Reconciled Week Five Day Four

Do you ever wish your life tied up in a pretty little bow? Like the house was always spotless, with everything constantly in it’s place. Your children were always clean and proper and they always made good grades and looked like they walked out of a magazine instead of out of a candy factory.. Your husband came home at 5 every night with roses or chocolate and you had dinner on the table with a smile on your face… Your clothes were always ironed and your weight was always ideal. Your family would laugh around the dinner table and everyone would smile and it would be beautiful?

Me too. But it doesn’t. My life looks more like a circus than a movie scene out of the 50’s.

I think the chaos of life often times causes us to pray prayers like “God please help me be more productive.” “God please help me to not screw up my kids too badly.” “God please help my husband look past the mess tonight.” “God please help me lose the extra weight quickly.” “Please God fix it.”

Now, I am not saying we shouldn’t pray prayers like these sometimes, but what if there is a better way?

What if letting Jesus hold you in the middle of your chaos is more important than trying to get God to fix your chaos?IMG-1648.PNG 

The Israelites knew a thing or two about chaotic environments. They spent most of their time wandering around, fighting, and grumbling. In Deuteronomy Moses reminds them of their journey with God out of Egypt and into the promised land. Let’s look at Deuteronomy 1:27-31 NIV together.

“You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’” Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”

The Israelites had been in slavery for years, but even in their freedom they found things chaotic and messy. Can you relate? In verse 27 they said, “The Lord hates us, so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.”

Do you ever feel like God delivered you from one place or situation just to let you fail and fall into the hands of another hopeless situation?

I have.. But Moses’ words in verses 30-31 encourage me: “The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”

What did God do in the wilderness?

After reconciliation, life will still be messy. There will still be seasons and things that we have to overcome, but during the hard times we can trust that God will carry us.

Prayer,

Thank you that my life doesn’t tie up in a pretty little bow. I pray that during the messy, chaotic parts of life that I will remember to let you hold me. God shift my view from one of seeing only the problem, to a view of your hand at work instead. Thank you for the chaotic parts of life, they bring opportunities for you to carry me to a new place. I love you.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

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Reconciled Week Five Day Three

Happy Wednesday! I hope you are enjoying week five of our study! I can’t believe we’ve made it this far! I’m praying that God has been drawing your heart near through this study! Growing up a child of divorce, I learned how to adapt to different surroundings really well. My parents divorced when I was two and so growing up I had two homes. I developed a strong ability to adapt to whatever environment I was in because I wanted to fit in everywhere. If I could master fitting into my surroundings, I could make everyone happy. I just needed to figure out the environment and adapt. If I could do that and do it well, everyone would be pleased with me and the world would be a beautiful place.

As I got older, this mindset moved into my secret life with Jesus. If I could figure out the “christian” environment, and adapt really well, he would be happy with me, other would be happy with me, and all would be right in the world.

Adapting to the “christian” environment doesn’t work as well as adapting to my physical environments as a child. As I walk this journey with him, I mess up daily. I like to think that I have my environment figured out. I like to think that because Jesus and I are close, I won’t mess up… but that proves time and time again to not be the case.

If I am truly going to live everyday reconciled by God, I’ve got to come to terms with my very real humanity. If God isn’t surprised by my humanity, I shouldn’t be either.

If I’m going to still fail and mess up after he reconciled my spirit, soul, and body, how am I going to make it?

How are you going to make it?

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I think the key is letting Jesus hold us in the middle of our humanity. When we fail, we must run towards him, not from him. We surrender our sin quickly, and then we let him teach us in the middle of it, we will find that failing is okay, because in the failures we see him and learn from him.

 

1 John 1:8-9 NIV says “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Today complete this challenge:

Describe a time claimed to be without sin. A time when you ran from God, not towards him. What caused you to run? How did you feel? How did you get out of the deception?

Now describe a time when you failed and you confessed your sin quickly. What was it like? How did you learn from him in the middle of it?

Write a prayer thanking God for being your safe place. Ask him to constantly remind you to run to him, not from him when you fail.

