We all come to a time, through this life, when we have to make a decision about God. We hear things about God and question things about God and God makes himself known to mankind, mainly from his word. Every one of us have to make a decision. That is the most important decision mankind has to make.
Some people will not get saved or will not serve in ministry work because they are afraid what others will think or say. And some who make the decision to get saved look for God to transport them into some perfect life of bliss. And when things don’t go as one thought, they quit on God. They go back to their “old” ways. Jesus explained this in the parable of the sower in Luke 8:9-15.
Just as a child has to go on a journey to become a grown up, believers are on a journey to grow up in Christ. Those believers who quit on God are compared to children who are spoiled and rebellious and who do not want to listen to their parents guidance.
Once a person becomes a true believer they are set on a journey with God. They are called by scripture, a babe “in Christ”. People pack all kinds of things when they take a journey, a trip. It is no different for the person who gets truly saved. I packed my Bible, a good dictionary, a concordance and a book that indexes scripture. I added some tablets of paper and pens. I soon discovered I could not find answers to some issues that came up in my life.
My family and friends were watching me. I didn’t understand how to make the right decisions if I couldn’t find a specific answer in scripture. An example is thoughts. I didn’t know why I was bombarded in my thoughts with wicked thoughts. And I didn’t know how to bring my thoughts captive as scripture teaches. I didn’t know why I would try to think on God’s things and what God told us to think on but these thoughts I would never consider would pop into my mind. I had read the verses telling me to bring my mind into subjection but I didn’t know how to do that.
2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
And years later, there it was. The one word “captivity”. What does captive mean? Captivity is the state of being a prisoner, or of being in the power of an enemy by force. My heart and mind love and serve God but thoughts could hold me captive? Not only thoughts on Christ but the enemy could, through thoughts, make me a prisoner?
How do we handle negative thoughts? Thoughts of fear? Thoughts of sin? Thoughts of anger? Thoughts of rejection or loneliness or self hatred? Clearly thoughts can hold people captive. The way to rid ourselves from these thoughts is every time one of those thoughts come into your mind, is to cast it down just as 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us. Then do what Jesus did when the enemy put ungodly thoughts into Jesus’ mind in Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus cast down the thought, rebuked the devil and quoted scriptute. So I thought I would give that a try. And IT WORKED!
Even if I didn’t know the specific scripture to use, I picked a scripture. I would cast down the thought, rebuke the devil by saying the Lord rebuke thee Satan, and then I would say, It is written and quote a scripture. 99% of the time the thought would leave. Every once and a while the thought would come back seconds later so I would repeat the same example Jesus gave us.
I’ll never forget the night I said to God, so we are living in a world where we are being attacked by things we can not see. And we are suppose to fight back with things we can not see (Ephesians 6, the armour of God). How do we win a battle we can’t see? As if you were standing next to me I heard, Do what Jesus did. So I started to ask myself, what did Jesus do? And God took me to Matthew 4 when Jesus was tempted by the devil.
Friends, what causes people to quit on God? Most of the time it is because God did not respond to a situation or matter the way someone “thought” God should respond. A lot of religions have their statues and their beads, all of which can do nothing. But believers have the living God who literally talks to us. We hear him.
It is one thing to read and study scripture and another to put scripture to work. There are a lot of believers in the world that have a lot of knowledge in the scriptures. They have a lot of head knowledge but their life is not much different than unbelievers. Why? I submit that many believers have not been taught or do not know that scripture is a living book. Hebrews 4:12 KJV “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Believers know they got saved from hearing God’s word and making a decision to act on what God told them, get saved. But when it comes to other areas in their life, for some reason, they do not act on what God’s word tells them. They just learn and learn more but never act. What good is head knowledge if you don’t use what you learn?
Can you imagine studying to be a musician all your life and never playing an instrument? Can you imagine studying to be a painter, or plumber, or builder or teacher and never doing what you studied? Can you imagine being a believer and not applying the teachings of scripture?
Scriptute teaches us once we become a true believer, we are a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Your friends and people cling to the old you. You can not move forward towards your God given destiny unless you understand you have to let go of the old you and let God mold and make you new. Why study the scriptures? Why share the gospel? Why pray and make sacrifices and why give to ministries? Believers labor to do the will of God. We labor to be Christ like. Galatians 4:19 KJV “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,”
Name one person from scripture who did not take a journey with God. One person God just transported once saved. How can you receive the things God has planned for you and your destiny if you will not take the journey with God? And if you decide to take the journey, you have to let the old go. The old you, the you your family and friends have known. The old you does not have the same destiny as the new you “in Christ”. Until next time.