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1 Sam 17:38-40 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armour on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. I cannot go in these, he said to Saul, because I am not used to them. So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

 

You have got to have your own faith.

You have got to have your own overcomingness.

You cant do things based on your pastors faith, or your youth pastors faith, or your mum and dads faith. Its got to fit for you.

You’ve got to have your own strategy and your own relationship with God and your own understanding of faith and who God is and who He has made you to be and called you to be. You can’t live off someone elses giftings or annointings.

You’ve got to know on the inside who God is and who He has called you to be and what He is doing in and through your life.

Saul’s armour didn’t fit David, so David took it off. Saul wasn’t even prepared to wear his own armour to fight Goliath!

It is YOUR faith that will bring the victory in YOUR life. That is why overcoming doubt is so important because it is YOUR faith that opens doors and breakthrough and sees the cool stuff God has planned done.

Part of wearing your own armour is reconciling that you are who you are. You are uniquely made. Uniquely gifted.

Sauls armour fit Saul. It wasn’t crafted to fit David.

To be successful in battle you have to have protection that fits you. Too bulky and you’re weighed down. Too small and you’re left exposed. David understood that he had to fight Goliath as DAVID, not as a wannabe Saul.

Today take off any amour that isnt crafted for you.  Replace it with your own faith and your own style and strategy?

 

How has God uniquely wired you for your life?

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**** notes from The Best Housegroup In The World with guest speakers Peet & Estelle

 

what makes us successful?

the world would say fame, power, money, status, recognition, = wealth

this is a trap from satan – he lies and says that success = money

 

 

how does GOD see success? 

godly success is the ratio between talents given and talents used

USE your gifts

follow your dream

bloom where you are planted

make a difference

 

1 Kings 2:3 – observe what the Lord your God requires: walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.

 

how do i become successful and what does it look like?

  • salvation – be filled with God
  • contentment
  • ability to handle problems
  • peace
  • wisdom
  • joy
  • eternal life

 

where your treasure is there your heart is

 

matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

the world spells SUCCESS with W.E.A.L.T.H
but God spells SUCCESS with P.E.O.P.L.E

 

the meaning of life is to find your gift. the purpose of life is to give it away. Pablo Picasso

 

men of success in the bible:

  • joshua / joshua 1:7-8 ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. : FOCUS ON HIM
  • david / 1 samuel 18:12-14 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. : GOD WAS WITH HIM
  • joseph / genesis 39:2-4 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. : GOD WAS WITH HIM

 

whatever the circumstances God can make us prosper, be faithful

live for an audience of One

your name doesnt have to be on a billboard but it does have to be written on the palms of His hands (isaiah 49:16) and in the book of life

 

would you rather find your success in the world or in The Word?

 

jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

 

 

if it is so simple – we are we struggling?  why do we feel like failures?

  • pride – we think more of ourselves than we should and try to do things in our own power
  • doubt and unbelief – do we really believe its possible?
  • rejection – self and others, we believe a lie because of hurt
  • unforgiveness – unresolved issues with others that take our joy
  • jealousy – unable to celebrate the success of others
  • unrepented sin – builds a wall between us and God

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David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands. 1 Samuel 23:14

from the promise of kingship to the day David got the crown on his head he was in leadership training.  the wilderness may be tough and rough but it is where some of our greatest life lessons are learned.  it is the university of life.  many great people in the bible had some wilderness time before they were promoted to a position of power and responsibility.  abraham.  moses.  joseph.  jacob.  job.  john.  jesus. 

don’t underestimate or despise the wilderness season in your life. 

It is essential that we “get” is that sometimes great time can pass between the call and the living that call. During this time God is shaping us and forming us and dealing with the crud within us. He is renewing our mind and making us into a vessel of honour (2 Tim 2:20-21)

Take for example Saul and David.

Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else. 1 Samuel 9:2

They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” 1 Samuel 10:23-24

When Saul was chosen king he was the most handsome and stand out guy in the nation. He had all the gifts and talents and personality. Samuel anointed him and he immediately began ruling as king of all of Israel. Yet he ended up failing as king and turning away from God.

