“Independent Living?”

Posted: June 22, 2016 in Christian Life, Decision Making, Devil / Satan, Gospel, Pride

One of the subtle temptations that comes from the devil is the notion that we can live our lives independently of God even though Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Having to go to God and humbly ask for wisdom (James 1:5) and direction for daily living (Romans 8:14; Proverbs 3:5, 6) seems so humbling and unnecessary for many people. Perhaps this was part of the temptation to Eve when the devil said to her through the serpent, “…God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). In other words, “You won’t have to rely on God to make such seemingly insignificant decisions.”

Pride. Did you know that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6)? Being omniscient, He knows the best course of action that we should take. He has graciously given us His Word (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). He knows that the regular intake of Bible doctrine is necessary for us to mature in Christ (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18). The Holy Spirit is the One who can illuminate the mind of one who is rightly related to Him (John 16:13; 1 John 2:20, 27). He and God the Son make intercession to the Father on our behalf and ask Him to bring into our lives what we need to become spiritually mature (Romans 8:26, 34). Sometime these things come into our lives through trials and tests (James 1:2) or through other people who act like chisels, hammers, and saws to shape us into Christ’s image (Galatians 4:19). Thank God for them (1 Timothy 2:1). The temptation to act in a proud manner also comes from the devil (1 Timothy 3:6).

Dependent. From the moment of birth all of us are dependent on our parents or someone else to care for our needs to be fed, changed, and bathed. This is often repeated when we get very old and incapable of taking care of our own personal needs. But in between these times we can/should do some things to take care of ourselves and others who are dependent on us (1 Timothy 5:8). However, we should never forget that our ability to earn money, with which to secure things or services, also comes from God. “For what do you have that you didn’t receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7). “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). But don’t forget that Satan’s offer to make one healthy, wealthy, and worldly wise comes with a high price tag that is often ignored (Matthew 4:9; James 3:15; Revelation 13:2). “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Independent. “Many Christians live most of the time without any thought of God, except to give thanks at a meal time, occasionally studying the Bible, praying and attending church services. The little daily activities are performed without regard to God. People attempt to make plans and then ask God to bless them. If God were included in making the plans, there would be no need to ask for God’s blessing.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ,“ p. 166

D.V. The Lord’s half brother James said it well. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away“ (James 4:14). My friend, don’t leave God out of your decision making. Having to supplicate, intercede, or ask in Jesus’ name may not seem like the best course of action to take, but it can save us a lot of trouble down the road. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23). But have you ever thanked God for stopping you and keeping you from danger?

Thanks. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Unless a believer is filled with/by God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), he’s not likely to do this. But if and when we do this, we will be expressing our confidence in God’s ability to do far more than we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). How big is your God? The Psalmist said, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Psalms 34:3). It starts in our minds and expresses itself through our words and actions (Psalm 150:6). Everything we do should be to glorify God – to make Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31). Are you doing this in your life?

Victory. To overcome the temptation to act independently of God, the Christian needs to put on the whole armor of God and focus his attention on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). Without Christ as our personal Savior, we have no righteousness that can make us acceptable to God (See Isaiah 64:6; Romans 4:3-5; Ephesians 1:6). We have no reason to act independently of God or to be proud. At the moment of our salvation God puts Christ’s righteousness to our account (Romans 4:3-5, 22-25; James 2:23). Without it we can’t enter heaven (John 16:10). Have you done the right thing by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? If not, why not now?

More? If you’d like to learn more about how to become a Christian or how to live the Christian life, we invite you to contact us or join us on Wednesdays from 6:30 – 7:30 P.M. (Pacific Time) for live lessons at the Grace Baptist Church in Paso Robles, CA or by means of a phone hookup. For more information, call 805-238-3549.

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

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