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Hmmm...a friend?
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What would you do if you had a friend? Someone who was always there for you. But not quite as you would, well ...expect.
Someone who got involved in all facets of your life. But their involvement did not help you.
    In fact ...It only brought you down.
Whispering things in your ear. Concerning things you struggle with. Such as pride. They would "supposedly" enocurage you. By saying things such as, "well, you really are that good". Or, "well, the others are only jealous of you".
Or say you struggled with fear. They might say, "well, you know that really is pretty scary". Or, "yes, you should be terrified!". And throw your circumstances in your face. Making them sound and look much worse, than they really are!
Or lust. You might hear things like, "well, you can't really help it this person is sooo attractive".
And what if this same "friend". Said things like, "you really aren't very nice looking". "And you could stand to lose a few pounds ...if not more".
Your feelings would be hurt! Would they not? Of course they would! ...In fact you probably would not consider this to be a very healthy relationship. Would you now? In fact you might even consider it to be quite controling!
But yet we take this type of "pounding" every day of our lives. Don't we?
From ourselves, from others, from the world.
...And from Satan!
You know it's interesting how we can get so pulled in by the things that He whispers in our ears. Even justifying gossip, lying, selfishness, or lustful feelings. Mistreatment of others. Or any myriad of things we all struggle with in this world.
 ...Forgetting what Satan is all about:
 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."
                          (John 8:44 NKJV)
But it's also no wonder as we can so easily get down on ourselves. Beating ourselves up for every little wrong that we do (or have done!)! And then we have him to reinforce this. And even add more! As he is always ready to add to our "misery".
But we have to remember in these times. That even if we do mess up? Or we get down on ourselves. that God's love for us. Is so much bigger than we can imagine! ...His grace is big!!
And He has given us the resources necessary. To fight the attacks of the evil one.
Remembering what kind of fight we are in:
  "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,"
            (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV)
And how we are to handle these struggles. What we are to do:
  "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—"
                  (Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV)
You see we must turn our eyes to the Lord. And away from the circumstances of our situations. And focus on Him! In prayer, worship and study of His word!!
You see we can get so easily distracted from the Lord. Whenever we focus more on our problems, than on Him. Our problems tend to look much worse. Our minds tend to run into a "frenzy". And they (our problems) look so much bigger, than they are! And we become so focused on them. That we forget that we already have an answer to all our problems in life. ...The Lord!
And it happens to all of us. Very easily! ...Me? especially!!
But what is important in these times, is this. We must "re-focus" ourselves onto God and His word. Remembering how powerful His word is:
  "For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart."
                   (Hebrews 4:12 Amp. B.)
And spending the neccessary time we need with Him! Getting "built up" back up in Him. Remembering that when we read His word? It builds us up:
 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
                      (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
You see the same "fervency" that drives us to the Lord. The day we accept Him as Lord and Savior. Is the same heart we need everyday of our lives. To live out our walk with, and through Him.
If He were to fill us up once, and never do it again? Then we, would never need to keep going back to Him! Would we now? But that is JUST what He wants. Our TOTAL dependance on Him:
 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
                        (John 15:5 NKJV)
But we tend to buy into the lie. That we must always be able to get it right! Once we are in Christ. And it is this same kind of lie. That tells us we can, and must get to God by our works!
Which we CAN NEVER DO:
  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast."
                     (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
And we will always have the inward struggles in the flesh. As long as we are in the flesh!
In fact Paul (the apostle) himself still had those inwards struggles. And spoke about it:
  "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 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. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
                   (Romans 7:15-24 NKJV)
But he also knew where his hope is:
 "I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin
            (Romans 7:25 NKJV)
You see we should never accept our sin. never pacify it. But we do need to accept that we are NOT perfect! That we will sin. We wil MAKE mistakes. As long as we are in the flesh! The important thing to remember is this. When we do sin? We not only take it to the Lord for forgiveness. Knowing He will forgive us:
 "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."
                     (1 John 2:1-2 NKJV)
But we also LEAVE it at the foot of the cross! Not picking it back up!! And carrying it!!! Which we are all guilty of doing at times. ...Eh?
 ...And for some of us. More frequently, than others perhaps?
You see when God forgives us? It's like this. He takes our sin. Writes it on a stone. And throws it into the ocean. ...Never to be seen again!
But what we do? ...And what the evil one does. Takes oppurtunity? Is this.
We ask for forgiveness. The next minute we are picking it back up! Grieving (when it's already been forgiven) and believing that we are still guilty!! Even though we just repented. And asked for forgiveness! And the evil one is standing there. Rubbing our faces in it! More, than eager to help us feel terrible! And we know this cannot be God. Because once He has forgiven us? It is DONE! The matter is closed!! It is OVER!!!
You see Satan takes all kinds of oppurtunities to discourage us. Try and convince us to just "quit" on life. And quit following the Lord. Quit on our faith!
But what we must do is this. Remember that Jesus died for us. Because we could not save ourselves! And because the law could not save us:
  "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,"
        (Romans 8:3 NKJV)
So it is OKAY that we are not perfect! If we could have been? Or could be? Jesus died for nothing! But we know BETTER!! We know otherwise!!!
So the next time the evil one is giving you a beating? Remember who you are dealing with:
  "Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour."
                       (1 Peter 5:8 HCSB)
...Or your giving yourself a beating? ...Or even someone else is?
Remember how much God loves you:
  "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
                        (1 John 4:10 NKJV)
And remember this. God did not save you just to, "hang you out to dry!"
Remember this verse from 1 John earlier?
"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."
                     (1 John 2:1-2 NKJV)
 His ways are much higher, than ours!
 “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways,
      And My thoughts than your thoughts.
                   (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)
His love and grace are so much bigger, than anything!! Than our sin!!!
And He is ALWAYS inviting us:
Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
      Come to the waters;
      And you who have no money,
      Come, buy and eat.
      Yes, come, buy wine and milk
      Without money and without price
       Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
      And your wages for what does not satisfy?
      Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
      And let your soul delight itself in abundance
       Incline your ear, and come to Me.
      Hear, and your soul shall live;
      And I will make an everlasting covenant with you
      The sure mercies of David."
                        (Isaiah 55:1-3 NKJV)
You see we must remember who our real friend is!
Afterall, He gave Himself for us:
  "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends."
                       (John 15:13 NKJV)
So knowing this. Who is it that really loves you? Who is your real friend?
  ...Don't have to look too far do you?

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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