Alienated from Man and God

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God did not create us to live in a bubble or vacuum, he created us to be part of the body of Christ and have fellowship with one another. He created us to interact with other human beings. He created Adam and realized that one being was not sufficient for growth, hence the creation of Eve. He created an immaculate relationship between himself and man. Their sin of not listening to God (conversations about the Does and Don’ts) led to the fall and their estrangement from the Garden of Eden. This is the moment man became alienated from God.

“I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s brothers.”
Psalm 69:8

In swept the 21st century and the advent of social media as a norm. Not all norms support personal or spiritual growth. As we become more addicted to life online, we begin to (only) find satisfaction in cursory relationships, human interaction becomes secondary. Verbal communication becomes infrequent unless we are in forced social settings such as school or work where interaction, teamwork, and meetings require you to hold a conversation. We are quickly becoming estranged from other people and going down the wormhole of alienation from everything, other people, family, and Christ. Once you are locked into your addiction, nothing else matters.

Verbal communication creates a dynamic environment where people practice the characteristics of Christ; kindness, honesty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, compassion, forgiveness, commitment, patience, gentleness, self-control, humility, loving and prayerful. Verbal communications create a form of harmony between neighbors. True reconciliation can only be accomplished when we acknowledge our sin and repent asking God’s forgiveness.

“ Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

When we move away from real human interaction and into the world of a limited number of characters and meme’s, we find that we create versions of ourselves that are often ruthless, arrogant, diabolical, self-obsessed, and dangerous. We create alternate self-images. Bullying becomes comfortable, there is no guilt in this setting, life, and death are reset and/or erased. At some point, we lose the ability to comfortably interact with people on a daily basis and begin to ease into an estranged and self-imposed isolation and alienation from others.

We find that the people on the other end of the smart chat, the game, and the community groups are pretending to be someone they aren’t. Their world becomes a fake world, much like fake news. It is created in Petri dishes, which leads to depression and often suicidal tendencies.

BF67BA5E-8FAC-4EAA-B5CA-1AA0F9AE27D8The most deadly trait we lose is that of being prayerful. We neglect our relationship with our Lord and soon become estranged. Not because he does not want to communicate with us, but because we shut him out. We reject our relationship with him, it is not the reverse. We begin to live in a world of isolation.

Alienation is the mother that gives birth to other alienation’s: the alienation between God and man, man and God. (Ferguson)

Isolation opens us up to spiritual attack. Sin, depression, selfishness, anger, and hate become comforting.

“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
Romans 7:21.

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Christians should never isolate themselves from other believers. The church is built on community. Through community, we establish corporate prayer. Through corporate prayer, we establish a relationship with other members of the community and God. Our world becomes more welcoming when we support one another and establish a norm we lost when society changed from small-town life to city life. We lost a sense of connectedness that some think is reignited in online social and gaming communities. The truth remains that they are alienated from the World, isolated from their family members and estranged from God.

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Thessalonians 5:14

Let us encourage the disheartened and lost to re-enter life and reconcile with our Lord, the guardian of our souls. ‘Alienation from God is not only real but dangerous-and the depth of the alienation is evidenced by the fact that we think we are in no danger at all.’  (Ferguson, Ligonier Ministries)

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Visit: youngchristianwarriors.com for more from Lisa Blair

People Pleasers

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Seeking the Approval of Man or God

How many of us get trapped trying to please the people around us, to our detriment? While this is a human trait, the Lord speaks to us in Galatians 1:10, about our allegiance to man.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

The two are mutually exclusive. You can attempt to please the people around you or you can please God. The old saying, you can please some of the people some of the time, but cannot please all of the people all of the time is moot. You cannot focus on pleasing people if it does not align with the Word of God. Being a people pleaser affects your relationship with God. It also affects your ability to make good decisions and it will wear you out.

People will not love you more if you bend over backward attempting to prove yourself to them. People pleasing is often our attempt at covering up past mistakes, failures, missteps, wrongdoings, and embarrassments. People pleasing is our attempt at trying to convince others to recognize us, to view us differently, to approve who we are and to love us.

The truth is that only God has the power to free us from our sins. Only God’s love can make us whole, not man. When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we were transformed. Through the transformation, we were freed from trying to please people and instead become obedient to the Word and please God. Our goal moving forward is to stop attempting to please others, our spouses, friends, relatives, employers, and associates. People pleasing requires going overboard, often being personally afflicted by the decisions we make to please others. The transformation focuses our lives on God, not on people.

When we seek to please people, we must do so as Christ did. This type of people pleasing is very different than the carnality of becoming a whipping post. Our efforts to please others often causes friction between you and the people you are trying to please, eventually, the efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated and at the same time, there is the expectation that you will continue bending over backward. The relationship is abusive.

Only pleasing God will provide the results you are looking for, unconditional love. Your relationship frees you of guilt. It strengthens you and teaches you that you are his child and you can love yourself in a healthy way, not to become haughty, self-serving, pompous and prideful, but to grow and become a humble servant. Carnal people pleasing is a selfish and self-serving dependency. People pleasing is an act of desperation attempting to gain approval from people.

There is an adage, but for the grace of God, there go I. As Christians, God freed us of our sins. We no longer have to attempt to please others and to seek their approval. We no longer have to seek love. God loves us and is the only one that can quell our insatiable desire to be loved. In God, we have redemption through his blood, the riches of his grace, and the wisdom and understanding that our purpose in life is not to be a people pleaser living in self-deprivation, but as a child of God seeking to please him.

There are two scriptures that will help you shift your thinking.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness ”. Matthew 6:33, and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding”. Proverbs 3:5.

You cannot be a people pleaser and please the Lord. One is the result of co-dependency, the other is dependency upon our Lord and Savior.

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Bible Quotes from, YouVersion. Bible.com

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All Things Are Possible With God

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It is thought that Matthew scribed the First Book in the New Testament and in so doing quotes Jesus who said,

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26 NIV

The THIS is anything you may feel is not possible in your life. The mighty power of the Lords grace can work on your heart. His grace can end afflictions, influence and dispose your mind, your heart, and cause you to want the Lords glory and salvation. He can meet all your needs, known and unknown, and give you strength and peace greater than you can imagine. Nothing is impossible with God if you have unquestionable faith and are committed to Him.

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“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV

God scours the earth seeking us, so He can bestow His love upon us. When we are weak, He is strong. All we need to do is call upon Him, as a child to a parent, and rest in knowing He will respond in Love, and that He is an awesome God. Recognizing His power in our lives is comforting. During times of sorry and need, it is particularly important to rest in His love. In times of uncertainty, and during times of comfort, it is also important to rest in His love. Our relationship with Him gives us the strength we need to live day-to-day.

Therefore, beginning the day ‘thanking Him’ for all He has done in your life is powerful. Acknowledging that this is the day the Lord has made is dutifully important. It is our responsibility to rejoice and be glad in this day; each day He meets our needs and gives us joy. For many joy is elusive. Carnal joy is reactive; spiritual joy is an internal disposition. The things of this world do not affect joy unless you allow it. Spiritual joy will carry you through life’s circumstances.

All things are possible with God; there are no exceptions or caveats. He reigns supreme and can do all things. If you are committed to Him, He will reign in your life, strengthen you, carry you, and Love you eternally.

Dress For War, Live in Peace

931584C6-EC3A-45BB-913F-B956D7F4F085“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Whole Armor of God
Sept. 2017, Children Armoring Up Every Morning

Today is a beautiful day, the sun is up and birds are chirping. This day is somewhat deceptive in that it is February and not April. It only looks and feels like Spring.

Like the day, we awake feeling lite and happy and we should, after all, this is the Day the Lord has made. But, do not be deceived, the evil one in his stealth-like manner is lurking, looking to cause you to stumble.

We, I, must always be on the look out. Satan’s demons operate through people, so  when someone is belligerent, nasty, unkind, or dismissing, know that the evil one is operating through them. This allows you to use your spiritual eyes to see what is really going on and respond accordingly.

Like a good soldier, always be prepared. Dress the part before leaving home. Dress for spiritual success as you do for work.

Recognize your power and change the atmosphere around you through the power of prayer.

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Strength in Brokenness

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Proverbs 18:14 states that if our inner spirit is injured, the whole person will struggle.

‘The Spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who will heal a broken spirit?’

