Powerful words! Truth and wisdom! Are they ingrained in you? Do you truly believe that it is Christ in you that gives you the wisdom and strength to live? Be careful how you answer that question. Because He gives us His strength to walk through the impossible to have God’s will and plan for our lives walked out, not to do our “own thing”.
So if God never intended man to be self-sufficient, what was the purpose of the Abrahamic Covenant? It was not to have man try to figure out a way to keep all of the laws! Even before Abraham there were laws which Adam and Eve and their descendants understood. When Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit (Scripture does not say it was an apple) their eyes were opened and they knew they had sinned against the Almighty One, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and themselves. Their banishment from the Garden of Eden was a consequence of their disobedience to God’s commandments. They now had to work the land to provide for their needs instead of being the overseers of all that God had provided for them. Each of us are faced with choices, many of them each day. Each choice will affect us, either for God’s good or for bad because it went against God’s will for our lives. The first thing we need to do is come to the truth that WE made the decision and caused the problem!
When we experience the consequences of our sin it should draw us closer to God. Our eyes should be open to see what we lost by not trusting in the Lord. Our minds were created to think and to reason so that we would understand that God’s ways are much better than our ways. Is this your response to sin in your life? Or, are you like Cain and feel sorry for yourself and accuse God of making things difficult for you? Does your heart grow hard against the Lord and turn away to follow your own path? God even warned Cain that he was heading down a dangerous path when he became angry with his brother Abel and with the Lord because his offering was not accepted. “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7 emphasis mine) There is only one way to master sin, submission to God. Do you only seek God to bring you blessings but ignore Him when He leads you in a difficult path? Read again our opening Scripture. “I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)
Consider these Scriptures, “You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made would say to its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” (Isaiah 29:16 emphasis mine) “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?” (Isaiah 45:9)
All non-Jews who believe in the Messiah and have been redeemed by His blood have been grafted into the olive tree, Israel. So let’s read a little of what the Lord had to say to His people through Jeremiah and then consider its implications to us today. This is a very strong warning to you and me! “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying, ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.’ Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?’ declares the LORD. ‘Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it. So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.’ ‘But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’” (Jeremiah 18:1-12 emphasis mine) This passage is all about repentance (confessing our sins and TURNING away from them to a new path) and redemption!
There is a vast number of people today who will say they are Christian but they are following a moral code of the secular world. They love to sound righteous and stand up for the things they believe but they are not in alignment with any of Scripture. But they try to justify that also. How? By taking Scripture out of context or by changing the words written. God’s Word is not a suggestion, it was written in an exact context that explicitly says what God wanted to say. It does not have double meaning. But man has taken that into his own hand and has written several “translations” or different Bible versions. And there is a reason for that, and Satan is behind it, for each “different” translation carries with it a particular slant to bring the reader to another conclusion than what was originally written. They want it to be “politically correct” or reflect their personal beliefs. God is not about political correctness or about our personal misguided deception. God is about truth and truth is not subjective to the true bride of Christ!
I know people who say that the “Old Testament” doesn’t apply anymore so they don’t read it or study it. Without intimate knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures one will never know when prophecy is being fulfilled today and what the signs of the times really are. But even more importantly, they will have absolutely no understanding of what Jesus taught in the New Testament. Everything He taught was from the Old Testament Scriptures!
As I am writing this I ran across a statement in one of my Bible study materials that is a breath of fresh air! It perfectly describes the necessity of the need of our being intimate with the Scriptures contained in the Old Testament. “When we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Holy Spirit is truly produced within us, we will not find ourselves walking contrary to the way of the Torah (Gal. 5:22-23), and the true aim and goal of the Torah will be written upon our hearts (Jer. 31:31-33).”
