New heart? What is it? What does it look like? Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is wicked and we can’t trust it; however in Ezekiel it talks about God giving us a heart of flesh rather than a heart of stone. We hear that when we come to God in faith He gives us all we need to live out our new life in Christ, however we still can’t follow our hearts because of our depraved, selfish nature. Not very consistent. We either have a new heart or we don’t. When you first trust in God He gives you a new heart with new desires. Before this spiritual heart transplant our heart’s desires automatically left God out of the picture. Anything good we do as a result of following our hearts, if it doesn’t flow out of a trusting relationship with God, is selfish and sinful. However, when you put your trust in God you get visions of what He wants you to accomplish with your life. We were put here for a purpose. Not to live a mediocre life, just barely getting by, accepting the Status Quo. If that’s all God wanted us to do, then what is the purpose of faith? When you fall back into sin it’s not because you still have a hardened part of your heart towards God, it’s because you drifted away from Him, in which case your heart will start to harden toward Him again. You could easily fall back into the sins you struggle with before you even came to Him. In which case, the Bible says the last state is worst than the first and it would be better if you had never come to know Him at all. Predestination just means God will work in advance to draw you back to Him, and you still have the indwelling Holy Spirit so you have all you need to recommit to Him. God initiates but we still have to trust Him; and trust always leads to obedience or it’s not really trusting Him at all. When you recommit, God purifies your heart and you basically start over again. In essence, born again again. . .The life hid with Christ in God is often a life of commitments and recommitments. However many believers think they are backslidden when they’re not. It’s just Satan lieing to them. God doesn’t condemn anybody, we condemn ourselves enough so why would He? You may think your sinning when you’re not. Many think they backslide just because they make a mistake. From a Holistic point of view, the only sin we are guilty of is not trusting God, which is the root of all sins and causes us to trust in and live for ourselves. Even though we have a new heart we still have to spend the rest of our lives learning how to trust God with every area of our lives. A newborn baby grows and develops and learns how to function as a human being, so it’s the same with the born again believer. You grow by learning how to trust God with more and more areas of your life. Any area you don’t trust God with is a stronghold to your spiritual growth, and often times leads to an addiction in this area. No medication or support group is going to free you from this, though it could be a means of Grace God uses. True healing is divine healing and only comes through spiritual growth and learning how to trust God more and more each day-where He takes you and conforms you into the image of His Son. Where He establishes His righteousness (which is merely right-living) in you rather than establishing your own. Imputed righteousness isn’t just something you get from a one-time act, it’s something God imparts to you as you spend more time with Him learning how He wants us to live in order to be worthy of heaven. Also we are only worthy of heaven through the blood sacrifice of a perfect offering, it is the Holy Spirit which cleanses us by filling us and changing us (Titus 3:5). In closing, what is your heart leading you to do? If God is calling you to do something and you’re not doing it your heart will harden slowly and you will cease to grow until you give this area to Him. Pride, unbelief, and fear are main stumbling block to knowing God more intimately.
1) Pride-not trusting God with an area, thereby trusting in ourselves.
2) Unbelief-Not believing on God for something. Sometimes the things we want in life God doesn’t give us because of our lack of faith in Him to provide.
3) Fear-We are too afraid to step out in faith; faith is the opposite of fear. Perfect love casts out fear. Anger is fear turned inward and leads to depression & anxiety and all sorts of illnesses.
A good feel-good song. Are you an overcomer? If you’re in Christ you have all you need so what’s your excuse? Not that I can judge. I’ve been set free from my years of depression w/ psychosis despite a touch of anxiety & mild depression that slowly goes away as my faith grows. Any addiction or sin you’re struggling with is something we just haven’t given to God yet. Many pastors say there are no addictions-only strongholds in our walk. You may be on the verge of breakthrough but haven’t been delivered and released into your calling in life because you’re still waiting on God even though He’s already given you all you need. Step out in faith and claim it, but trust Him to direct your steps. He does that anyway but if you trust Him you won’t stumble, if you do He’ll pick you back up and dust you off.
