Transform Us, Lord!

Transform Us, Lord!

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:1-10 NIV [Please read it all for insight into  David’s heart after he committed adultery with Bathsheba]

Before we can expect to see any change in any of us, we must be willing to admit where we have fallen short and then seek God’s forgiveness. If we think we have never done anything wrong, we close the door on the transformation that only God can achieve in us.

None of us are perfect–though we strive for perfection as God defines it–not us, so there are areas in us we need to submit to God.

The first area in our lives that we need to submit to God is our “stinking thinking” so we can stop holding our noses. Yes, our thought life is what gets us into trouble and until we submit our thoughts to God, nothing will change in our lives. Why? Whatever we think about–extensively–is what we’ll act upon.

David’s adulterous act occurred first, in his thoughts–when he watched Bathsheba bathe on the roof top–had he been out with his army, he never would have been tempted. But then, he created a bigger mess having her husband killed. When the prophet Nathan pointed out to him that his deeds were not hidden from God, David repented and we are told that God saw David as a man after His own heart. In other words–when David acknowledged his sins and sought forgiveness–God was pleased. However, that does not mean that we should commit sin and repent in order to please God, but we do have an advocate when we fall short and He is always available to us. Our deeds are not hidden from God!

The second area in our lives that we need to submit to God is our tongue. We must watch what we say at all times. If we think first, then speak–chances are we’ll not say things we need to retract or back pedal later. We are admonished to be quick to listen and slow to speak. James warns us that the tongue–the little member–can ignite fires and wars–simply because we will not control it.

The final area–that should be first–is our heart. If we submit our heart to God and allow His love to saturate our being, we’ll focus our thoughts on Him, and we’ll hear Him when He corrects us, and we’ll learn to speak what He speaks. If we never submit our hearts to God, we’ll never focus on the things He would have us to focus upon and if our thoughts are not aligned with His, we’ll never speak what He speaks because we won’t hear Him. We are in need of transformation and this psalm is a perfect–transformational prayer.

Lord, we are in need of help, forgive us for all the wrong we’ve done and lead us to the path where You want us–submitting to Your will in all things. Transform us, Lord so we’ll be more like You–knowing how to love unconditionally all of Your children–without bias or fear or retribution from others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Why Jesus Said, “The Spirit of Truth Will Remind You!”

“But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13-15 NIV)

The promise of Holy Spirit, our Advocate, Comforter, and Counselor–to those who follow Christ was not just for the disciples of that day, but for all who believe Him because of them. At the time Jesus was telling them about the role of Holy Spirit, He did so because He knew His time here on earth was just about up, but He didn’t want His disciples to be discouraged in His physical absence. A number of things led up to this conversation, but what makes it worthwhile is knowing, we also have access to all Jesus promised through Holy Spirit. But this is why He said it.

John 16:7-12

v. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you.

v.8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:

v.9 about sin, because people do not believe in me;

v.10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;

v.11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

v.12 I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear.”

The time was now at hand which the prophets predicted. Jesus was about to submit Himself for the ultimate sacrifice for sin and it was time for Him to return to heaven. But He wanted His disciples to know, they would not be left without benefit of His continued guidance in all things.

Everything He had told them about sin–Holy Spirit would bring back to their remembrance and they would see the results of sin because people did not believe Him. What most people do not understand about what Jesus said about sin was He included all sin, not the variations of sin. When the religious leaders brought the woman who was supposedly caught in the act of adultery, He told her to go and SIN no more. He did not make a distinction between fornication, or other sexual immorality or anything else. He did not say, don’t commit any more SINS, He said SIN no more. Don’t do anything that is a sin according to God’s Word! For those who know His purpose in being here, we know that’s what He meant. And that is why He said, there would be this continuous debate about sin, because people don’t believe Him. If we love Him, we’ll obey Him.

He said Holy Spirit would guide all who believe Him in righteousness–not self-righteousness-but leading all to be in right-standing with God. In order to be in right standing with God, one must know what God has said and be willing to stand on His Word for all times–no matter what current trends may abound. In fact, Paul tells us we are not to conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus. Paul understood that the enemy first attacks and influences the minds of people and then behavior follows the thoughts of their minds. If we have the mind of Christ–through relationship with Him, then we stand on God’s Word and will not fall prey to the enemy’s deceptions.

Then, as for judgment–judgment has already made against the prince of this world–the god of this world, Satan, the prince of darkness (always influencing people to try to hide their wrong-doing), the devil–by whatever name he is known, the lake of fire has already been prepared for him and now he seeks to influence others so he won’t burn alone.

Because He understood that He had given His disciples much to think about and He knew they did not fully understand, He decided not to overwhelm them with more teachings, but assured them that Holy Spirit would continue to teach them and remind them of all they had been taught and show them things to come.

I can imagine that every person who has ever read the Bible in its entirety, more than once–has been overwhelmed by the abundance of information. And most people have their own method of reading and reading in order to get the most out of it the content and understanding the intent. All of the sins–as God gave them–are enumerated in Deuteronomy 28–which I refer to as the book of blessings and curses. Of course they are explained in detailed throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, as well as the rest of Deuteronomy. But as I said, there is much than can overwhelm and simplicity usually leaves its mark.

The bottom line is this–God has a blueprint for our living–designed to put us in a position to prosper, not harm us so we would have a future and our children’s children would have a great future as well. We were meant to have generational blessings, but for those who won’t obey, they have been destined for generational curses. It’s time to break the curses, but it can only be done out of obedience to God’s Word, not political correctness, or succumbing to Satan’s agenda.

Holy Spirit is here–to remind us, to guide us, to comfort us and to be our Advocate when we need Him.

More about what Jesus said and why, next time.