Christianity is much more than just a religion! It is so much more than a social club. In general, for many, religion has turned into a manufactured system where rules are dictated, regulated and policies are made. Quite often there is an ever increasing list of do’s and dont’s to conform to, which sometimes go so far as to require a staunch or restrictive dress code. Often actually forsaking the Power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the individual’s life from the inside out! The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Spiritual Guide and Teacher! The Word of God teaches us that true worshipers worship the Father “In Spirit and in TRUTH!” John 4.
Keep in mind that the LORD is the most HIGH GOD who desires to continually transform the lives of devoted believers and reach out to the world! Above Him is no other! Without the Lord one is disconnected and is but a wretched lost human being, living aimlessly in the flesh without promise of eternal life! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we then have purpose and are adopted into the family of God! We embark upon a life of becoming enlightened, spiritual growth and being renewed as we apply His godly principles to our own lives. The Promise of Eternal Life waits as we grow spiritually realizing that we are forever “becoming…” As long as there is breath in the body there is Hope! NEVER underestimate the POWER of the LORD! “What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
God intended for Christianity to be a daily lifestyle centered on Him! Christianity consists of the process by which we can learn the origins of man and draw closer to our Creator and Governor of the universe! We can discover more about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and commence to live life to daily please the LORD! It is the “GOOD NEWS GOSPEL!” The central tenet in the Christian Faith is our belief in JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. He actually was God incarnate within sinless human flesh. The world was spoken into existence through Jesus! He actually became the WORD wrapped in flesh! “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was with GOD from the beginning. Through HIM ALL things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In HIM was life, and that life was the LIGHT of men…” John 1. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is a definite requirement for all Christians. He reconciles us to the Most High God and gives us the gift of Salvation and the inheritance of Eternal life!
Let’s take a momentary glance into the secular perception of religion from a widely respected source. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is well known for his psychoanalytical theories, perspective on religion says:” Religious faith produces a repression of impulses and thus keeps the personality secure at the expense of honesty.” He is recognized as the father of “Psychoanalysis.” He also developed many of the concepts in *Psychology.” It is here the mind and behaviors are studied.
“Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and the logia meaning “study of.” Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics and anthropology.
Freud believed that the actual drive-oriented nature is overlooked because the aspect of human nature has long been suppressed by religion. People in their insecurity begin to look for a cosmic father in order to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Freud also believed that religious activities are rituals of compulsive behavior that are employed to temporarily ease the intense guilt feelings that are fostered by religion. Likewise Christians neurotically try to free themselves of guilt feelings by performing religious rituals. Freud also maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes infantile regression.
Much to my dismay there is a minuscule element of truth in what Freud believed in regards to religion. I do not personally embrace his theories of psychology. But many do hide behind the guise of religion. There is a tendency to project a façade where things appear to be alright. They often go along with the majority and conform in order to feel connected to their particular group but remain insecure within themselves as an individual… There is often much ambivalence and unrest in their conscious relationship to God personally. They feel distant from Him trying to fill the inner void with some of everything!
Whenever the soul is not really anchored; the philosophies in regards to the origins of man becomes a playground for answers.
Whenever GOD is not the center of one’s religion one can regress into this sea of uncertainty. Nothing is infallible and there is much doubt as to what has already been proven to be true! What was wrong becomes right and therefore one becomes polluted by the world. The world continues to migrate further and further away from God as Creator and the principles of His Word. Anything can be a religion. God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in Spirit & in Truth! Many religious folks modify His Word to adjust to the current desires of society. We can learn much from the Word of God. When His principles are abandoned there is a downward shift in the overall moral standards. Keep in mind GOD wants us to be spiritual beings that believe, embrace, implement and trust His Word!
The Bible does not ever contradict itself! The New Testament has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament! There is no other book like the Bible! It is an extraordinarily remarkable library of infallible spiritual wisdom that is inclusive of 66 books! It cannot be fully grasped by the intellectual mind alone. One must solicit the Holy Spirit to intervene and illuminate the significant meanings of its plethora of Scriptures. It is also the all time best seller! In order to not be lead astray it is important to know for yourself what the Word of God says! We as Christians believe and accept the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD by FAITH! This is why we are called “Believers.” When Christians follow the ways of the world rather than embrace the Word they usually have not actually taken the time to build an up close personal intimate “one on one” relationship with the Lord.
