Let’s get this straight. There is a BIG difference between a Christian guy and a Man of God. The Christian guy might say that he loves you; but a Man of God will love God more than you. A Christian guy might text you Bible verses or have a tattoo of them; but a Man of god will live out those verses and have them written on his heart. A Christian guy might go to church; but a Man of God will see that his highest calling is to give Christ glory. A Christian guy might “accidentally” compromise your virtue or purity; but a Man of God will protect it above all else. A Christian guy might be super attractive, fun, or handsome; but a Man of God will have a beautiful heart, regardless of his looks. A Christian guy might be content to take you out, but a Man of God will go beyond the superficial and hold you up before God in his prayers continually.
So don’t settle for just a Christian guy but for a Man of God. And long to be the kind of woman of God who will attract a man like that.
I am sure most of us, if not all, have some kind of struggle in our life. If not in our finances, then in sickness or broken relationships. Maybe loneliness, depression, or something personal. We have our days of strong faith, and other days we feel discouraged and down in the valley. But looking back upon the last few years of my life, trying to see the bigger picture, I must confess that many of the following were common traps I fell into from time to time:
1. We are more concerned with solving our problems than we are with finding God. Think about the 10 lepers in Luke 17. Nine of the 10 found what they were looking for: healing only. One returned to spend time in the PRESENCE of the God that healed him. Does that sound like us?
2. We are more concerned with finding ourselves than we are in finding God. We have been so hurt by this life and by people in this life, that we have been building walls around our hearts for decades. God wants those walls removed. Little by little he is chipping away those walls, to get into every hidden room of our hearts. Does it hurt? Yes!! Is it necessary? Of course. The end result? A soft heart of flesh, ready to love and be loved as if we’ve never been hurt. Jesus had been hurt like no other person on earth. Yet He loves unconditionally – as if He has never been betrayed!
3. We have a desire to fix life. Compare Enoch with Lamech.
Genesis 5:24 “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” So simple! Enoch walked with God. Wow. I love that. Enoch simply walked with God. And the Lord simply took him away and he escaped death.
Genesis 5:28: “Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed.” 31 So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died.”
See the difference? Walking with God versus trying to solve problems by yourself.
4. We value the healing of our pain more than the PARDON OF OUR SIN. The two criminals on the cross next to Jesus….yes, the one mocked him and the other one believed. But think deeper. The one realized that his sin needed to be pardoned first and foremost. He looked past his own pain and suffering and just knew that his sin was MORE EVIDENT than the agony he was going through. I am convinced that the words “you will be with me in paradise” were sweeter than a rescue from the cross would have been for him at that moment. He saw his sin and craved forgiveness. The other criminal though, mocked Jesus because he believed that Jesus was UNABLE TO SAVE HIM FROM SUFFERING. Sounds like the world? And aren’t we also falling in the same trap sometimes? We need to be comfortable, healed, prospered NOW, no matter what God is doing in our lives? Come on!!
5. We want answers more than we want God. We want to know WHY, LORD? Why me? Why my child? Why is this happening to me? I’m living my life for You, Lord. I need a break. I think our loving Father will some day in heaven play a video of these thoughts to us, and only then will we see how trivial our questions were in the bigger picture…. and hopefully our Father will have a sense of humor No seriously, we need to get over ourselves. If God has not healed you and me or hasn’t opened that door YET, there is a reason for it. May He have something better in mind? Or we may think we have laid down everything, but have we REALLY? In my own life I can testify how He is drawing me closer into His arms….just when I think it is just not possible!
6. We look for a PLAN to follow, rather than a PERSON TO TRUST!
The most organised among us will struggle the hardest with this. We love to plan our lives. We need to see ahead! We are being taught in the Western World to have goals and to think about our future. And because of this we try to apply the same principles to our Christian lives. Think about the rich young ruler in Matthew 19. “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus was nothing but a good teacher to him – Jesus said no one is good but God – was He trying to give him a clue as to who He really was? If He is good then….He surely is God! The young man was looking for a formula to get into heaven. Little did he know that he was standing in the presence of the Life-Giver. Jesus could have answered by saying “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. But He didn’t He showed the young man that he would never succeed by following a 10-point plan. He showed him that it is IMPOSSIBLE to inherit eternal life by your own works or by keeping the law – within yourself. But how UNNECESSARY for the man to go away sorrowful, when he actually found the Resurrection and the Life in human form! AND US? Don’t we do the same in our own lives? Strive and live for eternal life in the FUTURE, when our life with God starts NOW! In this moment!
So where do we go from here?
1. Believe God is good ALL THE TIME. He sees the big picture. We DON’T.
2. SEE THE OTHER SIDE OF HEBREWS 11. Not just the famous first part, but the infamous rest: “But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”
3. Understand that the best place to find God is in the valley, not on the mountain.
4. Realize that the path that brings you closer to God has to involve pain. Take up your cross and follow Me, remember? John 15: “He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” Ouch.
5. Future hope is more valuable than present relief.
6. Questions give way to worship. Think about Job. He had all these questions for God. But after God challenged him, those questions made way to worship! He worshiped God in word and in deed. He stopped feeling sorry for himself and started to pray for his friends – and God restored all that he had two fold.
Let’s remember that we want to spend eternity in the presence of God - getting to know Him, his grace, love AND righteousness. We’re not just interested in mansions, a painless life and streets of gold. Our Savior deserves our time, love adoration and worship. He is drawing us closer into His arms – because He is after intimacy with you – not just a part of you, but ALL of you! ♥
***If your Pastor is NOT preaching the Kingdom to come and preaches the Kingdom now…. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG CHURCH!!!!***
» And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23)
» And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues,preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Matthew 9:35)
» Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
***If you Pastor only speaks about the LOVE of GOD and not about the WRATH of GOD….. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG CHURCH!!!!!***
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
***If you Pastor tells you that your faith determines what car you drive and how big is your home….. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG CHURCH!!!!!***
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
***If you Church is not EVANGELIZING (Preaching the Gospel) as it is commanded to do…… YOU ARE IN THE WRONG CHURCH!!!!!***
» [Jesus] said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43)
» Now it came to pass, afterward, that [Jesus] went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings [gospel] of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1)
» And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
***If you church is not caring for or feeding the poor….. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG CHURCH!!!!!****
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
***If your church does not take care of the orphans and widows….. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG CHURCH!!!!***
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
***If all your church does is ask for MONEY and MORE MONEY to pay bills and make ends meet it is because is not doing what the church is called to do; therefore IT IS NOT ORDAINED OF GOD!!!!!***
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak [a]from want, for I have learned to be [b]content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things [c]through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Preaching means (Public Speaking) if the COMFORT OF YOUR BUILDING is such that the GOSPEL is NOT THE PRIORITY ANYMORE and all you concern yourself with is how to pay the bills; then give up your COMFORT pick up YOUR CROSS and PREACH (PUBLIC SPEAKING) the Gospel on the streets in public places it doesn’t require money or rent or up keeping. Who says you need a building or luxuries to preach the LIVING WORD OF GOD. Maybe then GOD will start providing supernaturally for the sake of the GOSPEL. Or are you ABOVE The PRIMITIVE CHURCH that changed the whole World without the money and the luxuries of the world today.