Sometimes God Lets You Get Into Hot Water to Clean You Up

By on November 21, 2017

“Looks like she got herself into a little hot water!” Into a situation she can’t stand. Into a situation she desperately wants out of. And now, she has nowhere to turn but to God. No one to run to except the One who created her. No one to tell her troubles to except the Savior.

Sometimes Christians DO get into hot water. And, God lets them sweat it out. He lets them stew in their own juices for a while. Why? Because He doesn’t care? No, because He DOES care. He cares about what we’re doing and what we’re becoming. He says in Rev. 3:19, “As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten…” To chasten literally means to clean up, to make good, or to make clean.

Mixed up affections. One common thing that God has to chasten us from is liking the wrong things too much. And, loving God too little. Maybe you, yourself are guilty of this. The strikes close to home for most of us.

Liking sports, hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities to the point that they deny God the service that He deserves from you. Or, liking your pets, your hobbies and your TV so much that they take away from God time that is rightfully His.

Could be your social life with its various activities; or your job and career. (Even a person that you like so much, that they have drawn you from your close walk with the Savior.) Anything that has bumped God out of the Number One spot in your heart. You might still TALK it, that He’s Number 1 and that’s nothing’s changed. But, in actual practice, you’re missing more church than you used to, and it doesn’t bother you like it once did.

Sometimes God will use your Pastor to rebuke you. Through the ministry of the Word, the Holy Spirit will speak words that are aimed at your heart like a missile from Heaven. Listen to what God is saying to you when this happens.

When things come between you and your best walk with God, God begins to rebuke and chasten. There never has been and idol that God didn’t ultimately root out, pull down and smash to bits.” For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you (Deut. 6:5).

No matter how good something or someone may be, when we put them in a place that should belong to God alone, He cries, “Away with it.”
We might weep many tears at God’s rebuke, but if we DO put God back in His rightful place, we might not have to lose the thing we treasure so much. Plus, with God first in our hearts, we can enjoy the good things He’s given us much more, and with a clean conscience and full faith.

Another thing He rebukes is covetousness. We live in a consumer society that teaches us that abundant life consist of abundant material possessions. Even some churches and ministries have succumbed to this lie from hell. So, they get themselves in debt with their mega-buildings and furnishings and then pressure the people of God to pay for it.

“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9 says that. The ministry has been leavened and now the people of God, the lump has been leavened. We have gotten so comfortable and puffed up (or swollen) we hardly know what to do with ourselves.

We’re like Jeshurun in Deut. 32:15. “Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness: Then he forsook God which made him and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.”

Abundance and the lack of joy. The people of God have enjoyed the prosperity and abundance of God to the point that we don’t remember what it is to be satisfied with Jesus alone. To “just be saved” isn’t enough anymore. We feel slighted if we see an unsaved person with more of this world’s goods than what God has seen fit to bless us with.

Knowing what covetousness will do to the Christian’s spirit, God has to chasten us, to bring us back to seeing joy in Jesus and in Him alone. “Beware of covetousness.” (Luke 12:15).

Rebuke for lack of compassion. Once we’ve had our feet pulled out of the miry clay of sin and put on the solid rock of the Gospel (Psalm 40:2), we too easily forget what it was like to be fainthearted and weak.

Then, when we meet with some of the poorer saints, we look down our noses at them, like we’re something, and they’re nothing. We meet with those who are distressed and faint hearted and forget that we were weak too. That’s a sure sign that a divine rebuke and chastening is on it’s way. Like Charles Spurgeon said, “There never was a saint yet, that grew proud of his fine feathers, but what the Lord plucked them out by and by.”
Another behavior that brings rebuke from the Lord is slackness. How many Christians are prime examples of laziness! Not in their work. Or on their jobs. But in the things of God; in doing the work that God has called them to do.

How many Christians have eyes to see with, brains to think with, tongues to speak with, but no heart to work for God! Some people who sit in the services have no business sitting there. Not when there are Sunday school classes that need to be taught. Or a group of hurting teenagers that no one has the heart to reach out to.

After playing in the mud, it’s bath time. Transgressing what God has called you to do IS fun for a while. Heb. 11:25 tells us that sin is pleasure, for a season. But, the sin that was first pleasure comes back to you as a whip. Read your Bible. Notice how almost every saint has been chastened for the sin he or she has committed by having the very same sin falling on his or her head.

Why does God rebuke and chasten? His chastening isn’t a punishment, it’s for cleansing, and for your own profit. He has no motive other than your being able to be close to Him.