“While king saul was truly the best man Israel had to offer when they demanded a king, his heart had not been groomed through testing before he assumed the throne. As king, saul was entrusted with a measure of anointing to lead the armies of Israel to victory and shepherd the people. Yet without the strength of character that only comes by winning private battles, these public victories exposed the previously hidden weakness of saul’s heart towards God. That weakness, combined with his growing appetite for favour of man, led him to bring glory to himself and disobey the Lord.” Bill Johnson – Strengthen Yourself In The Lord

 

David however was anointed and then spent about 14 years in “training”. In those training years he endured more difficulty, persecution and rejection that many of us face in a lifetime. He probably didn’t expect it to take so long for him to be king. God didn’t want another king saul and so took His time to mould David into a king and man after His own heart.

the wilderness always reminds me of this quote:

 

“But it does cost something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a man in an armchair and taking him easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory. Hence arises the unspeakable importance of “counting the cost.” ~ J.C. Ryle, Holiness

 

the wilderness is a place of preparation in our lives, a place of transformation.  a place where we are reliant on God and trusting Him.  

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith— of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire— may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 1:6-7

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4

 

it may be a place of delay – the delay between the call and the living the call, the delay between the promise and the position.  delay has the capacity to bring up things that are hiding in our hearts that will restrict and sabotage us.  better out NOW than later!  delay reveals sin and brings it up to deal with now.  delay is a time of preparation.

There are lessons to be learned in the process, in the wilderness. Lessons about ourselves, lessons about how to work with others, lessons about how to relate to God.

God will open the right doors at the right time.

“Its not about knowing who holds the right keys but its about knowing the KEEPER of the keys”– Peter Robertson. 

 

God can promote us at the right time. But I also believe He will also hold us back if we are not surrendered and transformed. God is full of grace but He is also holy. He uses flawed human beings but that doesn’t excuse compromise and a heart that isn’t fully leaning to God… God wants us to be intentionally following Him not intentionally following our own self and self desires.

 

The great things God will do through you are going to grow in the soil of persistence, prayer, obedience and sacrifice.  That means there will be plenty of plowing and pruning.  That’s the way living things grow, whether you’re talking about vegetables or vision. The process is a time of strengthening.  The process is the place where you lay down your pride and learn to rely totally on God.  Most importantly, the process is the way we grow to know God.  And that’s really the whole point. Steven Furtick

 

David’s time of wilderness prepared him to be king, the most renown king in all of israel’s history, and most importantly, a man after God’s heart.

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David said to Saul, Let no-one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him. Saul replied, You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth. But David said to Saul, Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with you. 1 Sam 17:32 – 37

 

David’s attitude of faith becomes even more evident when he gets an audience with the king. 

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Faith grows when we feed it with the Word of God. The Word is always correct and always true and always real and always the highest authority on any and every subject. You must submit your feelings and opinions to The Word and let the Word change you from the inside out.

Basically if God says it. It is. You have the power to CHOOSE to believe it. You make a CHOICE to overcome the perhaps natural inclinations to doubt by making a choice to trust God. Do whatever you can to change the way you think and go with what God says about Himself and who He is and what He can do.

Don’t give into the feelings of doubt but pray and take the thoughts captive. You have control of your mind and how you think. Don’t let a doubt or a fear spiral out of control. Its like the Gremlins. They started off as cute furry little creatures, harmless… what’s one little gremlin… but if you feed and water them they manifest into nasty nasty nasty creatures. Doubt and fear may seem like a small harmless thought but if you feed it and water it, it will manifest into a nasty in your life.

The Word of God is both an offensive and defensive weapon. Ephesians 6 describes it as a double edged sword. With it you offensively – you attack – the doubts and fears and obstacles. Use your sword (or machine gun as Isaac showed us in his day in the life) to challenge and change your attitudes. The Word gives you faith – and Ephesians 6 describes your faith as a shield to block the fiery darts and attempts of the enemy.

