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

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.

Miraculous Healing

Jesus told the disciples, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭NASB

Miraculous healings are not open for debate. There is an ongoing theological debate over healing. Some say miraculous healings only occurred in the Old Testament, others believe they still happen in the New Testament dispensation. Many people do not weigh in at all. They have no need for miraculous healing and think little of it, but when you are in need, it is no longer open for debate, you start calling on God. I believe miraculous healings still happen today. Why you may ask, because it happened to me. What I can tell you is that I was one of the uncertain many. I asked for healing for many years for one thing or another, but my faith was weak, lukewarm at best. This post is not about theological debate, it is a witness perspective. This has been a difficult topic for me to write. I have been grappling with it for days. This topic, nudged in prayer, was an assignment. But because it is such a fluid topic, has not been easy to express.
Let’s begin with, miraculous healing requires radical faith, extreme faith, uncompromising faith.

Throughout this month, my emphasis has been on our dependence upon God and our obedience to the Word. As these two practices strengthen, our Christian life matures and we develop a radical faith, in other words, we do not doubt or question what God is able to do in our lives, we recognize the Word as the TRUTH, and believe that everything the Bible says can happen though FAITH. This being said, we cannot command our own healing, but we can ask God to heal us. We have the authority to pray in the name of Jesus to answer our prayers.
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Uncertainty —> Certainty —> Healing

As humans, we think to much, we query everything, even the Words and instructions in the Bible. I shared that God no longer gave me the option of studying the Bible or spending time with him. He did this because he loves me. He did this because he wanted me to share the Word and let everyone know that what he did in the Old Testament, the precepts, he does today. I had many questions and over a few years stayed in prayer and communication learning to hear his voice and follow his instructions for my life. I spent time in prayer learning from the Lord. I mentioned that I prayed for healing for this or that over the years, no miraculous healings, though God did direct the doctors to perform surgery and God gave me quick healing.

Recently my Pastor called congregants who wanted healing from tumors and cysts to come forward. I had a cyst on my finger. I decided to go up and was anointed. This was not a cyst I imaged, my doctor said she would have to remove it before severing the sheath around my tendon causing a trigger finger. One week after my anointing for healing the cyst disappeared, but the trigger finger is still present. I asked God what happened, why was the cyst miraculously healed but the trigger finger still exists.

His quiet voice said: I instructed your pastor to call up people who needed tumors, of all types, to be removed through faith. I wanted you to know that I am still in the healing business and wanted you to share your (personal)experience others. I removed your cyst.

I then asked, when you perform miraculous healings, and you heal someone, why don’t you heal everything in the persons body? He answered, there are numerous examples of healing in the Bible for one thing or another, they were specific to the need. In your case, you cried out for me to heal the cyst on your finger, not your finger or other aliments. I may had done so had you asked. Sometimes I will heal everything and other times not, depending upon where you are in your Christian walk and what lessons you embrace.

So why is our faith weak, we ask for partial healing and when we receive it, we ask why didn’t we receive more. I believe, it is important to remember, whenever asking our Lord for anything, including healing, we must believe the Lord is able, nothing is impossible for God.

If God answers his children and he also answers others, is radical Christian faith necessary to be healed? God does not discriminate. He healed believers and at least in one case healed non-believers. See the John 5:3-6.

Jesus performed 37 miracles in the Bible. I believe 30 are shared in the New Testament. Healings were performed by Jesus or his disciples, today his disciples are our Pastors and church leaders. They often perform healing miracles for member’s of their flock, but God still performs miraculous healing for non-Christians, and non-devote believers as well. Where is the proof? There is a saying, the proof is in the pudding. Doctors often report healings that cannot be ascribed to their practice or medicine. Many doctors contribute unknown healing as being a miracle, and Christian doctors may tell you it is a miracle from God, the recipient (believer and non-believer) will almost always tell you it was God. The doctors don’t know why the person was miraculously healed, they just know it did not happen as a result of anything they did. This leads me back to my premise, miracles still happen and require radical faith.

Christ and his disciples no longer walk the earth. Jesus is not physically here to lay hands on the sick, speak to the spirit as in the case of the little girl, or simply speak the word and then visit the healed servant. It is through faith that we are healed today. All who receive miracles today have heightened faith. Christians may know God and cry out in full faith, and non-Christian’s may call on the Lord because they are desperate and need healing. These are forms of radical faith, regardless of who is petitioning God.

Radical faith is the key. Your dependence on the Word and your obedience to God build radical faith. Radical faith is where miracles reside. It is where maturity lives. It is where we experience healing of all types, spiritual, emotional and physical.

Radical faith is needed and attainable if we spend time in the Bible, in study and in prayer. Our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is eternal, our relationship with him is eternal was well. The flow of communication resides in our understanding of the Word.Miracles are ours upon request. Our faith activates them. Our faith in God, if we are Christians, and faith in a higher being if we are not Christians, or follow a different Christian doctrine. It is a faith issue.
Jesus once said,

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?
Matthew 8:26 KJV

My take away is – when God steps in Miracles happen. Radical faith is required to be healed yesterday, today and tomorrow. Your faith may be heightened for a time such as this, or it may be out of desperation, but it is radical faith non-the less.

