DISTRACTIONS

20110418RIGHTEOUSNESS DEPENDS ON GOD, NOT ON SELF …

But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. – Matthew 21:23-24; Mark 11:27-33; 12:1-2; Luke 20:1-9

This parable was given in response to the religious leaders rejecting Jesus’ authority. Through this parable, Jesus reveals God’s rejection of the Jews in response to their rejection of His Son. Jesus is showing that those who do the will of God are actually the ones invested with God’s authority.

These leaders had a form of godliness like this second son, but they were not doing the will of God. The publicans and harlots had no form of godliness, but when confronted with the preaching of John, many of them repented and began to do the will of God like the first son in the story.

These religious Jews, who sat in the seat of Moses, disqualified themselves from being God’s representatives here on earth, because of their hypocrisy and hard hearts. Even the publicans and harlots, who repented at John’s preaching, were ahead of them. There is no sin more frequent among religious people than that of self-righteousness; that is to honor the Lord with the mouth when the heart is far from Him.

These sinners were entering the kingdom of God ahead of the very religious Jews because they knew they were sinners and they put their faith in a Savior. One of the deadliest things about religious self-righteousness is the deception that we will be saved because of our good deeds. We cannot save ourselves regardless of how good we act. Who wants to be the best sinner that ever was sent to Hell?

DON’T GIVE UP TOO SOON!

Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. – Hebrews 10:35, AMP

We all have goals that we want to accomplish and situations we’re believing will turn around. But so often when it’s taking a long time, the negative thoughts come that say, “It’s never going to change.” “You’re never going to get well.” “You’re never going to get out of debt.” “That child is never going to straighten up.” If we’re not careful, we’ll get discouraged and end up just settling where we are.

Many times, we miss out on God’s best because we gave up too soon. Just another few days of believing, another few weeks of doing the right thing, or another few months of staying in faith, and we would see that promise come to pass.

Hebrews 10:35 tells us that if we will stay in faith, if we will keep believing, keep hoping, keep doing the right thing, God promises there will be a reward. One translation says, “Don’t get discouraged. Payday is coming.” When you’re tempted to get down and things are not going your way, you need to keep telling yourself, “This may be hard. It may be taking a long time, but I know God is a faithful God, and I’m going to keep believing, knowing that my payday is on its way!”

WHAT YOU ARE CONSCIOUS OF WILL MANIFEST …

1 John 4:4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

If you have been to a circus performance or watched one on television, you would be familiar with the act involving a lion and its trainer. But have you ever wondered why, besides holding a whip, the trainer would arm himself with a stool and point its legs toward the beast?

The whole idea is to distract the lion. You see, as powerful as the beast is, it can be immobilized by distractions. If this man-eater is not distracted from time to time, it might just decide to maul the trainer to death!

The devil is like the trainer. He knows that you have Gods power inside you because the Lion of Judah is in you, and He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. So what the devil tries to do is immobilize you with distractions.

For example, he may bring to your attention a pain in your body to distract you. And you find yourself going to a few medical journals or the Internet to find out more about the symptoms. You also decide to consult more than one doctor. And because you know of someone who has the same condition, you talk to him about it.

In the end, you are distracted by the pain, the symptoms, your findings, the doctors reports and your friends experience. And you find it hard to believe and focus on Gods Word about your healing. You have become immobilized, powerless and fearful.

So the devils trick is to get you to focus on your condition. When you are conscious of the symptoms in your body and your findings, you will see sickness manifest. But God wants you to focus on who you are and what you have in Christ. When you are conscious that you are the healed in Christ, you will see healing manifest.

My friend, what you are conscious of will manifest. So be conscious of Christ, who is all the power of God inside you, and you will see that power manifest!

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