Freedom From Sin Requires Work

‭‭John‬ ‭8:36‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Once we have been freed, we are not to return to the servitude of our sin nature, our carnal man framed in lust, ego, material gains, and all that aligns with the evil one’s motives to destroy us and separate us from a Godly life.

Maintaining freedom from sin is a daily struggle; it is easy to slip back into our old ways like Peter who later became Christ’s (primary)Apostle. The beauty is that Jesus has freed us and; we have been given the gift of sanctification and redemption.

Not to sound preachy, but we must remain alert and operate in clarity to overcome the old shackles of sin and continue to live by God’s Will and His Way.

When we find ourselves falling prey to temptation, we must immediately self-correct. It is easier to do if the act or thought requires significant input, but much more difficult if it is subtle.

The new decade allows us to walk down the path of obedience, especially during this time of global uncertainty. We must always stay alert. We are Gods’ children. We have been freed by the Son. We are free from our shackles of sin.

Never Enough Testimonies

All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories.

~ Lisa Blair

All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories. Sharing God’s grace, healing and strength is just as important as the prayer seeking God’s help. So, today I share this and encourage you to share His blessings as well.

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TESTIMONY

Praise the almighty power of God. I have submitted multiple prayer requests over the past two years regarding a friends who was being attacked by a form of fibromyalgia in Europe. Eventually, she was bedridden and unable to do anything for herself.

She texted me the other day to thank everyone that prayed for her. Deliverance has arrived, with the help of everyone who prayed for her complete recovery. She did not give up, or give in, but kept her eyes on the strength of the Lord. Result, she received new medications and the illness reversed itself. She walked her dog for the first time in two years, two days ago. 

She is in physical therapy, strengthening muscles etc., but functional again. She was always a God fearing woman and did not let Satan strip her faith.

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I love our victory stories, our God is our strength. When we walk by faith and not sight all things are possible. 1 Chronicles 16:12 tells us – “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”

Thank you prayer warriors from the bottom of our hearts.

Images – Google Free Images

What Does, God’s Will Be Done And Not My Own, Really Mean?

There are times in our lives when we surrender ourselves as a form of selfish need, and times when we surrender because we want a covenant relationship with the Lord. Where are you on the spectrum? It may be time to decide. You are on the precipice of surrender.

~ Lisa Blair
busy.org

Many of us tend to use this phrase nonchalantly. This is not a thoughtless statement or a decision to take lightly. When we express this thought, we are entering a covenant, a pack, with God. From this point forward, there is no looking back. This is the point of surrender.

I have heard this scripture spoken in many contexts during my lifetime. I imagine you have, as well. You may have glibly spoken it during a conversation. As a student of the Word, I now pose the question, how many times have I broken covenant with God? How many times have I uttered this statement and then chosen my own path, made my own decision, or followed others, overriding God’s purpose and plan for my life?

This gives rise to three questions we all struggle with:

1) What does ‘your will be done’ mean?

2) What does surrender mean?

3) Are you ready to commit to the covenant with God?

WHAT DOES YOUR WILL BE DONE MEAN?

When Jesus was preparing to take his place up the cross, after he could no longer take the pain, and wanted to be released from his duty, he cried out,

My father! If it is possible, let this Cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26: 39 NLT)

This is the turning point in Christ’s prayer. “Here, Jesus demonstrated the turning point in prayer for all of us. Prayer is not about bending God’s will to get what we want. The purpose of prayer is to seek God’s will and then align our desires with his. Jesus willingly placed his desires in full submission to the father’s will.” (Not my will but yours be done. Learn Religions.com)

When we make the statement, we are in effect, praying. We are committing ourselves to God’s Will for our lives. His plan for our lives was established long ago, long before we were born, perhaps before He created this universe. If we allow God to lead us, He will show us the path to take. Your will be done means you will abide by His will and not your own. 99% of the time, your purpose will be different than His. You are not first in His Will, but you surrender regardless and are bound by the covenant you created when you cried out the phrase.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11 NJKV)

In effect, when you call on God, pray to Him and listen to Him, you are abiding in His Will for your life. Your (totally) surrender yourself, holding nothing back, to His Will and His Way.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SURRENDER?

Surrendering means yielding ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider to be ours, to relinquish our life, all of it. We surrender what God has given us and how we wanted to use it to become His steward of this life. When we surrender to God, we are acknowledging His ultimate control of everything, including our circumstances, past, present, and future.

Billy Graham wrote: If you want a change in your life, if you want forgiveness and peace and joy that you’ve never known before, God demands total surrender, in so doing, our Lord becomes the ruler of your life.

When we surrender and give up all we are, we no longer seek personal gain, we are delivered from sin, and become useful to God to conduct His work on earth.

When we reach this point in our lives, making moral choices, we must choose to follow our own sinful nature (our carnal life) or seek God and surrender ourselves to Him.

ARE YOU READY TO COMMIT TO THE COVENANT WITH GOD?