Our Lord said,

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV

These are not just words, our lexicon. They are the words and actions of radical faith. Radical faith is an ‘all in’ faith. If you want to be healed of an ailment , infirmity or disease, ask for complete healing and tell our Lord what you want to be healed. Don’t ask for partial healing when you can have complete healing. Don’t be dismayed of it is not immediate, it took a little over a week for my cyst (the operable cyst mentioned above) to disappear. Yours may take less time or much more time. Our time is not God’s time. We do not know what he is teaching us through the healing as it is occurring. And, just as importantly he may not remove the problem for years. He wants what is best for us and he knows what will happen over our life time. He heals today and tomorrow, and gives us the strength to endure. Just keep telling yourself, our Lord is still in the work of miracles. I am his child, and he wants what is best for me. I am the recipient of a miracle today.

Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalms 27:14 ESV

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, healing and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection

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.

Note
I read a good post today about healing and faith. Take a moment to read it, entitled: Stop, waiting, you are wasting. By chilavertnmezi.wordpress.com

Who Directs Your Steps?

Proverbs 16_9

One of my favorite Books of the Bible is Proverbs, written by King Solomon in the height of his reign. It is one of my favorites because it tells us how to order our values and establish our character. Proverbs 16:9 speaks of wisdom and the direction we should follow, juxtaposing wickedness and obedience (following the Word of God).

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Who directs your steps? Are you led by God’s sovereignty, or do you take responsibility for your own affairs as acts of free will? This scripture describes the actions of two types of people, the wicked, self-determined person, and the good, righteous person. A wicked person directs his own steps, and is in lockstep with the world, coming to his own ends. He does not look for guidance or direction from the Lord. The end justifies the means. The wicked continually sow discord which seems to be common practice in today’s society.

“with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hawaii-rocks

While is true that we are not all wicked, we are all sinners. Many of us are saved by grace, but even those of us who have received salvation tend to walk a worldly path. We aspire to greatness in our careers and our relationships. We are comfortable cutting corners, aligning ourselves with questionable associates and engage in company practices that in our hearts know are wrong. We direct our own steps, we listen to the evil one that paves our road with gold overlay. We reenact the days of Rome in our daily lives. And, to many, the question becomes, if we have free will, why would we want God to direct our steps when we have the freedom to discover and conquer at will? The wicked man, the sinner, charts his own path and when disaster strikes, calls upon the Lord. How many find that our own actions, intentions, and plans cannot stand the test of time and eventually cry to the Lord for help, promising to change our wicked ways only to head down our own path once He has placed us on solid ground?

“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.”
Proverbs‬ ‭20:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hawaii-road

The second half of the scripture focuses on the godly person. The saved person who seeks after the Lord, the person who applies the Fruit of the Spirit in their daily lives. The good person who is a righteous person. The person who is influenced by the Spirit and grace of God to think and act in a Christ-like manner. He does not order his own steps, the Lord directs his steps, he does not veer to the right or the left but walks safely through difficulties, challenges and day-to-day activities, all the while listening to the voice behind him directing his steps and avoiding the landmines of life.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.””
‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Hawaii-ocean

PONDER THIS – Who do you listen to? Who directs your steps? To quote Shakespeare’s Word in Hamlet, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-new them how we will.” Septuagint, “Let the heart of man consider what is just, that his steps may be by God’s directed might.” (Pulpit Commentary)

I am providing a summary of the Book of Proverbs to provide the scope of this discussion and offer a blueprint to acquire wisdom, direction, and obedience to the Word.

Nelsons’ Quick Reference, Proverbs 16 Summary

A prepared heart(1-3, 23) is a heart that receives God’s truth and submits to God’s will. Since the mouth speaks what the heart has treasured up, the Lord can guide your words when your heart is prepared (Matt. 10:19-20).

A proud heart (5, 18-19). Pride is one sin that God especially hates. It leads to all kinds of trouble and robs you of the blessings of the Lord.

A purposeful heart (7, 9, 25). If your heart is not devoted to God’s purposes, then it will lead you astray. Take time to think and pray, meditate on the Word, and make your plans; and then trust the Lord to guide you.

A prudent heart(20-24). When wisdom is your food and drink, then you will be able to make prudent decisions. A prudent heart is revealed by lips that speak sweet words of wisdom.

A perverse heart (27-30). What is in the heart eventually comes out in the life, and the life described here is anything but beautiful or useful. No wonder Proverbs 4:23 is in God’s Word! Are you heeding it?

Supporting Scriptures

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
Jeremiah‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.”
Proverbs‬ ‭16:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Resources

BibleHub.com. Commentary Proverbs 16:9, Benson Commentary, Gill’s Expositions, Pulpit Commentary
Hayford’s Bible Handbook. Proverbs.
Wiersbe. Nelson’s Quick Reference. Proverbs 16

Scriptures – Bible.com

Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection

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.