There are many teachers and preachers today who do not teach biblical truth. Some of these false teachings include: God was a God of wrath in the Old Testament and a God of grace in the New Testament, God divorced Israel so the land does not belong to the Jewish people, the prophecies that were not fulfilled in the Old Testament are not literal prophecy and will not be fulfilled, Jesus was not the Messiah but only a good teacher or prophet, there are many ways to heaven other than through the blood shed on Calvary by Jesus. These are just a small sample of the deceptive teachings that are becoming common teaching in our churches. Let me ask you, are you being taught in your churches, in your Bible studies to have self-esteem? Are you being taught to think “for yourself”, to choose which method you want to follow to Jesus? Are you being deceived by the lies that the “old ways” are no longer applicable? Are you being taught that there is a “new” way? Are you being taught to “meditate” or that yoga is perfectly fine for a believer? Are your Bible studies the books written by men and women who are teaching their interpretation of what they think is right? Are you following a program that some person has developed? My friends, if you are being taught any of these things, run as fast as you can out of that place! God is not there! I am not going to address the deception of contemplative prayer and false prophets and apostles but they most likely are operating in your church if any of the above are being taught. Read some of the previous devotionals for teachings on these areas.
Are you being taught correctly that the Scriptures NEVER change? Are you being taught that EVERY word in Scripture is infallible, that it is the inspired Word of God? “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Remember, and this is very important, that when the Apostle Paul penned those words, there was no New Testament Scriptures! Let that sink in. Paul was affirming that no part of God’s Word had changed. The change was that the Messiah had appeared and died as the perfect sacrificial lamb that we could be redeemed. He was our redemption! “Jesus *said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” (John 14:6)
If you answered yes to any of these questions, except the last two, you are silencing the Holy Spirit! You are walking in the ways of man and not the ways of God. You are not on the narrow road that leads to life eternal in the Kingdom of God. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 emphasis mine) “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 emphasis mine) These next words of Jesus are strong. He was speaking to the Pharisees, the religious leaders who loved to look religious by controlling other people and setting themselves up to look holy when, in actuality, they had no relationship with God. Appearances are deceiving. “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.’” (John 8:42) Jesus was obedient to His Father and demonstrated for us how to be obedient. Everything He said or did was in obedience to His Father. Everything He spoke confirmed the words of what we call The Old Testament. Notice what He said about it? “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17 emphasis mine) He will fulfill every prophecy in Scripture! And then He will return to rule in Jerusalem in the Kingdom of God.
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Stop. Read the above paragraphs again. I sense the Holy Spirit is wanting us to wait in His presence. Let all the words sink into your mind. Are you beginning to feel uncomfortable? Are you beginning to justify your actions and trying to convince God it is not what it seems? There is no arguing with God, He won’t change His mind and He doesn’t have different standards for each of us. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 emphasis mine) Thank You Lord Jesus! Through the living presence of the Holy Spirit living in us we are equipped to walk in Your ways as we lean not on our own understanding but on Your Word! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’” (1 Peter 1:13-16) “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.’ And this is the word which was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25 emphasis mine) “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11) “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
My friend, I believe that time is short and that our Messiah will be returning to gather up His bride. Are you among them? I truly hope that you will be. These devotionals are messages that the Lord speaks through me to draw you to Him. He desires to spend time with you. He desires to walk with you, talk with you, cry with you, teach you His ways. The Father has delayed His return so that more will be saved. Not a false salvation but a true transformation and surrender to Him. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8) I am not worthy to enter into His presence in my own flesh but His blood has washed me clean and He has clothed me in garments of salvation! There is no greater gift. Friends, do not be deceived. Take every thought captive to the mind of Christ! Line up every word you hear preached with the whole context of Scripture, not just one isolated verse. Be diligent in running after the TRUE God, not an imitator. Each of us need to be certain that we are not these that the Lord speaks of, “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,” (Isaiah 65:2)
Abba Father, thank You for Your words which shed light into the dark areas of our souls. We need you every moment, with every breath that we take. I lift up those who are in deceptive teaching churches, that they will allow Your Spirit to begin to show them the deceptions and that they would repent and turn from those ways. Strengthen them to follow You and not man’s ways. Thank You that You are our constant companion, You will never leave us or forsake us! Your ways are perfect even when we don’t understand where You are leading or why the path is so difficult. But You, O Lord, are the Master of my life, have Your way in me. Lord, I pray for Your Spirit to move in the lives of those reading these Words and that Your life would not only be experienced but become their life. Lord, I ask that You embolden those reading this to share it with others they know that are being lead astray. Use each of us as watchmen on the walls! Build us up as an army caring for each other and sharing Your Word without prejudice. There is no one who is not in need of Your gift. Thank You, again, for Your amazing love, Your amazing mercy and grace, and for the shed blood of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. I love You Lord with all of my heart, mind, soul and body. In this I pray in the blessed name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!