Inspirational Christian Blogs

Join us for inspiring words from today's best Christian authors


1 Comment

Flesh vs. Spirit: “God Just Wants Me To Be Happy,” part V

god stuff 4

Philippians 3:8 (NAS): More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.

James 1:2-4: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

 

“God just wants me to be happy” is a lie from the deepest cracks of hell. Nowhere do we read any such nonsense in the Bible. Nowhere does God say anything about happiness. This does not mean that we, God’s holy people, are to live a miserable life – on the contrary! Happiness is based on what happens – it is temporal. Joy, on the other hand, is steadfast regardless of what happens.

The “God just wants me to be happy” folks don’t understand God or His Word at all. We who are hidden in Christ are to “deny ourselves” and “take up our cross.” No part of either of those instructions point toward being happy. So, so many use the “happy theory” to excuse sin of every kind.

For those who choose to take up their cross and follow Christ, they are a people who endure through every hardship and, despite the hardship, are joyous. No matter what the cost, no matter what relationship they must forfeit, no matter what belongings they must lose, no matter how their reputation is tarnished, no matter what the cost, Christ is their very life breath – the Kingdom of God is their only focus.

God does not call His holy priesthood to happiness but to holiness. The only way to be holy is to accept that the nature of the flesh was buried with Christ at His death, and the only life we now have is Christ alone. This eliminates all the desires of the flesh which are always at war with the Spirit who reigns within.

We must count the cost. We must not be as the rich man who, when Christ explained the price to walk with Him, walked away because the cost was too high. Your “riches” can be anything in any form that stand between you and holiness and the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is eternal and priceless. You must count ALL THINGS as loss so that you may gain the greatest gift of all: the everlasting, eternal Kingdom of God.

Matthew 13:45-46: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s Flesh vs. Spirit! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

 

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


2 Comments

Flesh vs. Spirit, part III

god stuff 4

Romans 7:24-25 (NAS): Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the BODY of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

Romans 8:1-2 (KJV): There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

 

Romans 9:6-8 (NAS): For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

In the above verses, we read, “body of death,” “the flesh is hostile toward God,” “the mind set on the flesh is death,” and “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” DEATH and HOSTILITY are the themes of flesh, but LIFE and PEACE are the themes of Holy Spirit. The sooner God’s Kingdom heirs understand this, the sooner we’ll walk in the freedom Christ died to grant mankind.

Many versions of the Bible, including my favored NAS, remove the part of, “…who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” found in Romans 8:1-2. It’s crucial to regain this missing link because otherwise, “saved” people can’t understand why they continue to sin, or why they continue to feel condemned when Christ said there is no more condemnation.

Anything of the flesh is DEATH – no exceptions.

Anything of the Spirit is LIFE – no exceptions.

Simply dealing with individual sins such as lying, addiction, homosexuality, theft, greed, malice, gossip, malice, hatred, so on and so forth, is errant in so much as the sins themselves have become the focus. Since “all have sinned” there is no way anyone has the right to point at a neighbor’s spec with planks in our own eyes! God’s people are to correct fellow brethren, but most don’t understand how to correct properly. Correction led by the flesh simply breeds more death!

The Bible is clear that the afore mentioned and more are in fact sins and we shouldn’t give way to them, but the Bible also always redirects to Holy Spirit leading and dying to the nature of the flesh as a whole – this can only come from a Kingdom mindset. All are born naturally in sin therefore we shouldn’t be surprised when we are drawn to sin of any kind. The shame and condemnation are not in the temptation, but in the acting on the temptation. People act on the temptations because we simply aren’t following the lead of Holy Spirit because we don’t understand the Kingdom of God.

Holy Spirit and His Kingdom should be our focus, not the sins. The, “do this but don’t do that” is worthless instruction if we’re not taught to understand how to be led, not by the flesh, but by the Spirit of the Living God. The “do this but not that” is based on law – you know, that thing no one can fulfill – and Christ fulfilled the entirety of the Law in His death, burial and resurrection. When we base instruction on law, it’s formulated merely from a morality stance and anyone can easily find their happy “grey areas” and feel justified.

