Alignments

God has been speaking to me so much in the last month or so about positioning, alignments and timing.  When we get into the wrong position, we will not be as productive as we could be in what we are trying to accomplish. I wrote a previous blog about positioning that I invite you to read but on this, I will focus on alignments. Alignments go along with positioning because being in alignment can actually mean being in the proper position. If machine parts are out of alignment, they will not work. God is the Creator and He is extremely into details so I think we need to be conscious of being in proper alignment. This also means that there must be a proper balance. If the tires on your car are out of balance, it can mess up your alignment. Have you ever gotten behind a car and seen that the tires were out of balance or a car that had been damaged and is out of alignment? Maybe the frame was bent and it looks like the back tires don’t line up with the front tires. This can cause the tires to wear out prematurely. When we are not in proper alignment, we can be running BUT we are wearing ourselves out and not being as efficient as we could be if we were aligned properly. We also could veer off to the right or left and it makes it harder to steer the vehicle because it is not in proper alignment. Have you ever taken your hands off the wheel for a few seconds and the car goes off to the right or left? It is not in proper alignment.

Alignment can also be a  position of agreement or alliance. It is extremely important who we align ourselves with in our lives. The Bible says “can two walk together unless they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 says:
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

I Corinthians 15:33 says: Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

Proverbs 22:24-25 says: Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself.

Who we align ourselves with makes a huge difference on our growth in the Lord and how effective we will be in our life with the Lord and ministry to others.

I am normally a very happy and upbeat person but when I get around people who are negative and spend lots of time murmuring and complaining, if I am not careful to come apart and get away from that, I could be affected by those spirits of negativity. It is so important that we guard ourselves against that and that we are careful what we are around as well as what we listen to and watch on TV.

Just so there is no misunderstanding on what I am saying, Jesus ministered to publicans and sinners because that is why He came into the world, to seek and to save the lost. We, as Christians, are also called to minister to the lost. However, we need to be careful who we actually align ourselves with because we are in the world but we are not OF the world. It is very true that we become like those we spend the most time with and we begin to take on their characteristics. Spend lots of time in the presence of the Lord seeking Him and His direction and also have fellowship with others who do the same. Be careful who you align yourself with so your life will be pleasing to Him and fruitful. 

God bless you!

Patricia Styers

 

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Spiritual Check-up

I am writing this to anyone who identifies themselves as a “Christian”.  We, as Christians, need to learn to walk in the Spirit. As we grow and mature in the Lord, we should become more Christ-like in our character. Unfortunately, Christianity often gets a bum reputation because of what unbelievers see in us. Some Christians proclaim one thing and walk in a totally different way. Let me be clear to anyone reading this…NOBODY is perfect and even mature Christians mess up and need to repent of doing things that are not Christ-like. I have certainly messed up, even as someone who has been a Christian for almost 50 years. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness when we truly repent! However, as we grow in the Lord, we should be walking closer to the Lord and becoming more like Him in the way that we think, speak and act. In short, unbelievers should see a difference in us.

What some might consider things that are for super mature Christians, are actually for even young Christians.  If you read Matthew chapters 5-7, the way that Jesus tells us to live was the FIRST thing that Jesus taught. We call it the “sermon on the Mount.” It was the foundational teaching on how we should live. He did NOT teach that to people who had been walking with Him and living for Him for many, many years and were seasoned, mature Christians but He taught it to new believers. It is not for Super-Christians but should be the basics for all believers….Christianity 101!

I challenge ALL of us to read, re-read and meditate on Matthew chapters 5-7 and have a spiritual check-up on how we are doing with the basics of Christianity. If we are missing it, we need to repent and ask the Lord for His help to live in a way that is pleasing to Him and a witness to unbelievers! 

Blessings!

Patricia Styers

True Worship

God seeks worshippers who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:21-24)! In order to be true worshippers of God, we must learn to give ourselves totally over to Him. That means we must be willing to lay down our own desires and abandon ourselves to Him and His plans for us. Worship is not JUST singing some songs while we are “in a church meeting” or words that we say to Him when we pray but true worship is how we live on a daily basis! Do our lives glorify Him? Does God have our hearts, attention and devotion at all times? Are we willing to abandon ourselves to Him and let Him be Lord over our lives?
May we all think on these things and give Him Lordship over our lives so that whatever we think, say and do is by His leading and brings glory to Him. That is TRUE worship!

