Monday’s Blog: Sin Series “Pride”

This is the fourth message in my series on the bondage of sin that is weighing down the body of Christ today. Last week, I talked about tolerating sin by allowing the world to be our teachers instead of Jesus.

James 4:4-10 warns:

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

The world is full of pride. It cannot submit to God’s authority. When we fall into pride we also can’t submit to His authority. The verse above exhorts: “purify your hearts, you double-minded.” To be double-minded means we believe in God but then we doubt His wisdom and authority.

James 1:5-8 explains:

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 

The reason we fall into doubt is because we submit too often to our carnal mind. Our carnal mind is defiled with unbelief. When we submit to it, it leads us in opposition to God’s will.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Romans 8:7, KJV

Our Spiritual mind is purified in Christ. When we submit to it, it leads us into God’s will.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16, KJV

How many times do we seek God for His will on a matter, but then our minds start rolling through our own ideas of how to handle it?  If we don’t cast down those carnal thoughts, and submit our minds to trust God’s authority, we will walk in opposition to His will.

I had a situation come up recently. I went to God with the matter, and I felt Him speak to me in my Spirit that I was to leave it in His hands and do nothing. Whenever God tells me to do nothing about something, I know right away it’s going to be a challenge for me. After submitting the situation to God, while waiting on Him to move, my mind continued to think about what I could do to help. Instead of casting down those thoughts, and praising God for coming to my defense and handling it, I submitted to my carnal mind and took the matter into my own hands. By the evening, the situation had spiraled into a huge mess. God humbled me and showed me how much grief could’ve been avoided had I listened to Him in the first place.

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.

Proverbs 8:13-14

God has all the understanding and power. We don’t. So why would we not want to seek and accept His wisdom and His authority over our own? When the church operates in its own wisdom, it operates in opposition to God. God opposes the proud. Pride is what led to Satan’s destruction. Satan knows if he can tempt us to submit to our carnal mind, he can lead us to follow him to his destruction. I read a message recently that said “Satan promotes pride; it makes you like him (misery loves company).”

God gives grace (power, strength and wisdom) to the humble. If we want to see change in the church we must humble ourselves before God. We as a body must be in unity of the spirit by each of us doing our part and operating in the mind of Christ. In everything we should seek and accept God’s wisdom over our own.

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Romans 12:16, KJV

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:5-6

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

1 Corinthians 1:10

Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

2 Corinthians 13:11

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians 1:27, NASB

Fulfill you my joy, that you be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Philippians 2:2, KJV

I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

Philippians 4:2, KJV

Finally, be all of one mind, having compassion one with another, love as brethren, be tender hearted, be courteous:

1 Peter 3:8, KJV

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for giving us the mind of Christ that we may know You and understanding Your will. As these verses above clearly show us, it is Your will that we operate in the mind of the Spirit. Help us keep our thoughts on You and cast down everything that is in opposition to Your will. We humble ourselves before You, and lay down our wisdom in exchange for Your wisdom, Your power, and Your authority. In Jesus name, we submit to You. Amen!

 

**********************************************************************************

*Come back next Monday as the “Sin Series” continues.

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

*If you’ve never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

 

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Monday’s Blog: Ignite The Fire In Your Spirit – Fear God

But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

—Jeremiah 20:9

We continue our series on igniting the fire in our spirits. Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series. I am using this series in my next book: Escaping Boredom in Christianity. I am also using some of your comments in my book. I ask a couple questions at the end of each post. Feel free to answer whatever the Lord puts on your heart. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Last week I talked about guarding our hearts against sin. I believe one reason many Christians don’t guard their hearts against sin is because they don’t fear the Lord. I heard a preacher recently say that God loves us and He is our friend, but we can’t forget that He’s also God. We will all stand before God and give an account of our lives (Romans 14:12). That’s not something we should take lightly.

One time, while reading the Bible, I came across several verses that said to fear the Lord. At the time, I hadn’t heard anything about the fear of the Lord, so it intrigued me to look up all the verses I could find that talked about it. I was amazed how many verses I found that instructed us to fear God, and even more amazed at all the blessings that followed.

As I learned the importance of fearing the Lord, I was eager to find out how to fear Him.

