Renaming Your Walls

What are emotional walls? They are lies, facades, deceptive plots, self-delusive, inner strongholds, and they are self-protective measures that are futile. So why do we build them? We are deceived into believing that they will protect our heart from further hurt. They are only in our mind. That is actually good news. It means that they are figments of our imagination, therefore we can dismantle them through truth.


It is good to review this truth before I write anymore. Isaiah 49:16 says, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your WALLS are continually before me.” I like to link this with Song of Solomon 2:9. Though this is the picture of the Shulamite’s beloved, I like the word pictures. I read this verse as though the stag is the Lord. 


It says, “My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall; he is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice.” The Lord see through our walls. Nothing in our life is exempt from His eyes. Think about after Jesus’ resurrection. His disciples were in a room. Capture these words in John 20:26, “…Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in their midst…”


Walls in the natural are designed to surround. Think of the walls around Jerusalem. See the walls of Jericho in your mind. They were wide enough for chariots to ride on. Yet, they fell flat under God’s direction. Joshua 6:5 says, “…that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat…”


What emotional walls have you erected? An inner vow builds a strong emotional wall. Have you ever said, “I will never…!” That is an inner vow declaration that is rooted in emotional pain. Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.” Vows are made to be a binding contract. What have you bound yourself to? We have NO control over our lives. The only thing we do have control over are our thoughts. 


Here is a character of Jesus that we can be partakers with. He is Self-Existent. That means that He has no boundaries, no fences, no walls, and no barriers. When we exemplify Him through character quality, our hearts would be free as well. As we dwell in Him, as He dwells in us, we become more like Him.


How do we rename our walls? First of all we need to recognize that our walls were erected without Him. Therefore they are sin. When we confess our emotional walls as sin, Isaiah 30:13-14 illustrates what happens. It says, “Therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.”


And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel, which is broken in pieces; He shall not spare. So there shall not be found among its fragments a shard to take fire from the hearth, or to take water from the cistern.” In other words, there is nothing left for the enemy of our soul to keep us bound with anymore! Now we can walk in Isaiah 60:18 which says, “…you shall call your walls salvation, and your gates Praise.”

Stand In Grace: Walk In Grace

We are made in the image of God. We are created to walk upright, not only physically but spiritually. In the natural, we have to first stand before we can walk. In the spiritual, salvation gives us standing in grace. Romans 5:2 says, “Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”


Ephesians 1:4 says, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” That is the beginning. Jude verse 24 gives us the end. It says, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless  before the presence of His glory  with exceeding joy.”


1 Peter 1:15 says, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” Our standing never changes. We stand in His grace, holy and blameless. Our state is another aspect altogether. Think about your state of mind at any given moment. Where does your mind go when you are facing an impossibility? What are your thoughts when you worry? Things like doubt, fear, worry, anxiety, anger, or unrest come from our state of mind.


Isaiah 26:3 clearly puts the responsibility for our thoughts on us. It says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” No one makes us think a certain way. All our thoughts come from our heart. Therefore it is our heart that we need to focus on. We can ask the question: What is in my heart?


In order to walk in grace, we have to first stand in it through our thoughts. Remember my grace box? His grace is sufficient. It is through standing in His grace that we are empowered to resist all temptations to sin. All sin is first a thought. I encourage you to read Psalm 15. It is God’s template for walking in grace. Verse 2 says, “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.”


Here is an example from my own life. In 1967 I bought my first house. It was 720 square feet with two bedrooms. I acquired a roommate. Then we had a friend that wanted to move in with us. No room. I looked at a larger house. It required a $1500.00 down payment which I didn’t have. The Lord specifically told me to not borrow money for the downpayment.


This house was my desire. It was in my heart. One day I walked into my bank. Mildred called me over to her desk. She said something like this: Marilyn, we have something new. It is called a line of credit. You can borrow, say $1500.00 and pay it off in installments. Let’s jump to James 1:14. It says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” To make this short: I paid for that disobedience for 10 years!


