Offended by God (blog by me)

Jesus’ miracles caused Him to gain a large number of followers besides the twelve apostles. Many gathered to listen to Him preach. One day, He taught they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life (see John 6:53-60). Upon hearing this, many were offended and turned away from following Christ. The disciples who stuck by His side learned Jesus was talking in the spiritual sense and not the literal sense, but those who turned away lost the opportunity to learn from the living God!

Have you been offended by God? Is there a Scripture that causes you to question the authenticity of the Word? Don’t turn from the living God or His Word. Taking offense is simply a spiritual trap set by the enemy to get us out of relationship with God. Choose to trust in Christ today and stand by His side. Ask for a clearer understanding. Let’s pray together, “Lord, forgive me for taking offense to You and Your Word. Help my attitude and mindset toward these offenses to match Yours. I trust You and know that You are more righteous than I am. I praise You and thank You for being a loving God who wants what is best for us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Religious Spirit (blog by me)

The Pharisees and chief priests of Jesus’ time were familiar with Scripture, but they denied the true spirit of the law. Since they had no relationship with God, they were unable to recognize Him when He appeared right before their eyes in the man of Jesus. They were caught in a trap of a religious spirit.

Someone caught up in the spiritual trap of a religious spirit is more concerned with following the rules than following Christ. He or she is quick to criticize anyone who fails to follow their own moral code, but they fail to fulfill the greatest commandments to love God and love others (see Matthew 22:36-40). Sadly, this spiritual trap fills the one caught in it with pride and blocks a genuine relationship with the Lord.

For the most part, I am painfully aware of my inability to live up to God’s standard. However, I have with much effort been somewhat successful at living up to my own set of rules at certain times in my life. It is then that I feel a self-satisfying pride that is particularly ugly, leads me far from God, and quiets His voice. When I confess my sins and humbly call on the Lord, He is eager to hear my prayer.

Are you guilty of having a religious spirit? Jesus is patiently waiting for you to get back on the right track today so He can live in a close relationship with you. Let’s say this prayer together: “Lord, forgive me for my religious spirit. I confess I have been more concerned about rules than following You. Help my heart to seek after You and love You above all else. Help me to love others instead of criticizing them. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23). From this day forward, guide me to operate in a spirit of grace to myself and others. Thank You, Lord, for the grace You have shown me in Your great mercy. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Love of Money (blog by me)

Movies and shows about serial killers and murderers have captivated the world, and I have spent my fair share of time watching them. It started with a curiosity why anyone would murder another human being. Murder seems so extreme. What could their motivation be? Were they crazy? After watching a large number of documentary-type shows, I realized their motivation was pretty simple. An overwhelming majority of murderers kill for money. And so 1 Timothy 6:10 stills ring true, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…” The rest of the verse is less well-known, but it continues, “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” By those words, we know the love of money is another spiritual trap.

Satan is a sneaky one. If he knows a Christian is a good person, he does not lead him away with promises of a mansion in Beverly Hills. He leads the person astray with promises of “comfort” and “security” especially for loved ones. As your comfort and security increase, the people around you have more and more making you feel like you need to keep up and before you know it, you are no longer seeking God but only money.

After I graduated from college, I reflected on the advice given me by the business professors. They advised the students to start investing in the stock market when you are young even if you don’t have much money because it will really grow by the time you retire. That’s just security, right? But the Holy Spirit told me something different in the moment I was contemplating an investment. He said, “Invest your money in the kingdom of God—not in the stock market.” I was already tithing, but I started giving to Christian organizations with the little I had and I have never been sorry.

Let’s get our hearts refocused on God today. “Lord, forgive me for putting my focus on providing for myself instead of trusting You for provision. Today, I choose to put my focus on You and Your kingdom. Help me and lead me to use my workplace as a way to show Your light. Help me to use my money to build up Your kingdom. I want to live for You because You gave up Your life for me. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

Divination (blog by me)

Divination can be defined as trying to learn the future by using supernatural means. It may sound like an ancient practice that is no longer used, but the truth is that it is still commonly used by people every day. Anytime a person calls a psychic, visits a fortuneteller, gets their palm read, reads a horoscope, consults angel cards or tarot cards, uses numerology or tries to learn the future by using any supernatural means, they are guilty of divination.

Deuteronomy 18:9-15 tells us these practices are detestable to the Lord. In fact, the Lord says the nations that were driven out for their wickedness practiced divination. Whether you use divination for good or evil makes no difference. The supernatural means to receive future information is not given by God. There is no energy in the universe whereby people may gain wisdom. There is only God and His angels versus Satan and his demons.

Christians make their appeals directly to God by prayer. He is the One who dispatches His angels. We have no business calling on them just as the US President has no right to call on British troops. They only respond to their own leader’s commands. When humans try to foretell the future by summoning God’s angels or energy, they are actually summoning Satan’s demons who are willing to do their bidding for a price. You will never know that price until you have paid it, and the practice of divination will be driving you further from the God who loves you so let’s turn and repent with the below prayer.

Lord, I confess I have practiced divination. Forgive me for this sin. I break off any communication with any entities besides You, Lord. I will remain faithful to You in my heart, soul, and mind. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Rebellion (blog by me)

It is easy to spot rebellion in a toddler. As soon as you ask them to do something, they respond with No! While it is healthy for a toddler to go through this stage, it is a process of maturation to grow out of this stage. Older children and adults should be able to recognize that rules and laws were put into place to protect us. However, there is something inside that just nags at some of us and wants to do things the way we think is right.

Older children and adults with a problem of rebellion may get in trouble at school, get fired from work, have difficulty in relationships, receive lots of tickets or even end up in jail. There is a time to plead for justice, such as when the rules are laws are in contrast to God’s Word. However, Christians should learn to obey authority in most circumstances because it will discipline us to obey God.

We need to take our obedience to God very seriously because 1 Samuel 15:23 tells us rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft or divination. When we rebel as a matter of habit, we are falling deeper into sin. Sin takes us farther from God. In order to stop the cycle of rebellion, we must confess and ask God’s help. Let’s pray together. “Heavenly Father, I am guilty of rebellion. Forgive me for it. Give me an obedient heart so I can serve You as You deserve. You love me and care about me and feel grieved when I turn from You, and I only want You to be pleased with me. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Sin is an Escape Room (Poem by Me)

Ev’ry sin is a kind of escape room,
Sometimes Satan leads you in a wrong door,
Sometimes you are in the room from the womb,
People spend years in there staring at the floor.

Then a friend lifts your head,
Instead it could be a blunt confession,
Or a heartfelt prayer opens your eyes to see,
Else a verse frees you from the oppression.

You wait for the doorway to be unbarred,
Refuse to take the devil’s communion,
Sneak courageously past the demon guard,
And run for your dear life from loss and ruin.

In the Spirit of the Lord, there’s freedom*,
He restores what the locusts have eaten**.

*See 2nd Corinthians 3:17.
**See Joel 2:25.

Your Confession (poem by me)

The orchestra commences
a spine-tingling chorus
as news reporters snap photos
of you with a microphone in hand
expounding on your insecurities
and everything you hide
on an average day.

Tell me with open eyes,
what words did you speak?
Your skin melts off.
Now you are bloody.
Raw. Vulnerable.
Yet more alive than
you have ever been.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9

*Draw near is now accepting personal essays about childhood. Read the details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/.

 

In the Wilderness (prayer)

(Please join me in this prayer of confession and repentance.)

Lord, I tell You the truth

Satan led me into the wilderness

He tempted me with bread

And I ate.

Yet You did not give into temptation

Your divine nature triumphed over sin

I confess my weakness to You.

I stand on grace.

I live in mercy.

It is sufficient to cover my sin

But I will press onward to the goal

To overcome my patterns of sin,

As I am transformed to Your likeness

By the Spirit living within me.

One day—yes, one day

I will beat Satan

And conquer my own repetitive sins

Through the strength in Christ Jesus—

My Lord, my Love, my All in All.

I will be undone in the One

Who gave His life for me

On the cross of Calvary

For the sins of the world.

He shed blood like tears

For those who were perishing

As He still does today

For those who reject Him.

Meet me here in the wilderness

And reject Satan’s temptation

So that we may live

Our lives to the fullest—

Free from the sin

That leads us to death.

In Christ’s Name, Amen.

PHil

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Burdens & Confession

 1jo

Confession of sins is a great way to let go of burdens. Jesus’ blood on the cross makes payment for all sins by mankind. We accept this payment with our belief in Christ. This payment covers our eternal salvation. However, when Christians sin repeatedly they lose a certain closeness with God. In order to draw near to God, we should confess our sins directly to God in prayer.

Take a moment now to relax and ask God to bring your unconfessed sins to remembrance. As He lovingly surfaces them in your mind, just say something like this:

I confess I __________  (lied, mistreated my friend, etc.). Please purify me.

If this is your first time, your sin confession may take awhile. After today, make confession a regular part of your prayer time so you maintain that closeness with the Lord. Confession should not make you feel guilty. It is a humble step of repentance that actively gives God in control of your purification process. You will feel light as a feather and closer to our heavenly Father when you regularly confess sin to Him.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. –James 5:16

Confession to God should only be the beginning especially if you still struggle with the same sin over and over again. God’s Word calls us to confess to “one another” and receive prayer to be healed.

Here are some ways you might decide to confess sin to another:

  • On the phone with a Christian friend
  • During a call for prayer in church
  • Worked into natural conversation in a Bible study
  • Online in a Christian community or forum

Joining a support group may be necessary especially if you are caught in an addictive lifestyle, illegal sin, or sin that is harmful to yourself or others. I pray God will open up opportunities for you to confess your sins to trustworthy Christians who will pray for you and not judge you.

God has certainly called us to confess our sins to God and man, but there is another type of confession we should do, and that is to confess the truth of what the Bible says about us. It is critical to know in your heart and soul that God values you. If you agree that this is important, confess these aloud right now:

  • Christ died for ME while I was still a sinner. (From Romans 5:8)
  • I have been freed from ALL things. (From Acts 13:39)
  • I am a CHILD of GOD. (From Eph. 1:5)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear. (From 2 Tim. 1:7)
  • I am L O V E D by the Father. (From John 16:27)

I pray your heart and soul would hear these truths from your mouth and draw you into a closer relationship with our Lord.

…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. –Isaiah 55:11

Confession of sin to God and others along with confession of our true identity in Christ to yourself will help you align your viewpoint with God’s and help you draw near to Him who loves you unconditionally.

This blog includes some tough topics. If you have questions about the Bible, click here to find reliable answers.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!