Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Are We In Our Own Way?

This popped into my heart tonight as I was praying. How many of us have fallen short in one of these areas? Whether on purpose or on accident, we can all be easily tempted to act out one of these behaviors. It made me wonder, how often do our actions, our own sins, cause turmoil and trouble in our lives and in our relationships? Any one of these behaviors can stand in the way of God's blessing in our life. Our KNOWN sins and even the callused, learned to like sins, all block our prayers from being answered, our breakthroughs from coming, and true deliverance from taking place.

Proverbs 6:16-19
New International Version (NIV)

16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Let's review:
1) Haughty eyes = Pride, boasting, self importance. God hates pride. Satan rebelled against God because of pride.

2) A lying tongue = This applies to so many things other than the obvious. Exaggerators, manipulators, dishonesty, conmen, flatterers, etc..

3) Hands that shed innocent blood = Murders, abusers, people who hurt children or babies, wife beaters, those who degrade others and/or hurt another person's reputation, and in a sense, "shed innocent blood" with their gossip and lies.

4) A heart that devises wicked schemes = Those who seek revenge and desire to cause pain or harm to others. Cheaters, planners of evil or those who devise ways to steel, kill or destroy.

5) Feet that are quick to rush into evil = Having the intent to sin, willingly heading right towards ungodly places, movies, crowds, habits, etc.. Not even pausing to consider why it is wrong. No longer caring that they act in sinful or evil ways. Anxious to do the wrongful deed and finding pleasure in it.

6) A false witness who pours out lies = Willing to ruin the reputation, name or life of someone by giving what they know to be false witness and/or gossip. Choosing the easy path and going with social expectation rather than the truth.

7) A person who stirs up conflict in the community = Some people find pleasure in the misery and chaos they create. They want there to be strife and contention between people. Someone who stirs up strife in their family and causes rifts between friends because of their own bitterness, jealousy, hatred or pride.

So the question is, are you in your own way? If you know you haven’t been acting rightly, and you know there are things in your heart that are slowly poisoning you, what can you do about it? It’s simple. Pray. Ask God to purify you. Ask him to extract every last piece of unwanted sin from your heart and mind. Confess your sins to him (even the ones you’d rather not say out loud), ask his forgiveness, and accept God’s grace. And this part might be hard, but go ask the person you’ve wronged to forgive you as well. It will bring healing to them and to you.
The reality is, we will never be perfect. God doesn’t expect that from us. But he does expect us to never stop trying to be better, do better, and treat others better. If you fall, he will pick you up. And if you feel weak, he will be your strength. You’re not alone. He’s right there with you.

R.J. Machado De Quevedo

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