Posts Tagged ‘Psalm’

Are you a successful Christian?

Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene
Image via Wikipedia

You are the only one that can define your success, as a Christian or anything else that you set out to do. What you want from your Christian life could vary greatly from what I want from mine. The true meaning of what it means to be a Christian may be different for you than it is for someone else. We could say we are a success now, just because we call ourselves a Christian. But, what if we decide that our becoming a Christian, was really the sacrifice and work of Christ alone, that we just accepted Him as our Savior and that really, the road to Christianity is just beginning, and we have a long way to go before we reach success? That is what I decided and these are just some of the areas that I am working on, ways that I want to illustrate that Christ is King of my life.

I want to remember people, so they will remember me.

As a Christian, I want people to know I feel they are important by remembering their names and remembering important things they share with me. I want this not only because they are God‘s children and I should care about them because God does, but also so that they will be more likely to remember me. I want them to know I am there for them and can help them if they need it.

I want to remember that success is independent of age, education, failure and public opinion.

There are many other traits that you could put into this category that could be your stumbling blocks, but these particular ones have just been areas where I’ve personally had the most difficulty overcoming. The enemy uses these attributes as weapons against me often, wanting me to believe that my age, my education or lack thereof, a fear of failure and what other people think about me or my actions are legitimate reasons for me not being the best Christian I can be.

I had to generate a life purpose and remember it every day.

It’s tempting to get caught up in our families, jobs and even church work. Those things aren’t bad, but we know there is an eternal life beyond the one we are living. We have God’s Word as the instruction book for our lives. So, there are certain things we are commanded to do. Beyond our own wants and desires, we must concern ourselves greatly with the will and purposes of the Father. It’s easier and more beneficial to us, if we incorporate His will into our lives instead of keeping our plans and purposes separate from His. Our goal, as much as humanly possible, should be to let Him guide us into our purposes.

I have to work really hard to keep a positive attitude, and I fail often.

It would be nice if God could flip a switch in us, after we become Christians, that made us magically feel good all the time, regardless of the circumstances. Or, would it? I guess it kind of goes against the free will rule, doesn’t it? I know there are others like me who are trying really hard to bite their tongues, think before speaking and trying to leave work outside the door when they come home. But, I also know others that seem to never be ruffled, never speak a cross word, and seem to have a smile on their faces every time I see them. What is the secret? I do know that there was a time in my life when I didn’t even question my attitude, it never occurred to me that I had to be more open to others and less caustic when someone didn’t get my order right the first time. I praise the Lord for opening my eyes to my behaviors and attitudes, I guess that’s a good start.

I have to remember to have a sense of humor.

If you’ve spent any time in this world at all, you know our Lord has one. Otherwise, we would have never had the experience of seeing a giraffe or an anteater. And, how about the coldest winter on record after the big, bad, global warming scare? A co-worker made some special coffee at work one morning and told me it was ready. As I went into the break room, I noticed there was only enough left in the pot for one more cup. I was feeling particularly smug, being one of only a few who would have the privilege of drinking this delicious brew, as I poured the coffee into my styrofoam cup. I gazed out the window at the beautiful morning, and as I looked back down at my cup, to my utter horror, the coffee was going into the cup and right through the bottom side, where there was a hole the size of a dime. I hurried and grabbed another cup to hold underneath my damaged one, but I was only able to save a little less than half.  I was so disappointed, but I repented as I cleaned up the break room counter, and I laughed all the way back to my desk. I very much enjoyed my three drinks of coffee and as the scriptures tell us, I know the Lord was laughing too.

There’s so many other areas that the Lord is helping me with, like perseverance, dealing with change, and especially giving me courage through Him, so I can share Him with others. We have to remember we are, sometimes, our own worst enemy. Don’t stop learning and growing; you will be a successful Christian, if you will just allow Him to walk with you.

If You Are Waiting on an Answer to Prayer, Read this Now!

Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, as in ...
Image via Wikipedia

The act of praying is a mystery to me.  Sometimes prayer pours out of me as natural as breath, sometimes I struggle with it, to the point of almost giving up. Occasionally, we get answers immediately and there are times, we wait and wait and…some of us are still waiting for an answer.

Unanswered prayers are discouraging at the very least, but did you also know that unanswered prayer is an effective tool of the enemy? Think about it, how many times have you been hesitant to pray about anything while you’ve waited on an answer to a past prayer? If you’ve waited a long time, has resentment crept into your heart and are you giving God the silent treatment because you’ve not received an answer? How wonderful for the enemy if he can use an unanswered prayer to drive a wedge between us and our most effective power against him.

Please don’t allow this to happen. If you are still waiting on an answer, there’s three important things for you to know:

1. The answer could be No.

In Deuteronomy 3:26, Moses states, “But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” It’s not that I’m saying the Lord is angry with you for anything, but it could just be that the Lord has said no, and He means it. And, it may not be important for us to know the reason. Or, the reason could be revealed in the future. This is where faith and trust will be paramount for you, in that you must trust God that He is working everything out for the best and you must place your faith solidly in His hands.