It is only with the Lord can one discover true “Security & Significance!” There is a tendency to encourage focusing on the outer rituals and traditions rather than to intrinsically search within to see where the true problem lies to resolve any inner conflict. The inner anxiety or unresolved issues can then become ongoing baggage that is carried throughout life producing anxiety when it is not addressed. God wants us to become whole! He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and take a stand for our rights. He wants to write His laws upon our hearts! Inner Peace can be experienced when one readily repents (turns from) any wrong behavior and moves forward… God does not want us bogged down in guilt nor shackled to any uncivilized or inappropriate behavior. He wants us to be FREE! There are very good reasons why He has said DO NOT do some things! The world says do as you please! God wants us to become disciplined! A disciple is a learner! God wants to deliver us from whatever hinders us from growing spiritually and becoming all that He created us to be He wants us to; “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul…” Matthew 11. This is why He has given us JESUS CHRIST to “SAVE” us from the power of sin reigning within our daily lives! GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!
Jesus died to take upon Himself the sins of the world and make it possible for us to become directly reconnected back to GOD! Sin had widened the abyss between God and man. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One! Jesus His only begotten Son humbled Himself to come to earth. He was Divine! Shaped in the image of GOD In the form of a man covered in sinless flesh, He overcame sin for us because He loved us so! Jesus bridged the gap between God and man and became the only “PERFECT” example! He arose with ALL power and took away the sting of death and sin. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter! We can now go straight to GOD wherever we are at anytime. He knows everything past, present and future about everyone and everything! This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD! He can and will make a significant difference in our life! God wants and up close and personal relationship with each one of us! We were created for HIS GLORY! Now that’s LOVE!
Prayer is communication with GOD and we need to regularly spend quality time with Him! His Word tells us in I Thessalonians 5; “Pray without ceasing, give Thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is a continual mode of interacting with the Lord! We are able to consistently become aware of HIS PRESENCE! There is nowhere we can go that God is not… As the people of GOD, there must be a growing daily focus on our personal relationship with the LORD that becomes more an more natural. We are able to grow spiritually each day. God’s Church is collectively all over the world made up of a diverse multiplicity of people of all races, colors and creeds that believe His Word! Whenever are wherever we come together and assemble as His Church we will be much more effective when we have spent time with Him throughout the week! We are to apply His principles to our own lives and allow Him to guide us as He works out the kinks in our lives. Life is about becoming “perfected” which means to become completed in Him! We can invite Him into the “Messiness” of our lives! We can also worship Him more freely as we draw near to Him! Worship becomes a part of our daily lifestyle.
I truly believe that it is the intentions of many to have God’s will done in their life. The desire to please man and to be accepted often supersedes the spiritual responsibility to be led by the Spirit. This is where the conflict lies… There is much spiritual warfare to entice believers away from GOD and to keep non believers from embracing God personally and intimately! We learn in Genesis that God created us in His own image. ( I don’t mean looking like Him) In essence we are spiritual and relational beings. We have been created for God’s purpose. Until we arrive at the point that helps us realize just that, we can often unconsciously create more adversity and anxiety in our lives trying to adapt and please man. This in turn can and will at times create a mental deficiency because the deep void remains. This void can be filled by many things… But they never really quite satisfy. God has a place within us that only He can fill. Ideally speaking; Did you know that if we were all following the Lord we truly would be on one accord. There would also be a lot less schisms and division within the Body of Christ!
Religion ritualistically practiced often focuses on the exterior. Encouraging others to worship in a way they deem appropriate by their denomination or non denomination at a certain time rather than ascertain a truly intimate relationship with the Lord. What do you mean? A few examples! If you are too quiet you can be perceived as standoffish and unemotional! If you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit! If you wear makeup you are being carnal… If you don’t pay tithes… If you do not wear long dresses or cover your head… If you don’t come to the service every Sunday… If you shout and pray loud you are… If you are quite emotional it can be perceived as being more spiritual… If you are… The point is worship is personal and the object of our worship should be the LORD. The wonderful thing about God is HE KNOWS ALL of our hearts! God wants you to be the best You! Conforming to be accepted can leave one with an ever greater void. The Word tells us the proper way to worship God is to be led by His Holy Spirit! Remember! “GOD is a SPIRIT and HIS worshipers worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” John 4.