Have you found yourself? Most people haven’t. Most people don’t know God. Coincidence? No! In order to know who you are and what you want out of life you have to get to know the one who formed you and knows the real you because He created you. Because He gives us and independent spirit and the evil in the world this does not come naturally. It comes supernaturally through divine revelation. The more you learn about God, the more you get to know your true identity in His Son, the more you get to know your true self-who you were created to be. How do you enter into this relationship? By turning from selfish ways that only serve to gratify the flesh and turn your life over to God. Doing things His way rather than following after the ways of the world. By believing in the sacrifice He provided as atonement for all of your wrongdoing. By being filled with the Spirit which enables you to persevere in the faith because Jesus said only those who persevere till the end will be saved (Matt. 24:13). This does not mean you are saved by your works but your works are affected if you have faith. Faith is the primary motivator for to have faith in God is to believe that He is and is a rewarder to those that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Faith-alone is true to a point but is dead if not made manifest in your good deeds. “So that they will see your good deeds (done in faith) and glorify your Father who are in Heaven.” (Matt. 5:16). “If you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all.” (Isa. 7:9). As far as losing your salvation, God can work things out for the good of those that love Him to keep them from falling away. You would have to renounce your faith totally and completely and this is nearly impossible to those that have fallen in love with their Lord. But I say nearly because if you could use the doctrine of eternal security to justify “a little fun here and there” and end up in a backslidden state which could harden your heart against God. Playing with fire, buddy. If you truly love Him you will eventually come back and He has the power to make it happen but He won’t force you.
Most never find their true purpose in life, coincidentally about 80% if hate their vocations, because they have come to God/Jesus by faith, trusting in His plan for their lives, because they arent’ ready to give their lives and all it’s problems to a loving Heavenly Father. The same reason why many don’t go to a doctor when they are sick. Sin is not a sickness-it’s a lifestyle choice of choosing not to trust in God but rather in yourself. Because we were not made to establish our own righteousness (filthy rags compared to God’s) the way of the transgressor is hard and it produces many of society’s ailments which mostly result from stress & anxiety, hormone imbalances, and alas mental illnesses because everything starts in the mind. God wants your heart but Satan goes for you mind.
Many have come to God but don’t grow in their faith. They’ve either never been discipled by a mature believer or a church (which could brainwash you according to their doctrine if you don’t seek God for yourself), or they have faulty theology (like Calvinism which thinks God just miraculously does everything in His timing and doesn’t factor in human responsibility-while they’re waiting on Him, He’s waiting on them to step out with the faith He’s already given them). The greatest mystery of life is God’s absolute sovereignty and man’s free will. In a theology book by Wayne Grudem, he defended his calvinistic viewpoints but explained the other side as well. Man ultimately does what he wants-it just depends on where God is at in his life. So to end the age old debate-just step back and realize those theological differences you’re arguing with you’re subconsciously agreeing with if you think about it. Like my counselor says, both sides are actually friends and don’t even realize it. Jesus doesn’t only want to be your Lord, He wants to be your Friend. He says in John 15:15, a friend (as opposed to just a servant) knows his master’s business. Do you know your Master’s business? Do you know Him? Is He changing you? You don’t grow by seeking biblical knowledge. We don’t need anymore knowledge. You grow from a deepening relationship in which God takes you through life’s trials and learn to depend on Him more than ever (just like Jesus).
