God’s Will – God’s Promises, Part 1

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him, the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV

To understand God’s Will for our lives, we must know and accept His promises. This month our focus is on God’s promises and how they apply to our daily living.

Last month the focus was obedience, dependence, and love. You will begin to see that they are the building blocks for applying God’s promises. He uses His promises to help move us from our current circumstances to a new place. It is important that we must respect His Word to understand the validity of following His Word. If we are going to choose to follow His Word, we must know what it means. Otherwise, we will fall prey to the evil one’s mastery of deception.

Satan works overtime to destroy the faith of Christians. Paul says, “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:11). Satan’s main weapon is deceit. He is described as the “serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev 12:9).

It is easy to deceive a person when they have no basis to understand the intent of the deception. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary’s definition of deceiving is to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true; to impose upon; to mislead; to cheat; to disappoint; to delude; to ensnare. These are Satan’s tactics. His goal is to convince you that your free-will is exclusive to your desires to live life as Satan offers it, not as God designed it for your use. His purpose is to steal God’s promises for your life and send you to hell.

The requisite to understanding our free-will is knowing and believing God’s Promises to be the truth. Smith Wigglesworth once preached ” God wants to bring all of us into line with His Will. The Bible builds up our character in God, and through this process, we are changed by the Spirit from glory to glory and faith for faith, which comes by hearing by the Word of God”. (Romans 10:17) “The Word of God comes in to separate us from everything that is not of God.”The Holy Spirit molds us in God’s Will.”” [Smith Wigglesworth, by Faith, April 21, 1945, pp. 800, 801]

We must follow God and His Word in obedience, and He will shine a light on the path ahead (John 14:21).

God gave us free-will because He wants us to think. Without free-will He would have to demand what he wants us to do; that does not inspire a relationship. He would prefer that we weigh our options and choose His Will for our lives. God is not a dictator. In governance terms, while Christians live in a theocracy, it appears much like a democracy, in that rules and laws are in place, but it is up to us to follow them. It is our choice and the consequences are in line with the action taken.

God’s Promises, God’s Will, Fruit of the Spirit, Free-will,
The freedom to choose

God’s promises are generally categorized according to the Fruit of the Spirit. This was an Ah-hah moment for me. I read, studied and wrote on the Fruit of the Spirit. I read and studied free-will and God’s Will, and when I began to read and study about God’s promises, it all began to come together.

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

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Dying To Self

The Bible is our manifest for life. It is our operations manual, others call it our guidebook. Its precepts are designed to teach us how to govern ourselves as we mature as Christians and travel down the path to our destiny.

The Old Testament precepts provide our travel instructions and through them we are encouraged to stay the course, regardless of how life appears on earth, looking to our destiny, heaven is the purpose of our time on earth. The precepts offer hope in what can be defined as the godless world we live in today.

According to John Gill,  learning encompasses: instruction “in the knowledge of Christ, of his person, offices, grace, righteousness, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension; and of the great salvation and redemption he came to obtain, and has obtained; and to teach us the doctrines of grace, of pardon through the blood of Christ, atonement by his sacrifice, justification by his righteousness, acceptance in his person, and eternal life through him; as also to inform us of our duty, and how we ought to behave both towards God and men.” (Romans 15:4, BibleStudytools.com/commentaries/Gill-exposition. March 23, 2018)

What Does that Mean for Us?

The theme of the month is dependence upon God and our obedience to Him. This scripture is yet another dimension of how we are to follow his instruction and rely on His word to govern our lives. It informs us as to our duty as Christian Warriors in not only applying the precepts to our lives, but to demonstrate them through obedience in the Word. It describes the Trinity and how we can access the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The application of the precepts ensures that we are living a Christ-like life.

Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior

When we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we received our Salvation and insurance that we are part of God’s family. We have been pardoned through the Blood of Christ. We are justified in his likeness and he dwells in our being. As a member of his family, we received the promise of eternal life.

Instruction Requires Obedience to and a Dependence upon God

In an earlier post I discussed Obedience and Dependency. Both require our allegiance to our faith. By this I mean, it is impossible to live a Christ-like life without being obedient. Obedience is ascribed to the practice of our faith and is one of the initial acts of obedience, and is essential to our character. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, pp 438) This again takes us back to the Fruit of the Spirit that defines the characteristics of Christ. Living by these characteristics is a life long process because we fall daily and are in constant battle with our own demons given birth by Satan and represent the opposite of Christ’s fruit.

Knowing we are susceptible to failure, we rest on the fact that as long as we are dependent upon our Father and rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, our ability to overcome our flesh rests in the constant reminder of being obedient. Whenever we feel the nudge or hear the quiet, soft voice warn us of doing wrong, doing things expressed in our fleshly desires (acts of omission), or are not doing things we know we should (acts of commission). Paul said it thusly,

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15 NKJV

“So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Dying to Self

Our struggle is harnessing our fleshly desires to live like Christ. One author defines it as ‘carrying the cross’. It’s literally, dying to self. Dying to self is the true essence of the Christian life. It is part of being born again.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:3-7 NKJV

We also die continually. To die to self is part of the process of sanctification. Dying to self is both a one-time event and a lifelong process. Dying to self is denying our flesh and living a spiritual symbolic life while living here on earth, and in so doing, as mentioned above, find eternal life in Christ. Dying to self is the reality of the new birth; no one can come to Christ unless they are willing to see the old life crucified with Christ and begin to live anew in obedience to Him. (Got Questions. What does the Bible mean by ‘dying to self’? gotquestions.org. March 23, 2018)

Humility, the Ultimate Dying to Self

Giving up your old self, dying to self is living in a state of humility. Jesus died to self on the cross, surrendering himself in exchange for our sins. Through our rebirth we are freed from our fallen nature, our sin nature. Jesus accomplished this when he came down from heaven to dwell with us. Through the crucifixion he won life through death. “Humility and death are in their very nature one: humility is the bud; in death the fruit is ripened to perfection.” Humility leads to perfect death. Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death to set us free.

