My personal motivation to you
If you haven't read the analogy I wrote that I will be referencing to, here is a link to read it now. Part IV will be covering the topic of "Desire" (roughly paragraphs six and seven).
Have you ever came to the point of life where you hit that wall right in front of you and you feel a little stupid because you knew it was there? It's like when you're looking to the side, talking to a friend, and you walk into something. That's kinda what happens for Christians who finally get serious about their life being lived for Christ. It takes some longer than others, but know that God cares for His children. Sometimes God puts a roadblock in your life as a wake up call.
When you come to that point where you say to yourself "Duh!" after you realize following God's way is the better action, you have two choices to make. You can either decide you'd rather keep going about your way, or you can decide to get serious with God, ask Him for the help, and search the map with Him for guidance.
Let's say you chose to go about your own way. Maybe you feel that God will never forgive you, or you're too deep into this sin and don't want to give it up anymore. Maybe you decided that His way is too hard. Maybe you only chose God because you wanted to be saved, but you still want to live your life your way.
I'd encourage you to never feel abandoned by God. Know that you can go back to Him, dirty, wasted, and broken; He will pick you up every time. God won't leave you behind. Know that struggling through life with God on your side is much better than struggling through life alone. I'm not saying it will be easier physically, but it is definitely easier mentally knowing God is with you every step of the way.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
If you only asked Christ to come into your life and save you because you wanted to escape God's wrath, you should examine yourself. God is not a tag-along friend to save you from fire. Salvation is built on faith, not on some prayer you said one day. Your life cannot be ruled by your desires; life is lived for God's glory alone. Don't try to take that away from Him. If you have not come to the point of true desire to live a life for Christ, maybe you have never given it to Him in the first place. Have you really accepted the role of living for Christ, putting His desires over yours?
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV)
Search Him out! You will find Him! He is the one and only true answer to life! Stop your search for a purpose here, and look to the almighty Creator for salvation. Stop living for the pleasures that are passing; die to sin and live for Christ!
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17 (ESV)
When you decide to get serious with God, Praise His name! Praise God for bringing you to the point of brokenness for His purpose of opening your eyes to Him. God desires you to follow Him; God wants your desires to be met through His will.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 (ESV)
The more you choose Christ in your life, the stronger your relationship grows. The stronger your relationship grows, the more you will desire to please Him. The Christian life is all about the work of the Father. It can be done alone, at home, at work, in private, in public; God can be worked out of your life everywhere and everyday. It's all about choosing Him and letting your desire to bring glory to God drive your life.
It's definitely not easy to let God call the shots in life. It's not always easy to look at the map or ask Him for assistance with things in life. Sometimes you think, "I got this" or "I know this is probably something I shouldn't do, but I'm not one-hundred percent. I'll just not ask or check the map so I don't feel guilty about it."
It's easy to deceive yourselves or fall to your own flesh. Sometimes you fall back to your own desires because you have given God a lot and you want a small part of your life. Maybe deep down you know that you have sin in your life, but you keep it a "secret" by not bringing it up to God or searching His word.
“For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps. There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves. Job 34:21-22 (ESV)
Follow His ways, and soon His ways will become your ways. Know and try to comprehend how much He loves you, and soon His love for you will become your love for others. Be a follower of God and His desires; soon His desires will become your desires. Fight the sin that creeps into your life. You will probably mess up. No, you WILL mess up, but get back up and look to Him every time you fall. Drive according to the map.
Live your life choosing Christ. Let God become the desire over bringing glory to self. God's ways are better than your own; let Him guide the way. Listen to what He has to say, and talk to Him about everything. He will help you grow and bless you. Die to yourself daily, and put on the desire of living for Christ. Live life keeping Him in power; let Him empower you to live out His desires.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
This is the end of my series of "Who Is in Power", and I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments you can leave them below, or you can go to the "Subscribe" page and contact me there. I hope that I encouraged you and have given you a new way of looking at your life. God bless!
If you haven't read the analogy I wrote that I will be referencing to, here is a link to read it now. Part III will be covering the topic of "Expectations" (roughly paragraphs four through six).
What do you expect of God? Have you ever thought about that? Do you treat Him as if you expect something from Him. I know I have definitely done this. I can think of times that I have thought of God as a bail out. I expect Him to help me when I'm in trouble. If you do something stupid, or something you know was wrong, and it back fires, should you expect God to do anything?
Maybe you expect God to say, "I told you so!" Maybe you expect God to be like, "Here I'll help you out this one time." or, "Come on, really? I can't believe you! You are such a mess up!" Maybe you expect Him to not say anything at all or not to even look at you.
