Choice

Quenched

Have you ever asked for something, but then changed your mind when you received it?

Throughout the walk of a believer, inevitably we will ask God to change us. There is a pure desire within the heart of us to become like Jesus. Our prayers beg God to remove things within us that don’t please Him. We pray for development of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Subtle changes appear, and faith is increased. There is a transformation happening.

But then the flesh notices the change. Something is off. It’s territory is threatened, and it will not go silently into the night. Our flesh starts to put up a fight. As Matthew 26:41 says, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We start to resist the work of the Holy Spirit. We cover our ears, pretending not to hear His whispers. The slow fade begins. We return to our sin. 1 Peter 2:22 is so blunt as to compare it to a dog returning to it’s own vomit. Instead of resting easy in the newness of the Spirit, we prefer the dingy familiarity of our old nature. Why do we not remain?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 

God is an all consuming fire…but He won’t spread if we keep snuffing Him out.

Yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit is what will truly bring breakthrough, power & freedom in our lives. This means laying down our will…our stubborn, hard-headed wills. Deep down, we know that we don’t know it all. God is not at all put off by any of this. In fact, He wants to use that weakness to display His power in our lives. His best work is done through broken vessels. Ones who have surrendered and admitted that they need Him, and that His ways are higher. If we will allow Him to have His way, imagine what He could do through us.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” – Galatians 5:16

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:4


“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Phillipians 1:6


“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” – Romans 7:15

 

 

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Get Your Hopes Up

The world has created many sayings that have become our generic responses to situations that occur in our daily lives. One common phrase is “don’t get your hopes up.” This always brings me down when I hear it. The intent is to avoid false hope or being let down. But God never gave us this advice. His word says the exact opposite. Romans 15:13 says He is the God of Hope! It’s His very nature, His character! Being optimistic and and hopeful is not foolish. You are not naive when you choose joy instead of doubt.

A mindset of hope will produce much more fruit than a timid & frightful one. Think of how much time is wasted dwelling on negative thoughts. Declining hope hinders our spirit from trusting God. If we use this phrase, you might as well just use the word “doubt” in it’s place. Because that’s the spirit that we’re inviting in when we say it. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. We must ensure that our words align with God’s. I can’t imagine Jesus leaning in and whispering this phrase to Peter before healing a leper. He was confident in mission, His ability, and God’s promise. He didn’t flinch in the face of adversity but chose to believe. He calls us to do the same.

The phrase “leap of faith” is a very accurate one. Hope requires risk. We don’t know the outcome of every situation, but we can choose how we anticipate it. When we leap instead of holding back, we allow Him the opportunity to catch us…and He will.

“Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” -Isaiah 49:23