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“Lord, I Don’t Want to Do Your Will.”

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I have been doing an amazing Kay Arthur study on prayer with a ladies’ group at my church this summer called, “Lord, teach me to pray.” I love her point (pg. 54):

“And what is the root of all sin? Is it not independence? Is it not self having its own way?”

She goes on to say something very convicting, “One of the evidences of salvation is a willingness to submit to God…” And she backs that up with Scripture in Matthew 7:21-27. I would also add John 14:23-24.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:23-24

Here is an explanation of how we are to submit to God from www.gotquestions.org (emphasis added):

In all the New Testament incidences where the word submit occurs, the word is translated from the Greek word hupotasso. The hupo means “under” and the tasso means “to arrange.” This word and a root of it are also translated by the words subject and subjection. The word’s full meaning is “to obey, put under, be subject to, submit oneself unto, put in subjection under or be under obedience or obedient to.” The word was used as a military term meaning “to arrange troop divisions in a military fashion under the command of a leader.” This word is a wonderful definition of what it means to “submit” to God. It means to arrange oneself under the command of divine viewpoint rather than to live according to one’s old way of life based on a human viewpoint. It is a process surrendering our own will to that of our Father’s.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/submit-to-God.html#ixzz3dc9k7cuY

If Jesus is my Lord, I must submit to Him. If I refuse to obey Him, how can He be my Lord? I don’t have to agree with Him or understand what He is asking me to do. But if I can be content with going my own way and I have no problem with defying Christ and the Bible, I need to ask myself if I belong to Him. If I have yielded my life to Him as my Savior and as the LORD of my life but am living in sin, I am living in rebellion against Him and I need to repent and turn from sin and begin to head toward Christ immediately! Something is very wrong in my soul if I don’t want to obey God. Obedience – for one who has tasted the goodness of God – is something we do out of gratitude, joy, and love.

You do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:26-40

Kay Arthur says:

“Oh dear one, are you still in your sins, or are you a worshiper of God who longs to do the will of the Father? Only the latter has access to God in prayer.”

E.M. Bounds (The Necessity of Prayer, part of The Classic Collection on Prayer) has an entire chapter on Prayer and Obedience. You can find a free download of his amazing, Spirit-inspired books about prayer online. He writes:

The spirit that prompts a person to break one commandment is the spirit that may move that person to break them all. God’s commandments are a unit, and to break one strikes at the principle that underlies and runs through the whole. The person who does not hesitate to break a single commandment, would – more than likely – under the same stress and surrounded by the same circumstances break them all. (pg. 58)

Obedience is love fulfilling every command, and thereby expressing itself. Obedience, therefore, is not a hard demand made upon us, any more than is the service a husband gives his wife or a wife gives her husband. Love delights to obey and please the one it loves. There are no hardships in love… There are no impossible tasks for love.

If any should complain that humanity under the fall is too weak and helpless to obey these high commands of God, the answer is that through the atonement of Christ humanity is made able to obey… In regeneration and through the agency of the Holy Spirit, God works in us and bestows sufficient enabling grace for all that is required of us under the atonement. This grace is furnished without measure in answer to prayer. So at the same time that God commands, He stands pledged to give us all the necessary strength of will and grace of soul to meet His demands. Since this is true, we are without excuse for our disobedience. (pg. 60)

If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him. If you want free access to God in prayer, then every obstacle of sin or disobedience must be removed. (pg. 62)

An obedient life is a necessity to prayer – to prayer that accomplishes things. The absence of an obedient life makes prayer an empty performance – something wrongly named. (pg. 63)

SPEND SOME TIME IN EARNEST PRAYER TODAY:

Lord,

Please make clear to me any areas of disobedience and sin in my life. Are there things You have commanded me to do that I have refused to do? Am I totally surrendered to You and do I delight in seeking to obey You or do I want to be in charge and do things my way? Are there areas where I disagree with you and where I rebel against Your will?

I want to belong to You. Break my heart and my will. Show me anything that I am withholding from You. Let me be totally devoted and submitted to Your Lordship! Develop in me a deep desire and passion for You and for Your will. Let me long to obey You and please You more than anything in this life!

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

RELATED:

Praying from an Obedient Life

FOR FURTHER STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION:

What are some of the things God commands us to do as believers?

