Crunchity, crunchity, crunch, crunch. What does that sound? It’s the sound of my wife and I taking our first walk in the gorgeous Mammoth Lakes area. It was a gravel filled path that turned into a dirt road along a creek with beautiful Aspen trees blowing in the breeze. At first, our steps were not in sync – crunchity, crunchity. After about a quarter mile, though, our steps synced – crunch, crunch. After that all we heard were the birds chirping in the trees, our sweet conversation and the crunch, crunch of each step.
This illustrates the walk with the Spirit principle spoken of in Galatians 5:23. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” If you want the good stuff Jesus offers, you must walk at His pace, while to listening and following Him wherever He might be taking you.
We must ask ourselves each day, “Will I rush ahead or lag behind while trying to hold a conversation with Him? Or will I try to keep in step with Him?” Rushing ahead or lagging behind only makes hearing more difficult, especially as the distance between us becomes greater. We gain life, all the stuff we hope to experience, only by keeping in step with Jesus. How? Picking up the biblical truths He’s given us to silence all other voices so we keep that walk and talk with Jesus going.
Set Free Now“W”w
The following story is true, but the names and some circumstances have been changed to protect the family. “Joshua Naise” is a retired man in his late 60’s. Joshua discovered when his mother died 10 years earlier that his “father,” Moses Naise, was not his biological dad. Joshua’s mom was previously married to bio dad; and yet, Joshua’s birth certificated showed his father as bio dad. This revelation was not a big deal as Joshua only knew his father to be his father. He loved and was loved by his father.
The story doesn’t end there. When Joshua’s father recently died, he discovered that Mr. Naise was not actually Moses Naise at all! Moses was adopted by Mr. Naise and was given his last name. Joshua’s bio dad was a Jones! All his life Joshua thought he was a Naise of French heritage. He even went to France to visit his “relatives” in France. Come to find out he’s not French, but English!
Confused? It took time for Joshua to sort it all out in his own mind. Conflicted? Not as I talked with him. Joshua knows who he is. He is a secure child of God. This sort of situation has caused many a person to spin out of control. “Was I lied to all my life? Who am I really?” and on and on it goes. The search for these answers has lead many to their drug(s) of choice.
This didn’t happen to Joshua because he knows who he is in Christ: a secure child of God. This truth, biblical tool, is foundational to freedom. So many people put qualifiers after the words “I am…” that are dependent upon others or their feelings. Freedom in the hands of another is not freedom, unless those hands are Jesus. Jesus tells us who we are, not others, our situations or our feelings. In Christ, our search is over, even if new information surfaces. Put this truth into your head and stand tall upon it. Victory is yours as you do.
“S”et Free Nowww
The responses I received from “More Water!” greatly illustrated the walk with believers principle. After I wrote about my peach tree dropping unripened peaches, many told me they could have saved me the heartache of a failed peach harvest if they had only known about it.
We need the Word of God to expose the lies in our thinking and give us the necessary truths to replace them with. However, God will use other believers in this process as well. If we want to see the Spirit expose our failed character and exchange it with Christ’s eternal character, we will not only have to share our challenges with other believers, but we must also give them the right to speak into our lives.
If I had shared about my failed peach harvest last year, I could have had a wonderful peach harvest this year. Who are you letting observe and speak into your life? If you can’t name anyone by name, you’ll end up with another failed harvest of the good stuff Jesus offers those who listen to and follow Him. It’s time to believe in the truth of James 5:16.
S“E”t Free Noww“W”
Discouragement. We all face it. We’ve all been defeated by it. Through our enemy’s lie, it’s used to get us to turn our backs on God, even for the slightest instant, to take our drugs of choice – that sinful repeated habit.
One mode of discouragement is comparison. “I’m not as good as so-and-so. I wish I could do such-and-such like them.” What a lie these are.
One truth-at-the-point-of-the-lie passage is a personalized Ephesians 2:10. “For I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared in advance for me to do.”
God created me, not me. He chose what talents and abilities I would have, not me. Yes those talents and abilities must developed; but, improvements can only start on the raw talent given by Him. He made me, me, not me. And guess what? This is good stuff! God didn’t create a piece of junk as I’m created in Christ Jesus. So unless Jesus is junk, let’s stop letting the evil one try to make us think we’re junk when in reality we’re made in the image of God!
Yes, He made me, me. But He created and prepared me for a specific purpose. I can be successful only as I surrender to Him and His, not my, purpose for my life. Not the purpose He has for others, but the one He has for me.
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I must become comfortable in the skin He gave me. I must let Him develop, use and empower those talents and abilities for His glory. I can stop comparing myself with others only as I apply these truths. When you’re weak, He can be strong for you. You better have a personalized version of Ephesians 2:10 in your shield of faith. As only it will extinguish that dart of discouragement when your enemy attacks.
Set Free No“W”ww
I recently finished leading a class on our archenemy, Satan and his helpers. Those taking the class were quite surprised at all the avenues open to his disposal to get us to destroy our lives. What avenues can you shut down?
How much I weigh has always been an avenue he’s used to attack my security as a child of God. This creates a vicious cycle in my life. When I feel less than stellar about who I am in Christ, I tend to eat. This eating causes me to gain weight, which makes an even wider avenue for him to use. What’s sad is that he uses this avenue to drag me down even when life is good.
Why not take that avenue away from him? I’ve discovered that when I open this avenue to my enemy, he usually tries to open up other avenues of attack as well.
God’s been closing that avenue this past month. He’s been changing my thinking about food – not just why I eat, but what I eat as well. By doing so, He’s closing a vital artery to my enemy. Not only do I feel better physically, but spiritually as well. I can physically see what God is doing, which makes my joy increase and by ability to hear Him become more sensitive. Good days stay good. Bad days don’t go out of control as they once did.
What avenue is the Spirit asking to close in your life? Use your biblical tools to hear and follow Jesus today. Let your bad days be turned to good days. And let your good days get even better!
S“E”t Free Nowww