1 Peter 5: 6 - 10, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. NKJV
In the book of Proverbs, we're instructed to place our complete trust in the Lord instead of leaning on our own understanding. As Christians, we must be willing to acknowledge God in ALL our ways and allow Him to direct our steps or decisions in life. It is God who has given us the privilege of having free-will. However, apart from the wisdom of God, and since we have the freedom of choice, we run the risk of making poor and even destructive decisions in life.
God tells us in Deuteronomy that He has set before us death and life, and He counsels us to choose life so that we and our children might live. Having stated this let me ask you a probing question. Are you pleased with your life? Do you believe the life that you are living is God's best for you, or are you living in bondage? You see; humans have a tendency to take life as it comes, not really challenge it, until it gets to be overwhelming.
Many times in the Word of God, we're told that we will reap the fruit of our choices and suffer the consequences of wrong actions. Therefore, we must be careful to allow God's Word and Spirit to have entrance into our hearts so that we can discern the difference between a bad decision and a good one. God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. If we should reject God's principles by not applying them to our everyday lives, then we will walk in spiritual darkness and stumble (stumble means to transgress or sin).
Even though God knew the dangers of giving men a free-will, He loved us enough to give us that freedom. God wants us to choose freely to accept and love Him with our whole heart. Nevertheless, if we decide to ignore God and His love for us, we will pay the price for our decision. We must all come to the place in our life where we're willing to turn to the Lord for direction and spiritual protection; we must forsake our ways for His.
It's not enough to say, "I will turn to the Lord and accept His will." We must also choose to forsake our old ways, old thoughts, and old habits in exchange for His ways. If we decide not to give up that flesh nature, we will FALL short of God's best for us. Instead of choosing to decrease and crucify self, it's simply easier for our flesh nature to add Jesus to our ways. Consequently, the door of our hearts will be left open for the lies of Satan to enter through the old ways of our flesh nature.
In order for the principles of life (God's life in us) to operate at an optimal level, we must be willing to discipline ourselves to come into agreement or alignment with God's Word. If we should fail to transform our ways by applying God's Word, the Word will have very little to no impact on our lives. Therefore, we are instructed to "take no thought" when placing our complete trust in God and His Word. Satan will speak lies from your old ways and try to get you to act the same way you always have so that he can neutralize the power of God's seed from impacting your life.
On a practical level, I have watched Christians who knew God's Word up one side and down the other decide to give themselves over to the desires of their flesh rather than fully obey God's Word. Consequently, they suffer great loss. Instead of allowing the Sword of the Spirit (WORD) to circumcise their hearts of the fleshly ways, they decided to obey their lusts and live in bondage to Satan's lies. James said, "When I know the good that I should do and do not do it, then it becomes sin to me." Whatever is not of faith is sin, and sin will destroy our lives.
So the next time you face a decision that requires you to die to the flesh and live for God's glory, choose life that you might live and possess the promises of God.
Living by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery