I just did a blog titled “The Weight of It” (a title a friend gave me when I asked her to give me a title for a blog). I am not sure of how many readers I have but I would LOVE to hear from you so I am going to ask you the same thing. Please give me some titles and I will write about the title you give me. Just a reminder that I am a Christian so as long as the titles don’t use profanity or include things that go against what would honor the Lord, I will do my best to entertain you!
Ready, set, go….
This morning I asked my friend to give me a title to write about on my blog. She gave me the title “The Weight of It” so here I go.
Weights can be either a good or bad things. If you are a body builder, you might actually like lifting weights because you know that lifting weights is good resistance training and will build muscles. If you are not a body builder, you might not like weights because they could slow you down or be cumbersome to try to lift or carry. If we try to carry even a small weight, after a prolonged period of time, it can feel like it is VERY heavy! A five pound bag would seem like nothing to lift out of a grocery bag and put on the shelf but if you were carrying it around for the whole day, it may seem like one hundred pounds!
Many of us have been carrying weights around for many years and we have been slowed down or burdened by them. They might have caused discouragement, depression, hopelessness and other negative things in our lives. When we first picked up the weight, it seemed small and insignificant so maybe we did not see it as a problem but after carrying it for a while, the weight of it has taken a toll on us. Maybe someone offended you at some point (that is inevitable in life) and instead of letting go of it, you have carried the weight of it! By now, it may have caused the weight of unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment and other negative things. It is no longer a small weight that you carry but a huge weight that prevents you from living a joyful life of victory.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Are you carrying weights around that you need to drop? Decide to release anything that you have been carrying that should NOT belong to you and you will see how great life can be without the weight of it.
Have you ever thought or said the words “if only”? I have been guilty of thinking and saying that so many times in my life and still slip up and think or say it occasionally. I have wished many times that time machines and time travel were realities so that I could travel back and make different decisions for my life. Of course, I would want the wisdom I have acquired over the years when I did go back in time so that I would not repeat the same things a second time. I am sure that most people who are honest would admit that they also have wished they could go back and make different choices.
Have you ever tried to drive forward while looking in the rearview mirror? If you try to do that, you will crash because you are concentrating on what is behind you while trying to go forward! We all could learn from that analogy. Philippians 3:13-14 says:
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul realized that in order to reach forward, you have to quit looking backwards. If we choose to live in the past and concentrate on past mistakes, we will never move forward. When we repent for the sins, mistakes and bad decisions of our past, God not only forgives us but He forgets those things and wipes the slate clean. However, sometimes we hold those things against ourselves and have trouble letting them go. The good news is that, if we choose to do so, we can let them go and start moving forward. If we learned from our past mistakes, we have gained knowledge and wisdom to help us with future decisions so we don’t repeat the same things. Our past can either keep holding us back or help us with our future! The decision is ours so the next time we have that thought or start to speak those words, we need to stop that in its’ tracks and look forward!
Christians, be VERY careful about the words you speak about other Christians and what they are doing. If a brother or sister in the Lord is in error or sin, we need to correct them in a spirit of love and humility but I am not talking about situations like that. I am talking about visions, callings and ministries. Not everyone is called to do the same things in the same ways. Be very careful not to criticize someone because they don’t have the same vision or calling as you! Each of us will be held accountable to God for what God has told US to do. We must be faithful and obedient to God in that calling..even if it means that we are criticized and misunderstood! If God has placed something in our hearts to do for Him, we MUST be faithful and obedient to God, keep our hearts and motives pure before Him and do it! However, while we are doing what He has given us to do, we must guard against being critical and judgmental of others who are doing other things in different ways than we do them. Please read Luke 9:49-50 and be VERY careful not to judge and criticize others!
I posted the following comment on a post that a dear Brother in the Lord posted on his page: Every Christian has a calling and vision from the Lord. Some will not have the SAME vision and will not understand what God has put in YOUR heart. Just be faithful and obedient to what God has put in YOUR heart and do what God is asking of you. God will bring others with the same vision to join you. If we ALL do the things that God has put in OUR hearts to do, have the right motivations and are faithful to our callings, think of how the world will change! The main thing for every Christian to do is love and pray for each other and to stay humble and obedient to the Lord at all times! God bless you!
Back in June of 2016, I posted something on a Facebook page and it is just as relevant today as then. I just found this again and it is funny because I was just talking with a brother in the Lord last night about some of the things I had written in here back then. When I found it this morning, I decided to post it on my blog so here it is:
I am not perfect and neither are others who are Christians! People who are not Christians are sometimes quick to judge Christianity based our our imperfections. Please don’t judge a perfect God by His imperfect people! If you are a Christian and judge other Christians because they sin in other ways than you do, stop that! ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! We should be praying for each other.
I will be quick to admit that I am far from perfect and have made some bad choices in my life which took me wandering down a wrong path for awhile. The great news is that once we realize we are on the wrong path, if we genuinely repent, God not only forgives us but He FORGETS our sins! God is AMAZING! HE is perfect so He is the ONLY one who would have a right to judge us but He forgives and forgets!
In my case, I have always been my harshest judge! Even after I repent for bad decisions that resulted in sin (anything that pulls our attention from God and what He wants for us) , I have continued to lament those decisions and condemn myself. Satan wants to keep us down by reminding us of our imperfections even after we repent. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he wants to keep us from what God has for us. The Christian singer Carmen says that whenever the devil reminds him of his past, he reminds the devil of his (the devils’) future! In my case though, I have been a harsher judge of myself than satan has. The funny thing about this is one of my main spiritual giftings from God is mercy! I have no problem extending mercy to others but it is different when I need to show myself some! Our judgment of ourselves can hold us down and back from what God has for us.
