Archive | June 2018

Roadblock #7 – Unwillingness to Forgive – The Enemy of Mercy

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

God’s Word is very clear on forgiveness. When we forgive others, God forgives us. When we do not forgive others, God does not forgive us. If we have an unforgiving heart, we put a distance between Him and ourselves. His voice may become silent. God may choose not to speak to us until we choose to forgive another who has hurt, offended, or sinned against us. A harsh, unforgiving, judgmental spirit can stifle our communication with God.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). Again, we hear very clearly that God will forgive us when we forgive others. Sometimes it feels impossible to forgive someone who hurts us deeply. Truly, we cannot climb this mountain in our own strength. Just as the Holy Spirit gives us the power of self-control to abstain from sin and wrongdoing, He also gives us the ability to forgive. Asking the Holy Spirit to change your heart toward the person who offended you enables you to see that person through the eyes of God. Praying for your enemies also softens your heart for them. Begin with small, one-sentence prayers led by the Holy Spirit, and soon your blossoming mercy will increase your petitions on behalf of those who hurt you.

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we do not know what to pray. Tune in to the Spirit of God within you to receive power from on high to do what seems impossible in your own strength. When you forgive others, God forgives you. When God forgives you, you must believe it and fully accept His gift of forgiveness.

Understanding how great a debt I owe for my sin and how much Jesus paid for it, I am grateful that God has already forgiven me. In turn, I should extend my gift of forgiveness to those who have sinned against me. Exercising forgiveness is a choice, just as accepting forgiveness is a choice.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

Continually thank God for His forgiveness and ask Him to carry on the healing process in you, so you feel both forgiven and forgiving, then walk in the freedom that brings. When you are freed from an unforgiving heart and let go of the sin that holds onto you, you may hear God speak to you clearly. Until then, you may have to sift through a few lies to get to God’s truth.

#1: I can’t forgive my brother or sister—he/she hurt me too deeply.

#2: God doesn’t expect me to forgive this one.

#3: God will forgive me, even if I don’t forgive others.

 Purchase my book, 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, today and find the truth to disprove the above lies. Also read a whole lot more about the truth in God’s Word on the subject of forgiveness. Practice removing the barriers that stand between you and God.  Then, resume your two-way communication and achieve greater intimacy with Jesus.

Click here to purchase book today.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Roadblock #6 – Disobedience – The Enemy of Righteousness

It’s pretty simple—disobedience to God is sin. Clearly, sin separates us from God. He despises sin and doesn’t want to be anywhere near it. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” This verse confirms that sin and an unrepentant heart can keep God from hearing you. When He hides His face from you, most likely, He will not speak to you either. Does sin, or disobedience, stand in your way of hearing God’s voice?

Confession of sin is not only required by God—it is necessary for your own peace of mind. Confessing your sin, turning from it, and attempting to lead a clean life of obedience open the door of communication between you and God. In our humanness, we won’t ever be completely free of sin on earth, but we should try to live our lives in a different way than the rest of the world.

Of course, if you’ve never confessed your sin and accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then you already live apart from God, and the Holy Spirit does not occupy your heart. In that case, you should not expect to hear God’s voice within at all.

If that’s you, please click on the Ground Zero link below and view the video in which I share the Gospel of Good News. Learn more about how to invite Jesus into your heart and begin a new relationship with Him. When you do, God’s Holy Spirit, and the ability to hear His voice, are God’s amazing gifts to you.

1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” Sounds like it’s not if we sin, but when we sin, confession is required. Then, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us. Our full acceptance of His pardon releases us from all guilt and shame for that offense. God remembers our sins no more, so we can forget them also, and strive to do better next time we are tempted.

Ground Zero Video – Click Here to Watch (Hosted at Gumroad.com – Click to “Buy or Rent” the video, then enter 0 as price to watch it for FREE.)

Even after accepting Christ as my Savior and being a Christian for many years, it’s still nearly impossible to live a sin-free life. That’s the goal, but sadly, in my humanness, it’s not achievable on this side of the pearly gates. Jesus is the only person who ever accomplished that feat. One role of the Holy Spirit is to empower me to overcome temptation and resist sin. However, if I am not tuned in constantly, listening to God’s voice within, or if I am not willing to obey Him, I will fall short of God’s glory. Therefore, it’s still possible, on any given day, that disobedience, unconfessed sin, rebellion, or repetitive sin could erect a roadblock that impedes my clear communication with God.

No matter how hard we try to defeat sin, at times, it becomes our master. Thankfully, we serve a High Priest who hears our confessions and daily intercedes on our behalf, restoring our relationships with God the Father. We worship an awesome God who sent His Son to be a sin offering in place of us, and then, He also sent us the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to live our lives according to the Spirit rather than the sinful nature.

Satan has only as much power as we give him. How powerless have you become? Whatever your weakness, it’s time to take back control! All of it! We’ve been given Jesus’ authority over all sin. We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and He lives inside us. Instead of relinquishing our power to the adversary, we must draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit within us to resist temptation and our tendency to believe the lies Satan introduces in our thoughts. We have the ability stand firm in our faith and resist all temptation because the Lord does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Our brothers and sisters in Christ, who live in all parts of the world, suffer similar trials.

