8 “Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds, so my deeds are superior to your deeds
9 for just as the sky is higher than the earth,and my plans superior to your plans.”
One thing that has always been true about our God and the most forgotten fact among His people is that God does not think like you and I, and He does not do things our way. Why? Because you and I are so inferior in understanding compared to God, who knows and sees all things. Verse 9 above God clearly states that God’s ways are superior to ours. We look often at only what we immediately see in front of us, but God sees far beyond that.
Many times believers who pray according to God’s will believing in line with His Word don’t realize God answers those prayers prayed in faith, He just doesn’t do it the way you think it should be done. Don’t take that to mean God brings about evil works in our life to fulfill His ultimate will, for scripture clearly does not teach that. But my point is to say we are simply to pray in line with God’s will, and we are to pray in faith. Once you have done so you need to guard against thinking God will do things the way you expect.
What are we to do after we have prayed in faith? Trust God, rejoice, and remain full of joy. This is not what many do, but it is imperative if you want to see God work. God made the universe, I think we can trust Him. Rejoice as if you have in the natural received the victory, because in Christ you already have. Remain full of joy. In His presence is fullness of joy. Remain where you should always be, close to God. Never forget, His ways are superior to ours!
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Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
Are you a Christ follower? What is your “want to” in life? Is it to follow in the footsteps of your Saviour and live a life like Him? Every believer needs to examine what their “want to” in life is. If you do not “want to” follow after Him, sadly then you would be considered a lukewarm believer. What does it take to be lukewarm? Simple, do little to nothing for the kingdom of God. If you take a hot cup of coffee, set it down and do nothing with it, it will turn lukewarm.
What was the purpose of giving your life to Jesus if not to follow Him? Jesus said if you want to be His follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Him. To give up your own way means to stop living life for you, the way you think you should live, and instead follow His example, living for Him. In following His example the key is God wants us to “want to” follow Him, not feel like we “have to”.
If we truly are “Christ followers” then we are taking the new life He gave us and using it to bring glory to God. It begins by renewing your mind to who you have become in Christ Jesus. This needs to be your focus as a believer in Christ. Renewal of the mind requires both a new way of thinking, and also putting into practice this new way of living empowered from within. To live a life that really will mean something in the end, you must have the “want to” to follow Jesus.
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Sanctification is what God did to separate us unto Him. Our spirit man within was sanctified (separated) from sin because we were given a new spirit. The old sinful spirit is gone. Consecration is our response to sanctification. Because of God’s work of sanctification (giving us a new spirit man within) we now consecrate ourselves (dealing with outward actions), dedicating ourselves unto God to have fellowship with Him in the beauty of holiness.
Without consecration you cannot have intimate fellowship with God. God loves everyone the same, but He does not fellowship with everyone the same as 1 Peter 1:15-16 tells us, that as God who called us is holy, we too should be holy in all our conduct. Consecration is what holiness is all about, for to be holy means you now set yourself apart from the worlds way of living unto God.
If we do not consecrate ourselves from sin we will harden our heart toward God. God is a Spirit and He bears witness with our spirit. If we don’t consecrate ourselves from sin we sear our conscience (the voice of our spirit man), and that will hinder our ability to hear from God and to therefore be led by Him. So live a consecrated life in gratitude of the sanctified work of Christ, and you can develop an intimate walk with God.
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
It is through our reliance on Jesus that we have the strength for all things because we are self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. Don’t try to be strong, rely on His strength. When we are weak, then we are strong. We are weak when we are not trying to be strong in ourselves but draw upon His strength within us, looking to Him and not to ourselves.
Believers often say they are trying to be strong but the Bible does not teach us to find strength in ourselves. All who trust in the Lord shall renew their strength and they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and shall not faint. When we choose to put our full trust in God, He becomes our strength. We are no longer relying on us but on Him.
As scripture teaches we need to trust in Him with all our heart by acknowledging Him in all our ways and He will direct our steps, bringing great strength to our lives. Take Him at His Word, acting upon what He has said for He cannot lie, therefore act as if the Word is true because it is. Refuse to go your own way. Believe the Word of God and His strength will put you over, for all things are possible to them that believe. Just believe.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We are not to be anxious (worry) about anything, yet many Christians do. Worrying robs your faith. You cannot be in faith and worry at the same time. So how can we live a care free life? Begin by going to God’s Word and find scripture that gives you the promise of God to deal with your circumstances. This will be vital to not allow worry to overtake you.
Once you have scripture go to God in prayer letting your request (what you are needing or dealing with) be made known to Him. Supplication means to bring your petition to God, but do so with thanksgiving, thanking God for what He has promised in His Word about your situation. Faith always sees His promises as already fulfilled, so thank Him for what He has already done through Christ Jesus to change that situation.
Once you have prayed maintain a confession of thanks to God for His promises, and the peace of God will guard your heart and mind from worry. When thoughts come refuse to think about and meditate on what leads you to worry by confessing and meditating on the scripture you are standing on. Worry will only keep you in defeat, but you don’t have to worry. You can master what you choose to think about, and when you do you can be worry free.
Under the New Covenant we are considered sons of God, not servants. We serve the Lord, but we need to fully understand the difference in how we relate to God. Understanding the difference will change how you live, and release what you have already been given by God in and through your life.
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
The day Jesus died on the cross He fulfilled what scripture had prophesied, He, being the Passover Lamb to take the sin and punishment man deserved. He also then fulfilled His Word over the next three days for He died on a Wednesday not a Friday as mans tradition has said. He declared He would be in the earth as Jonah was in the belly of the whale 3 days and 3 nights. There is no way that could happen from Friday to Sunday, and God does not lie. He does what He says.
Wednesday was the preparation day for a special Sabbath as John 19:31 tells us, it was a “high day”. It was not a preparation day of the weekly Sabbath on Saturday, but in fact a preparation day for a Sabbath which followed the Passover to be recognized on the 14th day of Nisan. The Passover began on that day at 6:00 pm, the day Jesus shed His blood so that we could have death pass over all who have received Him and the payment he made for our sin.
There was also the weekly Sabbath to be observed which happens from Friday at 6:00 pm until Saturday at 6:00 pm. This is why scripture tells us that Mary went to the tomb after the weekly Sabbath was over on Saturday at 6:00 pm. She went early the next morning and the stone was already rolled away for Jesus had risen after the end of the third day, Saturday 6:00 pm, just as He had said. You can take God at His Word today for He is faithful to fulfill what He has declared in His Word. He does exactly what He says, and a lot can change in three days!
He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
Our heavenly Father demonstrated His goodness toward us through what Christ has done for us. This is grace revealed, for Jesus is that grace. How good is our God? So good that He has given us what we did not deserve. This influence of grace on the heart of man is what leads him away from ungodliness and to our God. Grace is heavens help that we receive, undeserved, and not earned. Grace is what empowers us to live free from sin. It empowers us to be partakers of all we have in Christ Jesus.
Scripture teaches us that there is more grace to be received from God once we are born again (more of God’s help). James tells us God resists the proud but gives more grace to the humble. The very next verse tells us how to walk in humility. Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Simply put, yield to God’s will. When you do you are resisting the devil.
Titus 2:10-11 tells us His grace appeared to all men, teaching us to deny all ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live a godly life. The grace that appeared to all men was Jesus. So as you submit to God, following Jesus’ example of choosing what God wills, you overcome anything the devil throws at you. So don’t live in pride choosing your own will. Submit to God and receive even more grace, and experience the goodness of your God.
Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
We are heir’s of God (one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship), through our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. As sons and daughters of God our inheritance is based on what Christ has done for us, not what we have done, and we receive that inheritance by faith.
One who is a part of a family and given an inheritance is written in the will of that family member. That inheritance is theirs by birthright and it is revealed to them in the reading of the will. God has written us in His will, the will and testament of the New Covenant. We are written in His will because once born again we are part of His family. So every promise He has given to the children of God is a part of our inheritance just waiting for us to claim it.
So go to God’s Word and find out what belongs to you in Christ by spending time reading His will for you. Meditate on those promises until you see them as yours. Then lay claim to them by faith based on what Jesus has done, not what you have done. Don’t let the devil and others talk you out of what belongs to you. It is your inheritance as a son or daughter of God.