Are you just putting up the hash tag because it’s trending? Are you really praying or just sympathizing? See, all the sympathy in the world won’t change what has happened and standing with France or Nigeria or Lebanon or wherever there is terrorism won’t stop terrorism. Fine we are to mourn with those that mourn and there’s nothing wrong in sympathizing with France or any other place. But still are you just sympathizing or you are praying.
If you are praying, what are you praying for? The fortitude to bear their loss? The stoppage of terrorism? What are you praying for? Now, it’s important that we pray aright. Praying for terrorism to stop won’t stop terrorism. Fighting terrorism won’t stop terrorism. These are the last days and the increase in terrorism is one of the signs of the last days. The devil knows he’s lost the battle already so he’s doing all these to rattle the world and to get more unsaved souls to himself. So when we pray, we shouldn’t just pray for God to comfort those that mourn. We should pray for salvation for people in the world. We should pray for the “lost” souls who would go to hell if not reached.
More than just pray, we should go forth and minister God’s word to the people. Preach the gospel, make disciples for Christ. Use our talents to draw men unto Christ. Use all of us to exalt and lift Jesus up and He’d draw men unto Himself.
Let God love the world through us.
Let us be the light.
Jesus loves us.
When I strayed, I began to see everyone who told me what I was doing was wrong as a hater. I demonized them in my mind and even went as far as frequently issuing a warning to them. It didn’t matter who the person was. As long as you opposed my new lifestyle and choices, you became a hater and an enemy and i’d avoid them like a plague sometimes or i’d rub it in their faces that I was “having fun” sometimes.
When you move even if it’s just one step in the wrong direction and Christians around you correct you, don’t see it that they hate you. It’s the love of Christ at work in them that would make them correct you. And trust me they want the best for you because in reality you’d be saved a lot of problems by sticking to the right path.
Also as a Christian, if you see your brother straying and you refuse to speak, you are indirectly condoning evil and you’ve contributed a quota to that person’s downfall. All Christians should serve as watchmen for each other. And if we see a fellow Christian going the wrong way and we refuse to speak we are partly responsible for what happens to him/her (Ezekiel 33:6-9). I’ve heard some Christians use 1 Thessalonians 4:11 as an excuse for not speaking out against wrong doing. They say the bible urges us to mind our own business. Now, a careful study of that verse makes me understand that the bible was telling us to not be noisy and lousy, not gossip and look for faults so we can speak about and also that we should concentrate on doing our own part in the Kingdom. It tells us not to go about looking for who isn’t doing his part properly when we haven’t done our parts. Now this doesn’t stop you from “snatching” a brother/sister from fire.
FOR WHOSE GOOD?
So I got to a point in my walk with God when I began to complain about “my cross” and “the sacrifices” I had to make to follow Jesus. Thank God for correcting that mentality.
It’s become a “common” trend for Christians to feel hurt and to complain about our crosses and the sacrifices we’ve had to make to follow Jesus. But here’s the thing, these “sacrifices” are not for God’s good. They are all for our good. Example, because you love God you have to give up dressing in certain ways and you feel left out in your environment because you are surrounded by a lot of people who dress indecently? Well, dressing decently doesn’t just show you’re a Christian but reduces the risk of you being molested. Another example, because you’re now a christian, you shouldn’t smoke anymore and you’re feeling it’s a big deal that you gave that up? Well, smoking damages your lungs and not God’s. Yet another example, you’re now God’s own and you give up listening to certain kinds of music and go as far as formatting the memory card of your phone or deleting all such music and you feel it’s really a big deal? Well, don’t you know that you’d produce what you take in? How would you be able to speak the word to change situations around you or even concerning you when your mind is filled with “secular” music. The word and such music can’t comfortably coexist in the same vessel. It’s one or the other.
“Making sacrifices” and doing the right things because we love the Lord isn’t to make God feel good. No! It’s for our own good.