God is loving and is full of overwhelming mercy. He will get you through every mistake you have made. This is not to be used in your own way. Don't expect God to "bail you out" when you decide to do the same sin every day without caring about God's direction. He will not be angry with you or throw you out of His family, but instead He will wait for you. Treat God with the respect He deserves. If you had someone you were in authority of, asked them to do as you said, and they did the complete opposite, would you not be let down? You expected them to listen!
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13 (ESV)
Think of it this way. When you were (or still are) living with your parents, did you ever say to your father, "Dad, did you do that list of chores I gave to you, yet?" Did you ever say, "Dad, the grass looks high. Go mow the lawn." or, "Dad, I broke the window with the baseball. Go clean it up before Mom gets home. If she sees it, you did it." OF COURSE NOT! What kind of respect is that? My dad would not be happy if I talked like that. I'd be lucky if He didn't punish me for disrespect like that, but that is how you treat God.
"God, did you get me a raise at work yet? If not, I need it! Can't you help me out?" Maybe what you ask isn't always a bad thing to ask for, but there is a lack of faith. instead of asking for a raise, ask God to be the great provider as He has been throughout the Bible. Think of the ways He provided for Israel. He guided them day and night, told them when to move and when to set up camp, and even fed them. It's not wrong to ask God to help you; it's the way you ask Him.
"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people." Exodus 13:22-23 (KJV)
"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”" Exodus 16:4-5 (ESV)
"God, you know Paul has cancer. Can you just cure Him and put Him out of misery? You are making Paul and his family go through a very hard trial. How can you do that to Him? I thought you were a loving God!" Sometimes we ask God to do things that are not part of His will. We can pray, and pray, and pray, expecting an answer; but God doesn't always give the answer we like. Know that God has a reason for everything He allows to happen to people. Whether it's a trial or a blessing, God has a reason. Trust His way even when you think His way is wrong. God knows the future; He can see further down the highway than we can. He has a better view of the next exit for your life and the lives of all His children.
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
"God, can't you see the mess I made with my life? Can you erase it or sweep it under the carpet for me? Do Something!" Sometimes, we try to switch places with God. We try to make God the servant, make Him drive, and tell Him where to go. God doesn't do that; God will not submit to someone as faulty as you or me. There is only ONE God, and that God is not you. Stop trying to steal His authority; the position of a servant is an overwhelming blessing.
"If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." John 12:26 (ESV)
When you try to snatch God's place away from Him, you try to live a life driven by pride like Satan once did. He is a great example of how pride can drive you. God gives you a position of a servant, a friend, and most importantly a child, but you let your ego get in the way and say you want better. God didn't allow Satan to take His glory; don't think you are any special exception. Be thankful as a servant of God. Don't try to make God the driver of your life and listen to your ways. God doesn't drive; God guides.
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
God expects His servants to live life according to His word. He provides direction; you just have to follow. Two mistakes that Christians make are following their own way instead, or not moving at all, expecting God to somehow make things happen in your life while you sit back and watch. The Bible is full of verses about the lust of our flesh and desires of our heart. The Christian life is described as a life of labor with effort in it. That shuts down both those ideas. You are God's servant who is expected to follow Him.
The bottom line is that you cannot expect anything from God. He has already given you so much and you're going to be ungrateful and ask for more? How selfish can you get? God has given you more than you can ever ask! God provided a way for unity between God and man, and that's not enough for you? We are trash, that God decided to make into something beautiful, and we are still disappointed in Him. It's sad how we let our pride get in the way of who our God truly is.
Remember that God is in power. You are the servant. God has already given you plenty; be thankful for what He has given and know that He will still provide. You are the servant; God expects you to live for His purpose. It's your choice. Live the life of your dreams, (dreams fade and lead to disappointment) or live the life that you, as a Christian, have been called to live. God has a purpose and plan for you. Go seek it out.
If you haven't read the analogy I wrote that I will be referencing to, here is a link to read it now. Part II will be covering the topic of "Acceptance" (roughly the first three paragraphs).
So first off I want to make a point. Throughout history, men have tried to prove that time is circular, or that it never changes. They say there is proof that there is nothing new, and that there is no start or beginning. In other words, we are living in a meaningless routine. I want to tell you that is NOT true! They are right, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9), but they are wrong in saying there is not a purpose, or an end goal to life.
God proves them wrong with the first three words of Genesis, "In the beginning". He started history, and He has a purpose and plan for where it is going.
