Category Archives: prophecy

Inspiration Vs. Divine Power

Just because someone is inspiring, does not mean God is the one behind the inspiration.

Someone may inspire you, but inspiring you to do or be what?

There’s many inspirational speakers; some are new age, some are Christian, some are Buddhist, and some are atheist.

As born-again followers of Christ, we should not seek to merely inspire, but rather, to transform and equip by the power of the Holy Spirit. I can inspire someone to do or say something, yet it wasn’t Christ in me doing the inspiring, but myself.

We must be very careful what we are inspiring others to do. You can “be positive” and encourage a non-believer to go after his dreams, but what if those dreams are shallow, or used to promote and advance immoral messages that cause many to sin?

What we want to do instead is first be filled with the Holy Spirit so we ourselves are inspired and empowered by Him to direct people in the right direction: toward Christ. But how do we get filled with His power?

First, we must surrender.

If there is anything we have yet to repent of, we deal with that first. We stop ignoring, we stop justifying, we stop quenching the Holy Spirit and put that sin to death like the bible commands. That could mean completely cutting off a relationship, stopping your pursuit of riches, or no longer flirting (remember how high God’s standards are: let there not be a hint of sexual immorality among you; Ephesians 5:3-5).

Once our sin(s) are repented of, we diligently seek Christ.

For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on.” (‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭16‬:‭9‬ HCSB)

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭36-38‬ NKJV)

The Father sent His only begotten Son to earth for thirty-three years and He was brutally beaten and crucified for you. He died for you. He gave everything for you. Do you think He will be satisfied with a portion of your heart, and a religious routine? Jesus wants completely devoted followers. It’s all or nothing. You either understand and agree that He is totally worthy of your full love and dedication for all that He did for you while you were still sinning against Him, or you don’t agree with that and continue on your own path that will inevitably lead to death and destruction. There is no middle-ground. Jesus told the Laodicean church in Revelation that because they were lukewarm for Him, and not cold or hot, He was going to vomit them from His mouth. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be vomited from Christ’s mouth. I want to be embraced by Him, always enraptured by His love.

If you do these two things: repent and really seek to know and love Christ, you will be led and empowered by Him and will be able—by His Spirit—to inspire others to draw closer to Him.

Love and grace to you,

Natasha


Are You Ready To Meet God?

Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire shall devour them. Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men. For they intended evil against You; They devised a plot which they are not able to perform. Therefore You will make them turn their back; You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces. (‭Psalms‬ ‭21‬:‭8-12‬ NKJV)

Yahweh, the proven Creator of this universe, will have a face-to-face meeting with us all. We were born by His permission, into His world, and remain breathing now by His will. Like wind to a burning wick, He can blow the very life out of our hearts and we will die, only to stand before the Consuming Fire of whom we must give an account.

Are you ready for this personal encounter? Are you prepared to be judged by Him?

I tell you now, not one person on this earth can ready themselves any other way than that way which God has provided: His Son.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬)

Man is without excuse. There is an abundance of historical evidence that Christ indeed proved Himself to be the Son of God by His perfectly moral life, His miracles and resurrection from the dead, and the billions of lives He’s transformed since then. If anyone doubts this fact, He can merely ask the Lord to reveal the truth, and He will to those who genuinely desire Him. For though many accept that there is indeed a Creator, they reject Him in their minds and hearts, and do not desire Him to be their Father and Master. In their grave foolishness, they deem their ways better than His, and so they cling to their sin and deny God until they inevitably meet Him and face the eternal condemnation for which they brought upon themselves by denying God’s plan for forgiveness and redemption.

I don’t want you to be one of those who all their life assumed they’ll get into heaven on good merit, not realizing they’ve broken the commandments of God over and over and over and have never been truly forgiven of them because they’ve never surrendered to the One who never once broke a commandment; the only perfect One who can forgive sin since He overcame it when He walked this earth in human flesh. Jesus Christ alone is worthy of heaven. He alone has never broken God’s law, therefore when He died, He did not die for merely the worst of sinners, but the bible says He died for the entire world.

Do not trust in yourself to get you to heaven. Jesus has made the path clear: Himself. Come to Him for forgiveness and salvation. Trust in Him as your Savior and Lord, give your heart to Him, change your mind about what you believe is right and renew it by seeing what God commands in the Bible.

May you be set free from every sin and hurt and come to know the One who loved you so much He allowed Himself to be beaten, ridiculed, and pinned to a cross for your forgiveness to be made possible.

If you have any questions on beginning a surrendered relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, feel free to email me at BetterThanPrinceCharming(at)gmail.com

Love and grace to you,

Natasha


I Love Jesus, But I Love Comfort More

We get angry.

We complain.

We grow weary.

We become complacent.

Many Christians tend to fix their eyes on all that isn’t right in their life, rather than on what is.

I love, love, love how the introductory note of this psalm is: “A Davidic psalm. When He was in the wilderness of Judah.” I.e., when evil/crazed Saul, and his soldiers were hunting David’s life and he was hiding in caves with a gang of smelly rebels. But despite his dreadful circumstances, here’s what David writes:

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips. When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches because You are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me. But those who seek to destroy my life will go into the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the power of the sword; they will become the jackals’ prey. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by Him will boast, for the mouths of liars will be shut. (‭Psalms‬ ‭63‬:‭1-11‬ HCSB)

He’s able to say Yahweh’s faithful love is better than life. But how many of us are put in difficult situations and begin doubting His love? Instead of declaring the truth of Yahweh’s proven character we ask, “why me? What did I do to deserve this? When will this end? Why is God doing this to me?”

The focus is on ourselves rather than on Yahweh. No wonder things only get worse: not only are our circumstances tough, but our attitude is growing more sour rather than our character becoming more Christ-like.

When we allow Yahweh to build our character in difficult circumstances, things get better. Why? Because we have become better, and when we become better Christians, Yahweh is pleased.

Reality check: as Christ followers, we aren’t supposed to love ourselves and our comfortability more than we love Christ.

Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. (‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭3‬:‭1-4‬ NKJV)

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (‭II Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭3‬ NKJV)

We are quick to forget all that Christ suffered for our sakes. We have yet to follow in His steps of affliction. We haven’t had our bodies crucified like the early apostles and our brothers in other parts of the world. Just last month a group of teenage Christians were crucified for refusing to deny Christ. And it’s only getting worse. The persecution of Christians is at an all-time high. May we be praying and thankful for all the comfort we still obtain here in America—even if we are “poor” by the government’s standards, or have yet to find a spouse, or any other difficulty we may find ourselves in. It can always be worse. And complaining about it only angers God and ourselves—and those around us.

May we repent of trying to please ourselves and truly live to please Christ. If we are serious about our Christianity, may we no longer love our lives and our comfort more than Him. May we serve Him like He served us. May we remember every morsel of food and sip of water and breath of oxygen is given to us by Yahweh. Every single thing that is still good and right in our lives are blessings, not entitlements. God does not have to keep giving us breath so with it we can continue complaining.

We were created to glorify Him, to thank Him at all times and in every circumstance; to know that despite the inevitable trials we face in this hellish world where the devil and his demons prowl, we have a hope to hold onto. Christ is coming back, and we does, everything will be made right and good.

Until then, let us endure hardship as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We may be out of here tomorrow and never have to worry about another thing again. Let’s prepare ourselves for that day of reckoning, when we meet our Savior face-to-face.

The grace and peace of Yeshua be with you.

Love,

Natasha


Why Should I Love Jesus Christ?

What did Christ really do for us?

1.) He left heaven and came to earth

In heaven, hundreds of thousands of angels worshiped Jesus. He stood among them in complete and glorious splendor. But even more wonderful than all of that, He lived with the Father Himself; He saw, walked, and talked with the Creator, the Perfectly Good One. He had everything He needed in heaven, yet He left it for not a day, not a few months, but thirty-three years.

