A number of people have an internal argument with God that may not always be expressed orally; but, it is expressed nonetheless. As we recall, as a person thinks in his heart so is he (see Proverbs 23:7). Much of what people do is the result of what they believe. An issue at heart is the contradictions we all have carried and in some cases, still do.
Disciples of Jesus Christ should be the ones who have the least amount of poor self-esteem.
When you realize that you are loved by God the Father, acceptance issues should melt away. Perhaps for some there is an argument brewing in your heart about that one. Some believe they are incapable of rising up and doing great things. They believe because they may have struggled with school or have done poorly in the past, they are inept. Some believe they are stupid. All of this flies in the face of God’s amazing grace which is a gift that enables us to do amazing things. What about the Mind of Christ? What about the renewing or renovating of the mind that the Word of God accomplishes? There are more examples of arguments people have in any given areas of life. Some might say, “I don’t like to argue. I don’t want to argue, but I still do. How do I stop?”
One of the ways to head off an argument is to know Who actually is right in the first place.
Make a decision that God is right about everything. Decide in your heart to believe what He says, which includes what He says about you.
Another important key is to stop listening to the wrong spirit.
The spirit of the world always contradicts the Holy Spirit. It counterfeits the truth in that what it says sounds good, but it always has an underlying theme that leads in the opposite direction. Here’s a natural example to illustrate the point. Have you ever had great respect for a person, but found yourself in doubt of him or her because of something someone else said? The spirit of the world constantly whispers things that contradict the Word of God. That means it is time to take a stand and cut off the sources it uses as amplifiers. To whom or what do you listen? Do you have any relationships that cripple yours with God? Are there people in your life who consistently put you down or contradict God’s Word? Sometimes, shutting off the TV, changing channels on the radio and eliminating certain media sources makes a big difference. One in a while, we have to love certain people from a distance. New friends can be amazing when it comes to attitude adjustments. Ask the Lord what or who hinders you from being agreeable with Him.
Finally, renew your mind.
Yep, we have all heard it before, get in the Word. Read your Bible. A lot! Spend much time alone in the presence of God. The things of darkness cannot withstand the Light. “I don’t have much time to spend with the Lord,” some might say. Well, you have time for what is important to you. Do you argue about spending time with the One Who we are supposed to look forward to spending eternity with?
Do you believe in miracles? Do you need one? Are you chasing after it? When a need arises it is easy to center on it and give it first place. No matter what type a miracle a person has need of, the harder he chases after it, the farther away it may get. Why? Because he is chasing the wrong thing.
The moment a thing has preeminence in our life, it is the moment when it becomes an idol. It is easy to believe a miracle can solve our problem; however, that is not the case. It is God Who solves our problems and He may use miracles to do it. Nevertheless, until He gets first place in our life, we may not see the desired results.
Has it occurred to any of us that the reason we don’t see as many miracles in our lives is because we may be chasing them instead of God? Perhaps, we overlook miracles because we don’t recognize them. If you “need a miracle,” stop chasing it. How do you know what you have need of, if you do not even know the heart of God in the matter? Jesus told us that the Father know what we have need of before we ask (see Matthew 6:8). Indeed, He emphatically knows. The question is, do we really know what we have need of?
Sometimes we want our problems to be solved instantaneously, hence, “I need a miracle.” What if the problem is not the problem? What if the miracle comes, but the same problem returns next week? Perhaps, the issue is inside and not something from the outside. Maybe the problems a symptom that needs addressing. Instead of giving us what we want, the Lord sometimes allows us to go through something in order to get to the heart of the matter. It is amusing to say that He is God, yet tell Him what we want.
If you need a miracle, will you have peace once you have it? If you require one before you have peace, then a miracle is not what you need.
God is our Peace and He provided the Miracle in order for us to have Him. When we are centered on God, then we’re in a position for a miracle. Think about it. Jesus said signs and wonders would follow those who believe (see Mark 16:15-18). If a person is chasing after a miracle, perhaps he is running in fear instead of walking by faith. Faith says, “God is, and He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (see Hebrews 11:6). The Lord also said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). In verse 34, He essentially says, “Don’t worry about it.”
We do not seek God to get things (whatever “things” mean to us); we seek Him for Him alone. Because He is our loving Father, He will make the provision for what we need. It is the result of the relationship. Honestly, our need is intimacy with Him. When we are intimate with God, He is able to speak to our heart and we are able to ask according to His will and see the right results. What is a miracle anyway?
Normally, I try not to get overly personal in our blog posts; but this, I feel is important enough to share. Lately, I have talked with a number of people who have been struggling with the same issue. That issue is forgiving themselves. Even though we have touched on this subject in past posts, I felt pressed to address this struggle head on and hard. For you who find it difficult to let yourself off the hook, I pray that you receive this in love and finally are able to be free of this chain forever, in Jesus’ Name!
Question, why did you ask God to forgive you, if you will not forgive yourself? Are you greater than God? Is His forgiveness less valuable than yours? His forgiveness came with a Price, the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Who paid it, Him or you? Since He did indeed pay the price for it, do you suppose He wants you receive it? Okay, you might want to make up for your past; then, do it His way. This leads to the first step of forgiving yourself.
Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (KJV). Part of denying the self is not allowing the self to decide what is right and wrong. We let God decide that because He is God. That means that you have to stop making it about you and make it about Him. You have to stop asserting yourself in the forgiveness equation. If you did call on the Name of Jesus, you gave up the right to hold yourself in unforgiveness. Scripture clearly says you were bought with a price and you are not your own (see 1Corinthians 6:19-20).
