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20 Signs That God Is about to Do Something AMAZING in Someone’s Life

Photo by Robert Metz on Unsplash

I have walked beside hundreds and hundreds of women on this journey. There are several telltale signs that I have noticed that I want to share with you. When I see these indicators beginning to unfold in someone’s life, it means that God is at work, opening her eyes and preparing her heart. It also means that things are about to get beautiful!

This is often a progression that happens in steps over time.

The woman (or man):

  1. Stops blaming other people, making excuses for, or justifying her sin and takes full responsibility for things she has done wrong. She admits that she is a sinner. A wretched sinner. Completely unable to be “good enough” to pass God’s standard of perfect holiness on her own. She acknowledges that she deserves to be separated from God because of her sin.
    • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23 
    • For the wages of sin is death… Rom. 6:23a
    • Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Rom. 7:24
  2. Genuinely grieves over her sins, seeing just how great a debt she owes to Jesus and just how unimaginably holy God is and how He can’t tolerate any sin in His presence at all.
    • Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:8-10
  3. Wants God’s cleansing, healing, His new life, and a close relationship with the Lord.
    • On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38
    • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Rom. 6:23
  4. Begins to grasp the overwhelming magnitude of the unconditional, divine love of Christ specifically for her and His goodness toward her, in spite of her wretched condition. Jesus left heaven and all of His glory in order to come rescue her, while she was still in rebellion against Him. He loved her with a love that is beyond human ability to fathom. She sees that there is no greater love in all the universe than the love of Jesus for His people. All other love begins to look faded and tarnished in comparison. 
    • But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:8
    • But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. Eph. 2:4-5
    • That you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17-19
  5. Humbles herself greatly before the Lord, realizing her total dependence on God’s provision. 
    • And you were dead in the trespasses and sins. Eph. 2:1
    • For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph. 2:8-9
  6. Understands that only the perfect, finished work of Jesus on the cross can make her right with God in God’s sight. She begins to see that He lived the perfect life she could never live in her place. He died the death she deserved for her sin. He conquered sin, death, and hell on her behalf. He offers her eternal life after this life is over and abundant spiritual life in this world! God allows her to make a great exchange. Her sinfulness for Jesus’ holiness and righteousness. Her utter spiritual bankruptcy for Jesus’ overflowing spiritual abundance. Jesus’ death for her life. So God counts all that Jesus did as if she did those things when she receives the gift of Christ and His salvation. When God looks at her, He sees Jesus’ perfection. 
    • Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Rom. 5:9-10
  7. Realizes that Jesus is the Greatest Treasure in the universe – and nothing else comes anywhere close to His worth. She is willing to give up everything to have Him. No sacrifice seems too great.
    • The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matt. 13:44
  8. Desires to die to her old self – to her sinful nature, to her sinful desires, to her old human way of thinking, and to this world.
    • And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
    • We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Rom. 6:6
  9. Receives her new identity in Christ and God’s truth about her new status.
    • We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Rom. 6:4
    • There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1
    • But God… raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:6
    • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor. 5:17
  10. Hungers for God, His Word, and the kingdom of God. Has a healthy spiritual appetite for confession of sin, prayer, reading the Bible, praising and thanking God, and fellowship with the Body of Christ.
    • O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Ps. 63:1
    • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matt. 5:6
  11. Becomes teachable and ready to absorb and receive God’s truth, spiritual healing, and provision.
    • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6
    • Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10
  12. Wants to do whatever it takes to be as close as possible to God, not to earn salvation or to get other things she wants, but just out of gratitude and love for the Lord – no matter the personal sacrifice involved. She wants to obey God – even if it means giving up previous priorities, time, money, sins, and completely changing her lifestyle to please the Lord. 
    • Jesus answered him, If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23
  13. Accepts God’s Word as truth rather than her feelings, past experiences, past teaching in her life, the culture, and personal perception/wisdom.
    • Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
    • All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Tim. 3:16
  14. Seeks the Lord wholeheartedly even if no one else does, even if it is lonely. Even if her husband, her family, her children, or her friends don’t understand and don’t want to change like she does.
    • Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt. 10:37
  15. Desires God’s will far above her own knowing there is no other place she would rather be.
    • Not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:42
  16. Trusts God – or determines that she wants to learn to trust God – and has new-found faith that God’s way will be best. Her fears begin to melt away.
    • For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor. 5:7
    • There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18
  17. Knows that God is good and understands God’s character as He reveals Himself in the Bible.
    • No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:18
  18. Is willing to give up lies about God, others, and self and rebuild her life on the Solid Rock of God’s Word alone.
    • Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matt. 7:24-25
  19. Invites the Holy Spirit to have full control in her life. She fully yields to the Lordship of Jesus. She no longer wants her sinful nature to be in control, although she can still choose to act in the sinful nature. But now, she has the ability to choose to live in the Spirit! She begins to see the Fruit of the Spirit in her life.
    • For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Rom. 8:6
    • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23
  20. Begins to experience the very divine love, grace, mercy of God for others in her life. She sees them with new eyes, with heavenly eyes. She can start to see their wounds and need for Jesus. And she can begin to extend the love, grace, and mercy of God that she received to others in every day life. She becomes a fruitful instrument for God’s Kingdom.
    • For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal. 5:14
    • I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

