One of the weaknesses I have had in my walk with Christ is overly admiring other servants of God. One thing we must remember is that it’s Christ’s power and wisdom that works through people, it’s not their own!
For instance do you know someone who can pray for the sick and they are healed? It is not them, it is Jesus! Do you see someone who understands the Bible very well? It is Christ’s Holy Spirit who gives them understanding! Did you hear a sermon/ message that encouraged you in a hard time? It is Jesus who gave that person the sermon/message! Christ gives those gifts/abilities to people in order to help other believers. Therefore, when God is using someone in our lives, let us not give glory/admiration to that person but to Jesus Who is using them!
God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.
One of the things that we should keep in mind is that anytime we are allowing ungodly thoughts in our mind we are weakening spiritually/distancing further from Jesus. If we want to be successful in our walk with Christ we have to be intentional about what we choose to think on.
When ungodly thoughts try to come (i.e. thoughts of lust, jealousy, anger or etc) you must use scripture to fight against them. Also keeping your mind on Jesus throughout your day and meditating on scripture helps to keep those ungodly thoughts out! Remember that when our minds are idle satan will try to feed our minds with something evil.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
One thing I have learned the hard way, is that anytime we are spiritually distracted we are like a house full of valuables with no security system. In other words, it is easy for the thief (satan) to come and rob us. For example, maybe you spent some good time in fellowship with Jesus. In a moment that you are distracted from Christ and His Word, a person says something that offends you, and boom! satan comes in to attack you with anger, and because you were distracted from God you give in to it and lose your temper. satan just robbed you of that joy and peace you had from being with Jesus.
satan will take advantage of any moment we are distracted from God. Therefore let’s stay spiritually alert by being prayerful, keeping our minds on Jesus, and meditating on His Word throughout our day.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
One thing I had to learn about the command Jesus gave above, is that when we treat others the way we want to be treated we are not guaranteed to get that treatment back! Jesus tells us to treat people the way we want to be treated because it brings Him glory when we reflect the love of Christ.
If you are doing good to others but are being treated unfairly in return, continue obeying Jesus! God is the One who will reward you for that obedience. Also remember while Jesus lived on earth He was treated very badly even though He was good in all His ways.
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
This winter a rash started to form on my hands because of the cold weather. Once my hands were healed I noticed I was less careful to protect my hands by wearing gloves, which made a risk for the rash to return. This led me to think about how Christ can free us from sins that we are struggling with, yet because we expose ourselves to that sin we become bound to it again. For example Jesus can free a person from the spirit of lust, but if that person starts listening to lustful music or entertaining lustful conversations, it won’t be long before those lustful desires return. Once Christ frees us from a sin, we must continue to guard our hearts in that area of temptation. We should avoid/cut off anything that can open a door to that sin in our lives again.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
There was a time in my walk with Jesus when my heart turned away from Him. It felt like I was in a deep pit that I couldn’t pull myself out of. I desired the things of the world more than I desired God, and I struggled greatly with sins like unforgiveness and lust to name a few. It was even difficult to go a short time without some evil thoughts passing through my mind. I was very overwhelmed by my sin, and it felt that no matter how hard I tried I could not turn away from it. During that time satan would bring thoughts like “You won”t change.” Or, “God doesn’t hear your prayers, why bother?” Or, “God doesn’t really care about you.” Well, Jesus Christ is faithful because in His timing He brought me out of that dark pit of sin and restored me. He turned my heart back to Him and removed my unforgiving and lustful ways. He also gave me more joy and peace than I ever had before.
You might feel like you are too far from God to come back, but He is very merciful and willing to forgive you. I can testify that no matter how deep you are in sin, Jesus Christ can pull you out of it and make you into a new person if you are willing to let your sin go. God has the power to draw you out of any evil that you may be entangled in.
The other day I had many ungodly thoughts coming into my mind, but instead of fighting against them I was passive and ignored them. When I went to pray I felt my prayers were very weak. Once I decided to repent and fight against those thoughts, I felt strength return to me in my prayers.
One thing we must remember is anytime we allow sin to fester in our lives, we are weakening spiritually. I’m not saying we will ever be perfect, but we will grow stronger in Christ when we deal with sin and repent right away. If there are certain sins/weaknesses that you continually struggle with, pray daily for strength to overcome in those areas. In moments of temptation you can use scripture to fight it. That is how Jesus did warfare when He was being tempted by satan (Mathew 4:1-11).
Recently a friend of mine made an innocent mistake, and I reacted with a very rude attitude. Before I apologized, there was stiffness in our communication because I had not settled the offense between us. However, after I admitted my fault we spoke normally. This made me think about how Jesus views a person who prays to Him without first repenting of sin. Think about it, could you wrong someone and then turn around and speak to them like nothing happened? Would you really just assume they forgave you? Well then how could you approach God in that manner? How can you expect Him to forgive your sin if you disregard it?
Each time you pray, first examine your ways and confess your sins to Christ. For example, were you rude to someone earlier that day? Did you have a lustful thought? Did you lose your temper while driving?
Repentance means confessing your sin/fault to Christ and then forsaking that sin/fault. Also ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sins that you are unaware of. Living a lifestyle of repentance will help you maintain a close relationship with Jesus and make your prayers effective. The Bible says that God does not hear sinners when they pray. If you have specific sin which you frequently struggle with, pray daily for Christ to help in those areas. You can also pray and fast to be set free from specific sins. You may not always see change overnight but Christ will be faithful to help you as you persist.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: