God Wants Relationship—He Is Our Heart And Portion

Why do we struggle to live what we believe is enough, until we reach rough terrain, or old age and realize, God is our strength and relying on self is futile?

~ Lisa Blair

Cuzco, Peru- DMorris

Headstrong/Free-will

God created a headstrong people and gave us free-will. Free-will is the option to choose to live a carnal life or a Godly life. God does not stand in our way, but instead allows us to make the decision to choose Him, and live a Godly, eternal life, or flail about on our own, destined to rot in hell.

As we hunger for true life, we begin to understand that only God can provide the comfort we seek. Once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, the comfort and strength we seek come through the Holy Spirit, who instantaneously takes up residence in us, and becomes our inner man.

It’s mind-boggling to think that even as Christians, who have surrendered our lives to Christ, still find it difficult to be obedient and dependent upon Him. If you are, or were, like me and so many others, we were raised to be independent, to forge ahead relying on our own decision-making abilities, and take the bull by the horns.

Hearts and Bodies Fail, Death is Inevitable

The truth is, our bodies and minds fail us time and time again. At some point, we become exhausted, and we search for strength and realize we must rely on God, who is our eternal strength. There is no other, especially self that can release the fear, and the weakness felt when our bodies and minds fail, in life and death.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalms 18:2 KJV


God is our Rock, in Him, and only Him, do we have strength. When we realize He has given us options, we also realize free-will truly means surrender and not persevering on our own. It means relying on His strength to see us through.

Again, I emphasize, free-will has two sides. God wants us to choose to either accept Him as our Lord and Savior, thus being in relationship with Him and being insured of eternal life/salvation, or remain where we are in sin moving forward blindly.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Complete Surrender

When we fully and completely surrender, there is clarity in understanding that it is attached to obedience and dependency upon God’s Word. What seems confusing to many is that surrender is two prong and relies on total obedience and dependence upon Him. It does not mean we should enter into a catatonic state and wait for God to move us like a chess piece, it means to go to Him in prayer and ask for guidance while planning. It means learning his Word through reading the Bible and strengthening your relationship with Him. Once we begin to move down His path, we understand that we should not stray to the left or the right but to listen to His quiet, strong voice and allow Him to inform our decision-making.

God’s Will and His Way

Quite often, His plans for our lives are different than ours. How many of you have had wealth, prestige, and career opportunities that in your carnal world were exciting and clearly placed you on the path of success? Likewise, how many of you also heard God’s quiet voice saying, ‘stay with me, this is not your path’? God is the source of our happiness, not wealth, not public acclaim, not the clamor of friends, but relationship with Him. Knowing God is your strength is knowing that He alone is your supreme joy and that He is your friend and portion, now and forever.

If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. John 7:17 ESV

Only God can give strength and comfort in the present and on our deathbed. Our flesh will always fail, but God is the strength of our soul and gifts us with eternal salvation. In health and in weakness, we should always attempt to persevere to walk in His Will and His Way, not our own. Without God, our life is only a self-inflicted burden without direction or cause. Without God in life and in death, we remain orphans, naked-without His covering, unprotected, and subject to eternal death. We remain portionless forever.

References – Studylight.org, Barnes Notes, Psalms 73:26

Scriptures- Biblegateway.org

Images – Pixby, Free Google Images, DMorris

Godly Sorrow, Worldly Sorrow- Not the Same

Godly sorrow precedes Repentance.

~ LISA BLAIR
2Corinthians7:10-11_JasonJake_YouTube

For many years I felt the Lord was a punishing God. Words such as sorrow suggested that we were a hurt people. The truth is we are a hurt people, we are a sinful people who must come to a place where our sins are no longer acceptable as our guiding truth. Satan uses sin to capture and control us, to lead us to a hellish death. When we become remorseful and recognize the sorrow we have weighed down upon ourselves, and the God who loves and protects us, we enter into a state of Godly sorrow.

Godly Sorrow is only Mentioned Once in the Bible

Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. Paul uses this term to explain to the Corinthians that they once lived a sinful life that would lead to worldly death, hell, upon departing this earth but had successfully turned away in earnestness to overcome their sin and repent.

