Made Right

For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:10

righteous – one who has a moral character and is honest right – being conformed to what is good & proper; to be restored to an upright position that which had fallen 

A recent question asked of me was “Are we still sinners if we have been saved?” If you want to live in the sin nature and under the law, then the bigger question to me is… are you really saved if you have those desires? Have you really committed your life to walk with Jesus and have him as your best friend? Is the Holy Spirit in charge of your life, the small decisions as well as the big? 

My answer is: I don’t consider myself a sinner anymore because I have confessed and believe in my heart that Jesus redeemed me from my old sinful nature and has made me right with God. What does it mean to be ‘right’ with God? It is re-establishing ourselves into his original purpose for our lives, which is to be in relationship with him. It is accepting the gift he gave us to redeem us from spiritual death. It is by having faith in Jesus Christ. It is by replacing who we once were, to the person we were meant to be. 

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God! For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

It IS His Grace that saved me, but the sinner I once was has been replaced with the Spirit of the one who carries the keys to the Kingdom.

And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. – Romans 3:22-24 NLT

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT

Jesus loved me when I was a sinner (Luke 5:31-32) and he loves me now as a Child of his Father and as a joint heir with him. I don’t look at who I used to be, but I rejoice in who I am now. If I still call myself a sinner, then I am rejecting what has already been gifted to me. I don’t say that to exalt myself, but to give glory to God for bringing me back to him through Jesus Christ who lives inside of me. I am a child of God and an heir to His Kingdom and I have been made righteous.

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. Luke 22:20

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. – Romans 8:9-10

Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.I do not walk under the condemnation of the law but under the new covenant which has replaced the law. Galatians 2:18-21

Prayer: Father, Thank you for restoring me to you. Thank you for the relationship you desire from me. Thank you for making me right with you by my acceptance and faith in Jesus.  

(My emphases on scripture by underlining, italicizing, or bold.)

Roadblocks

We face all types of roadblocks in our life but the most important thing is how we deal with them. We must know how to manage roadblocks by perceiving whether to press through them, go around them, or avoid them. When we are in God’s will for our lives we will know which path to take. He guides us as we seek him in intercessory prayer, which is a prayer of petition on behalf of someone else by speaking the Word of God, not an itemized list of personal needs or wants. God knows what we need; we don’t have to tell him. Sometimes, we allow our minds to get in the way when we go to God in prayer. He understands our needs better than we do – our omniscient Father. We must pray what He puts on our hearts to pray for and it is not about us.

Last weekend, while I was out-of-town touring the countryside, I came upon five roadblocks in one day. The first one was the result of a storm, which prompted action by the utility companies to make repairs. There was a policeman blocking the road to reroute traffic. The second one was a downed tree, but we were able to drive around it. A while later, we came upon another fallen tree and we had to turn around. It was too large to move and there was no way around it. Next, after hiking a bit along the Pee Dee River, we returned to the car to find a flat tire, which had to be substituted with a spare. It was beyond adding air. The last one was a police barricade stopping all cars to check identification. I was given favor when I couldn’t find my driver’s license because it was in my camera bag instead of my purse. The policeman or deputy told me to pass through because I didn’t look “shady.”

One of the roadblocks I encountered.

Facing all of these roadblocks in one day caused me to pause and ask God what he was trying to tell me. If I had only encountered a couple of them, I probably would have chalked it up to being in the wrong place at the wrong time but five caused me to contemplate further what they meant. I reflected how three of them were impassable and if we are not in the will of God, our communication with him is cut off. We may try to hear from him, but he stops communicating until he has our attention. The communication flow opens once we are obedient and trust him. Then it is like a floodgate that has been fully opened. We hear from him and we have peace.

In that peace, we can touch others when we are fully reliant on God. Sometimes, we allow obstacles in our lives to cut us off from God’s instructions for our lives. We do this by not fully trusting him, when the Word says he will provide for us. Or we may allow activities to get in the way, which hinder us from our daily time alone with God. There are numerous ways we may permit things to obstruct our walk with God. Hopefully, we correct them quickly and get back on the path he has prepared for us. The farther away we stray, or the longer we don’t communicate with God, the harder it is to find his path.

Our lives are more simple and straightforward when we keep on the right path. There may be some roadblocks we can avoid altogether. We have to learn to recognize them and not be pulled into temptations. I want to avoid these obstacles, because it is more expedient when God levels our path. In avoiding these obstructions, we may have to search out an alternate route. Other times he allows us to go around them. When we pass through, this is a form of avoidance. Then there are times when we go through unscathed.

To pass through trials unscathed is victorious! Even though others may try to steer our course or be ‘in our face,’ God sanctions a way through without us being physically hurt. We may be emotionally hurt but it is our response that opens the door. If we allow emotions to take control and dwell in the pain, the doors may remain shut. Although we may get hurt initially, when we turn the emotions over to God, he opens the door or window for us to pass through. When we are hearing from God, the opinion of other people should not influence us. There have been well-intentioned people in my life who have tried to convince me to take different paths at times. I know from experience this is the time I need to immediately go to God and seek what action I should take. If they are correct, God will show me how to correct myself and what they are saying. But if I am already in his will, their words will not affect me and I will continue the journey He has set before me. At times, this is difficult because some of these people are people who I believe hear from God and I respect. There is the crucial point. They hear from God for their lives and sometimes others, but who is responsible for our actions? I hear from God and without hesitation, I seek His will for my life.

Here is a rhetorical question: Who is a better guide, the Holy Spirit or someone else? What I have learned is God will speak to me what he wants me to hear. If I’m on the wrong path, he will convict me but if I’m where he wants me, he will give me peace to continue on. His peace is the key to knowing we are following God’s plan. It is his peace I seek out and not other’s. He knows what is best for me and when I follow him with his Word, I attain that peace.

Whatever roadblocks you are facing in your life now, I pray that you will seek God to show you the way. You may have health issues, financial woes, a family crisis, or countless other things bothering you. Maybe you are going through more than one. Now is the time to get before God and let him calm the storms in your life. I intercede on your behalf for you to know whether to search for another way, trust him to pull you through, or how to avoid roadblocks altogether. I pray for his guidance through the Holy Spirit as you seek his will for your life that you will experience his love and indescribable peace. Praise him for the answer and read his Word. In love, K-D

Click on the Verses for this writing to read them: Psalm 143:10Proverbs 3:1-6; Isaiah 26:3-4Isaiah 40:3-5; Matthew 6:6-8Matthew 8:26; John 16:13-15Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 4:6-8;  Hebrews 12:5-12

What Wisdom do we seek?

“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” Genesis 3:6

Adam and Eve wanted to attain wisdom. They weren’t satisfied that God would give them the wisdom they needed. How does this pertain to us? What areas of our lives do we search out man’s wisdom instead of the wisdom of God? Do we turn to God with our decisions or do we rely on what trusted friends and our peers advise us? We should rely on what God knows. Where is our trust? Shouldn’t our trust be in God?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. ” Proverb 3:5-6

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17

Prayer for every day: Father help me to seek your wisdom in all that I do. Help me to look to you in every decision of my life. Help me not to go by what is in MY mind but to look for your understanding. Your ways are far superior to mine and I ask for your wisdom in every aspect of my life.  No matter how enticing other’s ways seem, help me to keep my focus on you and rely on your Word for wisdom. Thank you Father that you are faithful and take care of each of my needs. I love you, Father. Amen