Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let His Light Shine In

I’ve always been told it’s not good to dwell on my faults so I would always box them up, turn off the light, and shut the door, but the Holy Spirit is always faithful to turn the light back on and reveal the faults in my life that is keeping me from producing good fruit. It has been overwhelming at times. Issues that I would rather not deal with because of pride and denial. I mean who actually LIKES to look at their weaknesses? I would tell myself that nobody is perfect and try to move on.
We like to measure our spiritual maturity by how "good" we are, but the truth is that not one of us is "good" and if we say we are than we have no room for God’s grace. God loves us the way we are, but He refuses to keep us that way. We are to walk in holiness, but that doesn’t mean we will be without blemish. As soon as God helps me overcome one issue, another issue shows up. It can be discouraging, but I remind myself of a saying I once read in a book "your not where you need to be, but thank God you’re not where you used to be." Whenever I think I’m making no spiritual progress I just look back several years and see how much God has changed me. He still has a lot of work to do, but I know he will do it. God’s word says that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." When I sin the Holy Spirit is always faithful to show me the way and make my paths straight.
I want my life to produce good fruit for Christ. I want people to see me as authentic and not as a hypocrite. Why is it so hard for us to talk about our weaknesses? We find it pretty easy to talk about someone else’s weaknesses, but not our own. We usually take someone’s weakness and use it against them. God wants us to confess our weaknesses to one another, not to embarrass them but so we can encourage each other. When we isolate ourselves in our problems we make ourselves vulnerable to Satan. Satan wants us to feel that we are the only one with weaknesses and that we shouldn’t have any if we were really a TRUE follower of Christ. Satan is a liar and sometimes we actually believe his lies. Only when we face our weaknesses and shine light on them can we begin to overcome them. We are all part of the body of Christ and we all need each other!
Sometimes it is so hard to see God’s love for me. How could He possibly love ME? I guess that is the beauty of His GRACE. I have known about God’s grace since I was a child, but just knowing about grace doesn’t set me free, I need to ACCEPT it! Grace frees us from trying to earn God’s love and acceptance when it’s already ours for the taking. Someone can give you gift, but you can’t use the gift until you actually unwrap it. It’s only when you actually accept the unconditional love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance that you actually start doing things because you LOVE God, not because you are trying to earn God’s love. (I’m still a work in progress on this one.) We already have His love. God doesn’t look at my actions, He looks at my motives behind my actions. The "why" not the "what" of what I do. Being a follower of Christ is a daily decision and sometimes for me a minute by minute decision. Our flesh has to die to self. I used to follow the lead of my feelings, but I’ve learned that my feelings can not be trusted and they often get me into trouble. I am trying to put aside my feelings and do what God’s word tells me to do even if I don’t "feel" like it. That is part of a growing relationship with Christ. We can’t grow in Christ if we our faith is never tested.
Don’t just accept your weaknesses, but don’t let your focus only be on your weakness’ either, rather keep your focus on Jesus Christ and let his Truth set you free!
Philippians 1:6
6. being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

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