Jesus Christ paid the price for your sin. When you refuse to forgive yourself, you insult Him. Are you saying He is not worthy? In Revelation, we see all of heaven declaring with one voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!” He is worthy for you to be forgiven. You see, it is not about you; it’s about Him. Did you know that the righteousness of Jesus is our righteousness? 2Corinthians 5:21 For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (KJV). You cannot make yourself righteous when He already did that job at the Cross and Resurrection. Because He is worthy, you are worthy, and He is worthy for you to be worthy. Jesus is worthy for you to forgive yourself and enjoy the relationship with God.
2Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. Did you have godly sorrow that led you to repentance, or do you plan to keep sinning? What is your desire? Worldly sorrow basically is more concerned about feeling bad for getting caught. It feels bad to not look good. Worldly sorrow is hypocrisy which is pretending to be something you are not. A hypocrite is an actor. Do not confuse struggling with sin and shortcomings with hypocrisy. They are different. A hypocrite does not struggle with sin because he or she is unconcerned with it. They’re concerned with not looking bad, remember? Yes, we all blow it from time to time. Hopefully, less and less as we mature. If you don’t care about true righteousness, then there is a problem. Struggling is not a bad thing in the sense that there is a desire for purity. Better still, receive the righteousness of Jesus and walk in peace.
A humungous step to forgiving yourself is believing God and taking Him at His Word. God is not a man of his word because He is not a man who would lie. He is the Word and He places His Word above His Name. The Bible clearly tells us that God cannot lie. “I thought God could do what He wants,” one might say. God never thinks or does anything that is contrary to His nature.
What does God say about forgiveness and calling on the Name of Jesus? Is He a respecter of persons? Are you saying, then, that the Father wants everyone to receive forgiveness, except you? Is it not a slap in the face when you refuse what He gives so freely, yet cost Him so dearly? That is not to put a guilt trip on you; rather, to get you to think about what you are doing.
What you did in the past does not define you. What defines you is what God says about you. Therefore, since He said you are righteous in Christ Jesus, then you are righteous. If He calls you His child, then you belong to Him. To be born again means to be born from above, which means you are a son or daughter of God. You are no longer a sinner. You are no longer that person, you and the devil accuse you of being. Having a relapse, does not mean you went back into the world. If you did you would not care.
Stop focusing on your past. After all, it is passed away (see 2Corinthians 5:17). It is dead because your old nature is dead (see Galatians 2:20). Focus on who you are in Christ Jesus. When you focus on His righteousness, you will walk righteously. Trying “not to sin anymore” is still being sin-conscious, which means you will keep dong those things you don’t want to do. When we try not to sin, we fall into doing our own works and relying on our strength. You are saved by grace through faith and not of yourself, it is a gift of God and not of your works (see Ephesians 2:8-9). His grace is truly sufficient.
Finally, with man the things of God are impossible. That is why He gave us His grace which is unmerited favor that enables us. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (KJV). Tell God you need help. He will give you the grace or ability you need. Make the decision to forgive yourself in His strength.
As long as a person believes he has all the answers, he will never come into the fullness of truth. If he prefers his own reasoning, he will never come to the knowledge of God. As knowledge puffs up apart from love, “the knowledgeable” will remain arrogant and such arrogance is self-deceit (see 1Corinthians 8:1; Romans 1:21-22). True knowledge comes through humility. Without it, access to the knowledge from above is closed off. Essentially, as long as a person thinks he knows more or knows better than God, he will be lost in his conceit. This is the plight of the lost who refuse to humble their selves before the Lord.
If people do not want to know the answer, why do they ask why? In come some cases, people ask why in order to accuse God. They are angry at Him for whatever hardship they are facing or a loss they have suffered. Humans do that when they react. They want to find someone to blame when they’re under emotional duress. They are not really interested in the answer because they may not like the answer or will not understand it.
How can finite reasoning grasp infinite wisdom? How can we, whose ways are lower than God’s ways, embrace His ways? Think about it, God is infinite which means His thought and ways are infinite. We are limit to our experiences. What are they compared to that which is eternal? What makes a person think that he or she could possibly have better answers than God?
Perhaps, trust is the issue. If you don’t like God’s answers, perhaps you don’t trust Him. Maybe, you think He does not have your best interests at heart. God needs no defending; but, He is a loving Father and He most assuredly does. Your finite experience limits your understanding; in fact, it can impose false reasoning. Experience can actually be a detriment if it goes unchallenged. It can build a stronghold around our reasoning, one block at a time.
One could hold a falsehood as truth based on what he filters through his experience; thus, he lacks true clarity. God knows the end before the beginning. He knows every aspect of what you have gone through. We see things from the ground level, if you will. He, however, sees from the highest level possible. If we stop at the experience, we will miss the answer. Sometimes, what we consider complete is just the beginning from God’s standpoint. Remember, we are not home yet. God works everything to the good according to His purpose to those who love Him (see Romans 8:28). By the way, His purposes are always good!
If you lack wisdom, ask God (see James 1:5). If you are angry with Him, forgive Him. We cannot lie to God about unforgiveness. If you are accusing God of wrong doing, that is where you are with Him. Tell Him what’s going on. He knows you better than you do. God the Father cares about you. If He didn’t, you would not have just read that statement. With forgiveness comes an openness to trust. With trust comes the ability to receive what the Father has for you, and what He has for you is very good.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (KJV).