Striving or abiding?

As humans, we like control. Seeking control keeps us feeling like we’re on top. Large and in charge. Nothing wrong with being a leader—the world can use them, particularly those with moral fiber and who seek after God’s heart. But often we struggle and strive to control things that are not ours. Namely, our own lives. Controlling our lives too tightly can make us lose control.

Being godly does not require striving or to be controlling. Organization and orderliness notwithstanding, to be controlling means you have an excessive need to be the boss. There are things out of our control that can only be dealt with by God. One of those things is our sanctification.

In John 4:14, Jesus says, “… whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

God wants our cups to be filled with the water of His will and design. This is something we don’t need to strive after. Jesus died that we should be free of stressful striving. We only need to trust and abide in Him and be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

We don’t have to strive to be good before God. He only asks that we abide in the source of the river of living water—the fountain and the one true source of grace and mercy, which is His love. Your cups will then be filled even to overflowing as you are watered from the fountain. No stress or striving… just abiding.

It can be a lifetime process to let go of our controlling desires. It begins on our knees to confess and be still before a gracious and loving God, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.

A new creature

We all  may struggle at times in the flesh. Whether by word or deed, our choices are not always fruitful. Don’t let Satan get the victory for we belong to God now, and it is by his strength that we can overcome our own fleshly weaknesses. The first step begins with turning over our struggles to the only wise God and Savior, our heavenly father, and allow the Holy Spirit to work within us.

This time of year brings many to make New Year’s resolutions which not long afterward come to nothing but empty words. People want to make a change or turn over a new leaf; however, what they really need is to turn over a new heart.

For the Christian, making a change is sometimes gradual and, like Apostle Paul, we need to remember that it’s a destination. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:14 ), and “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 ).

Real change comes only from the Holy Spirit working to change us. Leaning on the spirit to guide and deliver us from sin and evil is a sure thing we can depend on. Change hurts because we are sometimes stubborn and afraid to move out of our comfort zone. Let’s continue to press on—not for ourselves—but to honor the Lord in word and in deed, renewing our minds to seek His will in all things that he may be glorified.

What kind of faith do you have?

To what do you ascribe your faith? Most would say they have faith in things that make them secure. The Hebrew word for faithfulness literally means “firmness”; figuratively, it means “security” and “fidelity” is the moral definition.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:3, Apostle Paul appeals to the believers and reminds them that “The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (NAS). Faithfulness is an essential part of who God is (Psalm 89:8; Hebrews 13:8) and it is multi-faceted. He demonstrates this to us in several ways. Through his faithfulness, God not only protects us from evil, he sets limits on our temptations, forgives our sins, and sanctifies us.

While God has faithfulness covered, our faith in him has different facets as well. There are different ways to ascribe our faith to God:  Faith as belief, faith as commitment, faith in our waiting on God, and faith in him as our refuge.

God’s faithfulness is the pivot upon which turns his whole purpose for humanity. God calls and then through his goodness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4; 1 John 1:9). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The better we truly know God, the more we will want to trust, imitate, and rely on him. We cannot be faithful to our Lord without a total commitment to him as the most important thing in our lives. By having the right kind of faith, it will produce righteousness in us in contrast to pagan faith in one’s self, which leads to unrighteousness.

God’s faithfulness is the pivot upon which turns his whole purpose for humanity. God calls and then through his goodness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4; 1 John 1:9). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The better we truly know God, the more we will want to trust, imitate, and rely on him. We cannot be faithful to our Lord without a total commitment to him as the most important thing in our lives. By having the right kind of faith, it will produce righteousness in us in contrast to pagan faith in one’s self, which leads to unrighteousness.

Life’s not fair–so what else is new?

 

Because of the cross, who of the saved can demand any other fairness in light of the unfair exchange of life that granted you an eternal one?

Looking to the world to assure your worth, value or joy? Looking to man to assuage your distress? There’s unfairness everywhere. No one has cornered the market on that. The deeper the pain, the more there is to give over to the ONE source of hope and joy. It’s Jesus.

Jesus is the only hope for mankind. Remaining in the struggle as a way to blame everyone else for your lot in life is a waste of precious time. Why not cling to Jesus? He’s overcome the world.

New Year… new self

Happy New Year!

Do you live in the past? Do you dwell on former mistakes or missteps? It’s easy to do. Though, God’s word tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV), “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

In life, we may struggle at times in the flesh. Whether by word or deed, our choices are not always fruitful. Don’t let Satan get the victory for we belong to God now, and it is by his strength that we can overcome our own fleshly weaknesses. The first step begins with turning over our struggles to the only wise God and Savior, our heavenly father, and allow the Holy Spirit to work within us.

This time of year brings many to make New Year’s resolutions which not long afterward come to nothing but empty words. People want to make a change or turn over a new leaf; however, what they really need is to turn over a new heart.

Making a change is not always easy and can come gradually. In he words of the Apostle Paul, we need to remember that it’s a destination. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:14 KJV), and “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 KVJ).

Only the Holy Spirit can affect a real change. Leaning on the spirit to guide and deliver us from sin and evil is a something we can depend on. Change can chafe because we resist moving out of our comfort zone. Let’s continue to press on—not for ourselves—but to honor the Lord in word and in deed, renewing our minds to seeking His will in all things that he may be glorified.