Saturday, July 1, 2023

By No Means

By No Means 
by David Brenneman 

Was reading in the book of Acts, of the very first Gentiles to receive the Spirit of God.  The verse that came to mind was "Everything that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I certainly will not cast out." John 6:37 NASB95.

Cornelius called for Peter to come to talk to them at the direction of the Lord Jesus.  So on the heels of his own divine revelation about not calling anything unclean that the Lord Jesus has declared clean, he went.  Peter's understanding was solidified by his obedience.  He said that he now for certain understood.  

We may not get the whole picture or even a sizable chunk, until we take the steps required in obedience.

By no means should we state what we will or won't do based on what we see, feel, or understand at the onset of things in life. 

We should never state what we will or won't do either.  God has a way, through the Spirit, to cause us to take paths that we really don't want to go through, in order to achieve our sanctification. 

Our lives are meant to be in a full on relationship with Jesus Christ.  They are not meant to be full of what we desire in prosperity, wealth, health or any other things.  

You who are desiring a right relationship with Jesus, are you also in disobedience because you refuse the path set before you?  

You who are desiring to have a full life in Christ, are you still trying to keep parts of your life locked away from God?

By no means are we to give anything less than full obedience. 
By no means are we to give anything less than our all on the altar. 
By no means are we to do anything less than to honor all that Jesus has done for us.

Our possessions can be removed in an instant.  Truthfully, would you thank God or get mad at Him? 

Our health can be disrupted in a single visit to a doctor. Truthfully, would you thank God or get mad at Him?

Our stubbornness can be derailed by the Spirit, and more often than not it is, do you try to be more stubborn or do you submit to what He's telling you to do?

Do you quit when the Spirit is just getting started?  Oh that's a significant one. 

Our timing isn't God's timing.  Just because any aspect of out life isn't fitting our timetable, it doesn't mean that God is being slow in delivering.  Our less than 1 percent of understanding in the Universal plan of God isn't remotely enough to justify our stubbornness or our disobedience or our decision to go it alone. 

By no means are we to live lives based on our understanding.  In Touch Ministries, the late Dr. Charles Stanley, has videos and the entire Life Principles that he wrote.  Number 13 has to do with listening to God. 

Way too many Christians, let alone the as yet unbelieving, put a hand up to Jesus to say its ok, I got this. I know enough, I will handle it.  Your not doing enough so I will do it myself.  The relationship that you brought me into with so-and-so isn't working out, so I will make whatever changes I have to in order to find my happiness.  This situation that I am in, you aren't obviously doing anything about so I will do something myself.  My health is my problem since you're not healing me so I will do whatever I have to myself. 

Just as there are no "little white lies", a lie is a lie is a lie, so it is with disobedience, arrogance and pride.  There's no such thing as a little bit.  In sinful practices a little goes a very long way.

Just as the Old Testament understanding of a little leaven affects the whole loaf.  Once we allow it to begin in us, it's going to take a lot from the Spirit of God to remove it.  

You see, you WILL put yourself in a serious situation with the Spirit of God.  You WILL find that rebuke will be forthcoming. 

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 

We read in God's Word also that we should not take it wrong when the Spirit disciplines us. Discipline is for our benefit.  By no means are we to get upset at God because we don't understand why the discipline is happening. Ask and LISTEN, for instruction and understanding.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  He will direct your paths.  He will lead you through those valley's of the shadow of death.  He will bring you safely to Himself. 

By no means are we to dismiss His plans for us.  Yet so many people do.  It's not what they want so they refuse.  They see no point, they see no immediate "sign" from God not to go and obey so they don't.  Then realize too little too late that their way wasn't better. It was filled with problems and situations that were all avoidable. 

Praying isn't just our litany of our giving Jesus a list of wants and desires. 
Praying is also listening for what it is we are to be doing for Him. 

By no means don't start praying and keep interrupting Jesus when He's talking. 

Look at your life. Does it reflect a life spent in obedience or is it about what you are trying to craft it into being that satisfies you?

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