We reap what we sow. Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked…” James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.” When we entertain unrighteous desires, we leave the door open for satan’s deception. Mildred’s innocent words to me, opened me to a temptation I did not resist. I did not stand in His grace, but gave into my fleshly desires and reaped a storm of consequences.

What About Grace?

I had a dream Sunday morning. It was about a man of God who strayed from the truth. Can you imagine what Moses felt like when the Lord told him how the children of Israel would act after he died? Deuteronomy 31:16 says, “…Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land…they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.”

I finished the book of Deuteronomy, and then started to read the book of Jude. Verse 3 says, “…I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Why was he exhorting them? 

Verse 4 says, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed…who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude wrote to believers. My dream was about a believer. We need to stay alert. Everything we hear preached needs to align with the truth of God’s word. If it doesn’t, and we continue to listen, it will erode our faith. 

Paul warned his son in the faith. 2 Timothy 2:18 was about two men, “Who have strayed concerning the truth…and they overthrow the faith of some.” The youth pastor I knew, passed on his erroneous doctrine of grace, and destroyed the faith of a good number of his youth group.

Think about all that you know about grace. Grace is a gift. We are saved by grace. We live in that empowerment which sufficiently enables us to persevere in all our trials. It is His special endowment, but it is not a license to sin. Romans 6:15 says, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” 

Years ago our youth pastor was led astray by a false teacher. He unreservedly embraced the erroneous doctrine that you can sin because there is grace to cover that sin. That is not what Romans 5:20-21 says, “…where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

God’s righteousness is His heart-work of conforming our thoughts, purpose, and actions to His will ~ NOT away from it. Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to this world’s system. Ephesians 2:3-4 wrote about those in the system, describing us before salvation. It says about the prince of the power of the air, “…the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh…”

That was Jude’s warning. We need to heed it today. There are those who preach a manmade doctrine of grace. Grace is so precious, but we block it when we live in sin. Sin breaks our fellowship with the Lord. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

We miss His provision of grace: when we use it for a license to sin, hold unforgiveness in our heart, walk in pride, and seek to do things in our own strength. Rather, let us diligently search our heart. What are we believing about grace in this very moment? Then let’s humble ourselves so that His grace can flow freely into our needs. His grace is indeed sufficient.

Strengthened By Grace

Colossians 1:11 says, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Grace is the catalyst for endurance with joy. I think back to the folks in Hebrews 10:32-33. In their reproaches and tribulations, they endured great struggles with sufferings. It set them up for what verse 34 says, “For you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods…” Why? The verse goes on to say it was because of their eternal perspective.


The writer was encouraging them to maintain that perspective. Verse 34-35 says, “…knowing that you have a better and enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” The next words are timeless truths that we need to take to heart in our own trials. 

Verse 36 says, “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Our trials are the will of God. They are never punishment. They are loving corrections administered through His heart for us. They are His best, and through them He supplies what we lack. 


The word ‘endurance’ in the Greek means ‘to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat’ (my Bible’s note about hupomone). Let’s take Jesus’ example of endurance. Hebrew 12:2 says, “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore…” What is the therefore? Verse 15 says that we have a High Priest that can empathize with our suffering. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…” Not just your sins and mine, but the sins of everyone in the world. Think of the most despicable person. He bore their sins. The anguish He went through is not comprehended by us.


Back to our verse in Hebrews 4:16. We are bid to come boldly to His throne of grace, “…that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Paul learned a huge lesson from his thorn in the flesh. It was when he acknowledged his weakness, God’s grace was there to sustain him and help him endure.


Ephesians 3:16 Amplified says, “May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit (Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality).” His grace-strength comes to reinforce our inner being so that we are able to endure with joy. Joy is the high water mark of one who is an authentic follower of Christ.


Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Matthew 6:20-21 says to, “…lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 says that we do that, “While we do not look at the things which are seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 1 Peter 1:8 says, “Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

Walking In Grace

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” What are grace words? They build up and do not tear down. They are filled with encouragement that strengthens the one who hears them, as well as the one speaking them. They come from a heart that walks in truth.


Psalm 45:2 was written about Jesus. It says, “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever.” Proverbs 31:26 says of the virtuous wife, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” We have to ask this question: Is the law of kindness on my lips?


