THE INNER ROOM - "Learn and Grow - to Maturity". Please read the 1st Post.

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PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY


MESSAGE #81

WHEN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE SEEMS TO BE ON HOLD... Part 1

I have one question I would be very glad if you can help me with it. I think in the life of every Christian there can be "spiritual day" (when everything seems OK and easy for him: prayer, reading and understanding of the Bible and so on) and "night" (when you meet some hardship, trials etc. and it even seems God has left you). Am I right?

So my question is: what should I do in dark periods of my Christian life? When it's hard to pray and it seems Jesus doesn't hear me (though I believe from the Bible He promised that He will never leave me). When I read the Bible but don't receive any revelation for me... Have you ever experienced such a state? I would be so glad if you can share with me and give me advice to what I should do.
Anyone reading this who's felt or is feeling like God is a long way away, and certainly has left you all alone, please read Message #19 first, and then return here.

To answer your question, going through "dark" periods in your life is the experience of most of us. There are times when we are "up" and times when we are "down" - no different from anyone else on the planet! BUT... for the true Believer in Christ, in the dark times GOD IS STILL THERE WITH YOU! What a major, major difference this is, compared to unbelievers who live in the permanent darkness of unforgiven sin, and totally cut off from God and all that's TRULY GOOD!! For this I'm sure MOST grateful, and I believe you are too!

I well remember my darkest time when I had to stop work because of my serious ill-health. I was just 39. After about a year in bed they put me out of the workforce, and I remained in bed another 2 years. During that time I hit rock-bottom! The worst thing for me was losing my identity, feeling like I no longer knew WHO I WAS! I'd always been the bread-winner and head of my family. BUT NOW THIS WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME: I was too ill to even get out of bed, let alone go out to work to support my family! And it looked like this was forever (as it turned out, it was!)

Of course, my church should have been there for me. But they WEREN'T. I remember eventually starting to more and more ask myself this very, very painful question: "Is there really ANYONE, even just ONE person out there in the whole wide world WHO TRULY LOVES?" My answer was... well... maybe the Pastor who visited me a few times. That was all. But eventually I decided that he only came cos it was his job, so that left me with the feeling that NO ONE TRULY LOVED...

And I felt utterly alone. God was at least a million miles away. I couldn't connect with Him. He simply wasn't there. I never gave up - but ohh, it went on for SO LONG that I felt like this! In the end the very God Who I felt had left me, took me to watch a TV evangelist, whose doctrines are hopelessly wrong! - but who gave me some....... HOPE!!! I started to see that all was really NOT darkness. That the LIGHT I could only JUST see at the end of the pitch black tunnel I was in - WAS NOT an oncoming train!!!

Christian "HOPE" is an absolutely fabulous thing, just one of God's array of amazing 'four-letter words'!! Like in this verse from the Amplified. Please read every word of it (emphases are mine as always): Hebrews Ch 6:18 This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].


Continued in PART 2 in the next post...

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PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY


MESSAGE #82

WHEN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE SEEMS TO BE ON HOLD... Part 2

... Continued from PART 1 in the post above


Like a dying man, I grabbed on to HOPE - to at least the POSSIBILITY that God WAS still there, that the Bible WAS true, and that there WAS love in the world. Fairly quickly I started coming out of my "downer". And the very first thing that hit me like a bomb was a TOTAL and CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE THAT GOD HAD BEEN WITH ME ALL THE TIME!!! Never left me! He was there all along! It was just ME that FELT He wasn't there!!! Oops! In Message #19 I point out how futile it is to rely on FEELINGS - and to "trust" THEM like I had - rather than TRUST what GOD'S WORD CLEARLY SAYS - and that to rely on our feelings is simply crazy!!!

I think I've already said here that even after 50 years with the Lord I have times when God doesn't really seem to be around. Do they bother me? Not really! Why should they? He's promised to never, never, never leave me - THEREFORE, WHERE IS HE? HE'S HERE!! RIGHT HERE WITH ME, AS WELL AS ALWAYS IN ME!!! I mean what's wrong with us Christians? Our God who CANNOT LIE gives us these two cast-iron PROMISES - and then we go into a "pity party" of "I don't feel like He's here..."