Reconciled Week Five Day Two

I’m a pretty independent person. I struggle with letting others help me. I like to figure out how to do something and then take it from there. I think it might be a defense mechanism; if I do it myself, then no one else can mess it up, it will be on me. Clearly I have some control issues that the Lord is still reconciling. But anywhoo, a lot of times this affects my walk with the Lord. As he teaches me new things, for some reason I pick them up and begin to make them my responsibility. This is fine for a minute, until I begin to cave under the pressure. The truth is whatever I pick up, becomes my responsibility to carry. But if I leave everything in God’s hands then He carries it for mIMG_1644.jpge.

I forget sometimes that my job is to be obedient and surrendered to Him; his job is everything else.

Isn’t it funny how we make our freedom in Christ our responsibility to maintain sometimes? He saved us so that we could be free, but we begin to take responsibility for maintaining our freedom. If we were good at maintaining freedom, he wouldn’t have had to come to the world in a manger and die a sinner’s death on the cross. But he did, to save us from ourselves.

I love that God wants to maintain my freedom. I love that no matter how many times I begin to make things my responsibility, he gently takes the things I pick up and reminds me that they aren’t mine to carry.

You’re freedom in Christ is just that… freedom in Christ.

What have you picked up lately that wasn’t yours to carry?

Today I took my granddaddy to the hospital for an outpatient procedure. I brought my lap-top and my lunchbox, because I need snacks in my life, and left everything else in the car. I had two bags and that was manageable. We went into the prep room and they got him ready. Before they rolled him off, he gave me his bag of belongings and his crutches. Now instead of two bags, I had three bags and a set of crutches. Boy did I look silly. I walked down to the coffee shop because we left at 5:00 a.m. and it was necessary. The whole way there I tried not to make eye contact with anyone because I knew what they were thinking, “Geez that girl has a lot of stuff in her hands.” “She looks super awkward carrying that stuff.” “Aww, bless that girl’s heart, she is struggling to carry her things.” And I was… I was struggling. I had to be very strategic as I walked so that I didn’t hit anyone with the crutches or the bags. I began to feel anxious because I was carrying so much and it was so hard to manage. In life it’s the same way. When I carry things that aren’t mine to carry, I feel heavy and weighed down. When I feel heavy and weighed down, I begin to get antsy and anxious.

1 Peter 5:7 NIV says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Oh how I wished I had someone to come into the hospital today on a white horse and offer to carry my bags. That would have made my day so much easier! But that didn’t happen.. and I carried the bags everywhere I went. 1 Peter 5:7 says that we do have someone in life who comes in on a white horse and offers to carry our bags, so why don’t I let him? Why don’t you let him? Today I’m choosing to give Jesus my bags, because he saved me so that I could be free.

Prayer:

God thank you for offering to carry my burdens. I’m sorry that I try to do it all alone when all you’ve ever done is offer to take my everything so that I can be free in you. You are my knight in shining armor, my savior, my provider. Today I am choosing to give you all of my burdens because you died so that I can be free. Lord I surrender to you because I know that you are good and I can trust you. Remind me daily that my life is yours and you care about me.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Reconciled Week Five Day One

We’ve spent a lot of time over the last four weeks uncovering what it means to be reconciled by God. He has taken the time to reconcile our spirits, souls, and bodies to himself and He will continue to reconcile us every single day. Reconciliation happens daily, because daily we fail, and daily we need Jesus. I want to take you back to week one and remind you of the truth that God reconciled us and chose not to count our sins against us. Because of his great love, we were reconciled and because of his great love, we walk a reconciled life daily through faith in his love. The book of Galatians is a letter written by Paul to the churches of Galatia. In Paul’s letter he addresses the mis-teaching that salvation is faith plus works. The jewish christians were so accustomed to the law, that they were teaching that you needed to conform to the law and have faith. They were so stuck in their customs, that they couldn’t fathom that the cross of Jesus was all that it took. I think this is a trap that we can fall in after salvation. I grew up in the Bible-belt of the south and was programmed to do good not bad from a young age. When God showed me that it was just because of Jesus that I had salvation, I was finally able to let him in to reconcile my broken areas.. but a part of me still falls into a good not bad mentality from time to time. If we are going to live reconciled, we must grasp the truth that Paul talks about with the churches of Galatia that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. This is what gives us the holy courage to fight the good fight of faith day in and day out.