Godly Sorrow is an Acute Sense of Sadness

Godly sorrow is an acute sense of sadness we experience when we sin. We feel sadness because we know we have committed sins. We know we have saddened the Lord, just as the Corinthians knew after Paul taught them that God is the Way and the Light. Palm chastised the Corinthians for their dissentions against the church. He intended to cause them to think and having accomplished this task caused them to repent. Paul knew they were remorseful and regretful for their actions of falling back into disbelief, but he also knew that neither would lead to salvation without true repentance and restitution. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.

Godly Sorrow is a Kind of Wretchedness

“Godly sorrow is a kind of wretchedness that can bring the repentant sinner to tears of grief. Godly sorrow results from a heartfelt conviction that we have offended God by our sin.” Our spirit grieves, and when Godly sorrow has its way, we resolve to stop repeating the sins, turn away from our carnal nature and pick up the cross and do good. We cleanse ourselves through prayer.

Results of Godly Sorrow

Doing good, is the result of Godly sorrow. It is through Godly sorrow that we can release the guilt and shame for our sin nature and actions, and repent asking for forgiveness and vowing to never return to them. Repentance is not an emotion, it is our decision to change. We have to make the decision to turn around and change our lives to truly repent. We repent and believe through faith. Faith comes after repenting and surrendering our life to the Lord. It is through God’s grace that we are forgiven and given new life to move forward. It is through God’s grace that we receive salvation.

God Sorrow, Repentance, and Salvation are Ours

Not all of 1 Corinthians 7 is intended for us. Some of it is intended for the Corinthians. However, repentance and salvation are for everyone who calls out to God to save them from their sins and believes that Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to join God in heaven. God restored the discipline of the church of Corinth and sin, and He restores us. We sin through our (own) actions and complicitous approval of those sinning in our scope of influence. The church was complicit by not addressing incestuous behavior. We are complicit when we do not speak out against sin and do not address the offender.

Sorrow Cannot Merely Be Guilt through Discovery

“We must be very careful that our sorrow for sin is not merely sorrow that has been found out, but sorrow which, seeing the evil of the sinful thing is determined never to do it again and has dedicated the rest of its life to atone, by God’s grace, for what was done.” (Barclay)

Godly Sorrow, Apology and the Holy Spirit, Intercession on Our Behalf

When we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes and helps us apologize to God and repent. This is accomplished through confessing our sins, not by denying them or defending them because neither is true confession.

Godly Sorrow is the Lining of Our Repentance

While Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in scripture, it is the lining of our repentance. Repentance separates godly sorrow from worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow produces true repentance. Worldly sorrow is not really sorrow, it is the only resentment that has been found out (William Barclay). If we do not feel Godly sorrow for our sinful actions, we are not able to truly repent and turn away from them with God’s help. Without godly sorrow, we would repeat the offense, given a chance to do it again. Godly sorrow not only hates the act, but it also hates the nature of the act itself. Without godly sorrow, we are bound by our sin nature and remain in the camp of the evil one.

God Separates Us From Our Sin Through Our Decision to Change

Knowing Jesus.com

Like the Church at Corinth, we are growing (maturing) when we repent and turn away from sin. God can separate us from our sins and place them as far away as the east is from the west, but He is only able to do so when we are cleansed and convicted to the point of wholehearted confession and repentance. It is through God’s grace that we are saved.

Images – YouVersion/Bible.com; Google Images-Knowing Jesus.com

References – What is Godly sorrow? Gotquestions.org; Studylight.org: 2 Corinthians 7:10-11, Commentaries – Charles Barclay, Albert Barnes, Coffman, John Gill; Nelson’s Quick Reference by Warren Wiersbe; Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary by W.E. Vine; KJV Word Study; Youtube:2Corinthians_BrettVarner; 2 Corinthians_JasonJack

Let The Spirit Lead

I read something intriguing today. Romans 8:6-8 can be interpreted as the Holy Spirit controls our life, but in essence, we are participating in His life. Our mind is controlled by the Holy Spirit which in itself gives us life and peace.

This scripture shows two dispositions, that of the non-Christian and the Christian states of mind. Paul describes two different lives, two different mindsets, and two different conditions.

