What a timely word from my devotional today...
Dear God, Thank you for being orderly and powerful and loving and understanding! I need your help. You know there are difficult people in this world. There always have been and always will be. Some people can be avoided. Some people I must see and deal with, so I need to know what to do. When they are so wrong and their sin and stupidity affects other people's lives, but they do not want help nor do they listen to reason and good sense or even Christian counsel from others who have 'been there,' there really isn't much I can do. So what I need to do is ask you to please intervene. Please help me to not react and do or say anything wrong. Please open the other person's eyes, enlighten their mind, and speak to their heart. Draw that person (or those people) to you. Fill them with spiritual wisdom, increase their knowledge and maturity, and break down the strongholds that keep them from doing what is right and following your will. Please help. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.
Stop Living By Christian PrinciplesTGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman05-04-2009
..."having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Tim 3:5).
God never called you to live by Christian principles. He calls you to live in relationship with the living God, Jesus Christ. One of the weaknesses of the Church today is that we teach people principles without the relationship.
The western church is big on ten step programs, "how-to" methods and acrostics to illustrate memorable ideas. There is a place for establishing principles to change negative behavior. However, we are not called to have a relationship with principles, but a living God.
Living by principles is the equivalent to living by the law in the Old Testament. It is rooted in the Greek system of learning and is dependent upon our strength instead of being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Principle-based living is powerless living. This makes our Christian experience a religion instead of a relationship. "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law" (Gal 5:18).
We read about principle-based followers in the book of Acts, "The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people" (Acts 5:12-14). There was a group of followers who liked being taught but never entered the game.
The prophet Jeremiah tells us about the nature of God and His desire for every believer.
This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Friend, have you been guilty of living a life based on principles instead of knowing the One who authored the principles? Invite Jesus to be Lord over your life and begin to spend time with Him every day. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you through every moment of your day.
I hope this ministered to you today as it did me.