Galatians 5:1 NIV says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
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Christ died so that you could be free… Truly free. He didn’t die so that you could figure out a system to be good more than bad. He did it so that each and every day you could walk in grace and truth. So many times I find myself forgetting that Christ died to set me free. He brought me out of my slavery and into beautiful freedom. I don’t know about you, but a lot of times I find myself enslaved to worry, guilt, shame, fear, anger, bitterness… I find myself enslaved to the rules and customs that I think I’m supposed to follow, instead of embracing the grace and truth of Jesus.

But what does Galatians 5:1 say? It says it was for freedom…”

Have you ever looked at a long to-do list and felt free? When I look at a long to-do list, I feel overwhelmed and under-qualified. I feel like there is no way I can accomplish everything on that list.

If we look at our walks with Jesus that way, we will feel overwhelmed and under-qualified every single time.

What areas in your life feel more like a to-do list of right and wrong than a loving relationship with Jesus?

The good news about our God is that he made a way for us to be free. We can choose freedom over slavery. When we begin to step back into a system, we must remind ourselves of the relationship. We must constantly ask the Lord to draw us into a love relationship with him. In relationship we will find everything we need to live a life reconciled.

Galatians 5:1 NIV says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

When we begin to fall back into the trap of a system instead of the love of Jesus, what should we do?

When we begin to step back towards slavery, we must stand firm on the promises of God. There will be so many opportunities in this life to be burdened by a yoke of slavery. The enemy’s ultimate goal is to trick us back into slavery. But we have a choice…I love that we have a choice. We don’t have to go back to slavery. The answer to freedom is in the verse above, “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves…”

So simple, yet so profound. The key to staying free from the burden of slavery is to stand firm. What do we stand firm on? We stand firm on the promises of God. We stand firm on the Word of God, and we claim the blood of Jesus every single day.

Prayer:

God,

Thank you for the cross. Thank you for saving me through the blood of Jesus. I pray that this week as I live out my daily tasks, you would open my eyes to areas that the enemy is trying to trick me into slavery. Bless me with spirit eyes and spirit ears as I walk each and every day. Go before me and come behind me. I want nothing more than to be surrounded by you. I choose to stand firm on your promises for my life.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Reconciled Week Four Day Five

Isn’t it crazy that the longer we walk with Jesus, the more we begin to think we have something to do with our salvation? I think sometimes we forget that we were once bound by darkness, slaves to sin, hopeless and alone. God came in and rescued us from our darkness and despair and it is such a beautiful thing. He begins to reconcile us and draw us in. The areas that once kept us wrapped in shame and condemnation are now just a distend memory… We are walking with Jesus.. We have finally arrived.. and then, BAM, just like that, we fall again.

Now we’re shocked. But how did I fall? I’m so close to Jesus? I’m good now.. I’ve changed. The truth is you have changed, you are so close to Jesus, but you are still human and sometimes humans are going to be in fact human. It’s a reality but for some reason, when we mess up after salvation, we are shocked and even though we know the cross covers us we run back into hiding. We beat ourselves up. We begin to say things like, “I should have known better!”

Ugh.. I hate “I should have known better!” It gets me every time…

How do we cling to the cross in the midst of “I should have known better” moments? I think the first step is reminding ourselves of a few truths from the word of God.

Romans 3:10 NIV says “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;”

Isaiah 64:6 NIV says “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

In “I should have known better” moments, we must remind ourselves that all of our righteousness is like filthy rags. We must remind ourselves that everything good in us, is the work of a loving God in our lives, not a work of our own doing.

Then we must ask the Lord to open our hearts up to new revelation and truth. If we can push past the instinct to run and hide, we just might find a beautiful new place with the Lord. I love to ask questions. I’m a very inquisitive person, and often times I find myself playing twenty questions with God. Sometimes it becomes excessive, but other times it becomes my saving grace. In asking questions, I find answers. Not because of anything I did, but because God is waiting on me to ask, because He so desperately wants to tell me. My friend Carsen is beautiful and precious and she said something one time that will be forever stuck in my heart. She said, “God is more desperate to get a word to you than you are to get a word from Him.” I love that. He wants to answer my questions and he wants to draw me in when I sin.