Not only did He leave this wonderful home with the Father, He traded it for a horrendous one; one where corruption, hate, murder, adultery, paganism, idolatry, and violence ran rampant. A home where from birth, His life would be hunted. He dwelt among the poor and lived as though He was poor—for us.

2.) He loved us

Jesus laid hands on the untouchables and outcasts; lepers, the blind, the lame, adulteresses, tax collectors, and He healed them.

He taught us what following God really looks like. He revealed to us the very character, the very heart of God. Instead of demanding to be served, He served and gave up His life—for us.

3.) He suffered the reproach of the cross

Christ was fully aware that He would be beaten, ridiculed, rejected, arrested, and eventually crucified yet He did not forsake God’s plan, but embraced it—for us.

4.) He defeated sin and death

Not only did Jesus make a way for forgiveness through His perfect life and sacrifice, opening the gates of heaven for all who wish to enter through Him, but He also conquered sin and death—the very power of Satan that kept the human race bound since the days of Adam and Eve. Before Christ died, we were helpless to sin’s control over our life, and victims of mortality. But through His willing sacrifice and resurrection from the grave, Christ frees all those who trust in Him from the devil’s works. Jesus brought deliverance, both now and eternally—for us.

5.) He gives us everything we need in the midst of this dark world

Peace:

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭27‬ NKJV)

Joy:

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭11‬ NKJV)

Hope:

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast … (Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭19‬ NKJV)

Companionship:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭20‬ NKJV)

6.) He rewards us

As if all the fore-mentioned wasn’t enough, Jesus offers us heavenly rewards, gifts that never perish, treasures that never rust. He promises a crown, the right to drink from living waters in heaven, and healing fruit to eat; gates of pearls, and streets of gold to walk upon.

There’s so much Jesus Christ has done for us. Do we love Him with all our heart? Are we thankful to Him every day? Do we really understand how worthy He is, and thus live for His glory?

May you and I both grasp the depth of Christ’s love and how worthy He is of our complete devotion. This is what life is about for the Christian—loving Christ for who He is and what He’s done.


How Do I Imitate God?

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭1-10‬ HCSB)

Be imitators of God. What a high command. This is the call of every Christian—no excuses. So what does it mean? Firstly, it’s a denial of self.

Christ was always denying Himself and giving glory to the Father and doing whatever He told Him to do.

Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t Mine but is from the One who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own. The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (‭John‬ ‭7‬:‭16-18‬ HCSB)

This is the attitude and obedience we are supposed to imitate. And of course, being a servant to others from the love of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts.

But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭20‬:‭25-28‬ HCSB)

Now here’s a hard reflection: are we imitating Jesus? Maybe we are sometimes, but think of the times we aren’t. Is that okay with God? If we cuss at times, or get drunk, or have an outburst of anger, is that fitting for someone who is supposed to be imitating the forgiveness, love, patience, and humility of Christ? How about if we do these things often?

Christ enables you to repent if you are sincere about following Him. He can renew and establish you in the faith, cleanse you and make you holy; make you like Him. He is able, we only have to be willing.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭14-16‬ NKJV)

May we all grow more like Christ from glory to glory.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha


I’m a Christian, But I Don’t Want You To Know I’m Struggling

Sometimes, most times—often times—our fear of being vulnerable is rooted in pride or the fear of man. Both are a snare.

But as Christians, that’s one of our crosses to bear, something we are commanded to do: be transparent. And here’s the irony of it all: it’s only after we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be real, that healing and deliverance comes.

Some of us are tangled up in chains. We hide our shackles beneath long-sleeved coats and pants, blind to the fact that when we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ, there’s keys in the midst, keys that are just waiting to set us free.

It is for our benefit that God commands us to be honest with our struggles.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭16‬)

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭1-2‬)

We all are going through some trial or struggle and could really use prayer support. This transparency among each other promotes love and true edification. It also leads to a deeper understanding of God’s love and power because as James says, confession coupled with prayer brings healing. But if you can’t be real with one another, you’ll stay stuck in whatever it is Christ died to liberate you from. On the outside you’ll put on a smile, while on the inside you’re dying.

