Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"God's will or self will"

God's will or self will

In Genesis chapter 4 a literal story is written about three people.The primary interpretation,practical application and prophetic implication in the narrative is just incredible for us as Christians. God of course is faithful and will show His children precious truths in the Bible.

The Apostle Paul said in Phil 3:14, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ." Adam and the Apostle Paul had something in common. They both were sharing their faith.

I am not going to get into the prophetic aspect of this story too much, except to say that when one takes a broad look at the story of Adam,Cain and Abel, I believe this is just a snapshot of the three roles of humanity in the form of a triangle.

Adam being the (1) leader at the top of the triangle (2) Abel being the follower at a bottom point in the triangle and moving across to the other point would be (3) Cain the resister.

A person can lead in the Spirit of God or in the flesh, follow in the Spirit of God or the flesh, resist in the Spirit of God or the flesh. In life there are leaders,followers and resisters. I believe it is a triangle of humanity.This story is in the beginning of the Bible. It is a picture of the way subsequent generations would respond to life.

Should we be followers or resisters? That depends. The Bible says, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1st John 4:1.

If we are a leader in one capacity or another...., "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but having itchy ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned into fables." 2nd Timothy 4:3-4. We are responsible to speak the Word of God with truth. God will hold us accountable. Jesus said in Matthew 15:14..... "And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." According to the Bible, the teacher will be held more responsible." My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." James 3:1. In simple terms, if we are in a leadership capacity, our responsibility is greater than the follower to stay in line with the Word of God.

Getting down to a more primary and practical level, the Holy Spirit showed me some key pivotal points that are paramount for us to know not only in our minds but more importantly in our hearts. I believe that Adam had a heart for God (repentance;conviction) and I could see him talking to his kids about the Lord. The evidence is in the implication of Scripture. Adam did instruct his children about God because the Bible says both Cain and Abel gave a sacrifice to God.

One was accepted and the other was rejected. Abel was interested, and it became evident in his response. Cain was not interested and did not care because it became obvious through his response. "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20.He responded in a way that was against God's Will because he had the wrong spirit about himself.

When people hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and they insist on their own will, they are going their own way.That is what Cain did. Abel was attentive to his father because he responded with such an obedient heart. In like manner when we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ some will be attentive and some will not.

Cain and Abel represent the two different types of responses that one can have to Jesus Christ. A person can either say I care, and I want to accept Jesus Christ into my heart, or I don't care and reject Jesus Christ.

This same model is also seen on the cross. Jesus Christ was in the middle and one person was on His left and the other person was to His right. The person to His right accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. The person on His left rejected Jesus Christ. Once again, this did not just happen by accident. It was symbolic of the only two choices that mankind can make.

The fact that Abel did not make this sacrifice until he was of age speaks of a true authentic conversion. He thought about it and sincerely desired God's Will. Adam sowed good seed in Abel's heart. Since the seed was sowed, Abel was able to respond with sincerity to God from his heart. Cain just simply did not care because he had self will, and that type of attitude is never interested in God.

Their sacrifices to God were different because they had two different jobs in life. Cain brought the fruit of the ground but he had a leftover mentality, so God just simply would not accept his sacrifice. Abel brought the firstlings of his flock. The reason why God accepted Abel's sacrifice is because it was from his heart. In like manner God knows when somebody is sincerely accepting His only Son Jesus Christ or just simply repeating some words.

To take this one step further, God knows when His children are trying to do His will--- making a honest attempt to follow Jesus Christ. All true Christians believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for their sins and rose from the dead on the third day.This is found in 1st Cor:15 3-4.

It would have to be obvious by now that Believers in Jesus Christ differ on doctrinal positions regarding the issue of once saved always saved. Many Christians on different sides are very sincere before Jesus Christ.

In keeping with the will of God which is what I am writing about, let me quote two verses. "(47) And the servant which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes." Luke 12:47. "And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." 1st John 2:17. You can interpret these verses anyway you want to, but don't ask me to modify them.

Peter says... "Selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities." 2nd Peter 2:10. There are other references in Scripture similar to Luke 12:47."(20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therin, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandant delivered unto them." 2nd Peter 2:20-21.I know Christians have been debating these verses for well over a millennium, but would we really like to find out the hard way? I am going to be giving reassurance of our eternal security in Jesus Christ.

What I like about the second epistle of Peter is the very first thing he goes over is how we can know that we are eternally secure in Jesus Christ. Peter talks about us being eternally secure in Jesus Christ right away. "(5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance ; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." 2nd Peter 1:5-7.

Then Peter goes on to say,if you do these things we will never be barren or unfruitful. If we don't than we forgot that we were purged from our old sins.

The verse that I really like is verse 10. "(10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things,ye shall never fall." 2nd Peter 1:10. When we do these things our belief in Jesus Christ is in the action tense ,not the intellectual tense.

God is looking for people that want to do His will. "(14) Happy is the man that feareth always: but he that hardens his heart shall fall into mischief." Proverbs 28:14. We should have a holy fear for God and life. "When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy "will" be done,as in heaven,so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." Luke 11:2-4.These are the people that God is looking for because they worship Jesus Christ in spirit and truth. John: 4:24.

Let me try and give some comfort to this issue. I never claimed to be a doctrinal expert. Many Christians get anxious over this issue of eternal security but the Bible says, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Phil. 4:6. Being anxious over these issues is not going to get us anywhere. "But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1st Timothy 6:6.

Whenever I try and do the will of God, the Holy Spirit always initiates His love for me. I found out some wisdom throughout my years. I always thought that I was the initiator and God was the responder but the Bible says," (7) Herein is love,not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1st John 4:10. When I sincerely try and do the will of God, the Holy Spirit initiates His love toward me. God is the initiator. I am the responder.

When this happens Romans 8:16 takes place in my life every single time.This verse says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Also in 1st John 4:13 the Bible says, "Hereby know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because he Hath given us of His spirit."

I try and walk close to Jesus Christ. Often I ask God to give me more verification that I am really one of His true children in accordance with the Holy Spirit bearing witness with my spirit. I was and still am surprised at the prayer requests that Jesus Christ will grant to me because of His goodness. We don't need a doctrine as much as we need the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are true followers of Jesus Christ. Who would you rather hear from, God or man? The Bible says, "Let God be true and every man a liar." Romans 3:4.

When we Christians try our best to do the will of God with a sincere heart, we don't want to sin. If we do fall into sin,1st John 1:9 tells us to repent. When I confess my sins before God an unexplained supernatural peace usually comes upon my spirit.

I personally believe the most comforting verse in the entire Bible regarding this issue on eternal security is, "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." 1st John 4:17. BOLDNESS--- Confidence that we are true children of Jesus Christ when we seek the kingdom of God and desire to do His will. I know that I am a Christian because the love of Jesus Christ abides in me.

Did you ever notice how these issues that Christians debate always boil down to the love of Jesus Christ? I cannot imagine my life or eternity separated from the love of Jesus Christ.

Abel was open toward God. Cain was hard. The one thing God does not want people to do is the one thing human beings insist on doing. I have seen people put Jesus Christ off all their life and right before passing away they could not get right with God because their heart was so hardened. First of all we don't even know when we are going to be leaving this world. There is no guarantee. No wonder Jesus said, "(14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14. People harden their hearts against God.

If somebody were to say to me, "You can only make one statement, make your peace and go home," I would say, "Make sure you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, don't harden your heart against God and follow Jesus Christ for the rest of the days of your life." I would rather do whatever it takes now to get right with God as opposed to finding myself in the seven year tribulation period or hell.

This is why in the parable of the sower Jesus said, "(8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold,some sixtyfold,some thirtyfold. (9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:8-9. The soil in our heart needs to be open to what the Bible is teaching, so we can do the will of God and experience His love.

Even after billions of people die in the seven year tribulation, according to Revelation 9:21 the people that survive harden their hearts against God. "(21) Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."Revelation 9:21.

It is the goodness of God that leads a person to repentance, not the judgment of God. "(4) Or despisest thou riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance."Romans 2:4. I would be lacking if I did not talk about the judgment of God, but people would be wise if they embrace the goodness of God and come to repentance.