In many cases it is not said in an audible language, yet there is a penalty for not adhering to what is expected, sometimes resulting in labeling or alienation. Many are far few and in between that have truly experienced the unconditional Love that is so often spoken of. This is nothing new, way back when even the Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews differed in their concept of worship. This is why we currently in this 21st century have so many denominations and varied places of worship. It is important that your chosen place of worship does not compromise the Word of God! Know that ultimately God who is Love is really the only source of unconditional Love! He Loves us because HE is LOVE! It is in HIM you can experience TRUE LOVE, inner fulfillment and PEACE! Spend time each day growing closer to the Lord! The LORD has a purpose and plan just for you…
Life is a cavernously deep expeditious journey. It is a complex menagerie of diverse emotions, feelings, thoughts, interactions, relationships and occurrences! How long or short will each of us be here no one really knows! As we grow we encounter a multiplicity of experiences that cause us to look deeper into what life is really all about. Each day is a new opportunity to discover something new no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential! As we grow it becomes evident that there is so much more to life than meets the eye! We embark upon a remarkable quest of discovery; but where does or will it all lead? We discover that we are also spiritual beings…
How do we get to know GOD?
The spiritual journey leads us to the realization of our Creator! God the Father the Great “I AM.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is what we as adherent believers believe! ( I realize that not everyone believes the same.) As we begin to relate to the Lord properly He will free us more and more from the things that misrepresent Him. As we grow spiritually our spiritual eyes are opened and we become more conscious of why we do what we do! Our conscience becomes much more sensitive to the things that are contrary to His Will and His Way! Our desire should be to live to please Him as we grow spiritually. Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuing life process! The Canonical Gospels which we know as the WORD contains a wealth of the history and origins of mankind! This is why it is so important to spend time in HIS WORD! Here we are able to ascertain the invaluable, priceless and precious TRUTH!
Through a plethora of life lessons we grow! We all have areas in which we are lacking! It is within our deficiencies we can discover a need for something greater than ourselves for survival. How do we cope with life, living and the anxieties that come along with it! As we become aware the discovery of a supernatural existence greater than ourselves and the ongoing need for spiritual growth and balance becomes apparent! It is a continual learning process.
God did not create us to be or become robots. Each of us is uniquely different with varying temperaments! He has given us the free will to choose… The world also offers many choices as well. It’s important to know the difference and then choose wisely. There are both good and bad consequences for our choices. Sin is what separates us from God! God is the Creator and Maker of mankind an ultimately knows what is best for us. It is our choice to draw closer to Him or look to the world and society for direction. The ways of God and the ways of the world often conflict here lays the inner conflict…
God sent us His only begotten Son; JESUS CHRIST to redeem us from the curse of sin! Sin separates us from GOD! Jesus came as an innocent babe wrapped in sinless flesh. He overcame sin in the flesh. He went through all the stages of life, yet He never sinned! He was crucified, died and was buried and then He arose with ALL POWER! He came to point us back into the right direction that once again unites us to our Creator. The Narrow Path is the Way that leads to Him! Jesus was the Door back to the Father! Jesus is the only perfect example! Living for the Lord is meant to be a way of living daily! No one knows when but the LORD is going to return for HIS CHURCH!
GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR RELIGION TO BE A CRUTCH!
Why is there so much confusion about religion! What is religion?
Religion consists of cultural views, beliefs and various systems worldwide. Religion in itself is not bad but for many it means different things. It takes on many forms depending on the particular culture! Christianity, Islam Buddhism and Hinduism are considered the four major religions. There are thousands of religions throughout the world. Within those religions are varied and diverse practices and an assortment of ritual. What, whom, why and how we choose to worship is where the problem lies. What we believe varies… We must become aware of the mixture of misconceptions in order to know what true godly religion really is according to the Word of God.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about religion: “
“The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Some religions have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.”
Technically by the worlds standard you can elect to worship just about anything. For some religion is just a commitment to an organized institutionalized system of beliefs and doctrines. The beliefs vary and often adapts and changes as the world changes…
CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION
Christianity goes beyond just being a religion. It is also the main focus within the context of this narrative! Religion is an essential important fundamental aspect of Christianity. Let’s take a look at The WORD of GOD’S definition for religion! “If any one considers him religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that GOD our FATHER accepts as PURE and FAUTLESS is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to KEEP oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1. These verses are quite self explanatory.