We hear about the Word of God all the time. And we always associate it with the 66 books of the Bible. However I have learned, being writers are more perceptive-especially spiritual writers, that God cannot be kept in a box. He is everywhere. Otherwise He can’t hold people accountable for their actions. True you can only come to know God thru spiritual discernment and a trusting personal relationship but you have to seek it out. Anything worth having in life takes effort and must be sought after. Jesus said “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added.” God gave us the good things of the world to enjoy but we can’t have His blessing if we idolize these things because He is a jealous God. As for the Word, as Pastor Arnold Murray says, Jesus is the living Word. With all the translations of the Bible being inaccurate nowadays I even question the authority of the Bible sometimes. But it’s not the actual “book” that speaks to me. The Holy Spirit reveals knowledge of God thru anything that points to Him thru His Son by the Spirit’s power. As one Sunday School teacher said, the Bible isn’t the only book to be spirit filled. Any devotional or Judeo-Christian inspiration book. God can speak thru anything that glorifies Himself. And knowledge of God is always revealed thru His Son. Jesus Christ is the living Word of God. In Genesis, the world was created when God spoke. In the last days, God speaks thru His Son. The Natives talk about the Great Spirit that sweeps across the land and with what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit that could refer to the third person of the Godhead (Trinity or whatever you call it) calling all men to salvation and healing. Are you going to respond or resist. Anybody who truly falls in love with the Lord will be unable to resist-only those whose hearts have been hardened by either pride, unbelief, or fear.
Everybody wants to know the will of God. Mainly those that believe in Him. But nearly everyone believes in Him when they get in a crisis. Some say God has a perfect will and an acceptable will. Some calvinists say God only has a perfect will. Hmmm. . .God hates sin and directs our steps so you thiink it’s God’s will for us to sin? If God’s perfect will came to pass there wouldn’t even be a curse and Satan would have been bound up eons ago. God’s perfect will is to establish His church when His Son comes back and conform those that trust in Him into the image of His Son. You don’t have to do this yourself, in fact you can’t. I believe Jesus referred to that as putting new wine into old wineskins. Knowledge of God is everywhere but can only be revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit working in the believer’s heart, but it has to be received in repentance & faith. So when things happen it’s obvious that it was God’s will for it to happen, but does that mean it was in God’s plan? God allows bad things to happen and use it for His greater good. Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28. If something like 9-11 can spark a spiritual revival and turn people to God then He can use it for His glory. It doesn’t mean it didn’t grieve Him. The good news if most of the people were in a trusting relationship with Him, then they are with Him in glory. Likewise if there were many who weren’t held accountable for their sins, either thru being too young or mentally afflicted or simply never hearing about the love of God that’s in Christ yet worshipping God thru the amount of light they have already received. So if you marry the wrong person, you can still make it work rather than split because you can choose to love. If you land the wrong job you can still find ways to motivate yourself-that is if you can’t find another job.
Everybody wants to know God’s will. Some people try so hard to stay in God’s will they’re afraid to do anything because they might veer off course and “sin” because they God just has one set path for them in life and if you miss it. . .oh well. I don’t have that restrictive view of God anymore and I feel more relaxed in my walk ever since. I know some people who struggle for years and never live in victory because they’re waiting for “God’s perfect timing.” Did you people who believe that ever stop to think He might be waiting for you to exercise the faith you already have since faith is the only thing that moves God? God’s will is to restore the world and life the curse. God’s will is for His Son to come back, reward His followers (those who love Him) and judge His enemies (those who love and follow the ways of the world). God’s will is for people to be set apart from the world and conformed to the image of His Son. Apart from that you’re somewhat free to do whatever you want. But seek first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and He will make your paths straight. How many places in the Word does it say to Seek the Lord. Seek the Lord while He may be found (before the sinful effects of the world harden your heart). Seek His Face and draw near to Him. Are you seeking the God you want or the God who is? The former is idolatry and idolaters will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Is your God so in control that you have no free will and everything just happens as a result of the free will of God? If you believe that you are no doubt frustrated with many unfulfilled desires because God is likely calling you to step out in faith and pursue what He’s placed on your heart.
Go after God and ‘git ‘er ‘dun,
You hear it in every religion. Pursuing Holiness. What is Holiness? Most religions think it’s living according to the Law of God, i.e.; not living in sin. I learned from the Pastor at my Assembly of God church in Waxahachie,Tx. last Wednesday that Holiness is all about being made whole. Steve McVeigh, Founder & Pastor of Gracewalk Ministries, once said that salvation isn’t about your eternal destiny-it’s about being made whole. In other words, God doesn’t “save” us so we can get into heaven-He transforms us from independent, self-serving sinners, by His grace; cleansing us with the blood of His Son and the power of the Holy Spirit-making us worthy of spending eternity with Him. It’s not about establishing your own righteousness, it’ about Him imparting His righteousness into us supernaturally. When we trust in God, He leads us out of a dark world and we walk in the light of His glory; consequently we have fellowship not just with our Father but with those that love Him and worship Him in Spirit and in truth-the Jew first and then the Gentile When we accept the sacrifice of the Messiah, we fall in love with God and this new love relationship with our Creator sets us free from all of life’s bondages to all who persevere in faith and seek after it and the love we have for God flows through us into the lives of others and covers a multitude of sins. To summarize, if our heart is right with God, our actions will glorify Him instead of ourselves for as Jesus taught-apart from Him we can do nothing.
Why do we confess we’re sinners but struggle with anger, frustration, and depression when convicted our our personal sins-or our lack of faith in God which is the very reason we sin in the first place? We have no problem admitting our admitting we’re not perfect because we are told we have to to be right with God but we resent it when ours personal issues get exposed. Could be the difference between head knowledge and heartfelt devotion? Satan has many thorns, or arrows, he uses to take our minds off our Father and His Son. Why do we not recognize that the sins we struggle with, and even our illnesses, are Satan’s way of distracting us to focus on our limitations? Most illnesses, mental or physical, are the result of prolonged stress & anxiety of living in a fallen world. The closer you get to God and the you rely upon His Word, the more spirit-filled you become; the healthier you are likelier to be because you are better able to handle stress. Sin is not a sickness in and of itself;it’s a lifestyle choice of not trusting in your Heavenly Father-regardless of how good you try to be or how full of yourself you think you are. Illness is a weakness,but in and of ourselves we are all weak without a personal relationship with God that comes thru His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You know, since being set free from years of depression/psychosis, I have had a passion for wanting to set others free from their issues so they could reach their full potential in Christ. Lately I realized I possibly have the gift of encouragement, and I couldn’t be much of an encouragement if I wasn’t an overcomer myself. People spend years in therapy, support groups, and on psychotropic drugs even though true healing is divine healing and comes only thru spiritual growth. Many pastors, Tony Evans for instance, claim that there are no addictions in the life hid with Christ in God-only strongholds. I have learned from personal experience, thru counseling, and in the lives of others that no issue is truly life-controlling except that which we try to control by not giving it to God. We say it will happen in God’s timing, which could be just an excuse to put it off-”now is the day of salvation (and healing)”. God’s timing is when the human heart is the most receptive. God’s only limitation is a heart that resists His call upon their lives. Faith is the only thing that moves God for to have faith means to believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder to those that diligently seek Him. Seek first the kingdom of God and ALL things will be added. The closer you get to God (thru Christ) the more you get to know yourself and what you truly want out of life-you already have all the power you need when you first turned your life over to God by receiving His Son, now its time to “let go and let God” and activate it by receiving the daily Baptism of the Holy Spirit-a daily immersion in the things of God which provides a consistent spiritual high, spiritual cleansing, oneness with the Father thru the Son by the power of the Spirit which sets us free and enables us to step into our life purpose that flows out of the relationship with our Creator. You don’t have to be Pentecostal to be Charismatic-charisma just means spirit filled. Why do you think Jesus was the most influential Man who ever lived?
I’ve heard many christians think this is referring to money. We humans always think in the natural. I admit I haven’t studied this verse in context, so call it a hunch I believe it is referring to faith. God promises to draw near to those that draw near to Him and we will receive all that we ask in prayer (as long as we ask with right motives and it’s in keeping with the will of God which is to make us more Christlike). All we have to do is believe (trust). The more we seek God, the more we exercise our spiritual muscle of faith, thereby making it grow and overflow into the lives of others. Just like the Lord also said in Matthew 5:16; “Let your light shine before all men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father who art in heaven.” Our good deeds are the ones sown in faith. Anybody can do good deeds, but our good deeds must flow out of a trusting & loving relationship with God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us; the only thing He requires back is our hearts so He can change it into His very image. True wealth is spiritual wealth, although it can overflow into material wealth.