  • Love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength (the Greatest Commandment) – Luke 10:27
  • Love others as you love yourself with the unconditional love of God – Luke 10:27, I Corinthians 13:4-8
  • Abide in Christ continually – John 15:1-8
  • Love Jesus much more than anyone or anything in this world and more than your own life – Luke 14:26-27
  • Forgive those who sin against you as God forgives you – Matthew 6:14-15
  • Overcome evil with good, do not take vengeance or repay anyone evil with evil – Romans 12:17-21
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but take your concerns to God in prayer and trust Him completely – Philippians 4:4-8
  • Bless those who curse you – Romans 12:14, Luke 6:28
  • Pray for those who mistreat you – Luke 6:28
  • Do not argue or complain – Philippians 2:14-16
  • Give thanks in every circumstance – I Thessalonians 5:18
  • Pray continually – I Thessalonians 5:17
  • For wives, respect and submit to your husband out of reverence for Christ so that the Word of God might not be maligned – Eph. 5:22-33, Col. 3:18, I Peter 3:1-6, Titus 2:3-5
  • For husbands, love your wives and treat them with honor and gentleness as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her with selfless, humble leadership that is first fully submitted to God – Eph. 5:22-33, I Peter 3:7
  • Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 5:18
  • Get rid of all sin – idolatry (cherishing other things or people more than Christ), rage, hatred, unbelief in God, lust, unforgiveness, gossip, resentment, irreverence toward God, worry, fear, desire for control, greed, addictions, stealing, worldliness, godlessness, sexual immorality, foolishness, coarse joking, adultery, murder, dishonesty/lying, pride, self-righteousness, false doctrine, heresies, strife, contention, disrespect, rudeness, unkindness, apathy, drunkenness, etc…
  • Be holy as God is holy by the power of His Spirit filling your life – 1 Peter 1:16
  • Make disciples of Christ by God’s Spirit’s power in you –  Matthew 28:19-20

A Call to Confession, Repentance, and the Gospel

 

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I’d like to invite you to pray with me, my precious brothers and sisters!

Sin = an archery term that means “to miss the mark.”

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Almighty God,

“Blessed be Your glorious Name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.” Nehemiah 9:5b-6

First, we must admit and confess our sins. Break our heart for these sins, let us truly weep together over them, Lord! We humble ourselves on our faces before You and pray together in one accord!

WE CONFESS OUR SIN, THE SIN OF OUR CHURCHES, AND THE SIN OF OUR NATIONS:

“O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached the heavens… For we have disregarded your commands… O Lord, God of Israel, You are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before You in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in Your presence.” (an excerpt of Ezra’s prayer in Ezra 9)

Our Sin Against You:

We have become arrogant and stiff-necked. We have rebelled against You, the only true God. We have pursued idols and made other things and other people more important in our hearts and minds than You. We have profaned Your holy Name by treating it so casually and flippantly as we live in sin, but speak your Name as if we are devoted to You. We have demanded that You submit to our will and do what we want and give us the things we sinfully desire. But we are the ones who should be completely submitted to You! We have taken Your Name in vain rather than holding it in awe and proper reverence. We have not set aside time to worship, rest, fervently pray, and honor You. We have not loved You wholeheartedly. We have not obeyed Your Word for us. We have not allowed Your Spirit to have full reign in our hearts and full access to the darkest corners of our souls. We have been more concerned about the opinions and approval of people than we have been concerned about Your approval.

Our Sin As the Church and Against the Church:

We have divisions, factions, jealousies, hatred, and contention in our assemblies. We do not have Your Spirit of unity. We have not financially supported the church, Christian missionaries, or our brothers and sisters in Christ and others who are in dire poverty and need. We have forsaken the assembling of ourselves together. We have been lukewarm in our faith and love for You individually and corporately. We have watered down the message of Your Word. We as individuals and together as the church have allowed ourselves to become like the world. We have wanted friendship with the world rather than with You. We have lost our reverence and holy fear for Your Name and for the Bible. We no longer even teach the truth of Your Word in many of our churches. We have forsaken the authority of God and the authority of Your Word for the wisdom of men. We have gathered teachers around us who will say the words our itching ears long to hear. The church as a whole today in many places in our midst is very sick, weak, and dying – open our eyes to see the spiritual condition of our churches, our communities and our countries.

