RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Repentance

Stand Guard – But they didn’t!

Posted on

 imgres

Psalm 25 is a plea for the Lord to guard, protect, forgive, and a statement of repentance.

As a child I went to others when I was being hurt by someone I trusted with my very life. I begged for protection and asked that this person stand guard over me so I would not be harmed any more.

Because of our human nature we do not always understand the voice of our children. I asked to be protected, that this person intercede because I was too small to defend myself, yet I was not heard.

I asked this person to stand guard, to be my knight and to do the battle that I could not. My life was in the hands of others. That’s the way God intended when He placed me within my family. Each parent was to be as a sentry at the gate of my heart. To love me as their child and to make sure I was safe from harm.

As a parent, each has the responsibility given to them by God to raise a child with fear (reverance) of God Almighty. To teach them to love God as well as others, and to be an example of what His love is.

Because they each had chosen a different path than the one that Christ had lain out, this child was not taught what Christ’s love is. This child was not taught that to forgive means that we leave the punishment, the judgment, and the retributions up to the Almighty.

To ask a person that does not know Christ what it means to repent would be like asking someone to explain a passage in the Bible that has never read the Bible.

To repent, is telling the Lord that I will turn away from whatever sin I have just told Him about, that I have confessed to God. To repent, does not mean I will never do that again. It means that I will change my thinking or actions. It means that I realize that those thoughts or actions are not what Christ wishes me to have or to do, so, I will do my humanly best to change. I will do my humanly best to be more like, act more like, think more like Christ does.

With the past filled with abusive acts I must forgive those who inflicted the wounds. I must try to see them as Christ see’s them. That is not easy nor is it possible if I have a heart that is filled with bitterness and hurt.

As long as the wounds from the past are still oozing their poisons we are not able to think about forgiving and as long as we are not able to forgive how then can we repent?

How can I think as Christ does if my heart is filled with anger, frustration, and hatred instead of love? How can I change my present pattern of thinking and acting if I don’t trust even God who created me to love, to love Him as well as others?

In Psalm 25 David is pleading with the Lord to show him how. He is telling the Lord that he is unable to do these things without the Lord’s help and guidance. He’s telling God he wants to change, he wants to repent and asking God to forgive him of his ungodly ways.

How can I ask God to help me if I am mad as the dicken’s at God? If I’m mad at my parent’s, at myself, at the world and at God, whom I feel has forsaken me, I can’t very well forgive my parents, myself, the world, or even God.

When we are mad we are not in love. And when we do not love we cannot repent, for God is love. Remember, repenting is to be more like Christ. How then will I even want to be more like Christ if I blame Him for the abuse I suffered from humans?

Humans are not perfect. They are going to fail a little, a lot, miserably. God doesn’t! Because we are conditioned by external things we look to humans and expect all of our needs to be met. Humans can not do that. God can!

For Christ to be a viable part of our heart we must remove those things that crowd Him out; the anger, the bitterness, those thoughts of “they don’t deserve”. All those areas that prevent us from experiencing love must go.

As David cried out unto the Lord, “To You, O’Lord, I lift up my soul; in You I trust, O’ my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me…” (v1-2) so must we put our trust in the Lord. So must we give Him our soul.

For it is our soul and spirit that abuse has hurt. And as long as our heart is filled with hurt, guilt, shame, fear, hatred, and bitterness, our enemies are still triumphet! And it is that triumph over us that is our shame.

How then do we become triumphet over the wounds from our past? How do we defeat the enemy that holds us in bondage?

We do as David and many, many others – we cry out to the Lord. God loves each of us. It is His perfect love that delivers us. It is He who created us to love and be loved that we can reach out to and be heard.

“Teach me Thy way, O’ Lord.”

Psalm 86:11

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Advertisements

Holding onto the Shield of Faith

Posted on

images[3]

In Ephesians 6 God tells us to put on the Full Armor of God. He has given us the tools to fight the enemy of God.  One of those tools is the Shield of Faith.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Eph. 6:16

The Lord, through His prophets, have been warning us that we are facing terrible times ahead. We shake our head in wonder now at the things that are taking place in our society and the world and wonder what is going to happen. Do we focus on the senseless slaughtering from ISIS, the attempt to destroy the sanctity of marriage through the homosexual agenda, the slaughtering of millions of unborn children, attacks against Israel, or Ebola? Although these are important do they strike a note of fear in us? Do they consume our thoughts?

Our focus is to be on God! He is calling us to repentance. He is wanting to hear our heartfelt prayers and our praise and worship. We are not to focus on the world or the events that are happening in the world. We are to look beyond and above the world to eternity. Our eyes are to be on Him not the events of the world that can leave us shaking in fear.

We are to cling to God through His Son Jesus Christ through our faith in Him. We pray without ceasing and in addition to the other pieces of armor we take hold of that piece, the shield of faith, and hold fast!

Gary D. Kinnaman, in his book, “Winning your Spiritual Battles” discusses the various pieces of God’s full armor and gives an account of what each Biblically means and how we can be protected. Mr. Kinnaman states that in the New Testament there are four different shades of meaning of faith.

1. Saving Faith – We trust that Christ saves us from sin and the consequences thereof. Ro. 10:9, Ro. 4:3

2. Faith to Receive – Faith in our daily trust in God for His provision and help.Heb. 11:6

3. Power faith, gift faith, miracle working faith. – Faith in a general sense – faith to be saved and faith to walk with God. 1Cor.12:9, Gal. 5:22-23, 1Cor. 12:7-11,  1Cor.12-14, Heb. 11:6

4. Enduring faith – Faith that does not quit. It is the persistent, resilient belief that God’s Word is true, over and against every problem, wrong thought, or demon. Endurance is active faith, deflecting persistently the fiery attacks of Satan.

So how do we endure? One day at a time! In 1Peter 1:3-9, “Through faith {you} are shielded by God’s power.” (verse 5) “The shield of faith is God’s power and presence protecting and energizing us in spiritual warfare.”

“Faith in the sense of perseverance shields all the other armor. Truth must persevere to prevail. Righteousness must persevere to prevail. We must persevere in peace-making in order to prevail.”

In these troubling times God is calling us to persevere. We must have enduring faith if we are going to “run the race” and receive the prize. Grab your shield of faith and hang on tight, it’s only going to get worse.

“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Rev. 2:10

A prayer for Holding up the Shield of Faith:

“Heavenly Father and mighty God, shield me with Your power as I trust in You. The flaming arrows of the enemy have burned my soul. Heal the pain inside, and give me the strength to resist.

I am committed to enduring to the end of this trial, regardless of how long it lasts. I am not a victim. I am a victor, more than a conqueror through Christ.

My faith, Lord, is in You. I renounce my own abilities, and I confess that unless Jesus builds up my life, everything I do is in vain. Only when I trust You completely am I completely protected from the fiery darts of the wicked one. I hide myself in the fire of Your presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

41K3383MY0L._AA160_[1]Winning Your Spiritual Battles – How to put on the full armor of God. Gary D. Kinnaman

Available at http://www.amazon.com

http://www.elahministries.comhttp://www.cybersupportgroup.org

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries.comelah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

The Great Sculptor

 imagesCA2934J9

As I counsel hurting believers week after week, pain is often the common denominator in their lives. Why does God allow pain and suffering in the life of the believer? In reading, “When God Weeps” by Joni Eareckson Tada, I found several reasons why we go through suffering. I would like to share some of her thoughts with you.

Hebrews 5:7-9 states, “…although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what he suffered and made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” This is good news for the suffering soul. The Son of God did not exempt Himself from affliction but lived through it and learned from it. Once the process is complete, He became the source of help for all who obey Him.  Should we suffer? “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” (Matt. 10:24-25)

Suffering fashions us into a “holy and blameless” image of Christ. (Eph.1:4) much like a figure sculpted out of marble. An artist in Florence, Italy once asked the great Renaissance sculptor Michaelangelo what he saw when he approached a huge block of marble. “I see a beautiful form trapped inside.” he replied. “and it is simply my responsibility to take my mallet and chisel and chip away until the figure is set free.”

The beautiful form, the visible expression of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is inside Christians like a possibility, a potential. The idea is there, and God uses affliction like the hammer and chisel, chipping and cutting to reveal His image in you. God chooses as His model His Son, Jesus Christ. “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” (Rom. 8:29)

God continues to chisel, chipping more away. “To keep me from becoming conceited…there was given me a thorn in the flesh.” (2Cor.12:7)  God works deeper, carefully fashioning every hidden crevice, even our temperament: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who…made Himself…nothing He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8)

God uses suffering to purge sin from our lives, strengthen our commitment to Him, force us to depend on grace, bind us together with other believers, produce discernment, foster sensitivity, discipline our minds, spend our time wisely, stretch our hope, cause us to know Christ better, make us long for truth, lead us to repentance of sin, teach us to give thanks in times of sorrow, increase faith, and strengthen character. It’s a beautiful image!

And it’s an image like no other. When Christ is unveiled in me, it’s a unique sculpture. It’s what patience, self-control, endurance, gentleness, kindness, as well as a healthy hatred of sin, looks like on “Joni.” That’s different than the way sensitivity and self-control look on my husband or anyone else. My particular affliction is divinely hand-tailored expressly for me.

Yielding to the chisel is “learning obedience from what we suffer.” Our circumstances don’t change; we change. The “who” of who we are is transformed, like a form unfolding, into His likeness with ever-increasing glory. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2Cor. 3:16-18)

I cannot afford to focus on the hammer and chisel. I cannot look around me and bemoan what God is chipping away. Turn your focus on Him, trusting that He will never cut or gouge too deeply. God is not a casual or capricious Sculptor. “For I know the plans I have for you, ‘ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

James Eubanks – Grace Ministries

Angels by Grace -June 1998

~~~~~

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.