Blessings,

Patricia Styers

Spirit of Offense

I have had this on my heart for almost a year now and God recently spoke to me again in the last week or so and I feel that He wants me to share it now.  This is a very important message that I believe everybody needs to hear because I have seen so much heartache and destruction that could have been prevented. I pray that we will all examine our hearts as we read this so that we can walk in love and victory in our lives.

It would be impossible to live in this world without getting hurt or offended by people! I can guarantee that everyone who is old enough to read this has been hurt and offended. The Bible tells us that “offenses will come” but it is how we handle them that is what matters. In the past, I blogged about “Killers” (things that can kill us spiritually). There were five that I named. They are unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred. If we hold unto those things, they will destroy us! When we are offended, if we don’t turn it over to God and forgive, we can open the door to a spirit of offense. I have seen the spirit of offense get in and destroy individual lives, friendships, families and even churches if it is not dealt with quickly.  Proverbs 19:11 says: A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. If we hang on to an offense, it can open the door to a spirit of offense. Once the spirit of offense has a place in your life, you will find that you are offended VERY often! Satan is a liar and deceiver and he comes to kill, steal and destroy. He has NO mercy and will plant things in your mind where there really were no offenses but you perceived those things as though they were REAL offenses and have shut people out of your life because of it.  Many times the people who you shut out are left scratching their heads and wondering why you have walked away. I have someone that I love deeply that has walked away from her whole family and me as well. I have racked my brain trying to figure out why and prayed about this, asking God what I could have possibly done to offend her. She will not answer my voicemails or letters and I hate that we no longer have a relationship. However, there is no opportunity to talk to her because she has isolated herself because of perceived offenses. She has gone through years of not being in touch with her family and it is so sad. Her family loves her and does not understand.

I am not saying that there are not real offenses BUT if we don’t deal with them correctly and quickly, the spirit of offense has an open door to come marching in and settle in until we are isolated, families are split and even churches are destroyed.  Turn any offenses over to the Lord, forgive and don’t open the door to that spirit!

Patricia Styers

 

The Key To The Christian Walk

If there was just one thing that I could tell every Christian that is the key to living a victorious Christian life that is pleasing to the Lord and I could only use one word, that word would be YIELD. It is a simple five letter word but it can be so hard to do for many people! To yield means to surrender or submit.

In many ways, we are taught to have self-control, be self-reliant, self-sufficient, to be a self-starter, to be a self-made person, etc. While these things can be drilled into us from a relatively young age by some well-meaning people, they can be detrimental to the way that the Christian walk needs to be according to the Word of God. As Christians, we MUST learn to submit to the Lord in everything because if we don’t, we will never see victory in our walk with the Lord. HE alone is Lord and not us! If we try to do things on our own, we are playing God and not trusting Him with full control of our lives. Does God tell us to do things and want us to follow through with them? YES! However, the key to that is yielding to Him to tell us what HE wants and letting Him ALWAYS be Lord!  We should not be rushing ahead of Him and trying to do things on our own without His guidance. When we forge ahead without His guidance, we are essentially saying, “God, I can handle things on my own today.” We probably would never actually say that to God but our actions are speaking that. God will allow you to go ahead of Him and do things but they will not truly be fruitful in a way that is pleasing to Him if they are works done by the arm of our flesh. How many times have we heard the statement “he is a self-made man” used to describe someone who is successful by the worlds’ standards? The fact is that there is no such thing as a self-made man because without God, none of us would be here living on this earth. He is our Creator and the sustainer of our lives. There would be NO breath in us without Him giving it to us. Every gift or talent that we have was given to us by God whether we acknowledge that or not!  There are many who God has gifted that do not acknowledge God and they use their talents for ungodly things They seem to be very successful in the world. They may even have fame and fortune. However, as Christians, our number one goal should be to please God. If we want to truly please God, we must learn to yield to Him. 

I challenge all of us today to stop and be quiet before the Lord so that we hear HIS instructions for our lives before we run out and do things on our own. Those things may seem good to us and we may even consider them ministry BUT if God did not lead and guide us to do them, they will not produce the fruit that is pleasing to the Lord. It is easy to pray a prayer to accept Jesus as our Savior but He wants to be the LORD of our lives! We MUST learn to YIELD to Him in order for HIM to be LORD over our lives. Will we submit to Him and let Him have the reigns to our lives? Study what the Bible says about dying to self because that must happen in order for Him to be LORD of our lives.