When I see these things happening, I know that God is transforming someone by the power of His Spirit. And I know that He is going to do something glorious that will bring much honor to Himself and much good to the person and the kingdom of Christ. It brings me such joy to watch God miraculously changing and healing people!

PRAYER

Lord, 

We can’t open anyone else’s eyes spiritually. We can’t even open our own eyes. We are totally dependent on Your Spirit to resurrect people’s souls from death to new life in Jesus. We invite You into this place and into each of our hearts. We invite You to breathe Your eternal and abundant Life into our souls. We invite Your Spirit to work in mighty ways and to bring salvation to many who didn’t know You before. And we invite You to continue Your good work, as You have promised You would, in those who know You already. We yield ourselves completely to Your Lordship! We long only for more and more of You – Your goodness, Your presence, Your love, Your healing, Your transformation for each of us to make us more like Jesus.

Thank You for the incredible gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Thank You for loving us so much more than we could ever comprehend! Give us eyes to see and ears to hear Your Words and Your love for us. Empower us to choose the narrow way that leads to Life.

Amen!

 

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What are some signs you have seen in your own life, or in other people’s lives, that help you know that God is very much at work?

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The Blessing of Knowing about Hell

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“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

I will be honest. Hell is my least favorite teaching in the Bible. I would prefer that there would be no hell. I would rather those who don’t know Christ and who rebel against God just cease to exist. I don’t like the thought of anyone being tormented forever and ever. I don’t want ANYONE to go to such a place! I long with all my heart for everyone to be in heaven with God, joyfully praising Him, living with Him and each other in total harmony, and experiencing His greatest blessings and His glory in Paradise. Thankfully, the path that leads to eternal life is available and open to all who are willing to follow Jesus!

I may not like this topic, but the Bible talks about there being a literal hell – a place that God originally created for Satan and his angels, but a place of eternal punishment where He will send sinners in order for them to receive justice for their sins against His holiness. Once someone goes to hell, there is no escape according to Jesus. That is extremely sobering to me. Our time to make important decisions about where we will spend forever is very short.

“Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41

“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! Luke 12:4-5

100 verses about hell.

We like to talk about God’s love. These days, that is the only side of God we like to talk about – His love. Well, we also like to talk about His mercy, forgiveness, and grace, too. Those are palatable things. God does have unfathomable love for us – and unspeakable mercy, forgiveness, and grace available to each of us. So, we do well to focus there. But – we cannot forget the other attributes of God that all exist in harmony, balance, and perfection: His holiness, His justice, His hatred of sin, His complete intolerance for any sin.

God presents Himself to us in the Bible as He is – not as we want Him to be.

God is totally love. He is also perfectly just.

  • Because God is just, He cannot gloss over sins and wrongdoing that offend His holiness and that wound people. He cannot pretend they don’t exist. His holiness – and His love for those sinned against – demands justice for every sinful thought, word, and deed that every person has ever committed on this earth. That is fair. That is what we deserve.
  • Because God is love, He doesn’t want us to be separated from Him. He doesn’t want us to experience hell. He doesn’t want us to be dead in our sins here on earth. He doesn’t want us to face His wrath and punishment. He warns us of the judgment which is to come over and over again in the Bible.
  • Because He is just and because He is love, God became a man – Jesus. He lived the perfect life we could not live, He died the death we deserved, and He rose from the grave and conquered sin and death on our behalf.

