How many things do we worry about each day? How many of those things do we have any control over? Why spend our time worrying when we can be rejoicing about what we do have control over?
If you're in a worry mode as a Christian, you may be having thoughts such as, "God, why did you let this happen? Why don't you do something to help me? Are you listening, Lord? Do you really love me, God?"
|© Donna L. Watkins - Common Buckeye Butterfly|
Ellel Ministries Retreat, English Acres, Lithia, FL
If teenagers choose to drink or do drugs and drive and end up killed or kill somebody else in a traffic accident, God didn't make or allow that to happen. He gave mankind free will and isn't going to be like a yo-yo on taking it back. The sovereignty of God is a much misunderstood topic among Christians since the church has its own definition. [Read "Confused About What God's Really Like?"]
It's easier to blame God for everything rather than to use the power and authority that Christ gave us told us to use.
"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." -- Luke 10:19
I've had a lot of beliefs to overcome before I could begin to have some "control" over life's bad circumstances. In the churches that I attended as I grew up spiritually, I was taught that we had to fast and pray and beg God to move on our behalf. We had to do works to earn points you could redeem for answers to your prayers. Of course, that's not the words used in the doctrines taught, but that's what it amounted to. We were still trying to earn what Christ had redeemed for us. I was not shown a Father that had already provided victory for my problems.
Because of God's love for man whom He had created, He sent a Savior who lived sinless so we could be free of all sin and live in victory in this world. After Adam and Eve sinned, He could've just destroyed them and began again, but He loved them and made a way for sin to be dealt with.
We still have free will to open the doorway for the devil to come in and sift us. That's why we don't want to sin. First because we love God so much that we want to be an obedient child, but also because we want to live in the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. We don't want to give the devil power over us through our sinning.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -- John 10:10
Life will always have trials and troubles ... some natural consequences as mentioned above by people's choices, and some created by the evil realm of our world. The devil only comes to steal, kill and destroy and never gives up, even though he's already been beaten by Jesus "who disarmed principalities and powers, making a show of them openly, and triumphing over them." (Col. 2:15).
Ephesians 6:12 speaks of this kingdom of darkness, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Verse 11 tells us to put on the armor of God so we can stand against this darkness. It doesn't tell us to pray for God to do it. The Word tells us what we need to do. God has given us His Word which is active and alive (Heb. 4:12) and Christ has already won the battle for us, we have only to enforce His victory over the darkness.
Christ said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
We have a way to deal with life's challenges and to live in the peace that Christ suffered to give us. Salvation isn't just a ticket to heaven. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem so they could receive the gift that the Father had promised (Acts 1:4). Jesus said that we receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us (Acts 1:8). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is another great divider of Christians. [Read "The Holy Spirit"]
|© Donna L. Watkins - Tree With a Heart|
Hugh MacRae Nature Trail - Wilmington, NC
How many times did Jesus say, "Only believe?" Too many for me! I'd like it to be a bit easier than that. Oh, it's easy to believe in your head what you've just read, give a mental nod of agreement, but Jesus is speaking of believing in your heart. Even Romans 10:9 with instructions on salvation says, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
This is the downfall with Christians who want to make the Word work in their lives, but they don't see it happening. We think we don't have enough faith and pray for more and still nothing happens. Faith is built by use, like muscles are. But doubts have to be overcome. [Read "How To Overcome Doubt"]
We have to stand against the darkness of this world. I'm not saying we don't pray. Prayer is communication with God and to utilize the power He has given us we need to speak it. God created the whole world with words. Our words are important. Proverbs 18:21 says that "the tongue has the power of life and death."
We don't value words very much in our society. There was a time when someone's word was as valued as much as life and death. I mentioned above that a requirement of salvation was to believe in your heart, but did you notice before that it said "if you confess with your mouth ..." What we speak is recorded in our brains and it creates word pictures. When we confess God's Word, which is alive and active, we instill it into our heart and gradually record over the wrong beliefs we have stored there.
It's not an instant fix, but it's a promise from God that we can live an abundant and victorious life. Do we believe that and stand against the darkness, or do we grovel, whine, cry and stay in a state of despair and depression waiting for God to give us what He already has provided.
Many people are not sure where to begin in the Bible, even if they've been Christians a long time, it is such a huge book that we feel lost before we open it up. First of all, let me encourage you to begin in the New Testament since we are under the New Covenant and to find the promises that Jesus came to give us, you will want to see what He said, that God had recorded in the Bible, while He was here.
There's a book that I have truly enjoyed that breaks all of Jesus' words down into 200+ topics. You can look up love, fear, peace, healing, etc. and see all that Jesus said on those topics. "The Greatest Words Ever Spoken, Everything Jesus Ever Said About You, Your Life, and Everything Else."
God has provided everything when Jesus came to this earth and you have everything it takes to succeed in every area of your life. The Word is a seed that will produce an abundant harvest, but you have to sow it into your heart, water it, give it some Sonshine, and look for the fruitful harvest. It's not an instant fix or a jet journey, but it's guaranteed and I can stand on it. If I'm going to believe and trust God for my salvation based on His Word, then I'm going to believe the rest of the promises.
Fighting The Darkness
You Have An Enemy But Victory Is A Choice
Confused About What God's Really Like?
How To Overcome Doubt
The Holy Spirit
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