Christianity is a way of living, it is meant to be a daily lifestyle! Being a Christian simply means to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings! Jesus is the promised Messiah! We who are called believers, through FAITH believe the Bible to be the intrinsic infallible Word of God! Christianity is monotheistic! We believe in one GOD! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ONE! We are supposed to actually apply the principles of God’s Word to our daily lives! It is the barometer by which we determine right and wrong! Yes! It was divinely inspired by dedicated followers of God! As mentioned earlier the aspects of pure religion are explained in the Book of James! For many religion is about conforming to the beliefs of the masses without really personally taking the time to know what is actually in the Bible. Sometimes often embracing the traditions, doctrines and beliefs of a denomination over the Word of God!
GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE! It can sometimes be so simple we miss the intended message. The closer you or I draw to GOD the more we can increasingly understand the simplicity and powerfulness of HIS Word! His Holy Spirit further opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates His Word so we can better comprehend the intended message. His Holy Spirit is the eternal inner Teacher and spiritual interpreter that reside within us as believers! To lead us to ALL TRUTH! Listen closely to what Jesus said! “I have much more to say to you, more than you can hear now bear. But when He the Spirit of TRUTH, comes He will guide you to ALL TRUTH. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it made known to you. ALL that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the SPIRIT will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16.
During Jesus’ last days on earth He talked quite candidly with His disciples. He warned them that they would be misunderstood, mistreated and persecuted. He also told them they would not be accepted by the world. But most importantly He assured them that they would not be alone! He has given us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be with us always! This is why it is so important to know HIS WORD! We can call on the LORD anytime and anywhere! Think about this for a moment; when JESUS left the earth and ascended to Heaven there was not an actual physical Christian Church as far as a building! The disciples and His followers met in homes, they knew then as we should know now that they themselves were the CHURCH! GOD’S CHURCH is universal!
If you ever want a powerful defense for the Christian Faith Jude is an excellent book to refer to. Defending the Faith is not something new. Jude teaches the importance of not compromising the Word of God! The Word of God is priceless! You cannot manipulate God nor His Word no matter who you are! There are a lot of worldly influences that from the very beginning have tried to twist the Bible and its teachings! Many have been deceived, this is still the case today! Many worldly ways, concepts and methods have been embraced and embedded into the organized church system that are not of God. This is why it is important to know God and know His Word; of Him you can be certain and sure!!!
Jude tells us to “Contend for the Faith!” What does this mean? Contend means to strive against difficulties, to be persistent and assert yourself. Faith means believe without seeing. “FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at GOD’S command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible…” Hebrews 11 The Bible gives us the real facts! It is was not comprised of misconstrued circumstantial evidence. Many today attempt to use the Word to control others, justify their behavior and lifestyles but are really only promoting sin!
God is powerful as a matter of fact He is OMNIPOTENT meaning He is ALL POWER! He is SUPERIOR and SUPREME! Think about it with all the millions of organized church assemblies opened in the name of God, what is going on in this world should not be! It certainly is not because of GOD! It is because there are so many wolves in sheep clothing. “They are godless men who change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” Saints are supposed to be believers! Not followers of the world. But, followers of Jesus Christ! Too many want to be leaders that are served, rather than Servants of God! All too often you now find that many in the church instead follow the latest trends and adopt the ways of the world. No need to be jealous! Disengage from the messiness and focus on GOD! ALL you will ever need you can discover in the LORD! “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…” Psalm 24. Want what GOD wants for you! When you “STAND” on GOD’S WORD you never have to stand alone! “GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES”Take some time and think about it? Who are you really following?
We must TRUST GOD! When you know that there is a lot of false teaching going on what do you do? When you know that you have helped those that no one else would help, and they turn on you, what do you do? When you know that you have been mistreated and maligned and falsely accused what do you do? PRAISE GOD!!! Know that you are in good company because this is what happened to Jesus! When you know that manipulation and deception is present you still must remain faithful to God and His Word! Don’t let anyone pull you so low that you hate them… Don’t settle or compromise your godly principles to get access or support by the majority… Christianity is really not a popularity contest or a social club. Everyone will have to answer to the Lord at some point! So get right with GOD! God knows what you have or have not done. Don’t become bitter! Become BETTER! Guard your heart! God is more powerful than what any man or woman can EVER do to you! You must draw closer to God and TRUST HIM! Seek Him above all else! God will give you a strong sound mind! He CAN KEEP you from falling! “Do not be conformed to this world. But TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind!” Your true security and significance can only be found in the LORD! “If GOD is for us who can be against us!” THANK YOU LORD! & PRAISE GOD!