Blessings,

Patricia Styers

What is the Will of God?

I have been a Christian for many years and we hear so many “Christian” expressions but not all of what we hear and are taught is correct. If you have been a Christian for awhile, you might have heard the following terms, the “perfect will of God” and the “permissive will of God.” The idea and teaching is that we can be in the perfect will of God that is His best for us or if we miss that, we can still be in His permissive will or if we don’t fall into one of those, we will be outside of God’s will. God spoke to me about these terms yesterday morning and He wants me to share what He told me. WARNING: this may go against what you have been taught and want to believe.

The teaching is that because God gives us free will, we sometimes miss His perfect will. While it is very true that we are not robots that God controls and we do have free will to make our own choices, the teaching of the “permissive will of God” is very dangerous because it gives us a false sense of security that even if we miss His “perfect will” for our lives, we are still walking in His will and it is okay. Picture a target with the rings and the small center circle in the middle is the perfect will of a God and the rest of the target is the permissive will of God. One of the problems with this teaching is that it gives us the idea that we can still be in His will even if we miss the bullseye. That makes us complacent about being anyplace on the target and we start to feel okay about accepting less than what God has called us to be and to do. It gives us a false sense of security and leads to compromise. We start to feel that it is okay to hit at any point on the target so we just start aiming for the target and not the bullseye and we think we have done well if we hit anywhere on the target. The fact is, we are either IN the will of God or we are OUT of the will of God. If we are speeding, we are still outside the law whether we speed by a little or a lot. Breaking the law is breaking the law. We are either IN God’s will or OUT of God’s will. This is NOT meant to be judgmental or legalistic in any way but it is meant to open our eyes to the subtle ways that satan deceives us through wrong teaching and doctrines to make us feel comfortable about compromise. Once we compromise a little, it becomes easier to gradually compromise a little more and become complacent and comfortable in what we are doing. People think that if judgment does not come swiftly, what they are doing is okay with God. If we speed and don’t get caught and ticketed after awhile, we may become more confident in speeding and gradually keep adding more pedal to the metal. After awhile, we can become comfortable with what we are doing and justify it because it seems that it is being permitted without consequences. There ARE consequences even if we don’t see them immediately. I know that this will not be a popular message to many who have embraced the idea that they can still be IN God’s will without being in His perfect will. We have all missed the mark and God IS a God of grace and mercy and quick to forgive and forget our sins when we truly repent BUT we cannot compromise the truth and settle into a place of deception. We are either IN the will of God or OUT of the will of God. There is NO middle ground of compromise with God.

AIMING FOR THE BULLSEYE,

Patricia Styers

Doing or Being

So often we think in terms of “doing” so we try to do what we think we must do or need to do to win or stay in the favor of God. When we think like this, we are missing the point. Please read this whole thing so you don’t misunderstand what I am trying to convey. We know that faith without works is dead so I am not saying that we should not do certain things but we must never think that if we “do” enough then we will gain the love and favor of God. God loves us unconditionally and there is nothing we can do to earn His love. He loved us while we were still sinners even before we came to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus! My point is that we cannot earn favor with God by works!

What God really wants is for us to “be” who He wants and has called us to be in Him! He wants us to spend time in His presence in fellowship with Him. When we are being who He called us to “be”, we will naturally “do” what He has called us to do. The being is what produces the doing. If we are doing without being, we are striving in our own flesh and abilities and the works will not produce fruit in the way that God desires. One of the biggest pitfalls of ministers is “doing” so many things that they are neglecting the “being” with God in His presence. God created people because He wanted fellowship! Anything we “do” should be a fruit of “being” who He called us to be, His children who love and spend time with Him! “Being” produces fruitful “doing” because the greater (being) includes the lesser (doing). Many ministers burn out, get depressed or fall because they neglect the “being” because they are so busy “doing” but God just longs for them to spend time being in His presence so He can have fellowship with them. If our ministry to people is not a fruit or result of the time that we have spent with God, we are into dead works because we are doing things in our own flesh and God is not pleased! Although I have referred to “ministers” in this paragraph, EVERY Christian needs to have the primary purpose of being in God’s presence first so the works will be a result or fruit of what has taken place in that precious time of fellowship spent with God!

Enjoy “being” with God and you will be amazed what HE can “do” in and through you!

Patricia Styers