Our Sinful Hearts:

We have had hearts full of hatred, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. We have had jealous and envious thoughts and we have acted out with sinful motives. We have gossiped. We have lied. We have aborted precious babies. We have been more concerned with our convenience and comfort than Your priorities or our obedience to You. We have been materialistic. We want luxury. We want the best food, the best cars, the most beautiful houses, the nicest stuff – and we have forsaken Your true riches. We are consumed by worldly things rather than heavenly things. We have idolized wealth, power, fame, beauty, sports, politics, luxury, happiness, romance, love, marriage, and so very many things that we cannot even count them all, yet we don’t even realize we are sinning against You grievously! We are so blind to our sin!

We have been self-righteous, thinking we are better than other people. We have been prideful, just like Satan. We thought we knew better than You did. We trusted ourselves rather than You, Lord, setting ourselves above God in our hearts. We have been selfish. We don’t even know what real love is. Love for God or love for people. We have dysfunctional relationships with You and with others. We have been addicted to destructive drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, gluttony, anorexia/bulimia, gambling, having control ourselves, and all kinds of addictions rather than looking to You to meet our needs. We have committed murder in our hearts and sometimes physically, as well. We have been more concerned about protecting ourselves than loving You and loving others. We have been motivated by fear, not love.

 Our Sin Against Your Design for Marriage and Family:

We have engaged in lust, infidelity, adultery, and fornication – in our minds and sometimes physically, as well. We have not honored the marriage bed and kept it pure. We have been unfaithful to You and to our covenants with our spouses. We have purposely withheld sex from our spouses to spite them. We have tried to control our husbands/wives. We have been demanding. We have been insulting. We have had critical, judgmental spirits. We have depended on our husbands/wives or other people to meet our deepest needs that only You can meet – which is idolatry. We have been so needy and desperate for human love that we have been willing to sin to try to get it and it does not bring fulfillment, only Your love can bring real contentment and fulfillment! We have emotionally, verbally, and even physically abused each other instead of being a safe place for one another.

Some of us as wives have disrespected our husbands. We have taught our children to disrespect our husbands. We have rebelled against our husbands’ God-given leadership and tried to run things our own way when our husbands were doing their best to lead us in what is right in Your sight. Some of us have followed our husbands into sin. That is not ok either. Some of us as wives have given up our God-given influence and abilities and become doormats and almost slaves to our husbands rather than being the strong, godly women You desire us to be who greatly bless our homes and influence our husbands and children for Christ. Some of us don’t know the difference between abuse and love. Some husbands have abdicated their God-given leadership positions, leaving their families in harm’s way and without godly leadership. Some husbands have acted like tyrants and dictators and abused their positions of leadership, being harsh with their wives and their prayers are not heard, nor do they glorify Christ.

We have not walked in unity in our marriages, but have held on to bitterness, and resentment. We have contention, division, dysfunction, arguing, and strife in our families and marriages. We have hatred toward each other. We have malice in our hearts. We want to lash out and hurt our spouses, rather than love them unconditionally and bless them.  We are still so very worldly. We have married unbelievers knowing that You commanded us not to. We have gotten divorces when we had no biblical justification. We have remarried sometimes against Your commands for us in the Bible. We have not properly set godly examples for our children about how to love God, how to obey Christ, how to have a godly marriage, how to love and nurture children and others. We don’t even know how to begin to make things right.

Our Sin As Citizens:

We have not loved our neighbors as the Good Samaritan did. We have cheated the government. We have stolen/embezzled money and other things that did not belong to us. We have bent and broken laws. We have been apathetic.  We have not stood up for what is right. We have not defended the innocent. We have perverted justice. We have accepted bribes. We have not protected the foreigners in our midst. We have not cared for the poor, sick, orphans, oppressed, and widows. We have put our ultimate faith in the government, the economy, our bank accounts, our military, our own wisdom, our technology, our education, doctors, and all kinds of things/people rather than fully trusting in You. We have sought help from every source but You.

We do not deserve Your forgiveness. But how we THANK YOU, LORD, that You are a forgiving God, slow to anger, gracious and compassionate, and abounding in love. (Neh. 9:17)

EMPOWER US TO FULLY REPENT AND TO RECEIVE YOUR GOSPEL, LORD!

Empower us to see our sins. We have been so blind to them – thinking we were so good in Your eyes. 🙁

Let us turn from our sin as individuals, as churches, and as nations, and turn to You. Give us faith to come to You. Open our eyes to what You see. We cannot even open our own eyes or come to You in our own strength. Apart from You, we are dead in our sins. Bring us to life, Lord Jesus! Open our eyes. Give us faith that we might call upon You. Please forgive us for our many, many sins. We do not deserve Your forgiveness. We all deserve hell.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

The powerful, omnipotent, all-knowing, all-loving, completely holy Creator God of the whole universe, became a man (Jesus) and lived the perfect life we could not live. You died the death we deserved to die on our behalf. You conquered sin, death, and the grave! You rose from the dead on the 3rd day. And You ascended back to heaven. You are willing to give eternal life to all who call on You and who receive this gift as You empower us to understand and receive it. Jesus was willing to make a way for us to be right with God and at peace with Him. This is the Gospel. THANK YOU for this miracle and for Your unfathomable love for us. How can we ever thank You enough? In response to all that You have done for us, all we can possibly do is yield our lives completely to Your control and to Your will!

We depend completely on the blood of Jesus, shed on our behalf, to cleanse us from all sin. We admit our wrong doing and our filthy motives. There is no good in any of us apart from You. We are all wretched sinners whose very best attempts at holiness (in our own power) look like filthy, bloody menstrual rags in Your holy sight (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot clean up ourselves. None of us can impress you on our own. None of us are good enough because we have all fallen far short of Your standard of perfect holiness. We are desperate for the blood of Jesus to cleanse us and we thank and praise You that You are able to make each of us clean and holy in Your sight when You empower us to receive Jesus as our Savior and Master – our LORD – and we live for Him.

Jesus, You have the power to transform us from wretched sinners to holy saints!

You are able to fully pay the massive sin-debt we owe to God and You HAVE paid it on the cross on our behalf! WHAT CRAZY LOVE YOU HAVE FOR US, GOD!!?!?!?!!? We don’t deserve this. But You didn’t send Jesus because we deserved Him. You sent Him because of who You are and Your love, mercy, compassion, and grace – and because we so desperately needed Him. We could not work salvation for ourselves. We could not save ourselves from Your righteous and holy wrath and punishment for our sins. We praise and thank You for what You have done for us through Christ! We died and were buried with Christ Jesus if we are in Him. And we have been raised to a new life in Christ!! In Him, we are all new creations! If we are in Christ, we now have His death, His resurrection, His power over sin and the grave, His righteousness, His holiness, His love, His spiritual riches, all of the treasures of heaven, His heart, His mind, and His eyes!!! The old things have passed away and all has been made new!

Let us begin to walk in the power of Your Spirit living in and through us. We fully yield all of ourselves to You. Lord, CHANGE US!!!!! Heal us! Empower us to live lives that are worthy of all that Jesus has done for us! Transform us to be just like Jesus!!! We give You access to the darkest corners of our hearts, minds, and souls. Show us any sin that offends You. Let us be willing to part with it that we might have the greatest fellowship with You. Let us hate our sin as You hate sin. Let us love what You love. Change us and regenerate our souls that we might be more and more like Jesus! Only You can fully meet all of our deepest needs. You are the only source of real love and real life!  Let us submit fully to Your Lordship and embrace all that You has done for us and Your finished work on our behalf on the cross! Let us live in the power of Your Spirit more and more and let our lives be lives filled with GIANT faith in You (that You give to us) and with ever deepening trust and love for You.

In the Name and power of Christ!

Amen!

RELATED:

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

Contentment Comes from Having Christ as LORD Not Just as Savior

How to Truly Live for Christ

Stages of This Journey

John Piper – www.desiringgod.org (search “gospel” or “salvation”)

David Platt – www.radical.net (search “gospel” or “salvation”) or you can search Youtube “David Platt Gospel”

THE POWER OF THE CROSS by the Gettys:

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She Who Has Been Forgiven Much, Loves Much

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This week we have seen that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) – that women and men are equally sinful and equally in desperate need of the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

We took a look at how I thought I was such a “good person” or “good Christian” for so many years – and then how God revealed to me the depths of my own sin and depravity in December of 2008 when I read the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a]you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.  James 8:2-11

I have broken many of God’s commands – too many times to even count.  I am a law-breaker.

