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Old 02-09-2014, 04:28 PM
 
Location: kS.
505 posts, read 477,942 times
Reputation: 123

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Selective, sub-conscious disobedience

Details- sometimes the smallest ones can have the greatest impact on our life. The details of the Holy Bible are a great example of this.
In NUMEROUS verses we are told to "PUT AWAY" or "PUT OFF"... this and that. AS I have posted on this forum a few times before, scripture that tells us to do something NEEDS TO BE VIEWED as a COMMAND FROM GOD, not just a good idea, good advice or a general direction in which we should lead our lives. When we fail to realize this we tend to pay less attention to it. If we only understood these to be commands we would no doubt try harder to implement them into our walk with the Lord.
The example I started with is "put away". The vast majority of these verses are telling us to put away some kind of vice or sin. Here are some verses telling us this: ".. and put away evil from thy flesh..." Ec. 11:10
"...put away the evil of your doings..." Isa. 1:16
"put away from yourselves that wicked person." 1 Cor. 5:13
"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth..." Eph. 4:31
"Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some have put away concerning faith have made shipwreck;"
The original Greek used in most of these exmples is APOTHEOMAI, meaning thrust away; drive away; beat off; banish; to repel, reject and distain. I find these meanings pertinent and interesting as they cover quite a range. The one thing they have in common is this: IT REQUIRES ACTION AND EFFORT from us. The reason I bring this to light is because millions of Christians want to PRAY away their sins, iniquities and trespasses. The examples I gave clearly tell us to PUT AWAY, NOT PRAY AWAY. This is important because when we try to pray away evil and sin from our lives IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK, at least some (if not most) of the time! Constant unanswered prayer leads the Christian down the path of faithlessness and drives us away from God, church attendence, prayer, Bible reading, fellowshipping with God etc... When this goes to the extreme the Christian will fall away and lose interest and could backslide totally.
Here's another example I want to include to show how we sometimes give less importance to scriptural commands from God. Eph. 5:18 tells every Christian reading it "...and be ye not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT;..." Most mature Christians know the difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and being FILLED with the Holy Spirit. This is a commnand from God, yet how many of my brothers and sisters reading this are NOT filled with the Holy Spirit? "Well, I'm not too sure that this is of God; I was told it was of the devil!". "My denomination doesn't believe in that!" It doesn't matter what your denomination or your pastor believes in or teaches, God's Word is the final authority and is your guide and teacher and it says you are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Lord helps those who help themselves is not Biblical word for word but the principal is based in truth. God will help those who help themselves by rightly discerning the Word and are therefore obedient to it.
Consistant answered prayer is confirmatoin of God and His love for us. It shows His willingness to bless and reward us for trusting Him, knowing Him, His nature and characteristics, will and His Word. Answered prayer glorifies God and is a powerful witness to the non-believer.
However unanswered prayer doesn't mean the opposite of all this is true. It can just mean we haven't taken the time to properly discern His Word and are relying on Him to do some things THAT HE TOLD US TO DO. "Put off" DOES NOT MEAN PRAY OFF!! This can be a "hard saying" in scripture akin to Jesus saying men must "eat His flesh..." concerning Holy communion. In Jesus' day even His Apostles had no clue what He was saying. Of course today we know exactly what He meant. Commands from God to us that require action from us, for the most part, exclude action from God (mostly in the form of answering prayer). It's vitally important that you grasp this. When we expect God to do for us something that He has already told us to do it shows lack of understanding of His Word on our part. We are now intruding into the limitations of God into our lives, something He is bound by the laws of total freedom of choice not to interfere with. We are all moral free agents and have total and permanent freedom of choice in every area of our lives for our entire life. "Put away" is a CHOICE we make or ignore, even with God's urging us to do so; even if it is a command of God. If we as Christians fail to realize that God is not going to cross this line, even if we ask Him to, your unanswered prayer will be disasterous to your walk with Him! He is legally bound and restricted and will not cross this line, even if it's for your own good!!
Sometimes we sub-conscously reject God's commands because they interfere with our fleashs pleasure. Even Christians have lives of sadness and lonliness where we don't want to give up certain things because they may be the ony things which give us any pleasure. By accepting and REALIZING that some scriptures are commands from God and not to be overlooked, the Word can come alive in our lives and literally open the eyes of our understanding and change our life! When you start to do the things God tells you to do instead of trying to pray them away you are taking the first step to a changed life.
Brothers and sisters I'm not trying to heap fiery coals upon your head. I also don't mean to be controversial with this subject (which, in light of "All things are possible with God!") seems to contradict scripture. I don't know the whole answer here. All I know is that when we are told to put away sin it doesn't mean pray away. I spent years realizing this and then more ACCEPTING it! I hope by this post to help those of you in a similar situation. When you try to pray away something that God has told you to put away and no answer comes it can lead to bitterness and anger at God. Look for verses that tell you to put away or put off etc..., then take action to do just that. I'm not going to say God will not help you in this matter but its clear He wants you to make a concerted effort. Some of you are of the mindset that "I tried for a week, God saw me trying and now He'll do the rest with a miracle!" With no results you are becoming disenchanted with God and your faith is suffering. You need to realize that He may be commanding us to do something because He is limited in this particular area of our lives. He told Adam and Eve to "go and replenish the earth". He could have just created millions of people and saved time but He did not. He will not make choices for you because it's your life and He's not going to live ANY PART OF IT for you. Can you imagine what the atheists would say about this if He did? They would have a field day and it would totally destroy Christian doctrine.
One of the blessings given to us "seasoned citizens" is that we can pass down our life experiences to the next generations. The struggles I have had with this issue are meant to help you if you are struggling with some unanswered prayers in your life. Hopefully you can now avoid this further in your life. Blessings.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Fairfield County, CT
123 posts, read 138,638 times
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Thank you Brother, you are definitely speaking to me. I never thought about it like this. Yes, God will help us, but we have to do our part as well. Faith is active, NOT passive. Amen!
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:35 PM
 