Be vigilant about guarding your heart and your mind. Do not allow the deceiver to carry out his battle plans on your watch. When I stood on the sidelines of life and did not participate in the big game, the devil did not need to concentrate his focus on me. The moment I invited Jesus into my heart and sought a more intimate relationship with Him, I enlisted in the battle of good vs. evil. Choosing God’s side, I put a large target on my back for the dragon, Satan, to take his aim. Satan sat up, took notice, and stepped-up his plan of action to derail me.

Most often, the common battlefield is our mind. Satan will continue to sway us toward disobedience. But Jesus triumphantly conquered this battle for us already. We can claim our victory over sin in the name and blood of Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to stand firm in your faith and embark on a barrier-free journey of intimacy with Jesus? If your desire is to do so, but you feel unprepared, I suggest you beef up your plan of counterattack against temptation and sin by practicing these steps daily:

  1. Confess your sin.
  2. Turn from your disobedient ways.
  3. Immerse yourself in the Word of God. Meditate on it day and night.
  4. Dress yourself in the full armor of God.
  5. Be ready to draw the sword of the Spirit by being prepared with Scripture to battle temptation and lies.
  6. Know your weak spots and vulnerabilities.
  7. Take control of all your thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.
  8. Remove any other roadblocks between you and God.
  9. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit all day long.
  10. Obey the voice of God in your thoughts.

Has the devil ever captivated your thoughts with the following deceptions? If not the lies listed below, then identify any other lies regarding sin that you have believed and disprove them with the truth from Scripture.

#1: Your sins are too big for God to forgive.

#2: You need to keep asking for forgiveness for the same sin.

#3: God will never speak to you because of your sin or past.

 Click on the link below to purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Identify the obstacles and the lies that hinder your communication with the Holy Spirit, and then, make an effort to remove and disprove them. This book will get you started in the right direction.

Click here to purchase book today.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Roadblock #5 – Busyness – The Enemy of Freedom

When we don’t have time for God, it’s difficult to have a meaningful conversation or relationship with Him. The busyness of life may keep you from hearing God’s voice. Satan loves to fill up our lives, even with good, godly acts of service, so that we don’t have time to listen to God’s voice. The enemy keeps us in chaos and noise so that we cannot hear the still, small voice of Jesus. Are you too busy serving in too many places, so you miss out on what He says to you? Or do you make time regularly to sit alone with the Lord, listening to His Spirit within you? He does have something to say to you.

Remember Mary and Martha? Martha opened her home to Jesus. All her preparations for His visit robbed her of spending time with her Guest of honor, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and eagerly listened to what He said.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-41)

Are you too busy doing, doing, doing to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He wants to say to you? It pleased Jesus that Mary sat and listened to Him, and He didn’t take that time away from her. Everything else could wait.

I must confess, my innate tendency is to behave more like Martha than Mary. Being the die-hard people-pleaser that I am, if Jesus and His disciples came to visit my home, I might be more worried about the hospitality than the relationality. I could see myself scurrying around, cleaning, preparing a meal, and making sure my guests are well taken care of. I would be more inclined to “do” than to “be” still and listen.

Understanding my nature and God-given spiritual gift of help or service, I must force myself to be more social and relational when hosting a gathering. My efforts are usually concentrated on fulfilling the roles of maid, cook, caterer, server, dishwasher, launderer, and concierge, rather than playing the warm, welcoming, congenial hostess role. I’m afraid I would be more concerned about making sure Jesus had a clean, comfortable place to sit, a nice meal to eat, a tasty wine to drink, and crisp, clean sheets to sleep on than on honoring Him with my undivided time, listening to every word that rolled out of His mouth.

Opposites attract, however. My husband is a popular, sanguine Mary. He walks into a crowded room and immediately bursts with positive energy from being in a social atmosphere. He loves communicating with anyone and everyone. He enjoys initiating and carrying on conversations with complete strangers. A social gathering is very exciting and emotionally stimulating for him. He talks and listens to each guest who enters our home, making them feel special and welcome. My husband would shake Jesus’s hand and cheerfully sit at His feet, listening to every word He spoke. Whose behavior do you think Jesus would most appreciate? Are you a Martha or a Mary?

When Martha told Jesus to reprimand Mary for not helping her with the preparations, Jesus very clearly set Martha straight on her priorities. We have to find a balance between serving and spending time alone with Christ, listening to His voice. Is Jesus pleased with the amount of individual attention you give Him? Are you making your time with Him a priority over your other activities?

Your calendar might be due for an overhaul. Free up some time daily to be with God. Cross off some of the less important activities. Write in ink, not pencil, to schedule your “God” time. Don’t let another activity “bump” your time with God or take priority over your relationship with Jesus, the Lord of your life. Perhaps you have fallen prey to some of these misconceptions:

 

#1: I don’t have time to wait for God to speak to me.

#2: All these other activities I do are more urgent than spending time with God.

#3: Investing time in godly activities equals having a relationship with Jesus.

 

Click on the link below to purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Identify the obstacles and the lies that hinder your communication with the Holy Spirit, and then, make an effort to remove and disprove them. This book will get you started in the right direction.

Click here to Purchase the book now.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series