Like my dog. My dog likes nothing better than to go down into the woods and run through the swamp, and get all smelly and dirty. THEN, he wants to come in my house and lay at my feet on the carpet!

And, as much as I love him, I can’t let him get too near to me or the rest of the family when he smells like an overloaded septic truck. So, because we LOVE him, we fill a tub with hot water and soap and plunge him in.

He thinks at the time that we must hate him. He feels like he’s being punished. But, before there’s the closeness that we all want, he gets that bath!

THEN, he’s allowed back in with us! Once again, he’s granted “favored dog” status! But, not hot water – no fellowship.

Sometimes God lets you get into hot water to keep you OUT of sin. He sees the seed of it in your heart, and speaks to you, to uproot it before it comes to the surface and becomes as a thorn in your flesh. He sees the embryo of carnality or lust in your heart; He sees that the little egg of selfishness is about to hatch and produce sin. He comes on the scene and crushes it through a rebuke, or a chastening.

We’ll never know this side of Heaven how much guilt we have been saved from by the “hot water” of God! We’re ready to jump in, and feeling the heat, we jump back in shock or fear!

One day, we’ll be able to look back and pray, “Dear God, I thank you that by putting me in a little hot water, you saved me from a sin that would have caused more trouble and more pain…and would have been so much more dangerous.”

Take comfort in this. When you’re in a trial, in hot water, know that GOD LOVES YOU STILL. Remember that ALL YOU SUFFER IS SENT IN LOVE. Hebrews 12:11 says it like this: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: Nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Realize that God doesn’t change. He is being just as kind to you when He sends you little as when He sends you much. He is as good to you when He delays the answer to your prayers as when He answers them speedily. The question is, “Are you His child?” If so, then, He has rebuked you in love, with tender affection, and there is fondness in His chastising.

You’re in hot water. Come to the blessed Fount of Living Water that you can plunge in and be clean! When God lets you get into hot water, it’s never to drown you; it’s always to cleanse you!

Job 5:17, “Happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Lord.”

God isn’t impressed with your sacrifices. It’s your obedience He wants!

By on November 14, 2017

A lot of Christians seem to have gotten the wrong idea. They think that as long as they’re happy and do without a few things for the Kingdom of God, everything will be OK for them on the Day of Judgement.

They don’t realize that God has a very specific plan for their lives and that He will require them to answer for how they carried out that plan when they stand before Him.

Influence of the world’s system:

In the systems of this world, we’re taught that our primary goal and purpose is to be “happy”. Whatever it takes, as long as we feel good. This pleasure loving (and soul-destroying) philosophy has crept into the churches and is bought wholesale by the Believers.

For example, you might say, “I want to go to a church where I like the music.” Or, “I want to go to a church where I like the pretty carpets and the beautiful landscaping out front. These things are important to me, and I KNOW God wants me to be happy!”

Did you ever stop to think that God just MIGHT want you in a particular church because there are things He wants you to do for His Kingdom in that church? Or, that there might be a person whom God has assigned to you there?

Like I said, we’ve gotten the wrong idea. See, we think that the reason we go to a particular church is for US. It’s not. It’s for the NEED in the Body of Christ that God places us in a particular church.

He has committed certain people to you and He will require them at your hand on the Judgement Day. If He’s called you to teach Sunday School, but you rather not bother yourself with making a commitment to get up every Sunday and be faithful, guess what? God will STILL hold you responsible for that Sunday school class when you stand before Him on the Judgement Day.

There are many things that God has planned for you to do:

There are many Kingdom tasks that He has set before you, and will require at your hand.

Specifically, that alcoholic that you know needs the Gospel, but you’d feel uncomfortable inviting her to church. Or, the person right there in your church who really needs someone to listen to them, but you don’t really feel like listening to someone else’s problems. I hate to sound insensitive, but, if God has placed someone in your life, He will hold you to answer for whether or not you were faithful. He isn’t going to ask you if you were comfortable, but He WILL ask you if you were faithful.

What about all your “sacrifices”?
We like to point out all the things we don’t do because we’re Christians. We don’t drink alcohol anymore, or smoke dope. We don’t freebase, or smoke blunts anymore. We stopped stealing, because we love the Lord. Doesn’t that at least impress the Lord?

Actually, most of the things that we like to point out as sacrifices are things that the Lord would point out as “privileges.” It’s a privilege to be sober and in your right mind. It’s not a sacrifice at all. It’s a privilege to be honest and upright. We can’t rightly call something a sacrifice when in reality it’s something that the Lord delivered us from, can we?
What about our legitimate sacrifices?