Many people are indifferent toward God. Now is not the time to ignore Jesus Christ. I believe the rapture of the Church could take place at any second. Nobody in their right mind will want to be left behind. After reading Revelation chapters 6 through 19, I would be beyond frightened if I missed the rapture.

In Jewish culture the oldest son was given special privileges, so maybe in Cain's heart he did not feel the need for God. The Bible says in Acts 10:34, "Then Peter opened his mouth,and said,of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." Romans 2:11 says, "For there is no respect of persons with God."

I think it is interesting that after Cain's sacrifice was rejected, the Bible says... "And Cain was very wroth,and his countenance fell." Genesis 4:5. God even tried to reason with Cain in verses 6 and 7.

When we do something wrong and God tries to reason with us, I believe once again there are two different responses. A good example would be found in the Gospels. Peter betrayed Jesus Christ three times but he repented. Judas betrayed Jesus Christ and then took his life. The Judas response makes me think twice about ever making a decision based on emotion. God was giving Cain an opportunity to repent; however, he chose a whole different course in his life.

We either want God's will or self will. God's will through His Son Jesus Christ is always the path that we should take. If you feel you desire self will rather than God's will, ask God to help you and I know He will because you have just confessed in your heart that you need God. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart then this is God's will for your life and eternity. Like Abel, all you have to do is come to Him with an earnest heart and Jesus Christ Himself will recognize this, and come into your heart.

I can really relate to this story because the model of what God is trying to show us is so real, not only for our life but eternity.

The real emotions came out after both chose to either accept God's way(Abel) or his own way(Cain) --- especially on the part of Cain.

So there were two times Cain did not listen to God (1) The sacrifice (2) The reasoning from God to Cain. Cain took it upon himself to murder Abel when nobody was looking.This is the kind of fruit a hardened heart and self will produce.

It is true that Cain was the first murderer; however, Abel was the first martyr for God. This would have to be obvious but I need to bring this point out. Abel had no desire to murder Cain. He listened to God and was approved by Him because he chose to approach God in the way he was told.

The Bible says in John 14:6 that Jesus is the way,truth and life. If anybody wants to know God they have to go through Jesus Christ. Abel through his obedience was content.

Cain on the other hand had a desire to murder Abel. In Cain's mind and heart murder was the only fruit he wanted to produce. " Prating against with malicious words: and not content therewith..." 3rd John verse 10. Cain was not content because of his self will and this did lead into murder.

Abel was content.The 23rd Psalm says, "The Lord is my Shepard I shall not want."

Look at the emotions of Cain.(1) Self will (2) Reluctance of heart (3) Belligerence (4) Anger (5) Murder (6) Fear and (7) A cry for mercy.

There were two parts to Cain when he responded, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The fear part of him. (2) The technical part.Technically speaking he had his job and Abel had his job. Human logic will almost always try and cover our sin before God because we are fearful. It is hard to confess before God. People don't naturally want to do this.The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1st John 1:9.

To me this story also symbolizes an eternal hell. Think about this. People go to hell everyday. Cain had (1) Self will (2)Reluctance of heart toward God (3) Belligerence (4) Anger (5 ) Murder (6) Fear (7) He found himself crying for mercy. The Bible says in Rev.22:11, "He that is unjust,let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy,let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous,let him be righteous still:and he that is holy,let him be holy still."

The first part of this verse describes a person that dies in their sins as they rejected Jesus Christ.They are helpless in their sinful condition for all eternity.The second part of this verse describes the righteous person that approached God through Jesus Christ.He or She has a holy character that loves God and wants to worship and serve Him for all eternity.

There is a Gospel track written called," This was your Life."It may have won more souls to Jesus Christ than any other track ever made. In this track the man gets a second chance. If you are one that is contemplating self will or God's will, it would have to be obvious which direction you should take. We have only two choices. God's will leads to eternal life. Of course I just explained what fruit self will produced in the life of Cain. I think we should all choose God's will over self will. That is what Jesus Christ is looking for in our lives.

Love in Christ,
Bob D.

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