 

Hebrews 4:15 (NAS): For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s Flesh vs. Spirit! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

 

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

 

https://www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/

 


7 Comments

Flesh vs. Spirit, part I

god stuff 4

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17, NAS).”

 

There is an ongoing battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Satan wants to activate the flesh in all of its deadness because he strongly desires to make people act irrationally, unjustly, mercilessly, selfishly, foolishly – evil and against The Kingdom of God. Where God uses His Spirit to connect with our spirit internally, Satan uses the flesh to connect with us externally. The god of this world provokes us to evil through emotionalism.

Emotionalism stems from the flesh. Emotionalism, in whatever form it may present itself, causes us to act and react in an unholy manner and, when we do, we justify our poor conduct. Emotionalism causes us to rationalize bad behavior with “I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m bored, I’m irritated, I’m right, I’m aroused, I’m hungry, I’m needy…I’m, I’m, I’m!” Notice the “I” which translates: I’m thinking only of myself (an idol set before God) and not of God who is my life. My fleshly thinking is more important that heavenly, spiritual thinking.

In this, our God-focus becomes buried under self-focus; and believe me when I say that I am not exempt! My child and I have simultaneously undergone much travail with our health the last two and a half years; stressful and exhausting does not begin to express this experience. We are both feeling much improved these days, but that is not the focal point.

The subject at hand is that situations such as this can gradually cause us to become weakened spiritually so as to awaken the fleshly nature – or rather, they cause us to recognize and face that which has not been fully consigned to Christ as we may have thought. I know for me at the worst of it, I caught myself saying things at the “slip of the tongue” (aka lack of self-discipline) that are not godly and have had to quickly consign myself back to Christ.

I have said for years that bad situations do not change people; they only bring about truth of who the person really is underneath the tidy veneer. It’s easy to walk with God when things are great, but turn up the heat and yikes – out comes all the junk! For me personally, I find that where patience would otherwise prevail, impatience and irritation with people and things tended to become more prevalent. When I stepped back and heard/saw myself, I was appalled, or rather; my spirit, Holy Spirit, was appalled at the flesh in which I reside. This is the battle spoken of in Galatians 5:17.

That which the flesh loves (self-desires), the Spirit hates and vice versa. As long as we live in this fleshly shell, there will be battle. There, of course, will be times where the battle seems less intense, but it’s there nonetheless and can do a sneak-attack if we are not on guard at all times. But we are not without hope, people of the Most High God!

Romans 7:14-25, NAS: For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

 

Stay tuned for next week’s part II! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

 

www.thefierysword.com

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

 http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


Leave a comment

A Call to Commit: Crush the Idols

So many who come to faith in Christ seem to want to return to where they were before. Why? They think it was better or “more fun” to live in slavery to sin. As I have shared before I call this place a “Christian’s Spiritual Egypt.” Obviously I am referencing when Israel wanted to return to slavery in Egypt instead of continuing to the Promised Land. They thought they’d be safer and more comfortable there. So a Christian (I am not referring to all believers) thinks their old life was better and they want to return. They want to return to their slavery to sin. That comes from a lack of trust in God which is exactly what the Israelites were suffering from at the particular time I’m referencing. My message here is to those Christians who are on the fence. I pray the Holy Spirit draws you close before you fall back into the vicious cycle of an utterly sinful life.

“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”- 1 Kings 18:21

In this passage of scripture Elijah is establishing to the people of Israel this same message that I’m trying to give to you: You can’t truly serve more than one god. You need to either choose the One True God or you can choose the worthless gods who will do nothing for you. I’m talking about money, popularity, power, sex, relationships, etc. Those are all idols when you put them before serving the Lord.

Elijah isn’t the only one who spoke this message in the Bible. Jesus told us that we can’t serve two masters. We’ll hate one or the other (Matthew 6:24). Sin is rebellion against God. And that is ultimately hatred towards God. Also, God can’t go against his own character. If you choose to live in slavery to sin, God will be forced to withdraw His presence, His Holy Spirit from you. We saw that happen to Israel’s first king, Saul.

“Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul…”- 1 Samuel 16:14

Saul chose to disobey God and lead a life of rebellion. He paid the price for it. God doesn’t change, so He is required to do the same today because He is just.

Sin is so deceiving and it sneaks up on you like a predator. You begin to tolerate one little thing and that gives a foothold for the enemy. Sin then slowly takes over your life. Finally, you feel trapped and you can’t get out. No matter how much you want to and how much you try you can’t. I’ve been there. Then, if you don’t confess your sin to the Lord and repent, you begin to love your sin and you’re back to where you were before Christ. Finally, you’ll begin to plunge deeper and deeper until you are destroyed by your sin unless you turn back to Christ. That is the downward spiral of sin.

“How come every time we buy into an idol, we’re the ones that get devoured?”- Jefferson Bethke

Because as Jefferson Bethke states in the video I just quoted, “An idol takes, it never gives.” When you’re so wrapped up in what people think of you that you’ll do anything to gain their acceptance, you are a slave to acceptance. You have now put that before God. It’s the same way with anything else. Popularity isn’t bad, unless you turn it into an ultimate. Money isn’t bad until it’s turned into an ultimate. What are your idols?

“This day I call the heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”- Deuteronomy 30:19

Life is found in Jesus Christ. Death is found in sin and the ways of the world. It’s as simple as that. Your choice. No one else can make it for you. God’s not going to force you to choose life, but he wants you to. If you turn your heart away from God and choose to be disobedient and serve your idols, you will surely be destroyed (Deuteronomy 30:17-18). Choose life (that is: Jesus) today.

You know who you are. If you are on the fence and are falling into the idol trap, you haven’t gone too far. The grace of God can reach you. No matter what you’ve done you can be made new. If you repent and turn back to your faith in Christ, you will be saved. God promises us that. If you have been ensnared by sin, pray to God and repent now. Don’t wait. Do whatever measures it takes to crush your idols.

Make this declaration:

“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”- Joshua 24:15

Here is the video of Jefferson Bethke that I quoted. This poem is inspired by what true manhood is, but I believe everyone can get something out of this.

God bless you!

-Austin


6 Comments

Fire: Keeping the Flame Ablaze

During this summer, I have spent some time clearing out a worship spot at my house in the back of our woods. I must say, I really enjoyed doing it. I wanted a spot that I could go and spend time with God in solitude. I gathered old down trees to use for seating, found various pieces of old furniture to place back there, and Tiki Torches to help keep away bugs. In the middle I built a good-sized fire pit for bonfires. The other evening I went out to that spot to spend some time with God. My brother was with me and we were trying to light the fire. The pit had quite a bit of wood in it so if we ever got it lit, it would be a very big and nice fire. The problem was we couldn’t get the fire lit.  Granted the top pieces were a little wet, but the rest of the pile was dry, so we didn’t think it would be much of a problem. We had pieces of cardboard to help start the fire, but it didn’t work. We lit some of the dry leaves in the midst of the sticks, but it didn’t work either. We even found some straw to light to help with the process, but all it did was burn. It didn’t stay lit and the fire died quickly. So finally after much frustration, we got the gasoline. Now, I realize this is not the smartest choice nor safest, but I wanted a fire! Luckily nothing bad happened! So we light a few more pieces of cardboard and paper just enough to keep it a flame for a few minutes. Then we doused the places we didn’t have lit with some gasoline so with the fire caught it, it would light up. The finally we applied the gasoline on the flames that were going and instantly, the fire went ablaze. We experienced the thrill of getting our fire lit and the fire was glorious…for about ten minutes. But soon, that gasoline had burnt away, the wood had never really caught a flame, and the fire died out again quickly. Now I realize that there are better ways to light a fire, and if I did some other things I could have probably got that fire going. However, I’m glad I tried to light the fire the way I did because God used it to teach me something.

