Friday, December 6, 2019
Go and Learn
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
No amount of activity for God will ever take the place of a heart that is right with Him. Through the ages God's people have been persuaded that they could please Him through their service and their offerings, regardless of their heart condition. King Saul offered generous sacrifices, hoping God would overlook his disobedience (1 Sam. 15:22–23). David may have assumed that after all he had done on God's behalf, God would overlook his sin (2 Sam. 12:7–15). Ananias and Sapphira thought that their generous gift to the church would compensate for their deceitfulness (Acts 5:1–11). Paul was certainly one who had thought his zealousness would please God. After his conversion, however, he concluded that even if he had faith to remove mountains, gave all he had to feed the poor, and offered his body to be burned for the sake of God, and yet had a heart that was not right, it would all be for nothing (1 Cor. 13:1–3). We are susceptible to the same misunderstanding as all of these people were. We can be deceived into assuming God is more interested in our activity for Him than He is in the condition of our hearts. God has consistently made it clear that He will not be pacified by even the most generous offerings and zealous service if our hearts are not right with Him (Mic. 6:6–8). No matter how much we do in God's service, regardless of how active we are in our church, no matter how honorable our reputation in the Christian community, He will not overlook a sinful heart. His desire is that we devote ourselves to knowing Him and loving Him with all of our hearts. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
There's much to be said to describe a heart that's at peace. Contentment reigns supreme. No stress is present at all. No worries, no strife. Can such a heart exist in this world? Look at the lives of the most Godly people. You will find it.
Look at Mary and Martha. Peace and contentment were with Mary. Stress and strife with Martha. There is a time and place for needing to be busy, but when we have the opportunity to be near Jesus and don't, we will have some measurable consequences of stress.
The point behind the silky siren song of deception is to get a person to be a participant in what is going on. Which is to distract and lead astray. Deception isn't overt or in your face. In most cases it will get you to convince you that something is true, deserved or rightfully worth your time.
People just don't walk away from a right relationship with Jesus overnight. It's the listening to small lies over time. Cain killed his brother only after enough lies circulated in his heart and mind. He had been living with his brother for a great many years. Yet it was only in that moment we read that he let sin drive him to murder.
Nobody intends to sin but we do. We who are followers of Christ Jesus have an advocate in Him. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us. Casting our sins as far as the east is from the west. For those who are not in a relationship with Jesus, your sins remain. A single sin is worthy of death, according to God's Word. Jesus made the way and is the only way to be saved from sin and death.
This brings us to serving with a right approach. We can do a lot for Christ in two ways. With Him or on our own. Those who do it with Him will be doing it in His strength and wisdom. Those who are on their own will try in their own wisdom and strength...and will eventually burn out.
We cannot afford to get this wrong. Too many people think they know what God wants of them, go out and try to do it, only to be taken down from the assault. I was one such as this. It took years to recover from the self-inflicted wounds.
A right heart attitude sets your altitude. You cannot rise above situations without your Savior with you. Get ahead of Him and your life will never be what it could have been.
Taking the Mary time...the Mary path...will make you merry. You will find stress washed away. Peace will come that you can't explain.
If worries plague you.
If small things constantly are irritating you.
If you try and fail so often and so easily that you quit trying, then back up!
You are trying without directions.
It's what I had to learn the hard way.
We can get so used to the struggle too that we get comfortable there. We then get to the point of being more afraid of the letting go versus doing the right thing after all. Then the Spirit eventually intervenes and like it was for Lot and his family, you are yanked out of your circumstances and taken to safety. We convince ourselves, through our deceived mind that this is our lot in life, it's our normal. No it isn't!!
God didn't save you to leave you to a life full of failures. He said His victory is our victory. Find out what HE wants of you and THEN you will find the peace you are missing.
For a great many years, decades even, my personal life was miserable and caught up in struggling to find the way back to what God had shown me was in my future. It wasn't until I confessed my failure and asked for His help did my life get back on course. We who are believers are not in this life for us. We are here to A) learn to be more like Jesus and B) to show others Jesus and lead them towards Christ. We aren't here to live for our own self, our wants, desires etc. A Disciple does what their Master does. No more, no less. The Disciples of Jesus sometimes got rebuked for trying to get ahead of Jesus. For trying to bring their ideas of how it should be to their training.
Ever notice that the life of a Disciple was the epitome of being in the world but not of the world?
The urgency of the time being short until Christ returns is never more clear than now. The predictions of the Bible are pointing to now. Where are you in your relationship with Jesus? Do you even have a relationship with Jesus?
Make sure today. There's a Heaven or Hell difference in where your heart is. Look up Romans Road online. Make sure you are indeed saved. The only way to remove your death sentence is through the saving work of Jesus Christ.
If you indeed are saved. Make sure you are living for the one whom you are trusting in eternal life for. Be careful of life's distractions and deceptions. Be watchful that your heart isn't divided. The love of God is very real. So is His judgment concerning sin. Every believer has a mission to accomplish for Christ. Are you fulfilling your mission? Are you learning daily more about Christ?