What do you think about if I tell you NOT to think of a green donkey? No matter how hard you try, your mind will be filled with interesting images of a green donkey.
The same principle applies to sin-consciousness. Many churches (with the best of intentions) focus on eliminating the sin in the lives of Christians. The more these Christians are told NOT to do a specific thing, the more they will be inclined to focus on it and dwell on it daily. Before they know it, they will once again stumble into the trap that the Law sets. Paul preaches the same thing in Romans 7:
“But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing].” Romans 7:8
Once again I want to direct you to the verse that will set you free: Hebrews 12:2. Throwing aside every hindrance (in this case, an obsession with sin and what you are doing wrong) while looking to Jesus is what will lead you to a life of victory. The end-result of this singular focus will be natural, spirit-filled living as Christ finishes the work that HE started in you. This was they way God intended it to be. That is why JESUS came to fulfill the law – and why the onus is not on you any more.
We cannot do it – but Jesus already did it!
Although it cannot physically be seen- fear is a phenomenon that can cause even the strongest man to be crippled. From a Christian perspective, fear makes you doubt God’s goodness and His will to protect you and care for you. The onset of fear makes you feel alone, and it immediately takes away all your confidence.
In many instances in God’s word we hear the word “fear”:
“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” Is 41:10
“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Prof 29:25
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].” 1 John 4:18
When fear strikes us there are a few things we can hold onto:
- God’s character does not change. That which you fear is not His will for you – whether it be sickness, death, debt, conflict or distress. He wants to bless you, to give you a life of abundance. This is the truth. God never changes – but your reality can.
- As a Christian you can experience a supernatural life. You don’t have to submit to a doctor’s report saying you have cancer. You don’t have to fear when all you hear about on the news is death and violence. As a Christian you live in the shadow of God’s presence, which means you will experience divine protection, fullness of joy and overwhelming peace and contentment.
Don’t give in to fear when it strikes you – turn your back on it and face the glorious presence of God, which drives away all fear.
“But as for you, the anointing which YOU RECEIVED FROM HIM ABIDES (permanently) in you.” 1 John 2 v 27
In simple terms – the anointing is the power or the ability of God. If you are a Christian, you receive this anointing and it then abides permanently within you. Marnes Nel from Immanuel Ministries explained it like this:
“The best way to explain the anointing is to compare it to a dam full of water. This dam abides permenantly in all Christians, but not all Christians have all the floodgates open. Some have a stronger flow in certain areas than others, but it is important to remember that all Christians are anointed. That is why the Bible says that the same spirit (the Holy Spirit) abides in us but works in different ways or gifts. All the gifts come from the same water (the Holy Spirit), but it manifests in different ways – for example healing, prophecy, words of knowledge etc.”
The anointing cannot be seen, but it’s effect is evident to all people around it. Examples of this anointing in the Bible include the following:
- Healing flowing through the body of the woman who touched Jesus’ garment (Luke 8:43);
- People getting healed through Peter’s shadow that fell on them (Acts 5:15);
- A dead boy coming back to life when Elijah laid his body on the child (2 Kings 4:32);
- People getting healed through clothes that touched Paul’s body being sent to them (Acts 19:12).
If you want to live in a greater flow of God’s anointing the only way to do it is to receive more grace. It is not through effort or striving – but just through believing what He has already accomplished.
As you live your life it is easy to compare yourself, or your faith, to the people around you. Some people may feel that they don’t measure up, while others might feel they are more ‘accomplished’ in their Christianity than others. Both these mindsets are wrong.
The truth is – in Christ there is no level or ranking of individuals. You can’t be a better or worse Christian than others. If you believe in the complete price that Jesus paid, you have jumped to the top of the ‘Christian ladder’. That, and that alone, is what God looks at.
“And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons…” Acts 10:34
“Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].” John 6:29
A life without comparison is a liberating life. Comparing yourself to others drains your energy, and it will always leave you feeling discontent. Knowing how God looks at you with complete acceptance will leave you at peace and full of joy. It frees your time and energy to just get to know God’s true character and love Him.
If there is one thing I dislike, it is when Christians complicate the Gospel to such an extent that it is tiresome to hear. The Gospel should be easy enough for a 5-year old to understand. Just because you have rivers of revelation does not mean that you have a relationship with God. I don’t ever want to reach a point where I feel it is necessary to know more and understand more in order to be more spiritual. If it comes naturally, then by all means – bring on the revelation – but please don’t take my attention away from Jesus! Paul could not have made it clearer:
“For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.” 1 Cor 2:2
The rest of this verse is just as fantastic. Paul says that he did not come to the Corinthians with ‘lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom’. This qualifies anyone to speak their heart. You don’t need a doctorate in order to write or speak about Jesus – You just need to know Him as a person. If you know Him, the Holy Spirit abides in you. It is this amazing Spirit that touches peoples lives and softens their hearts, not a beautifully preached sermon. That way, whoever hears you will have faith in God (being touched by the Holy Spirit) – not in human theories, speeches or ideas. It simplifies matters, if you ask me. Now we can just trust in the work of the Spirit, instead of our own limited intelligence.