When the fire began to die out again, I was getting kind of irritated. Then I felt God speak to my heart saying, “I need people who will tend and stir the fire, not just light it.” I immediately knew what God was saying to me. In order to keep a fire going, you have to constantly add fire to the pile, you have to stir the fire to keep the fire going, and you have to watch it. Gasoline is a nice help, but it is only a temporary fix. It only lasts for a moment. It looks glorious and the flames are huge, but they don’t have much life. God doesn’t need followers who will be like the gasoline. Who will become very passionate and devoted to God one day, and have a devotion to Him that dies at the end of the week. He wants followers who will fan the flames. Who will keep the fire going, even if that means taking longer steps in doing so. Followers who will spend the extra time in prayer, reading of His Word, and living out the life He calls His people to.

I think you would be very hard pressed to find a church, if you asked them, would not want to see people come to know Christ. I mean, that’s just a ludicrous thought. The Church may have many different denomination and beliefs of theology, but I don’t really think there are many people in the Church who do not want to see souls saved. In fact if there are any, I really think those people need to evaluate their life and see if the are in step with the Spirit. But all too often the Church tries to witness to the world with gasoline. With big and glorious displays of various ministries, emotional appeals, etc. Those of you who serve the Lord know exactly what I’m talking about. But those things don’t last. People who come to the Lord on those terms won’t last unless that fire is cultivated. Unless their flames are stirred and wood is added to the fire. If the Church and Christians want to set this world on fire, we first have to cultivate the fire in our own hearts, then also be willing to take the time to minister properly and effectively to help keep the fire lit the hearts of others as well. Jesus told His followers that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them and they will be His witnesses. The Holy Spirit gives Christians the power to witness to others about Jesus powerfully. God is the source of that fire. I pray that believers everywhere will submit to the Holy Spirit and allow God move in their hearts. I also pray that Christians all over the world will fan into flame the gifts of God and take the steps necessary to keep that flame going. When the fire rises true and proud, the world around us will catch fire too. Don’t use the gasoline. Cultivate that fire.

“Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands.” ~2 Timothy 1:6

“Fire must be kept burning on the altar continually; it must not go out.” ~Leviticus 6:13

May God be with you.

-Joey


12 Comments

Depart From Me. I Never Knew You.

Matthew 7:21-23:    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

This passage tells us that not everyone who claims to be a Christian will go to Heaven. Jesus says many times that obeying the will of God is a condition for entering Heaven. It doesn’t save us, but it should be a response to our salvation. It is by God’s power and grace that we are able to live according to God’s will. That means we need to pray for that power and put it into action.

Jesus states that “not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.” There will be people who truly believe they are serving Him, but they really don’t truly know Jesus. They don’t have that relationship. It is important that you strive to know Him more everyday. Your salvation has everything to do with your relationship with Christ. If you don’t have that true relationship, you aren’t saved. No relationship=Unsaved. But when you accept Christ as your Savior (come into a relationship with Him) you get your salvation. Jesus is salvation.

Jesus told the people who “ministered” to people that he never knew them. There it is again. That relationship I’ve been talking about in recent posts. These people are involved in powerful, supernatural activity, but they didn’t have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul says that what appears to be powerful ministry can actually be the “work of Satan.”

So listen to this warning. Be careful of false teachers! When you hear a message, look into the Word. If the message doesn’t line up with what the Bible says, then throw the message out! Always go back to the Word.

I would want someone to do that for me. If something I say or write doesn’t line up with God’s Word, confront me about it so I can go back to the Word myself and correct my message. I never want to be a false teacher!

God bless! And remember (no matter who the preacher is) check a message with God’s Word.

-Austin

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected


3 Comments

A Letter from Pastor Saeed Abedini

This is a letter from Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is in prison at one of the most brutal prisons in Iran for his Christian faith. Keep him in your prayers. The ACLJ has put his letter onto a video. Here it is:

You can sign the petition for his release here:

http://aclj.org/iran/save-american-pastor-from-iranian-prison-sentence

God bless!

-Austin

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected