Thursday, February 3, 2011

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My Will Or God’s Will?

How many of us, before we were born, would put in our order to be born either mentally or physically handicapped, thus making our life on earth even more challenging that it is already? Yet we born again Christians seem to be determined to do that very thing when it comes to our spiritual growth and development. We cause ourselves to be spiritually handicapped, or challenged, when we ignore, or live out our daily lives without regard to the owner’s manual, the Bible, and the power source, the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it ironic that when good things happen in our lives, we are quick to give ourselves the credit for our success? Yet when we find ourselves in a quagmire of chaos and defeat, we question the very existence of God or at the very least, blame Him for the mess we have made out of our lives. It seems as though we are all too willing to blame God, the devil, or others for the ills in our lives, rather than taking responsibility for the consequences of our own poor choices. Aha, now that is the very root of the problem right there! We are told to seek first the Kingdom of God, yet more often we seek the kingdom of “self”. The Lord’s Prayer says “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

The bottom line is whose will do we really seek to apply in our personal lives – our own will, or God’s will? Yes, our life as a Christian is a journey that is supposed to be one that seeks to be ever transformed into the image of our Lord, to become less of our old selves and more like Jesus our Savior. But how can that development take place when we think we can just ignore His will for our lives. He bought and paid the price for our redemption, we are no longer owned by “self”. To live our lives as though we can just pick and choose to accept the parts of His Word that we feel ‘comfortable’ with, is equivalent to trying to walk correctly by cutting off one or both of our legs.

Yes, God does give us free will, but then we better at least be honest enough to accept the consequences brought upon us when we have chosen to apply our own opinions to run our lives instead of God’s opinion, directions and instructions that He has freely given us in His Word. When we choose to follow our own will we elevate our own opinions above His, thus we make our selves gods. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be one of those that He looks at and says that He never knew me and spews, or vomits, me out of His mouth. How can we say that we are truly Christians if we say that we believe in Him, but we do not seek to know and obey His will? For those who have (spiritual) ears, let them hear.

We are to renew our minds by the “washing of the water of His Word,” and study to know His Word that we wont need to be ashamed. A house divided can not stand. Picking and choosing only parts of His Word, or distorting and perverting it in the application thereof, results in a seriously handicapped Christian life that may bring little recognizable glory to God, and definitely adds fuel to the hypocrisy in our lives. When we are not rooted and grounded in His Word, we are easily deceived and the truth can not be fully manifested in us. Instead, we will be tossed to and fro, forever becoming entangled in half truths that limit our ability to stay on the straight and narrow path that the Lord has prepared for us.

Yes, we are flawed humans that will never reach perfection while on earth and will constantly fall short of the mark. That being said, it is no excuse to exalt self and then turn around to God and say, “Where are you Lord, and why did you allow this and that to happen to me?” I repeat, if we don’t heed God’s instruction book for our lives or seek the guidance of His Holy Spirit, we have no one else to blame for the mess in our lives than that very being that we have exalted to the position of god in our lives, namely ‘self”.

Welcome then to the world and consequences of being our own god. “The wages of sin is death.” When we replace God with the little god, self, we choose to follow the wide path of life that leads to death at the worse and a life of self destructiveness at the very least. Since we have elevated ourselves to the ‘god’ place, nothing can really be our own fault. Therefore we can not be held responsible for our own actions. No, instead we are heard to say, “He/she made me do it”, “The devil made me do it”, or “It’s really your fault God because you made me this way.” Forever pointing the finger in any direction but towards ourselves results in an unrepentant state of being that then produces no positive change in our lives. No repentance = no recognition or confession or sin, wrong doing, = no constructive change or solution to the problem = slavery to that sin(s) = a life of self destruction and entrapment in which we are doomed to continually repeat over and over again the thing that keeps us from being all that we are meant to be. II Timothy 3:1-7 rings a bell of urgent warning that we live in perilous days when
men shall be “lovers of their own selves…having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Time and time again, we are reminded to be aware of our need for and importance of the Word in our lives. Psalm 119 deals explicitly with the many virtues of the Word in our life. If we store His Word in our heart as a great treasure, it will be: a “lamp unto our feet” that gives us knowledge and understanding, protection from deception, freedom from dominion of sin in our lives, preparation to know and speak the truth, and much more. Psalm 119:11 pretty much sums it all up for me. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, (why?) that I might not sin against thee.” We can’t use the Word to strengthen our own lives, or to help others, if we do not take the time to read, learn, and apply it so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may be changed and perfected.

God’s will, as conveyed through His Word, is to be stored and applied in the development, not only of ourselves, but also of our children. Parents who neglect this responsibility towards their children are leaving them vulnerable to falling into doubt and unbelief. Yes, it is true that each person must make his/her own choice to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why He is a “personal” Lord and Savior. But if we parents do not prepare the ‘soil’ of our children’s hearts and plant the seeds of truth, they will become fallow ground to receive any lie that comes along. Is that really the future we want for our children.

I have reproduced part of Deut. below to show just how very important it is to God that we consume and digest His Word. We need to realize that we should treasure it as more precious than gold, a very dear part of us that is deemed just as necessary as our very breathe is to our life. His Word is the bread of life.

Deut. 11: 16 – 26 -28

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children…”

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command ye this day: and a curse, if ye not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”

Is it not amazing that God has offered us a choice between blessings and curses, and yet we so often turn aside to follow our own opinion, and thus choose the curses? To choose our own way is to choose to follow after a false god to destruction, whereas choosing God’s way is to receive eternal life. (John 5: 24)

Search the scriptures for yourself. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart of flesh (not one that is stiff necked and hardened) that you be a fit vessel to receive His truth in your heart. Even as Christians, believers who hear and obey, we must constantly guard against the lies and deception of this world. The Holy Spirit was sent to indwell each of us for a purpose. He is our comforter, counselor, and perfector of our faith. It is He that opens our minds and hearts to understand and receive the truth of the scriptures, thus building our faith and drawing us nearer to the Lord. He gives you and me the needed insight to put God’s Word into action in our life.

If we put our trust in the Lord, seek to do His will as revealed to us in His Word, He will keep us from harm. That does not mean that we will never have to face pain or adversity in our lives. It does mean that, even through trials and tribulations, He will be right there with us to comfort us and give us the “peace that passes understanding. Ultimately the choice is ours – blessings or curses, obedience or rebellion, acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, Self will or God’s Will. I pray that each of us will diligently seek to hear and obey the voice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the voice of no other – AND LET IT BEGIN IN ME.

** Additional thought for food.
Salvation is not earned through obedience to the law. Rather, it (salvation) is freely given by grace and mercy of our loving Father through faith when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Our Father loved us so much that He gave His only Son, that through faith in Jesus who bled and died for us, paying the full debt for our sins, we would have eternal life. But Jesus did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. Therefore, Jesus said that those who truly believe in Him will be doers of the Word and not just hearers. After all, Jesus himself did not do His own will, but rather the will of His Father who sent Him. We glorify God when we willingly choose to obey Him, doing that which pleases Him. The action of obedience signifies that we choose to follow His thoughts and ways which are higher than ours. All glory and honor be unto our Lord who first loved us. May each of us hunger and thirst after His Word to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in thought, word, and deed. Jesus said: “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt.4: 4 and Deut. 8: 3) We must study the scriptures that we may be equipped to know and do the will of God.

When studying, I came across the article seen on the next page. I include it as further evidence of our need to understand God’s Word in order to know and do God’s will. I hope that, combined with my own reflections, each reader will be inspired to seek the Lord’s knowledge and will in his/her own life. Let our minds be renewed through His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit

Ginger Rahn

Lack of Knowledge
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children" (Hosea 4:6).

This grave judgment spoken almost three thousand years ago reflects a timeless principle that is just as applicable today as when it was penned. When people die without being saved, it is not that God did not want them to be saved, for He would "have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:4). He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).

The problem is that when men lack the knowledge that would bring them to Christ for salvation, it is because they have already rejected knowledge that would have led them to the knowledge they need. Paul writes that "in the last days" men would be "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Timothy 3:1,7). And the next verse tells why. It is because they "resist the truth" (v.8). "They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (4:4).

Peter says that those who question God's Word in favor of an assumed naturalistic view of history "willingly are ignorant" (II Peter 3:5), and Paul says that if they refuse to see the evidence of the Creator in His creation, they are "without excuse" (Romans 1:20). Whether or not they have read God's Word, they have an intuitive knowledge of God and His law in their consciences (Romans 2:15) with their thoughts "accusing or else excusing one another." The Lord Jesus promised that "unto you that hear shall more be given" (Mark 4:24). But then He also warned, "he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath" (v.25). HMM


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