Remember – Jesus used the Word as a weapon to defeat the devil when He said “IT IS WRITTEN”

throughout history, game changers have stepped forward in the faith to affect the way people communicate god’s truth in the culture in which they live. @stickyjesus

David was a game changer.  He believed God.  He had a history with God.

To David, the Word of God was that God was always with him to deliver him and overcome. God had delivered him from the bear and the lion and God would deliver him from the giant. There was no second guessing God. No but if. No doubt. David was unshakable in his faith in God. He had built up a history of seeing God at work in his life and a history of believing and trusting in God. He had a holy confidence because knew God was faithful.

Your historical faith will fuel your present faith as you remember and stand upon the times that God has come through for you.  History spring boards into today.

Take the opportunities around you now to learn faith. Take the opportunities now to overcome doubt.

Build a life long history with God. You can look back through your life and see the evidence of God’s reality in your life. Tony was saying the other night at housegroup that when he got made redundant this year he was feeling stink and unsettled, until he changed his attitude and looked back at the times God had come through in his life and how God had been our provider and had never failed us. He looked back at his history with God and began to stir up thankfulness and look at the good things in His life that God was doing and it brought breakthrough. Tony had met with bears and lions before and so had strategies to tackle the giant with.

David’s skirmishes with the bear and the lion taught him to fight a giant and deliver a nation. What are the bears and lions in your life? Get spiritual muscles and warfare tactics by overcoming them so that on the day you hear the giants insults you’re ready to swing your sling and win!

Create history with God.

 

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” ~ Oswald Chambers

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1 Sam 17:13 – 20 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. Now Jesse said to his son David, Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines. Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.

1 Sam 17:28-29 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle. Now what have I done? said David. Can’t I even speak?

 

 

The battle of David and goliath is one of the greatest examples of how faith overcomes – how to overcome giants in our lives – not just only of the physical great big stinking men type but how to overcome giants on the inside and giants of circumstance and difficulty.

The battle of David and goliath, though played out with a shepherd boy and a warrior is a great picture of the battle of fear vs doubt – with most of the victory happening NOT on the battlefield, but behind the scenes in the lead up to their face off.

David was the youngest – remember overlooked when the great prophet Samuel came to anoint the next king – at left at home AGAIN to look after the sheep. His brothers go off to war to become heroes and he has to stay home, like a kid. This could of made him feel insecure and insignificant – esp when his dad tells him to go take some kai to his brothers. Menial. Not very life changing or significant.

But even when his brother insults him David maintains an attitude of self confidence – or perhaps more so confidence in who he is and who he is called to be. His brother’s words were intended to make him doubt and retreat but David was not affected. He had a different perspective of WHO HE WAS – God’s.

To overcome self doubt we need to get a clear and accurate picture of who God says we are.

BELOVED.
CALLED.
CHOSEN.

EMPOWERED.

ETERNITY CHANGERS.

MEN AND WOMEN OF DESTINY.

To step out and be the person we are called to be and to do the things we are called to be we need to be people of FAITH – having faith in GOD – it is HIM who works in us – I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH.

Overturn the doubt by fixing your eyes on Jesus and His truth and His words. It’s all about attitude. David’s attitude was one of faith. Not doubt. He was unshakable because He had faith in God’s unshakable power.

Our attitudes determine our actions. Change your attitude and you can change your perception and outcome. An attitude of doubt will hold you back from stepping out. An attitude of faith will propel you into adventure and opportunity.

 

Faith provides eyes for the heart. Faith sees. ~ Bill Johnson

 

To overcome doubt we must REPLACE it with the opposite thing: Faith

Let your FAITH be bigger than your fear.

Doubt isn’t conquered by confidence in our own giftings or abilities, which may sound like a contradiction to what I have said and will say – but the reality is that doubt is conquered when we know the greatness and power and almightiness of God!

God is faithful.

God is powerful.

God is compassionate.

God is for us.

God is holy.

God is the Creator of the Universe.

God’s thoughts and ways and wisdom are higher and greater than ours.

