It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

Archive for September, 2016

The Level of Our Integrity Determines the Level of Our Success

It is imperative that we stand with integrity. The enemy and the world would have us to believe we can be halfhearted and not fully committed to integrity and it will be ok in the end because they will say it does not matter.   But we are told to be like God and He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  God is One with Himself and we are called to be one person at all times. We are to be followers of Christ, people of integrity every day of the week and in every circumstance.  We are to be people of integrity, to be the same today when things are going well and the same tomorrow when the bottom falls out of our lives.  We must hold fast to same level of integrity, being the same whole, one person at all times.  We are not multiple personalities, not knowing what person and attitude will show up.  We are call to holy and holiness is being the same person at all times just as God is the same, He does not change and we should not either.

Integrity is the covenant we make with ourselves and God to commit to live to His standard of ethical behavior and conduct, especially when life comes to test our convictions. Everyone will be tested or tempted to take the easy way out and the results will be measured according to our integrity.  The testing of a metal is important in finding the weak areas or where it may crack or fail.  Our areas of strength or weakness are found when the test of life comes and the pressures of life are applied and our true self is revealed.

Holy comes from a Hebrew word, qadash, the root meaning clean, to dedicate, or to set-apart, or being whole. This is who God wants us to be when we are with our friends or family dedicated to being the same person at all time, being whole and not split into several personalities depending on who we are around. We are to be the same person on the job as we are at church or in the community. So many of us have multiple personalities living in one body and it is difficult for others to know who the real person is.  Many of us have different personas that we display depending who we are interacting with.  People may not know which personality will show up on any given day or which persona they will be talking to.  It is important to remember that we are called to be one person at all times.

It has been drilled into our minds that holiness is associated with our appetites, cravings or desires.  But holiness is a commitment to live as one person at all times and live an informed life and not be ignorant of God’s word. The truth we know and accept can change the way we think about ourselves and others.   If we are one with ourselves and know who we truly are, we will worship and be committed to our Sovereign King.  We are foreigners living in a strange and different country and culture and God has called us to represent Him.  We will find ourselves in some major battle and we are to be prepared to stand and not let our appetites or the world’s opinions rule over us.

Hebrew 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever NKJV

1 Peter 1: 14-17   As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. NIV

When we know in our hearts and minds that we were created for greatness in the image and the likeness of God, the enemy and the world cannot have us trick us with their lies. We can only stand by knowing what the word of God says about who we are and how God loves us. It is our knowledge of God’s truth that will keep us from destruction.  It is our commitment and integrity to God’s word that propels us to success. It is not just intellectual knowledge but it is the truth that we commit to and do that sets us free.

Our commitment to integrity is what will keep us from being swayed by wrong motives, society, family or friends. It is our commitment and the decision we make when we are alone with ourselves to live by integrity that will give us the strength to stand when the waves of life come crashing in on us.  Many of us think we will be ready when the storm hits, and we will be able to just say no to life’s pressures. But they will find that they were not prepared to stand the test because they were without the truth of God’s word nor had they committed to the integrity of God’s way. That is why so many people fall to the ways of the world when they are under pressure.   When the flesh is fighting for its life that is not the time to stop and try to figure out what God said or try to make a decision on the spot.  Military personnel know they cannot do strategic battle planning in the middle of the fight. Those decisions must be made before they are in the battle and then their actions are automatic based on the planning and training beforehand. We too must know the battle plan before the battle.

Again, a covenant to God and commitment to ourselves is made in the quietness of our heart, and then we make a choice to stand for integrity.  It is in the quiet times we will make a decision to stand for truth while we take into consideration the cost and the repercussions that will follow our decision not go along with the world’s way.  It is at this time we make peace with ourselves and commit to God’s love and then we are able to stand against the pressures of the world and are able to fulfill our purpose. Knowing Who God is, His love for us and His purpose for our lives will give us the will and the strength to hold on to our integrity.

Integrity is to have a steady devotion and allegiance to act and adhere to just and ethical principles of God and to have the soundness of moral character to be honest in every situation. Only the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is more important as Christ followers and eternity than our commitment to integrity.

John 8:31-32     To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” NIV

Psalms 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You NKJV

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. NKJV

Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. NKJV

Our integrity is the most valuable asset we have, beside the Holy Spirit living in us, and is a primary weapon against the enemy and against self-destruction. Integrity is our steady allegiance to God’s principles which aid to our success and to the success of our children.  The right and ethical conduct according to God is found in the word of God, the Bible.  It is virtually impossible to stand committed to integrity under presser apart from the commitment to God’s truth and knowing His word by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Most people are committed to doing the right thing and they will try as long as things are going well. But when life brings chaos and shortages the nature of man will return to the fallen state of survival and self-preservation. Integrity is an individual choice to trust God in all things for our provision, health and even our life.  No one can give us integrity and no one can take away our integrity it is a personal commitment.  Our integrity is linked with our God given will, which is our ability to choose to live by a standard of conduct and principles outlined by the God our Creator to ensure our good success in this life and life eternal.

