Free Yourself From The Shackles

Jesus humbled himself to the point of death to give us life. We should be able and willing to humble ourselves and, honestly, repent for our sins (stating what they are or were) and start anew (fresh). It is never too late, God forgives us when we repent, allowing us to move-on shackle free. Christ gave us the opportunity to rise above who we (presently) are. It is time to change our home location,  we are in this world, but not of this world. 

Go to a quiet place and speak to God, ask Him to forgive you. You choose the place. It could be in the midst of a train station, bar, standing on the corner in busy traffic. Just still yourself and pray. He will receive you wherever you are at the moment.

We belong to Christ. New Beginnings.

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Alert – Do Not Gravitate To Self

Danger, danger, do not gravitate to self.

~ Lisa Blair

When our lives become comfortable, we tend to gravitate to self if we do not stay alert. Alert – Do not gravitate to self. It is during these times that we begin to think about the success we are having is our own. We designed and orchestrated it by ourselves. All success is defined by God. He knew us before we were born. He designed our path leading to our destiny. We may be in control of how our success is playing out as any good manager does, however, our success is guided by our creator and not us. We reflect Christ through our behavior and actions. Our behavior and actions are our witness to the world.

We should become comfortable living wisely. If we do, we will know God’s Will for our lives and follow His path. Our motives should always be pure, which is not always easy in this time of focus on self, i.e., we live in a world of self-gratification. Satan is the author of self-gratification, and if we are not careful, we will be lulled into his camp. We begin to see our success as our success. We lose sight that we may have planned the course, but God controlled the steps that led to our success. John 3:30 puts it this way, He must increase [in prominence], but I must decrease. (AMP) He must become greater; I must become less. (NIV)

We gravitate to self and elevate self when we are successful. The opposite of this scripture occurs when we are deceived and lulled into a place of lust. We increase self and decrease Gods’ prominence in our lives. Proverbs 1 challenges us to think and act differently than the world. The world is enticing and without warning, you can be seduced. The evil one is cunning and knows what you lust after eager to provide it if it draws you away from God. I am speaking from experience. There was a time when the CEO of the company met with to discuss my future with the company. He shared that my future was bright if I followed my Vice Presidents instructions without question. As I listened, I immediately became suspicious. I was the school administrator of one of their schools. Shortly after the initial meeting with the CEO, the Vice President visited and told me to sign over a check to corporate that was intended for the school. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He wanted me to commit an act of fraud with a smile on my face, thus giving me access to a corporate career. I informed him that was not possible knowing I would be fired if I did not comply. Ephesians 4:14 says, people are cunning and crafty and create deceitful schemes. This was definitely one of those moments. This experience forced the question, do I become greater and relegate God to become less; or do I become less, and allow God to become more in my life? I decided that I’d rather lose the job and follow the Word of God being a good steward of the school than become a slave of the evil one bound by fraud and deceit.

Ephesians 4:22-24 teaches that we are to leave our former way of life, to put off the old self, which is corrupted by deceitful desires and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Through Bible Study and instruction, I knew that this was the evil one’s ploy to corrupt me and position me to become one of his slaves. I told the CEO I could not commit a crime to gain success. I was also emphatic that as a child of God, I knew it was not only illegal but one day I would find myself standing before God trying to explain why I allowed myself to fall into this trap of sin. I told the President of the Board what happened, and the Board fired the company and promoted me. Now do all stories end this way, no. Herein lies the challenge, should we learn the wisdom of God and apply it in our daily lives, regardless of the outcome of our actions, and live according to His word, or do we relinquish His power over our lives and live a worldly life? Do we rely on our (carnal) wisdom or Gods’ wisdom? 1 Corinthians 3:19, NLT is very clear, true wisdom comes from God.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness”.

Gods wisdom is the only true wisdom. Back to the subject matter – do not gravitate to self. Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs to give us an instruction manual about living life wisely and not falling prey or being lulled into a life that increases us and decreases our Father in Heaven. God is our sovereign, and there is no other like Him. Fearing the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. He alone is the source of wisdom informing us how to live life wisely.

Part of this lesson was taken from the BSF lesson I recently committed– The Kingdom of Solomon, the remainder was God inspired. The take away is: Never gravitate to self, never think that your ability to plan makes you lord over your life. It is the Lord who directs our steps. Every plan we make should be held in humility before God and surrender it to His ultimate will for our life. Ask, and He will show you the things you do not know, Jeremiah 33:3. Live a Godly life, a wise life, give God all the Glory, and do not gravitate to self. Decrease so He can increase in your life.