Okay, I apologise!! That was a bit rough, and I'm NOT picking on anyone, truly! Trust me, I've done it all, so I'm sure not gonna judge you! But really - how stupid ARE we? Let's at least start with the BASICS of living the Christian life: HE'S ALWAYS WITH ME! HE PROMISED!! SO IT'S TRUE!!! - then GO FORWARD to grow into some new things that He wants to teach us!

Now to your specific queries. Whether we're in a "dark" period or the opposite, we need to LEARN to act and to think in exactly THE SAME WAY! So, at all times we will be doing (aiming to do) these things:

» Maintain our TRUST and BELIEF in the Lord, keeping FAITH STRONG

» PRAY, knowing that He's LISTENING and HEARING!!!

» READ the SCRIPTURES, in FAITH, trusting the Holy Spirit to help us.

» Keep LIVING THE LIFE. Whether life at that time is HARD or EASY, we do NOT give in, we do NOT quit, but rather we ENDURE so as to become an OVERCOMER, according to the Scriptures! See Message #62.

May I STRESS that I said you have to LEARN to do these at all times! It's not an automatic thing. We have to LEARN to ENDURE. We actually have to become "TOUGH" - but I do mean tough IN THE LORD!! Able, that is, to get through whatever comes to us, whether good, bad, hard, or easy! Because that's just LIFE!!! I recognise that some churches teach that we can expect, and should experience feeling "wonderful" ALL THE TIME. This is FALSE, and can cause a lot of frustration, confusion, and hardship to those who are taught this. It is NOT Scriptural in any way. (And here's something to think on: those who live for the constant "highs" of Christianity in their churches NEVER seem to ever become mature Christians!)

The Lord is ALWAYS with us and in us. We can LEARN to become STRONG in Him. We can LEARN to ENDURE and to become OVERCOMERS by the blood of the Lamb of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen!!

- BM, with his Lady
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COMMENTS, QUESTIONS WELCOME!

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A little push

Awesome awesome message.
May I add to the post something I wrote last nite:

A Little Push

We all need a little push now and then. I needed one tonight. I was tired and did not feel like exercising. I turned to the Lord’s word for a push. I found Philippians 4:13. “ I can do all things through which Christ strengthens me”.

I read it and tied up my sneakers and away I went into the brisk spring air. As I walked and approached my street, there were two young children riding double in a battery operated car. Their father stood on the porch a few houses away. I came up behind them and said “ Can I give you a push”? They said sure. I gave the car a little push and it took off at a slow pace. It got stuck again. I heard the Father yell, I thought he said turn back. So, I told the little ones they need to turn around. As I did that,, the Father yelled again- It has bad tires. They can keep going. Oh, I said. I thought you said turn back. I helped them get their little car back on track and continued on my way.

I relate this to our every day life. We all need a little push in our faith walk. Our Father does not stand far from us. No! He never leaves us, just as Bondman stated. He stands over us watching. He does not want us to turn back. Our tires- our physical bodies, our emotional minds, may become a little worn out, however if we listen and watch closely, there will be someone to give us that push we need to make it and endure and succeed in our faith walk. Yes we will stumble, but when we falter, Jesus is there to pick us up.

Thank you to all of you for the little pushes you continue to give to me through your posts, your sharing of personal trials and tribulations, your victories, but most of all your friendship. Thank you to the Lord Jesus who gave us his word that we can push through anything.

Faithwoman:)
 
Awesome awesome message.
May I add to the post something I wrote last nite:

A Little Push

We all need a little push now and then. I needed one tonight. I was tired and did not feel like exercising. I turned to the Lord’s word for a push. I found Philippians 4:13. “ I can do all things through which Christ strengthens me”.