Our integrity is what allows us to be one with ourselves, that is to say we are one person all the times. Whether we are alone with no one looking or if we are before thousands of people, we are the same person at all the times. God calls this Holy, to have the character of God, to be the same yesterday, today and forever no matter the situation.

Our integrity is our contract or our pledge we make to ourselves and God to uphold His word and to trust God to be with us in the challenges of this world and to help us stand against the cravings of this world and the flesh. We all live in this fallen world and fallen humanity with the pride of mankind railing against the word of God with passions of the flesh if left unbridled would send us all into a vortex of corruption and decadence. It is our integrity that holds us to a commitment of control and restraint and it is because of the decision we made before we entered the battle that sustains us.

Remember, it is our integrity that brings glory to God, which is why the trails of life comes to test us and to see if we are really committed to the truth, we say we know and have.   The world knows how it will respond in difficult times and expect Christ followers to do the same. We have seen it all too often in a time of crisis people lose their concern and compassion for others and become self-centered and self-absorbed.  To see someone committed to their word and hold to their integrity even at a cost to them, is an example to the world the love of God and the power of God to uphold and keep His people.

God will be praised when we are able to stand against the chaos and pressures of life and for our ability to live integrity which come from our God.

Successful and Not So Successful People

We all were created to succeed. We have been given by God all we need to succeed and yet there are so many people who are barely making it in life. The level of our success is determined by the level of our knowledge of God’s principles and our choices to obey His word. God says His people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. They lack the knowledge of who they truly are so they never grow into their maturity and their life’s purpose.

We want to blame the devil, sin, drugs and all the appetites of the flesh. But God says His people are destroyed because they do not know who they are, their purpose or the God Who created them. God is talking about the people who are in His family being destroyed. They have accepted Jesus as their Saviour and their souls are saved, but their minds are still enslaved to the lies of the world. This is why we are told not to conform to the ways of the world but for us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. God says as a man thinks so he is. If our minds and thoughts are open to the lies of the enemy, this will affect how we live.

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God. I also will ignore your children. NIV

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV

Some people are ignorant to the word of God and they do not know the right path to take. Others reject knowledge and refuse to accept God’s word. Those who blatantly reject God, He says, He will reject them on judgement day. Their actions will not only affect them, their children will be affected because they will not have the knowledge of God and will follow after the patterns and lifestyle of their parents.

God has given us everything we need to be successful. We have Jesus Who paid for our sins and gave us a new life; we have the Bible to reveal God to us, to teach how to live; and we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to be successful and fulfill His purpose for us. Jesus has defeated the devil, our sins have been forgiven by His blood, but we continue in a depraved lifestyle because our minds have not been renewed and we do not have enough truth in us to direct us.

For anything to grow, it must be attached to its life source natural environment. God gave instinct to all the creatures in the world for them to grow. But for them to be successful, they must stay in their given environment. Plants must stay attached to the soil; fish must stay in the water and animals in their habitat. To take anyone of these creations out of their environment for very long, they will become unsuccessful in accomplishing their purpose. The same is true for mankind we were created by God, in His image and our spirit is the life source from God. When we are ignorant to God’s word then we do not know how to live and be successful, and any lie might lead us on a path away from God.

God told Joshua how to prosper and be successful; to keep the word of God always on his lips and to meditate on it day and night. God is telling Joshua to say and do what the word says and you will not go wrong. When people come to talk, slander or suggest some evil scheme, we are to say what the word says on the matter. If we continuously meditate day and night on the word of God, it will become embedded in our hearts and become the foundation of our character. Our faith is increased by reading and hearing God’s word and it is faith in God that gives us hope so we can be strong, courageous and not be afraid or discouraged.

Joshua 1:8

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” NIV

It is when we read the word of God we will learn who we really are and the way God sees us, which is our only true identity. The Angel of God appeared to Gideon saying, the Lord is with you mighty warrior. God saw Gideon as a mighty man of valor at the same time he was hiding in a winepress from his enemies. Gideon started sounding like most of the people today, if God is with us, then why are we going through all of this trouble?

The world would have called him a coward but God saw the man He created Gideon to be, and not what he was doing at the moment. People want to label us by our faults and mistakes. We all have failed at something in the past but that was an event in time and it does not define who we are today and God’s purpose We can change our actions and therefore change our future according to God’s purpose for us.

 

Judges 6:12-13a, 14-15 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us….

Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” NKJV

 

 

God told Gideon to go and save Israel and again Gideon started speaking what society and the world had taught him about himself and his family. Gideon was saying his family was the least in their clan and he was the least of his family. That made him the last one in this hierarchy to do great things. This is the way the enemy and society want to make us feel, that there is nothing good in us, but God has called us children of the Most High King.

Life is a never ending process of learning the wisdom of God through His word. When we know God’s word and mediate on it, we will live by moral character with a covenant and commitment to do the right thing no matter if there is an audience or not. We must be strong and courageous to stand against big business, political agendas and the pressures of this world. Our integrity will protect us from making wrong decisions under pressure. It will keep us at a weak moment because the commitment to moral character has already been made. We know God will be with us no matter what we go through.

Remember, God wants us to change the way we think about ourselves and others by renewing our minds to His word and having the mind of Christ.

Our Success Lies Within – Endowed By Our Creator

God has placed success in all His creation because all of God’s creation was given the ability to reproduce after its own kind. Every fish, every bird, every beast and every plant has inside of it the ability to be successful in its created purpose to reproduce after itself. God has placed a continuous link in every creature that allows it to be and do what it was created to do by instinct. Instinct is a natural inborn tendency or pattern of activity that exists in one from birth and it exists in someone or something that is a permanent and inseparable element or attribute.

The animals and birds glorify God in their life, living and doing what God created them to do. Birds fly, fish swim and the horses and animals run and roam this earth reproducing and bringing glory to God. When a bird flies and soars in the sky and the fish swim and inhabit the sea, this brings pleasure to God. God sees His creation doing what it was created to do. In Genesis it says God looked at all He had made and it was very good.

Genesis 1:21-22 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” NKJV

Mankind is the pinnacle of all God’s creation. How much more would God do to insure humanity’s success? God created man in His image, to be like Him. Humanity was given a will, a soul and a spirit to reflect God’s ability in the earth to have a choice of will with the ability to decide to glorify God in the earth. All other creations live by instinct, the inborn actions that glorify God.

God in His own mind, out of His thought and imagination created man in His likeness and image. The word formed is a Hebrew word “yatsar” which means, through the squeezing into shape, to fashion for a purpose, and to determine its character. God spoke all other creatures into being but He formed Adam and fashioned Eve in His image.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[ the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” NKJV

Mankind was given much more than instinct. We were given a soul and a living spirit and told to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion over the earth. Humanity was created to be like God to rule and to reign on the earth with all the abilities, attributes and wisdom of God. God commanded man to have dominion over all the animals, fish, birds, plant life and even the things in the ground, gold and precious stones.

We must marvel at the lack of mankind to be successful in the task God had given, to subdue that is to conquer their enemies, to overcome their circumstances and thereby bringing glory to God. Mankind had the ability and the authority to defeat Satan and yet they chose to disobey God. Humanity has been in a spiral downfall ever since because Satan in his subtleness deceived Eve.

She lost sight of her crated purpose and was convinced she was created in a lower state less than what God had made her to be. The enemy continues with that same lie of deception to keep us from becoming the person God created us to be.

Every child is born with a purpose to glorify God in the earth. God has put in them everything they need to be successful in fulfilling their created purpose. Just as God has put in all His creation the things they need to grow, reproduce and be successful in their purpose, God has done even more for mankind. God made mankind like Himself with a will, the ability to rule, but sadly we see so many people living below their God given calling.

Every manufacturer that creates a product has a manual that explains the purpose and use of that product. . The manual tells the consumer things to do and not do, to ensure it performs effectively and to prevent malfunction. God has given us a manual, the Bible, which tells us how, why we were created and gives us principles that will prevent our malfunction. God knew we would need this, because He says His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Hosea 4:6        My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge,     I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God,  I also will ignore your children. NIV

Society says people are destroyed because they are not educated, or they do not have a job, or because they are on drugs and have an addiction or they are promiscuous, or prostitutes or unwed mothers and single parents. Then society sets out to correct all these ills, but they are only byproducts of the original problem; they lack knowledge of the truth or rejected the knowledge of God. Now their children may suffer because they too may ignore God’s principles and may not know who they are or their created purpose.

Success in this life, while we are still on the earth, is to accomplish God’s purpose for us. We must know the truth of our purpose and understand the operating manual, the Bible. God’s word is simple and yet it is difficult to apply, especially when we do not know the truth.

When we read the parables of Jesus, they sound simple; love your enemies, pray for those who abuse you and give to the poor, looking for nothing in return. Applying these truths to our lives is difficult. We cannot forgive or pray for our enemies in our own abilities. It takes the power of God through the Holy Spirit to give us the will and the ability to perform His good pleasure.

 Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. NIV

This is why we must train our hearts and minds and then teach our children to believe, that we are endowed by our Creator to be like Him and to be successful no matter what this world throws at us. God has provided for us everything we need to be successful, the Blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, the Bible to change the way we think about ourselves and the Holy Spirit to lead us, to empower us to fulfill our purpose, to have dominion over our circumstances and to accomplish all God created us to do.

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