Tag Archives: Doctor

I Am a Good Christian, So Why Am I Not Being Blessed?

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Many of us miss out on the blessings that God wants to bestow upon us because we think we have not sinned – that we have no sin to confess. We say ‘I have not done anything wrong, so I have not sinned and so have no sin to confess’. We say this because we erroneously think that sin occurs in the doing; in our actions. But this is not what the bible teaches us about sin. See, if sin was solely based on actions (obeying a set of rules), then apostle Paul would have been sinless! We know this because he tells us that he was blameless (guiltless) with regards to the righteousness (purity or holiness) that comes from the law or works (see Philippians 3:6). But Paul knew better than to think he had no sin because he was flawless in obeying the ordinances of the law. He knew his righteousness was like a filthy rag (see Isaiah 64:6) in the sight of God and that only God could impart righteousness onto him (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We can be perfect in our actions and still be full of sin, for sin is not measured by how well we are able to keep the law.

The question then is this: If sin is not about actions, when have I sinned? Jesus gives us the answer in the following passage:

“But I say to you that whoever looks at woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” – Matthew 5:27

Jesus is saying here that adultery (which is a sin) has already taken place when it reaches our hearts. In other words, we have to pay attention to our heart intentions. It is important to state that Jesus did not say ‘committed adultery with her in his mind’. If Jesus had said this, then sin would occur the moment we are tempted in our minds. But this is not so, for temptation is not sin. The scriptures tell us that Jesus Himself was tempted as a man in this world, but he did not sin (see Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, Jesus did not sin not because He was not tempted, but because He did not allow the temptation to reach His heart; He did not allow the temptation to linger long enough in His mind to enter His heart, but rather rebuked it away with the Word of God. Hallelujah!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Temptation only becomes sin when it crosses the barrier between our mind and enters into our hearts.

It is because sin has already taken place when temptation enters our hearts that the bible tells us that we deceive ourselves and that the truth is not in us if we say we have no sin (see 1 john 1:8). So you ask – how can I not sin? Well, here it is. The only way not to have any sin in our heart is to walk non-stop in the Spirit; we have to walk perfectly in the Spirit like Jesus did. Note that the bible tells us that if we are not walking in the Spirit, then we end up walking in the flesh or in sin (see Galatians 5:16). So, if you can master walking in the Spirit 24/7 for the rest of your life, then congratulations! You have no sin. If like us mere mortals (and you are being honest with yourself) you slip out of your Spirit-walk, then you have to confess your sins (see 1 John 1:9). The Hebrew word for sin (hata) literally means to ‘miss the mark’. We miss the mark when we are not walking in the Spirit. Conversely, we do not miss the mark when are walking in the Spirit (abiding in Him); this is why the bible says that whoever abides in Him does not sin (see 1 John 3:6). See, the challenge we fail is that of abiding in Him. It is not enough that He abides in us (that we have the Spirit), but we have to abide in Him ( walk in the Spirit). This is what Paul implores us to do (see Galatians 5:25).

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If we say we have no sin, we are saying that we are walking perfectly in the Spirit. If we say we are walking in the Spirit perfectly, we have already deceived ourselves.

Now that we know we have fallen short, we have to check our hearts to see what is in there that is keeping us from God’s best. Is it the sin of unforgiveness? Is it lust? Is it envy or jealousy or pride? What is it? See, just because we put up all the barriers and boundaries we want so that we do not act on what is in our hearts does not mean we have no sin. All it means is that we are at best trying to keep ourselves and others from harm, and at worst hiding who we truly are by saying ‘see, my actions are flawless, therefore I am a righteous person’.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We fool ourselves when we do not take care of our sinful hearts (not sinful actions). While our actions determine whether other people are blessed, it is our heart intentions that determine whether we are blessed for those actions – for God cannot bless sin and disobedience.

Yes, God in His mercy can still pull us undeservedly out of situations and grant us favor, but with sinful hearts, we never experience the fullness of the riches of the inheritance that He has for us. To keep our hearts from being infiltrated by the temptations we endure, we must guard it with the sword of the Spirit (meditating on the word of God), prayer, command our angels to do battle on our behalf, and rebuke the enemy with His words flowing from our mouths. We must stay vigilant, humble, and surrendered.

When we fail to realize that sin occurs in the heart, we fail to put up barriers between our mind and heart and so we fall into sin immediately. Most of us spend our lives putting up all sorts of barriers (including locking ourselves away from the world because everything causes us to fall) between our heart and our actions without realizing that we have already sinned. It is those of us that do this that are always wondering why God is not moving in our lives! To this we usually fall into the trap of more legalistic law keeping or we simply convince ourselves that God does not have particular goodies for us! As if God withholds goodies from His children (see Matthew 7:11)

Food for Thought: If you are not eating of the good of the land, go to the doctor (see Paging Doc Jesus) to check your heart for you may very well have heart disease.

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Paging Doc Jesus

PAGING DOC JESUS  (listen here)

When was the last time you truly had a check-up?

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” – Matthew 9:12.

In the next verse, Jesus goes on to explain that the sick He is talking about are sinners who He has come to heal.  As sinners, we are all sick. Our malady is a cancer called depravity which if left untreated consumes our being and eventually leads to death.

Jesus on the other hand is the master physician who is forever on call ready to operate on any man who visits Him in His Hospital – the hospital being God. For those that visit, He performs major surgery of salvation and they are made well.

Unfortunately, many never visit the hospital either because they have never heard of it or because of abject pride and stubbornness even in the face of the degeneration caused by their cancer.  For those of us that have had major surgery performed, we cannot forget that we need to go in for our check-ups to so that our depravity does not return.  Our daily check-up ought to consist of the following:

  1. Spending time with God by reading His Word and Praying (see Romans 12:2)
  2. Testing ourselves to ensure we are in the faith and testing the spirits to ensure we are following the Holy Spirit (see 2 Corinthians 13:5 and 1 John 4:1)
  3. Obeying the Holy Spirit regardless of what we feel or think (see John 15:10)

If you are one of those stellar patients that go in to see Doc Jesus often, wonderful! Sadly, you are the exception rather than the rule. The rest, I have categorized into three major classes:

“Out” Patient (listen here) Quite simply, these are folks that have the major surgery of salvation but never schedule a check-up but wait until the depravity cancer returns before they go back to the hospital. As such, they have the ravages of multiple surgeries on their being and are solely reliant on the grace and mercy of God in keeping them alive. Yes, they are alive but are never thriving nor are they bearing fruit the way God intended. Here are some questions to ponder to determine if you are an “Out” patient:

  • Do you go to church only on during the religious holidays (Easter Sunday and Christmas)?
  • Do you seek God only after trouble ensues in your life?
  • Do you quote (or rather misquote) the scripture out of context to justify your disobedience? For example, I have heard some people say: “Well, the bible says we will always have the poor with us” as a reason never to help a soul in need.

Such a one who is an out-patient does not understand the extent of the love of God for them. If they did, they would never choose such to so under-utilize the power which has been made available to them in Christ.

Paramedic (listen here) These are the people that have a great zeal for Jesus. You can always find them in the field providing emergency assistance. They love telling people about Jesus and love bringing people into the hospital to meet Doc Jesus, but they themselves forget to enter the hospital. They never fail to schedule an appointment but are just too busy to make it; they are always tired and burnt out but feel fulfilled by their job. These paramedics are lauded by everyone and are the heroes of the community.

For these paramedics, the cancer of the heart (self-righteousness) slowly creeps in. Still they refuse to keep their appointment because they are just too busy doing God’s work. At the end of the year, they say to Jesus with a smile of their face, ‘Remember me? I brought you 1000 patients this year’. To this Jesus replies: ‘I do not remember you. It’s true that I saw your patients, but I never saw you’.

While it is an incredible calling to be a paramedic, we never want to be counted as part of those that never make their check-up. Yes, Jesus cares about what we do for people and that we love them, but he also cares about us and our relationship with Him first and foremost. He calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, not more than ourselves, and certainly not more than we love him!

Lightbulb Moment

   Light-bulb moment: Our calling should never become our idol by taking the place of God!

Jesus warns us about idolizing our calling in the following passages:

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them. ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:22 -23 (NKJV)

Here are some questions to test if you have become a cancer-laden paramedic

  • Do you often think to yourself: “Wow, I am a great Christian and a great warrior for Christ”
  • Do you always try to fix everyone and everything?
  • Are you mainly driven by what people think rather than what God thinks?
  • Do you find no fault in yourself and think you are always right?
  • Are you always trying to teach people a lesson?
  • Is it always your way or the highway?

Waiting-Room Patient (listen here) Lastly, waiting room patients are those that schedule a check-up, go to the hospital, but never see the doctor. They never allow Jesus to examine and uproot every single unsavory area of their lives. They feel good about being in the hospital and fool themselves that it is all that matters. They are perpetually encouraging those who are being operated on, bringing flowers, and praying for them. They themselves are getting sicker but they just cannot see it – since after all, they are already in the hospital!

When someone asks the question, how come you have no victory over this issue although you have been seeing the specialist for a long time now? The waiting room patient always has a reason. They say: well, it is my childhood, it is my hurts, I am a victim of circumstance etc. The most popular statement which no one can argue with is: I am waiting on God.

While waiting on God is the best thing to do, what the waiting room patient refuses to acknowledge is that in reality, Jesus is waiting on them. He is waiting on them to fully surrender to Him!

A waiting room patient is extremely difficult to recognize because they blend in perfectly with actual visitors (not patients) who are in the waiting room. In fact, the waiting room patient may not realize he or she is a waiting room patient. This is because the malady of the waiting room patient is the lack of total surrender in all things – especially in areas where unbelief exist. To everyone else, the waiting room patient is a prayer warrior who is a consummate church-goer and is such an encourager that everyone loves when they are around. Unfortunately, there is a deeper problem – lack of full surrender.

Light-bulb moment: We should never be stuck in the stage of “experiencing” God (hospital), but rather grow in God through complete surrender to Jesus (the surgeon) so that we may have complete victory over all that maligns us.

Here are some testers to see if you have inadvertently become a waiting room patient:

  • Do you never realize the promise of God in your life and you do not know why?
  • Do you twist every thought and situation to make it fit what you believe?
  • Do you use “If only” somewhat frequently?
  • Do you find it very hard to forgive and reconcile or say “I am sorry”?
  • Are you always the victim?
  • Do you find yourself becoming judgmental?

If you are like me, then you see that the traits of the out-patient, the paramedic, and waiting-room patient try to creep in from time to time. Never fear, it is the devil trying to sneak in. He always tries but thankfully he has no victory. Recognize your tendency, discipline yourself, and surrender your inadequacies to God.

Food for Thought: A check-up a day keeps the cancer away

“…but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him” – 1 John 5:18

Conclusion (listen here)

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