Location: kS.
505 posts, read 477,942 times
Reputation: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnNative View Post
Thank you Brother, you are definitely speaking to me. I never thought about it like this. Yes, God will help us, but we have to do our part as well. Faith is active, NOT passive. Amen!
Thank you for confirmation! Sometimes I wonder if God wants me to post stuff like this or if its just me. Again, thanks!!
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:39 PM
 
1,312 posts, read 1,137,822 times
Reputation: 306
You've touched, I think anyway, on one of my favorite topics-Praying and Doing. So often Christians pray yet never do. I'm reminded of the story, I'm sure most have heard it, of the family who sits down to dinner. Mom, dad and the kids bow there heads in prayer. Dad says, "Let us give thanks to the Lord for our daily bread, Amen." They open their eyes only to find empty plates. "Well," dad says, "It looks like God didn't answer our prayer again." What dad overlooked is that praying and doing go hand in hand.

Some will say if praying involves doing anyway, why bother praying at all? We only need look at the biblical story of King Asa. Asa means, 'God heals.' When Asa's reign began he prayed for the Lord's help then accomplished great things. Unfortunately, without going into great detail for I could never do the Bible account justice, Asa took matters into his own hands making alliances without God. Though his plans worked in the short term, God sent Hanani to rebuke him by saying, "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war." Outside the Almighty Arm of God, Asa began oppressing his own people. He contracted a foot disease, perhaps gout, yet still refused to seek God. Asa's life did not end well for him.

Doing without praying may accomplish favorable short term results. However, like King Asa found, long term results without God can be disastrous. Like King Asa when we stop praying and doing it all on our own, our relationship with God is amiss. Likewise, when we praying without doing, often leaves our plates empty. Don't pray for God to give you what you want, instead pray for Him to show you what He wants.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:32 PM
 
Location: kS.
505 posts, read 477,942 times
Reputation: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorALly View Post
You've touched, I think anyway, on one of my favorite topics-Praying and Doing. So often Christians pray yet never do. I'm reminded of the story, I'm sure most have heard it, of the family who sits down to dinner. Mom, dad and the kids bow there heads in prayer. Dad says, "Let us give thanks to the Lord for our daily bread, Amen." They open their eyes only to find empty plates. "Well," dad says, "It looks like God didn't answer our prayer again." What dad overlooked is that praying and doing go hand in hand.

Some will say if praying involves doing anyway, why bother praying at all? We only need look at the biblical story of King Asa. Asa means, 'God heals.' When Asa's reign began he prayed for the Lord's help then accomplished great things. Unfortunately, without going into great detail for I could never do the Bible account justice, Asa took matters into his own hands making alliances without God. Though his plans worked in the short term, God sent Hanani to rebuke him by saying, "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war." Outside the Almighty Arm of God, Asa began oppressing his own people. He contracted a foot disease, perhaps gout, yet still refused to seek God. Asa's life did not end well for him.

Doing without praying may accomplish favorable short term results. However, like King Asa found, long term results without God can be disastrous. Like King Asa when we stop praying and doing it all on our own, our relationship with God is amiss. Likewise, when we praying without doing, often leaves our plates empty. Don't pray for God to give you what you want, instead pray for Him to show you what He wants.
Great follow up!! Excellent post!
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:52 PM
 
Location: kS.
505 posts, read 477,942 times
Reputation: 123
Pastor ALly- I meant to include this in my last post concerning praying and doing as you mentioned.
It needs to be told that when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9- "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.") we need to be specific. I used to simply say "God forgive me for my sins" but God showed me that I wasn't really confessing them, only asking for forgiveness for them. This is a small detail but we have just seen some of the consequences of missing the small details in my OP.
There is a reason why God wants us to actually confess our sins instead of just saying the words. Failing to confess real sins is "going through the motions" only and not true confession. When we confess each and every sin it will show us a pattern to our sinful behavior, if repetitive sins are present. When we constantly hear ourselves confessing lust after Patty in accounting, it should open our eyes to an ever present problem we have. More accurately, we have failed to "put away". If we find ourselves confessing random sins and there is no same sin over and over again, it is a good sign to us that our lifestyle is pretty good and we have eliminated most iniquities, trespasses and sinful habits.
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