By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘Jesu

So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

The were two things I was sure of in this world— One was that I knew I would use drugs and alcohol that day and the other was the inner turmoil that came with it. This inner self-torture was so horrific that I thought the only way to get rid of it was to get high and numb it out. I thought to myself, “ If I could just stay high all the time I would be fine.” I didn’t think there was any way out of my life of addiction. Well, except for jail or death. I know I didn’t want to go to jail. I couldn’t get high in jail and that would drive me crazy. But the other was death. I welcomed it. Anything to get me out of my misery. I lost all hope for myself. I was hopeless and empty.

There is hope for the addict. That hope is in Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and through the power of God the Father, He was raised from the dead. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross enables us to have a pathway to the Almighty God. It is through God’s power an addict will get clean and stay clean. God is a God of hope. All hope rests in Him. I thought I was a lost cause. I truly believed that I would never be able to change. I had the desire to stop, but did I have the desire to stay stopped? Many times I thought I did, but I failed over and over again. The only way to “stay stopped” is through the power and strength of our Lord and Savior.hope-1 God loves you and me. He loves us more than our parents love us. He loves us more than our spouses and children love us. God sees our pain. He counts our tears. He knows the number of hairs we have on our head. He knows us! He knows us better than we know ourselves. He wants us to reach out to Him. As addicts, we lose everything. But when there is nothing left, there is the God of hope.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me know there is hope in You. I can’t do this without You. You are my only hope. Please show me, teach me, rescue me and free me from addiction. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

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There are many people in this world who believe prayer doesn’t matter and nothing good comes out of it.  There are Christians in the world who do pray but they don’t think of themselves as effective.  God does not want us to have doubt when we are praying  whether it be a specific prayer or an all encompassing prayer.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

I also like the Amplified version of James 5:16,

“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart].  The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamics in its working].”

A righteous person is a person who is in right standing with God.  It is a person who has a personal relationship with Jesus and our Heavenly Father.  A righteous person wants what is right according to God’s will.

Here are some simple steps to follow for an effective and powerful prayer:

Start your prayer  with praise and gratitude.  Praise God for what He has done, all He does and all He will do.  Thank  Him for his faithfulness and His unconditional love.  Praise Him for all He is and who He is.

Confess and repent your sins.  Acknowledge any sin that you are aware of and ask forgiveness for those sins that were unintentional.  Asking for forgiveness of sins also entails we are to turn away from that particular sin.   Repentance means a sincere turning away, in both the mind and heart, from self to God.

Ask for knowledge of His will.  Pray that the Holy Spirit gives you guidance, understanding, wisdom and strength.teachustopray

Continue to pray, never give up.  God has a plan for your life.  Remember, God’s timing is not like our timing.  So if you haven’t had an answer to prayer, just keep praying and remain faithful.  You will reap your harvest in God’s appointed time.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

 

This is a paper I wrote for my class in Systematic Theology.  The assignment was as follows:

“Alex excitedly tells you, “I recently received the Holy Spirit’s power. I’m no longer a carnal Christian like so many people. I’m just letting go and letting God. Now I can overcome sin with hardly a struggle, and I can live the kind of life that makes me acceptable to God.” Write what you would say to Alex, based on your own understanding of justification, sanctification, and the Spirit’s help in holy living.”

Hope you enjoy it. Smile

I would first start off by telling Alex that there is nowhere in the Bible telling us that just because we become a child of God through salvation and went through the process of justification and sanctification, that we won’t have struggles with sin. We are powerless over our sin nature but there is hope and strength through the help of the Holy Spirit but we first must seek Him, change our way of thinking and allow God to work in our lives. Faith requires action, not just sitting by and letting things happen. We have to fight to stay on track and on the right path, otherwise the devil will get a foothold in our life.

It is true when the Bible says, “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” But even so, we still have to be vigilant in our daily life and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance. Satan will attack this every chance he gets.

In fact Jesus told us we will have more attacks from the devil, because the devil doesn’t want us to please or bring glory to God. Satan will work overtime on believers. The good news is that we have weapons of faith that God has provided and given us to be able to sustain these attacks. These weapons of faith are explained as the “armor of God” as written in Ephesians 6:10-18. We are given the power of the Holy Spirit to aid us in times of conflict.

In a book written by Wayne Gruden titled, “Bible Doctrine”, he defines justification: “An instantaneous legal act of God in which He (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and declares us to be righteous in His sight.” He goes on to tell us that, “Legal declaration of justification by God affirms we are just in God sight”.

In other words, we have a right legal standing before God because He has given us forgiveness of our sins. This means we are completely forgiven by Him and are longer subject to punishment. It is important to point out that “legal declaration” in itself doesn’t mean that our internal nature changes and not even our character. Although Alex’s view of “letting go and letting God” can be a powerful way to live your life, it does not mean we are to be aloof and careless in protecting ourselves against temptations of the world. Being pro-active in our faith is important.

After justification there is sanctification. This process implies we are being set apart for God’s’ use. The Holy Spirit is predominately at work in the process of sanctification. Through God’s grace, the Holy Spirit renews us on a daily basis. It means we are to make a conscious choice to no longer love sin, be dead to it, and to stop and overcome patterns of behaviors that were sinful in our life. We are dead to sin and alive Christ. This should be our new mentality and our lives should show accordingly.

One of the greatest gift and resource we have to help us in this life is the Holy Spirit. He gives us strength when we need it. He gives us courage when we need it. He gives us wisdom, helps us make wise choices and speaks to us when He thinks we are making a wrong choice. He is our protector and teacher. He gives us guidance and direction. We must ask God The Father every morning to have His Spirit close to us for leading and guidance.

One of the greatest mysteries of Scripture is what’s known as “The Trinity”.  The Trinity is made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Although the word “Trinity” is not found in the Scriptures, the Trinity is at the very heart of the Christian faith. God is a triune God.   God is one in essence, one in Godhead but 3 in person.  He is 3 persons yet one God.

The following 3 statements are taught in Scripture:

  1. God forever exists as 3 persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit
  2. Each person is fully God.
  3. There is one God.

God reveals Himself as 3 persons in both the Old Testament and New Testament.  In Genesis 1:26, He says, “let us make man, after our likeness”. Who is He speaking of?  He is speaking of the Son and the Holy Spirit.  In Romans 1:7, we are told that God is our Father.  In Colossians 2:9, we are told that Christ is all God in a human body. In the book of John 14:16,17, Jesus speaks of giving us the “Comforter”, who is the Holy Spirit.

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equal in deity and power yet they have different primary functions when relating to the world and creation.

For example:

  • God the Father planned deliverance and salvation and sent His Son into the world.
  • God the Son obeyed the Father and carried out redemption for us.
  • God the Holy Spirit transforms us after salvation.  He gives us a new spiritual life and dwells inside us giving us strength and understanding.

There are many mistaken views about God and the Trinity.  Scripture is often misinterpreted and taken out of context.  One of these mistaken views is called Modalism.  In Modalism, it teaches that there is only one God but that God appears in different “modes” or forms, such as the Son and the Spirit.  It denies the fact that God is three distinct persons as clearly reflected in the Scriptures.  When Jesus was baptized, the Trinity was represented all at the same time.  God spoke from heaven and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove when Christ was baptized.  If Modalism were true, then the baptism of Christ is compromised and doesn’t make sense.

Another mistaken view is called Arianism.  Arianism was developed by a bishop named Arius.   Arius died in A.D. 336 and his teachings were condemned by the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.  Arius taught that Jesus, the Son of God, did not always exist but was “created” by God and also was inferior to God.  He based his views largely on the wording “only begotten” as written in John 3:16.  The word “begotten” is a derivative of the word “beget”.  Beget means to procreate or to generate.  So Arius believed that if Jesus was created than He didn’t always exist.

There is little debate that God the Father is fully God.  But what about the Son and the Holy Spirit?  Although Jesus is called the Son of God, he was not created by God.  Christ is the eternal Son and existed from the very beginning.  There are many references calling Jesus “God” in the Bible.  John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning the Word already existed.  He was with God, and he was God.  He created everything there is.  Nothing exists that he didn’t make.”  Jesus is the “Word”.  Romans 9:5 also states that Jesus is God, “…and he is God, who rules over everything…”.

The Holy Spirit is also a distinct person and not just a force or power.  The Holy Spirit is referred to as “He” in John 14:16,17.  The Holy Spirit has many personal activities such as teaching, bearing witness, interceding or praying on our behalf to God, distributes gifts to believers, and he knows the thoughts of God.

It is interesting to note that all three persons of the Trinity took part in creation. When God the Father spoke, His glory was manifested in creation.  The Bible tells us that all things were created through Christ, the Son of God.  The Holy Spirit hovered over the surface of the earth in Genesis 1:2 as God was forming the world.

We as human beings can never fully understand God.  God is infinite, as we are finite, or limited.  God has always existed and will always exist.  He is eternal just as the Son and the Holy Spirit are eternal.  God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.  That is where our faith comes into play.  We trust God and learn of Him and His ways through the Scriptures.  What we don’t understand we put our faith and trust in the Lord and continue studying His Word and spending time with Him through prayer and meditation on a continual basis.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

My thoughts are all over the place today.  I’m very frustrated by it and it gets me concerned when I’m like this.  Concerned for what?  I don’t know.  To make a bad choice, or maybe I know anxiety or a panic attack could be right around the corner.  Is it the devil messing with me?  How do I know?  I pray for discernment. 

Discernment means understanding or an insight.  Before I can decipher my thoughts, I have to be aware of what I’m thinking about.   I try to do what Joyce Meyer tells us in her book, “Battlefield of the Mind” to,

“think about what we are thinking about.”

I’m exhausted just thinking about what I’m thinking about.  Has someone ever said to you, “you think too much.”  Don’t you just want to smack’em?  I’m kidding of course…kinda.Smile 

I believe God blessed me with a thinking brain.  I also just need to turn my mind off sometimes.  I will watch something on tv that’s silly and doesn’t serve a purpose except to make you laugh.  I like the sitcoms from Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens.   Those usually do the trick and give my mind a much needed rest.  Watching TV is all well and fine but I still need to keep my thoughts straightened out and not go to bed with a mind of confusion. 

Even if I read some Scripture before falling asleep, I swear the devil attacks me in my dreams!   I have very vivid dreams and I can remember them.  I wake up feeling heavy, like something terrible just happened.  I feel like have sinned!  I talk to God right away and get the connection between Him and I started before my feet his the ground.  I even ask for forgiveness for what I was doing in the dream, just in case.  It’s important for me to have no seperation from God and if my mind believes a stupid dream can do that well then……I’m asking God for forgiveness in Jesus’ name……don’t know it’s something I should do but……what can it hurt?  I’m doing what we say C.Y.A., in other words I’m covering all the bases.

I read an article by Father Dan Burke about discernment.  He says,

The unmanaged musings of an injured soul can easily lead us away from the peace that Christ has for us and into further sin or destructive behavior.

Father Burke is telling us we have to maintain our heart and keep it in right standing with Christ.  If left unmanaged or neglected, it is much easier to sin.  Although the devil can’t read our thoughts, he has been watching us for our whole lives so he can learn what makes us “tick”.  The enemy knows our strengths and weaknesses just as our Lord and Savior does.  That is why it is so important we study God’s Word and know it for ourselves.   We’ve all heard the saying, “knowledge is power”,but knowledge is strength too.

I think there is a certain level of faith involved in discerning our thoughts.  I believe sometimes we just don’t know!  And that’s okay.  It’s not always easy for me to discern my thoughts.  My way of thinking can be very messed up because of my past, but God is a healing God.  He has healed my mind as well as my soul.   Just reading the Bible has brought me so much healing in my mind and thoughts.  I shouldn’t say “just”.  It is very apparent in my life that reading the Bible has had a major impact on me and my thought life.  In fact, my thinking is more clearer now than it ever has been my entire life!  That may sound good, but I get confused and think too many things at once.  I want to know the “why” of things.  In being like this it makes me open up God’s Word and search it out.   Search it out and find out what’s going on in my mind and how I can get rid of this inner turmoil.  I want peace, not racing thoughts that give me unrest and anxiety. 

God is a peaceful God so any thoughts that are giving me anxiety or unrest are most likely not from Him.  So I pray and believe my loving Lord and Savior will help me discern my thoughts and keep me strong and intact.  Satan will use my thoughts of reasoning and wanting to know the “why” of everything against me and keep me away from the will of God.  For me, all I can say is I will have to stay very close to my Lord when my thoughts are like this and keep my nose in the Scriptures.  The thoughts will then start to slow down and I’ll find rest in my thinking.

In closing, this article has been difficult for me to write because my thoughts were all over the place and it has taken me a week to finish it.  I am asking my friends and fellow readers, to enlighten me if the post sounded rambling and I would love some wisdom about discernment of thoughts from  you!  I cherish all of you as I know God works through people!


A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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