2. Your sin is blocking God’s work.

In Isaiah 59, the Bible tells us, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” And, again, in Psalms 66, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.”

If we are living in continual sin and not repenting and trying to clean up our lives, God isn’t going to mess with us. He has no choice but to separate Himself from sin and if we aren’t even trying and are just coming to Him with our shopping list, He’s going to close the store. That doesn’t mean you stop praying, just start refocusing your prayers on asking God to help clean you up, instead of on what you’ve asked Him about originally.

3. It’s Not About You

It could very well be that the reason your particular prayer hasn’t been answered is because God is letting things play out for your good (plans for a better future). Or, that your faith and patience requires growth. It’s at these times that we must remember our time is not the same as God’s time. However, more importantly, we have to recognize that we are not alone in the world. The waiting may not have anything to do with you at all. We tend to relate every event or circumstance to how it affects us, but sometimes it really isn’t about us at all. Our waiting could have everything to do with someone else. The reason we could still be waiting is because there is someone else’s well-being, possibly even their soul, at stake.

We are given everything that we need to know in the Lord’s book, the Bible. We have many promises from Him, and He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us. We should try to be satisfied with this gift, and leave the mysteries unknown.

American Revival

prayer..

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23-24 (KJV)

The root meaning, of the word ‘confess‘ is “to say the same as.” So when we confess our sins to God, we are essentially agreeing with God about our sin. God is far from clueless about our sin, so we are just taking responsibility and letting God know that we realize we are doing something wrong.

In 1 John 1:9 of God’s word, we are told, IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV).

That’s a big IF. I don’t think it’s going ‘out on a limb’ to say that America is not very good at confessing sin. We Americans usually do everything we can to shirk responsibility. But now, more than any other time, it’s imperative that we are on our knees. We are in a position of needing God’s hand in our country, in our lives, in our leadership and in our future. If you agree that this country needs a revival and a turning of our faces to the Lord, it has to start with you.

Jesus said, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3
(KJV)

The thing to remember is that we can pray for each other, but we cannot confess for each other. No other man or woman knows your heart, just as you do not know mine. We must all be responsible individually. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do this together. We must make sure to name our sins to God. For example:

“Lord, I have not put You first in my life, I have neglected Your Word and Your sovereignty.”

We must not make excuses, God doesn’t care for the reason, He knows we are humans. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He [or she] who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (NIV).

Mercy sounds good, doesn’t it?

I propose that we write our sins down. Then, when we are finished, we can rip them up and throw it away as a tangible reminder that we have a  promise from God in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Personal revival is where American Revival begins, so let’s get started on those things we may not give much thought to at the time they are
committed:

1. Matt. 6:12-15 Do you hold a grudge against anyone? Is there someone who you have not forgiven? Do you justify your bad attitude toward another because of their actions? Are you doing unto others BEFORE they do unto you?

2. Matt. 6:33 Are your decisions based on your own wisdom and desires, rather than God’s will? Does your ambition, your pleasure, your loved ones, your money or your plans interfere with your surrender and service to God?

3. Mark 16:15 Do you care that members of your family, some of your friends and those that you may not even know yet are going to hell? Do you even think about that when you are talking to them, do you ever witness to them with your mouth that Jesus loves them and wants them to accept Him as their Savior as you have done?

4. II Timothy 2:22 Are you engaging in activities that you know are unholy? Do you allow impure thoughts about the opposite sex to stay in your mind and do you read that which is impure and suggests unholy topics?

5. John 13:35 Are you happy about the bad fortune of another? Are you guilty of any instigation and contention? Do you argue and/or engage in heated discussions? Are you an active or inactive participant in division? Are you envious of another’s good fortune?

6. Philippians 2:14 Do you ever seek to hurt people? Do you gossip? Are you carrying prejudices against others because they are of some different group than yours, or because they do not see everything as you do?

7. Acts 20:35 Are you guilty of stealing from God? Any time we withhold our time, talents or money from God that is His due, we have failed to support His Kingdom work either by service, prayer or giving?

8. Ephesians 5:20 Have you neglected to thank God for all things? Have you been guilty of doubting His Word? Do you worry and is your spiritual mood based on feelings instead of the promise of God’s Word?

9. Colossians 3:9 Do you engage in unprofitable conversation? Lying, exaggeration, cheating or stealing?

10. I Corinthians 6:19, 20 Are you careless with your body? Do you fail to care for it as the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Don’t be discouraged and start beating yourself up. That’s not what this exercise is about. I am guilty of all the above, most of us are. The  point is to be aware of it, own up to it, confess it to God. He knew we were sinners way before He sent His Son to die for us.

Let’s get it all out there and start depending on God to forgive us and to lift us up to be better stewards for Him and lights in a very dark world. We can do this and we can then ask Him to turn our whole country back toward Him. God bless you and God bless America!

%d bloggers like this: