Who is in Control?

We mentioned that the soul is the seat of the mind, emotions and will. Before we come to receive Christ as Savior and Lord, our soul is functional. However, we are spiritually dead to God. That means that Satan is pretty much free to use the “control center” (our mind, emotions and will) for his own ends. When we are born again and our Spiritual life is restored, Jesus enters the “control center.” He begins to renew the mind, moves us to control our emotions and use our wills to do right. Obviously, the devil tries to retain control. We need help to resist him. And God provides that help! Our minds are strengthened by input from God’s Word. Prayer brings God’s help. We learn to let God’s Holy Spirit control our emotions. Instead of just giving in to our emotions, we learn to trust God and His promises and purposes. Here’s the really hard part: Satan tries to move our will, to will what he wants us to will . God, on the other hand, intends for our wills to be disciplined to obey and apply Scriptural principles. As we determine to obey and apply God’s Word, instead of “giving in” to sinful desires, the more the devil’s hold on us is weakened. We are: “….strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” (From Ephesians 3:16). Adalaide A. Pollard gave us the prayerful hymn, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” Two stanzas speak especially to how Jesus is to be in charge of our “control center:” “Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Hold o’er my being absolute sway. Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see Christ only, always, living in me!” Selah! As we align with God’s Word and draw on His strength, Satan will be less and less able to use our “control center.”  Yield all control to Jesus.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

 

Our Control Center

One very important part of our humanity is our soul. This is the seat of mind, emotions and will. It is our heart (our control center). It seems to work something like this: outside or external stimuli is received in the brain. From there, it reaches the mind (our inner self or heart). Next, it stirs the emotions. Finally, the will must make a decision. It must choose between right and wrong. While the spirit is still dead to God, the will most often gives in to its sinful desires. When our spirits receive the life of God, Satan loses much of his use of our control center. Nevertheless, he fights to retain every inch of the ground that he has held. Now, however, God begins to take over control. He begins renewing our minds by the transforming power of His Word. As this progresses, our desires begin to be purified; our emotions start to become centered in our Loving Savior and our love for Him. Our wills start to choose God’s way and His will. If we fail to spend quality time with God each day and fail to internalize His word, Satan is quick and clever to retake some of our minds, emotions and wills. This is why we must be: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5). As we use God’s means, the devil loses more and more of his grip on our lives. Let our determination be that of Judson W. Van De Venter that is found in his hymn, “I Surrender All.” Let our commitment be: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His Presence daily live. All to Jesus I surrender, make me, Savior, wholly Thine; let me feel Thy Holy Spirit, truly know that Thou art mine. All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me. I surrender all, I surrender all; all to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” Selah! Constantly yielding our wills to the will of God, as we find it in His Word, will move Satan closer and closer to eviction from our lives. Let His Word discipline our wills to choose His will.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com


Triple Dedication

Man is a three part being. Paul knew this. In fact, in I Thessalonians 5:23, he indicates that he is praying for them (and us): “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and (I pray God) your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This verse reminds us that we are spirit, soul and body. As mentioned in an earlier article, “spirit” gives God consciousness, “soul” gives us self consciousness and “body” gives us world consciousness. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our previously “dead” spirit is made alive to God once more. The Holy Spirit brings God’s life into our spirit. Our “soul” has to do with our mind, emotions and will. Our “body” makes it possible to function in this world. Here’s the “kicker:” God has a legitimate claim on our whole being, if we are born again: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (which is) in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20-See also Romans 12:1). Paul declared that he wanted God to set us apart (sanctify us) completely. He also wanted us to be securely and entirely blameless. The whole concept of discipleship calls for us to be disciplined in our whole being. God willing, we’ll look at each part of ourselves and wrestle with the will of God for each part. In the second stanza of, “Love Lifted Me,” James Rowe spoke of the commitment that we are to make: “All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling, in His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing. Love so mighty and so true merits my soul’s best songs; faithful loving service, too, to Him belongs.” Selah! If we are His, we want Him to guide, control and purify our lives, so that we can reflect His splendor!    Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com


In Time?

Time is of extreme importance to us. We have a limited amount of it. Nevertheless, we go on as if we have vast amounts of time. However, we are never more than one heartbeat away from eternity! It is even more incomprehensible that we just let time go by. We are “caught” in its current. It carries us along and we don’t resist. In fact, we seem to be blissfully unaware of what is happening. Only when we look back later in a quiet moment do we ask: “Where did the time go to?” Are you, am I just swept along in the flow of time? Paul’s inspired exhortation in Ephesians 5:16 was that we are to be: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” In Proverbs 27:1, we are warned: “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” In Psalm 90:12, the Psalmist prayed: “So teach (us) to number our days, that we may apply (our) hearts unto wisdom.” (If anyone reading this hasn’t received Jesus as his or her Savior and Lord, there is only one moment when you can be guaranteed escape from eternal judgment: Now!) “….behold, now (is) the accepted time; behold, now (is) the day of salvation.” (From II Corinthians 6:2). Christian, It’s time to take charge of your allotted time on earth, and not just go with the flow! Our first and foremost matter of importance is to spend time with Him. Then, learn to make wise use of our time on earth. Plan each day with His guidance and to be used in His ways. He gives us the responsibility to use the time, as He directs us to do. “Take my moments, blessed Jesus; keep them for me ev’ry day, till they grow with life and beauty; fill them with Thy praise always. Keep them for Thy use, dear Saviour, as they pass so swiftly by; let them shine thro’ years of service with a glory from on high. Just the moments, but they may be touched with God’s electric love, till they bear some flaming message from the mercy-seat above. Take my moments, keep them ever, consecrated, Lord, to Thee; use them, make each one a blessing garnered for eternity.” (“Take My Moments, Blessed Jesus“-By Lizzie DeArmond). Selah! Resist time’s current; anchor to the Rock of Ages!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at Knowingtheway1@gmail.com

 

Who is He? Does Anyone Know?

