One of the things God has spoken to me about is my writing. I believe I stopped—or that God put the brakes on my writing—because I was perhaps being a bit too self-righteous in what I said. I told Him I didn’t want to continue until I got my heart right with Him.
Through a series of great lessons, I believe it is time to resurface. I’ll let you know later some of the hard lessons I learned.
I also want you to know that what follows in this blog is not a chastisement, but a message that God put upon my heart through reading the first few chapters of a book written by a friend of mine, Doug Stringer. Doug is the founder of Somebody Cares International, a Christian humanitarian organization that has a made a huge impact on the kingdom throughout the globe.
The book is called It’s Time to Cross the Jordan, and Doug wrote it more than 30 years ago. I told him that, although he had given me the book quite some time ago, I was just beginning to read it. So far, I’m floored with what I’ve read.
A message that Doug wrote about in the 1980s is one that is still pertinent today. It’s about those who want to be used by God but seem stuck in the wilderness of their own sin. It’s about becoming an anointed overcomer.
What would happen if every believer–and I especially include myself–did exactly what Jesus commanded in The Word? Can you imagine how much better this world would be? If you are a believer, and you haven’t been walking in obedience in a lot of ways, please, stop to think about that for a moment.
I have, and it brings sadness to my heart and tears to my eyes. If we are not living according to God’s Word, then we are living in disobedience.
Many years previous to writing the book, Doug says he was a “grace coaster, feeling free to enjoy my sin because all I had to do was ask God to forgive me and He would–or so I had been told.”
One night, Doug prayed, and God answered him. The response wasn’t so gratifying.
“Doug,” God said, “don’t call me Lord if you will not do what I say. Doug, even the demons in hell know who I Am. What makes you any different?”
God’s words hit a nerve with Doug. It chilled me to the bone about myself when I read it. Although God did not speak those words to me, Holy Spirit convicted me in the same way.
Immediately, I realized that in many ways, I had been living the very life of “compromise” that God was speaking of to Doug all those many years ago. Some situations in my life have not worked out the way I had planned or prayed for, and it wasn’t God’s fault. It is nobody’s fault but my own.
Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, bretheren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Have I completely presented by body as a living sacrifice to Christ? Hardly. So, how can I expect to see blessings in the areas I’m praying for?
As Shane Idleman, a spirit-filled pastor from California, says, “Are you waiting on your blessing or is your blessing waiting on you?”
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
Doug goes on to say in chapter 1 of his book, “When God’s truth is shoved aside and His commandments are ignored, we bring judgment on ourselves.” Let me write that again: “When God’s truth is shoved aside and His commandments are ignored, we bring judgment on ourselves.” God doesn’t bring that judgment on us, we do that to ourselves. Please hear me, body of Christ. This is the truth we need to embrace.
Doug further writes: “When we continue to set our affections between two worlds and persistently try to live a compromised spiritual life, we will be destroyed. Obedience, however, brings great reward and yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Eze. 14:13-14; Hebrews 13:10).
I don’t know know about you, but I’d rather experience great reward and the peaceable fruit of righteousness rather than destruction.
“Either we receive His instructions and reap His rewards, or we despise His instructions and reap judgments. Either we deliberately cross the Jordan and enter into His rest, or we let our indecision make our decision for us and continue to wander in the wilderness.
I’m tired of wandering in the wilderness, aren’t you?
“Lord, change me. Change my heart. Help me to surrender to Your will in everything I do. Guard my heart and remove everything from it that is not from you. I want to be in your perfect will, every day. Take my own selfish desires away from me, and help me to present my body as a living sacrifice to you so that I may be able to serve others. Help to honor my family and my friends by living in the fruit of righteousness. Holy Spirit, guide my words and my actions every day. Let them honor you without compromise. Thank you, Jesus, that I am your child and you are taking care of me and my family today. In Jesus’ name!