Monday, November 24, 2008

Words of Encouragement

In the cell group I lead we did a study from the book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss "Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that set's them Free."  (I would suggest you purchase this book if you do not have it).  This week I wanted to share some of the things we learned that might help you in your walk.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. - 2 Corinthians 4:17

The Lie - God should fix all my problems
The Truth - God desires more to glorify himself in us, even if that means he has to allow us to face some difficulties to accomplish it. This sometimes is difficult for us to accept.  We believe that as followers of Christ we should not have to go through difficult times that everything will be good.  You hear the catch phrases, "too blessed to be stressed" (the funny thing is the woman that created this isn't even a Christian, but that's another thing). If we understand the truth of God's word we understand that we will go through difficulties but we have the assurance of God that we will not be alone, he will be with us every step of the way.

Prayer: Lord we thank you for being with us through everything we face.  You are good in the good time but you are also good our bad times.  You are always the same.  Help us to understand that we do not have to fret if we go through difficulties.  Help us to know you are only using our difficulties to grow us more into the image of your Son. Help us today to reflect Jesus.

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. - Romans 6:14

The Lie - I cannot walk in consistent victory over sin.
The Truth - If I am a child of God I do not have to sin.  God's perfect gift of his Son freed us from sin.  It did not stop there, however.  God's Spirit was given to us to help us follow the things of God.  In our selves we could not walk victoriously.  The truth is we are now free and we can live for Christ because the Spirit equips us to.  If you are tempted or drawn away we cannot say it is because of lack in God's power but it is our own selfishness that draws us away from what is right before God.  We have been given the tools to stand and the way out of those temptations.

Prayer: Lord today forgive me for any sinful act you have shown me in my life.  Then I ask that you would strengthen me and help me to walk in the truth that I do not have to give in to sin.  Help me to walk freely and victoriously as you have made available to me.  Help me to live by the Spirit and to walk by the Spirit.  Help me to let go of trusting in my own ideas and myself.  Help me to look like you Son.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. - Psalm 5:3

The Lie - I can make it without consistent time in the Word and in prayer.
The Truth - It is impossible for me to be what God wants without developing a relationship with him.  I need to pray and to seek him in his word.  How else will I know his will?  How else will I know if I am lining up with what he requires?  If I do not take the time to seek him I will become weak.  My Spirit man will not be able to overcome the temptations of flesh.  This feeds into the second lie we talked about yesterday.  You will not be able to overcome sin in you life if God is not the priority of your life.  Nothing can take the number one place of him otherwise you find yourself spiritually dying.

Prayer: Lord today help me to seek your priority for my day.  What do you require me to do?  I sometimes create my own schedule without seeking you forgive me for that. Help me from this day forth to seek you first and then you will add all else that needs to be added.  Help me to look more like you Son who rose early to seek you and to be about his Fathers will.

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Lie - I cannot control my emotions.
The Truth - I do not have to be controlled by my emotions.  I can make the choice to give thanks to God in all my circumstances good or bad.  I can choose to follow God with a joyful heart even if my emotions are raging and I am hurting.  Is it easy?  Not at all, but it can be done.  This is why we can rejoice we do not have to be alone in the struggles we face.  We can take captive every imagination.  We can take captive every emotion.  In ourselves?  No.  With the power of the Holy Spirit? Yes!  God will give us what we need so that our raging emotions can be placed under control.  So we can no longer use the excuse someone made me mad so I have a right to be where I am.  Some one may anger you but you have to decide how you will respond.  Will your flesh show or will you look like God's Son?

Prayer: Lord help me today.  I have allowed at times my anger to be victorious in my life but I do not want that to happen again. Help me to give thanks in all circumstances.  Even if I simply give thanks that I did not lose my temper but took it under control.  Help me Lord to reflect Jesus in all that I do even where my emotions are concerned.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. - Luke 6:45

The Lie - If my circumstances were different, I would be different.
The Truth - My circumstances do not make me what I am they only reveal who I am. The scripture says that if good things are stored in the heart they will come out.  If evil things that is what will flow forth from our hearts.  What this tells us is that our situations and circumstances simply show us who we really are.  It will reveal what is hidden in our hearts.  If I become frustrated and untrusting when my finances are low that comes from my heart.  May then we should look at our circumstances differently.  If we remember earlier this week we looked at the lie that God should take care of all our problems.  May he is allowing this problem because he needs it to reveal to you that there is untrust in your heart towards him.  When you learn to trust him he very well may deliver you from the problem.  I think he will not deliver you until he has glorified himself through what has been removed from your heart.  We must begin to see ourselves through our circumstances for who we are and then who do we want to become?  Is my "Jesus" showing?

Prayer: Lord we thank you that even in the midst of difficult situations you use them to remove those things that are evil or unlike you.  You help them to draw us closer to you and to reveal who we are under pressure.  It is wonderful to think we are holy in the good time, but you want to show us what we are really like through the bad times.  Help us to give thanks in all things and at all times.  Help us to see that you want to show us we can have control over our emotions, over sin and any other lie that keeps us from drawing closer to you.  Set us free with your truth so we can look like your Son, Jesus.