There’s an absolutely beautiful older song called “He Looked Beyond My Fault”. It sings:
“He looked beyond my faults and saw all my needs.
I shall forever lift my eyes to Calvary
to view the cross where Jesus died for me.
And how marvelous the grace that caught my falling soul...”
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Paul writes this. Paul, who persecuted and murdered Christians. Paul, who then experienced the fullness of the grace of God. Paul, who was not defined by his sin, but by his redemption because of the love of God.
Sin breaks the heart of God, and I wonder if sometimes part of the heartache is that we are choosing our chains over the victory over them. We are allowing them to be road blocks in our lives instead of redemption stories and songs of praise and victory. We are believing the lies of the enemy over the grace and love and forgiveness we read about daily.
Dear brothers and sisters, I encourage you to let go of the lies that tell you that you are used up, no good, too far gone. God places His treasures in jars of clay,
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Accept God’s forgiveness today. Don’t allow your past to be a road block to you. It’s not a road block to the Lord. His plan for your life is still good. Your purpose in the Kingdom is still there. You are a redemption story, not a lost cause.
I was just telling my husband the other day that it’s so difficult to find the truth these days. There are a lot of contradicting ideas in the news and social media. Now more than ever we need to pray for the kind of discernment only the Holy Spirit can place in our hearts. We were never meant to form opinions or follow teachers based on what the majority of men say. We need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is guiding our hearts toward and we need to be discerning with all things, using the Bible as the gold standard by which all things are measured.
Paul says this on this subject: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2). Friends, in this day and age where many Godly values and truths are mocked and looked down upon, stay strong. Do not allow yourself to be conformed to the world. If you make the world your home, it’ll be the only home you’ll ever know. You won’t be popular, you won’t be well liked by men for living according to the will of the Holy Spirit and preserving the kingdom values that are important to God, and Jesus said this plainly, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19).
James tells us that conforming to this world makes us an enemy of God: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4). John writes: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-16).
Dear friends, in a world full of “likes”, a world that celebrates popularity in the form of social media influencers and the amount of friends one has, dare to be different. Don’t be influenced by anyone other than the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe anything you read over the Bible. Don’t allow yourself to conform to the world and please will your heart not to desire the praise and acceptance of men over the praise and acceptance of the one true God. And rejoice, even if you’re the only one standing in the truth because you are never alone and because of what Jesus said: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12).
My husband and I recently adopted two kittens as a surprise for my daughter. She has been asking for a pet for months now, specifically black or black and white kittens. We waited for a few months because we wanted to make sure we had the time off to help them acclimate to their new environment, wanted to make sure financially we could go out and purchase for them all the supplies they need (carriers, litter box, dishes, etc.) and we wanted to make sure that Lucy, our daughter, showed responsibility with taking care of a pet by using this neat virtual app I found where to simulates the experience of having to feed, play with, and care for an animal. All of these things aligned simultaneously this past weekend so we filled out the adoption form and waited on a call from the shelter. When we did get a call they had just received a litter of black kittens and wanted to know if we wanted two of those! We said yes immediately. Waiting was not easy for Lucy but the timing was perfect and our promise was 100% fulfilled, instead of half-fulfilled if we had tried to rush things.
How many times in our Christian walk have we tried to rush things? How many times have we trusted in our own timing more than the Lord’s and our hearts settled for half of a promise. I have good news for you today - God is not a “something is better than nothing” God. God is a Father who keeps His word and only asks us to trust in His wisdom, timing and provision. Please don’t mistake His perfect timing and His promise to fulfill His promises as unnecessary delay.
Joshua 21:45 says, “Not one of all the Lord’s food promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Because of Christ’s death on the cross, we have been grafted in to Abraham’s family and inheritors of the promise. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29).
Joshua 23:14 says, “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
Jeremiah 1:12 says, “The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
Lamentations 2:17 says, “The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago…”
Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
These verses all tell us the same thing - God does not break a promise. If you’re waiting to see a promise or prophecy over your life fulfilled, don’t settle in your heart for less-than. Don’t take matters into your own hands. God is a Father of His word. He is not delaying. He is not deferring your hope. Everything is going according to plan.