Feb 17, 2013

Deliberate Faith Actions: Let's Stop Hanging Ourselves!

Deliberate Faith Actions: Let's Stop Hanging Ourselves!

Romans 12 (KJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Are you playing Hangman with your life? Are you trying to guess the letters so you can solve the puzzle on your own? Are you realizing that the choices you are making are more misses then hits? My friend, let me inform you, you are just hanging yourself even more. You are choking the very life out of yourself and it's no fault but your own!

God speaks to us while we are in our dirt. He does this in different ways. He may send people into our lives at various times who may plant spiritual seeds in our lives. There might be situations or problems that may come about that will bring you closer to Him. All in all, God desires an intimate relationship with everyone no matter who you are or what you have done. God is merciful and kind. He loves us.

After we have accepted Christ Jesus as our personal savior we receive the gift of eternal life in heaven. Unfortunately, many professed believers stop there. After the act of baptism, many believe "That's it! I made it in!".   But the work doesn't stop there.  When you have confessed Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are also accepting the responsibility to learn more of the teachings of Christ and to begin living a Christian lifestyle. God is asking us to make a lifetime commitment to Him. That after our worship services, pomp & circumstance, we realize that our relationship with the Creator is a living reality, an everyday existence that we must work toward making more solidified than the day before.

Change does not happen overnight. God instructs us to be "transformed", to "renew our minds". Spiritual transformation and renewal is not something that magically occurs once you are dipped into the water or take your first communion. These are "deliberate faith actions" that believers must take on a daily basis. What God is saying is that He has created us human beings who have the ability to make choices. If we are truly believers in God, we should have faith enough in God to believe that we have the power to make the right choices that are not only wise, but that will also glorify who He is in our lives to the rest of the world.

What is a "deliberate faith action"?

To deliberate or be deliberate means that you are carefully reflecting, considering your actions and that you are consulting with a Reliable Source. As a Christian, our Reliable Source is God and the way we "consult" with Him is through humble prayer and study of His Holy Word. How can we make decisions as believers without asking The One whom we believe guides our footsteps? How can you get to an unknown destination, without first asking for directions or studying a map? Yes you could just jump into a vehicle and go for what you know, but in doing so you may encounter situations that could delay or put a halt on your journey that would have been easily avoidable if you had first asked or consulted with the Reliable Source.
In Hebrews 11:1 (KJV), the bible tells us that "
faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".  This means faith is visualizing in your mind or believing that a factual occurrence has happened before your physical senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, & taste) can acknowledge it as a reality. In other words, believers have the power to see future outcomes right now! Now we may not know the how, the why, the where, or the when these outcomes may happen, but we believe they WILL happen because we have the faith to even visualize it.

Action is taking conscious energy to achieve a expected outcome. James 2:20 (KJV), tells us that "...faith without works is dead". It is something to have faith in God, but to never do anything with your faith, makes your faith useless. There are many reasons why believers never apply action to their faith. Maybe it could be fear, regrets, or maybe we are holding onto something in our pasts but it seems that at this point many Christians come to a "hangman" moment in their lives.

Action requires us as Christians to really examine ourselves and our commitment to God. When we know that He us calling us to a higher level, sometimes stepping out of our comfort zones can be the biggest obstacle of our lives. Yes, we have prayed, we have studied, we even have deep faith in our Redeemer... but we still have the fear that if we take some type of action... we still might fail.

If you are having fear or anxiety about changing for the better or acting upon your faith in a positive manner, first know that fear is not an attribute of the spirit of God.

"Well how will I know I am making the right choice? Isn't that pit in my gut a sign that I shouldn't change?"

2 Timothy 1:7 lets us know, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Well from this verse alone we can examine if we have made the correct choices.

Are your decisions:
  • Making you feel empowered personally?
  • Giving power to others to influence you negatively? 
  • Causing you to feel paranoid or distrusting of people around you?
  • Showing love and respect toward God, your family, your friends, & yourself?
  • Allowing you to sleep well at night?

Many times once we have examined ourselves and/or the choices we have made, we realize we have to go back and deliberate with God in prayer. We may have to go back and ask for forgiveness because we've hurt others or we may have reverted back to habits that are not pleasing to God. We may have realized that we have made choices based on our personal desires and not to glorify God. It's a good thing to acknowledge when we are wrong. God did not save us because we were already perfect; He gave us the gift of salvation through Christ because He IS merciful.

God has created us to be creative people for the purpose to glorify Him. Everyone has a purpose. It is up to each and every one of us to discover that purpose. No matter how small or big we think it is; what ever it is, it is purposeful, needed, and it is meant to help others.

God is calling you to come out of whatever mess you are in and no longer fear! Leave your past behind and walk into your destiny!  There is no use in trying to hold on and carry the weight of the past on your shoulders. Once you except Christ, begin to throw away those burdens, addictions, bad habits, and sins that for so long have kept you in a repeating loop of despair. It's time to press play & move forward!

Don't except anymore excuses from yourself. Cut yourself down from that "hangman" rope and let yourself be free!

Feb 16, 2013

The Power to Forgive is God-Given

Sometimes you have to be the bigger person and forgive the people who have done you wrong. Even when they are convinced they are doing the right thing with no regards as to how you feel, just forgive them and move on. 

No one has to prove anything to anyone. On that day when we must all account for our individual lives, God is not going to ask you about your opinions or what you thought about he, she, them, and what they were doing. God is going to ask you what you have done to advance the heavenly kingdom.

Life is too short to hold onto grudges and try to get back at others. We shouldn't allow gossip, jealousy, envy, or greed to consume us. We are more than conquerors! No one can get in the way of your individual prosperity if we decide to prosper by the means of prayer, fasting, and an active commitment to advance in whatever you decide to do.

The enemy's devices can only be indestructible if we perceive them to be insurmountable. 

We can do ALL things through the power of Christ within us! Nothing is too hard for God. So that means we have the power to forgive.