He is omnipresent, omnipowerful and omniscient. In other words, He sees all, knows all and has all the power.

He is awesome and glorious, good and great.

Have a holy confidence that is founded and grounded upon GOD and His abilities and resources!

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‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 14:22

 

see also E100: 33 – A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART

 

this is the commendation that God gives David.  Despite the flaws and failings he has, he is remembered as a MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART which i think must be one of the most wonderful things God could say about someone.

 

“I have done nothing morally.  My only hope, my only plea, my only confidence is in the blood of Jesus Christ. When Christians understand this, they will go to God, rather than from Him, and allow His mercy to lead them into further repentance. [This] is a mark of Christian maturity.  I stand before you … as a perfect, spotless child of God by no act of my own but by an act on the cross.  This is how we combat sin and grow in maturity – [through] an understanding of what the Gospel is.”  Matt Chandler

 

 

"For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.”  Acts 14:36

 

i want this also to be known about me.  that i served God in my generation, that i made a difference, that i was led by God, that i co-laboured with God, and that i accomplished God’s purpose in my lifetime.

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The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.  Psalm 23

 

 

God restores our souls.

let me say it again.  let it sink in.

all the way.

God restores our souls.

He restores my soul.

as mothers we can so often put ourselves last, and get to the end of the day, barely surviving, exhausted, drained.

God restores us in moments of those.

He refuels us and refills us.

As we draw aside to Him He restores us, He fills our emotional tank.

the other day i noticed my petrol light was on and the tank was reading empty. 

i wasn’t sure how long it had been on.

but i knew that i was out of petrol and needed to fill up asap or i wouldn’t be going anywhere!

immediately into my head flashed a life lesson from God.

though the petrol tank was on empty i could still get the kids to school and then go to the petrol station.  i was still going somewhere and doing the things that had to be done.

but there was no way for me to make a journey.

or to have an adventure.

and if i didn’t fill up i would be going nowhere and in trouble.

i had to fill up the tank to have the opportunity and ability to do that.

in life its the same.

sometimes our tank is on empty.

we have enough to just get by.

but we don’t have enough emotional energy to take a journey or have an adventure.

to step out and really live.

He restores my soul.

God also prepares a table for us in the midst of our enemies.

i have always seen this as God blessing us and providing for us in the midst of opposition, in the midst of whatever opposes us and seeks to destroy us, God prepares a table.

as mums we always appreciate when someone else cooks, be it our husband, or at a restaurant, even fish and chips!  its such a blessing to us when the family is sick when someone drops off a meal. 

in the same way, God prepares a table for us, to bless us, to provide for us.

in the midst of our enemies – in that which opposes us, in opposition… be it sickness, emotional problems, financial issues, hard times, persecution, worry, fear, opposition.  when the war is going on God prepares us a table in the presence of our enemies.

He is faithful.

We can be confident in His love.

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When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.  "I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’  1 Kings 2:1-4

 

Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths he shows you: Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, his course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go. (1 Kings 2:3 MSG)

 

these are the first and foremost instructions that David gives his son. 

the path to success and satisfaction is found in following God, obeying His commands, walking faithfully with Him.

sage words for a man that lived it and also lived against it.  through experience David learned what really matters. 

 

integrity.

faithfulness.

obedience.

commitment.

courage.

 

these things really do matter.  they do lead to success.  there are heaps of self help books and 7 steps to successful living guides, but seriously, there is a way that is right to live and a life pleasing God will be a rich life of satisfaction.  i’m not going to say a life of happiness and happy happy joy joy, of ease and comfort… but it will be satisfying and i believe successful. 

 

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:4-5

 

our lives are not our own, they are for the glory of God.  i want to be someone who walks with God.

 

how do we walk with God?

1/ practice the presence of God

2/ pursue His priorities

3/ pour out for His people

 

 

as christians its so important to pass on our wisdom and strategies to the next generation.  we saw in joshua how important it was to pass on our faith to those following after us.  we can share our life story, share our successes and failures, share what we’ve learned, share how God was and is real in our lives.

