Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Some actions that lead out of the darkness!

I received some important questions from folks responding to my last Devo. The majority asked what do we do if we have been discouraged, especially from our own failures, to move out of that darkness and back into the Light. So I will share some actions that may help defeat the darkness of discouragement before returning to Proverbs:
I read a newspaper story - about a burglar who stalked the neighborhood watching for homes left unguarded by people leaving for vacation. He watched as a family loaded their suitcases into their car and departed. He waited until dark and approached the front door and rang the bell. There was no answer. The burglar neatly picked the lock and let himself in. He called into the darkness, `Is anybody home?'  He was stunned when he heard a voice in reply, `I see you, and Jesus sees you.'  Terrified, the burglar called out, `Who's there?'  Again the voice came back, `I see you and Jesus sees you.' The burglar switched on his flashlight and aimed it in the direction of the voice.  
He was instantly relieved when his light revealed a caged parrot reciting the refrain, `I see you, and Jesus see you.'  The burglar laughed out loud and switched on the lights.  Then he saw it.  Beneath the parrot's cage was a huge Doberman pinscher.  Then the parrot said, Attack, Jesus, attack?"
What you do not see in the dark CAN hurt you! Yet, we all experience seasons of darkness, which the enemy uses to produce loss of hope…discouragement. I have found some “intentional” actions that help lead back to the Light.

{1} Deal With Guilt – our sin and failures are a powerful fertilizer for the enemy to use against us! Conviction, the kind the Holy Spirit uses to expose our sin, is healthy because it beckons us to seek God, talk to Him and be in His Word. The guilt the enemy produces is solely to discourage us from following God

Psalm 32:1–6 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit! When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

As we repent, it is important to confront the lies the enemy has sown: This takes some meditation and when you see it you need to apply direct Truth to that lie.

a. I am alone!
Matthew 28:19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

b. Nothing good can come of this!
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

* To see the Truth of this takes time! 

c. My (a person in your life) is my enemy!
Ephesians 6:12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

d. God is being mean to me!
Hebrews 12:6–11 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.”  Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?  But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons.  Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness.  Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.

e. I'm too weak to handle this!
2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

{2} Intentionally move toward the Light
a. Establish a time and place to commune with the Lord.
b. Seek fellowship with those that have a testimony of faith in their life.
c. Read biographies of believers that have come before.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
{3} Stand Still! NEVER make decisions in the darkness or when discouraged.
Reality never lives in the dark! Remember even a giant like Elijah cannot see clearly when in the cave of discouragement:
1 Kings 19:9-10 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the 
word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."

The Scripture goes on to show that Elijah did not see what God sees, God had others that remained faithful. Elijah’s situation was not as bleak as darkness had led him to believe. He was ready to quit, but God had more for him to do. Decisions made any time when emotions are in control can be very wrong when evaluated in the Light.  

The So What: [1] Write down what is making you feel guilty. [2] What inputs do you have in your life = people, books, TV, music, etc.? [3] Pick a time to spend with God each day this week. [4] Wait on any decision until you know the mind of the Lord