

What specific Scripture has God brought specific conviction?  What thoughts have God told you to change? Which do you need to address first?

How do these sins affect your relationship with God and others?

Has God given you specific Scripture promises to help you overcome each sin?  What are they?

In what specific ways are you prepared to change your thoughts?  What thoughts will be the replacements?

 

 

Weeding

Today, during my quiet time, God told me “Come unto Me.  There is the thing you must do and you will go no further in your walk until you do, that is why you walk away after prayer feeling alone.” (My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Roberts)  He then went on to say my foundations must be laid on Jesus and I must give God everything that belongs to Him.   I must stop my sinning and obey Him and He will cancel out the disasters against me; follow His word.  I have to admit I was a little frightened and a little confused.  What is God talking about?  What is He trying to tell me?

As I was going through my faith feed on Facebook this morning, Stormie Omartian’s post made my heart race, ““Lord, I want to care for my body, my mind and my heart. Today, enable me to ______.” Your body—including your heart and mind—is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because God lives IN you, caring for yourself is something you must do as much for Him as for yourself.  Today, ask God to be in charge of these areas. Whether it’s asking for help to eat right, or asking God to give you positive thoughts or a heart filled with love, lift it up to Him.”  And then this,

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God was telling me to take care of my health!  I haven’t been talking care of myself very well.  Even after having a full physical and being told what I should and should not be doing.  I haven’t stopped smoking, I haven’t been eating right.  I haven’t been exercising.  This wasn’t the first time that God has touched me about this, but never was it as  forceful as today.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Then I remembered a conversation I had with my bestie, over at Restoring to Health, she said, “I really don’t mind pulling weeds.  It’s very therapeutic, and God showed me something about weeds and sins once.  I was in my beg garden, pulling weeds, and God said “See those weeds you are pulling? They are just like the sins in your life.  Some of the weeds come our easily, they are sins that pop in and out of your life.  The weeds whose roots go deep, are the deep sins in your life.  The ones that are with you constantly, choking out what I’m trying to do for you.  Will you let me weed the gardens of your heart?” so that’s why I love to garden and pull weeds.”

I’ve been dealing with some issues (sins) that are deep within, issues that I haven’t really confronted which have been holding me back from taking this step.  God is telling me to confront them, deal with them and obey Him.  It’s always, “I’ll do better tomorrow.” Then as the night comes, there really hasn’t been a change.  Yes, I’ve thought about it but I haven’t taken any action.

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”  Acts 17:30

Father, help me to be a person who takes care of herself.  Help me to make wise decisions and to be a good steward of myself, the “temple” You have given me.  Help me to stop abusing my body, but to care for it as You would want me to.   Father, I want to be in balance. Your word says, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin (or food), which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” Romans 6:14-16   Father, I choose to obey You. Please weed the garden of my heart.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

 

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Rebellion

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I was once a practicing wiccan ~ yep the whole thing… tarot cards, spells, numerology.  I used the cards for what I thought was “inner work”, I prayed before I ran the cards, I prayed for inner direction.  I believed that the cards gave me guidance, leading me closer to Him.

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour I no longer practiced but I didn’t get rid of my supplies; the many books, the decks of cards.  I thought about it, but I thought “I spent so much money on this stuff, I hate to throw it away.”

During quiet times there have been numerous times that God has told me to get rid of them… yet I rebelled.  I said to myself “They aren’t any big deal, I’m not using them.”

God had other ideas about these things.  

Because I wouldn’t do it on my own, He brought another into the situation to warn me of the danger.  The warning was not direct, the warning was strong, the warning was scary.  At first I had no idea what she was talking about… something I have not brought to the light?  My heart was racing, my mind in chaos.  I was scared, more scared than I’ve ever been in my life.  I tried to pray, yet could not.  The fear was too great!

Another was brought in, the praying began… as they prayed “dispose of” came up….immediately the floodgates of my mind and heart opened wide – the supplies!  I must get rid of the supplies!

I told them I knew what God was talking about!  I told them about the books, the cards.  One began to feel the spirit warm her entire body and it to tingle.  The Holy Spirit was surrounding us!

After praying I immediately ran to them and threw them all in a bag rushing downstairs to the trash, taking the trash to the curb for the morning pick up.

Father God, I confess to you my sins of occult activity and rebellion.  Lord, I confess to you that I have aligned myself with a lying spirit by not being honest and rebelling against Your commands.  Forgive me, Father!  You have not given me a spirit of rebellion but of power and love and a sound mind.  I will no longer entertain anything in my home, in my heart, in my mind, that is not of You.  Jesus has delivered me from this evil and I refuse to allow it a place in my life any longer.  Your word says “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)  I cry out to you now, Father, deliver me.  Set me free from anything that keeps me from becoming all You made me to be. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Stormie Omartian says “How you respond to the enemy of your soul determines whether His plan for your life or God’s plan for your life is realized. We cannot afford the luxury of foolishly thinking, “If I don’t acknowledge him, he won’t bother me.”  The enemy has a plan for your life and so does God. God gives you free will and allows you to choose. Whose plan will you choose?
 
I CHOOSE GOD!

Amazing Love

“If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near, yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ if they repent with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to you toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name,”  1 Kings 8:46-48

I’ve spoken about a door that continues to swing open.  A door that slowly closes but hasn’t quite shut.  A door that has just a tiny sliver of space that remains, not completely allowing it to shut.  At one point I thought it was shut when I gave everything up to God so He could do His will in the situation.  In my heart, I truly believed the the door was closed, I have found that God hadn’t locked it yet, the sliver still remained.

I’ve spoken of forgiveness many times.  How hard it is to completely forgive.  How hard it is to forgive the pain.  How hard it is to forgive someone you love for the pain that was caused. 

Yet, this is the purpose of what our Lord did for us… to forgive us our sins. The pain He must have felt, the unbearable pain…He did it all for us!

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”  ~ Isaih 53:5  

If Jesus can do this for me, for us… then I can do this!   Thank you, Jesus!  I can forgive completely just as Jesus forgives me all my sins.  No one is perfect… I for one am not!  Yet Jesus forgave my sins. He cleansed me with His blood!   He saved me and I know that I walk with Him in eternity.  Oh, how exciting that day will be!!

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” ~ Ephesians 2:4-7

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