We cannot cure our broken spirit by ourselves, no matter how we try. It is impossible. Only God can heal us, but we must shed our pride, stubbornness, self-will and sinful habits first. We must repent and acknowledge we are broken and dysfunctional and need His help. It is through God’s grace that our sinful nature, our sinful humanity can be reconciled. Jesus was crucified to take away our sin. Through God’s love and sacrifice, we are able to repent and be redeemed. Through His grace and mercy, we can be made whole.

The dichotomy between the spirit man and the carnal man is that we see brokenness as ‘failure’ but our Lord sees brokenness as the beginning of healing. To God, brokenness is the beginning of our relationship with Him. When we are broken, we become completely dependent upon Him and in turn, He will begin to rebuild us in His image. Only when we surrender and cry out for help, can we be restored and transformed.

‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ Psalm 3:18

 

God’s Unequivocal Love

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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:35‬ ‭NIV

God loves us. This scripture is about His love to us, not our love for Him. This love is from Him. It is unequivocal, and unconditional, love. He is with us in hardship. He is with us in times of persecution. He is with us in times of famine. He is with us in illness. He is with us when we are naked and exposed. He is with us when we are in danger. It is through His grace that He holds us up, carries us, provides optionsand when necessary, a way of escape. He intercedes, and interjects. His love is matchless. It’s like none other. It is wonderful, inconceivable, and undeserved. It is His bond, His union with us, birthed through the death and resurrection of Christ.

Love is the very essence of who He is. He doesn’t just love-He is love (1 John 4:16). It motivates His every action, directs His activities, and reflects His desires (1 John 4:10). Love is the greatest and purest essence of who a person is and its proper expression brings fulfillment.

True love is liberating, not restrictive. God’s love motivates His compassion and mercy (love in action). His love brings transformation.

 Love requires relationship, as love is a dynamic force or presence that naturally seeks expression. Simply put, love loves! And in order to do that there must be an object of that love or it is incomplete.

God’s love is revealed in that He created us in His own image (a position of responsibility before God) and likeness (moral freedom; Genesis 1:26-27; Job 33:4).

Our relationship with God is an intimate one. There is a sacred knowledge and expression that takes place. The bond is so strong that God says a nursing mother may abandon her child, but He will never abandon us (Isaiah 49:15-16). He becomes the ultimate Father! 55609543-6934-47D7-A18B-A1D707B25D53

He loved us first, enabling us to respond properly to His love (1 John 4:10-11). And His love (and ability) never fails.

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Some paragraphs are paraphrased or quoted from The Unconditional Love of God. http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-studies/the-unconditional-love-of-god.html. February 2018

Christ, Crisis, and Grace

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How often do we find ourselves in fervent prayer when we find ourselves in the midst of uncertainty and crisis? The answer is all to often. We seem to call out to God most often with heart-felt tears during these times. And, our God is so loving, He returns our prayers with grace. His grace is stronger when we are at our weakest. It is through faith that we receive God’s free unmerited grace.

My grace is sufficient for you, For my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

It seems that when we are in constant prayer, we open our hearts to Him in search of help. How wonderful would that be if we always prayed as if we are in crisis, and in some respect we are, maybe not as obvious, yet in crisis. The battle over our soul rages daily. The evil one does not want us free, he wants to strip away our salvation, shackle us to demons and lead us to hell. I would say that is crisis enough to stay in fervent prayer.

But through our Lords grace, we survive to tell our stories, our testimonies, to others to show them the way. It is through these testimonies that we share our relationship with God with others. It is through these experiences that we become disciples.

As the battle rages and we become more intimate with God through reading the scriptures and applying them in our daily lives, the stronger we become, the more we take the mantle of Christian Warriors, and the greater the number of people who want to establish the same relationship with God as you. Though our testimonies others come to Christ and more readily receive God’s Salvation. “My power becomes perfect in weakness” says the Lord.

When we are weakest, His grace is sufficient to carry us through times of uncertainty. When we are weakest, we stay in prayer. When we are weakest, we seek His lifeline.

When are we weakest? The answer is every day because we are under attack everyday. The evil one wants our soul. We must be ever vigilant and stay in prayer.

Our strength lies on our weakness. Our weakness connects us to his grace and mercy.

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