Just the other day I thought to myself – why do so many Christians still struggle with sin in their lives. Why, when Christ paid the ultimate price and set us free in every aspect, do we still walk around with the very things Christ died for so that we can walk in complete Victory, walking above reproach.
I then came across the following:
Bill Johnson wrote – No one is ever deceived unless he has first entered into compromise. We were created with the ability to recognize right from wrong because the law of God is written on our hearts. But that capacity becomes crippled when we fail to uphold what we know to be true.
In the natural, we have an immune system that protects us from the many illnesses we are exposed to in our daily lives. When that immune system is weak, we become vulnerable to every germ and virus that comes along. Maintaining the standard of righteousness in the heart is essential to strengthening our spiritual immune system, which keeps us undefiled by the spirit of deception.
A heart that is clean doesn’t desire evil. When evil is appealing, it is a warning sign that compromise is in operation, and that certain precautions must be taken. The roots of such compromises are usually found in the attitudes of the heart. That is why Solomon said, “Watch over the heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). When a root of compromise is exposed, repent. And repent deeply until there is a true change of heart and mind. It saves a lot of heartache in the long run. If it’s a repeated area of weakness, use the tool of accountability. Accountability gives us great strength as friends bring out the best in us.
Good stuff isn’t it?
It made it so clear to me that the reason so many Children of God are still stuck in sin, and still allowing sin to enter the door of their heart, is simply because just outside the front door is a mat called Compromise. The mat of compromise is a Welcome mat for whatever your compromise might be in your life. Your compromise knows where it is welcome.
We need to walk up to that mat and wipe our shoes on it and break all attractiveness of it which draws sin in, we need to get rid of it. Rid your front door of that mat of compromise. Don’t just give God your house, give him your porch as well, so that when sin comes knocking, and comes knocking at it’s own accord with no welcome mat calling it in, that sin will then come face to face with God who now owns the place the mat once had.
Stop Compromising – Receive your freedom, Receive your deliverance, Receive your Forgiveness.
Christ paid a price for you, He did not pay the ultimate price so you can live in bondage!
Trusting like a child
In the December of 1997 when I was in grade 5 we all went on holiday to Johannesburg,South Africa to visit my uncle as we have not seen him in years. I remember travelling by train from Cape Town and I remember the songs my brother and sisters and I sang on the train on our way there. It was during this trip that I attempted to also read my first book ever, and of all the books to start off with I just so happened to not start with an easy one, probably also the reason why I never got past page 61. Anyway the book was called “Run Baby Run” – by Nicky Cruz (I think), and it is about a little boy who made a lot of bad decisions in life and ended up as a gangster for years, and how he got saved, and there’s an amazing testimony in there, but like I said I never finished the book, so I never got to the part where he got save. I just read about a lot of running, stabbing, bars, and then the trained pulled into Johannesburg station. It was during that Christmas Holiday period that my mom bought me my first watch – and hey it was a smart watch, with silver and a turn-able ring on the face – wow I remember thinking I have the best watch ever, polishing it every opportunity I got, Making sure that when people were around I would let the sun reflect off the watch into their eyes just so that they can look at my watch and I would be like… oh sorry it is new, look!!!
But little did I know that the watch would only last 2 weeks. You see, on the 6th day of us being there I went to the park with my cousin and somehow I accidentally, without knowing hit my watch against the side wall of the slide whilst coming down on it, but only noticed the cracked glass when I got home.
Upon seeing the cracked glass I immediately went to the room, shut the door, and hid my watch so my mom would not see that I broke it. Upon getting back home in Cape Town, I went into my room, pulled up a chair, and placed my watch between the pages of my Bible and started praying over it. I remember saying “Please Lord, please fix this glass, and heal my watch. Lord I know you Word Heals”. “Please don’t let this stay broken please fix it I know you can”. For about a week I would run home either from school, or from an activity and I would run to my room, close the door, pull up a chair and pulling my bible from my hidden location. I would hold the bible between my palms keeping the bible horizontal, Taking a deep breath, and then opening up my bible with an expectant heart hoping to see the cracked glass healed. Now I know you might be thinking… why would God heal a watch? I now ask the same question, but to me back then… man I believed without a doubt that He will fix it because I knew He did not want me to get a spanking from my ma. Haha, and yes, that was my reason for wanting God to heal it. And if you are thinking that my watch never got healed… you are correct. But I’ll tell you what though, God opened such a door for me that when I approached my ma with the news she just smiled and hugged me. I was like… Um Ok!! You see, without faith it is impossible to please God. I believe that my faith, as silly as it was, touched His heart! He was probable sitting on His throne having a good chuckle as well, but the point of my story is this…
Too many Christians today somewhere forgot that God honors your faith regardless of how you bring it across as long as it is faith! We tend to think as we grow up that spiritual maturity works the same as growing up in the physical – all of a sudden we get so serious and lose our sense of humor because we are mature and we have no place for childlikeness. I disagree. In fact I believe that the closer your walk gets with the Father, the more childlike you’ll become, because to God we are His Children, and He is our Father. The Word says that unless you become like children you will not be able to understand the Kingdom (Matthew 18:3-4: And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. 4Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven), and unless I am mistaken, the bible was never created or spoken by God to only have the serious and the mature understand it, but He made it understandable to all even children. The Bible is so simply putt, that if you truly grasp the simplicity of it, some might even get offended. God loves us being childlike, spinning, laughing in His Presence, jumping on His lap, sharing some jokes and laying in His arms. We need to let go off childishness, not our child likeness.
