When the image of ourselves comes to mind what does that image look like? Some of us may be more confident than others and the image that comes to their mind may be the image of someone who is strong, beautiful, courageous, smart or whatever the case may be. Others might have more insecurities and see themselves as weak, plain, small and so forth. We can be all these things yet none of them at the same time. Romans chapter 8:36 “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Who do you think made you the way you are? We were made to be overcomers and the Lord made us that way. He put the desire in us to be more. We are sheep for the slaughter but we have a Good Shepherd and that Shepherd is Jesus Christ our Lord. Just as a shepherd protects his defenseless sheep against the wolves Jesus protects us against the evils that the Devil plots against us on a daily basis. We are smack dab in the middle of SPIRITUAL WARFARE and most people do not even realize this. The wolf(Devil) is a very tricky creature. I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.” This statement has the devil’s handy work written all over it. How many stories do we hear or read about the devil coming to people and telling them straight forward “I am the Devil and I want your soul so please commit this sin so that you may burn in Hell and be mine for all eternity?” Even an atheist would think twice before making that deal. Of course the devil will use lies and tricks to win our souls because he knows he would lose otherwise. He will disguise himself as seemingly harmless things that may start out innocent but the Devil knows better. He knows great evil can begin from good intentions. As the sheep for slaughter we must know what is at stake here. God has placed us with weapons to fight evil and it is up to us to accept Jesus Christ and rise to the challenge. We must challenge our pride, our way of thinking, our self-centeredness and realize this war is much bigger than you and I. This is a war we must fight to Glorify God! We must bare our own crosses in this life because Jesus is the only way.
“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so.” Romans 8:7. This verse rings home for me, not only now that I have begun my spiritual journey and seem to run into a lot of retaliation but because before I was saved I myself acted out in the same manner. I remember the perpetual cliché “Don’t judge me!” shouting from my lips to those who would testify to me. Now having begun my studies of the Word I realize how ignorant that statement truly is. Don’t judge me?! Jesus did say “do not judge, or you too will be judged” and on the other hand we are also told to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How are we to distinguish who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about what they are doing? Believers of Christ are always being depicted as judgmental people when we speak out against sinful activity yet how can we separate ourselves from the sinful ways of the flesh if we do not exercise a sort of righteous judgment with careful discernment? We must judge the sin and know it is a matter of right from wrong. Sin has been judged by our Almighty God himself and left here on Earth in our Bibles as plain as day for us to implement. Jesus told us not to judge hypocritically. Meaning I can’t sit here and tell all my friends and loved ones that the Lord wants us to keep a sober mind and then go home and drink a bottle of liquor in secrecy. It is our Christian duty to LOVINGLY and RESPECTFULLY confront another believer who is sinning. This is not judging but rather pointing out the truth with love. A sinner is never without hope. We give hope with the ultimate goal of bringing repentance in the other person and restoration to the fellowship. Here’s a little nugget passed on to me by a beautiful Christian soul. She defined the word hypocrite to me not as someone who has done in the past what they are telling you NOT to do now. A hypocrite is someone who will tell you not to behave one way when they themselves are doing that very thing they are instructing you not to do and see no fault in themselves for doing so. As stated before we all fall but a true Christian will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent and truly strive to never make that same mistake again. Hypocrites will only make excuses as to why they did it and continue their destructive behavior without a second thought. I have in more or less words been called this because of my spotted past. I’ve learned from my mistakes and continue to learn from them and only wish to spare others from having to learn the hard way as I did. In this day in age hypocrite is viewed as more unacceptable than some of the worst curse words out there. Even murderers and such characters hate to be called hypocrites. They’ll say things like “Oh I may be a murderer but at least I’m not a hypocrite!” Imagine that. Nevertheless sin is sin. We must all strive to be more understanding and loving of each other instead of fighting over our differences.
God hates sin and to love God would be to hate sin as well. This brings me to my next and final point for the day, I promise.
The second perpetual cliché I hear spoken against Christians today, “I thought you were supposed to be a Christian?” or “I thought you were a Christian now; perfect?) along with being called a hypocrite. It is true that as Christians we are held to higher spiritual standards because we are fully aware of the spiritual warfare going on around us and yes the bible is considered my “How To” survival kit, my dearest possession. The bible holds all I need to know about life and how to develop my relationship with my Savior but let me be clear. I will stumble. I will fall. I will make mistakes and most importantly I will get back up, repent and ask God for forgiveness and strength to not fall as easily next time. Being Christian does not mean that I all of a sudden have all the answers or that one day if I pray enough or read enough that I will be perfect. Being a Christian means I know I am weak but my GOD is oh SO STRONG! I urge those of you who hold on to your fleshly desires as I myself fight the temptations of this world every day, to STOP playing church! If you do not fully commit to the Lord’s commands then how do you expect to fight the wolves at bay? We will surely be devoured and leave our children defenseless if we do not use our God given weapons to fight the flesh and the devil all in one. If God be for us then who dare be against us? God deserves your whole heart, will you give it to him?
4rm Partygirl to Praying Woman
“I have a message in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Psalm 36:1
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5.