Thursday, July 25, 2013

License to Sin

I've heard the statement, "License to Sin" in churches and Christian circles for a long time.  I have wondered on a lot of occasions what is that?  I understand licenses to drive, marry and do business.  The crazy thing is you only really need formal training to get a license to drive.  All the other ones are voluntary and don't come with a lot of instructions.  You get a license to marry but there's no instruction booklet.  You get a license to do business and you are told the laws but for the most part it's a learn as you go kind of thing.  However, I've not known a license that guarantees success in any endeavor.  Which is why driver's licenses are suspended and revoked.  Marriage licenses are debunked by divorce decrees and business licenses have expiration dates and laws to dissolve. 

Sin is absolutely and totally VOLUNTARY!!!  The temptation comes and you decide to do it or not to do it.  What happens is people look for ways to sin and be okay with it.  In the church people are taught to believe that God is sitting in heaven waiting on you to do something wrong so he can throw the PUNISHMENT book at you?  Even with all the "Hell, Fire and Brimstone" Preaching it hasn't stopped people from sinning.  Why because it's a CHOICE.  God gave us the freedom to choose and when people want to do something good or bad they will.  Telling people about the goodness of God and letting them know God has taken care of their sin from the time they accepted Jesus until they meet Him in heaven is not a license to sin.  If anything it's a license to love.  If your child disappoints you do you throw them away forever?  Even if you did God wouldn't!!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Having Peace of Mind

When your mind is under attack, you try to pray and you find that your mind is overrun with thoughts of defeat, fear and unrest.  You call friends and nothing you hear helps.  You can't sleep because your mind is racing.  You don't understand why you are praying and it seems that you are the only one that hears those prayers.  You cry about it because you are out of words to speak.  Then you hear that verse on television, you read it on a post somewhere, you open your bible trying to find something that will soothe you and BAM!!!!  There it is, everywhere.  Isaiah 26:3 - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.  The problem is when you see or hear the verse you feel better at that moment but how does it really work...really?  It's another one of those illusive things that you hear in church.  Like, "Just reach out and take it"!  You are looking around and wonder do I reach up or out.  What am I going to get?  But then you see every reaching up screaming and shouting.  That's when you think I can just grab it somewhere.  You feel like you got that thing...while you are at the service. 

Then you get home!!!  Where is the peace that you were reaching up or out grabbing?  What happened to it because while the choir was singing or the preacher was proclaiming the blessing is yours...where is it now that you are at home.  How do I keep my mind stayed on God because I really need my perfect peace.  You go through this cycle over and over and over wondering why this isn't working.  Then your heart gets sick because you have been hoping, praying, grabbing and crying for the change but it hasn't shown up.  This stuff must not work.  These people are making this stuff up.

Well no it's not made up, proper understanding of how you access the peace of God is what's lacking.  The first thing you have to do to obtain peace in any area of life, you have to keep your mind stayed on God.  How do you do that?  The first thing you need to do is quiet your mind.  Stop the voice in your head that's continually speaking to you this thing will go on forever or it will be the end of you.  Then listen to something that will help you focus your attention on God.  Get you a statement of faith that you can say at the drop of a dime.  This statement of faith needs to be short but impactful.  Don't say I'm not going to keep thinking about this but I'm going to think about God.  It's not going to work.  You have to have something that is truth.  If you listen to music it needs to be about God only.  Not a song or sermon that is talking about things you or someone else is dealing with because you will identify with the issue and it will pull your attention off of God.  A song like "How Great is Our God" because it only talks about God's greatness.  When you are focused on Him everything starts shrinking.  The reason you need a statement of faith is you can always make the statement to yourself softly even if someone is around.  You can't be having issues on your job and break out in a song.  As you are doing this you will begin change.  Your perspective will begin change.  Your thoughts will begin to change.  Your circumstances may not change immediately but they will change...They MUST change to your benefit.  God will begin to direct you and lead you because you are focused on Him.  Your confidence in Him and His word will rise up.  You will become unshakeable.  When God tells you to do something contrary to what your mind has been coming up with don't be afraid of that.  You may have to keep things to yourself until you are walking in your victory.  This will keep the naysayers out of your head, they will come from the inside of you so no need to add fuel to the fire.  Continue to follow the leading of God and you will find that there is not only a resolution to your present issue but happy surprises and extras that you have wanted but weren't sure if it was okay to have as a desire.

Let me warn you on something.  When the peace of God settles in and you aren't worried or trying to figure out how to get through this situation, it's a little unsettling.  You will wonder if it's okay that you aren't thinking about it.  It absolutely okay.  This is also the time to start making your affirmation of faith or sing your song to maintain your peace.  If not, that thought will begin to fester and you will start tending to your issue again.  You start making that affirmation or put that song on and your peace will remain.  You will continue to trust God, have a peace that you can't explain to even yourself and your life will start changing.  Those changes will be so dramatic that your very presence will demand an explanation.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Error in Expecting

When you are in a tough place and you are expecting a miracle what do you do?

It is amazing what some people do.  We pray and God tells us that he will do it.  What usually happens is we start looking in every direction for who will be the vessel that God uses to get the prayer answered.  We think about every person we know that would be able to do it, from what direction it will be coming.  However we should be expecting the end based on what God said not trying to figure out how.  We should be resting like Jesus was resting in the boat during the storm.  Knowing it is done not concerned about when or how it will be done.