The Word is often used to justify lifestyles and wrong behavior that are not sanctioned by God! Minimizing sin and embracing tolerance. Often justified under the guise of unconditional love! God never intended for Christianity to become a legalistic doctrinal concept of rules and regulations. The House of God is supposed to be the Pillar of TRUTH! It is written! Christ died so we could have an abundant spiritual life! As a matter of fact it was the religious leaders that conspired to discredit JESUS and secretly sought to destroy Him. How ironic they called Him evil. Does this sound familiar? The Bible is the inspired Word of God! “It is a lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path…”
The gift of Eternal Life is one of the most precious gifts one can ever receive! Along with that gift comes the promise of His Holy Spirit. The Comforter and ultimate internal Teacher! Jude extends to us Mercy, Peace and Love in abundance! When Jesus ascended to heaven He promised that the Holy Spirit would come. Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure. He told them “Nevertheless I tell you the TRUTH. It is to your advantage that I go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart , I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me, of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, BUT you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of TRUTH, has come, He will guide you into All truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come…” JOHN 16
Jude known as the brother of Jesus Christ tells us that we have a duty to fight for God’s TRUTH! Not in a physical carnal way! Our weapons are not carnal! We must stay adorned with the spiritual armor! “PRAY also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the GOSPEL, for which I am an ambassador in chains. PRAY that I may delcare it fearlessly, as I should” See Ephesians 6 Without doubt we are in the last days and the Word of God is being fulfilled! We need not be afraid but prayerful! It is important to persevere knowing that God is with you! Jude says:“But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times, there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you. Who follow mere natural instincts and DO NOT have the SPIRIT. But you, dear friends build yourself up in your most HOLY FAITH and pray in the HOLY SPIRIT. Keep yourselves up in God’s LOVE as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh…
One only must watch the news, read the newspaper or search online to see that time is near! “Anything goes!” There is not only a Economic Recession but a “SPIRITUAL RECESSION” as well! Many of our churches are allowing carnal worldly teachings… Bible study on many occasions have turned to group think and mind conditioning! Respect for God and His Word all too often laid aside; carnality takes the forefront because somebody says; “I’m human” The time of increased Apostasy is definitely here! Meaning the abandoning of Faith! LORD HELP US! Anyone can be subject to error. This is why we all need His Holy Spirit to convict the heart of sin and point us to righteousness. What is righteousness? It is right living in the eyes of God! Sin is anything that separates us from God! Jude says: Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? This is why Jesus left us His Holy Spirit!
“To GOD be the GLORY!” Having an encounter with God regularly will bring you closer to Him! It will open your “spiritual eyes” This is also why we must contend for the Faith and stand firm! If you have grown slack in your commitment to God; He can speak renewal and strength to your heart! We must humbly and diligently pursue TRUTH! God can bring a plan and a purpose into your life like no other! “To HIM who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great JOY to the only GOD and SAVIOR be GLORY, MAJESTY, POWER and AUTHORITY, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD, before all ages, now and forevermore! AMEN!!!”
Trust is a very crucial ingredient in any relationship. When you have trust in someone or something you are confident that you can rely on them or assurance that it will do or function as it should. The trust one has in the Lord supersedes anything else. You trust a chair when you sit in it? When you trust the Lord you begin to realize that your life is not your own. Upon this revelation you begin the process of slowly and surely relinquishing the things that inhibit your spiritual growth. Your desire to please Him becomes your main priority. You are also actually better able to relate to those around you.
Proverbs 3 says “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Of course this is easier said than done. But there is a significant value lesson in this Truth. What does it mean when we say all? Is it not to imply that we exclusively, wholly or entirely commit to whatever it is we are trusting? Trust is developed over a period of time within a relationship. Once trust is developed it brings about a certain stability that is indicative of the relationship. It also yields a sense of security and permanency.
When you truly put your trust in God you can unquestionably rely on Him. God is not like us He does not change! There is no doubt that He will do just what He says. In order to know what He says you must take time in His Word. This is also why it is so important to develop an ongoing relationship with Him. God knows our hearts. Before we even ask Him anything He knows what is best for us. To the degree you exercise your trust in Him you begin to grow spiritually.
You know that whatever happens in time (even the bad stuff) GOD WILL work it out for your GOOD!
You begin to lean on Him more. Your understanding begins to open and you become more aware of people, places and anything surrounding you. Your insight and perceptions of Him also broadens. You embrace His Son Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord! When this happens your desire to acknowledge Him more and more in your life is cultivated. You gradually begin to take fewer detours and shift your priorities. You are able to relinquish many of the things and plans that are contrary to what His plan is for your life. No, This does not mean you become rigid or legalistic. Just the opposite you acquire a new found freedom. Remember this type of trust opens your understanding. You consciously realize that you are fully exposed to God. “Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” I Corinthians 4
Trust again is a very crucial ingredient in any relationship. On our country’s currency it even says “In God we Trust.” But do we really? I often wonder since there has been a plethora of attempts to remove this statement from money; has this type of reasoning contributed somewhat to the overall downfall in our economy that has resulted in a universal recession? Due to the shifting in our ever changing moral barometer, has this too resulted in less trust? Does this gesture display a lack of trust in the Creator who our founding pioneers founded this country upon? It is important to always give credit where it is due. It is always important to keep in mind from whence we have come.
According to Proverbs it is quite clear how very important it is “to TRUST in GOD in ALL our ways” in order for our path to be made straight.” I believe all of God’s Word! As I grow spiritually daily it is my prayer that I continually shift to leaning on Him and not my own understanding. As His child I want to “acknowledge Him in ALL my ways so He will make my path straight.” Life is precious and trusting in God, our Creator and Maker of heaven and earth the Author and Finisher of our FAITH, you really can’t go wrong. It is important to remember from whence we have come…
“TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Faith is so important that it is mentioned over three hundred times in the BIBLE. Faith means to have a firm persuasion. Having Faith means much more than just to say you believe. It goes much further! Faith is developed through Prayer, Devotion, Bible Study, and the actual application of God’s Word to your life. Faith is also part of the Lord’s spiritual armor. It is “By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:3. Faith is NOW not after the fact has materialized! “For we walk by Faith not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
When you truly trust God your Faith will see you through any and all circumstances or situations. Abel, Deborah, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab, are just a few examples of the many that trusted and had Faith in God. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets beheld many miracles, faced jeers, were stoned, saw walls fall, were persecuted, misunderstood, and mistreated yet accomplished their life purpose by trusting the Lord. Notice how they all sincerely aspired to live in the presence of the Lord. They had a personal and deep intimate relationship with Him. Hebrews commends them all for their Faith; “yet none of them received what had been promised.” It is by Faith we are strengthened inwardly! Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through Faith.
Faith is NOW!
Hebrew defines Faith as something you cannot see. Faith without works is dead. When your Faith is truly in GOD you trust that in His time He will fulfill whatever it is that He has said or promised. Take a moment to take an open and honest personal inventory of everything that is happening in your life. Guess what God already knows as well! Despite your circumstances; good, bad, or indifferent you can rest assured that your Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you will now proceed. In order to successfully run the race of life we must keep our focus on the Lord. Laying aside any weight or sin helps us to run with endurance. When life hurdles appear God will impart to you His patience and direction. You can not change anything that has happened “it is what it is” As you fix your eyes on “Jesus, the Author and perfector of our Faith” He will help you arise to the challenges as well as the celebrations of life. Your daily trust and reliance on God is where your true security and significance should reside. This will give you sure footing and strong solid rock foundational spiritual roots to help you withstand the storms of life. Your Joy in the Lord is where you will find strength when you keep your eyes on Him. The joy of the Lord is not contingent on your circumstance. Faith is NOW!
