Ezekiel 13:10 Seeking False Peace

Warped brick wall

Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, Ezekiel 13:10 

Many throughout the world are seeking peace. They want to have a peace that is free from all trouble and from all disagreements.

In the process of looking for peace, the world tries to say that anything is permissible. People can do whatever they like, as long as they are happy and it does not harm another person.

In order for the world to have peace, they want to be able to be free to live as they want with no consequences or judgements.

God was angry with some of the people of Israel because they were going around saying ‘peace’ when there was no peace. The land was under a time of judgement from God, removing all peace.

Even today there are some who go about prophesying that God is ‘always’ going to bring about peace, that there is no conflict or real battle. While it is true that God will bring about peace in the end, and that He gives true believers a peace that the world does not know or understand, there is also a time of judgement.

God has always been against sin and working to keep people from all sin. When people live in sin, there is no peace. Sin pushes God out of the picture and all peace with it. There is a false sense of peace when sin is present.

There are some believers who claim that God is bringing about peace as they promote sinful acts and say it is acceptable in God’s eyes. This is a false peace that will be judged by God in the end.

True peace comes from God when the believer is repentant and living for God a holy life as Jesus did.

You may hear of those who are speaking peace while promoting sin. Do not believe the false lies being said. Get into God’s word and know what it means to live for Him. As you live for God, you will know the true peace that He brings.

Living for God will bring conflict in this world, but a peace in the heart despite what is going on physically. Jesus faced conflict head on while living in peace with God. Know the true peace that God brings, not the false sense of peace of this world.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the peace of serving God; that you will not fall for the false sense of peace of living in sin; and that you will live a life of obedience to God. 

Fruit Of The Spirit: Self-Control

Self control word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Today I will be looking at the last fruit of the Spirit–self-control. Thank you, if you have been following this little bible study on the fruit of the Spirit. If you have not been following and just joined, you can find the other studies here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.

This final fruit of the Spirit is the culmination of all of the rest. Without the rest of the fruits, one cannot have this last one. It is one that many people do not really want to talk about or think that they already have it, though most people struggle in this area. Self-control is being able to control one’s own thoughts and actions. It is taking responsibility for yourself.

Self-control is often looked at in the areas of exercising and dieting. Very few people exercise good self-control in these areas and will admit it. However, self-control needs to be exercised in many other areas of life.

Hole in wall

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Solomon points out the value of self-control, or rather the destruction of the lack of self-control. In his time cities had a wall surrounding the city to protect it from the enemy. If there was a hole in the wall, their protection was gone. The wall was then worthless and the city could be overrun.

In the same way, a person who does not have self-control in his life has a hole broken through. Not having self-control allows the enemy to enter into your life. It gives the devil a foothold into your life, causing you to breakdown and choose to sin, rather than flee the sin.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

One are that many people lack self-control in is with their speaking and listening. Many are slow to listen and very quick to get angry. They are quick to strike back with words, cursing someone, when something does not go their way, rather than trying to understand and listen.

Angry person

In order to follow what James is telling us to do, we must have self-control. You have to make a choice to listen. You have to make a choice to be slow to speak and not become angry so quickly. This takes practice over time, because it goes against the human nature.

Immediately many people will rise up now and say that they cannot do this. It is in their nature to sin, that they have no self-control. This is true, if they are relying upon their own strength and abilities. Man does not have any self-control in himself. However, it does not have to stay that way.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12

Titus tells us that God’s grace teaches us to say ‘No’ to sin and to live a godly, upright life that is self-controlled. We have the perfect teacher–God’s Holy Spirit.

Blocking hand

However, just like children in school, we often do not want to learn. Some will say that they cannot do it, it is not in their nature or some other excuse. This is true if you say that, but it does not have to remain true. You can change.

Remember that in Christ you are a new creation, a new person. You have the ability to say ‘No’ to sin and run away from all temptation. However, to do this, you must be in control of yourself. You have to conscientiously choose to not sin or walk into sin.

In your own strength and power this is difficult, even impossible to do. You cannot live a self-controlled, sinless life without God’s help and power.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Another version says that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. God is there to give you all the strength you need to do what needs to be done. This is not just physically doing things, but also strength to do the not doing things, to turn away from sin.

Pushing a bolder

In yourself, you cannot stay away from sin, but in Christ you have that ability. There is no reason for you to continue in sin. Christ has made you a new creation. All you have to do is live as the new creation, live as Jesus lived. Every time temptation pops its head up to cause you to sin, turn to God for strength and a way out of that temptation. Refuse to sin. Allow His Holy Spirit to guide you in the right path.

But all of this is a choice you have to make. It does not come automatically. It is not built into you. You have to be self-controlled. The great news is that with God’s Holy Spirit you can have that self-control to make the right choices every time.

Two choices

Give your life over to God and allow Him to be in control. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you live a godly life here on this earth. As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will have to bear some fruit.

God does not want you to fail, so He has given you everything you need to be successful in walking a holy, righteous, sinless life. You must now make the choice to accept it and live in it.

As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will show His love, which will lead to joy bringing about peace, which leads to forbearance/patience, bringing on kindness and goodness, which will make you faithful and gentle. Once all of these fruits are in place, you will have self-control to keep in them and in God’s will.

Be the man or woman God has called you to be in Christ Jesus. Do not conform to the ways of this world any longer and remain in sin.