DO NOT GRAVITATE TO SELF, DON’T BECOME A VICTIM OF THE EVIL ONE’S PRACTICES TO DECEPTION TO DISCONNECT YOU FROM YOUR LIFELINE. GOD IS YOUR LIFELINE. ~ Lisa Blair

Resources: BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, International
Images: Google Images
Scriptures: Biblegateway.com


Dying To Self

The Bible is our manifest for life. It is our operations manual, others call it our guidebook. Its precepts are designed to teach us how to govern ourselves, as we mature as Christians, and travel down the path to our destiny.

The Old Testament precepts provide our travel instructions and through them we are encouraged to stay the course regardless of how live appears on earth, looking to our destiny, heaven as the purpose of our time on earth. The precepts offer hope in what can be defined as the godless world we live in today.

According to John Gill, learning encompasses: instruction “in the knowledge of Christ, of his person, offices, grace, righteousness, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension; and of the great salvation and redemption he came to obtain, and has obtained; and to teach us the doctrines of grace, of pardon through the blood of Christ, atonement by his sacrifice, justification by his righteousness, acceptance in his person, and eternal life through him; as also to inform us of our duty, and how we ought to behave both towards God and men.” (Romans 15:4, BibleStudytools.com/commentaries/Gill-exposition. March 23, 2018)

What Does that Mean for Us?

The theme of the month is dependence upon God and our obedience to Him. This scripture is yet another dimension of how we are to follow his instruction and rely on His Word to govern our lives. It informs us as to our duty as Christian Warriors in not only applying the precepts to our lives, but to demonstrate them through obedience to the Word. It describes the Trinity and how we can access the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The application of the precepts ensures that we are living a Christ-like life.

Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior

When we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we received our Salvation and insurance that we are part of God’s family. We have been pardoned through the Blood of Christ. We are justified in his likeness and he dwells in our being.  As a member of his family, we received the promise of eternal life.

Instruction Requires Obedience to and a Dependence upon God

In an earlier post I discussed Obedience and Dependency. Both require our allegiance to our faith. By this I mean, it is impossible to live a Christ-like life without being obedient. Obedience is ascribed to the practice of our faith and is one of the initial acts of obedience and is essential to our character. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, pp 438) This again takes us back to the Fruit of the Spirit defined as the characteristics of Christ. Living by these characteristics is a life long process because we fall daily and are in constant battle with our own demons given birth by Satan, and represent the opposite of Christ’s fruit.

Knowing we are susceptible to failure, we rest on the fact that as long as we are dependent upon our Father and rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, our ability to overcome our flesh rests in the constant reminder of being obedient. Whenever we feel the nudge or hear the quiet, soft voice warn us of doing wrong, doing things expressed in our fleshly desires (acts of omission), or are not doing things we know we should (acts of commission). Paul said it thusly,

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15 NKJV

“So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Dying to Self

Our struggle is harnessing our fleshly desires to live like Christ. One author defines it as ‘carrying the cross’. It’s literally, dying to self. Dying to self is the true essence of the Christian life. It is part of being born again.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:3-7 NKJV

We also die continually. To die to self is part of the process of sanctification. Dying to self is both a one-time event and a lifelong process. Dying to self is denying our flesh and living a spiritual symbolic life while living here on earth, and in so doing, as mentioned above, find eternal life in Christ. Dying to self is the reality of the new birth; no one can come to Christ unless they are willing to see the old life crucified with Christ and begin to live anew in obedience to Him. (Got Questions. What does the Bible mean by ‘dying to self’? gotquestions.org. March 23, 2018)

Humility, the Ultimate Dying to Self

Giving up your old self, dying to self, is living in a state of humility. Jesus died to self on the cross, surrendering himself in exchange for our sins. Though our rebirth we are freed from our fallen nature, our sin nature. Jesus accomplished this when he came down from heaven to dwell with us. Through the crucifixion he won life through death. “Humility and death are in their very nature one: humility is the bud; in death the fruit is ripened to perfection.” Humility leads to perfect death. Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death to set us free.

“The death to self is not our work, it is God’s work…the full manifestation of the power of this death is in our disposition and conduct and depends upon the measure in which the Holy Spirit imparts the power of the death of Christ. We must humble ourselves and surrender to God.” (Humility and Death of Self. biblestudytools.com. March 23, 2018)

Our primary responsibility in life is to die to self through meekness and humility. To accomplish this we should draw our strength from the Lord. We must (fully and completely) trust in God. I discussed sacrificing ourselves for others in an earlier post. We are to become dependent upon the Lord through prayer and study. We generally find that God’s grace abounds when we have come to our own end.

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [a]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [b]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [c]forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21, NASB

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com
gotquestions.org

Other Resources
Vine, W.E. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary. 1996
Nouwen, Henri. Can You Drink the Cup. 1996

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

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