Remember he came looking for Adam, and he comes looking for us.

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Matthew 7:7 NIV says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Jeremiah 29:12-14 NIV says “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

 

So darling, when you sin, ask him about it. He will bring you back from your captivity. He will draw you into a new place. A beautiful place.

Today ask God some questions. There are no rules, you can ask him anything, he will answer. Jot down your conversation.

Reconciled Week Four Day Four

All week we have been talking about our flesh and our sin nature. There are things in our lives that we aren’t proud of and prayerfully by now we have found the courage to release them to the Father once and for all. In our society we label  everything. Monogramming runs rampant, wordy shirts, and cutesy signs are all around us. We love labels, am I right? We often times label our sins too. It’s like we have this secret labeling system for sins; we’d never come right out and say that of course because we know God covers all sins. But we label them a little bad, not too bad, kind of bad, really bad, so bad we better lock it up tight. It gets in the way sometimes because some of the sins that entangle us the most are the ones that nobody sees.

IMG_1530.jpgWe spend so much time trying to fix the problems and sins that others can see in us, that we ignore the silent killers on the insides of us. The lustful thoughts, the anger, the hunger for more, the gossip, the bitterness..all of these internal things are silently rotting us from the inside out.

A couple of years ago I was hosting a Bible Study at my house. It was one of those days when you’re five steps behind all day long. Late for work, late leaving work, late picking up food, late late late. I finally got home to pick up and prepare a little before the ladies would arrive and as I opened the door I was immediately hit with a more than atrocious smell. I quickly took out all of the trash bags that were tied and sitting in my kitchen floor. I went about my tidying up, but the smell was still there! At this point I have about thirty minutes before the precious ladies would arrive and I’m in panic mode.. I’m lighting all of the candles, spraying all of the furniture, opening all of the windows.. It was then that I realized, I had taken out all of the trash bags sitting around the trashcan, but I had not taken out the trash IN the trashcan. It was protected by a can with a lid, it was unnoticeable, it was hidden. Because it wasn’t obvious, I hadn’t thought to take care of it.

In Matthew Jesus addresses this with the Pharisees.

Matthew 23:25-26 NIV says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

The pharisees were the religious teachers of the day. They made sure that on the outside everything looked clean, but inside they were rotting.

They didn’t understand the truth spoken in 1 Samuel 16:7 that says that the Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

What does your heart look like? Have you been more focused on the outward appearance or on the hidden things.

Once I took out the trash bag that was hidden in the trashcan, my house began to smell better. I had to take out the hidden trash, and in life we must do the same thing. God longs for use to give him every part of us. When Jesus came, he didn’t just die for the sins we label really bad, he died for them all. He doesn’t label sin, his blood covers them all.

Confess all of your internal sins to the Lord… the ones nobody sees and watch him draw you near in such a beautiful way. My hidden sins are often times the ones that affect me the most, but when I remember to surrender to Him, I begin to feel more like a blossoming flower than a rotten weed.

Reconciled Week Four Day Three

Forgiveness is a loaded word. It holds so much weight and it’s so hard to do. It’s hard to forgive others when they hurt us, but often times it’s even harder to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness means to stop feeling angry towards someone and to stop requiring a payment from them. Are you angry at yourself for your sin? Are you still making yourself pay for you sin?

If Jesus already forgave us, then why is it so hard to forgive ourselves? If Jesus paid the price for our sin already, then why do we insist on making ourselves pay for our sins over and over again?

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David struggled with feeling ashamed of his sin. He was a man after God’s own heart, but He had this one deep, dark sin that haunted him. In 2 Samuel 11 we uncover the story of David and Bathsheba. It is one filled with drama, an affair, an unplanned pregnancy, scheme after scheme, and ultimately murder. David’s one temptation in the flesh, gave birth to a string of unfortunate and desperate attempts to cover up and fix his first mistake. He panicked… tried to fix it… and when his plan didn’t work resulted to murder. I feel like the process he went through is often times the same process we go through when we sin, well maybe besides the murder part. We sin… and we feel ashamed, but before taking it to God, we try to fix it ourselves. When that doesn’t work, we begin to plot to cover up our sin… we go to every other resort before going to the Lord. We’re left feeling ashamed, guilt-ridden, and ultimately we fall into such a dark place because when desire gives birth to sin, it leads to death.

