Good and Evil, Our Subliminal Conflict

Quote

As human beings, and as Christians, we will always find ourselves in the middle of a battle of good and evil. Where do you stand when evil desires enter into your internal conflict?

“Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
‭‭James‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭MEV‬‬. bible.com

tvtropes

How many times has our egotistical thinking led us down the wrong path?

Internally we regularly experience a tug-of-war going on which we can easily acknowledge. Think about past experiences where you had to make a decision, one were you stood fast and the other where you caved in. How did true satisfaction weigh in when you caved in? It’s never satisfying for long. In most cases, guilt arose shortly after caving in, the devil, evil one, or Satan (your choice) is a slick deceiver. Guilt only dug the hole deeper and like David (story of David and Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 2:11-6) you begin to find ways to cover it up. Slippery slope, sliding down. Quicksand consuming your very breath of life.

It’s incumbent upon us to remember that if we submit ourselves to God, meaning follow his direction, the devil will flee.

He only nudges when we desire what he is offering, and dangles it before us. The truth is, we are all weak and without resolve from time to time, that’s our plight, as a fallen people. When we find ourselves questioning, that’s the moment to step back and follow God‘s direction, even if it means that our desires are not being met at that moment in time, or if ever.

Don’t pretend you don’t understand. Don’t try to convince yourself it is all in your head and Holy Spirit is not speaking to you. When we question our desire it means we know the desire does not align with God’s plans for our lives, and we should deny the devil’s nudge. When we stand fast and follow Gods plan, the devil will flee. I wish I could say he will never return, but we know better. The evil one will never cease and we will always have to remain alert to his attacks. We exist on a battlefield.

No Forgiveness Without Repentance

Quote

Micah 6:8 is a short verse, and is packed with instructions to become a better person. This post could be entitled, ‘How to become a better follower of Christ’, or ‘Improving our walk with Christ.’

“…there is no forgiveness without repentance, and that repentance is but a name, unless there be a ceasing to do evil, and learning to do well…” (Benson Commentary. Biblehub.com)

I have written many posts that focus on forgiveness. There is no end to the process. With each reading we learn more about forgiveness and repentance. They are tied to justice, compassion, kindness, mercy, humility, and sacrifice. These are traits Christ modeled during His walk on earth.

If we want to walk with Christ, it requires more than simply testifying that we forgive, we mush repent and as Benson wrote, cease to do evil. We must replace evil, e.g., being self-righteous, and self serving and become servants, and ambassadors of the Lord. This type of action does not determine salvation. We cannot acquire it to what we do, it is not by our work, salvation is a gift from God. HOWEVER, it is through our work, actions, and practices that we become closer to God because we must think on these things before we act, this links us to God’s instructions in a deliberate way.

We cannot expect justice until we act justly; we cannot expect compassion until we have compassion for others; we cannot expect kindness until we demonstrate kindness through our actions; we cannot expect a merciful society and world until we demonstrate mercy in our daily walk; we cannot expect the world to be a humble place until we demonstrate humility towards others; we cannot expect others to sacrifice until we work to strip ourselves of being self-righteous. Walking with Christ is more than trying to keep in step with His walk. He was sent to earth to model what it means to possess God in our hearts.

We are one people, culture and race create diversity, but does not negate oneness. We are all God’s children. A friend put it this way, Christ came to earth, modeled His purpose, was Crucified, said to the thief, ‘on this day you will be with me’. He did not take time to evaluate if the thief was worth saving, no, He takes us as we are, that is our salvation. The way in which we choose to live life demonstrates that receiving Christ is more that reciting scripture, it is acting the intentions set forth in scriptures in our daily walk. Our faith is demonstrated through our actions.

If our actions do not align with our faith, it is incumbent upon us to ask for forgiveness, repent, and cease doing evil. We are asking God to forgive us. This happens when we experience the need to repent from the heart, not the mind, meaning we truly experience the sorrow our actions we committed that are not aligned with God’s Word. This is Godly sorrow, heartfelt sorrow, not a sorrow we experience momentarily before we repeat the act we are seeking forgiveness for.

You can ask for forgiveness, but until we truly repent, the forgiveness is fleeting (because) there is no heart felt godly sorrow. Godly sorrow creates the process of change. It weakens and eliminates the evil we demonstrate in our walk, we continually become new creatures in Christ as we strip away our carnal behavior.

Resources: Bible hub.com; Photo – Vikas Nirmal, Twitter

Seek God. He is your hope.

Quote

When life feels intolerable, unbearable, and overwhelming, this is the time to get on your knees and pray to the Lord. Psalms 121 expresses that He is our hope to those who seek him. One of the commentaries I read said, …when life turns rugged, where do you turn for help? What is your source for the confidence you need to face the headwinds of life? (Psalm 121 Commentary: Where Does Our Help Come From? ZondervanAcademic .com)

Psalm 121 informs us that we must focus on God and not the circumstances. We must rest on His Word and His promises. If we keep our eyes on Him, we acquire the confidence to stand strong in the face of the circumstance with inner peace and certainty that regardless of the outcome God is with us and has a plan to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future. A future we could never imagine. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Adornedaccents.com

When we focus on God we do not focus on the circumstances, we do not look to man for resolve. Only God’s power, mercy and grace can bring us through. No matter what, we are under God’s providence and protection. Yes – difficulties are part of life, and there are times when our expectations for our lives are altered by unavoidable circumstances. We may fail, the blessing is that we do not have to face our trials on our own. When we call on The Lord, He stands beside us, whispering directions to our soul. The Holy Spirit leads us beside still waters as our way of escape is strategized.

2 Corinthians 13:7 expresses that the Lord will protect us from the evil of sin and trouble. His protection provides safety and in due time resolve. Lift up your eyes, your help comes from the Lord.

Is this easier said than done? Yes. The evil one will elevate his attack. He will cause you to doubt and loose hope. However, like Jesus, you must rebuke him and hold fast to God’s Word. From where does your help come? Your help comes from the Lord. It is through Him that your confidence grows. It is through Him that you are led to a way out of no foreseeable way.

Looking to the Lord is an exercise of our faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us that we live by faith, and not by sight (NIV); for we walk by faith, not by sight (NKJV); we live by believing and not by seeing (NLT). With faith we can look to the hills knowing God is our help.