I say all this to explain that life is like a long, crowded highway you are driving on. Each stop you make are the choices you make in life. The highway is the ordinary routine. Each exit is a decision you are making to be brought in your life. Whether it's as big as quitting your job, or as small as going to the park. Each and every exit you take matters.
Accepting Jesus into your life is a big choice. It's like you park your car on the side of the highway, and start driving His instead. You are leaving behind the old you, the old ways, and starting fresh with God in your life.
When you become a Christian, it is easy to follow Christ at first. It feels good to talk to your new heavenly Father, and it's easy to do what is right to please him until life hits you right in the face. It's like you're driving down the highway with Jesus, and you see all these exits you want to stop at. Now you wish you didn't have Jesus with you, or you wish that Jesus would just let you have a "little fun." You know His words, and you know it's not what He wants.
This is where a lot of Christians fall away. Sure, you want eternal life, but you want to follow your heart instead of Christ. You don't want Him to show you the map and tell you what is true. You would rather here the lies of your flesh to fill your heart's passions.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)
I want to encourage you that accepting Christ is a huge step worth taking in life, but know what you are choosing. Christianity is not just some religion like the others; Christianity is a lifestyle shaped after a relationship with God.
Come to the understanding that He is King and you are a servant. If you choose to follow Him, know it is worth giving up some fleshly desires that only fill you with more emptiness. Anything outside of God or that is done without God is meaningless and benefits you with nothing. A life lived for God and a heart that follows after Him is full of blessings.
Don't become angry with God. Don't become frustrated because you want something you know He doesn't want you to have. God has a better plan. His reasons are higher than your desires. Anger causes you to make mistakes like cutting off His word or cutting off praying. Don't let your desires control you.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." I Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)
Know that even if you push God away, He will never push you away. Sometimes we are fed up with living for Him. This is wrong, but He will always welcome you back. He won't leave. He will stay, sitting right beside you, waiting for you to talk to Him again. He accepts you with love and compassion. God hates sin, but He doesn't hate His children. His mercy towards you is overwhelming. He is a just God, but He is also a loving God.
He doesn't promise a life without punishment. He doesn't promise it to be easy. He doesn't promise to make you perfect. Don't expect life to be easy or for you to be an exception. Just remember once you accept Christ into your life, He won't leave you. He will help you through your struggles and pain. He will direct you where you are in fault. Stay close to Him, and He will stay close to you. Rely on Him instead of yourself. He is your guide; He will always look on you with love.
Accept His love. Accept His way. Accept His word as your guide. He is your Father and your friend. Don't push Him away, but live in honor of all that He has already done for you. A life for Christ is a life of blessings. He will give you purpose. Live in acceptance to Him.
If I really wanted to, I could make this post short. I could say, "Keep the power where it belongs." and be done, but I think there is a little more to it. As Christians we know God holds power in our lives; He is the one who leads our life. I just feel like we have the head knowledge but don't live it out the way God wants us to. I want to take the time to write a 3-5 part series on this topic. Here is an analogy I will be coming back to in the next few posts:
You are driving down the highway of life. You have different destinations you stop at on the exits, and then you continue with the ordinary highway. Every now and then you have to make a stop; you have many goals along the road of life that come and go throughout it.
One day you decided to follow Jesus and use His car in the highway of life. At first you drove, and He used the map. He guided everywhere you should and shouldn't go. He brought you through some amazing journeys. You guys talked all the time; He seemed to always know the answers.
Then Jesus started telling you things you wish He didn't. He told you not to go to places you knew you shouldn't be going to. Some of them seemed obvious, but some of them were annoying. "Why can't I stop there?" you thought. "What's the big deal? Why's He acting like He owns my life?"
Angrily you went about your own way and soon stopped listening to Jesus' guidance. You became a little more reckless on and off the highway making choices that you once never would have. You Won't talk to Jesus anymore, but He is still sitting there waiting. You feel like He's staring you straight in the face sometimes, especially when you've messed up. Every time you take a glance at Jesus, His eyes aren't full of anger; instead they are full of love. You feel guilt fill up inside you, but you push it away and keep on driving.
Some days you cry out to Jesus when you are in panic. "Jesus, I really did it this time, I know you can save me. What are you going to do?" With no response, or maybe just the one you weren't looking for, you become angry again. "I thought you were my friend! Answer me!" Again, you have let your anger overwhelm your situations that you have put yourself in. "Fine, you drive!" you say as you get out to switch seats, but Jesus doesn't move. Instead, you just see those loving eyes staring back at you. The guilt brings you to your knees.
