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When we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, take up the full armor of God, and come to the understanding that we are covered in the blood of Jesus Christ we’re relying on the provision of God. Relying on the provision of God helps us to stay solely focused on Jesus Christ, rather than letting ourselves become distracted by the desires of the flesh, lust of the eyes, or pride of life. (V*1). All of these things are not part of God’s will for us, we are to avoid and starve these aspects of potential decision making. Instead we’re to follow the Holy Spirit and bear good fruit. (V*2). When we think of things in the scope of eternity, and consider the ramifications of our decisions in the context of the Kingdom of God, we open the door for rectifying the order of our priorities. When we place a higher value on our selfish ways instead of God’s perfect plan, we are prone to make poor decisions. This may cause us to stumble in ways that we know are wrong, but had a momentary allure to us and we allowed them enough of a foothold in our lives to mislead us. Every time we feed our selfish desires rather than abide by God’s will for us, or place too much importance on a hobby that should not have such high value, we are committing the sin of idolatry. (V*3).
God deserves to be our central focus. When we follow the Holy Spirit we are making this so, we are asking Him to guide us and submitting to the guidance that He provides us with. When we know what step He desires us to take, but instead choose our own step, we always choose an inferior one. God’s ways are infinitely above our own ways. Even when they seem inferior it is only our flawed, clouded, or otherwise obscured judgment that causes us to pridefully think that we’ve found a better solution.
There’s no better long term solution than God’s, because God can see all the angles. He sees through the vastness of eternity, and we cannot even fathom the depth of what it truly means. As much as we try to wrap our minds around it, we think of a very long time and fail to envision what forever really means at times. Trusting God and committing our work to Him has eternal significance because when He sees the desires of our hearts being more closely aligned with His will for us, He will know that we’re ready to receive the next component of His plans for us. We sometimes think we’re ready for the big picture, when we aren’t even ready to handle the next small step in God’s plan for our lives. This is another element of faith, trusting the timing of God. Faith, as we know it based on the Biblical definition, is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of that which has yet to be seen. (V*4).
We rest our hope in God, because He created us. He also has the best intentions possible for us as He loves each and everyone of us, including those in rebellion against Him, unconditionally. (V*5). He demonstrates agape love, the ultimate love, to us because He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross knowing that some of us would accept Him and others would reject Him. He demonstrates the same love to those who have not loved Him in return, and they still have the chance to willingly love God. Forcing anyone into love would violate the very essence of what love is. God doesn’t force us to love Him, but as much as we can choose our decisions we don’t have the luxury of choosing the consequences.
We also rest our hope in Him because He isn’t in the business of letting any of us down. We see again and again in our lives and in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ. He causes even what was intended for bad or tragedy to work out for good. We should know that He doesn’t tempt us Himself, but allows for the temptation to come upon us so that we show ourselves approved in the time of difficulty. So that we may have an opportunity to obey Him when the going gets tough, not just when things are going smoothly and it’s easier to confide in Him. (V*6). What kind of Christians would we be if we only trusted God when things were working well, and then doubted Him when it seemed as though from our vantage point things were not working out? We’d be lukewarm Christians if I had to guess. It’s like being a fair weathered friend, but this is the Lord we’re speaking of. It’s an honor to be called a friend of God, so we need to ensure that we are obedient to His commands in and out of the life storms we face. This way we show that we’re loyal regardless of what outward circumstances may seem to depict of our lives. (V*7.) If we are not with God we are against Him, there isn’t a neutral position to take.
Every time we decide to allocate significant amounts of time to something, we need to question the fruit that it might bring. If it’s a matter of leisure activity or entertainment, we need to ask ourselves if it’s not an unreasonable expense. Are we being responsible with the time and resources God has entrusted us? Not many of us can handle being away from leisure, entertainment, or vacation time all together. What then can we consider about making them cost effective and making sure they maximize the rest we get? It can be counter-productive to focus on all the good you could have done with the money rather than spending it on yourself. Remember that we need to love ourselves once in a while in order to continue to fulfill God’s mission, we aren’t called to completely deprive ourselves of enjoyable activities. We simply need to prayerfully consider that we don’t over-do it. If anything most of us don’t typically need encouragement on loving ourselves any more than we already do, we’re going to need to focus on how we can have a larger impact on others. This isn’t just about monetary terms either, we’re also going to have to answer for how we spend our time. I have spent so many hours playing PC games that I have lost track of the total tally across all the games. I built some real friendships from these games, and I also believe I used some of my time in the games towards online evangelism. This doesn’t mean that the game was as effective as writing, spending time in Church activities, or looking for opportunities to witness face to face. It means that I found a hobby that I both enjoyed and that I could arguably say I produced good fruit through. Some of the games also had questionable spiritual content, content that when I look at now makes me wonder if it’s opening the door to occultic activity. This is not the kind of concern I like to have in the back of my mind, and not the sort of game I want to delve into for any period of time (much less significant chunks of time). Regardless of the potential to reach people I would have not otherwise met with the Gospel and my personal enjoyment of the game, this factor alone was enough to cause me to shut down these endeavors with that type of game. I also made some money from selling inventory in the game itself, but this also wasn’t effective based on the time I was investing playing the game.