The key to being a Christian is the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know the importance of His sacrificial death on the cross that atoned for our sins? It was so we could live life to please Him! Did you know our lives, our homes, our marriages, families and our worship should reflect we are His children? How do we do this? Titus tells us that “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in Faith, love and in endurance. To teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good…” The natural man or woman does not accept, value, nor understand the things of God. This is why the Word says to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to understand the things of God it is crucial that you lay aside your way and your will and let His Word be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light to your path.” Having the proper perspective will teach you how very important it is to live life and study His Word for His approval and not the approval of man. This is why we are told to “Trust in the Lord will all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.” Proverbs 3: 5&6. Too often God is an after thought or optional choice when dealing with life. This compromise often has favorable results with man; yet results in moving you away from God. Learn to wait on God and patiently seek His way.
God’s way will give you peace and contentment that surpasses the understanding of man! God wants to be the Primary Force in your life. Being a Christian is really a chosen lifestyle. God does not force His way upon you. Faith produces commitment and faithfulness. It means to sincerely and earnestly attempt to live life to please God. Commence to truly Live, Sing, Worship and Praise Him. It really makes all the difference in the world! “LET the WORD of Christ dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3: 16&17.
God always has a better way. According to Ephesians He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. As His child we have been sealed and promised the gift of His Holy Spirit. God truly is faithful you can always count on Him! Now you must trust Him and step out on Faith. Remember Faith is not something that you can see. Always remember, you must exercise patience and your Faith and trust must rely in Him. He tells us if our Faith is “as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17: 20. The key to this is you must desire His will to be done. It is with God we can do the impossible. This way He receives the credit. To GOD be the GLORY! God keeps His promises. You can fully trust God to work everything out for your good.
Always keep in mind that absolutely nothing gets by God. He knows all that is past, current and will be. Be encouraged knowing “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” It is by Faith and patience we inherit His promises. We can patiently endure whatever is necessary because we know that God in His time will work everything out for our good. It is by Faith we accept His precious gift of eternal life. One of the most important elements in life is having Faith in GOD. “Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he, who comes to GOD, must believe, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Romans 1:16& 17.
GOD IS FAITHFUL in His time you will reap the promises and He will give back, restore, refuel and replenish you in His time. God knows when you are sincere. We are living in interesting times. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Author and finisher of your Faith. God is able to “keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great Joy!” You can say Hallelujah anyhow! God is awesome! As I mentioned before Hebrews records in its “Hall of Faith” many Old Testament heroes who trusted in God and displayed their Faith in unique ways. Lay aside every weight and anything that hinders you from going forth in the Lord! When you truly believe; it will be a priority to live your life to please GOD! Faith results in faithfulness! Who or what are you faithful to? “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” FAITH IS NOW!
GOD Dwells In The Hearts of HIS People!
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We in America have a freedom that you just don’t find in the rest of the world. We have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to live and go where and when we please. But most importantly we have the freedom to worship. There are many types of worship services but there is only one true God. The only way to worship Him is in spirit and truth. On our many journeys throughout the world the LORD has allowed us to see many marvelous things. On them all the presence of the LORD has been apparent.
On our trip to Athens Greece and Istanbul Turkey I was able to see some of the world’s most exquisite architecture. Turkey is a country that is 95% Moslem. In Turkey there is the renowned Hagia Sophia Cathedral. It was built for the Christian community to reflect the beauty that Solomon’s Temple once beheld. In spite of its elaborate intricate handiwork full of gold mosaic tiles, marble and brick walls, it is now a museum. It also contains various artifacts derived from Greek mythology and its continence is a shadow of it’s once intended purpose. Ironically across from it is the beautiful Sultanahmet mosque. Its known as the Blue mosque due to an extravagant array of blue mosaic tiles. Adorned with its intricate splendor and stately statueous marble columns and stained glass windows. It is scrupulously maintained and it is a place of worship for the Moslem community. Turkey is full of ornately designed mosques and Mohammed is whom they worship.
Words cannot express my gratitude to God for the things my eyes have beheld. The scriptures continuously came to my mind as I walked through the Hagia Sophia. “God does not dwell in a temple made by hand’s” In His time; “God is coming back for a CHURCH without spot or wrinkle.” “It is in HIM we move & live and have our being…” “Where the SPIRIT of the LORD is there is liberty…” We can not confine GOD & HIS majestic magnificent omnipresence to the confines of a structure made by human hands. Yes we can worship Him within the walls… But GOD’S CHURCH consists of HIS people from ALL over this world. God lives within the hearts of HIS people that have accepted HIS SON JESUS CHRIST into their hearts as SAVIOR & LORD!!! Our bodies are the Temple of the living God. We must ask continuously for the infilling presence of HIS HOLY SPIRIT! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind to the unmerited grace the Lord has bestowed upon all of us. Truly the Lord Is patient, loving & kind.
