Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Are You Struggling With The Temptation To Jump Off A Bridge?

I am already being poured out as a drink offering… —2 Timothy 4:6

{CHAMBERS} “Are you ready to be poured out as an offering? It is an act of your will, not your emotions. Tell God you are ready to be offered as a sacrifice for Him. Then accept the consequences as they come, without any complaints, in spite of what God may send your way. God sends you through a crisis in private, where no other person can help you. From the outside your life may appear to be the same, but the difference is taking place in your will. Once you have experienced the crisis in your will, you will take no thought of the cost when it begins to affect you externally. If you don’t deal with God on the level of your will first, the result will be only to arouse sympathy for yourself. […] You must be willing to be placed on the altar and go through the fire; willing to experience what the altar represents— burning, purification, and separation for only one purpose— the elimination of every desire and affection not grounded in or directed toward God. But you don’t eliminate it, God does. […]  After you have gone through the fire, there will be nothing that will be able to trouble or depress you. When another crisis arises, you will realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do. What fire lies ahead in your life?”

{ELGIN}  Has your new life in Christ made a difference in the way you live .. in what you value .. in what you do?   Making the transition from the old nature to the new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17)  is troublesome for most Christians.  Embracing the idea of being forgiven and going to heaven is easy compared to submitting your will everyday .. every moment.  It is easy compared to turning away from your culture, your natural preferences.  The thing is .. many Christians don’t even realize they are doing that.  The reason is that so many “are” doing that.  Did your mom ever ask you in response to your saying “all my friends are doing it”, “If your friends jumped off of a bridge would you too?” We have been called to follow after God, but we most often choose to follow the majority instead.  The Bible says “Don’t give Satan a foothold” (Ephesian 4: 27-32)  do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Crisis of Belief … believe God or trust in yourself  Having an eternal perspective on this life on earth.”

But what if the other Christians you hang out with are doing some of those things?  Are they really that bad?  Watching the wrong things, saying the wrong things … doing the wrong things … Good question.  In fact that question has been asked many times over the centuries.  The first time was in the Garden.  “Did God really say you will surely die?”  When you ask the question you are suggesting that God is wrong in telling you no.  Listen .. It is easier to give in to sin than it is to the Holy Spirit.  You don’t have to fight your natural will when you do.  I am not trying to send you on a guilt-trip, but want to challenge you to consider where you are in your spiritual walk.  What needs to change?  You don’t know?  Read the word and pray about it.  The Spirit of God will reveal it to you.  Will you lay your life down on the altar. (Matthew 16:25)  “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

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