 

2 Samuel 12 shows the emotional affect all of this had on David. The child that Bathsheba had dies, and in the process David is fasting and praying and ultimately begging God to forgive him of his sin. When the child dies, David was heartbroken over his sin and couldn’t focus on anything for days.

Psalm 51 is the prayer David prayed after His affair with Bathsheba. He pours his heart out, and it gives us a glimpse into his internal struggle, which can help us in ours.

Psalm 51:1-6 NIV says “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.”

There are a couple of things that I find so relatable in this prayer.

David starts by asking for mercy and then moves to his sin. He says his sin is always before him, which makes me think he had a hard time focusing on anything but his sin. Can you relate? I know I can.

Then he talks about his sin some more and how he’s been sinful from birth. I wonder if all of his past sins flashed before his eyes? I wonder if he immediately remember all of his big time sins? The movie reel starts playing and now he’s ashamed of more than just the sin at hand.

But then, after all of that, he shows a glimmer of hope. He remembers that the Lord desired faithfulness and taught him wisdom in the secret place. It’s not until he remembers this that he begins to ask for joy and happiness. And finally, he says he will praise him and teach others to turn back to him.

For David to forgive himself, he had to take it to God. He laid it all out there. He left nothing on the table, and he was able to finally put his sin in the hands of the only one strong enough to carry it.

Have you forgiven yourself for your sin? Have you put it in the hands of the only one who is really strong enough to handle it?

Write a prayer to God confessing your sins. Follow David’s model, or do your own, but lay it out there. Only when we stand transparent before God, can we stand up tall before ourselves and others. Give him your sin once and for all and remember that Jesus paid the price so that we don’t have to.

Reconciled Week Four Day Two

After God draws us to himself through Jesus at salvation, we are forgiven of all of our past sins. The love of our God is just so beautiful. He chooses to remember our sins no more…

The only problem is, we still remember them. We have this new found relationship with the God of the universe, but we are still filled with shame and guilt over all of the sin we have committed. The enemy knows we are free from our past, but he definitely doesn’t want us to truly believe it. And so, right in the middle of our life with Jesus, we get sucker-punched with a dark memory from our past. It begins to play over and over again in our mind, until it’s all we can think about. We begin to retract into our shell hoping that no one will see through us. It’s misery at its best.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to keep replaying all my past sins.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

1 John 1:9 NIV says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

What do these verses reveal about our past?

We have been purified.. The old has gone and the new is here. Right now, claim that truth over your past. You are pure… you are new…

Philippians 3:13-14 NIV says, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:18 NIV says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”

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What do these verses say about the past?

For us to truly forget the past, we must give it to Jesus. He says to cast your burdens on him. Your past is a heavy burden. God longs to reconcile your past to himself. He works with what we give him. He can absolutely free you from your past, but you have to give it to him. When those dark thoughts return, turn them over to Jesus. Cast the burden of your past onto him, and take up the redemption he has for you.

Colossians 1:13-14 NIV says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Take some time today to surrender your past to God. Write a letter to him thanking him for redemption from the darkness of your past. Ask him to take your burdens of darkness. He is the light of the world, and the darkness will not overcome him. He isn’t afraid of your darkness… he has defeated it. Place every dark, painful memory in his hands and ask him to fill you with peace and joy.

Week Four Day One

Happy Monday! We are halfway through our study and I’m praying God has touched your life through each word! This week we are going to learn about the process of reconciling our body.

Our flesh, or body, is where we actively engage in sin. Our bodies lust for different things. When we think of the body, it is much more than just sex, drugs and alcohol. We could also throw in a lust for food, sleep, laziness… all of these are functions in the body and they affect us all differently. Even so, the truth remains that we all struggle with flesh.

Paul described the struggle with our flesh and sin in such a raw, transparent way that I find so refreshing.

Romans 7:14-25 NIV says “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.c For I have the 

 

desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

 

This is my life sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I have felt this inner struggle. There are a couple of points in Paul’s rambling that I want to focus on today.