You don’t need to die! You don’t need to put on a show. Most discerning Christians can see through that anyway, and you will never fool Christ. He sees your brokenness and greatly desires to heal it, but it must be on His terms: vulnerability, transparency. Christ died so you can be made alive. What a shame, what a waste to throw that gift away, to reject it for vanity’s sake because you want to protect your ego.

Christianity is a brutally honest walk. There’s no room for fakers. And if you keep it up long enough, out of love and a desire for you to be healed, Christ will eventually expose you. If you don’t want to fess up, God will display what you’ve been hiding in darkness.

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. (‭Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭16-17‬)

Confess to your brethren now before things get worse for you. The only thing you’ll regret is not having done so sooner.

Grace to you,

Natasha


How Can I Follow Jesus In A Relevant Way Today

“Many pastors are making converts, but not disciples.”

“Only 30% of people attend church regularly. Many say they don’t go to church because they don’t find it relevant.”

Practicality. How can I live like Jesus? Over and over we hear messages about salvation. It’s great to be reminded of Christ’s love for us as displayed on the cross at Calvary, but we need relevancy. We need to know how to apply Scripture to our life today. Jesus said His word will never pass away. It’s as relevant in the 21st century as it was 2000 years ago and beyond. So here’s my practical advice from a few verses I read this morning: be ready for what’s coming.

You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. (‭Luke‬ ‭21‬:‭17-19‬ ESV)

“You’ll be hated by all”; that’s encouraging. Jesus then says, but not a hair of your head will perish. I don’t think He means the hair on these mortal, death-plagued bodies, because two verses earlier He says some of His disciples will indeed be killed, but I believe He’s speaking of our resurrected bodies, reminding us to look ahead to eternity and the Day of the Lord when Christ returns and we all are resurrected into immortal, imperishable bodies. Then Jesus ends with, “by your endurance you will gain your lives.” He is preparing us for hardship, for serious, serious persecution. In order to be prepared for the persecution every Christian will eventually face, we need to set our minds on eternity—not the now.

After continuing His teaching, telling us of all the terrible plagues and famines and wars that are going to happen, Jesus ends with:

“Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.” (‭Luke‬ ‭21‬:‭34-36‬ HCSB)

So let’s start to do this now. Why place our hope in a shaky rapture doctrine when Jesus clearly teaches us to put our hope in the resurrection at the last day? We need to be prepared for the worst, not the best or easiest scenario.

We need to:

1.) Be alert at all times

What does this look like practically for you? Stay sober. Don’t get caught up in too much entertainment. Don’t drown yourself in career. Stay in the Word and be aware of what is happening in our world because there are clear signs that show us His return is nearer and nearer and we need to be ready to face Him.

2.) Pray

This is the most practical thing any Christian can do, but many of us don’t pray as fervently as we are commanded to. We need to pray for strength, that no matter what happens, we won’t lose hope, but endure till the end. We need to pray that we are worthy to stand before Christ, because there is a standard, and how unbiblical it is to think confession alone will get us into His eternal presence. I’m not preaching works based salvation, but more so “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Don’t take it for granted, don’t think you can sin all you want and still be spotless before God who searches hearts and knows all things. He does say we Christians will be judged too and there are certain sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) that will keep us out of heaven, and Hebrews says that we cannot abuse His grace or we can expect a “consuming fire that will devour [God’s] adversaries.”

So stand firm, family. We see our first amendment rights are continuing to be trampled on by the Obama administration. We need to stay alert and keep praying every day. May I and you be found worthy on the Day of the Lord and may I meet all of you in heaven. I pray we all endure, because Jesus says the love of many will grow cold and a great falling away of the church will happen before He returns. I pray you and me are not apart of that falling, but that we rise together in glorious bodies and attain salvation to be with our Lord forever. And may we choose to imitate Jesus today in our pursuit of prayer:

So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. (‭Luke‬ ‭5‬:‭16‬ NKJV)

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

Love you and praying for you,

Natasha


What You Do Can’t Get You Into Heaven, But What You Do Can Keep You Out Of It

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-9‬)

Indeed, no matter how boast-worthy we deem our good works, they can never surpass what Christ did for us: living a morally perfect life and then offering up His perfect life as a perfect sacrifice for our sins upon the cross. But, what we do can most certainly keep us out of heaven—even if we profess Christ as Savior and Lord.