Now God can fully love us and maintain His perfect holiness and justice – because He, Himself, bore His own wrath against our sin. Sin has been appropriately punished and paid for. His righteous wrath has been satisfied. Now He can be in relationship with us – because when we receive Christ as our Savior and LORD of our lives, He sees Jesus and His holiness and perfection when He looks at us. So His justice, holiness, love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness all work together on the cross of Christ that we might be able to enter into an intimate spiritual relationship and become one with Him spiritually without tainting His holiness. Now He gives us a new heart, a new mind, and a new spirit – so that we can become holy as He is holy.

HELL IS NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT IN OUR CULTURE, BUT IT IS A REALITY ACCORDING TO JESUS

No one wants to talk about hell today. We would rather not think about it. But – if hell is real – what is the loving thing to do? To warn others about it now, while they still have a chance to turn to Christ, or to ignore it?

I love y’all too much to ignore this scary subject! You are each very precious to me.

Jesus spoke more about hell than He spoke about heaven. Jesus also prayed fervently that if there was some other way for us to be made right with God, that God might allow Him to avoid the cross. God’s answer was that there was no other way for us to come to Himself. There was no other way for any of us to be saved from the devastation, torment, and destruction of hell.

If hell did not exist, Jesus would have had no need to go to the cross. We want to believe that somehow, magically, everyone just ends up in heaven no matter what they did on earth and no matter how they lived. If that were true, Jesus would not have had to come to this earth to accomplish the work of the cross.

  • The bad news is – we are all sinners who deserve hell. All of us. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “The wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23).We have all sinned against a holy and eternal God. God hates sin. He does punish all sin. Those who have sin in their lives must be separated from God. That is what hell is – total separation from God and from all that is good. It is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual suffering and unending torment. According to God’s Word and according to Jesus – this is a very unpleasant reality.
  • The good news is – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Romans 6:23)!!! WOOHOO!!!!! THIS IS GREAT NEWS! Jesus took our punishment on Himself so that we might give our lives to Him, trust Him, live for Him, follow Him, love Him, and have the opportunity to know and love God through His gift of His death on the cross and His resurrection and victory over sin and death!

We don’t have to go to hell! No one has to go to hell!

Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” John 14:6

Jesus opens His invitation to everyone! PRAISE GOD that He has provided a means for us to escape hell. PRAISE GOD that He has provided a means for us to know and love Him and to have relationship, fellowship, and peace with Himself.

My prayer is that each of us might turn to Christ Jesus in faith and receive the Gift of Eternal Life that He has made available through His death, burial, and resurrection. My prayer is that we each might live wholeheartedly for Christ as LORD of our lives, giving ourselves fully to Him even as He gave Himself fully for us. This is the Great Exchange. He took on all of our sin (wrong doing) and He took our punishment. Then we get to receive Jesus’ holiness, His right standing with God, His goodness, His spiritual Life, and His inheritance in heaven. This isn’t about praying a prayer one time. It is about a lifetime of following Jesus with all our hearts and about Him radically transforming us to be more and more like Himself.

If we didn’t know about hell while we are living on earth – we would be terribly surprised when this life is over. What a gift that Jesus loved us enough to tell us about the dangers of hell and that He loved us so much that He was willing to provide a way for us to escape hell and to be with Him forever. And what a blessing that we can share God’s truth about hell and heaven, and His plan to save all of us from hell with everyone so that we might all choose Christ and avoid hell!

Another blessing of knowing about hell now is that it helps us adjust our perspective to see what is truly most important – not this temporary, brief lifetime – but the life that comes after this. This new perspective completely impacts how we spend our time here, what our priorities are, what our motives are, how we love others, how we share the powerful gospel of Jesus, and our walk with God.

RELATED:

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100 verses about heaven

Are We Trying to Be “Friends with ‘Benefits'” with God?

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“Friends with benefits”

That is a popular term today – describing a man and a woman who are not at all committed to each other in marriage, or even planning on heading toward marriage, but who are there for each other simply as “platonic friends” who have sex with each other.

Honestly, I’m not even sure that they are actually “friends.”  True friends would care about each other’s hearts and souls and about each other’s needs.  And they truly are not benefiting each other in the long run.  This whole term seems to be a misnomer in my mind – but I digress…

They meet each other’s selfish, sexual needs and desires for sexual gratification – without taking on any of the responsibilities, commitments, benefits, challenges and blessings of marriage.

Of course, when we twist God’s plan for marriage and sex inside of marriage into something we want it to be apart from His design, we make a HUGE mess.  Anytime we forfeit God’s wisdom and design and choose our own, we will suffer severe consequences.  The spiritual, emotional, mental and physical fall-out of this casual attitude toward sex is catastrophic.  We are seeing the consequences in our culture today.

I had never thought about this…

“ARE WE TRYING TO BE ‘FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS’ WITH GOD?”

Greg asked me that this week after Sunday School.

His question rocked my world.

Do we want the blessings of God, the stuff that “feels good,” the love, the mercy and grace, the joy and peace – all the fruit of the Spirit…  without taking on any of the responsibilities or commitments of becoming devoted disciples of Christ?  Without entering true Covenant with Him?

  • Is it possible that we want to accept Jesus’ death for us and His blood that was shed to pay for our sins  so that we can have abundant life and have heaven – but we don’t want to die to ourselves for Him?
  • Is it possible that we want the “stuff” God can give to us (a husband, a family, a home, a job, money, electricity, safety, protection, healing, blessings, food, medicine, friends, happiness, etc…) – but we are not willing to live with Him as LORD of our lives?
  • Do we want to continue on, living as “friends with benefits” with the world at the same time as we try to be “friends with benefits” with God – unwilling to break our ties with the world and to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to Christ alone?  Do we want to cling to the stuff the world offers to us and all the benefits of following Christ at the same time, which is, in God’s eyes idolatry (equivalent to adultery in marriage)?
  • Are we reducing the holy, omnipotent, omnipresent, just, mighty, eternal God of the universe to a “genie in a bottle” Who exists only to give us what we want when we want it?
  • Do we just want to focus on the parts of God’s character we like, and ignore the parts we don’t like, thereby creating a “god” that is more palatable to us?  Do we want to ignore God’s wrath, judgment, justice, holiness, righteousness, punishment and power?  When we do that, we have a small, little, wimpy God – that we don’t have to have any real fear of, that we need not tremble before, and that we don’t really have to obey.

We fear someone who is much bigger, stronger and more powerful than we are.   If I have no fear of God – it is because I do not know the real Him – I think He is not stronger than I am.  If I know the real God of the Bible, I will tremble in fear, reverence, adoration and respect before Him, humbling myself and exalting only Him.

God gives me my purpose,  I do not give Him His purpose.  He has His own purposes and He will fulfill them with or without my cooperation:

  • My purpose is to do God’s will.  It is not His purpose to do my will.
  • My purpose is to bring great glory to God, not to have my selfish needs met.
  • My purpose is to live by faith in God, to become one Spirit with Him, to be a vessel willing to be used by Him to accomplish His will in this world, in my family, at my work, in my neighborhood and in my church.
  • He is the Head of the church.  He gives us the directions.  We obey Him.  Not the other way around.  We submit to Him.  He does not submit to us.

GOD ASKS US TO ENTER A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, MUCH MORE BINDING THAN MARRIAGE

This is not something to enter into lightly.

  • This covenant was sealed with the blood of Jesus.
  • Jesus is MORE than WORTHY of all of my devotion, worship, adoration, obedience and service.
  • If I choose to be in a covenant with Christ, I cannot also have the world.  I must be faithful to my covenant with Him.
  • He gave up His life for me, now I lay down my life for Him daily as a living sacrifice.
  • He died for me, now I die to myself and crucify my sinful nature on the cross with Him.
  • He took on my punishment so that I could have His right relationship with God.
  • I find contentment, purpose, identity, peace and joy in Christ alone now if He is my Lord and Savior.  He is more than all I could ever need or want.
  • I forsake all other sources of contentment and set my heart on Him alone as God.  If I allow my eyes to wander or my heart to be taken by other things or other people, I am committing idolatry, which is like adultery against Him in God’s sight.

