Friday, November 16, 2012

Accepting Grace Pt.2

Have you ever tripped and stumbled into sin? What about falling face first into sin? We all have experienced this in one way or another. As imperfect beings, sin is inevitable—it will happen. There will be times where we will stumble back into sin. Other times we will dive right into it, feeling like we've landed flat on our faces. But no matter how we fall, we know that because of Jesus Christ we can accept grace. His grace is so powerful that it literally covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8).

Months ago, I wrote a post about accepting grace. Sometimes, even after repentance, we still doubt by not forgiving ourselves. After Jesus picks us up from the fall, we find it difficult to walk in grace. The beautiful thing about walking in grace is that you walk as if you never even fell in the first place. It’s like someone who tripped and broke their ankle, but five minutes later they begin walking even better than they did before. His grace is THAT amazing. But why don’t we accept this grace if it’s so amazing? 

I too, would fall face first into sin, not knowing that I really was falling into His arms of grace. I found it difficult to forgive myself even after I knew God had forgiven me. I say this all the time, Satan’s biggest trick is NOT necessarily to get you to fall into sin. His biggest trick is to get you to stay down in guilt. When we don’t forgive ourselves for the fall, we do not fully accept His grace. So hours or days, sometimes even weeks go by and we are angry at ourselves. And the feelings of unworthiness parade our minds. So instead of walking in grace, we tip-toe.

If Satan can get a Believer to stay down in guilt, he’s got them right where he wants them. One of the most important aspects of the Christian walk is worship. But how can you worship when you still feel unworthy? Beloved, you can’t. When you no longer have a worship life, the strength to do HIS WILL also stops. For example, that person that needs to hear your poem about salvation will never hear it because you were too busy not forgiving yourself. This is exactly why the enemy tricks us into guilt. An important part of walking in grace is forgiving yourself. When we don’t forgive ourselves, we are unknowingly saying, “I thought I was perfect like Jesus, but I’m not.” That prideful statement is exactly what is keeping you from truly walking in grace.

Believer, it doesn’t matter how many times you trip and fall, you are simply falling into arms of grace. Today, forgive yourself. You are an imperfect person that’s greatly loved by a perfect God. Every day, I tell the Holy Spirit that I am weak and HE is strong. Constantly remind yourself that you are weak and you aren’t perfect. First Corinthians 12:9 says that God is the strongest when we are at our weakest point. When we remind ourselves that we are nothing without God’s strength, forgiving ourselves becomes easier because we knew we were weak in the first place. Beloved, God’s grace is enough for you. He has already forgiven you (1 John 2:9). But do you believe it enough to forgive yourself? Don’t focus more on the fall than you do getting back up—accept grace and walk in it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The "In-Between" Season

We see in the story of Joseph that dreams are very important. Apparently, dreams were so important that Joseph’s own brothers hated him for his dream. Genesis 37 tells us that Joseph had two dreams with the same meaning—Joseph would so be great that even his family would bow down to him. Although Joseph is thrown in a pit and eventually ends up in prison, we all know how the story ends. In Genesis 41, Joseph's dreams finally manifested as he is made second-in-command to Pharaoh. But what happened from the moment Joseph had the dream at 17 and the time he saw the manifestation of it at 30? What did Joseph do in between that time? He simply remained honorable to God.

Many of us have dreams from God but don’t know how to honor the dream. What do you do in the “in-between” season of life? Joseph shows us perfectly how we should remain honorable as we wait for the manifestation of the dream.
  • HONOR YOUR BODY- In the “in-between” season, honoring your body is very important. Joseph could have easily slept with Potiphar’s wife. He could have said, “God, I’m lonely. You understand.”  But he remained honorable. The word of God says to flee from fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18)—literally run from sexual immorality as Joseph did.
  • HONOR YOUR SOUL- The soul is our emotions. When Joseph found himself in prison for being honorable, he could have let his emotions rule him. The butler and the baker needed their dreams interpreted. Joseph could have said, “Man, my brothers threw me in a pit AND I’m in a prison for something I didn’t do. You guys interpret your own dreams. I’m feeling bitter.” But he remained honorable. Think about it, if Joseph never interpreted their dreams, he would have never made it to his destiny. Joseph let the hope from his God-given dream anchor his soul (Hebrews 6:19) in his “in-between” season.
  • HONOR THE SPIRIT- When you honor your body and soul, you are ultimately honoring the Holy Spirit that lives in you. Second Timothy 2:20-22, speaks of vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. As Believers, we must to strive to be vessels of honor in our “in-between” season. Remain useful for God, our Master, by fleeing from youthful lusts and pursuing righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22).
Believer, if you have a dream be encouraged that it will come to pass. God gives us dreams and leaves it up to us to honor Him with the dream. What dishonorable things are you doing right now that you know you need to stop? What honorable things is God telling you to start doing? Every day, ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and the strength to remain honorable. God could trust Joseph with the manifestation of the dream when he saw him being honorable in his “in-between” season. Although this season is uncomfortable at times, stay faithful. Whether you’re in the pit, the prison, or the palace, continue to remain honorable. Destiny comes to those who remain honorable.