 

Psalm 78:4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Psalm 78:5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.

Psalm 71:18 Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

Psalm 79:13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you for ever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise

Psalm 102:18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:

Psalm 145:4 One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

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Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord.  2 Samuel 12:13

 

“I have done nothing morally.  My only hope, my only plea, my only confidence is in the blood of Jesus Christ. When Christians understand this, they will go to God, rather than from Him, and allow His mercy to lead them into further repentance. [This] is a mark of Christian maturity.  I stand before you … as a perfect, spotless child of God by no act of my own but by an act on the cross.  This is how we combat sin and grow in maturity – [through] an understanding of what the Gospel is.”  Matt Chandler

 

Nathan the prophet confronted David about what he had done with Bathsheba and with her husband Uriah.  And David responded with repentance. 

Psalm 51 was written as a response to what happened at this time of David’s life.

 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

 

what is repentance? Is it saying sorry, feeling remorse? Can we be repentant and carry on living the same way?

Webster Dictionary defines the word as "to feel sorry for or reproachful for what one has done or has not done". It goes on to say that it is also “as to feel such regret and dissatisfaction over some past action or intention as to change one’s mind about it or to change one’s way.”

Repentance usually begins with sorrow – remorse – regret – recognition that our behavior is wrong and that it has hurt us and others, usually on many levels. Sin always has consequences and does not bring blessing upon our lives. The fruit of sin are death, destruction and distance. Sin brings avoidable mess. We begin repentance in the heart. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:8-10

 

Confession is not repentance. Repentance is change. – Danny Silk

 

But repentance is more than saying you’re sorry. Sorrow and regret can be just feelings. It is changing your mind and affections to the degree that your actions and behaviour change as a result. Repentance is translated into change – leaving behind the sin, disobedience and wrongdoing and changing our lifestyle to do things that please God.

Repentance puts God back as Lord of our life, agreeing to obey Him in all things, to follow His ways and His plan for our life. Repentance puts our flesh back in its place, bowing to the rule and authority of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Repentance is part of the process of restoration. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery – go and sin no more – John 8 – Repentance begins in the heart but is proved by a changed life. It is often described as a 180degree change in direction.

God is our heavenly Father. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to be broken down by the effect of sin in our lives. Sin hurts ourselves and our relationships, especially with Him. He is a Holy God, who made a way for us to be free from sin, forgiven and made righteous, part of His family. He has a plan and a purpose, for us to know Him and make Him known. Just as sin put distance between Adam and Even and God in the Garden so it puts distance between us now. Because God loves us He disciplines us – He draws us to Himself to repent and change.  “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” Romans 2:4

“Repentance is not merely a change of heart and a change of mind, it is a change of action! God requires that if we are sincerely convinced that sin is wrong, then we will turn from it to God, and commit ourselves to not take part in sinful deeds any longer. God blesses such decisions and commitments with abundant grace.” Keith Green

sin-kills

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.  2 Samuel 11:1

 

when the kings went to war david stayed at home.

when the kings went and lived out their call, david stayed at home.

when it was time for to fulfil his responsibility and leadership, he stayed home.

When we are not in the place God ordains for us, and not doing the work that God had planned for us, then the opportunity may arise for us to be distracted, discouraged and destroyed.

David had gone from a devoted, valiant, faithful and obedient “man after God’s own heart”, from a great leader and adored king; to an adulterer, liar and murderer. It was a classic picture that showed how easy and swift it is to fall into sinful behaviour.

 

Are there character things that we are “staying at home on” – things we’re neglecting? 

 

Character is the ability to face the demands of reality. We have to have a strong foundation, not worrying about what is on top of the surface, but what is below and holding everything together. We focus on what we look like and to keep up the appearance to have everything together. Focusing on what is above the surface causes us to avoid what is happening in the foundation and can cause the whole outward appearance to crumble.

