The thought for this posting came from attending Pastor Glenn Badonsky’s evening meeting at First IPC, while at the altar call.
We were singing a prophetic song about rising from the dust, and the thought came to my mind about what it would practically take to really rise from the “dust” of our past, our afflictions, the things that have weighed us down so much in the past.
After this meeting was over, I was faced with the usual stigma of feeling frustrated over something really simple (not worth detailing) and I began to wonder did what I said at the alter really matter if I was already frustrated with something so simple and unimportant in the big picture?
A few thoughts that come to mind:
In order to completely rise from the dust of your past, you need to decide to change your old behavior patterns.
-If you have a bad habit or addiction you’re trying to overcome in your life and you make a decision to overcome that problem with the help of God, it does not make practical sense to put yourself in the same situations and places you were in before.
If you have a tendency to react negatively to what people say and it’s hard for you to let go of the resentment or emotions you feel, you have to make a conscious decision to look at that situation in a different light. If you have a tendency to respond to a harsh word with anger or outburst, you have to make a real effort to respond in a Christ-like manner; that is what demonstrates a real change of heart and effort to live as God desires.
Any thought that says it is right and acceptable to act in a manner that is clearly against the ways of God is a clear deception from the devil, and you must take that CAPTIVE and conform it to God’s Word.
Our lives are filled with deceptions from the devil, from thoughts that say immoral behavior and actions are appropriate in God’s eyes to thoughts that say it is acceptable to say a “half-truth,” leaving out part of the truth and thinking no harm was done. Or thoughts that say it is okay to gossip and trash a person behind their backs. Paul, in Romans 1:29, lists “gossip” as one of the problems along with envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. The New King James Version uses “whisperers” instead of gossip.
Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament offers this thought on “whisperers”:
“Those who secretly, and in a sly manner, by hints and innuendoes, detract from others, or excite suspicion of them. It does not mean those who openly calumniate, but that more dangerous class who give hints of evil in others, who affect great knowledge, and communicate the evil report under an injunction of secrecy, knowing that it will be divulged. This class of people abounds everywhere, and there is scarcely any one more dangerous to the peace or happiness of society.”
Are we “rising from the dust” of our past when we continue to talk about other people and put them down in the “injunctions of secrecy” that are mentioned above?
One of the biggest deceptions is that because of our past sins and mistakes, we are somehow not good enough for God. That is where the grace, or “unmerited favor” of God comes in. When we fall into sin and away from God, it is vital that rather turn to continuing that pattern of sin, we recognize the wrong we did and do an immediate turn on the road to God because He desires us to come to Him Through the death of Christ we are redeemed and have the right to approach the throne of God.
I’ll add more later, but to surmise for now, it is one thing to stand at an altar and say we’re going to change our ways, but when it comes to directly after the meeting we react the same way we used to react, did it all make a difference? Or was it for another motive? I challenge myself with this thought more than anything else.