This is a very popular verse in the church today, however, it is only the first half of this verse that is popular, while the second half is usually never even mentioned:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

There is an obvious clause in this verse: the necessity for not walking according to our flesh but according to the Holy Spirit.

The bible is clear:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭19-21‬ NKJV)

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭5-9‬ NKJV)

“Once saved, always saved,” is a pervasive false doctrine that has infected the church and defiled her. This notion proposes that no matter what, when you give your life to Jesus, you are going to heaven. But we must abide in Christ, we must continue fighting the good fight if we are to be with our Lord. Even Jesus affirmed this truth when He said in both Matthew 10:22 and 24:13, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

We must endure. Jesus says in the previous verse in chapter 24 that the love of many will grow cold. You can start strong on the narrow path of life, but end up on the wide road of destruction. Jesus also affirmed this in His parable of the seeds; some seed (the gospel) fell on rocky ground and these are those who accept Christ immediately, but do not have their roots grown deep in the faith so when trials come they fall away, and for others, the seed falls among thorns and after a while, the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches draws them away.

Jesus was ardent about His disciples abiding in Him, remaining in His teaching, strengthening their faith and producing good fruit. But how many hear the gospel and “accept it,” only to continue doing the same sins they did before, but believe they’re still going to heaven because, “once saved, always saved?”

Salvation is not empty, it is not ineffective. Salvation brings about transformation in the life of the surrendered, and the fruits of his salvation become evident to all.

May we take heed this warning from our brother, Paul, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified (II Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭5‬), and: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” (Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬)


Jesus Is Supposed To Transform You

“Abstain from every form of evil.” (I Thessalonians 5:22 NKJV)

When I looked up the original word for “form,” I discovered it included the outward appearance of something. This verse isn’t just speaking about avoiding being involved with evil, but even just the appearance of evil; if it can look like you’re doing evil.

I would say that’s a pretty high standard, wouldn’t you? But if you are familiar with Scripture, you’d know there’s an emphasis on “walking worthy of the Lord,” and being “blameless.” Another verse says we are Christ’s representatives. That’s a big deal, a huge deal.

Jesus was morally perfect, completely blameless in all of His conduct. To represent that can seem impossible to many people, and it is—if you don’t have the Holy Spirit.

Christ came to utterly transform us, but, there is one major obstacle to the process of complete transformation: self.

Jesus told His audience that whoever wanted to follow Him needed to pick up his cross, deny himself, and follow Him. There is a prerequisite before a person can be transformed by Christ’s indwelling Holy Spirit: surrender. And I’m not talking partial surrender or lip-service, but true-blue, Jesus have it all, I’m done with my sins, my ideas, my desires, and I’m going to let You be my Master surrender.

I think there’s a few kinds of people. There are those who are interested in what Christ has to offer. Maybe they hear a sermon, or a friend tells them about Jesus, and they like the sound of forgiveness, grace, love, purpose, and escape from hell. But they are not aware of the depth of Christ’s love for them, and His perfect goodness, so they doubt if the Christian life is really all that satisfying, or they believe Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one can get to the Father except through Him, but they’re afraid of the unknown. Both have the solution to their problem in truly grasping that God is not a mean dictator, but rather a loving Father. And like loving earthly fathers discipline their children for their benefit, God even more so disciplines out of complete knowledge and understanding of what is absolutely best for you. Once this truth is grasped, it is easier to surrender.

