ASSURANCES

SPIRIT CHECK

“O soul, of all the false signs of grace, none more dangerous than those that most resemble true ones, and never doth the devil more surely destroy than when transformed into an angel of light” John Flavel (ref#333, p211).

The matter of life after earthly death is not only the most important subject to embrace but we must be aware that the temporary ruler of the earth will do everything in his power to keep us from fellowship with the eternal Ruler of all.  We need to continually check our spirit to see if we are walking with the eternal Spirit.

 

Can I tell my actions are becoming more like CHRIST?

“…there is no legitimate separation between belief and behavior.  Thus, those who profess faith but do not demonstrate any progress in godliness should question their spiritual state” (The ESV Study Bible, ref#125, p2322)

 

Are you saved by feeling you are, or by believing you are?

“…the New Testament does not insist upon feeling.  It says, do you believe; are you prepared to venture your all upon this?  So it is sufficient for you to say, ‘I live by this; whether I feel or whether I do not does not matter; we are not saved by feeling but by believing’” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, ref#332, p649).

 

Does the Bible influence you to change your ways?

“If there is one fact, or doctrine, or promise in the Bible, which has produced no practical effect upon your temper or conduct, be assured that you do not truly believe it” (Edward Payson, ref#333, p327).

 

Does thoughts of your salvation give you peace?

“Is not the doctrine of the assurance of salvation a most comfortable doctrine?…except a man be persuaded of the favour of God, and the forgiveness of sins, and consequently of his salvation, what comfort can he have in anything” (Arthur Dent, ref#333, p109)?

 

Will I persevere?—failure to do so proves I am not converted.

“…If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him…” (2 Tim 2:11-12 ESV).

 

Am I looking forward to living forever with JESUS?

“Those who have eternal life want more of it” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, ref#332, p643).

 

“…men without Christ are guiltily ignorant of God, perverse more or less in their thoughts of Him, self-idolizers even in their outward worship of Him, and strangers to His friendship” (J.I. Packer, ref#312, p61).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

BEING-PLACED-ON-THE-SHELF LEARNING

11/4/12

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.02.15 AMI have been put on the shelf with an upper respiratory infection for almost two weeks now, so what have I learned?

I have been mistaken to think I need to surround myself with GOD facts. (It only strengthens the temptation to pride—boasting in the knowledge gathered.)   I only need GOD to surround me. I go back to the J.I. Packer quote hanging on my wall, “Trustful acceptance of life as it comes, and keeping on doing what I should, are the two keys to happiness.” I need to get back to basics.

I have discovered my naivety is much greater than I imagined. In college I put in time sitting at my desk and thought that was all it took to study. Too, I thought that reading was all I had to do—pronouncing each word in my head—and not thinking at all about understanding what I read. So now, I find I’m doing the same thing: writing and reading prayers with no thought of internalizing them.

I suppose all this faulty thinking comes from being steeped in Pharisee-ism—being an actor on the stage of life—outward activity with no inward conviction.

I’ve been reading and writing too fast—like gathering and stuffing food in my mouth but not digesting it. I’ve been rattling on to GOD so much that I’ve not allowed GOD to make any comments back to me. I have a couple acquaintances that talk so much they forget to stop to let me answer. This is exactly what I have been doing with GOD!!

In the wake of being laid up not able to research and write, I have gone to memorizing Scripture. But, I have been doing the same thing with memorization!—I’ve been memorizing but not using the thoughts of Scripture productively in my life.

I have left the SPIRIT in the dust—using my brain to guide me instead of the SPIRIT. Again it’s my flesh, my natural mind that thinks it can move faster than the SPIRIT can move me and I fall into the trap of, “I want to be a spiritual giant, now.”

But, my head knowledge is doing nothing for me. The SPIRIT knows how to strengthen my spirit. I have been graced with the revelation—I need to wait for the SPIRIT to animate my spirit.

I perceive now that a season of praise can remedy leaning on my flesh. Waiting for the SPIRIT to awaken my spirit can do that work. Come SPIRIT, come and direct my heart to my FATHER. Come, lead my heart to rejoicing. Come, teach me how to wait. Come.

ADORATION

HOLINESS

           “…’Holy, holy , holy is the Lord of hosts;…” (Isa 6:3 ESV)!

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.03.06 PM“…what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15 ESV). FATHER, Your abhorrence for ungodly things sobers me when I think about it. I think about it too little, now free me to think about it. Let me review ways of behaving that You positively hate:

“For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Ps 5:4-6 ESV).

“God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.  If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts” (Ps 7:11-13 ESV).

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” (Prov 6:16-19 ESV).

FATHER, sin is whirling dust—filthy grit in Your eyes. Holiness is what I long for; may I tremble at Your Word lest I offend You (ref#89, p101). Save me, O GOD, that I may give thanks to Your holy name and glory in Your praise (1 Chron 16:35).

“…You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place…” (Ps 22:3 AMP).