Saturday, December 9, 2023

What are you looking for?

What are you looking for?
by David Brenneman 

We're all looking for something.  Whether you accept it or not you too, my Friend, are seeking.  What Satan's done in response is to try to fill your mind with anything but seeking out the full relationship with Jesus Christ.  

Everything from recreation to job titles to popularity contests vies for our attention. 

Our hearts and minds were originally created for a right relationship with Jesus Christ.  Sin pollutes and dilutes this.  Sin is going to try to sway your heart.   Not in any "Hey! I'm sin! Over here! Let's do this!" kind of way.

Sin is going to use deception.  Every form every kind and every single time.  

"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures." James 1:12-18.

Temptation can either be something so known to be evil that it's unmistakable or it can be couched in something so grand that it's appearance and experience are as warm as a blanket on a winter's night.  We WILL face temptations in most all it's various ways because we still have a sin nature that doesn't want the Spirit changing us. 

What we look for in life ought to be considering what it is that Jesus Christ wants of us in life.  If indeed we're denying ourselves, taking up our own cross, and are following Him...who's calling the shots?  At that point it most certainly ought to be Jesus.  If indeed we're being taught of God as the Scriptures say, our desires ought to begin to be those things that the Spirit desires. 

Look at the progression of growing that the Disciples went through.  Slowly they began down a path of learning that brought out the attributes of Jesus in them.  After the coming of the Spirit of God, all that they had learned about came shining through.  Then they began living the righteous life that God desires for them.  

We're also people that ironically are proud of our ruts.  Proud of those things in our lives that are not God honoring because we've grown so accustomed to them being a part of us.  We can't see our blindside. Not only can we not see it, we're refusing to call those things as God does.  

My Dear Reader if God's labeling some thoughts, some things, in the world as stumbling blocks, then indeed that's exactly what they are. If He’s pointing toward something or even someone in your life that's higher in your heart than Himself, then quit arguing with Jesus and agree with Him.  We dismiss conviction as easily as swatting away a fly.  "Oh that's not what that looks like!" or "You're kidding me! That's not what that is!".  To be blunt, and as direct as possible as well as to preserve clarity: My Dear Reader are you calling God a liar?

We have not arrived at Heaven's door. 
We have not arrived at that point of sanctification that the struggles to fight it are gone from our lives.
We have not come to any place where coasting is acceptable. 
We must do as the Spirit has on the alert. Do not let your guard down.  Be ready.  

The opening verse...Psalm 27:8. We're to be seeking Jesus...every single day.  Not writing Him into a few moments of our unnecessarily busy schedules.  We're supposed to be submitting to the teachings of the Spirit...because that's one of His reasons for being here.  He seals the saved in Christ Jesus. He preserves the Scriptures. He draws people to Jesus for salvation and He teaches those who've come to Christ. 

What you practice in life is what you give an account of concerning your life.  Paul wrote of practiced sin. Practiced sins are those we willingly embrace without allowing the conviction of the Spirit to change our way of thinking.. Practiced life in Christ is a life that is accepting of the convictions of the Spirit to make us more like Christ Jesus.  

Are you seeking to know Jesus better at all?  Or is that other stuff in your life more important?  Is that game more important? Is that hobby more important?  Is your car more important?  Is this person or that person more important?  

I attack nothing, yet, the conviction of the Spirit will point to everything that you actually have elevated about Jesus.   If you just got defensive, even for a split second, then the Spirit has identified something in your life.  

It's not being naive to see that some stuff in life brings out the sin nature so well during things that weren't designed to be bad.  I have been around long enough to see how, by way of example, a football game can take Godly people and bring out the worst attributes of the sin nature in them.  A NASCAR race.  A peewee baseball game. A new car's care.  A classic car's care.  A bird even looks at a car recently washed and waxed and people want to get out a shotgun to keep them away.  The attributes of Jesus tossed aside. 

What are you going to look for today?  Might you do even one thing differently?
Might you make a call out of concern for someone else rather that that other thing that's not as important in the eyes of God?
Might you take a walk to clear your mind and heart to open it up to what the Spirit is wanting to teach you rather than hours in front of a television? 

What are you going to do differently?
What you do as Believer's is supposed to be done in such a way that people see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.  

Think about that...deeply.   

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