When sincere Christians are defeated–the cause and the remedy (PART 2)
by David Leach
As one Minister of the Gospel put it “God does the Bible – nothing else”. A paraphrase for:
Jer 1:12 …The LORD said… “I am ready to perform My word".
God performs His word, He does the Bible when He can find someone who has His word, a part of the Bible, in their hearts, then, He performs it. If I grasp this it will motivate me to learn how to let God get more of His words in me – so He can perform them and bring them to pass both in my life and in the lives of others. I must recognize though that God performs “His” exact word – not my or someone else’s convenient summary or synopsis of His words, especially when that summary resides, as is often the case, in my head.
As with all things good there is a downside, a consequence, if I reject what is good:
Pro 29:18 Where there is no revelation (no ongoing unveiling of God and His will to me through His word), the people cast off restraint… And one of the first restraints that I will throw off is the constraint of not complaining about my situation and not wallowing in self-pity when troubles arise in my life. When I do this I am effectively declaring that God hasn’t been good to me, He’s not taking care of me – only a continuing and fresh intake of God’s living words into my heart will keep me from releasing this restraint on my flesh.
Improving how I hear from God: This is the single most important thing in the Christian’s life. If my born again spirit does not get constantly fed it will wither and eventually die, for which then there can never be salvation. If I don’t know how to receive living words directly from God to feed my spirit, and if I’m going to make it as a Christian, I should attend every gathering of the Church, listen to Bible teaching and inspired music CD’s constantly and meet often with a mature Christian to disciple me.
Heb 2:3 How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…
When I have grown sufficiently in my spirit I will have developed a way where I expect to hear from God every day, and sometimes several times a day. I know that God will speak to me personally through part or all of a Bible verse. I will allocate sufficient time for God to speak to me each day, and, whenever I’m in doubt. I may use a devotional, a scripture calendar, a promise box, a truth paper or reading a chapter or passage from the Bible, either in sequence or at the specific direction of God’s Spirit, as potential sources for God to use to bring me His words.
I read slowly, reflectively and never speed read. Faithfully I do it at least once and often more times each day knowing if I neglect the One who loves me and on Whom I am wholly dependent, my enemies will gain an immediate advantage over me. I understand that the dead letter of the word will only kill me but the words made alive to me by the Holy Spirit are the very life of God to me, when they enter my heart.
Ps 51:6 Behold, You desire truth (Your Word) in the inward parts (my heart), And in the hidden part (my spirit) You will make me to know wisdom (Your Word).
Pro 1:23 Surely I will pour out my Spirit on you I will make my words known to you
If I truly want to know God better and be of more use to Him I discover a hunger to spend quality time with Him later in the day to study His word and the teachings He brings me.
Improving my understanding of words God speaks to me: I am willing to cease from my own wisdom and to not lean on my own understanding to interpret what God is saying to me. I recognize my dependency on God’s Spirit to give me His understanding of what He says and I’m prepared to wait on God, before ending my quiet time with Him, until I know that I have received His understanding.
I never try to get God to speak to me through a word of my choosing-the words He speaks through are solely His choice and may consist of an entire verse or just a small portion of a verse and rarely will it exceed two verses. While God’s purpose is to engraft His words onto my heart and I cooperate by being still and silent before Him and shutting down all other extraneous thoughts – nonetheless I keep a written record of the words He has spoken and the understanding He has given.
Prov 3:5 …Do not lean on your own understanding.
Prov 4:5 Get wisdom ! Get (My) understanding ! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Ps 27:14 Wait on the Lord…and He will strengthen your heart…(with His words)
Improving my trust and confidence in God and in the words He speaks to me: I have learned that doubt is a crippling enemy (and watching secular TV is watching a doubt box). My Father often forestalls doubt by the words He speaks to me in the morning quiet time which always inspire faith. God intends for me to live throughout the day in a happy state of trust in Him.
However when I have allowed doubts to access my thoughts with an inevitable weakening of my heart – I have learned to go quickly back to my Father who is the source of my faith and not leave until He has, through His words, restored my heart to a place of trust in Him. If I have stumbled into sin, which always weakens me and opens the door to doubt, I confidently rely on His mercy, for Christ’s sake, and I believe I am forgiven, regardless of my feelings.
He knows, and I don’t, exactly what words I need to hear to restore me – I simply feed on His faithfulness and His unchanging love. As with all the words He speaks, I continue to think about them later as I remember them, as God’s Spirit reminds me of them or as I refer to my record of them, and they strengthen my heart with each remembrance, and often I see deeper truths that they contain.
Ps 31:10 …My strength fails because of my iniquity
Ps 119:50 …Your word has given me life.
I fully intend to live by and to conform my actions and speech to what I have heard God say. I am willing to take the word of my Father above circumstances and the words of others. I recognize that I have an adversary and a carnal mind that will tempt me to quickly abandon God’s words, but I know God will deliver me from every such temptation.
Ps 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
In summary: 2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.