Fundamentals Of Victorious Christian Living Part 25

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 

God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die an indescribable death to bear the punishment for our sins. This happened before any of us who are living today took our first breath.

As we grow in revelation of righteousness it will show in our lives. Christians stuck in traditionalism will criticize us. Our loved ones may call us extremists. If this affects us, we have not fully developed an understanding of God’s love.

I have discovered that criticism affects me less the more time I spend in prayer and meditating on the Word of God. I’ve also found that things which seemed impossible to be delivered from just seem to go away.

A revelation of God’s love will cause the trials and criticisms of this world to become less significant to us. Why does it matter if someone thinks that we are an extremist for following the plan of God? Jesus loves us and would never ask any of us to do something that would hurt us.

The real question for us to answer is why something that insignificant in light of eternity is able to bother us as much as we allow it to. Jesus is not going to love us any less because someone criticized us. 

His love for humanity is unconditional and He will love us regardless of whether we serve Him or not.  Can we say the same about the people around us?

God loves you regardless of your imperfections. We all have them and He still loves us unconditionally! 

I once fought with depression. People had called me stupid growing up and I believed them. Teachers told me I was not smart enough to learn and I believed them. My life was a self fulfilling prophecy of failure and defeat.

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Hebrews 8:12

God brought me to this verse during one of my whining sessions. He spoke to me very firmly and asked what I was going on about. This was not an audible question but it could have been. 

I answered with a recitation of all the things that I had done wrong to disqualify myself from being used by Him. His answer shocked me. 

“Son, I have no memory of those things.”

This was His answer. He is God so I was shocked. I was led to this verse and shown that when we repent of a sin it is placed under the blood. God had not forgotten my sins. They had been washed away by the blood of Jesus and so no longer existed! I had residual memories of them in my soul just as you have of your sins but God has no memory of them!

We must develop in our revelation of the Father’s love for us. He sent Jesus to die for us before any of us were conceived in our mother’s womb. Our sins and iniquities were forgiven nearly two thousand years before any of us drew a breath. This includes all past, present, and future sin that any man or woman will ever commit!

Jesus needed to only die once on the cross. He will not be going back. His death, burial, and resurrection either satisfied the claims of justice and provided forgiveness of all sin for all time or it did not. I choose to believe it did!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

 I want you to notice that John did not instruct his readers to ask for forgiveness. He directed them to confess their sins. The Greek word translated forgive is could also be translated “to send forth”.  

Jesus already shed His blood. We will make mistakes and we will miss God at times in our Christian walk. Forgiveness was purchased long before we were born! If we acknowledge our mistake He will “send forth” the forgiveness already provided to us in Jesus and cleanse us from the sin with no remembrance that it ever happened!

There are many Christians operating in a codependency focused on other people’s approval. They have never cultivated a close relationship with God and therefore look outward for approval instead of upward. 

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Romans 6:12

The Lord led me out of depression by leading me into a closer relationship with Him. This taught me that it was my decision to not separate and spend time with Him in His Word and prayer that opened the door to depression. 

It may not be intentional but it is our decision to allow sickness, disease, lack, and depression into our lives. We do this by not giving time to the Word and fellowship with God. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14

The Holy Spirit desires to have fellowship with us. Fellowship is a part of being in a relationship. A relationship will require an investment of time. 

I recently went on a week-long trip with my wife. We rented a cabin for three days and just enjoyed the views and each other. 

One of my staff members asked about our plans prior to the trip. He told me that his wife and him could never do anything like that because they would drive each other crazy! It was beyond his ability to imagine being locked up with his wife for a few days. 

We will continue to struggle with “sin” actions until a quality decision is made to spend time fellowshipping with God on a daily basis. This will involve time spent meditating on the truths of His Word but it will also involve time spent just enjoying His presence.

A friend recently asked about the difference between presence, anointing, and glory. I had to pray about this. Every Christian receives the Holy Spirit when they invite Jesus to become the Lord of their life. We all have the “presence” just as the man mentioned above has the “presence” of his wife with him on a daily basis.

It is not enough to have the “presence”. This is a fact for every Christian but not every Christian will acknowledge this as a truth. I’ve attended many prayer meetings focused on seeking the “presence” of the Spirit by people who called themselves Christians. He is dwelling in the spirit of every Christian!

The anointing occurs as a result of spending time in the presence. It is a rubbing on of the other person’s essence. If I hug my wife in the morning it is possible her perfume might rub off on me. Coworkers might smell this and know I had been in her “presence”. This would be due to the perfume rubbing off on me which is what the anointing is.

The anointing comes as a result of spending dedicated times of fellowship. He is with us but we must acknowledge this as truth and make a dedicated effort to spend time with Him. As we do, the burdens and sins we struggle with will just fall off.

I once heard a minister talk about his struggles with cigarettes. He prayed and prayed for deliverance but just couldn’t seem to quit for more than a day or two. This went on for several years. He was invited to a weeklong camp meeting with services that ran throughout the day for seven days.

This minister talked about getting caught up in the presence during the services. He attended more than thirty meetings in a seven day period and did not once think about cigarettes or struggle with a temptation to smoke one the whole week.

The minister left the meeting with a full travel schedule. He was on the road for several months preaching in church after church. As he drove home at the end the sun was in his eyes so he lowered the sun visor. His old pack of cigarettes had been tucked into it but forgotten. They fell out and he realized that there had not been a single urge to smoke for several months. He had been delivered at the camp meeting while caught up in the presence!

Your sin nature is dead. The Holy Spirit is with you and desires to spend time with you. Grace will reign in your life but only in proportion to the amount you allow it to. The first step is yielding to the drawings of the Spirit and making time every day to fellowship with Him.

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