“The death to self is not our work, it is God’s work…the full manifestation of the power of this death is in your disposition and conduct and depends upon the measure in which the Holy Spirit imparts the power of the death of Christ. We must humble ourselves and surrender to God.” (Humility and Death of Self. biblestudytools.com. March 23, 2018)

Our primary responsibility in life is to die to self through meekness and humility. To accomplish this we should draw our strength from the Lord. We must (fully and completely) trust in God. I discussed sacrificing ourselves for others in an earlier post. We are to become dependent upon the Lord through prayer and study. We generally find that God’s grace abounds when we have come to our own end.

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [a]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [b]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [c]forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21, NASB

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com
gotquestions.org
desiringgod.org

Other Resources
Vine, W.E. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary. 1996
Nouwen, Henri. Can You Drink the Cup. 1996

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com
Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Our Garden Life Cycle

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It’s raining outside and I’m looking in my backyard. My plants, bushes, and flowers are loving it. They thrive, not just surviving through all seasons. The seasons are a template for our lives. Climates that are more seasonal provide a time for dormancy, a time for new growth and a time for blooming to maturity. We thrive in much the same way. Plant life is seasonal and ours is cyclical.

            “To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,”   Eccl 3:1, NKJV

  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,”   Eccl.3:1 NIV

Dormancy

garden late fall1There are times when we are dormant, in a space of inner thoughts and meditations. A time when we either voluntarily retreat or changes occur in our life, i.e, illness, loss of a job, family breakup, natural events – storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires and flooding to name a few, events that cause us to retreat and close out the world. There are times when our Lord needs to get in touch with us and prepare us for upcoming events and jobs He has for us. This happened to me, He called often over a ten year period. I heard Him and kept putting His request for a stronger relationship off, choosing to spend a few minutes here and there with Him. Then one day, the opportunity to voluntarily choose no longer became an option, it became a command and I was forced to withdraw from the world and focus on Him, His Word, and His plan for my life.

New Growth

Garden2

Wouldn’t it be great if new growth didn’t require a form of destruction, undoing, and pruning? I think it is important to note that God created the earth and plant life before He created us.

 

 

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.  Genesis 1:11-13 NIV

Do you think He used the same template of regeneration with us? My new growth appeared after I spent solitary time with the Lord for two and a half years. My time of dormancy was the result of early retirement. I found myself home eight hours a day. Much of that time was spent in prayer and study. The new growth could not have occurred without the time of dormancy. Through dormancy, I entered a much stronger relationship with God, my fellowship with Him felt effervescent, and still does to this day, some four years later, and my connection to the Word is woven much more tightly. New growth is a brilliant time in plant life and ours as well.

Time of Blooming

As new plants grow, so do we as Christians studying the Word of God. This is the timegarden late fall3 when we can evangelize to others. We have developed a command of the scriptures. It is a time of sharing the Good News and a time when the Holy Spirit glows through our being. It is a time of sharing our relationship with the Lord through writings, blogging, speeches, and conversations. It is the time of blooming.

Life is Cyclical

I have learned from my experiences and the process of studying the Word that our lives garden summer2are cyclical and hence seasonal. There are times of rest, times of challenges and times of victories. There are times of inactivity and times of activity. There are times when our pace is slow and time of quantum jumps. We cannot rest thinking we will always ride the wave of good fortune. If we did, God would not have prepared ‘the way’. Our experiences establish our relationship with Him. Our experiences, good and bad, intentional and not, are the soil that feeds us.

We will experience, drought, wind, rain, sun, heat, storms, tsunamis, deserts, disappearing paths, cliffs, and free falls in our lives. Establishing a strong relationship with our Lord will soften the impact. We will not lose our way, and if we do He will redirect us and plant us in a new garden. Fellowship will other Christians will help us through the dark periods as they share their experience and help us traverse ours, they are our fertilizer and in some cases our weed killer, providing support and fortification in the Word.

Our Lord has provided everything we need in life, all He asks is that we receive His gift of His Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and allow the Holy Spirit to our hearts.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.                               James 1:17 NKJV

The sun is back out, the clouds are still in the sky and my flowers and plant life are thriving and exhilarated, as am I. I thank God every day for my life and my relationship with Him. I am grateful that I am His child and He loves me despite my flaws. He knows me in my humanness, accepts who I am and inspires me to live a Christ-like life as a Christian Warrior trying to be fully dependent upon Him and obey His commands.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I found this slide of the Christian Growth Cycle, produced by PVB Church Without Walls, Life Cycle Christianand think it expresses our cycle of Christian growth, the Making of a Christian Warrior, very well. It is a great summation of this post.

 

 

 

Websites
lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com 
youngchristianwarriors.com

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com
Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection, PVB Church.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

PUBLISHED BY

Lisa Blair

My name is Lisa Blair. I’m a parent, wife, and grandmother, a Christian educator, blogger, and public speaker. I am the owner of Youngchristianwarriors.com and Lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com. The sites are designed to inspire people to live through the Word of God.