Character flaws and cracks don’t just stay underground. They will always seep up into the foreground and on the surface and cause destruction, if you don’t allow God to fix the flaws as they are beginning to crack your foundation. If you cannot work on your character alone you have to find an accountability partner and stay faithful. Sin will take you further than you want to go and cost you more than you want to pay and keep you longer than you want to be kept. God is always present in these problems and just because consequences are delayed does not mean they are denied. The silence of God does not mean he is signing off on our sins.

God has a plan for our life that equals success, but it has to be done the right way. It has to be done in His way. Attention has to be paid to the foundation of your character and to be pleasing to God. It’s what’s below the surface that sinks the ship. youversion note

 

 

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite." Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."  2 Samuel 11:2-5

 

notice the progression of sin:

1.  he LOOKED.  he SAW a woman bathing.

2.  he ADMIRED her.  he took note of her beauty.  more than just a passing glance.

3.  he INQUIRED about her, he took it to the next level, making it more personal. 

4.  he CONTACTED her. 

5.  he SINNED with her.

 

sin begins with a thought, with a subtle pulling on the flaws of our heart.   we don’t just fall into full blown sin (aka the sleeping with Bathsheba part) – it is a progression that could have been stopped in its tracks at any time.  David could have looked away.  not sent the messengers.  tore up the information.  controlled the thoughts he was having about the woman.  meeting her.  there is always an escape route.

 

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

 

there is always a way out – if we are brave enough to take it. 

 

we must be diligent in allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, rooting out sin, compromise and weaknesses, strengthening us to believe Him and follow Him, strengthening us to resist temptation. we must be diligent and aware to guard ourselves from being pulled into a sin sinkhole. we must be diligent to stop sin when its in its infant stage (just looking) before it then impacts in a greater way.  David’s sin killed Uriah and his child.  it changed lives forever.  sin is sin and the thoughts are sin too but the consequence of David (and us) following through on those thoughts were huge. 

 

No one is ever deceived unless he has first entered into compromise. We were created with the ability to recognize right from wrong because the law of God is written on our hearts. But that capacity becomes crippled when we fail to uphold what we know to be true.

In the natural, we have an immune system that protects us from the many illnesses we are exposed to in our daily lives. When that immune system is weak, we become vulnerable to every germ and virus that comes along. Maintaining the standard of righteousness in the heart is essential to strengthening our spiritual immune system, which keeps us undefiled by the spirit of deception.

A heart that is clean doesn’t desire evil. When evil is appealing, it is a warning sign that compromise is in operation, and that certain precautions must be taken. The roots of such compromises are usually found in the attitudes of the heart. That is why Solomon said, “Watch over the heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). When a root of compromise is exposed, repent. And repent deeply until there is a true change of heart and mind. It saves a lot of heartache in the long run. If it’s a repeated area of weakness, use the tool of accountability. Accountability gives us great strength as friends bring out the best in us.

By Bill Johnson  – Bethel Church, Redding

 

The Christian needs to recognize the role and power of the Word of God in overcoming temptation.

“Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” Psalms 119:11

When God’s Word becomes an integral part of our  life, it fortifies our spirit and mind against temptation’s power. Jesus Himself demonstrated the Word’s power when He resisted Satan’s temptations in the wilderness with a quote from the Old Testament (see Luke 4)

A systematic, prayerful and regular study of the Bible is an absolute prerequisite to defeating temptation. The Word not only warns of Satan’s methods (II Corinthians 2:11), but it empowers against attacks (Ephesians 6:11-17).

 

Another aid in overcoming temptation is to avoid it.  we see this so clearly in what happens with David.  he DIDN’T avoid temptation but entertained it and allowed it to grow into sinful actions.  if you are aware of “things” or places or people that lead you down the path of temptation – avoid them.  like an alcoholic has to avoid the pub or places where alcohol is served, make a deliberate choice to not put yourself in the place of temptation.  it may be certain tv shows, or certain friends, or the internet, or locations.  if you’re not there in situ, then you aren’t there to be tempted.  Many times in the NT Paul encourages us to FLEE temptation, and i think the best way to flee is to not be there in the first place! 

 

the good news is that Jesus forgives us: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 john 1:9

 

 

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