This morning I was thinking about times I have missed God and He spoke to me to “Get over it!” With God’s help, I will extend the same mercy to myself that I extend to others and learn from it!
What I have learned is that ALL failure is a prayer and relationship failure! When we become distracted and our one on one time with the Lord diminishes, we are opening ourselves up to deception and sin. Satan does not come to us and tell us to commit a sin because we would recognize that was wrong and not do it. What he does is try to distract us with things that will steal our time with the Lord and hinder our relationship with God slowly. This can even be done by seemingly good things like ministry. We can get so busy with ministering to others that we lack in our time ministering to the Lord and letting God minister to us! We need to watch out for anything that starts taking our focus off of the Lord and make sure that God truly comes FIRST in our lives!
This message is ONLY for people who profess to be Christians. Did you accept Jesus and become a Christian when you were 4 years old, 12 years old or at some other point in your life? I went to a church as a teenager and most of the congregation were probably between 40-70 years old. When it came time to give testimonies, it was not unusual to hear something like this ” I thank God that He saved me ____ years ago.” That is wonderful but I always wondered if that was the last thing God had done for them since that is all they testified about. Our Christian walk is NOT supposed to be a one-time experience but a way of life that we live out on a daily basis! Where are we now compared to where we were when we first got saved? We are NOT supposed to stay babies but we are supposed to grow and mature in Him. If we are just relying on what happened to us at one given time in our lives so that we can make it into Heaven, we have a very wrong mindset! God wants us to grow up and mature in Him. To do that, we have to have an ongoing, personal, intimate relationship with Him. We have to get close to Him, seek Him, pray, learn His Word, and let Him do the work in us that needs to be done so we are mature and Godly representatives of the Lord on this earth. It really has NOTHING to do with how many years we have been saved but it has EVERYTHING to do with what we have done in those years to grow and mature in our relationship with Him! Have we gotten closer to Him and become more like Him or are we still the same as we were the day we met Him? We become like those we spend the most time with so if we are spending time in God’s presence daily, then we will become more like HIM! We will find ourselves being transformed into His image. Our earthly, carnal way of thinking will begin to change and we will start thinking, talking and acting like mature Christians. We need to examine our hearts and take an honest look at our lives. Are we thinking, acting and speaking like mature Christians or would non-Christians look at us and be unable to see any difference between us and them? What fruit are we producing? Are we ABIDING in the Vine (Jesus)? Do we have a daily relationship with Him?
I have been thinking about posting something about this for a few days. Are you someone who always has to have control of everything in your life? If you are, then I am sure that you have grown weary, gotten burned out and found yourself in bad situations at various points in your life! We are taught to have control and even terms like “self-control” influence us to the point where we may feel that is we “lose control”, it is always a very bad thing. If you have lived as long as I have and experienced as many different situations, you have most likely found that even though you might like to think that you are always “in control”, in reality, that is certainly NOT the case. There are things in our lives that are beyond our control. We can learn to roll with the punches or those things can destroy us. I would like to think that I have learned to roll with the punches and not lose my peace when things don’t go as I anticipated.
I am always looking for life lessons to be learned in various situations in my life. I will be honest, it is hard to give up control in some instances and let others have control, especially when we may not see things the same way as they do. However, there are times when we would be wise to take our hands off and let others lead because, let’s face it, we don’t know everything and there may be others that can handle a situation much better than we can. I have a friend who knows how to do many practical things like building and fixing things that are far beyond my realm of expertise. If I tried to do some of the things that my friend does, it would be disastrous! In situations like those, I will gladly yield control. Sometimes we need to just get out of the way and yield control!
Let’s look at the subject of control from a spiritual perspective now. Sometimes we hold on very tightly to the wheel and try to maintain all of the control in our lives. When we come to the Lord and give ourselves to Him, sometimes we want to keep holding on to the wheel and let Him ride with us. I have seen the stickers that say, “God is my Co-pilot” and although it may sound good, it is not the right way to live as Christians. We must learn to reverse the way that we have thought previously and let Him be in control. After all, if there is a true EXPERT at everything, it is the Lord! If we truly let God have control, we will never make a wrong turn. I was speaking with a friend this morning and he mentioned the story that we call “the prodigal son” which is really a story about a Father’s love for a rebellious son, the Father’s expectancy to see the return of the son and the joy of the Father when the son came home. My friend mentioned that the son did not just end up in the place he did before he returned home but he chose to go there. That fits into this blog about control because the son wanted to control his own life and destiny. He thought he knew better than his father. How many times do we do this? Our flesh and OUR way of thinking goes contrary to the Lord and we take the wheel and steer off in a totally wrong direction. When we realize that we are not where we thought we would be, then we decide to return to our Father because it is much better to trust that He knows best for our lives. As Christians, God wants priority and preeminence in our lives. If we want control, He will let us leave and go do our own thing. However, we have the keen ability to make a great mess out of our lives!
There is a scripture that tells us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). I think many people do not understand this verse because they think it would be impossible to pray without ceasing. I believe that verse means that we always need to be in an attitude of prayer where we have the kind of relationship with the Lord that we are always aware of His presence and can call upon Him at any time for direction in our lives. If we are hard-headed and want our own way, we can certainly take the wheel and go off on our own. In a scriptural and spiritual sense, we need to learn to crucify our fleshly desires and carnal thoughts, take our hands OFF of the wheel and let God have control!