So there were two sayings that I used to rationalize some of the things I did when I began to backslide:
1. Only God can judge me.
2. The Christian walk is personal.
The first statement made me feel like everyone speaking against something I was doing wrong was the person who was wrong since the bible in Matthew 7:1 says “do not judge, or you too will be judged” (NIV). Well, thank God for His grace and a better understanding of that scripture. When we quote that verse without taking into account the rest of chapter, we’re bond to interpret it out of context. Reading the verses following that verse would make you get the entire picture. What that scripture means is that you shouldn’t be criticizing others when you have your own secret faults. You can correct in love but not criticize. I love the way the message Bible puts it: DON’T PICK ON PEOPLE, JUMP ON THEIR FAILURES, CRITICIZE THEIR FAULTS – UNLESS, OF COURSE, YOU WANT THE SAME TREATMENT. As such there is nothing wrong in a brother/sister seeing you doing wrong and correcting you as long as he/she doesn’t start “picking on you” and making your faults become your identity.
As for the second sentence, yes your christian walk is “personal”. It’s between you and God but have you considered that your actions may be giving “weaker” brethren a reason to stray and causing someone to stray is as good as straying yourself. Also though your walk with God is personal, He reserves the right to send someone to correct you when you’re walking in error because He loves you and He knows that if He keeps speaking you may not hear because you aren’t listening.
God loves us that’s why He speaks to us directly and has also placed brethren around us that can keep us in check.
YOU WOULD BE VIEWED, ACCESSED AND ADDRESSED BY THE WAY YOU DRESS.
When I strayed, I found it cool to dress “a bit” indecently, put on really “loud” make up and fix really long nails. It didn’t take long for me to start attracting attention – the bad type of attention. Almost every guy and even some females found me “sexy”(sexually attractive) and wanted “a piece of me”. Some were very forward about asking for what they wanted because my dress sense made me come across to them as a very loose young lady.
If you don’t want to be seen as a sex object, arousing sexual urges predominantly, then don’t dress like one.
I’ve even heard some CHRISTIANS say that what you wear doesn’t matter, that what matters is your heart condition and your relationship with God. Well, news flash! Only pure actions can come from a pure heart and God would never tell you to dress indecently. God is a jealous God and wouldn’t want His private temple to be on full display to the entire world.
Many of us suffer from the “Israelite Syndrome”. God has seen us through many big moments and brought us out of a lot of really big issues and then when we are faced with lesser issues we turn and begin to complain. Some of us even “walk away” from God preferring to seek our own solutions. If God could save us from sin, rebuke the devourer for our sakes, save us from addictions, then is it money, admission or whatever material or emotional need that we have that He can’t provide? Lack of trust leads us astray. Just trust and obey. Stay attuned to what God is currently doing. God has the solution to every need. Just ask Him and He’d show you and help you out. Let difficulties not make us deny God but let them make us love God more and cling to Him more.
You always give out what you have and you get what you have through what you take in.
The use of cuss words is never right but when I backslid I found myself using them freely. This was as a result of what I listened, read and watched and also as a result of who I constantly associated with.
When you start feeling comfortable spending a lot of time in certain places that formerly were “taboos” to you, reading certain things, watching certain things and listening to certain things then you have to be careful and run back to God immediately.
It starts by you telling yourself that there’s nothing wrong in a bit of socializing, next you start looking for “fellow Christians” who listen to “secular songs” that are replete with sex, drugs, indecency and pervasion and once you find even just one person, you convince yourself that it’s okay. Next you find watching movies with erotic scenes and profanity fun and okay. Before long, your social media feed is filled with people indecently dressed and things that are not exalting Christ. From complacency you move straight to full blown iniquity. And after sometime of consuming these things, you begin to practice everything these things talk about till it becomes second nature. And the sad part is that the more you take in, the more you crave for more and the worse you get.
Identify that “little” desire to give your time to things that do not glorify God and curb it before it grows and makes you stray away.