Today – we look at Jesus’ incredible mercy, grace and forgiveness that He offers freely to all who put their faith completely in Him as both Savior AND Lord.  And we look at the only proper response to Him.

LUKE 7 – A parable of Jesus:

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty.42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?

43 Simon (the pharisee) replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

FROM PEACEFULWIFE :

I used to think that this parable of Jesus meant that I would never be able to love Him as much as, say, a murderer, a thief, an adulterer – you know – a REALLY AWFUL sinner.  I figured that those kinds of people would be able to love Jesus a lot once they repented and turned to Him because they had been horrible sinners.  But I would never be able to love Him that deeply because I was “not a really awful sinner.”

Then God showed me the depths of my sin (yesterday’s post).

Suddenly, I saw that I, April Cassidy, am a wretched sinner.  Not just a bit of a sinner – but a wretched sinner.  I realized that there is no human on earth who has more sin than I do in the sight of my holy God.  I realized for the first time the MASSIVE sin debt I owed to God.  I didn’t just owe Him a few thousand bucks.  I owed Him billions.  Me.  And I had no way to repay Him.

I wanted to run away and live in a cave for the rest of my life.

  • For the first time, I realized just how spiritually impoverished I was.  For the first time I realized that there truly was NO GOOD in me at all.  Jesus calls this being “poor in spirit” – and He blesses this posture of humility in the beatitudes.
  • For the first time, I realized just how much Jesus paid for on my behalf on the cross – how much I deserved that punishment and God’s wrath on my wickedness.
  • For the first time, I saw the depths of the grace, love, mercy and forgiveness of Christ.
  • For the first time, I realized that I had been forgiven MUCH.

Then I began to love Jesus MUCH.

MY RESPONSE

I became willing to:

  • fall on my face in the deepest mourning and weeping over my sin – repent and turn to Christ
  • give up anything for Jesus – anything He calls sin – I want it GONE.
  • surrender my life to Jesus daily, being His servant, His slave – I owe Him EVERYTHING!  How could I do anything less than sacrifice all that I am, all that I have and all that I might ever be?  He is so worthy!
  • throw out everything my culture had taught me that was against the Word of God, even if it meant I looked crazy to the world.  I didn’t care.
  • seek to please Jesus and honor Him no matter the cost.
  • grant Him total access to my heart and my life, holding nothing back.
  • die to myself, nail my sinful nature to the cross (as often as it takes) – then give up my wisdom, my understanding, my culture, my political correctness, my feminist and worldly mindset, my materialism, my selfishness, my pride, my desires, my plans, my hopes, my rights and my dreams
  • live for Christ – pick up my cross and embrace His wisdom, His understanding, His desires, His plans, His Word, His will, His dreams and seek His glory alone.
  • make Jesus truly LORD of my life and keep Him as THE FOCUS and PURPOSE of my life.
  • seek His face, desire to know Him more, have the deepest hunger to read His Word, hear His voice and be in His presence.
  • praise Him in my heart all day long every day.
  • develop a thankful, grateful heart for all He has done for me.
  • give up seeking the approval of other people.
  • give up every idol – my pride, my desire for control, my feelings of being loved – and to see my idols as poison.
  • wait on God – as long as it takes – but I refused to run ahead and try to take control anymore.  I decided I would wait right where I was until I was 80 years old if I had to – but I was not going to run ahead of God or my husband’s leadership any more.
  • become a sincere disciple of Christ with total devotion to Him.
  • face my deepest fears and take a leap of faith, trusting Christ Jesus to be strong enough and wise enough to lead me.
  • trash my understanding of godliness, Christianity, femininity, masculinity, marriage, family, God, Jesus, God’s Word and build completely from scratch on the foundation of Christ and His Word alone.  Even if I was the only one who chose this path.  Nothing mattered anymore but Jesus, knowing and loving Him, serving Him, pleasing Him and bringing Him glory and praise.
  • find my contentment completely in Christ alone – no matter what my circumstances may be.
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