I read it and tied up my sneakers and away I went into the brisk spring air. As I walked and approached my street, there were two young children riding double in a battery operated car. Their father stood on the porch a few houses away. I came up behind them and said “ Can I give you a push”? They said sure. I gave the car a little push and it took off at a slow pace. It got stuck again. I heard the Father yell, I thought he said turn back. So, I told the little ones they need to turn around. As I did that,, the Father yelled again- It has bad tires. They can keep going. Oh, I said. I thought you said turn back. I helped them get their little car back on track and continued on my way.

I relate this to our every day life. We all need a little push in our faith walk. Our Father does not stand far from us. No! He never leaves us, just as Bondman stated. He stands over us watching. He does not want us to turn back. Our tires- our physical bodies, our emotional minds, may become a little worn out, however if we listen and watch closely, there will be someone to give us that push we need to make it and endure and succeed in our faith walk. Yes we will stumble, but when we falter, Jesus is there to pick us up.

Thank you to all of you for the little pushes you continue to give to me through your posts, your sharing of personal trials and tribulations, your victories, but most of all your friendship. Thank you to the Lord Jesus who gave us his word that we can push through anything.

Faithwoman:)

Great Scripture. Good illustration. Pertinent message from it. Good one, sweetie!
 
Hey, Bondman! Remember when you challenged me that I couldnt find a smiley for "food for thought"?
Take a look!



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A Leopard changing spots

Years ago I was involved in an alchoholic relationship, where the man whom I loved (well thought I loved.. ) was an alcoholic. I had a very dear friend whom I had met through yahoo messaging and we became friends and shared alot of things. My new friend was Blind.. can you imagine instant messaging someone not knowing they are blind.. then talk to them on the phone , still not knowing.. and then come to find out via an email, he was blind. He did not want to tell me right away, he wanted me to get to know him and not judge him by his disabiity. Anyway an amazing person, who is a CEO of a company that hires the blind.

I would share alot about my struggles with the relationship that I was in, and he said to me.. Robin.. A leopard does not change his spots..

Well I was thinking of that last night for whatever reason.. and you know that man the alcoholic, never did change.. his spots never did change..
I then think of the animal the leopard.. they spots of them are part of their body .. it is part of their coat . So then I stop and think of the "spots on our body".. our body of who we are in Christ. You know there are good spots and there are bad spots..

On the main page today of the forum I read this :

[SIZE=+0]Daily Wisdom[/SIZE]
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.

Job 5:17/KJV


So, it made me think of the bad spots on our body that the Lord wants to take away. You see we all have them, we all fall short, but the Lord does want to correct us. Just as the leopard has spots, we do too, however, with the Love our Lord Jesus, our spots can be holy, righteous and pleasing. The leopard cannot change his spots, he was created that way, however we created our bad spots by our sins, they can be removed. I challenge you to look in the mirror, what spots is God calling to you to change?
Hugs Faithwoman
 
The leopard cannot change his spots, he was created that way, however we created our bad spots by our sins, they can be removed. I challenge you to look in the mirror, what spots is God calling to you to change?

Hugs Faithwoman

Great wisdom here! Indeed we did create our bad spots by our sin and sins. And yes, indeed they can be removed. JESUS IS OUR SOLE ANSWER, AND OUR SOUL ANSWER!!!
 
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PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY


MESSAGE #83

FAITH vs. FEELINGS

i dont feel anything good either.. and i am guessing others will reply u saying feelings and faith are different.. but only God knows what u re going thru.. or maybe u can give more details of what u're experiencing.
THIS IS BIG

This is another big one in so many lives - I sure understand why bg wrote about it. Yes, faith and feelings ARE different, but is that the whole story here? NO WAY! Well-meaning folks will often speak in such a way as to be saying that it IS the whole story, but that's just not so.

In fact it's very instructive that 'faith' is all the way through the New Testament in virtually every book, whereas 'feelings' barely get a mention (about twice in the NT, and 5 times in the whole Bible)! Isn't that interesting.

