January 7, 2019 by Kgalalelo
It is said that if you fall, get back up again and in the same breath, if you lose your way, find it again and continue on your journey. We all find ourselves in the maze every so often and it doesn’t help to brood about it, rather, get back on track and don’t look back. The Holy Spirit is always there with you as it is the spirit of God within you. Jesus says in John 14:16 "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever”. The Holy Spirit is there to guide you on the right path that you should go.
I was sitting in the church yesterday when I received the heading of this message and I asked the Holy Spirit to remind me later at home of the title and guide my words as I write the blog since the message is for all of us today. I had been praying at that time and was aware that I was babbling non-stop empty words and the Bible says in Matthew 6:7 “and when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words”. I knew that I had lost my way and the connection to the source of life. I was repeating words based on what I usually hear others say without emotion nor focus. It reminded me of the recitations of poems and bible verses we used to do back in primary school. We had to know these by heart to impress the teacher and our classmates. I recognised at that time that it was time for me to repent. When you begin praying senselessly and out of sheer habit, know that you are out of tune with God. Even piano players know that a piano has to be tuned that the melodies may harmonise.
I didn’t only repent for the way I was praying but asked the Holy Spirit to bring to the surface every other thing that needed repentance, including things that were weighing heavily in my heart either about myself or my relationship with others. I know that when I am released from every barrier that hinders my relationship with God, everything begins to flow effortlessly including my prayer life. God cannot operate in a heart that is far away from Him and detachment calls for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Jesus said in John 5: 5-8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples”.
My prayers were ineffective and I certainly wasn’t bearing any fruit the way I was going on. Sometimes as born-again Christians we assume that when we have received salvation through Jesus Christ, everything ends there. It is actually the beginning of all things. In his letter to the Romans, Paul says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). Mind renewal is an everyday process as we think dozens of thoughts moment by moment, some good and some bad. If we don’t take the time to focus on how we think and use our minds, we can easily depart from the correct path and lose our way. Paul beseeched the church in Rome to be careful about the way they were thinking and acting around each other for our thoughts, words and deeds can either lead us to a full life with God or we can separate ourselves from Him.
The Bible says in the book of Ezra 10:11 “Now, therefore, make a confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do His will. Separate yourselves from the people of the land and from your foreign wives". As much as the Israelites had to separate themselves from that which was sinful in the eyes of God, we also, should isolate ourselves from all ungodly deeds, words and thoughts, significant or not.
God revealed things that I didn’t think were issues at all, so that I could repent and turn away from wrongful ways. When you ask God’s forgiveness, He wipes the slate clean and gives you another chance that your path may not be impeded. I saw how I began a skin regimen that wasn’t really doing much for me because someone else was doing it and it was working for her. I realised that I never really asked the Lord to lead me into a routine that was mine alone but assumed that if it worked for another, it would work for me too. God has made us different and we often lose sight of that. We strive to achieve stuff and be like everyone else instead of being inspired by them to do what God wants us to do.
We end up having petty envies and jealousies that lies hidden in our hearts and minds and these are some of the things that keeps us far away from God even though we think that we have been walking with Him. We forget as said in the bible that “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20).
God designed us distinctively and He knows what works best for each and everyone of us.
Further, He is consistent in His ways and He is faithful even if we are not faithful and Paul says in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. We are the ones who wander away while God sits patiently waiting for His children to return home or ask for direction in the way we should go. We are like the prodigal son who took all his inheritance, left home, squandered all of it and then returned home with nothing seeking his father to rather take him back as a slave and instead of ill-treating his very own son and making him pay for what he did, the father embraces his son with love, elation and gratitude for his return (Luke 15:11-32).
Our heavenly father is good to us and when you lose your way, He says “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3). He further says in Psalm 91: 15 “When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver and honour him”. In the labyrinth and confusion of your life, God is there with you and will surely deliver you when you call onto Him. God doesn’t hold on to our iniquities but forgives immediately and dissolve them. He says in Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more”. He does more than we can even think of. When He revealed my weaknesses, He didn’t do it to condemn me but to help me have a better relationship with Him that is not obstructed by sin. We often think that small things don’t matter that much and get the shock of our lives when we realise that the trivial things we say, do and think about, adds to the whole. They block us from progressing to our destinies.
Galatians 5:19-21 gives us the entire list, it says “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. We can only be conscious of sin through the Spirit of God and have the willingness to repent. How many of the little white lies have we told or taking things that didn’t belong to us and thought no one notices? Sin is just that, sin, and no matter the form it takes, it calls for repentance as the God we serve is Holy and we need to serve Him with purity of heart to stay on the right path.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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