Day 30: S is for Sink

“… And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:29-30

S is for sink. To sink means to be submerged (beneath the surface); to fall or drop to a lower place. Life in the shoes of anyone is not easy, but life in the shoes of a Christian is even harder. What is the difference? Well, for starters, the devil already has control of your life as an unsaved person, so he is not worried about you. But, if you are a Christian, be assured that he is going to be in a constant battle with you to try to break your resolve and your faith in God.

When the devil can get you so disturbed, distraught, and discouraged, he knows that your eyes are then on the circumstances around you … and consequently, are no longer on Jesus. When this happens, we begin to sink spiritually. We are weakened. Our faith begins to shake and cracks begin to appear in places that did not have cracks before.

Some days it seems like the devil spends his whole entire day sitting on your shoulder whispering lie after lie into your ear. Right now he is residing in deep south Texas on my shoulder … and is not showing signs of heading north to your shoulder anytime soon. Everyone thinks that the temperatures here are hot outside right now, but they are nothing compared to what is inside!

The devil was even brave enough to go up against Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4). When he fed Christ lies, what did Christ do in response? He quoted scripture. What do we do when he feeds us lies? We usually gullibly believe them and wallow around in them, do we not? But, what are we to do instead? What example did Christ set for us? We are to quote scripture, right? God’s Word is the truth and we must fight lies with truth!

I recently gifted a good friend of mine with a journal specifically for one purpose. That purpose was to write down a lie of the devil on the top of each page and then to fill that page with scripture (God’s Word aka the Truth). She and I had already been sharing scriptures to refute the lies that the devil had been trying to feed us. But, having it in black and white … on paper … just seems to make it more concrete and more sure, does it not? I encourage you to do the same thing. You do not have to buy a journal. Even a notebook will work.

You may also be interested in devoting one page to “Why sink when you can swim?” verses. What are these? Well, these are your “go-to” verses when you are needing extra reinforcements from scripture to fight the devil. Your page will probably look different than mine, but that is not what is important. What is important is that you write verses there that give YOU strength. If you do not know of any verses, ask God to show you ones and then start digging in His Word.

Lesson Objective: To understand what it means to sink. To use this knowledge to learn how to swim (fight the devil’s lies with God’s Truth). To start your own “Why sink when you can swim?” journal.

Did you pass or did you fail?

Day 12: Lying – part 2

Wherefore putting away LYING, speak every man truth with his neighbor …” Ephesians 4:25

I apologize that I kind of left you hanging yesterday. I will try to pick up where we left off and cover the reasons why we lie and also the consequences of our lies … oh, yes, we do have consequences to pay! I will then conclude with how we can overcome lying … yes, it is something that you do not want to let hang around for long and it is possible to overcome it!

So, what are some reasons why we lie?

1) We were born liars (born in sinful flesh; born with fleshly desires) – John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do … When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

2) We want to look better than someone else — II Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves.” If so, we are not wise.

3) We do not want to hurt someone else’s feelings — Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another …” We have good intentions (we want to be kind as the Bible instructs us), but we lie to accomplish it. As Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. once said, “It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.”

What are some of the consequences of our lies?

1) We will be caught — Numbers 32:23b “… and be sure your sin will find you out.” There is no way to hide lies. Eventually, they will come out!

2) Habitual liars will have a home in hell one day — Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving … and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone …”

3) Bondage to sin (it controls you now) — Romans 7:23 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Also, John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” It did not say that lying would make us free. Lying puts us in bondage. The truth sets us free!

How can we overcome lying:

1) Confess this sin to God in prayer — I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

2) Renew your mind (replace lying with truth) — Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

3) Follow God’s plan for success — 1) “Put on” the things of God (Romans 13:14), 2) Put away pride (Romans 12:16),     3) Follow in God’s truth (John 16:13), and 4) Cleansing is found in God’s truth … His Word (John 17:17)

Speak the truth! In God’s courtroom, truth and right will always prevail!

Day 5: The Trust

“TRUST in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in
the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalm 37:3

The word trust appears 188 times in the Kings James Bible. Twenty-five of those say “trust in the LORD” or “trusting in the LORD.” What is the significance of the number? I have no idea. But I do know that He must want us to trust Him if He even mentions it only one time. So, let us trust Him today, my friend!

Trust means to believe in something; have confidence in something. Trust may be easily defined, but trust is not easily practiced. Putting feet to our trust or our faith in God is not always an easy thing. What are some areas that you struggle with a full and complete trust in God in? Is it your finances? Or maybe your health? What about your marriage or your wayward or rebellious child? Could it be your time or maybe even your talents? The question is, “Can you completely trust God in all things?” The answer is, “Yes! You can!”

David goes on to tell us who we are to trust in … and it is not self and it is not man, as we are made to so readily believe! We are to “trust in the LORD.” Did you notice the capitalization of LORD? Do you remember what that means? It means Yahweh … a very sacred form of God. We are not to trust in just any lord, but THE LORD. Our Yahweh. Our mighty God.

I have lived my entire life in ministry. I grew up as a missionary and preacher’s kid. I married a preacher, who for the first 6 years of our marriage served as an assistant pastor. Then for the past 23 years, we have been missionaries. Does this make me special or a super Christian? Most definitely not! I am just as human as the next person. I have my faults and failures … I too have my trust issues … so please do not look too closely or you may find more than you wanted to find.

In ministry, there are a myriad of things that one must trust the LORD for. One of these is finances. You learn quickly in ministry that money does not grow on trees … if you find the person who started this lie, I mean rumor, please let me know! Another thing that you learn quickly is that money has dry seasons and sometimes those dry seasons run on for endless amounts of time … I believe, they must have roots in South Texas! Sadly, money is also fickle. It cannot always be trusted.

I was chatting with someone the other day and the subject came up about money and ministry. Their support was dwindling due to their age … not their activity level. I encouraged them with this very verse … “TRUST in the LORD, and [continue; do not give up on] do[ing] good; so shalt thou [continue to live and minister and] dwell in the land [where God has called you to], and verily [without a doubt] thou shalt be fed [by the very hand of your LORD, your YAHWEH].”

One thing is for certain. No matter our walk of life, we will have many opportunities to either trust the LORD completely or not to trust Him. What are you needing to trust the LORD completely in, my friend? Please take it to Him! He will never fail you. NEVER!