So rather than feelings and faith being different I'm going to say that feelings are way over-rated. For example, as I'm typing this, the Lord is here beside me. BUT... do I feel that? Nope. I don't need to! I mean, why WOULD I need to? One of the last things Jesus said before returning to the Father was:

Matthew Ch 28:20b... behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Okay, so God says: "I.. AM.. WITH.. YOU.. ALWAYS!!" Does God LIE? NO! So is He with me then? Of course! He said He is - SO HE IS!! So do I have any problem here? NOPE, not a one!! Goodness, seeing we're speaking of faith and feelings here, is what I just said about Him being with me a strong FAITH statement? No, I really don't think is is.

HE SAYS SO!

This is how it works for me: either the Bible is true or it's not. I KNOW that it is, AND in my almost 70 years I've seen a whole GREAT PILE of things to confirm this! So how much faith does it take for me to believe that the Lord's here with me? Virtually none! It's simply the old: "He said it! I believe it! That settles it!!" Sure does!

WHAT PLACE FEELINGS?

So there remains to ask, what place do feelings play then? Answer: certainly not nothing, but at the end of the day also not a great deal. Does the Bible say, 'By your feelings you shall be saved?' It does not. Or when Jesus was asleep in the boat in the middle of the tempest, and His disciples were freaked out, did He say to them, 'Why are you so fearful, oh ye of little feelings?' No, it was actually their FEELINGS that caused their dreadful panic!!! Whoa, we do manage to get this so wrong, don't we!

NEVER GIVE UP!

Finally, I've written of how it took ages for me to get Assurance of Salvation. I read this verse:

Romans Ch 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

and I knew it WASN'T happening in me! Sad. But I didn't give up. I knew that this ASSURANCE that I was HIS was PROMISED me by Him, and I was not gonna let go of my hold on God until He gave me the promise! That day DID come!! And so was it a FEELING? Hmm... not exactly. I think it's better described by the words: "I KNEW!" Sure, there were feelings of exultation when I DID realise that I knew - very STRONG feelings! But feelings are fleeting, and they soon left. But: "I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW!!" never has left!

KEEP ASKING FOR MORE

My advice to anyone struggling with feelings, or lack thereof, is to quietly, gently, but DETERMINEDLY, SHORE UP YOUR FAITH. Ask Him for MORE faith, and don't get tired of asking till He answers you! Cos it's FAITH that saves you; gives you ASSURANCE of your SALVATION; gives you assurance that you're NEVER alone; allows you to believe - to KNOW - that He will help you through this time of trouble; that His love for you is FOREVER; and I could go on and on and on.

But it's also the FAITH that HE gives you that allows you to believe! It's NOT your faith that saves you!! - how could THAT ever be? - but rather the faith you have in the LORD that saves you! Faith is ONLY the means to connect to The ONE.. Who SAVES, and is Everything!!!!

Love you guys!

- BM, with his Lady
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COMMENTS, QUESTIONS WELCOME!

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EDIT! When I'm telling the Lord how much I love Him, or I think of how He's saved me, I certainly have feelings! Not meaning to sound like feelings don't count at all. Just that they are nowhere near as IMPORTANT as many think and will tell you. Please don't get hung up on feelings... And please don't live your Christian life hankering for feelings and Spiritual excitement either!
 
I heard one time that while our feelings are from God (HE has feelings, too, and we are created in His image) our feelings are unreliable and not to be depended on.

For example, lets say you are in church and someone runs up to a friend and tells them that his daughter "Melissa" just got run over in the parking lot. Now this friend is going to have a rush of strong feelings run thru him. Then, someone else comes up and says it wasnt HIS daughter, it was another Melissa that got run over. Now, the friend's feelings have changed to relief, gratefulness, maybe even guilt because he felt relief when another child was hurt. His FEELINGS have changed, but the FACTS of what is true did not.
We are to rely on God's Word and His Promises and not what our fickle feelings are doing at the moment.

Anyway, that is the gist of what I had heard.:groupray:
 
Thanks for the posts. They are very good for spiritual growth

Hi gbemiga! Spiritual growth is THE prime reason for The Inner Room to be here - to help us all "Learn and Grow to Maturity" We're SO glad to hear that they are helping! Grace and peace to you in Jesus and much love,

- BM
 
I heard one time that while our feelings are from God (HE has feelings, too, and we are created in His image) our feelings are unreliable and not to be depended on.