In the end the PC games took away from other more important activities. I wasn’t reading my Bible or reading scriptural references/articles from other sources (Twitter, FB, Tumblr, etc…) as much as I should have been. I put a high value in continuing to learn about the character of God through His word, and a significant portion of time was being taken away from this activity by my involvement in these games. It’s better to be late to arriving at a sound conclusion than never. I thought at the time of my play I had enough reasons to play, but now I can see clearly that I could have evaluated extricating myself from the games even sooner. Now I have to make sure hobbies like Poker and physical fitness don’t become idols as well. Especially Poker, having monetary elements and significant wins or losses involved in the results, one doesn’t want to continue to push the envelope if the results aren’t showing positively. I don’t see physical fitness as an idol, as I am caring for my body. It’s a temple of the Holy Spirit after all and it’s my duty to take care of the body God gave me. I don’t know how long God wants me to be on earth for, but I should try my best to keep myself in shape and healthy so that barring an unforeseen circumstance I can last longer than if I didn’t care for it. It’s also beneficial because my quality of life improves. I think more clearly, so I am writing better articles if I had to guess. There really is no replacement for a consistent exercise routine. While the routine itself may not pay eternal dividends, it’s hard to argue against the long list of tangible, daily benefits.
I believe writing is one of the ways I can personally contribute the most to the kingdom of God. It has the potential to spread the message of the Gospel, which can win souls for God and save people from an eternity in hell. It also allows me the opportunity to lead existing Christians to consider aspects of their walk that they might not have otherwise considered or need help in. I also feel blessed by it myself because I am given the opportunity to formulate a deeper understanding of God’s Word. Without dedicating the time I have to writing on the basis of the Word of God my understanding of the Bible and God’s desires for me would be more shallow. I don’t look at myself as wise, but I believe God has blessed me with a gift in the area of writing that I want to maximize for His glory. By God’s grace I am able to string words together in a manner that effectively communicates parts of what God’s Word brings to the table. Often times God’s Word itself does a better job at communicating these things than I ever could, but me writing of these things give them a modern context that people may be inspired by. There are many ways to interpret some aspects of scripture, and it doesn’t mean that there are contradicting stories. It may just mean that it applied to us and our lives in more ways than one, and God gave me a piece of the puzzle that I could have the honor of sharing in one way that perhaps nobody else put in the same way. If my writings have inspired even one person to consider Christianity more closely and take up their calling through their Savior Jesus Christ, then all of my writing was beyond worth it. That would be one less person suffering for eternity and one more person following the call that God has placed in their hearts and minds.
All of us have different areas where we are gifted. I think in order to figure out where you can maximize your eternal significance, you need to ask God what you need to do. I believe He has given me a giftedness in speaking as well. Given this knowledge, based on the reactions I have received from family, friends, and acquaintances – I don’t block out the idea that one day I may be called to pastor a Church. I would not take such a mission lightly as the demands would be very high. My standards for teaching I would say are high, but I try to raise the bar consistently as God calls me to do so. In teaching a flock I believe the calling becomes higher because the relationships are even more intimate and the actions more hands on. My articles and being able to write my book are a way that I can reach out to the lost and to the saved who want to learn things that they may not have known before. In bringing people closer to Jesus Christ who already know Him, or in leading someone who never knew Him to come to Him for the first time, you cannot lose on either goal. I think Jim Sager and I have articles that serve to meet both ends. It’s beautiful not to have to pick and choose what gets done by the seeds you plant. We just need to plant the seeds and scatter them, then we can water the plants that have already been growing without even realizing that seeds are being planted elsewhere simultaneously. It’s all in the hand of God and we don’t even need to discern what is being done in order for it to be done. Our responsibility is to take action and to write what God puts on our hearts and mind, and to pray that FatherSpiritSon.com continues to bless people in that regard. That any mistakes we may have on the website would be revealed to us so that we could fix them, and that such would not mislead anybody.
Being human we’re all capable of sin, even after we’ve been saved. We have been justified already through the death of Jesus Christ and the blood He shed on the cross for us. The process of sanctification is a lifetime however, and we ought to know that on this side of Heaven we’re imperfect beings drawing closer to the perfection that Jesus Christ represents. In every way we fell short, He passed all the tests. He is our mediator, and those of us who are bold and unashamed of Jesus Christ, can rest assured that Jesus Christ will be unashamed and bold in our defense in the presence of the Lord. (V*8). With this assurance intact, and the knowledge that grace is even more abundant when we fall short and sin, it doesn’t infer that we should open the door to sin more freely. (V*9). Just because grace abounds, does not implore us to allow sin to take grasp of any area of our lives. The generosity of God, and the salvation that we know as citizens of Heaven, should encourage us all the more to be obedient. That’s why it pains my heart to think that I have stumbled with the habitual sin of lust, viewing pornography, and masturbation for around 15 years. It makes me feel like a hypocrite, to know the truth but to lack faith and stumble so many times in that time frame. I have seen victory as much as 2-3 months in sequence, but I have also seen seasons where I succumbed to the sinful behavior on a daily basis. Right now I am thankful that I am winning more battles than I lose. I don’t fall victim every single day, but instead by God’s grace I am fighting back. I feel like Paul’s words ring true in my life often, in regards to the sin living in me causing me to do what I do not want to do even though I know better. (V*10).
Despite these setbacks I am not ultimately discouraged. For I know that God has started a work in me and He will see it through to completion. He will bless me with a full deliverance if He has not already done so. If I remain in my current life station instead of allowing myself to burn with passion, I do all the better. I need to do so until He provides me with my future wife. I believe that sometime before that point where I am to marry her that He will give me a victory, that way I don’t have to bring the baggage of porn addiction into my marriage. God’s will be done, I cannot be certain of this, but I am optimistic that will be the case. She doesn’t deserve to suffer at the hands of my sinful behavior, so I pray that God will fix me in time. I also need to recall that I cannot do it of my own strength or personal abilities. I cannot do anything outside of Jesus Christ and the grace that abounds in me because He died for all my sins past, present, and future. Every time I set out to win battles based on my own strength or self-discipline, it’s only a matter of time before the struggle brings me to fall. It should bring me to my knees in prayer, to seek the help of God, so that I don’t stumble on the day of temptation. So many times I have seen Him even provide me with a clear way of escape, and the appetite of sin is so enticing that the way is neglected. (V*11). I am thankful that despite my iniquities I have been offered forgiveness. God doesn’t need me, but He still chooses to use me and prepare me to be used. This is part of that eternal significance. He has given me a mess, but He has turned it into a message and that hope can be the fuel someone else needs.
King David had a mess that was turned into a message. He was an adulterer at heart, and he even committed murder when he desired a man’s wife (Bathsheba). So he sent the man out in the front lines of combat in a war that he knew would allow him to be killed. The man didn’t return to his wife, and King David was able to romance her as his selfish will desired. He paid the price for these sinful choices, but even with all this in mind King David was said to have had a heart after God’s own heart. How can someone who had these shortcomings still have a heart after God? This is the mystery that we can only personally experience as we examine our own fruit. We see our own shortcomings and man sees only the exterior of that experience.
God sees the interior, He sees beyond the scope of what we can even see in ourselves. So I aim to draw near to God as He draws near to me. (V*12). I hope that I have a heart after God’s own too. I want to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Not only do I want to have knowledge of these things, but I want to proactively make choices based on that knowledge. Having head knowledge can only benefit us so much. It’s of no use if we aren’t doers of the Word. (V*13). We need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, or in my case write my intentions out. It needs to be lived day in and day out because God doesn’t want anymore Sunday morning Christians. He wants Christians who aren’t interested in being lukewarm anymore, but rather answering His call in every area of their lives. I want to be that guy who God asks to jump, and I respond by jumping without questioning it very much. I want to be that guy who is willing to sacrifice every valuable hobby or area of interest in my own eyes to the glory of God if it means that I draw closer to the will of God. If it aligns me more closely to God’s desires for me, sign me up please.
My prayer is that God would bless each of us, including Jim Sager and myself, with the boldness to answer His call even when the call is uncomfortable. Often we’ll be put in scenarios where the choices won’t be easy, I pray that God empowers us to make the tough choices and easy ones. Not only that, but that they may be well intended and based upon a desire to grow nearer to Him. A desire to obey His commands rather than entertain our own selfish desires. Thank you for taking a look at this article. I am hopeful that it got you thinking strategically about how you could incorporate the eternal significance God wants you to in your life for His glory in the context of His mission for you.
V*1- “16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16 (NKJV).
V*2- “18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:18-20 (NKJV).
V*3- “4 ‘Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:4 (NKJV).
V*4-11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV).
V*5- 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 (NKJV).
V*6- 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:13-15 (NKJV).
V*7- 4 Adulterers and[a] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4 (NKJV).
V*8- 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38 (NKJV).
V*9- 6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:1-14 (NKJV).
V*10- 13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:13-25 (NKJV).
V*11- 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV).
V*12- 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV).
V*13- 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25 (NKJV).