"Forgive me, God! I need you to lead my life again! I've gone astray, and I need your help. I can't live life alone. I am lost and don't know where to go. Hear my plea; can you forgive a sinner as dirty as me?"
After your cry of help, you get back in the driver seat. This time you see Jesus holding His map again. You turn the ignition on and get ready to put the car in drive. Before you can Jesus hands the map to you. The old map has a bookmark near the middle that you open to. You see a verse that answers your prayer.
Psalm 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (KJV)
"Thank you, Lord. I'm ready to follow you." You get back on the highway of life as Jesus holds the map. Throughout your journey you seem to look at the map with Jesus for guidance. You find it that you are talking to Him more often than ever. Your life becomes full of trials and struggles, but it is full of overwhelming blessings and grace too. Jesus has always been there. He never leaves you and is always in the car with you. He is the guide to your life. He brings you to great destinations and helps you find comfort through the hard ones.
He loves you. He comforts you. He fills your heart with grace and mercy. He has shaped your life to live more and more after Him. Driving with His guidance has become more of a desire than a struggle. You long for His way instead of yours. You long to live more like Christ.
Okay, so I hope you enjoyed my little story. I am going to be going over some key parts of it in different posts. See if you can guess what they are going to be on. Read through the story and see if some of the story may apply to you personally. I know it does in my life. If something is not clear to you it will be made clear after I explain it in the near future. God bless!
"Lack of consistency can bring on a lack of interest." -Anonymous
You remember that time you were on fire for God? You did devotions every day, you prayed when you woke up and went to bed, you were encouraging to others, you always had a smile on your face, and you looked like you were living the "Christian life" the right way. What happened? Where did your flame go? That light that you once had, has shimmered down to a few sparks here and there. The flames you once fanned and fed to keep a consistent burning and desire inside you has dimmed to a low glow of dying embers. Every now and then, you light a match to let your fire begin again, but it is easily blown out and pushed aside for other desires in your life.
Your what use to be fire is now just a fire place waiting to be lit. You remember it sometimes, but do not have the same desire to stay warm as before. You have gotten use to the cool air full of sin around you. Sometimes the cold sin brings a shiver up your spine; you look back at your fireplace and think to light it. "No," you tell yourself, "I'm too far gone for that warmth anymore. I don't need it, and I don't want it."
I saw a fitness ad once that really gave me some inspiration in writing about this. It said, "Routine=Consistency; Consistency=Results" How true is that in the Christian life of you and me today? I can personally say that so often in life I've done this. I would be consistent in my walk with God for a time. I would pray to God before I ate and when I woke up, I would read my Bible like I should, I would listen to uplifting music instead of today's top hits, and I would feel like I'm really pleasing God. It was great! As you can guess, it didn't stay that way.
Some friends would show me a new "cool" song that I just had to listen to. Now I'm listening to that garbage again. I'd hear a dirty joke in the locker room and chime in with a laugh or a comment of my own. Now I'm using filthy talk again. I would hear some really juicy gossip that I just had to share or ask about. Now I'm talking about others. I would forget about reading my Bible because I tell myself, "I'll get to it later." Is later here yet? I guess not because I haven't read it for a few days. Now I've pushed God's speaking out of my life. What's next?
When the Holy spirit gets my attention I tell myself lies like, "Oh, I'm not that bad." or, "Okay, I will read the Bible once to make up for all the other times I missed it." Read those lies again. Do you see any desire in them? My desire for God has been completely shut out because I filled my heart with the world instead of God.
This is a common mistake of many Christians. Yes, I am saved, but sometimes I go into the battle without my armor. You know you do this too. So often you fill your life with things that seem great and maybe aren't bad, but you shut out the priority. As a Christian, God should always be at the top and above everything. He is the foundation and sets your standards of how you live.
Sometimes you hear a really great message, or go to a Christian concert, or go on a missions trip, or hear a story of a miracle, and you run to your fireplace. You start a roaring fire and are almost pressured into being a light for Christ because you realize you need to get back into the routine. Why doesn't that ever last? Why do you let the fire die?
This may not be the ONLY reason that Christians fall back, but (in my opinion) this is one of the biggest struggles of a Christian. WE ARE LAZY!
You set standards and pursuits in your life in line of what God tells you, and you don't hold true to yourself. Don't be discouraged! It's not because you can't do it! It's because you are forgetting something: you can't do it on your own. Live your life according to God WITH God.
