Where Do We Stand With God?

But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest. Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.“Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people. Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?“A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? Jeremiah 5:23-31 NIV

No matter how hard we may try, we cannot ignore what the prophets of earlier times have said, especially when we see–hundreds of years later–the same thing happening across the globe.

While we have no control over what other people do, are we exercising control over what we–individually do? If we are not capable of self-control and living right before God as individuals, how could we expect a nation to do what is right? After all, the nation is the collective group of individuals. So therefore–each individual’s action becomes a benchmark for the nation to be judged. Are we setting a standard to be admired or mocked, to be rewarded or punished? Where do we stand with God?

Unfortunately, we often say things that are attempts to justify our inability to live according to God’s Word like, “No one is perfect.” While that’s true, it is simply not an excuse to live in opposition to God’s Word.

Our imperfections and flaws and shortcomings are a result of disobedience and lack of understanding, both of which we have control. We miss the mark when we allow the dictates of our flesh to lead us and not Holy Spirit. We allow our emotions to reign in our lives instead of wisdom and uh-oh, dare I say it, “common sense.” When we refuse to get into The Word of God and seek Him for understanding, we continue to fall short of being who He desires us to be and in doing what He desires us to do.

As the Word points out to us, “we are without excuse” and there is no point in our attempting to justify living according to the dictates of our flesh. Though there may be many who claim they do not believe in God and certainly won’t read a bible, there are just as many Believers who blog on a daily basis–promoting God’s Word and His love. Since many spend more time on the Internet than they do in opening a book, there is much to be found to keep people on the path where God would have us. The global opportunity means we have far-reaching capability to make sure everyone has access to understanding of God’s Word. Indeed, there are many people–especially some who claimed to be atheists, who have exposed to the truth of God’s Word and accepted.

Now, what was that excuse again? No Bible–no problem–there are many online bibles with commentaries and many bloggers who do an excellent job of explaining scripture and connecting the application to our lives. We are indeed without excuse. So, where do we stand with God? Each individual has to answer that question for themselves and then we can accurately conclude whether or not–we are in the same place today as the people were when Jeremiah spoke to them.

 

Who’s Governing Your Mind–Flesh or Holy Spirit?

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 85-8 NIV)

Who lives according to the dictates of their flesh? Everyone who does not live in accordance to the direction of Holy Spirit. The result is easy to see and when we have evidence to support our conclusions, it is not an opinion nor a rash judgment.

Overeating is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. The flesh says it wants more to eat than it needs and when it governs the mind, people eat–far more than is good for them and as a result, become overwhelmed by the flesh–evident in their appearance and in health issues that are result from overeating.

Being rude and disrespectful is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. Flesh tells people they are superior to others and must have the last word, no matter what and the mind caves to the dictates of the flesh because it feels good and sounds good. The results as we can see on a daily basis are those who are discourteous drivers, loud-mouthed and obnoxious people waiting in lines who think they shouldn’t have to wait–for anything or anyone. We see them cussing at those in authority when they can’t have their way and in front of their children–demonstrating to their children that it’s okay to be rude and disrespectful and we see this in classrooms across the country.

Sexual immorality is evident in what people do–promiscuously–having sex with random people and sometimes people they just met and the evidence is all we see on television, in the movies, and hear in the music. The mind is governed by the flesh, because if it feels good, then do it. The results are increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDs, and increase in low-esteem, depression, and suicide. Why? Because the devil loves it when people submit to him and then he leaves them high and dry, when they cannot find real love or a reason to keep living once they understand how they have used and abused their bodies.

Addictions of all types are the evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh–drugs, nicotine, alcohol, shopping, shoplifting, pornography–all are a conclusion of the matter–the feel-good-syndrome-for a moment and when the moment passes, it must be repeated, and repeated, and repeated until it fulfills its vicious cycle–in death–naturally or spiritually.

A person who has deprived themselves of the leadership and guidance of Holy Spirit is prone to making the same mistakes, over and over again, expecting a different result–which by definition is–insanity. When chaos and confusion exists, God is not in it and certainly there is no evidence of Holy Spirit guiding anyone.

What happens when our minds are governed by Holy Spirit? There is peace within and then there can peace without–in our environment and everywhere we go. When Holy Spirit leads–He reminds us of those things we have been taught, strengthens us to live by faith and ignore the temptations of the enemy, and keeps us focused on pleasing God, not flesh.

Where’s the evidence? The evidence is seen in those who do not have to resort to cussing out people, involving themselves in road-rage, or even randomly acting out. The evidence is in the person’s ability to remain calm, exercise wisdom in all situations, and to discipline themselves to hear God and act accordingly. They know when to stop eating, stop smoking, stop giving into the desires that make them feel good only for a moment, and start doing those things that bring the heart joy and they know they are pleasing God.

So, what’s it going to be for you today? Will you allow flesh to dictate or Holy Spirit? Do you want temporary pleasure or lasting joy? It’s up to us–we decide and I choose to allow Holy Spirit to reign in my life!

Those Who Understand, Have No Need of Control!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV)

God’s response to David’s entreaty was that He, Almighty God would instruct him, teach, and counsel him and at all times, would keep His eyes upon him. Our great and awesome God is the same God that spoke to David and He is yet speaking to us--He will instruct, teach, and counsel us–we have no need for those who have no understanding of His ways to teach us anything, provide us with instruction of anything and they certainly cannot counsel us about anything that pertains to God and His ways.

Those who are looking to men’s legislation or judgments are really wasting their time. The only thing that will be proven by the interception of men in the wake of God’s way of living, is that men and women will constantly be jerked around by the whims of men. God’s instructions have been written–not only in the book most know as a bible, but in the hearts of all who have a relationship with Him. Holy Spirit dwells within the consummate Believer who knows God cannot lie and He said what He meant and meant what He said. It is Holy Spirit who provides us with understanding as He hears from God to direct us and counsel us at all times. Without God, we become like those who have gone before us–lost and wander around like mindless creatures, not having a clue as to which direction to take.

But we see in current events that whenever the flesh is tickled or set ablaze with lust within those who have no fear or reverence of God, all must be embroiled in the mindlessness and only those who are standing firm in their faith, will survive to see the glory of The Lord prevail in all things. We are warned in The Word that flesh and spirit are enemies–we either allow flesh to dictate what we do or we allow Holy Spirit to dictate what we do. Holy Spirit will not force His will upon anyone and neither should man.

Judgment, for all who sin and especially those who lie, has already been determined and unless the guilty parties change their ways and see the need to have God in their lives, their end is established–in the lake of fire.

Those who stand firm have no need for godless men with no understanding to instruct us in the ways of a living God, who is yet keeping watch over us. It is the godless who need to be careful and watchful of the mighty hand of God. The same Hand–who comforts and protects His children, also delivers a blow to those who mislead God’s children.

Be encouraged! We are not like the horses or mules with no understanding that need others to lead us around when they have no direction. We know the way–and Jesus is the way, the Truth and the Light!