Brenda Walsh Ministries, May 21, 2020. @brendawalsh.com
There are times when you struggle with being tempted to do things that you know are not right. You’ve fallen so many times that it seems you’re on a losing streak with the devil. It might even be a sin that is considered “no big deal” in the world, and you’re comforted by knowing that “no one else could possibly know.” But when you’re walking the Christian walk, your conscience will give you no rest. The Holy Spirit is pleading with you to surrender your secret sin, but when you keep ignoring God’s voice, the devil wins! As you spiral downward in your walk with Jesus, and continue down the wrong path, discouragement sets in, and you’re tempted to give up and quit trying to resist the temptation. You may have even prayed and asked God to take away those temptations–for if you no longer had the desire to sin–you wouldn’t have to worry about messing up. But if God just removed the temptation–you would not be leaning on Him for strength. God wants you to “choose” to serve Him and depend on His strength to resist whatever the devil throws your way. The Bible says in Proverbs 21:30-31,”There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord . . . but victory rests with the Lord.” And in Psalm 60:12 we’re told, “With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.” You can have the victory over temptation–when you fully surrender your heart and life to God!” Text: 1 Corinthians 15:57, John 16:33, 2 Chronicles 20:15
1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 16:33 NKJV – “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
2 Chronicles 20:15 NKJV – And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
We are covered in the Blood. God gives us the strength to withstand life’s circumstances.
When bad things happen, the devastation is short-lived. It is a short time because as Christians we acknowledge that God’s time is not our time, and our thousand years is but a moment to God. So, as we walk through devastation we must keep our eye on the Lord, not the circumstances or the length of time we have been walking through it, but on the Lord. The Trinity is our Salvation.
God gives us the strength to withstand the circumstances. Jesus gives us the light and peace to walk through the valley. And, the Holy Spirit gives us direction leading us to the other side.
Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you will not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Isreal, your Savior.
Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.
Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all fears.
Psalm 27:1-3 The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, Will Himself restore you and make you strong, for, and steadfast.
Jesus is our Lord and Savior. His blood covers us in all situations. Difficult times test our faith and strengthens our relationship with the Lord. Is your faith strong despite the burdens of life? Do you find rest in His peace that will carry you through? Rely on the Lord to see you through the worst of times and the best of times. He is our only Rock. He is our Savior.
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
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.
2 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
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.