Ask Him to stick to doing devotions at a certain time. You can't just jump to being good at something. It's going to be tough! You are going to mess up! You are going to forget! But know that you can do it. God wants to talk to you; He will help you. After doing something over and over and over (and over), it will start to stick and become easier. Become consistent in your daily walk with God. Let your light shine for Christ. Be different! Your consistency will show results. Strive for those results.
Maybe you struggle with something other than devotions. Everyone has that one sin that's more tempting than the others. You are probably going to fall a lot before you learn to step over that stumbling block in your life. Know that God is with you and will help you get through it. Your consistency in trying to do what is right will have results of breaking old sinful habits.
Keeping a fire constantly going is hard work, but it's work that glorifies your King! Know that living the life of Christ is more praiseworthy. It's easy to become lazy and give up. I do it all the time! Never let that stop you from trying again. Don't fall so far away you become uninterested with the work of your Father. Keep on toward the goal. You can never fall too far from God for Him to reach down and help you back up. Continue struggling for Him, and your consistency will bring results.
My pastor has recently been challenging the congregation to read the book of Ephesians every day or throughout the week. I've read Ephesians before, but every time I go through it, I feel like new things pop out at me every time. In a nutshell, the book of Ephesians tells us what God did, what we should do about it, and how to do it. Here is my very simple outline of what I have personally learned from Ephesians.
What God did:
God made a way. for us as sinners to have unity with Him. It is found all throughout the book. God adopted us into His family. He has predestined me. He showed grace to me. He had mercy upon me. He loved me! That's what God did. He prepared a sacrifice through His son, Jesus Christ, and made it possible for me to have life in Christ. It's truly the greatest love story known to man. God chose me before the creation of the world, and He knew He would save me someday. Isn't that amazing? God has chosen us. He knew how rotten and filthy in sin I'd be, yet He still decided to send Jesus to die for me. God made a way for all to have unity with Him. God showed love to the world.
What we should do:
God has given a purpose to believers in Jesus Christ. He has chosen us, and has a plan for us. Paul reminds me how dead I was in sin, and how God has saved me. To God be the glory! Through His grace He has saved me. Now I need to walk worthy to that calling. God wants me to live up to the standard of a Christian. We need to mature in Christ. God doesn't want to live the way we use to live. He has changed us! He has made us alive. A living man doesn't act as the dead man does. He shows life. We need to show we are alive in Christ and not dead to sins. We need to get rid of our old sinful habits. We can't hold hands with God and the world. Put it away. Just because we become saved, does not mean we will not struggle. God doesn't promise an easy life; but He does promise the strength to get through it. He does promise a purpose. I need to live up to His standards and pursue the Christian life God has planned ahead of me.
How to do it:
I know I need to live differently. I know I need to glorify God and choose his way. I know I keep falling to sin. How do I stop. The last few chapters of Ephesians sum it up. I need to live the life of love. After putting off the old man, replace him with the new man. The old man is dead. Live as a new man alive in Christ. Don't fall back to old ways. Live as God's holy people live. I need to search out God's wisdom. I need to walk in the light. I need to live as a servant to others. That's how Christ lived; He laid the example when He was on earth. He came as a servant to us. I need to be in unity with the body of Christ and in unity with God. Ephesians tells me I will struggle against my flesh and this world. I am at war with sin. It's time to put the armor of God in play. Ephesians ends with telling me how to prepare for war. I love how it ends with prayer. Prayer is so important in my life; I need God daily. Prayer is so humbling to me as I hope it is to you.
That's the book of Ephesians in a nutshell. There is probably much more you can get out of that I did not cover, but this is what I grasped from it. I have been studying Ephesians in school, church, and my own daily devotions. I find new things each time. It's becoming one of my favorite books to read.
Here is a small part of one of my favorite messages from my pastor. If you have the time, I'd encourage you to listen to it. It really touches me, and I think it will encourage you also.
Lastly, thank you to all who have been following/reading my blog. It is very encouraging when I get feedback from those who read it. The Facebook likes, the shares, the comments, and the private messages have all been very motivating to me. It makes me want to keep writing. Keep sharing, liking, and giving me your thoughts. The more views I get, the more encouraged I am to write. In my first month of writing I had 1800+ views. I hope and pray that what I write touches the lives of others. What I write is only my own understanding of what God has laid upon my heart, and I believe He wants me to share it. To God be all the glory. Thank you!
Hi, I am Michael Jaymes. I am only 18, but I've decided to start to write. I feel a burden on my heart that I have much to say, so why not share it? I want to be heard and I want to touch the lives of others. What is a better way than through the internet? I have made my life motto, "I just want to be a blessing." It's time for me to live it out.