Archive for the ‘Discernment’ Category

“[Our] expectations can be high or low, reasonable or unreasonable, good or bad. The Bible speaks of expectations of redemption (Romans 8:19), expectations of judgment (Hebrews 10:27), delayed expectations (Proverbs 13:12a), realized expectations (Proverbs 13:12b), and unrealized expectations (Proverbs 11:7). Jesus told us to expect His return—although the timing of His return is beyond our knowing: “Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Luke 12:40). [1]

Dreams. Most, if not all of us, have or have had dreams and expectations in life. We want to be “successful.” But how is “success” measured and by whose standard? [2] We also have expectations of our spouses. We want them to conduct themselves in certain ways; we also set rules that we expect our children to keep. When these expectations are not met, we get disappointed in them and take measures to correct their behavior. Nagging [3] and yelling are often used to manipulate others.

Legalists. Do you have high expectations of other people? Are you tying to get them to live by your legalistic, unbiblical rules that are often unrealistic? This is what the Pharisees of Christ’s day did (Matthew 23:4). Consider Christ’s invitation to the oppressed (Matthew 11:28-30). When others don’t meet our expectations we sometimes turn on them and/or seek to harm them. Where in Scripture does the Christian find his/her rules for living today? (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.) Upon whose strength do we need to depend to carry them out – our own or God’s (Philippians 4:13)?

Messiah. The Old Testament Jews had high expectations of their promised Messiah. They were looking for a conquering King, not a suffering servant (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 53:1 ff). They wanted Him to deliver them from Roman oppression. They didn’t think that they needed Someone to deliver them from their sins and the consequences of them (Romans 6:23; 10:3). When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a little donkey, many cried out “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). But when He didn’t overthrow Rome, who was their enemy, and allowed Himself to be arrested by His enemies (John 18:12 ff), they turned on Him and cried out for Him to be crucified (John 19:6).

Goals. While most of us can do far more than we think we can, sometimes we set unrealistic goals and/or expectations in life and depend on ourselves rather than on God to fulfill those desires (Proverbs 3:5, 6; James 4:13-17). Self reliance and acting independently of God leads to failure in His sight. It led to Lucifer’s (Satan’s) fall (Isaiah 14:12-15). He tempts us to act this way today (Luke 22:31-34).

Trust. Now that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, I (my new nature) want to trust in the Lord with all my heart (mind, will, and emotions), and not lean on my own understanding. I want to acknowledge Him and depend on Him to make wise decisions that will affect not only me but others (Proverbs 3:5, 6). [4] As a child of God I can expect Him to give me wisdom when I humbly ask Him for it and when I’m not double minded (James 1:5-8; See 1 John 2:15-17).

Formula. I want to pursue a simple formula that I have often shared with my children. It is expressed in these words from the Scriptures. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require [expect] of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). These are things that don’t come naturally to us.

Goodness (happiness) will be the result of my doing what is just (right). It is not doing what is right in my own eyes, but what is right in God’s eyes (Judges 21:25). [5] He makes the rules; I need to obey them if I want to show my love and appreciation for Him (John 14:15), and if I want to be well pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9). I don’t want to grieve God (Ephesians 4:30).

Mercy. God has been very merciful to me when I’ve suffered as a result of my own sins or the sins of others. So I want to be merciful and compassionate to those who are suffering (Ephesians 4:32; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Where would you and I be without God’s mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23). Great is His faithfulness to us. Let us be faithful to Him and to others (1 Corinthians 4:2; 15:58).

Humility. I also want to walk humbly before God (James 4:10). He hates it when we walk in pride (Proverbs 6:16, 17; 16:18). Everything you and I have has come from His gracious hand (1 Corinthians 4:7). I want to be like Christ by displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23; Philippians 2:5-11). I want others to see Christ living His life through my life (Galatians 2:20; 4:19).

Forgiveness. When we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, God judicially forgives us (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 8:1). We become children of God when we believe on Christ as our personal Savior through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16 17). We all start out life as children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). If we don’t ever get out of his family and enter into God’s family by simple faith, and not by our works (Ephesians 2:8 9; Titus 3:5), we will spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Colossians 1:13, 14). Contrary to what some cults and religions teach, the wicked dead are not annihilated or reincarnated.

Poem/Song. It’s “Not what I wish to be nor where I wish to go / For who am I that I should choose my way / The Lord shall choose for me tis better far I know / So let Him bid me go or stay.” – C. Austin Miles. Is the Lord Jesus Christ your Shepherd and Savior? If not, why not place your faith and trust in Him alone today?

Help. If you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, or if you need spiritual help, you may contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16. 17). If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] Expectations, https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-expectations.html

[2] Charles Stanley, Success God’s Way, https://www.amazon.com/Success-Gods-Way-Achieving-Contentment/dp/0785265902/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=success+charles+stanley&qid=1583909509&sr=8-1

[3] How To Stop Nagging And Start Teaching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hrPJrG2aHM

Nagging, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17L7eS6pt_A

[4] For the struggle between the Christian’s new nature and the old nature read Romans 7:15-25.

[5] Other Helpful Articles:

When Doing Right Is Wrong. https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/when-doing-right-is-wrong/

Wrong? It Feels So Right, https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/wrong-it-feels-so-right/

Expectations In Life https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/expectations-in-life/

Do you have a “bucket list” of things you’d like to do in life? Perhaps, in the pursuit of your dreams or goals, you’ve come across some obstacles that you didn’t anticipate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon your dreams and give up on them, especially if they are ones that God has given to you that are in keeping with His Word and His will for your life (See Romans 8:14; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19). One song writer put it this way: “Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? / Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?” Then you should realize this – “God specializes in things thought impossible / He does the things others cannot do.” Oscar C Eliason

Examples. God brought the plagues on the Egyptians who had enslaved the Jews for several hundred years in Egypt. He opened up the Red Sea for them to cross over on dry ground and then closed it on the Egyptians who pursued them so they drowned. He fed over 2 million Jews in the wilderness for 40 years. He caused the Jordan River to back up so they could cross over into the Promised Land. He brought down the fortified walls of Jericho. The list could go on and on. (See Acts 7, Hebrews 11) This same God can help us, as Christians, in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16; 13:8).

No Secret. Stewart Hamblin wrote, “It is no secret what God can do / What He’s done for others He’ll do for you / With arms wide open, he’ll pardon you / It is no secret what God can do.” This pardon and judicial forgiveness is granted to all those who “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Family forgiveness is granted to Christians who confess (specifically name) their sins to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16).

Clarification. Just because a person receives forgiveness and a pardon from God doesn’t mean that this Christian won’t have to suffer the consequences of his/her violation of man’s laws or nature’s laws. Christians are told to submit to the laws of the land in which they live. The only exception occurs when man’s laws violate God’s laws. Christians may have to suffer the consequences of their choices. Example: When the disciples were told not to preach in Jesus’ name, they said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28, 29). For violating man’s laws that were contrary to God’s laws (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20), they were beaten, but they were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake” (Acts 5:33, 40, 41). What would you do if you were threatened like they were?

Our God. The Apostle Paul committed his readers to “… [God] who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20).

Wisdom. As Christians, we have access to the wisdom that comes from God (James 1:5; 3:17). The wisdom of this world, that was designed by the devil, may seem like the right thing to do at the moment, but the end of it could be death (Proverbs 14:12). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36), The devil and demons have their own kind of wisdom that is very appealing to the natural, unsaved man (James 3:14-16). He wants us humans to walk independently of God and make decisions without taking Him into our plans (James 4:13-17). Have you been doing this? Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Attention. Sometimes God uses adverse circumstances to get our attention off of the passing things of this world and onto Him and into His Word.  It is “alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul [emotions] and spirit [that belongs to the mind], and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Hebrews 4:12). An idol is anything that comes between us and God. Yes, even Christians can succumb to the temptation to be idolatrous (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 5:19). Are you guilty of this? How much of your time each day is devoted to worshiping and adoring God for who and what He is? How many of God’s attributes can you name? We’re told to “pray (i.e. worship God) without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; See John 4:24; Revelation 4:10, 11; 5:12). No, you don’t have to shut your eyes or raise your hands to do this. Most of us can think on several levels while we’re driving or engaged in other activities.

Priorities. There isn’t anything wrong with our having a “bucket list” of things we’d like to do in this life unless it’s contrary to the revealed will and Word of God or if we want to leave God out of our plans. But our will, as Christians, should always be in submission to God’s will for our lives. As another song writer put it, “Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way. / My Lord shall choose for me, ‘Tis better far I know, / So let Him bid me go or stay.” Now if you think of yourself as the “Captain of your ship” and the “Master of your own fate,” you’re not going to find these words palatable to your taste. You are thinking more highly of yourself than you should (Romans 12:3). Consider this – “…what do you have that you didn’t receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; See Proverbs 6:17; 8:13). The attitude of pride led to Lucifer’s fall, and if it’s retained, it will lead to your fall too (Isaiah 14:9-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19).

Fools. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). But by merely looking around at nature we intuitively can come to the realization that there must be a God who is all powerful (Romans 1:18; See Revelation 1:8). But those who deny this truth are often allowed to go on in their ignorance and rebellion against God and end up in a degenerate condition (Romans 1:18-32). “They love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). “…the natural [unsaved] man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Choices. Every day we make choices about many things. The Psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).  Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our primary objective in life should be to make God known to those whom we encounter I life. Are you doing this?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Also, please share the information with others who might benefit from it. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We are also on www.youtube.com. Enter: Kelsey Pietsch

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

We recommend the Scofield Study Bible: http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

     “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘What comes into your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainly the spiritual future of that man.  Were we able to know exactly what our most influential religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow…The man who comes to a right belief of God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems…The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” – The Knowledge Of The Holy, by A. W. Tozer, Harper and Rowe, Publishers. Chapter 1.

There is no doubt about it.  “The Shack” (the book and the movie) by William Paul Young, and his book “Lies We Believe About God” have a lot of people talking and wondering.  Are the things he says in his books and the movie biblical or diabolical?   What should we use to evaluate them?  What does he believe and teach about the true and living God of the Scriptures?  Does the way he portrays the members in the Godhead differ dramatically from the way the Scriptures portray God?  What does Paul Young really believe and teach about man, salvation, and his future destiny?  What about sin and the way it affects man?  Do the Scriptures teach universal reconciliation and the ultimate salvation of all men including the devil and demons?  What’s the big deal anyway?  What relationship did Dr. James B. DeYoung, who wrote “Burning Down The Shack” once have with William Paul Young?  Is the movie anti-Christian, anti-family, and anti-American?

David Steele writes, “Paul Young has shared openly and honestly about some of the hurts in his life. Pain and suffering, while inevitable in this life are regrettable realities. The dark night of the soul will likely affect most of us. And so we sympathize with Young and his Great Sadness and pray that God will minister in deep and abiding ways. But no amount of personal tragedy or loss can excuse the propagation of false views of God.”

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