God showed me through Proverbs 2:1-5:

  • VERSE 1: “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,”

To accept God’s Words we need to believe EVERYTHING in the Bible is TRUE. I believe the reason I’ve had a fire in my spirit for the Lord, from the moment I started following Him, is because I have never read a verse and doubted it was true. Even when I am struggling with doubt in a situation, I never doubt God’s Word and His faithfulness. My doubt is always about my ability to receive God’s Truths and knowing how to apply them to my life.

When we read God’s Word, and accept it as Truth, we store up His commands in our hearts. Then, when a temptation or trial comes, the Holy Spirit brings to remembrance the Truth we have stored in our hearts, and we are equipped to overcome it (John 14:26).

  • VERSE 2: “turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,”

We need to listen and take heed to the training and instruction of the Lord. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” The Bible warns us not to merely listen to the Word, and so deceive ourselves. We are to DO what it says (James 1:22). God can do a wonderful work in us when He has our full undivided attention.

  •  VERSE 3: “and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,”

Do you have trouble understanding the Bible and applying it to your life?

God says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Proverbs 1:6-7 says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. And it is the only way to understanding the proverbs and parables and the sayings of the wise. God is the only One Who can reveal His Word to us and give us understanding.

I am not book smart. I don’t have any degrees. I am not a Bible scholar. The things I learn in His Word don’t come from my own wisdom. Even as I write these blogs, I am amazed how God gives me His wisdom to share His Word.

  •  VERSE 4: “and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,”

I read a wonderful message recently by Lori Hatcher, author of the blog: “Be Not Weary.” She shared how at one time she wasn’t sure she really loved God. As she searched her heart, she discovered she was grateful to God. She feared and respected God. And she even desired to please and serve God. But she said, “I thought about the people I love and the warm, affectionate, and sometimes almost painful intensity of emotion that I feel toward them, and I had to admit that I did not feel that level of intense emotion toward God.

She thought back to her dating years and what made her fall in love with her husband. She decided to apply some of those principles to God and seek out His love.

She expressed, “I started spending time with Him in prayer (speaking and listening). I became a student of Him in order to learn all about Him. I began reading the Bible, often called God’s Love Letter to the world, looking for aspects of His character. I started a list in the front of my Bible of every adjective I found that described God.

I read about what made Him laugh and what made Him cry. I started spending time with His family–the church, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I saw His family traits demonstrated through them. I learned what motivates Him, which ultimately boils down to one word:

LOVE

and I fell madly in love with Him.

She hungered to love God. She looked for His love as for silver and searched for it as for hidden treasure. And she found what she was looking for. She fell madly in love with God.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

—Jeremiah 29:13

  • VERSE 5: “THEN you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (emphasis mine).

When we accept God’s Words as Truth, and store up His commands in our hearts, and listen to His instructions, and when we cry out for insight and understanding of His Word and His will, and we seek Him and search for Him with all our hearts, we will find Him and understand what it truly means to fear the Lord.

Fearing God isn’t about walking on pins and needles before Him, feeling like we have to do everything right. The verses following those in Proverbs 2 explain how the wisdom of God, found only through the fear of the Lord, protects us, preserves us, and keeps us from following the wrong path.

Verses 9-10 say, “Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”

When we revere God, He gives us His wisdom and understanding. Then, we begin to see life through His eyes. We begin to see the reasons behind God’s instructions. We begin to see why God tells us to do and not to do certain things. We begin to see that all God’s instructions are for our own benefit.

I once heard a preacher say, “The law was given for two reasons: 1) to fear God’s punishment so we don’t let Satan get an inroad in our lives 2) to show us we can never follow it and save ourselves.”

God wants us to fear Him because He loves us and wants to protect us. How great is our God that He wants us to fear Him for our own good! His love is more amazing than we can even imagine. How much our lives would change if we would learn to truly fear the Lord and walk in His wisdom.

The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers. O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.

—Psalm 34:7-8

 

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for loving us more than we can imagine. Teach us to always walk in reverence to You. Unite our hearts with Yours so we can truly fear You. Give us wisdom and knowledge of Your Word and Your will for our lives. Help us to walk humbly before You so our spirits are continually on fire for You.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 

 Questions for my book:

Do you think many Christians today don’t fear God?

If so, what do you believe hinders them from fearing God?

Is there anything you would like to share about the fear of the Lord that I didn’t address?

 

*I appreciate your responses. I will not use any personal information in my book (name, email, website, etc.). Remember to come back next week as the series continues.

*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

*Follow my new facebook page to receive reminders of new posts.

 


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