WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN TELLING YOURSELF LATELY?

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WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN TELLING YOURSELF LATELY?

I overheard a lady commenting to her husband saying, “Wow, it’s a good thing we left the house early. Five minutes later and everyone will be out for a mass orgy.”

Before you start scratching your head, wondering what’s the point that I’m trying to make, let me give you the context. It’s 7am in the morning, and mummy here was part of a family of four; with daddy and mummy bringing 7 year old Jane and 10 year old Joe to school. And right in the middle of the conversation, in front of little Jane and Joe, mummy good-manners blurts out this comment.

Now, I am all for forward-thinking parenting and I’ll be the first to stand in support of parents who don’t want to hide the ugly truth of this world from their children. But to make reference to collective reproduction in front of minors?

Right, I’m sure she has spoken about the birds and the bees and the apple trees with Jane and Joe; and explained to them how corporate level procreation came about; and discussed the social ills of such behavior as manifested in the Roman empire; such that they are able to tell that their mother made that statement in a moment of jest and not that she actually condoned that unacceptable social behavior. Right.

But before you go away thinking that this is just another prude’s rant, the point I am trying to make here is this – what we say is important.

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

What we speak reflects our state of mind. For as Christ reminds us,

“Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Matthew 15:11

For “…those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.” Matthew 15:18

I’ve got nothing against eating Kosher, but it’s clear from what Jesus is saying here that going Kosher is not the be all and end all of your ‘holiness’. Going Kosher alone is not going to get you to the level of ‘cleanness’ that you had planned to attain, because it was not the food that tainted you with sin and made you unclean in the first place. Strictly speaking, what made you ‘unclean’ was where you put your heart.

But we all know this, don’t we? We all know that sin was inherent in us because Adam went and let evil into the world when he ate of the tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. And we also know that

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:17-19

So because for “… as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

So this message is not meant to beat you up over where you put your heart. Instead, it is meant to bring to our attention just how much we can beat ourselves up and those closest to us, if we are not careful with the words we use.

You know, Jesus said this,

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

How do we start worrying? How does anxiety set in? Yes, it starts with a thought. But worry is only allowed to set foot into our lives the moment we turn that thought into speech; the moment we speak that anxiety into our lives.

“Therefore do not worry, saying,” says Jesus. So each and every time we say that our situation is hopeless, we allow for that anxiety to set in. Each and every time we say that our children are beyond control, we allow for that worry to tighten its grip on us. And every time we say we want to give up, we lose that fight and slip that much further into our depression.

So instead, what should we do?

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

When faced with a problem, ask. Then believe. Don’t wallow in despair. Don’t speak fear into your life. Just ask, then believe. For remember what Jesus said?

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

That’s right, in Christ, we have our own 7-11, His storehouse of blessings, freely available to us, 24hours a day, 7 days a week, anytime, anywhere. For do remember that this is why Jesus wants us to ask;

“Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

And you know what, beloved child of God, it’s not a matter of just Jesus wanting to bless us. There is no conflict in heaven when it comes to your blessing. For,

“In that day you will ask in My name, and I am not saying to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf [because it will be unnecessary]; for the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from the Father.” John 16:26-27 [AMP]

Our Father Himself, loves you, so all we need to do is ask, because

“He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31

Christian or not, life is not easy. But imagine if Paul, when put in prison, started beating himself up with disparaging words. Imagine if Daniel started wondering out loud if he will ever be rescued from the lion’s den. Imagine if David started being depressed when he was on the run from Saul. Now, don’t get me wrong, their ‘fates’ were in our Father’s hands and His plan and purpose will still prevail for them, no matter what they said. But while they were waiting for their trial to end, how would they be feeling? Would the emotional turmoil they put themselves through even allow them to live to see the end?

You know, pastors and ministers are not exempt from trials and tribulations. In fact, from my own limited experience, the closer your walk is with Christ, the more will distractions come your way and the more will trials assail to wrench you from the loving arms of your Father. For remember what Satan’s plan has always been?

“…Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], …” Luke 22:31 [AMP]

But though that may be, remember beloved child of God, just as Jesus told Peter,

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32

Not so long ago, the Bee Gees sang, ‘it’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.’

But unlike man, when it comes to our Father, His words are enough for any situation; for His words are so much more weighty, because they are so much more mighty. Remember what Jesus told Satan out there in the desert?

“But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 [AMP]

Indeed, our lives are in the hand of God, no matter what the situation may suggest to you. How you are and how you will end up has already been pre-destined. Your story has already been written. God has spoken, and He has already had and will always have the final say in each and every situation you find yourself in. And this is how you will always end up, just because He says so.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

But can you rewrite your story? Can you say ‘no’ to God’s plan and live out yours? Of course you can. And you can do so anytime. God respects your wishes. But why would you want to?

But you know what? There is an even more surreptitious scheme that Satan employs to detract you from God’s plan. And this happens without you even knowing it. He does it by putting thoughts of doubt and fear in your mind, thoughts which he hopes you will speak into words, and words which he hopes will gather so much momentum, you decide not to wait upon the will of the Lord and go on in on your own.

So if you find yourself entertaining thoughts of doubt and despair, thoughts of failure and futility; stop short of mouthing those words. Remember, “Therefore do not worry, saying,” says Jesus. For when you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you will find that all that trouble that you went through was certainly worth the prize that you are exchanging it for.

Remember, beloved child of God,

“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth,
Making it bear and sprout,
And providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So will My word be which goes out of My mouth;
It will not return to Me void (useless, without result),
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 [AMP]

So in the face of doubt and despair, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

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