It was a Sunday Morning Service. It was almost time to start. The young man quickly moved to his pew.  As he started to sit, an unfamiliar face approached. “Anyone sitting here with you?” the person asked. The young man told him that he wasn’t saving a place. “May I?” he asked the young man. “Certainly.” came the reply. They sat side by side. The young man was so engrossed in the service that he was only vaguely aware of the person sitting with him. When the service concluded, the older man asked if he could have a few minutes of the young man’s time to discuss some things. Apologizing, the young man explained that he couldn’t right now. He had to help count the offerings and help pick up in the sanctuary. The older man then mentioned some other days of the week, asking if any of those would be available in order for them to talk. Apologizing for being so busy, the younger man explained that on Monday, he was teaching a Bible Study. Tuesday, he had choir rehearsal. “Wednesday?” “Sorry, that’s Prayer meeting.” The young man added that Thursday and Friday, he was responsible to take the youth group on a trip. “What about Saturday,” the older man asked hopefully. Once again apologizing, the young man explained that Saturday was for evangelizing. Before leaving, the older man handed the young person a paper. Downcast, he slipped away. Glancing at the paper, the young man read: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God. There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God, a place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God. There is a place of full release, near to the heart of God,  a place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.” (“Near to the Heart of God-Cleland Boyd McAfee). Jesus offers us His Presence! Selah! Let’s not be so busy “working for the Lord” that we don’t find time to be with Him!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com


Truth is Not “Private Property.”

One of the major “fallouts” from our culture, media and educational system is that God is ignored or shifted to the “back burner.” As a whole, we have rejected His authority and substituted ourselves to be our authority. If not ourselves, we listen to someone that we believe “has it right!” The result is a lack of reliable truth or even an inability to understand truth. Many have fallen for the foolish assumption that truth for us can be a different truth for someone else. If we are talking about things like physical differences, interests, preferences, etc. then there are things that would be true for different people. When, however, we are talking about God’s laws, values, standards, teaching, etc. we are talking about absolute Truth! Think about how foolish it would be to say that what God says may be true to you, but it’s not necessarily true to me. Consider someone who tells you that his or her truth is that 2 + 2 = 5. Or someone who is told by the IRS that it is true that he or she owes $500.00 dollars and they tell the IRs that their truth is that they owe $200.00. How far would that fly? What is really being said by those who consider truth to be relative is that they want to believe what they want to believe, even if it is not true. What God says in the Bible is absolute Truth, even if it is not believed to be Truth. God determines Truth even if we refuse to believe it!  As the Apostle Paul declared in Romans 3:4: “….let God be true, but every man a liar.”  In the hymn, “Precious Bible,” Daniel S. Warner offers these timeless and wise thoughts: “O precious Bible! burning words from heaven, we’ll ever cherish thee in our heart; sweet is the counsel by thy pages given: on life’s dark ocean, our only chart. This book of heaven shall endure forever; and from its wisdom we’ll never turn; weighed in its balance, all the creeds that sever are only stubble, ere long to burn. Dear book of mercy, on thy sure foundation we build a dwelling-place for our soul; hearing and doing all thy revelation, it stands unshaken, though billows roll.” Selah! A life built on anything other than God’s Truth in the Bible will end up lost, forever!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

 

In Process

An amazing thing happens when a person yields to Jesus as his or her Savior and Lord. The Bible calls it: “born again.” However, it is not just a Bible phrase. It goes beyond that; it is an actual experience!  For some it might be emotionally intense, for others it might not be something they are aware of consciously. The fact remains that when we truly enter into a saving relationship with Jesus, when we are born again, a miracle of gigantic proportions is accomplished in us! We are actually “Spiritually” born into God’s family. God’s nature enters our inner being. God has come to be our Heavenly Father. He is teaching us, training us, disciplining us, guiding us, loving us, encouraging us, correcting us, helping us, providing for us and preparing us for an eternal destiny. We are being shaped and molded for Heaven. Perfection awaits us! That means, we are destined to be like Jesus. First, in a legal sense, we are credited with His perfection. From that moment on His perfection is being very gradually instilled in our lives. We are in process! Paul, writing under inspiration, told the church at Rome: “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate (to be) conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30). Notice the tense of that last word: glorified! Past tense! In the purpose and planning of God, this process is already completed. We must go through the process. In God’s time, we will be completed! (See Philippians 1:6). Stanton Gavitt’s Gospel song speaks of this: “Things are different now; I was changed it must be, when I gave my heart to Jesus. Things I loved before have passed away; things I love far more have come to stay. Things are different now; I was changed it must be, when I gave my heart to Him!” And He keeps right on changing His own! Selah! He declares us: “saints.” Then, He goes on “saint”ifying us. (Sanctifying us). Little by little, we are becoming saintly. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2). Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com