Forgiveness · Grace · Scripture

I Pledge Allegiance To…

It is very frustrating how I can sit in church saying amen and agreeing with the pastor (and God) about the Scripture that is being preached.  I even make notes on my outline sheet and/or my Bible regarding actions that need to be taken to honor God more fully.  A battle plan begins forming in my head in order to take specific steps toward Christlikeness in regard to a particular sin or  weak area of my spiritual life.  On these days, the music is sweeter and sung a little louder, maybe even some toe tapping {gasp}.  The service has ended and some small talk has taken place, my hubby and I enter the car, I ask him what seems like a simple question and even give him two options to choose from.  When he replies with a non-answer (more like an “I don’t know, hadn’t thought about it”), my head (and usually my mouth) explodes.

While reciting the imperfections of my loving husband, the Holy Spirit prompted the thought of how I can be so contradictory in such a short period of time and what God has to say on the subject.  The Bible has much more to say, but here are two good examples of God’s thoughts on my vacillating allegiance:

 Where do wars and fights come from among you?  Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (James 4:1-2, NKJV)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those  who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5: 16-21, ESV)

Guilty – the question must be asked, “What am I truly desiring?  What is it that has so gripped my heart that I would respond by sinning against my husband?”  The short answer is that I wanted the day go just as I planned it.  God was not consulted nor was Steve was considered.  I was tired.  I was hungry.  I had a to-do list as long as my arm that needed to be done.  Thankfully, the Spirit brought me to a posture of humility and willingness to ask for forgiveness from both my Savior and my husband.  So a new battle plan is being formed.  One that includes putting off only looking at my desires and considers others before myself.

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20, NKJV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:21-26, ESV)

In His all knowingness (is that a word?), God has so graciously given us instructions on what He desires and then gives the strength to do what He has instructed.  This is the very point that counts so much, but where most of us have our greatest struggles.  We so desperately want to be like Christ and to honor God, but it is hard work and we rarely see results as quickly as we had hoped.  God never said it would be easy or fun, but He has assured that He will be with us every step of the way, we can have joy in the journey and (best of all) HE will complete what He began (Philippians 1:6).  As long as we are in these clay vessels, we will have work to do, but our Lord has been faithful to supply all that we need to be obedient to His Word (Philippians 4:19).

Chew On This

  • Is there someone that you have recently sinned against and still need to ask for forgiveness?
  • Are you allowing God to use the Word, people in your life and circumstances to show you areas where growth or change is needed?
    • If so, are you humbling yourself, asking for forgiveness for sinning against your Lord and creating battle plans for honoring Christ when you are tempted in the same area?
    • If not, pray and ask God today to show you where He would like for you to honor Him more fully (remain watchful for the answer so that you can respond).
  • Is there an area in your life that you have given up hope that change can take place?  If so, please do not give up Christ gave everything so that you don’t have to live in bondage to sin.  Please email me: godwanderings@gmail.com

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Chrsit our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1: 24-25, ESV)

 

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