But then there are those who truly just want fire-insurance. They believe in hell and don’t want to live there for eternity, so they confess Christ as Savior and Lord, but they never surrender. They maybe start a religious routine of attending church and going to a bible study, but they continue sinning and doing what they want to do. Tragically, Jesus says of these kinds of people:

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭22-27‬ NKJV)

Jesus didn’t come just to save people from hell, He came to save them from being bound by hell. He defeated sin by the power of the Holy Spirit, and expects those who follow Him in surrender to do the same, not relying on their strength, but on His.

There’s loads of Scriptures on us being holy and different from those who do not know God, primarily how we love Him and one another. But love doesn’t harm, it isn’t selfish, it isn’t lustful or envious or prideful. Love keeps its clothes on and hands off until marriage. Love respects and does not belittle. Love doesn’t lie. Love doesn’t steal, it gives. Love isn’t out of control.

I feel for my generation because there’s so much blasphemy in “churches” today; people getting drunk, having premarital sex, dressing immodestly, cussing, lying, gossiping. These are not fruits of the Holy Spirit, but of the flesh, and it all leads to death. There’s these buildings with pastors who use Jesus’ name and some of the bible and then call themselves His church, when really, their heart isn’t surrendered. They treat His grace as something common and abuse it by continuing to sin and leading their congregation to sin. They talk about reaching the world, but they are still of it! They cannot save souls, but only draw them to themselves. They aren’t bringing people to Christ, they’re bringing them to themselves. It seems the majority of church-goers act like, look like, and talk like those who don’t know Jesus. They don’t realize that there is supposed to be a genuine life transformation; mind, heart, and soul, from the inside out we are truly new. Therefore, they not only miss out on genuine communion with God, but they also are on the wide path of destruction, rather than on the path to life.

The bible speaks of a “great falling away” of the church, and I believe this is the time it speaks of. More and more pastors are rising up, twisting or denying scripture, accepting sin and rejecting the power of Christ to really transform lives. Many are being led to hell and don’t even know it. Then, when someone confronts these pastors or the sin in their congregations, they are called judgmental and shooed out or silenced. The bible says those who do this have their just judgment coming.

But I know God is good. He seeks the heart that is truly hungry for Him, the person who is sick of following their own way and really wants to know Him. These He delivers, He “exalts the humble and gives them grace, but resists the proud.” Jesus visits these people and they surrender and become transformed. And that’s my prayer for you: that just like He visited me on February 22nd, 2009 and began radically transforming my life, that the same would happen for you. That you would come to know the depth and height and length and width of Christ’s love for you, and discover His good, pleasing, perfect and acceptable plans for your life. That by His power, you will be healed and through His Holy Spirit, be able to defeat the sin in your life. Then you too can be able to share Him with others and partner with Him in truly saving souls, storing up great rewards in heaven. But the best reward will be experiencing God here on earth, really experiencing Him; His love, His joy, His power, His grace, His leading, His favor.

If you’ll only surrender.


Living A Life Completely Free of Sin

To those who believe even as Christians, we will always fall prey to sin, no matter what, until we are resurrected, I soberly ask if you know of even just one Scripture that affirms this belief? Because there are several that teach the exact opposite (see this blog post).

I wonder if this belief is based merely on personal experience, and thus, since all they’ve known is they’ve sinned after claiming surrender to Christ, and that others they know have sinned after claiming surrender to Christ, and since they both continue to do so, it must be impossible to always defeat sin until we are out of these fleshly bodies. It may also be that they’ve been taught this by pastors and leaders so they accept it as truth, without really having Scriptural support.

I know it is highly difficult to find people who profess Christ as Lord living such continually blameless lives, but it’s not because they aren’t out there, but rather, because they are indeed rare. Since the belief of sinning until after death is so prevalent and convenient, and taught by many a famous pastor, the teaching is widely accepted. But even Christ said the path to destruction is very broad and there are many who go down it, but the path to life is narrow and difficult, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

But many early church fathers believed and walked in the liberty of following the Spirit and thus, not continuing to sin. I definitely believe for some of them it was a process, like for Peter who was hypocritical and cowardly among the circumcision party, so that Paul called him out, but given Peter’s letters, it is apparent he repented and taught and believed that we can and are expected to cease sinning as children of God, born again, dead to the old self, and alive to God.