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The Respect Dare, Day 24 – Intimacy with God

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They may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1-2

SO I CAN’T TALK????

This passage is written for wives whose husbands are “disobedient to the Word.” God KNOWS men so very well. He knows that “words are for women” as marriage counselor Bob Grant likes to say. He knows that words mean little to men. Action, attitude, body language, non-verbal communication, facial expressions, tone of voice – THESE are the things that speak volumes to men.

This passage is not saying “Never ever utter a word to your husband about anything.”

The idea is – in your witnessing to your husband about Christ – do not use words.

WOMEN LOVE WORDS

Women, by nature, are VERY VERBAL! We have a huge verbal center in the brain that is highly connected to the huge emotional center in our brain. When we want things done, we use words! And we long for words from our men, too. Words of love. Words are very powerful to us.

Problem is… men are not made like women! Men have a smaller emotional center and it is not that connected to the verbal center for them. In fact, their emotional center is much more connected to the spinal cord. That is so that men are ready to fight or take action if necessary when things go badly. ie: war, dangerous jobs, protecting their families, etc.

When our husbands aren’t close to God – by our estimation – what is our biggest natural instinct?

We want to TELL him about God, explain spiritual things to him, try to argue him closer to God, try to verbally force him to become a more godly man… etc. That is what I used to do.

Words do not bring men closer to God. Our many words about the Bible, spiritual things, church, sin, and all the “godly leadership” things we think our men should be doing REPEL them from us and from God.

Read that again, please. Seriously. Because most of us DO NOT understand this. We assume our men think just like we do. And we think, “the answer to this problem is to EXPLAIN it all to him again until he admits I am right – until he understands and does what I know God wants him to do.”

Here is something I wish I knew 20 years ago. MEN DO NOT THINK LIKE WE DO! The sooner we can understand how God designed them to think and process emotions and spiritual things – and the sooner we accept God’s design and His wisdom – the sooner we can step out of the way and let God do the talking – and the sooner our men will begin to hear God’s voice. Then it is up to God and our husband how things turn out.

God is giving us a treasure here. He is giving us precious instructions that will allow us to be His partners as He works in our husbands to draw them nearer to Him! This is the way that God gives wives to influence husbands – living out their faith in God by showing respect for their husbands and by living in the power of God’s Spirit. That and prayer.

Repeat after me. This is something that took me a LONG, LONG time to get through my head.

I am not the Holy Spirit.

I am not the Holy Spirit.

I am not the Holy Spirit.

I tried to be the Holy Spirit to my husband (and many other people) for many years – and I was baffled that they did not become convicted of their sins and repent and change!

Turns out – I am just a little sinful human. I am not deity. I can’t change people. I can’t convict people. I can’t even change myself until God opens my eyes and His Spirit works in me.

TIME WITH GOD

So, the most powerful thing I can do if I want to influence my husband to draw near to God and become more and more the man God wants him to be – is to draw near to God myself and become more and more the woman God wants ME to be.

My motive must be to know God and honor Him – not to change my husband.

Here are a few suggestions about spending time with God and how to have an increasingly intimate relationship with Him:

  • Make time with God your BIGGEST priority. This will require removing other things from your schedule. It is totally worth it. There is nothing more important on this earth than our relationship with Jesus.
  • Limit distractions. If you have young children, this can be very difficult. But maybe choose a time during their nap time or a time when you are up before anyone else, or at work on your lunch break, or 10 minutes in your car before work. Or – maybe the children, if they are older, can listen while you read the word, or they could listen to the Bible being read in another room on an app like Bible.Is. Or you can have a mandatory “quiet time” in the house for Bible study for older children where they read their Bibles and have their time with God in another room if possible. Ask God to help you find solutions if this is a big challenge!
  • Humble yourself – begin by praising God. See how holy, high and lifted up He is, and how lowly and sinful we are. Acknowledge that He is wise, we are not.
  • Have a listening spirit – ask God to make you sensitive to all that He wants to say to you through the scripture and your quiet time and all throughout the day.
  • Repent of any known sin – Ask God to reveal to you anything that offends His holiness so that you can repent and turn to Him and do things His way. Refuse to cherish any sin in your heart – even grudges, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, pride, self-righteousness (looking down on others as “less than” ourselves), a critical spirit, being controlling of others, idolatry (anything that is more important to us than Jesus), gossip, ungodly motives, unkind attitudes, greed, selfishness, unbelief, worry, etc.)
  • Lay any fears or concerns at His feet and don’t pick up the emotional/spiritual weight again. Trust Him to handle those situations. This will involved exercising some potentially very weak faith and trust muscles.
  • Ask God to fill you with His Spirit. (If you have not received Jesus as your Savior and the LORD of your life and you have not committed yourself to living totally for Him for the rest of your life – please leave a comment  and we can talk about how you can have an intimate relationship with Jesus now and how you can know you will be with Him in heaven after you die! This is the most important decision of your life. Choosing to know Jesus = eternal life and paradise. Choosing to reject Jesus = eternal separation from Him in hell – according to Jesus and God’s Word. I do not want that for ANYONE!!!!!! Trusting Jesus is so very sweet. I pray you will give your life to Him today if you haven’t done that already.)
  • Read a chapter or two – or more – depending on how much time you have and how God leads you. Ask God to speak to you through His Word. Concentrate on the words. Re-read the chapter a time or two if you want to. What is God saying? Is there something you need to stop or repent of? Is there a command He wants you to obey? (We are no longer under the Law of the Old Testament – there are some laws that are helpful to us – and some that no longer apply because we are not living in the sacrificial system. Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice – but the Old Testament does contain great godly wisdom. Any command in the New Testament we do need to obey.)
  • Replace any lies of this world with the truth of God’s Word in your heart.
  • Take every thought captive for Christ all day long. Write down what you are saying to yourself. Compare it to scripture. Reject anything that is not the truth of God’s Word!
  • Meditate on scripture and memorize verses.
  • Build your entire life on Jesus Christ, His Wisdom, His power, His Truth, His Word, His will and His Glory.
  • Be willing to obey Him no matter the cost.
  • Then, listen to praise music throughout the day whenever possible and sing praises in your heart to God always.

I personally had to get to the place where I decided – I am not going ANYWHERE geographically/emotionally/spiritually until God or my husband (under God’s leadership) lead me. I am just going to wait. I am not running ahead anymore. I am going to wait on God until I am 80 years old if that is what it takes. I want His will. If He wants me to do something, He will show me what I need to do. And if He wants me to wait for the next 40+ years and that is His will – awesome. That is what I will do.

I also had to get to the place where I decided – I am throwing out ALL of the “wisdom” of the world. I am questioning everything I have learned about life, God, godly femininity, masculinity, marriage, family, being a Christian, etc… and all I want is Jesus and His truth. I do not care if I am the only one on the planet obeying Him and seeking to do things His way. I am willing to obey Him even if it is weird, even if I am ridiculed. I want Jesus. I want ALL of Him. I want His whole will and nothing but His will. I don’t want the world anymore.

DARE 24:

Desire Him more than anything or anyone else on earth. If you do NOT have that fire in your heart for Him like this – pray and BEG God for it! Long to know the presence of God. Let that be the greatest desire of your life today and every day.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

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But, I’m a GOOD Person!

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Yesterday, we looked at the wisdom of our culture, “Are Women Morally and Spiritually Superior to Men?”

We examined God’s perspective and His holy judgment of ALL people as being evil.  He says there is no one that is good (Romans 3)  He says that our best attempts to be good look like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” to Him (Isaiah 64:6)

Jesus says, “God alone is good.” Luke 18:19

That’s pretty harsh, don’t you think?

WAIT A MINUTE!  I’M A GOOD PERSON!!!

I used to think that about myself.  Actually, I would think, “I’m a GREAT CHRISTIAN!”

  • I was always in all honors classes and made all As.
  • I didn’t get in trouble at school or at home in middle/high school – except for the one time I was late to lunch b/c I waited for my friend at her locker and we both got detention hall.  I was HORRIFIED!
  • I accepted Christ when I was 5 years old.
  • I studied the Bible almost every day.
  • I loved God.
  • I prayed intently almost every day.  Some days I would pray for 4 hours per day on my days off as an adult.
  • To date, I have never even had a speeding ticket.
  • I was a perfectionist.
  • I practiced flute and piano each for one hour every day in high school.  I made it into All State Band and won piano competitions.
  • I was extremely active in my youth group at church and later taught Bible Studies and Sunday School classes.
  •  I was a leader in almost every Christian circle I was involved in.  I was one of the “best” Christians there.
  • I always went to church unless I was sick.
  • I was sure that I was the best Christian wife ever.
  • I could see God’s will so clearly – I thought.  I was so in tune with God.  I was so highly spiritual.
  • I knew what was right all the time.  If everyone would just listen to me and do what I said… they would be so much better off!
  • I only tasted alcohol (a few sips less than a handful of times – usually unintentionally – like the waitress gave me the wrong drink!)  I have never been drunk in my life.
  • I never abused drugs.
  • I never tried a cigarette.
  • I never partied in college or high school, or any time.
  • I always tried very hard to follow all the laws perfectly, and all company policies and any school rules – I tried to be perfect at them all the time.
  • I never cussed.  I never even said, “Shut up!”
  • I never said, “I hate you” to anyone.
  •  I never called anyone names.
  • I was never a racist.
  • I almost never yelled at anyone.
  • I gave blood.
  • I was super friendly and kind to others (not to my husband sometimes, but I didn’t see it)
  • I volunteered to help with many ministry projects.
  • I taught Sunday School classes.
  • I knew the Bible VERY well and had memorized many verses.

All of these things were sources of pride for me – thinking I was so great.

Let me show you just a fraction of the sin that God exposed in my soul in December of 2008

  • IDOLATRY – If you read Exodus 20, the 10 commandments, there is no worse sin than putting something else before God.  I suppose that what I was doing may also be called “blasphemy.”  Either way – I was committing CONSTANT, HEINOUS sin in my heart – every waking moment – for decades.  I set myself up as god in my heart without even realizing it.  I had a HUGE picture of myself, living as if I were sovereign and everything was ultimately in my control and up to me.  If I didn’t make things happen the way I knew they should – it would be certain disaster for me and everyone around me, I was very sure.  I had a TINY picture of God in my head.  He was wimpy, impotent, weak and incapable of orchestrating the events in my world and in the universe for ultimate good.  I did NOT understand God’s sovereignty.  I tried to carry God’s responsibilities – and it crushed me.  I set my heart on other things above Christ, too.  Not consciously – but that is how I lived.  I put my feeling loved by my husband and my husband ahead of my intimacy with Christ.  If there is something that I believe I MUST HAVE in order to be content or be ok –  and it is not Jesus Christ – I am probably committing idolatry.  As one of our ministers says, “the human heart is an idol factory.”  Idolatry is to God, what adultery is in marriage – a violation of a sacred covenant I have with Him.
  • I THOUGHT I WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT –   That has to be blasphemy of some type!  It wasn’t a conscious realization that I thought I was the Holy Spirit.  I thought it was my duty to tell others what to do and convict them of their sins and make them do God’s will.  I didn’t understand that God handles all of that – it is not remotely my place to try to do His job.  Only God can change people.  Only God can open people’s spiritually dead eyes.  NOT ME.
  • UNBELIEF – Jesus describes this as the unforgivable sin.  If I trust myself, not Him – that is HUGE.
  • PRIDE – I really believed I knew better than my husband ALL THE TIME.  I also believed I knew better than everyone else around me all the time.  And, actually, I believed I knew better than God what needed to happen in my life and others’ lives.  And I set myself above God’s Word deciding that I was exempt from some things.  I don’t know how God measures pride, but mine was off the charts.  Probably much like Satan’s.  God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  James 4:6  God Himself opposed me all those years. That is why I didn’t see answers to my prayers, even though I actually was praying for things that were God’s will.  My motives were evil, selfish and prideful.
  • GOSSIP – probably no need to elaborate here.  But this is ugly sin in God’s eyes, too, and it hurts so many people.
  • DISRESPECT OF GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY – I believed I knew better than my parents growing up.  I just knew they needed my wisdom and help to raise my siblings.  I believed I knew better than my teachers.  I believed I knew better than my pastor and Sunday School teachers.  I believed I knew better than my husband.  I did not trust God to lead me through the God-given authority He placed in my life.  I believed I should make my own decisions because no one else was nearly as spiritually mature as I was. I knew it was my place to criticize, condemn and judge those in authority over me if I did not agree with them.  I had a critical spirit.  I put myself in God’s place to judge other people.
  • DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD – I tried to forgive.  I knew I was supposed to.  But I couldn’t.  I held on to resentment and bitterness and unforgiveness.  I believed I was above having to forgive others.  God Himself would forgive – but I didn’t think I should have to.  I disrespected my husband all day every day – unintentionally – but I wounded him deeply, nonetheless.  I had no idea what respect even was – or that it was my husband’s primary need in our marriage – or that there was a whole world of masculine respect I was totally oblivious to.  I didn’t actually honor my husband’s leadership, as God commanded me to.  I tried to force my husband to do what I said.  I tried to control him.
  • SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS – I looked down on my husband as being spiritually inferior to me.  I thought I was so much better than he was.  That is the sin Jesus spent so much time confronting in the Pharisees.  He spent WAY MORE TIME rebuking those prideful, self-righteous religious leaders than He did rebuking lust, adultery, murder or any of those “big sins.”
  • HATRED – I held on to grudges and hatred sometimes for years.  I John 4:19-21 says “We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  (brother here means, any fellow human being).  I John 3:15 says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.”

