Posts Tagged ‘sensitivity’

Condemnation and Conviction

December 19th, 2013

Whenever our hearts condemn us . . God is greater than our hearts.1 John 3:20 NIV.

Conviction offers restoration; condemnation threatens separation.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “condemnation and conviction.”

There are times when you will behave badly. A sadness of heart results, maybe even degrees of shame. You try to ignore it, but an internal uneasiness makes that difficult. The real issue is not that you failed to measure up to others’ criteria; the sadness or shame you feel is rooted in a diminished expectation of yourself.

That recognition is a good sign of a healthy, God-given sensitivity, “[demonstrating] that God’s law is written within their hearts, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right.” Romans 2:14-15 NLT/NKJV. What is more important than to know right from wrong? God does not leave such to personal interpretation. Read James 4:17 NIV.

The Holy Spirit, who is within you, is grieved when you violate your innate knowledge of right and wrong. Yet that is an experience common to all. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NKJV. The Spirit is God’s gift, and arbiter of the Word of God as well as the Law of God, written on your heart and expressed in your conscience. See also Acts 24:16 NKJV.

Paul admonished the Christ-followers at Ephesus, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30 NKJV. Those who continually disregard the pleadings of the Holy Spirit risk what the Bible describes as, “having their conscience seared [as] with a hot iron.” 1 Timothy 4:2 NKJV. To a stubborn heart wrong appears right and right seems wrong. Believe me; that is not a place you want to find yourself. John 3:19-20 NKJV.

Ignoring the discomfort within yourself or refusing the pleadings of the gentle Holy Spirit who comes to “convince the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness” (See John 16:8 NKJV),you will feel guilt and its resultant shame. Be advised of the distinction you must understand between condemnation and conviction.

The Bible is clear, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-2 NKJV. God convicts; the devil condemns. They can feel similar, almost indistinguishable, though they are not alike at all. The difference is in their intent and result, not in the regret or emotions you feel.

(10) Examine the intent. Without equivocation, I assure you God did not send His Son to condemn you; He came to save you! The Bible declares, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17 NKJV. Whereas, the devil is described as, “the accuser.” Revelation 12:10 NKJV. He wishes only your harm. See John 10:10 NIV.

(2) Consider the results. “Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the One who died for us and was raised to life for us . .nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God . .” Romans 8:33-39 NLT. Conviction offers restoration; condemnation threatens separation. “This then is how we . . set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:19-20 NIV. Conviction creates repentance; condemnation only produces impotent regret . . but “God is greater than our hearts . .”

My prayer for you today is that you heart remains at rest before God.

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July 26th, 2010

“Remove the obstacles out of the way.” Isaiah 57:14 NIV

“Fighting against God is not a battle you can win.”

My thoughts today are about “obstacles.”

Ever feel like someone or something is in your way? You know you could do so well, if only there was nothing hindering your progress. Occasionally there is a person who stands between you and where you need to go, limiting what you need to do – or at least you think that is the case at the time. You can blame them; you can resent them; you can try to remove them, but that will seldom work for you. people can “get in your way” and not even mean to do so.

It is even possible that God might “get in your way” in some instance. If and when that happens you can be sure that it is His love, preventing you from continuing on a path that would be not be for your best, harmful even ruinous. Ever try to fight against God? How is that working for you? That happened to Saul of Tarsus, until there was a showdown on the road to Damascus. Read Acts 9:1-20. Saul found out that he was in God’s way. His intention was to destroy this new and growing group of Christ’s followers. He meant well; he meant to preserve the Jewish faith in which he had been so excellently schooled. But he was wrong, sincere but very wrong. See Philippians 3:1-11 NLT.

God loves you too much to allow you to prosper on a path you should not pursue. He will try at every turn to persuade you to turn around and turn to Him, not away from Him. “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death . . what you think is the right road may lead to death.” Proverbs 14:12 NLT/16:25 TEV. God may use people and/or circumstances to make you reconsider your course. The Bible gives wise advice in such moments, “if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing. But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest you even find be found to fight against God.” Acts 5:38-39 NKJV. Fighting against God is not a battle you can win; ask Jacob. Genesis 32:24-31 NIV.

However, let me suggest where you more likely may find most of the obstacles that make your progress more difficult – look in the mirror. Many times, the obstructions you must confront are wrong attitudes that you indulged along the way, maybe without recognizing them as such.

Negativity turns you in a wrong direction. “A pessimist looks at every opportunity and sees a problem; an optimist looks at any problem and sees an opportunity.” (President Harry Truman). Look around; people do not follow negative people; it’s clear they’re going nowhere.

Over-sensitivity leaves you beside the road alone. It is deadly to relationships to think that everything is about you. It’s not! Don’t be so thin skinned. Others are too busy to be always worrying about you.

Pride results in God’s opposition. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5-6 NIV/Proverbs 16:18 NIV. You want God on your side, helping you not opposing you. Can you see any habit or attitude that prevents you from being your best, and doing what you need to do? Deal with it quickly and honestly; you can turn any stumbling block into a stepping stone, if you will.

My prayer for you today is that you let nothing stand in the way of being your best.

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Holy Discernment

April 22nd, 2010

“Those who . . have their senses exercised to discern.” Hebrews 5:14 NKJV

“You need discernment for Godly conclusions, wise decisions, and righteous actions.”

My thoughts today are about “holy discernment.”

Everyone, unless there has been some unfortunate lack or loss, has the same five senses – the sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. By these you translate experiences and interact with the world around you. Those natural senses provide indispensable information that you need to form conclusions, make decisions, and enact safe and responsible behavior. The more accurately you understand and translate your senses, the better your conclusions, decisions, and actions.

The Bible promises that God has provided something more, “for those who are (spiritually) mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong, and then do what is right.” Read Hebrews 5:14-6:3 NLT. In addition to the natural senses, God has given you the capacity for a spiritual sensitivity to guide you in His ways. See Proverbs 1:5/10:13/14:6/14:33/16:21/18:15 NIV.

“No eyes has seen; no ear has heard; no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit . . the man without the Spirit (of God) does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them for they are spiritually discerned . . for we have the mind of Christ” Please read 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4 NIV.

Some have wrongly sought development of such an inner sense through para-psychology, occult practices, witchcraft, eastern meditation, and even demonic involvement – often to their confusion and harm. Often, unknowingly and out of spiritual blindness, sincere and seeking people can be drawn into practices that deceive and darken their soul rather than the promise of enlightenment. God alone has all that you need.

Misdirected for one’s own curiosity, or desire to peer privately into the unknowable future, or to acquire some manipulative power over their own life or others, people are hurt and less spiritually sensitive, not more.

God gives you this spiritual capacity beyond your five, natural senses particularly for insightful discernment of right and wrong. Wouldn’t it make sense, that if God were the source of this spiritual, inner sense He would best know how it would be developed and implemented for your good, and the practical benefit and spiritual blessing of others? Like your natural senses, there is a process for maturity in this.

(1) Saturate yourself in the Word of God daily; your personal knowledge and practical adherence to God’s truth is essential. See Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV. (2) Judge what you “sense” inwardly with the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:13-17 NLT. The Spirit and the Word always agree! (3) Grow in spiritual awareness and sensitivity to God’s voice, a little more everyday. See Hebrews 5:14 NIV/ John 10:27-28 NIV.

My prayer for you today is: be spiritually discerning; don’t be enticed and fooled.

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