What if we didn’t obey Him, but instead we did other nice things? If God called you to do something as simple as to teach a Sunday school class, or offer someone a ride to church, but you didn’t…and instead put a check for $100 in the offering…do you think He’ll be willing to accept that as a trade for the souls that were lost because of your disobedience?

No, when you and I stand before God, He isn’t going to be asking you our “sacrifices.” He’ll be asking about our obedience. Did we obey Him? Remember, He’s looking for obedience, not sacrifice.

Some of us will have to answer for all the things we did in this life that didn’t amount to anything at all in the Lord’s Kingdom. Like how great we were at shooting pool, dancing, putting on makeup or how nice our lawns looked. We’ll have to explain why we had hours to waste in front of the television and plenty of time to wade through multitudes of paperback novels, but somehow couldn’t find the time for church, prayer or reading our Bibles.

We’ll also have to answer for things left undone, for people unreached and not helped. I really got under a sense of conviction when I was reading in John 17, where Jesus was praying to the Father. He said, “Those that Thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost.”

I want to be able to say that to the Father when I stand before Him on that day, don’t you? That of those people that He has committed to your keeping and helping, that you haven’t lost any of them through neglect, insensitivity or through the sheer business of having too much to do.
I don’t want to lose even ONE of the souls that the Lord has committed to my keeping. That’s why I hurt so badly when I feel like I’ve let someone down, or maybe did something to make someone think I might not care about them.

God isn’t a hard task maker:

He wants you to be a completely fulfilled and useful individual. God wants the Day of Judgement to be the happiest day of your life. It can be. And, it SHOULD be. To obey really IS better than sacrifice.

Strengthened, Led and Guided By the Spirit

By on November 7, 2017

It’s intensifying. Stepping up. The amount of pressures, stress, decisions and spiritual assault that believers are facing is greater now than it was even a few years ago. And not all believers are meeting these challenges successfully. That’s why many churches aren’t growing numerically, and some are even on the decline. That’s also why you are possibly worshiping next to someone who is living a lifestyle that even just a decade ago would have been considered unthinkable for a Christian. You can be sure of this: God hasn’t changed His standards, and He also hasn’t stopped helping people to live holy and godly in this present life.

In fact, the inspired prayer of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 3:16 is that you and I would be strengthened by the power of God on the inside of us. See, when you get saved, the Holy Spirit comes and lives on the inside of you. That means you have an incredible potential to be successful in your spiritual life.

The Spirit of God strengthens those who believe. That’s why those who will listen to and ACT ON what God says find themselves STRONGER, more blessed, more victorious, more Godly and just living a BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE than those who walk in the flesh and just go by how they feel.

As long as you go by your feelings, you’ll be blind to the goodness of God and weak in others. That’s why we can get so tripped up on the dumbest things…while being totally victorious over some absolutely brilliant assaults and trials that could wipe out a super-saint!

But, it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. So, how do you go from being weak and faltering to being stable, firm and consistent? A clue is in Romans 8:14, where it says, “…as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

The point is that it’s those who are LED by the Spirit that get to be called the sons of God. Those who are the sons (or daughters) of God are those who will LISTEN and DO, or ACT ON what the Spirit of God says. They do what HE says, not what their FLESH says, or what their carnal mind says. What leads them or directs them ISN’T their wants, desires, “needs” or appetites, BUT THE SPIRIT OF GOD. “As many as are LED by the Spirit are the sons of God.”

It’s like this: God is looking down at you as you’re REALLY TRYING to please Him. He sees your conflicts and knows your upbringing, and in spite of the opposition you face, you do well. Then He says, “THAT’S MY BOY…! THAT’S MY GIRL!” HE’S PROUD OF YOU, IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU GET PROUD OF YOUR KIDS WHEN THEY DO WHAT YOU TELL THEM! Just like He was proud of Jesus when Jesus was baptized… God spoke it out from heaven, He was so proud! “This is my Son that I love so much…”

That’s why those who listen to and obey, the ones who DO SOMETHING about what the Spirit of God says, are the ones whom God says are His sons and daughters. Any old carnal believer can go to church and try to read their Bible, but it takes the Spirit of God to live and walk by FAITH!
And, the Holy Spirit will LEAD you (and me) into a holy life, a life where you’re LIVING like a son of God. He takes you by the hand and leads you into that kind of high-quality life… ABUNDANT LIFE!