I was living under the control of the sinful nature. That is why I didn’t have God’s Spirit filling me with His peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

That is why I was full of anxiety, worry, fear and stress. Being a controlling person, thinking you HAVE to make everything work out right and that the world depends on every word and action you say and that you are in charge, not God – is STRESSFUL!!!!!!!!!  It is too much weight for a person to bear!  Also, trying to control my marriage and husband was exhausting.  I buckled under the strain.  And I resented my husband because I was carrying all that weight.  It was a very lonely way to live.

I owed Jesus BILLIONS of “sin dollars.”  It turns out that I am a wretched sinner.  I  TOTALLY deserve hell – just as much as any criminal.  I had SO much nasty sin in my heart in the sight of God. That is what I had earned for myself in the sight of the One, true, holy, righteous, just, loving, sovereign God.

I THANK AND PRAISE GOD that He opened my eyes to this truth, so that I could get on my face and humble myself and repent and ask Him to give me a new heart and a new mind.

I cannot appreciate the heinousness of sin until I see the holiness and character of God.

He LOVES us.  We are so utterly evil, yet His love is so unfathomable, that He wouldn’t leave us in our doomed position.  He made a way for us to return to Him.  He made a way for His justice to be satisfied by allowing all of His holy wrath that we deserved to fall on His perfect Son.

He can rescue us from our sinful, wretched state.  He can cause us to be  “born again” into His kingdom.  He is willing to raise us to new life by the power of the blood of Jesus, shed for us.  I can’t earn God’s favor.  I can’t earn heaven.  I can only earn hell.

But, THANK YOU, GOD!!!!!  Jesus paid my debt in full for me.  If I will turn to Him in faith, admitting my sin and guilt, asking for His forgiveness, accepting His death for the payment for my sins – He will forgive me and wipe away all of my sin.

Then I surrender myself to Him as my LORD for the rest of my life.  He is in charge of my life now, not me.  I die to myself-  I give up my wisdom, my ways, my desires, my will, my dreams.  I pick up His wisdom, His ways, His desires, His will and His dreams. He gives me a new heart that longs to obey Him and that loves what He loves and hates what He hates.  All I have is now His.  And all He has is now mine.  HE IS MY LIFE NOW.  HE IS MY GOD.  HE IS ALL I NEED.  If I have Him, I can be full of joy, peace and contentment.  He alone can satisfy.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

You can also check out sermons about having a relationship with Christ, salvation, and many other topics 

www.desiringgod.org by John Piper

www.radical.net by David Platt

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DYING TO SELF

If you want to talk about finding a real relationship with Christ, finding peace with God, knowing Christ, finding out about how to accept His gift for you – leave me a comment. 🙂

 

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