But there is this doctrine that teaches we are not dead to sin and the old self, and we only will be once we are in our resurrected bodies. What’s interesting is that, at the end of Paul’s long teaching on the resurrected body, he actually concludes with this:

“Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” (I Corinthians 15:12-34 NKJV)

I think of how in the Old Testament it was God’s mission to destroy sin and bring us back to a godly fellowship with Him. How He destroyed the whole world, sparing only 8, because of sin. How He would slay His people for sin and how agonizing it was for Him that they continued to go back and forth between obeying Him and sinning. First, He reveals Himself to man in the garden, but that wasn’t enough, then He reveals Himself mightily to the Jews in Egypt, but that doesn’t work either, then He gives them laws to follow, that still doesn’t work, then finally, He sends His Son to once for all deal with the issue of sin: to remove it completely, to kill it in the flesh so we no longer walk in it so we can have unbroken fellowship with Him. God’s grace is not, “I forgave all your sin and when you keep on sinning it’s okay because Jesus died for those future sins too.” He forgave people in the past as well for their sin. Forgiveness was previously attainable, but God wanted to destroy sin entirely, no longer having to continue forgiving it. So He does something radical: sends His own Son to live a morally perfect life in the flesh, conquering sin by the Spirit, and then dying on the cross to give us a brand new start. With that clean slate, we receive the Holy Spirit to now indwell us forever—a gift that was not previously poured out on/into those from the past—in order for us to have no excuse for sinning, because Christ Himself—the conqueror of sin—now lives inside of us. God’s promise has finally been fulfilled:

And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.

“Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. Not for your sake do I do this, ” says the Lord GOD, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!” ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.”(Ezekiel 36:23, 25-29, 31-33 NKJV)

“Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 11:19-21 NKJV)

I don’t wrestle with the desire to sin or not sin. I hate sin. I want nothing to do with it because of the new nature Christ has given me, because my body is now a temple for His Holy Spirit. I do not thirst for sin, I do not crave it, I have died to it. So it’s really not a wrestling. I think if it’s a wrestling for some, it is because that person may not have truly surrendered his whole heart and desires to Christ, which is a must if we are to try and follow Him. Remember the outwardly righteous young rich ruler who only had one sin in his life that Jesus addressed—his love for money—and although he was obedient in all other matters of following God, because of this one sin he didn’t want to surrender and then choose to follow Jesus, Jesus implied he wouldn’t go to heaven.

See, Jesus wants us to forsake all of our desires, and when we really do that in genuine sincerity, He gives us a heart of flesh and removes the heart of stone, that we can now, through His Holy Spirit abiding in us, and by choosing to listen to Him, walk blameless before Him.

Now, no doubt there are many who profess Christ as Lord but continue in sin, but to generalize and say that all do this because Paul had to rebuke and correct many is not a fair judgement. Even Jesus, in speaking to the seven churches in Revelation, had to address sin in all but two: The church of Philadelphia and the church of Smyrna. The majority were accepting some form of immorality in their midst, and thus they were rebuked, but these two churches were not rebuked for any immorality. Jesus even used the word perfect in correcting one church found to have sin:

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. (Revelation 3:2 NKJV)

Perfect means perfect. Why would Christ expect perfection in morality if we aren’t able to give it?

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence. For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. (1 Peter 1:14-19 HCSB)

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds. (1 Peter 2:24 HCSB)

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (I Peter 4:1-4 NKJV)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (‭Titus‬ ‭2‬:‭11-14‬ NKJV)

Although not a popularly taught doctrine, it is indeed possible and expected for us as children of God to walk blamelessly, in complete holiness before Him during our time here on earth. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, including always reject sin whenever Satan tries to trip us up. I pray you come to believe this truth, and surrender your whole heart to Christ so you may walk in it, fully pleasing to Him, receiving the reward for your faithfulness.