At what age did we decide that we are too old to be like children anyway, and why? When did being childlike become childish in our eyes? When did we grow up so fast that we even forgot that no matter our age, we are still CHILDREN of God?
God never intended for us to lose our childlikeness especially our childlike faith in Him. The childlike faith that will take whatever He says as yes and Amen without raising any questions or any “but’s”. Faith that takes His word as a child would take His Daddy’s word not even thinking that His dad is not able. That when God says “tell this mountain to be removed into the sea” we will literally go and try it out?
Let’s take some time this week and allow God to restore some of our childlike-ness, even if you are 80 years old. Lol you are never too old to play with your Daddy.
I spent a week last month on the Love of Christ, and spoke on this subject to our youth group at church on what Jesus went through for us.
I would like to share this with you as well.
Jesus- from the Old Testament times- knew that He was going to come down and die on the cross for the sins of man. The reason we know this is that the Word says that God is all-knowing. If this was not the case we will not find evidences in the old testament that point directly to that fact, almost as if to tell us in advance, that He will be coming, with glimpses of Christ from as early as the times of Abraham.
So, knowing now what Christ went through for us, we now also know that He in advance knew exactly the amount of pain and torture He would go through, but yet when God needed a plan for redemption, Jesus in all His glory stepped up and said, He will leave everything He knows, step out of his Glory State, and come and pay the ultimate price, by becoming flesh, and die on a tree, so that nobody will automatically perish, but we will all have direct access to forgiveness. But what I have found is that Jesus not only knew what he was going to have to go through, but he also knew the amount of stress that this will involve. My reason, if you know you are writing a big life changing exam tomorrow, how do you feel? Nervous? Did you know that Jesus was under stress the night he was captured for he knew the test he had to face tomorrow? The bible says in Luke that 22:44 that Jesus’ sweat in the garden became as drops of blood. Many think he was emphasising the amount of sweat, but if you look at it in a medical term (and I have done my research on this), you will find that bleeding through your skin is possible. (Though very rare there is a thing called Hemitidrosis, also called bloody sweat. It is well documented that under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with water. The results of this happening alone can result in weakness and possible shock). So as we now know, Jesus did not just go through the motions, he knew exactly what he was going to have to go through for us. And that is why you will find preachers preaching that the victory did not come at the cross, but in the garden. Moving on… (by the way, after being arrested we often forget how far Jesus had to walk in his weakened state… 4 km)
After being arrested Jesus was taken to the high priest and this is where the first physical trauma was inflicted. Jesus remained silent and for doing that he was struck by a soldier in the face. After that they mockingly blindfolded him and said he should identify them as they all walked passed him, spat in his face and struck him in the face… early the next morning, Jesus, battered, bruised and dehydrated and exhausted from not sleeping was forced to walk all the way to Judea to face Pontius Pilate. As you all know the story, the mob encouraged that Barrabas be released and Jesus be sentenced to scourging and crucifixion.
Preparations for the scourging are then carried out. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and his hands tied to a post above his head. The Jews had a rule where they cannot give more than 40 lashes, but they usually stopped at 39 just in-case of a miscount.
The roman legionnaire, taking into account the size of the man, equal to an American football player of today, approaches with a flagrum in his hand. It consisted of 7 heavy leather thongs, with 2 small balls of lead – equivalent to a decent sinker for fishing today. Some believe that pieces of broken bone was also attached to the leather. The heavy whip is brought down with full force on Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs. At first the thongs cut through the skin only, but then as the blows continue they cut deeper and deeper into the subcutaneous tissue, producing first an oozing of blood from the veins and the capillaries, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from the vessels in the underlying muscles. The balls of lead first produce large big bruises which are then eventually broken open by the repeated blows. Finally the skin on the back is hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area is an unrecognisable mass of torn bleeding tissue. The beating is stopped when the centurion sees that the prisoner is near death. Keep in mind Jesus is all-know. He knew what he was going to have to go thru for you. Half fainted Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the pavement, wet with his own blood. The Romans laughing at the One who claims to be a king. They throw a robe over hid shoulders and place a stick in his hand as a sceptre, and then they took a bundle of flexible branches with very long thorns, and planted to make a crown, and is pressed into his scalp. As you should know the head is the most vascular area of the body. That causes more copious bleeding. After mocking him, the soldier shrike him thru the face, they grabbed the stick from his hand and bashes it on his head driving the long thorns even deeper into his head – again more bleeding. After they grow bored they decided to pull the robe off Jesus back, not slowly, but as you would a bandaid, and as the blood already dried up and form clots, when they pulled it off there was excruciating pain almost, according to medical view, as if he was being whipped all over. Again more bleeding, and keep in mind that with loss of blood comes loss of life and energy. Keep in mind… Jesus knew. And could at any time stop what was happening.
The heavy patibulum of the cross (110 pounds), is tied on his shoulders. Jesus walked to the hill of Calvary.
Jesus had to walk 650 yards still bleeding, and sweating the cold sweat of shock. At the crucifixion location they strip Jesus clothes again only. As the crucifixion begins they offer Jesus wine mixed with myrrh, which usually helps with the pain. The nails are driven through the wrists not the palms (medical evidence will show that the palm cannot carry the weight of a man). And then the nails are driven straight through the feet on top of the cross a sign, Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews. Jesus is now hanging. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrist, the nails pull in, excruciating, fiery pain shoots up the fingers and up the arms and explodes in the brain- the nails in the wrist are putting pressure on the nerves. To avoid the stretching torment Jesus lifts himself up and as he does the same excruciating pain follows as the nail is putting pressure on the nerves in the feets bone.
At this point, as the arm fatigue, the muscles start to cramp, knotting in deep throbbing pains in the muscles. With these cramps come the inability to pull one self up with means in this position air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be released out. Jesus raised himself up with all his might to get a short breathe. When this is done carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Jesus then also exhales and breathes new life giving oxygen into his lungs. And it is during this period of pulled up strength and breathing that Jesus spoke the 7 sentences.
After his 2nd last sentence: it is finished: Jesus finally can allow his body to die. And with all his might again he pulled himself up, wrists tearing, torn feet against the nail, he takes a deep breathe and says it is finished.
An average crucifixion can last to up to a few days 4-5 according to Tenney before the crucified died on the cross. The longest recorded crucifixion took 9 dies. It was hardly ever the crucifixion that killed people; it was usually due to the suffocation or due to the damage done at the scourging. According to the bible, Jesus died very quickly. mark 15:44 says that Pontius was surprised that Jesus went so quickly.
Now why did Jesus die so suddenly if it takes an average man a few hours to days tom die? This is the reason:
Jesus did not die by physical factors which ended his ability to live. He gave up His life on his own accord. The crucifixion did not kill him, the stabbing in his side did not kill him, the scourging did not kill him, and Man did not kill him, coz who can kill the king of kings? Who dare boast on that? No, Jesus came with a plan and when he accomplished his goal, he used his last strength and breathe and said: father, into thine hand I commit my spirit, and then willingly, layer his own life down by breathing his own last breathe.
How do we know Jesus did not die a physical death? When they came to Jesus the saw he was dead, but to make sure they stabbed a spear into his 5th rib and water and blood came out of his side.
Medical post mortem will now show and tell you that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of ….. heart failure, also known as a broken heart.
Ending… the hour that Jesus stepped out in heaven saying, I will go. He knew everything. He knew the pain, he new the stress but he said: “Father, Send Me”. From that moment on, He set His love on you, he lived every moment to save you, so he can have a love relationship with you. Jesus made a choice. And when he thought of you there was simply no place in him to compromise. When it came to you He did not compromise, He did not compromise with sin, and he did not compromise with the world even though it was offered to Him ON A silver platter. He did not compromise.
Keeping in mind He knew all and could have stopped everything at any time as the word says He had legions waiting for Him to give the word so they can destroy earth.
He set His heart on us. There was no grey area for Him. He did not save us on certain days, and entertained Himself in the world on other days! We should do the same. He did not compromise with us, we should not compromise with our decision with Him. We either live for Him and give Him our all, or we don’t. God does not like the area of being indecisive, being tossed around by the wind, and being lukewarm. Revelation says that He will puke out the Luke-warm. We need to make a decision in our lives… what are we willing to offer up for Jesus, are we willing or are we living with compromise?
What are we compromising with tonight?
Malachi 3:10 :Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
God loves a cheerful giver and will always give seed to the sower.
God id faithfull to His Word, and would not have created, or putt enphasis on tithing if it did not work, or if the truth about tithing had no power to it!