We had a most interesting journey. The one thing the tour guide who was of Moslem decent (in Turkey along with our guide we were required to have a Turkish guide as well) said that stuck with me was “why would a powerful God allow His Temple to turn into a museum?” I could not help but respond and say; “God does not live in a Temple made by the hands of man…” My point is and was God is so gracious and kind that He allows us so much freedom. He even gives us the freedom to choose who or what we want to worship. God wants HIS true worshipers to Worship Him; “In Spirit & in TRUTH!” Whenever or wherever I lift up Holy Hands, to Him and Him only my heart is eternally grateful. It is by His grace and His grace alone are we saved. God is truly worthy of all the PRAISE!
In Turkey is the city of Ephesus. There are miles and miles of ruins. Original artifacts, columns etc. and remains to testify to the fact Ephesus existed. To this day approximately only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is still currently under excavation. Primitive hand tools are used in order to preserve whatever archeological finds are uncovered. Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. Just look at God! Despite the fact Turkey is a Moslem country Ephesus remains a monument to Christians of God’s eternal presence, grace and mercy.
Some of my most invigorating spiritual enlightening moments were spent in Athens Greece. Here I hold dear to heart many cherished memories. We together walked up the steep incline to the Acropolis saturated with aged columns made of marble. The Parthenon and majestic ruins were filled with slippery marble laden paths. The highlight was when I observed my husband humbly climb on his hands & knees “Mars Hill!” The infamous hill that the Apostle Paul speaks about in the book of Acts. How interesting when we approached Mars Hill there was a woman preaching to a congregation out in the open, under the beautiful canopy of the blue skies. Once my husband determined it was safe I too climbed up on my hands and knees to meet him and we together Worshiped, Praised & Thanked the Lord!
The Book of Acts teaches us “And it will come to pass in the last days saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Paul spoke concerning an altar with an inscription representing the unknown god on Mars Hill. That unknown God is the God I love, worship and adore. The only true and living God. He is truly the Great ” I AM” The Lord is Jehovah Raah meaning; My Shepherd! Mars hill today is in a magnificent open place. High above Athens for all to see. (I will forever cherish what it felt like sitting there and praising God for all He has done!!!) I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL! It’s walls and canopy are the blue firmament that God Himself spoke into existence through the Word. That Word is Jesus Christ wrapped in flesh. Who sacrificed His life for the sins of the entire world!!!
It is amazing to see since our visit all the things that have come upon Greece. One would never have imagined that such a pleasant, warm, robust inviting place could experience such a decline. We should never take for granted the freedom we have here in America. Lord Help them… I am thankful that America has been founded upon Christian Principles. May we not take that for granted… Yes please; “God Bless America!”
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God. Glory! Glory! His TRUTH is marching on!!!
“The earth truly is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” There is not a place that can be built that can contain the fullness of His majestic awesomeness. The early church had no building they met in homes. We have dedicated our home to be a place where God’s way prevails. The heart of each of His Children is where His true Church abides. There is nothing wrong with a church made by hands. But the focal point should not be a hierarchy laden with cliques, clichés, how do we pay our bills programs and solemn auxiliaries; a mere shadow of what God originally intended. There is One Worldwide International Christian Church in the eyes of the Lord!
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” We should praise Him in song, WORD and deeds. We are not saved by works. But our works display our faith. Our main focus should be to cultivate an environment where God receives the preeminence in everything. Whenever or wherever we worship & Praise the Lord we should leave with a desire to want to grow even closer to HIM! Christianity is supposed to be or a daily lifestyle. We as believers can continue to grow in His Grace & Knowledge as we embrace and implement His principles within our lives until the day He calls us home. Then we get to live with Him through Eternity! Halllelllujah Amen!!! It is God’s Word and His power that will draw men, women, boys and girls from all cultures, creeds and colors worldwide. His Holy Spirit can and will change their lives when we sincerely spread this Awesome Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether it be via T.V., radio, internet, in song, in person, taught or preached inclusively by the Spoken Word.
GOD dwells in the hearts & souls of HIS people HIS CHURCH!
Everyday; “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!