David had a prayer. Psalm 141:3 says, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Proverbs 16:24 is two-fold. It applies to the hearer as well as the speaker. It says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”


All our words are first thoughts that germinated in our heart. One seed was planted through one thought. Think about how many seeds would be sown into our heart through meditating on God’s word. Psalm 104:34 says, “May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.”


There is one condition for walking in grace ~ humility. This is a very familiar verse, yet let’s look at it again. James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Verse 10 says that we are to humble ourselves before the Lord. I can’t think of a more effective way than through the gift of forgiveness.


Here is a warning for us. Hebrews 12:15 in the J. B. Phillips says, “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others.” Serious words. When we are sinned against, God’s grace is instantly ready and available for us. If we fail to respond to His gift, the seed of unforgiveness is planted.


Mark 4:27 says that when seed is sown, it will sprout and grow. Verse 28 says, “…first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.” Let’s apply this personally. The moment we forgive, the opportunist seed is sterilized. It will not form. There will be no fruit of bitterness. Hebrews 12:15 in the Amplified says, “…that no root of resentments (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment…”


Matthew 18:21-35 is key in our progressive sanctification. It is about forgiveness. Peter asked the Lord how many times he had to forgive someone. In verse 22 Jesus said, “…up to seventy times seven.” I learned something years ago. I was in a difficult working situation. I forgave the offending person when I woke up each morning. It paved my day with grace. It kept me constantly aware of how easy it would be to carry the offense.


When we are offended, grace is there to forgive and release the offense. If we fail to appropriate His grace, the offense will remain. The roots of bitterness go deep. They cause that bitterness to filter through every thought. In verse 34 the master turned the unforgiving servant over to the torturers. Verse 35 says, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” The unforgiving heart does not walk in grace.

Sustained By Grace

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” The Hebrew word for ‘sustain’ means: to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living. God’s grace is abundantly available until the moment pride steps in. 


Our flesh does not like to be needy. It rushes in through a spirit of independence. Many years ago, my mom said, “Marilyn, you are the most independent person I know!” That was not a compliment, but it was the reality of who I was at that time. It took many hard trials to teach me how dependent I am on the Lord. John 15:5 is a governor over my heart. It says, “….without Me you can do nothing.”


Nothing means not one thing. The Lord has given us a marvelous brain. When we learn something, it remembers it so that we do not have to think about what we are doing. Think back to when you first learned how to tie your shoes. I remember when I first was learning how to drive my parents stick shift Hudson. It took utmost concentration to remember all the components needed to make the clutch work and shift without grinding gears.


We did not come to salvation on our own merit. We were drawn by the Father to Jesus. Remember, we were alienated from the life of God. We had to learn the truth that we were bound in sin. There was no way of escape from God’s wrath to come. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


I like to remember Titus 3:5. It says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” After salvation, we need to continue to be washed. Why? We have a propensity to do things in our own way and in our own strength. 


Here is a great verse about grace. Though it is in the context of finances, we can apply it to our lives. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always have all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” Did you notice the word ‘all’ is used three times? All grace, all sufficiency, and all things denotes a huge spectrum that has no beginning nor an ending.


Verse 15 says, “Thanks be to God, for His indescribable gift!” That is exactly what grace is~a gift. We don’t do anything to earn it. It is ours at the moment of our rebirth. We are saved by His grace, and therefore we live out our progressive sanctification through grace. We don’t ‘do’ anything but receive it. Abiding is not a Christian discipline, it is a wonderful vital union with the Lord through intimate communion through His word.


As we daily read His word for understanding, the Holy Spirit is present to dispense the grace we need to apply His truths to our lives. We cannot bring any inner change through self-effort. Inner transformation comes as we renew our mind through Scripture, and as we gaze upon the Lord. James 1:21 says, “…receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul.” Meekness is absence of pride.

Growing In Grace

Paul ended his epistles with an encouragement to his readers, that the grace of the Lord would be with them. I had a pastor back in the 80’s that would answer his phone: grace to you. I find it interesting. Paul was called by grace to minister to Gentiles. His writings bear timeless truths that we can daily apply to our lives.


Here is one. Think back to all that Paul went through. If you need a refresher, you can read 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. There is no mention that he asked the Lord to deliver him from them. Yet, in 2 Corinthians 12:8, he plead with the Lord three times to remove the thorn in his flesh. The Lord did not remark about the thorn. He very succinctly said in verse 9, “…My grace is sufficient for you…”


Our trials are like Paul’s thorn. The truth the Lord spoke to him, is the same truth you and I are to embrace. The verse continued, “…for My strength is made perfect in weakness…” The revelation of what the Lord said hit Paul’s understanding. He said, “…Therefore most gladly  I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”


Did you notice that he didn’t use the word ‘grace’ but power? God’s grace becomes our strength to endure. Years ago I would take my dad to a flea market thirty minutes from our home. I would stand at the entrance and tract the folks as they came in. My dad was inside as a vendor. He would sit on his walker and hand out tracts, and give away magnetic signs with Scripture on them.


This one day was really hot. My back was screaming in pain. I didn’t know how I would last another minute. I asked the Holy Spirit what to do. He gave me this thought: stand in my grace box. I pictured a box. Each side said: My grace is sufficient for you. I stood in it in my mind, and I was able to endure. Thereafter, when I was struggling I would say, “Lord, I’m standing in my grace box.” It was a great lesson for me that I still use. 


Grace is the power to do all that the Lord has called us to do. In verse 10 Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul understood that God’s grace was all that he needed in order to accomplish what God had called him to do. When we acknowledge our weakness, His grace rushes in to give us the abundant grace-strength we need to endure.


Back to righteousness. Romans 1:17 says, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith. What is the ‘it’ referring to? Verse 16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.


Whatever path the Lord takes us on through our trials, it is His instrument to purify our faith, and to conform our thoughts, purpose, and actions to His will. Psalm 23:3 says, “…He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Every aspect of our trials is all about the Lord. He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. May we all finish well

Cultivating Faith

The word ‘cultivating’ indicates that there is a need to plow up some uncultivated ground. We cannot sow seed and expect it to mature when there are clods, rocks, or hardpan soil. Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Righteousness is the fruit of being trained through our trials.


Verse 13 is a verse that reveals the root to uncultivated faith. It says, “You have plowed wickedness; you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way…” There is the crux. Anything that we do in our own strength is futile. Why would we ever trust in our own way? It is because of unbelief.


Hebrews 3:12-13 says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hardened is to be calloused. Have you ever had callouses? The skin is thick and impenetrable. 


Trusting in our own way, leaning on our own understanding, or depending on our own strength is departure from the Lord. We are believing a lie. That lie is rooted in deception which brings hardness in our hearts. Let’s take a trial to illustrate this. If you are saying something like ‘I can’t take this anymore’ or you are just gutting it out, you are looking to yourself.


Let’s review. God cannot lie~Titus 1:2. He cannot deny Himself~2 Timothy 2:13. His mercy for our trials is new every morning, and His faithfulness is great~Lamentations 3:23. In Him is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge~Colossians 2:3. Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”


Our trials are gifts. They are strategically orchestrated by the Lord for our good. Through them He purifies our faith by exposing the dross-lies that are controlling our lives. Through them He imparts benefits that we lacked. Through them He reveals Himself in ways we have not experienced Him before. Through them we gain wisdom that we didn’t need until the trial. 


He is trustworthy. The only reason we default to ourselves is when we have forgotten the foundational truths about Who He is at all times. He has given us everything through His death on the cross. At salvation He came to dwell in us. Amy Carmichael used to say, “He is closer to me than air.” Every breath we take we are breathing in His Presence.


Here is a verse that might reveal if you have a lie or not. Psalm 63:3 says, “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.” I remember reading this verse after I fell into the ravine (1977). I stuttered on this verse. There was a hidden lie (that I didn’t know about at the time) that kept me from believing David’s words with my whole heart. It is two-fold. I encourage you to ask yourself: Do I believe God’s lovingkindness is better than life? Do my lips praise Him for everything? Our faith is challenged each time we face our impossibilities.

Growing Faith

Our faith is a gift, given in a measure at salvation. Romans 12:3 says, “For I say, through grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” 2 Peter 1:5-7 is a list of what we are to add to our faith.


Now if we add a little yeast to bread dough, it will permeate and bring an increase to the dough. There is an interesting aspect of our faith. In order for it to grow, we must decrease. John the Baptist said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” 1 John 2:6 says, “He who abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 


Decreasing so that He may increase is a huge part of our progressive sanctification. As we abide with the Lord through His word, He will lead us deeper into His truth that will set us free from ourselves. When I was in 1st grade, we were given a coloring book. It was all based on teaching us to not be “Me First” but to share.


What are we called to do? Share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our faith is reflected through our life’s experiences as we are around others. No man is an island. We live in a community. How we are in the marketplace, reflects what we believe, and Who we believe in. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…”


Verse 9 says that if we don’t add to our faith, we will be shortsighted, forgetting that we were cleansed from our old sins. The list we are to add, is incorporated in our interpersonal relationships. Virtue is moral excellence. Knowledge puffs up unless it is used to humble us. When I think about the Lord’s attributes, I become very small. To our knowledge we are to add self-control. There would be no crime if everyone exercised this character quality. Then there is perseverance that only grows through our trials. Godliness is exemplifying the Lord’s character. Brotherly kindness is key to unity in diversity. Love is the last. Colossians 3:14 says, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”


The Lord purifies our faith through our fiery trials. Our trials cause the hidden dross to surface. Nothing is hidden except that it might be revealed. Hebrew 4:13 Amplified is a great reminder for us. It says, “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.”


We decrease in our fleshly desires, as He increases through our focus on Him alone. Remember when Peter, James, and John were on the mountain? Jesus was transfigured before them. Matthew 17:8 says, “When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” We are transformed, according to 2 Corinthians 3:18, as we gaze at Him.


May we decrease so that He may increase. May we grow in grace and in our knowledge of Him. May we exemplify Him through our actions which come from our thoughts. May our thoughts please the Lord. May we glorify Him through our thoughts, words, and actions. We are in a unique time of history. Let us be about our Father’s business.

Remembering…

What are we to remember? Isaiah 51:1 says, “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.” David expressed his pit in Psalm 40:2. It says, “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”


What pit did the Lord dig you out of? For the children of Israel He dug them out of the pit of slavery to the Egyptians. Therefore when He inaugurated the keeping of the passover, He told them to remember something. Deuteronomy 16:3 says, “You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.”


Do you celebrate the day that the Lord took you out of sin’s degradation? Do you look back to the pit, and remember how you were hopelessly lost? Ephesians 4:17-18 is one of my places for remembering. It says that my mind was futile, and my understanding was darkened. I was alienated from the life of God. My heart was blind to the truth of the gospel.


When we accept the Lord as our Savior, we are set free from the bondage of sin. However, we need to daily remember the truth in Romans 6:12. It says, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lust.” Our flesh lusts. We need to heed the warning that the Lord gave.


In Deuteronomy 8:10 the Lord reminded them of what to expect in their new land. It says, “When you have eaten and are full…” Verse 11 says, “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by NOT keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you this day.” Verse 14 spoke of their heart being lifted up.


James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” If our heart is lifted up in pride, then the Lord will use measures to humble us. The quickest way I know to humble myself before the Lord is to remember what my life was like when I was alienated from Him. 

Maybe you are thinking about 2 Corinthians 5:17 that says, “…old things are past away; behold, all things have become new.” Is there a contradiction? No. 1 Corinthians 2:13 says, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 


We can go back to Romans 7. Paul wrote about his struggle. Verse 18 says, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells…” John 6:63 says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Therefore we must do as Paul instructed his readers. Romans 6:13 says, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”


We must continually remember that we are not our own. We belong to another. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Let us remember the pit He brought us up from. Psalm 40:3 is our testimony. It says, “He has put a new song in my mouth–praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”