This finishes looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will bring this study to a finish with an overview of all that we have studied and what it means to you as a believer. Please feel free to comment and/or share this post with anyone you think that could use it.

Psalm 18:29 Overcoming A Wall

Great Wall Of China

With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. Psalm 18:29 

Going through life, everyone faces some walls in their lives. Some of these walls are self built, while others are built by other people or situations.

These walls can be relational, physical, emotional or some other wall. Walls that are emotional are very common. People are angry with someone or has someone angry at them and it breaks the relationship.

Inventors and dreamers run into walls all the time. They want to accomplish  something, but hit a wall preventing them or slowing them down.

When a person hits a wall there is three things that he can do. Stop and change directions. God around the wall. Or scale and go over the wall. Most people stop and change directions, giving up what they wanted to do.

David knew that with God’s help, there was nothing he could not do. He could go against a whole troop of enemy or he could scale a wall that was in front of him.

Even in the life of a believer, one will come across walls in his life. Going up against a wall is a common thing. It is not a one time event, but occurs on a regular basis. Some walls are small, while others are massive great walls, like the Great Wall Of China. These walls become a problem for the person to overcome.

However, unlike the world, the believer has God to give him assistance. God is there to help him get over the wall and keep moving forward in His plan.

God has strength and abilities that go beyond anything any person could ever have or even dream about. Sometimes God will move the wall, as He did with Joshua, but often He will help the person scale it and get over the top.

You may have some walls in your life that are trying to slow you down or stop you. You have a choice as to what you will do, give up or keep moving forward. In yourself, you may not be able to ever climb that wall and get to the other side, but with God it is possible.

God can guide your steps to get over that wall. He can give you strength to be able to pull yourself up as you climb that wall.

Trust in God for your strength and guidance. You can get over that wall in front of you, not by yourself, but with His help.

I pray today that you will know God’s power in your life; that you will rely upon God’s strength; that God will guide you over a wall in your life; and that God will guide you on your journey through this life. 

Nehemiah 4:1 Opposition Will Arise

Coastal waves

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, Nehemiah 4:1 

When attempting to do something great, most people will have some enemies. There will be opposition to what is being done.

There will be two main types of enemies that a person can have. One is the type that thinks what is being done is crazy and strives to discourage it. They reject the idea of doing something great. This type of enemy is very common.

The other type of enemy is those who physically strive to stop the work. Stopping can be done by physically harming the person or by sabotaging the work in some manner. Blocks are put up as fast as possible to stop the work from being accomplished.

Nehemiah and the Israelites were working on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Sanballat and several others saw this and were very angry about it. They did not want the city rebuilt, so they set out to stop the people.

Opposition to the things of God has not changed over the years. Jesus was opposed by many people when He walked on the earth, and ultimately gave His life because of opposition, though God used that death. The disciples were often imprisoned and tortured for the doing the work of God.

Believers today are often opposed. As believers stand for life, some oppose them saying they are being insensitive to the desires of people. As believers work to build God’s kingdom, the enemy tries to stop them in many ways. Rules are put in place against believers, false reports are given, and in many places their lives are threatened.

Sometimes this opposition even occurs inside the church. People do not like to change and want to stay in their old ways.

Know that as soon as you begin to do God’s work, the enemy will rise up to attempt to stop you. You will be ridiculed and held back at times. Hold fast to God and continue to do His work. Even Jesus was opposed, so you are in good company.

God can give you the wisdom and strength to keep going forward in the face of the opposition. Working for God and doing His mission is an eternal perspective, not the temporal view the world has. Don’t give in to the opposition, but do God’s work.

I pray today that you will know the work God has for you to do; that God will give you favor and strength to do His work; that God will remove fear of the enemy; and that God will protect you from the strikes of the enemy.

Nehemiah 2:17 Rebuilding

Ruined house

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Nehemiah 2:17 

Years of neglect have often left many buildings falling apart and in disrepair. The paint is peeling, holes in the roof, windows broken out, doors falling off and much more. Sometimes this is while people are still living in it, while other times it has been abandoned.

Some of these buildings were great buildings in their time. They were great looking and talked about. People could see them and enjoyed seeing them as they passed by, but now talk bad about it, because it has fallen apart.

Nehemiah had traveled back to Jerusalem to see what the city looked like. The walls and gates were all broken down and left in disrepair. He encourages the people to begin to repair all the damage.

The city of Jerusalem was the heart of the Israelites. It defined them and showed the world that they had God’s favor. Without the city, they had nothing but disgrace.

God had created mankind to be perfect and grand, but because man chose to sin, the walls and gates have been broken down in their lives. Disgrace came upon Adam when he chose to sin against God. This has been passed down to every person since Adam.

Every day people all over the world are walking around, broken down and in disgrace. They have broken walls and gates in their lives. They are no longer showing the greatness of God in their lives.

Some of these people were believers, who have chosen to allow sin to overcome them again. They chose to step back into a life of sin and no longer follow God.

You may be in this position of having allowed walls of life be broken down in your life. Sin has been allowed in destroying your relationship with God and leaving it in disrepair.

Although, you, yourself cannot repair your life, you can allow God to repair the walls of life in you. Jesus can remove the sin and damage in your life and make you who you are supposed to be in Him.

The disgrace of sin can be removed by the blood of Jesus, restoring the glory of God in your life.

Allow God to begin rebuilding your life and work with Him, not against Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow Jesus to build you into a mighty servant of God; that you will allow God to clean your life up for His glory; and that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin.