Are You Willing to Take a Stand? (Salvation Part III)
By Jennifer Miller
As I stated in my last blog, we all have choices to make in this life. It was never guaranteed that it would be stress free or without trials. I like the fact that we are given a choice. I do not relish the idea of a trial, but if it would lead me to make better decisions and use of wisdom, then I say, “let’s do it.” I want to remove the dross from my life that has weighed me down and hindered my relationship with God. Trials are not meant to be easy.
- They can be a result of temptation that you surrendered to and now suffer the consequences. An example I found within myself Out of this trial, I saw how I caused my pain because my pride refused to listen and apply the wisdom offered. I wanted to punish myself for past mistakes and I chose something I already was very fond of to do so. My lack of listening caused me to continue in my sin and to experience the consequences of not listening. My weakness was food. I loved it and I never objected to eating anything I wanted. I used it to comfort me during the loss of a family member and soon it became an obsession for me. I naively, I suspect arrogantly, dismissed the advice, and said I have it handled. Yes, I had it handled if no control was the goal, if medical visit one after the other was the price…sorry for the sarcasm. I had spent a great deal of the rest of my life fighting this and falling every time. All because I refused to listen. It was only God’s mercy that got through to me.
- They also can be a learning lesson that tests your faith. The Holy Spirit can convict you in one area of your life in which a flaw has to be addressed and corrected. Remember that in the end we want to grow more Christ-like. We need to ask for understanding and see where it is He is leading us or asking of us. We need strengthening in a certain aspect of our life that is essential for what we have been called for. The trial is worth learning the lesson!
- We may need an attitude adjustment. The reason the Road Not Taken (a fabulous poem by Robert Frost) is because we fear that road and its restrictions. We may need to learn self-discipline or self-control. During the trial it may seem (due to our lack of all the information/comprehension), the road is too long and too hard to endure. We give in to sin or give up because of that. Honestly, most people crave the road of least resistance, but there is always a purpose to fight that. We need to be positive and trust God. He devised the plan for each of us and we need to obey and walk in faith to accomplish it.
Anything that brings us closer to God is always worth it! Our faith is vital in our relationship with God. Mountains cannot be moved without it. What if Abraham refused to offer Isaac as a sacrifice as asked? What if Joseph broke away from his brothers and managed to escape the chains of slavery because he would not be subjected to that? What if Israel because of Joseph’s rebellion had no way to receive food during a famine? They walked on faith and took the risk. They were rewarded with righteousness for their faith and obedience. When we look at just the obstacles that can overcome us, we shrivel up and walk away, but few walk on faith and continue forward. God’s might is with them and sustains them.
Now the question I beg to ask is where do you stand? Are you willing to risk your life and run for the right cause or are you running away to save your earthly vessel? Only you can answer that. Only you can determine if you have the courage to face the situation whatever it may be.
Wars have been fought and won because men chose to honor God and obey and not run away. Our current military and our veterans risked their life to save our country, not their own neck. Look at how the apostles lived and died. Some were beheaded, crucified upside down and were beaten to death like James. James even prayed as he was dying for those that were attacking him. Does this remind you of someone much greater who prayed and said to forgive them for they know not what they do?
I apologize because I do not want to sound like I am preaching, for I do not have that gift. However, what will it take for us to commit to Christ? I personally do not desire to be complacent and avoid the issue at hand. I by no means have courage, but my whole being is calling me to rise up and to take a stand. I am at the point that if I must do so alone, then I must. My relationship with God is the stronger desire. You have a choice.
So, what do we do?
- I would start out by praying and asking for assistance.
- Pour out your heart to God.
- Ask for more discernment and wisdom to determine if this is where you are being led.
- Fast with fervent prayer.
I know man is impatient in nature. I understand that, but here when we desire a strong need to have an answer immediately, we need to up the ante. Go to your war room and think about this. Set up a plan to fast and include prayer. Have a set time to do this and stick to it. An answer will come one way or another. When God sees our desire to be faithful and the urgency of our prayer is made known, only then will He hear us and answer us.
Sometimes we “jump the gun” so to speak and make a decision that way. Our timing is off or something else needs to be answered that helps us with this request. Do not give up, continue, and pray fervently. He does answer.
Ponder the following verses about God’s understand and His knowledge of the intent of our hearts to determine where you are in your walk for Christ and if you are ready to go that next step. Look at Jeremiah 17: 9-10; Romans 8:27, Proverbs 3:5-6 and 1 Timothy 1:5.
Jeremiah 17: 9-10
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
1 Timothy 1:5
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”
It all boils down to what are you willing to do for God? Whom do you serve? Once we can tear these questions apart and digest the meaty aspects of them, we can get resolution. We need to decide if we really want to pick up our cross and follow. Focus on your intent and then take action. I hope this series has helped you. Take care and God bless!