Once someone speaks this statement, utters this prayer, recites this scripture, conversion has been set in place, you are on the precipice of changing your life to become God’s tool, His steward, and His servant.

Take heed, think this through before you find yourself amid the war for your soul. It is a choice, do you follow your carnal desires, or surrender them to our Lord and Savior, the head of our lives?

Are you ready to enter into covenant with God and all that it entails? Are you ready to allow God to take you wherever He needs you? Are you prepared to commit?

Internet Resources – Thy Will Be Done. lifehopeandtruth.com; A Message From Billy Graham. billygraham.org; Surrender To God. http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org; Total Surrender| My Utmost For His Highest. utmost.org; What Does It Mean To Surrender To God? http://www.gotquestions.org

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Your friends and associates define you. If you surround yourself with wise, thoughtful people, you too will remain or become wise, following God’s Word to govern you life. If you surround yourself with fools, you too will remain or become a fool.

~ Lisa Blair

This scripture is easily overlooked. Why, because we do not unpack it to determine what we are being warned about. That’s right, God is warning us to choose wisely. As we grow up, most of us have aligned ourselves with people (a person) that changes the very atmosphere around us. Equate people with atmospheric pressure. When the pressure is light, all goes well, when it is heavy, we jeopardize our character. We begin to act in a manner unbecoming to our nature.

Your friends and associates define you. If you surround yourself with wise, thoughtful people, you too will remain or become wise, following God’s Word to govern you life. If you surround yourself with fools, you too will remain or become a fool, following man’s word to govern your life. You get caught up in the details of the relationship and you no longer assess the damage it is causing you.

As adults, many of us align with the wrong people for any number of reasons. Sometime during the relationship we realize that it is unhealthy. It is not always unhealthy because the person is bad, it may be that their trajectory is different than yours, their values do not naturally align with yours, thus causing the relationship to feel forced. It is like atmospheric pressure.If the atmospheric pressure is constraining, you feel the weight of it, and you are always on edge around them, this is a warning sign. Alert, alert, you are under attack by carnal demons. It is time to refer back to this verse and change your course, step out of the friendship, the group, the clic, the environment that leads to the heavy atmospheric pressure weighing down on you. Run away, change your relationships that hamper your walk with God.

Photo – BecomeNomad

The following is an excerpt of Day Two, Guardrails: Avoiding Regrets In Your Life. Andy Stanley, North Point Ministries, Bible.com

Our greatest regrets are usually connected with people we’ve considered friends. Maybe yours is connected to a colleague, a classmate, or an ex-boyfriend. Maybe it’s a group of friends that, in hindsight, you wish you’d never met. Even if you were alone, chances are your greatest regret somehow grew out of a relationship. 

These ill-fated friendships have taught us (often the hard way) that our futures are impacted by the people we spend time with. This is why we need relational guardrails. 

Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, wrote: “Walk with the wise and become wise . . .” In other words, wisdom is contagious. Do life with the wise and, over time, you’ll become wise. It happens automatically.

And there’s a second part: “. . . for a companion of fools suffers harm.” When you hang out with a fool, you get caught up in the consequences of their bad decisions. You catch the shrapnel. Your reputation is ruined like his. You get fired like her. You aren’t invited next time either. 

Relational guardrails help us avoid “foolishness fallout.” 

So, as you think about your friendships, here are three guardrails to consider. When one of these things occurs, let it light up your conscience before you suffer harm.

1. You catch yourself pretending to be someone other than who you really are.

2. Something that’s never been a temptation before is now something you’re considering. 

3. You hope the people you care about don’t know your whereabouts.

Remember, guardrails aren’t meant to declare something (or someone) right or wrong. They are meant to guide you back toward wisdom. So, are any of your friendships veering into the danger zone? Which guardrail are you bumping up against and what are you going to do about it?

The most important thing we can do in life is to continue our walk with God, anything that negatively impacts our relationship with the Lord should be shed. Wisdom is a gift, cherish it and hold it dear to your heart, consider it your guardrail.

Visit my site for other posts focusing in friendships, relationships, and living God’s Word.

God’s Footprint

The earth is ours, a gift from God. Are we good caretakers?The responsibility is ours to accept. God’s footprint is our carbon footprint.

~ Lisa Blair

Your Footprint Leads To You

Many years ago I read a story about a teenager that burglarized a store very early in the morning and while he was rummaging through this small town store a snow storm began to drop thick snow on the ground. When the teenager left the store he walked home. The police followed his footprints, in the snow, directly to his home.

We are in the midst of a snow storm. Our disregard for earths environment has resulted in catastrophic changes to the earth. Some debate that climate change is a natural event and there is truth to that statement, however, industry created a byproduct, pollution. Pollution is equivalent to the snow storm, and the footprint is the decay it causes, leading directly back to us.

As Christians, we must examine these climatic chances through two lenses, the natural and the spiritual. Our natural lens focuses on the need to produce low cost goods, at low overhead production. Our spiritual lens focuses on the responsibility God gave us eons ago in the Garden of Eden.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” ~ Genesis 2:15 NIV

Many hikers feel that leaving footprints behind them causes damage to the trails. In an effort to leave the earth as they found it, for others to benefit from its pristine view, they sweep directly behind them to eliminate their footprint. We can take a lesson from the hikers. It is time to correct how we impact the earth individually by recycling what we can, eliminating the use of plastics, and sweeping behind us wherever we can.

We Are Caretakers 

This morning during prayer, climate and the disregard for God’s earth entered my thoughts in prayer. My conversation with God resulted in an understanding of our responsibility for God’s footprint, leading back to Adam and Eve. God created the earth for us, with the expectation that we would care for the planet.

To put it bluntly, we fell short and mankind was expelled from Eden. [This is not the full reason, but pertinent to this post.] The short story is – we failed. But God is a God of second chances.

The battle between good and evil has prevailed throughout time, carnality vs spirituality. One seeking to get the most for the least, the other attempting to preserve the garden. 

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ~ John 3:17 ESV

As children of God, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. It is through this relationship that we know and feel the responsibility to protect the earth. It is time to wake up and receive His daily mercies leading us to protect the earth God gave us.

My new mantra 

God’s Footprint is my carbon footprint.”

If each of us go into prayer to seek guidance, we can change our footprint. God uses us to instruct and direct needed changes. There is an old saying, ‘it is never over until God says it is over.’ Our actions will either exacerbate current conditions, or begin to reverse them. Plastic islands are a byproduct we can eliminate, which will help revive the oceans. Air pollution, caused by particulates from industry and individual use can be exchanged for less destructive products, allowing us to better protect our ozone layer, or throwing things away with reckless abandon, litter can be mitigated, or better yet eradicated. We can become earths caretakers as God planned.

The Effect of Anger is Sin and Increased Stress.

Anger increases stress, discomfort, and elevated blood pressure. Anger is a symptom of an unwanted action and the only person harmed is the ‘angry’ person. The person who is the focus of anger lives and continues to move forward. The harm is internalized by the perpetrator of anger and sin. The angry person is frozen in anger. The angry person gives their power to the devil. Listen to the Word, it is telling us how to live, what to release, and how to represent God’s love in all that we do. Do not let the sun go down while still harboring anger.

Joyce Meyer wrote:

Ask yourself if you are angry with anyone for anything, and if you are, ask God to help you forgive, forget, and let it go. God is our Vindicator, and if we will allow Him to, He will repay us for every injustice that has been done to us. In my life, I have learned that anger is something we should never carry around with us. God’s Word says that we should not let the sun set on our anger, and if we do, then we give the devil a foothold in our lives (see Ephesians 4:26–27).

Do yourself a favor right now and refuse to remain angry or bitter. God has good things planned for us, and we don’t want to miss them by refusing to let go of things in the past. Start fresh with a peaceful heart and be determined to enjoy each day.

God offers us peace, but peace is not attainable when we under stress brought on by anger, suspicion, and hate. When we are angry, we give the devil an opportunity to weaken our resolve, our faith, and our will to follow our Lord. We loose individually and collectively.

Do not fall prey to anger, do not sin, and do not give Satan a foothold.

Image – Google images

Resource – My Time with God Study, Joyce Meyer. Bible.com

When Anxiety or Doubt Fills Your Mind.

Believers should not experience anxiety, doubt or fear. They are not in our DNA.

~ Lisa Blair
HealthyPlace.org

To say life can be difficult is a misnomer, life is difficult. The world is turning at an accelerated pace. Our minds are trying to keep up and society has placed immeasurable weight upon us. We tend to wake up feeling the pressure of the day, already feeling overwhelmed, but that is not the destiny of believers. Paul wrote in Psalm 49:19, and I am reflecting upon two versions NIV and NLT,

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭94:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭94:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I am sharing both because one expresses ‘anxiety’ and the other ‘doubt’. God provided us with a exchange system, exchanging His joy, renewed hope, and cheer for your anxiety, doubt, and fear.

God did not give us the continence to be fearful, anxious or doubtful. These are not part of our DNA.

II Timothy 1:7 NKJV reports,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

If God did not give us fear, He did not give us anxiety or doubt. They are the birth children of sin. Christ died on the Cross to free is of sin. We still possess our sin nature, but we are no longer bound by it. Anxiety and doubt are shackles we can remove through prayer.

When we wake up in the morning feeling anxious or doubtful, the first thing we must do, yes – must do, is to ask the Lord to forgive our weaknesses and ask for the strength to break free and replace the fear with His power, love and a sound mind. A sound mind is not weakened or conflicted by anxiety, doubt or fear. Believers should not experience anxiety, doubt, or fear they are not in our DNA, work to prove God right, not wrong, stand strong.

Visit youngchristianwarriors.com to read posts about shackles, fear, anxiety, living in the muck and mire, and more.