That Person in the Mirror


When is the last time you have pondered deeply about your relationship with God? We do not hesitate to stay organized and take inventory of our material possessions because we consider this a wise investment of our time. Why? Because it is good to know what we have, what condition it is in and what we need in order to be more aware and prepared. We are “protecting” our investments and being a wise steward over our estate. However, for some reason, we forget about the internal warehouse of thoughts, reasons, secrets and intentions that is piled and filled with unorganized clutter, which by the way we also own. When the mind and heart is in shambles, it can distort how we think and feel about everything. We all take in so much information similar to a hoarder that collects meaningless “stuff” but cannot bear the thought of parting with it. There are places within us that often go un-touched because maybe we are unlearned about certain things or just not willing to deal with it or do not care about it. Whatever the case, the point is that all of these thoughts and attitudes have a direct influence on the way we think and the way we feel. For example, a very important “fruit” of being a disciple is to live in a state of freedom and joy but if we are entangled and cluttered with negative thoughts, stress, worry, fear and sin, we can unknowingly be dialing up our emotions while dialing down our relationship with Jesus – (our true power source). The idea behind this way of thinking is that there is only room for one chair on the throne of our heart and usually our will has his bottom glued to it! The great question of the hour; how do we cast him OFF our throne and invite Christ to take His place there? It is simple yet excruciating – we must want to do it!

I understand there are many voices trying to distract us from God’s voice and turn our eyes away from Him. We use these excuses constantly and I am not saying they are not real but the problem of this merry-go-round tug of war will never change until we stop playing hide and seek with our flesh. The person who is overweight and trying to lose some pounds has no excuse for hanging around a donut shop the same as person with a problem with lust would go to a strip club to meet some friends. The desires and addictions that we love will always have the power to control us until they become dead to us! The concept of salvation declares that the old nature dies and we become a new creation in Christ and in the symbolism of baptism, we are immersed into Jesus as we go into the grave with Him and are made ALIVE in the resurrection of a brand new life! Our Spirit goes from a hopeless condition of death to a spiritually transformed new spirit that has eternal LIFE! But now wait a minute; I thought our old “nature” was also changed. Well, the idea is that since we are now “possessed” with Christ within our heart that we would not have the old desire to sin but rather we would want to live holy as He is holy. This is true to certain point, but much of our appetite for sin is connected to just how close we want to live with God. Even though we have been given salvation by grace and are forgiven through the blood of Jesus, we ALSO have a free-will that can “elect” who we want to sit on the throne of our heart. Whoever sits on the throne of our heart is the LORD of our life.

It seems that many people have become confused with the conditions of salvation by believing that all they need to do is raise their hand and accept Christ as their Savior. This can happen if we are being drawn by the Holy Spirit after we have been convicted by God’s Word and we should be forever grateful. Those that have been truly saved should realize they have entered into progressive relationship with the Lord that agrees to humbly yield their control so that He can live through us. If we continue after we are born-again to hold on to our will, then we will live defeated and are in store for some rough discipline from our Father. If we have settled on living however we want and just settle for a religious carnival ride, we can slowly become filled with the confusion and misery of carnality. I can envision a hot air balloon that is tied down with many ropes and as each one is cut – the vessel is allowed to rise. Our deep commitment to being in control is holding us down and not allowing us to grow and develop into the higher spiritual levels where God can use us. I realize it is very difficult to let go of the steering wheel and live by faith and trusting Him to be our pilot but that is exactly His desire. This process will start with prayer and will be maintained through prayer. Without a constant Holy Communion with Him in the depths of the secret place, we will remain entombed within our rebellious cocoon.

Beware of allowing stress to twist us up in knots until we are ready to explode. When our joy has been drained, we automatically become influenced with fear and sadness. This heaviness of discouragement and depression causes us to look and sound like a lost sinner without any hope or peace. We begin to forget about praying and worshipping because life becomes more of a survival than a celebration. We still “believe” in God but instead of being an overcomer that is helping Him in His Kingdom, we can easily become a hindrance and a representative of defeat and negativity. When you look at your relationship with Jesus, what is the primary motivating factor in why you follow Him? Do you follow only as long as you get your needs met, or do you follow Him regardless of the cost? This simple question shows why most people say they are a believer (as long as it is easy) and only a few are determined to be a disciple even though the journey requires serious sacrifice. Let us turn to the book of James as we continue thinking about our need to take a personal inventory of our soul. “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any man be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass (mirror). For he beholdeth himself, and goes his way and straightway (immediately) forgets what manner of man he was.” (James 1: 22-25) This is the condition of many hearts today. We have heard God’s Word so many times that some have become “numb” to the realization that God is speaking to them. This is because we have drifted away from His presence which has left us LESS sensitive to His voice. It does not matter how much we know – it is how much it is causing us to DO His will. Selah.

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