Losing Yourself, Gaining Christ
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this for several years now; the many things that we do every single day that take our focus off of God. Of course, will listening to a song about drugs make me do drugs, and will watching a movie or reading a book about a murderer make me commit the crime myself; no.
It is our choice, in the end, what we will do; though it may not always be best for us, as the Apostle Paul said, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) and truthfully so!
Just because I can do something, does not mean that the thing is good for me to do. I talk about this in a manner that pertains to spiritual well-being and not physical; though even science has proven that things like music, movies, news, books, video games, etc. can have a profound negative affect on things like our self-esteem, mental proficiency and even our emotions.
I’ve seen this exact subject be the topic of debate more times than I can count, and I myself have been on the end that is criticized because it speaks against the very hunger of the flesh. “These things aren’t bad for you!” I’m sorry friend, but neither God nor science agree with you.
Am I saying that all types and genres of any of these given things will have a negative impact on your life? No, I am not! What I am saying is that we make a choice to either fill ourselves with the things of God or with the things of the world, and whatever things that we set our eyes on determines the direction in which we will go!
In the end, we are each able to make our decisions, and we cannot make decisions for anyone else nor can we make them do those things which we see fit.
You take one look at those people though, and you will see that for all of the arguing they cannot seem to see that their words contradict themselves..
An example would be, “ugh.. I’m so tired of this day..” or “Monday.. I hate Mondays,” and even “Why can nothing ever go my way?”
The answer to all of these is simple, and there is a pattern to the madness! If you, as a child of God, partake in things that are contrary to the Spirit of God in you, then you will only suffer the negatives and never really experience the joy of God that encompasses us and washes away the negative.
On the flip side, if you take someone who does focus on the Lord and does not spend any time within the trifles of the things and the ways of the world, and there is a significant difference in that persons happiness and mental stability.
I don’t need anything, or anyone to prove this; I live it on a daily basis! Having been overcome by anxiety and depression, I would often find myself questioning myself and even my life. I was rarely happy, I was losing my mind, and had almost no control over my emotions. What I have experienced, am experiencing can come from nothing less than total devotion! That IS what He said He requires, that “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Do we think that God says everything that He says just because He likes to hear Himself speak?! Certainly not! If He says anything it is for our benefit!
To put it simply; If you want God, you have to lose yourself! That means to get rid of your own desires, your own thoughts, your own wisdom, your own opinions, and your own way of life and turn to His! ONLY THEN will we see His righteousness become effective in our lives!
Those are not my words, they are His!
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” (Psalm 37:3-6)
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” (Proverbs 3:7)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.” (Romans 6:6)
“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6)
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8)
All of these, and there are many more, are perfect examples of the the faith to which we are called; that God does not ask that we do these things, but commands that we obey them and yet these commands are still not adhered to is the evidence that human opinion far often outweighs the truth of God in our society!
Do not be mistaken, God does demand absolute devotion! He will not take anything less!
Like He said, “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James 1:8) and that those who live that way should not expect anything from God (James 1:7) “Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
Double-mindedness is the opposite of faith! You cannot claim to have God and live as the world lives; JESUS CHRIST Himself said that! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24) and He also said, through Paul, that “You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.” (1 Corinthians 10:21)
And we wonder why things never go our way, while we spend more time praising our favorite musicians and actors than we do praising God! We wonder why our lives aren’t being fulfilled, all the while we trust more in the news than we do in the Lord!
You can argue with me all day about this, I won’t indulge you; I am not obligated to take part in any “foolish and ignorant disputes,” nor am I inclined to cast judgment on anyone!! It is not my place to condemn you!
Anything that you do is between you and the God of Creation! Just ask yourself this, “Is my opinion of what God says of more effect in my life than what God actually?”
When you look at the Word of God, do you look at it with bias to suit what you want, or do you look at it fearfully and reverently suiting what He demands?! He does demand these things! Don’t be mistaken, it isn’t optional if you serve Him!
“But, Josh, God gives us free will!”
Dear child, the extent of free will is to choose Him or the world! Do you not know that “to who you present yourselves as slaves to obey, that is whose slaves you are? Whether of sin leading to death, or obedience which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
He is not just talking out of His own desire to hear Himself when He says these things! He makes them very plain, and they are clear so that no one can say that they did not know!
There will be those who try to do just that! There will be those who, when they stand before God, say “‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?” and He will say to them, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” (Matthew 7:22-23)
Do not let your own opinion of what God says have any sort of impact on your life; we are not Him, and unless we put to death our opinions and our own desires we will by no means enter into His kingdom! Those are His words! “But I warn you–unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Matthew 5:20)
These men were hypocrites! They spoke as though they loved God, but they did not obey His commands, and in secret they lived for their own foolish desires! In that scripture He flat out tells us that living in that manner will get us a one way ticket to death!
It isn’t a game, we cannot con God into giving us perfect lives because we say that we love Him! He said, commanded us to “be doers of the Word, and not hearers only!” Demanding that we put into action our words because to have faith without works is to not have faith at all! “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)
If you do not agree with me, I am not harmed; it is God that we have to fear! I do ask, however, that you put aside what you think and read what He says!
It takes more effort than just going to church on Sunday!
How can you expect to know anything about God if you do not open His Word every day?! He did say “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:8)
Stop worrying about being right, or wrong! It isn’t about us! It’s about Him! If God is right, and I follow Him, then I will never be wrong because He is right!
Stop dismissing value because it seems like humility to call yourself a filthy sinner!!! Christ did NOT come and live, die, and rise again so that you could continue to be that! He came and He did those things, because to Him we have value! That value was misplaced, and He restored us to it!! Don’t allow yourself to think that our opinions of what we are, are any greater than what He came died for us to be!
D not mistake my words in this post for harshness, I assure you that I say everything I have said with nothing but love and hope for each of you! I hope that you understand that written word is much different than spoken word, and though you cannot see my expressions as I write this I am writing it in love and not in judgment!
You are free to make your own choice, and I have no right nor reason to try to determine what choice you are allowed to make; it is not for me to determine, and I would never act as though it is! I am merely speaking what I have learned, through MUCH time and energy invested into studying the Word of God!
I cannot get you to heaven, only Christ can! In fact, I pray that you seek the Lord for yourself! I hope that you will open up to Him, and lose yourself! I urge you to trust in Him, which is to be absent of yourself, because only He can really set you free! Like He said, “if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Have a great night, and God bless you all!