The Non-Christian experiences separation from God, and exists in a state of death because they did not receive the eternal life through Jesus. Christians have eternal life that begins at their salvation. See John 5:24

This scriptural identifier relates back to the conflict between the flesh and Jesus’ life. The law could not be accomplished because of the intervention of Christ. A mindset focused on the flesh reveals the presence of spiritual death. A life that sets its mind on the Spirit introduced Gods love and peace into their lives.

This ties back to free-will. God gave us a choice, live a carnal life, and allow our sinful nature to reign and enjoy what this world offers, or invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, allowing Him to control and guide our journey, and eventually join our Lord in heaven.

Barclay’s interpretation of this scripture reads, ‘be absorbed in the things of the Spirit.’

Clearly, Romans 8:6-8 distinguishes the life of believers and non-believers. But to me, it most importantly explains how we participate in the Holy Spirits’ life. We are more than vessels. We are family. He resides in us, and we are absorbed by the things of the Spirit. We rely on Him, obey the Word and depend upon His presence in our lives.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mindset on the flesh is death, but the mindset on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mindset on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans‬ ‭8:1-11‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Images – LAB Photos; Google Images

Scripture – Bible.com

Resources – Precept Austin. Romans 8:6-8; Desiring God, Set Your Mind on the Spirit, Romans 8:6-8; Bible Exposition Commentary, Romans 8:6. Verse-by-Verse Commentary.com (Some text paraphrased or quoted)

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

~Personalize God’s Word, Psalm 91
~God’s Divine Influence
~Learn to Thank God As Part of Prayer
~God, Crisis, and Grace
~God’s Unequivocal Love
~Because He’s God and God Alone
~One Step is Enough
~Living Through the Muck and Mire of Life
~There’s more, visit the site.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Broken? The Lord Is With You

God’s Promises – I am with you in your brokenness. I am with you when your spirit feels crushed.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This morning my Pastor reiterated that the crucifixion of Christ was God’s demonstration that He loves us and sacrificed His Son to free us (paraphrased). Jesus was broken and crushed, not because he sinned, but to save us because we are sinners. Christ died to set us free. When we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were freed, ‘saved’ and filled with the Holy Spirit. when the Holy Spirit took up residence in us, we were given the right to walk in God’s authority and His power.

So what does this have to do with our being broken-hearted?

Broken-hearted is when we finally strip away our pride, our focus on self, and surrender to God saying, “not my will, but your will God.” It is when we stand up, crush our free-will, our worldly life, our flesh, and replace it with God’s Will.  It is staying ‘awake’ and corralling our carnal life, refashioning it to reflect the image of God who directs our paths.

Christ sacrificed his life for us and we, in turn, sacrifice our lives for Him. When we recognize the importance and purpose of His sacrifice for us, we are freed. Our Lord promised to always be close to us. He is with us when we are broken-hearted and when our spirit is crushed. We exist because of His righteousness.  We are never alone.

Images – Google Images

References – Bible.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Showing Goodness

As humans, we often become frustrated when the person on the other end of a business call cannot assist us. The reality is that we are not angry at the person but the representative of the company. The problem is that during work hours the person on the other end of the call is the representative, they are one and the same during working hours and are simply responding according to the company script.

Christ tells us to exhibit ‘goodness’ in all we do, that includes being kind to all people. The person on the other end of the phone does not deserve a curt response or defamed in any way. They, like most of us, are working to earn a living.

So, let’s agree that we can all do better. I can do better. Before speaking when we do not agree with or do not like what is being said, we should quickly think – would Christ respond in the way I am planning to proceed? The answer is an emphatic, ‘NO.’ One of the God’s gifts to us is goodness.

For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107:9 NKJV

O, my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
Psalm 16:20 NKJV

The Lord gave us ‘goodness’ so we could become more like him. Our responsibility is to [try to] purposely display goodness in all that we say and do.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

Our goodness is connected to the Lord, it fills our soul. Without goodness, we are left with exhibiting meanness, and on occasion, wickedness. Absent goodness, we become hosts of evil residing in this world, and cannot proclaim ‘we are in the world – but not of the world’.

We can all do better, we can show goodness in our conversations, actions, and deeds.

Images – Google Images; LAB Photography

Scripture References – Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.