Friday, December 8, 2023

Just because it's there...

Just because it's there...
by David Brenneman 

"All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved." 1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:23‭-‬33‬

"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:1‬

Wearing down the defenses is a tactic as old as humanity in battles both large and small.  It matters not if it's in changing the direction of the country to whether or not to take another bite.  

The world wants whatever is allowed to Satan by God.  Satan's not allowed to step over any lines with any person, group of people, or even nations that goes contrary to the will of God for mankind.  Yet he's not alone in this. We too, you and I, are held within the same limitations.  When Jesus said that not one of the tiniest of portions of the Word of God would pass away, that all would be fulfilled, it wasn't anything but the truth.  

Aspirations are good...and to be truthful...I am searching for some that are acceptable to My Savior.  I have aspirations but no means of pursuing them.  Should I pursue them, and this isn't tooting my own horn, it would change the course of humanity.  How do I know?  I asked.  Who?  Jesus.  I was shown that indeed some of my ideas would have worked...but they didn't fit in with His plans for mankind. 

I could have had a minor tantrum and started off with "But God!"...but I knew better.   That wouldn't be trusting in the Lord with all my heart. 

We aren't alone in our battles, no matter how big or small.  It's simply a fact of life. 

Saying no takes practice. Honestly it does.  Know a good friend who teaches or coaches, however you want to view it, to stand in front of the bathroom mirror and practice saying no to specific individuals. Keep doing it until you can convincingly do so.  The same could be applied to doing things or eating or whatever.  

The New Testament is replete with example after example of how we're in training.  The lessons begin and until we repeat it enough we aren't going to learn them.  It's going to be new ways of thinking, of doing to achieve a new result in our growth as Believers. 

What we do for Jesus is what we give an account of.  Whether good or bad.  Making wise decisions about life is only possible when we choose what the Spirit is pointing us towards in our training in righteousness.  Saying no to things that are incredibly desirable is part of this.  Worldly thinking calls it short term pain long term gain...well that's probably Biblical in its origins.  

Learning to resist temptation takes practice.  Sins are almost always described as practiced sins that are repeatedly committed.  A sinful idea or practice presents itself and we choose to participate or not. We either consider the ramifications or we don't.  We choose to see how it impact others or we don't.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  This is going to include trusting in His no answers.  It's going to include His not now answers.  It's going to include you having to choose on your own to refuse something now to get something later.  

Training is a process of repeating what you want to see, feel, or do so much it becomes second nature.  

Just because I can do something doesn't immediately follow that I should do that thing.  One of the best one-lines from a movie.  

Companies, countries, groups of any size do not have your best interests in mind more than your Savior if you indeed are saved in Christ Jesus.  He is to be your personal Savior. Your personal trainer is the Spirit of God.  

People like to hire personal trainers.  Most personal trainers will walk if you're not going to do what you are paying them for.  They don't have the patience to wait around for you.  The Spirit has all the patience of God in dealing with you.  When we realize that His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven is in our best interests, regardless of how agonizing life is...then we're going somewhere. 

You are in training in righteousness.  
You are being taught to be fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus. 
You are not to follow in the ways of the world.  

Start today differently.  Start today with acknowledging your need to listen to your Trainer in Christ Jesus.  You cannot do before you hear from Him.  Just because temptation or desires that aren't necessarily temptation are before you...doesn't mean that's what's good for you.   The prize is that crown of righteousness to give back to Jesus.  

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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