For example, lets say you are in church and someone runs up to a friend and tells them that his daughter "Melissa" just got run over in the parking lot. Now this friend is going to have a rush of strong feelings run thru him. Then, someone else comes up and says it wasnt HIS daughter, it was another Melissa that got run over. Now, the friend's feelings have changed to relief, gratefulness, maybe even guilt because he felt relief when another child was hurt. His FEELINGS have changed, but the FACTS of what is true did not.
We are to rely on God's Word and His Promises and not what our fickle feelings are doing at the moment.

Anyway, that is the gist of what I had heard.:groupray:

Wow, Fluf, that is SO GOOD!!! Short and to the point.

What a really great illustration!
 
CONFESSION TIME!

First of all, sorry that I've not got the Index of all Messages finished yet. Too much ill-health. It's coming along, and it WILL be completely searchable for words and phrases, etc. (that's done), but please forgive me for the slowness.

Secondly, my Love has found Message Numbers that are, well, a "bit" wrong! Sorry! I'll fix 'em up tomorrow hopefully. Oops, my carer's supposed to be taking me to the dentist, so that may wipe tomorrow out (if I'm well enough to make it there that is - need to, as a previously fixed top front tooth is threatening to break off at gum level...)

Thankyou so much from us both for your love, your understanding, and your wonderful patience! You're just... SO AMAZING!!!

All of our love to you and yours!

- BM and Mrs
 
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PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY


MESSAGE #84

YHWH, THE GREAT FORGIVER!

YHWH, the major Hebrew name for GOD in the Old Testament, Who we write today in English as YAHWEH or Jehovah - the Creator of all, the God Who took a special people (the Children of Israel) unto Himself, Who He loved and cared for, and forgave them for so many many sins they committed.

Then in the New Testament we read how this same Jehovah had planned way prior to creation for Yahshua, the only Son of God, Who we know as Jesus, to live as a human amongst the appallingly sinful humanity of this planet, though He Himself NEVER COMMITTED EVEN ONE SIN!!! He, Yahshua (Jesus) is able to save the worse sinner! And God is able to FORGIVE - AND WILL, AND DOES FORGIVE - THE WORSE SINNER ON EARTH!

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Are you beyond salvation? NO!


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Have you committed too much sin to ever be forgiven? NO!


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Have you committed sin so bad that you cannot be forgiven? NO!


So... if God TOTALLY forgives you on the basis that:

A. You have repented of your sin, i.e., turning away from your sin with an aim of learning to live the right way

B. Acknowledging that JESUS is the SOLE AND ONLY One through whom you can be FORGIVEN, and

C. Giving the whole of yourself to Him as ABSOLUTE LORD over ALL of your life --

then ALL SINS OF YOURS ARE FORGIVEN AND TAKEN AWAY - AND THAT'S FOREVER AND EVER!!!

To all of this we can only stand utterly amazed - and THANKFUL! We can do NOTHING to sufficiently thank Him, nor do a single thing to make ourselves more acceptable to Him - nor do we NEED to!!! We can only give all that we are TO HIM FOREVER as a willing SACRIFICE... because WE LOVE HIM!

People may tell you that your sin is too grave for you to be forgiven. WRONG! You yourself may feel that it's too grave for you to forgive yourself! WRONG! ALL YOUR SIN IS FORGIVEN, FOREVER!! PERIOD! So say a big, big THANKYOU instead of these - and then get on with the task of learning to live like He wants you to!

Bless you!

- BM, with his Lady
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COMMENTS, QUESTIONS WELCOME!

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Thank you, BM. I needed to hear that you know. I know it is selfish of me to hold onto any guilt because it only hurts the ministry God might have for me to share with others and I just need to grow up, forgive myself and get on with the life He has planned for me.
 
Great message on Forgiveness.

I know the Father forgives us..

If we have wronged people and we know we have wronged them, and the Father has forgiven us.. are we to go to those ones and ask their forgiveness as well?

Faithwoman
 
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