I’ve recently had many people cross my path who were in dire need of a listening ear and a voice of counsel. I do my best even though I am not a licensed counselor. I have however, spent decades in the Word and gone through my own share of experiences where I’ve learned the hard way. So, I do my best to be a good friend/counselor to them.
In every situation, I am brought back to my own experiences where I too tried to figure out, not what was right or wrong, but how to force the ‘wrong’ peg into the ‘right’ hole.
I look back and marvel at my own desire to make something that I knew down deep inside was wrong, fit into the ‘right’ column. I once saw something written on a bulletin board that said, “We are never more creative than when we attempt to justify our own sin.”
That has stuck with me for years. I’ve pondered it and knew it was right. When we want something so bad, often our own reasoning and good sense flies out the window.
This type of deception is a prevalent trick of the enemy. He convinces us that because we want it that bad, it has to be right and that it will be ok. He will even pick and choose bits of scripture to confirm to us that what we would like to do is really not forbidden, but encouraged.
As I was listening to one friend, my heart was breaking because of the emotional trauma the situation had plunged her into. Later, as I was praying for her, I heard, ‘looking for loopholes.”
I thought, we do that! We search in the scriptures looking for loopholes so that we can pursue without guilt our own selfish desires. If we want a ‘thing’ we know we should not have right then if ever, drugs, alcohol, purchases out of our means, we look for justification to make it ok.
If we want to ‘do’ something we know is not right, sexual sin, gossip, gluttony, and more, we look for justification to make it ok. We tell ourselves that we are covered by grace and it will all work out. We KNOW God will never stop loving us, so we do what we want.
That is the baseline. The fact that God will never stop loving us, so we spend a ton of time bobbing along that baseline never growing or maturing in the faith. We get in a cycle of stopping and starting the very behavior that we know we should not be engaging in.
I know this because I can remember countless times throughout my life when I did that very thing. But, I can tell you that never, not one single time did it turn out in my favor. Yes, my loving Father God did use what the enemy meant for evil and destruction, and turned it around once I submitted it to Him. But there was always a long bumpy heartbreak road getting back on track.
Maybe it was experiencing all those heartbreak moments that finally aided in teaching me that the best path is the path that God has designed especially for me. He is such a loving and kind God, that if I only seek Him and His path, my life will have far fewer long bumpy roads.
There are simple truths in the bible that we know are true. There are moral absolutes that if we become determined to follow without fail, we will have a baseline of truth that will be our rock. It will be the foundation to build our house on.
24) “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25) And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26) Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27) The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” NASB
The discussion of living ‘by the law’ or ‘living by grace’ has been a prevalent one through the years. But, they are NOT mutually exclusive. If we TRULY are living by grace, not attempting to abuse grace, which is the power over sin, we will automatically grow to choose the moral absolutes.
We are only living by the law if we do not live by grace. If we do not choose the graceful loving Father first and submit to His authority over our lives, even following the rules will never bring what we hope it will bring in our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:12
12) All things are permitted for me, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. NASB
Yes, Jesus died to set us free. But that is freedom from the genetic sin nature we were all born with. Once we are born again, we have a righteous nature in Christ. Yes, we are free and can sin, but that does not necessarily free us from the repercussions of that sin should we choose to do so.
Many behaviors we engage in produce natural devastating consequences. Paul confirms that we are free, but not all things are of benefit to us.
God gives us boundaries, not to be a harsh taskmaster, but because He is a loving Father who wants our lives here to be as easy as they can be. There will be enough hardship as it is, so by giving us boundaries we can reduce the amount of unnecessary hardship we will encounter.
34) So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NASB
So, why borrow more trouble for ourselves looking for a way to ‘get away with’ doing the wrong thing.
We need to stop searching in the Word, and through prayer with one ear turned away from God, for justification for our own wrong behavior. We need to focus on the wonder of new birth that has been freely given to us in love.
When we choose to receive what Jesus did for us on the cross, all things are made new. We receive the Holy Spirit to live in the temple which is our body.
I Corinthians 6:19-20
19) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20) For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body. NASB
Our lives will be in a continual ‘stall’ if we attempt to force our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit, to engage in sinful behavior. If you feel that you are stuck, or do not feel the full joy and peace of the Lord as you think you should, then evaluate where you need to clean out unhealthy desires and focus on the path that God has lovingly designed for you.
I can promise you, and am here to say, that the path God has designed for you is far greater than anything you could ever think to choose for yourself. Free yourself from the bondage of ‘choosing your own way’ and looking for loopholes.
I Corinthians 2:9
9) but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him." NASB
11) For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. NASB
He has designed an amazing miraculous life for each of us. Let me encourage you to embrace it today with courage.
I want to encourage you to leave me any comments below. They are so encouraging and motivating to me.
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Let me ruffle some more feathers here (I seem to be so good at it). I take issue with the little ‘ask Jesus into your heart’ prayers we tack on to the end of our religious box sessions. That does not lead to being born again. At best, it may allow those saying it to realize that there is a need in their life to allow Jesus to help them change and by saying that prayer sincerely they are acknowledging that something in their life needs to change and they give that to Jesus, which is amazing. But...