In verse 20 Paul says, “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” We have got to come into agreement with the truth that we struggle with a sin nature. We also have to separate ourselves from our sin. Often times, when we sin, we feel so much shame that we hide from God. Paul says it is no longer him, but the sin living in him. He separates himself from his sin. If we are going to truly live free, we have got to understand the truth that we are saved, chosen, loved. We struggle with sin that disgusts us, but we ourselves are not disgusting. When God looks at us, he sees the blood of Jesus. If God sees the blood of Jesus when he looks at us, we can choose to see our sin as covered by the blood too. If we are going to be truly free, we have to learn to hate our sin, but not ourselves.

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After salvation, God sees us just as if we never sinned. Isn’t that beautiful? He chooses to remember our sins no more. The enemy is constantly trying to remind us of our sin. He is constantly trying to shame us into going back to the sin that so easily entangles us. He is right there waging war against us. We find ourselves in the dispute that Paul was having. We find ourselves saying, “I want to do good, but when I try there is another force coming against me. I do the things I don’t want to do.” When we are in these moments, the enemy is there telling us that we are filthy, sinful, bad. But what does Paul do? He separates himself from his sin. He realizes that it is no longer him, but the sin within him. So how do we separate ourselves from our sin? Where does our hope come from? We can find the answer in verse 25.

Romans 7:25 says “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

How are we delivered from our sin?

This week as we allow the Lord to reconcile our bodies, constantly remind yourself that your deliverance from sin is only through Christ Jesus. Let’s be bold like Paul and choose to separate ourselves from our sin. When we mess up, because we will, we choose to stand on the promise that God remembers our sins no more.

Prayer,

God bless me with truth this week. I give you permission to invade my life and to wreck the sin that entangles me. God give me eyes that see me the way you see me. I choose to believe that I am chosen and loved. When I sin, I will no longer run and hide from you, but I choose to run into your arms. You are good, and you do only good for your children. Reveal yourself to me in a new way.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Reconciled Week Three Day Five

Even though you have allowed the Lord to reconcile your soul this week, there will be times that your soul feels empty. When our souls get empty, they are kind of like a hungry lion.

Lions are sneaky and quiet when they are getting ready to pounce.. they sit and wait in the tall grass.. looking.. watching… waiting for their prey. And they’re not picky, they’ll pounce at just about anything to get a good meal! Zebra, giraffe, buffalo, wild hogs, rhinos, and hippos, they don’t discriminate. Poor zebras, somebody warn them!

Our souls are similar when they are empty. They sit quietly inside of us, looking, watching, waiting for the next meal. We think we’ve trained them, our soul is in check. The Lord has reconciled our soul and we have everything figured out.. We don’t have to worry about them, we’ve got this.

Call me crazy, but I imagine it is difficult to train a lion..

Just when we least expect it, BAM! Our hungry souls have pounced onto the food we have put in front of them.

 

What are you feeding your soul?

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Jeremiah 17:9  NLT says “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

Our souls cling to the food we put in front of them.. TV.. sleep.. romance.. friendship.. the list goes on and on.

David understood that our soul clings to what we put in front of it; I need not remind you of the whole Bathsheba incident.

Even with his shortcomings, David figured out the key to keeping our souls in check.

Read the following verses.

Psalm 63:8 ESV says “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

Psalm 119:20 ESV says “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.”

Psalm 143:6 ESV says “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”

Psalm 84:2 ESV says“My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”

Psalm 23:1-3 ESV says “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

When our soul is empty, we’ve got to feed it Jesus. We’ve got to realize that our souls will cling to what we put in front of them. If that’s true, then we’ve got to feed them so much Jesus that they’re isn’t room for anything else.

What’s interesting about lions is that if they make a large kill, they fill up and don’t eat again for two or three days. However, if they make a smaller kill they aren’t as satisfied and have to hunt again sooner.

Sounds a lot like our souls. When we fill up on Jesus, the most satisfying of all, we won’t need to hunt for smaller, lesser things to fill us.

What do you normally turn to when your soul is empty?

When your soul is empty, how are you going to fill it from now on?

Pray today that God will reveal ways that you can turn to Jesus more and more. Ask Him to constantly remind you that He is near and that He longs to fill your hungry soul.