1. Desire a heart that wants to be right.
2. Be quick to get everything under the blood.
3. Obey the Truth by The Spirit.
In order to obey the truth of God's Word, we have to stay filled with the Holy Spirit. We can never obey the Word in the flesh. That is what religion tries to accomplish. Since the religious crowd can't really "be right" and therefore "do right" they settle for "looking right." Religious people are always putting on a front. They "have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof" (II Tim. 3:5). They deny the need to have the power of God working in them. They deny the Holy Spirit's enabling power to fill them and help them. When we admit that we can't do it without the Holy Spirit then we are finally beginning to make advancement in our Christian growth.
It is in obeying the truth by the Spirit that we actually have the Word worked into the core of our being. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart (I Pet. 1;22).
For instance, I become a tither when I practice tithing. I become a prayer warrior when I obey the Word and pray daily. I become patient when I practice patience. I become bold by not allowing fear to dominate me, but standing on the Word and praying in the Spirit, in what would otherwise be scary situations. In the beginning it might be a struggle, but as I stand on the Word and obey it even when it seems contrary to my nature, the Holy Spirit works it into me by His grace.
Some people are waiting for the Word to be worked into them before they start obeying it. Instead, they need to start doing the Word when it doesn't come natural. I like the Nike slogan "Just do it". But of course do it by "the Spirit, for the Letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." Thirty two years ago I quit smoking. Up until that time was a smoker. I became a smoker by smoking. I would never have been considered a smoker if I had never lit a cigarette. I had to actually take up the habit in order to become a smoker. So also, if you're going to be a patient person, you have to work on it. You have to start with practicing patience by the Word and the Spirit through prayer in trying situations. It takes three weeks to develop a habit. Discipline helps us develop habits so that we don't have to struggle forever. I have a habit of exercising three times a week. I don't have to force myself to do it, I just do it. I've been doing it long enough that it is just what I do. If I had to make myself work out every week then I probably wouldn't do it. Develop a habit of prayer by using discipline for three weeks. Soon discipline turns into desire, and desire turns into delight. This is the way it was with Jesus. He always obeyed the Word and the leading of the Father. He delighted in doing God's will. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart (Ps. 40:8,9).
4. Develop A heart free from idolatry.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation (Ps. 24:3-5).
Stubbornness is self-idolatry. Lifting up our soul to an idol means that we are focused on something more than the Lord or we value something more than the Lord. Anything that we refuse to give up for the Lord becomes an idol. Stubbornness is refusal to do what God wants because we want our own way rather than the Lord's. God is looking for people who will do whatever He tells them to do. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will (Acts 13:22).
Stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry. God hates stubbornness, but he loves it when we submit to Him and His Word. Many professing Christians today, refuse to give up idols of lust, money, time, or even family, to put God first in their lives. The Lord and His work and His house are down the list of priorities. How can we ask God to bless us and heal us and deliver us if we won't put Him and His Kingdom first? He will not bless stubbornness. He does bless obedience however. The dangerous thing about stubbornness is that it keeps us from doing the will of God and keeps us from being blessed to the degree God wants to bless us. Even more critical is the fact that stubbornness is a violation of the first Commandment and puts us at odds with God Himself. Pray diligently that stubbornness will be rooted out of your heart.
Anything can become an idol. All we have to do is put it at the forefront of our lives so that it becomes more important than God. To have a right heart we must put away all idolatry. "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (I Cor. 6:12, 13 NIV).
Idolatry is evident when we are "mastered" or dominated by something. The drug addict has an idol. It is his drug of choice. The Politician can have an idol called political power. The socialite can make social acceptance an idol. Anything can become an idol. We can even make our spouse or children idols if we put them above the Lord Jesus Christ. If we refuse to pay our tithe to our local church, then money has become an idol. If we refuse to obey the Holy Spirit and give offerings as He directs then money is becoming an idol.
Let's be sure our hearts are right before God and He is number 1 and far beyond anything that is second place.
I will write more soon. Have a blessed week.
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Bishop Darrell Ellis
Anointed Word International Fellowship