Real Time Web Analytics

October 9, 2017

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].” Hebrews 11:6. God does reward those who seek Him diligently. David wrote in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.” Desires come from deep within us, from our spirit core, either spirit or ‘self’. When our time on earth has ended God will examine the desires of our heart and reward us accordingly.

Just what rewards people expect and what they receive will shock and stun many. The reason for this is that false leaders have been misrepresenting God for a very long time. They have been deceived and have deceived others into believing that God will blindly forgive all the wrongdoings of ‘self’ without repentance and simply give people a pass into His heaven. There is no understanding today of how dangerous the ‘self’ nature is to our eternal reward. It is a dangerous thing to believe in the false gospels that are being perpetuated by leaders today on unsuspecting believers. The truth is that if you continually feed and nurture your ‘self’ nature, you will end up separated from God with only your ‘self’ as your reward.

God is a righteous and fair judge. He rewards us according to what we desire. Our desires are the root from which our thoughts, words and actions flow. Desires arise from within either our spirit or 'self' and we have no control over either. Our spiritual desires flow directly from God into our spirit and our ‘self’ desires come directly from the prince of lies himself, satan. When desires come forth, they first surface in our thoughts. As we dwell on these thoughts, they will give birth to words and finally we will act on those desires. It is a well-known process. What is not so well known is the consequences of giving birth to the desires within us. You see each thought, word and action will increase the weight and strength of the root it came from. If you feed a ‘selfish’ desire your thoughts, words, and actions will increase the mass and power of your ‘self’ nature. If you feed the desire of your spirit, then the mass and power of your spirit will increase. Keep in mind that the spirit core, that is the home to ‘self’ and spirit, is finite in size. When spirit or anti-spirit (‘self’) grows the other will automatically diminish. Whatever is lost by one is gained by the other. There is never a vacuum in our spirit core.

Our spirit and ‘self’ will be weighed by God at the end of our days. “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart)” Proverbs 16:2. From the scales of justice God will see if we have chosen more of Him or more of ourselves. If we have more desire for Him than ‘self’, then we can enter into the rest prepared for us with all the rewards that are merited from the weight of our spirit. If we have more desire for ‘self’ than spirit then He will grant to us that which we most desire, ourselves. Of course this will mean separation from God since He will not dwell with your ‘self’ nature. That is the fair and just way that God has set up to reward us for what we desire most.

So what happens when you find yourself with a bloated, overweight ‘self’ and want to reduce the weight of it? Well I have the unfortunate issue of being too hefty myself at the moment. With no proper kitchen here at the motel, we have to rely on cooked, baked and processed foods; and I have indulged too many times in eating apple turnovers and donuts. To fix this I had to make a decision. If I wanted to lose weight, I would have to just cut out of my diet all the carbs and sweets that were making me fat. As I have been dieting, and losing weight, God has been showing me how the same principles apply to losing the weight of ‘self’. In order to reduce the size of self you have to cut back on those things that the ‘self’ feeds on. But how does one do that?

The key word in our diet from ‘self’ is repentance. This word is not taught today and not understood by many. Sadly, repentance has fallen by the wayside as what calls itself the church pursues more and more ‘self’. This is unfortunate because repentance is the only sure fire way to reduce ‘self’, keep us spiritually fit and not bloated with pride.

Now to repent means to simply turn away and to stay turned away from something. Simple enough. We encountered many people on our wilderness journey that did good for us and then repented of their good works. That wasn’t good repentance. On the other hand, it is also possible to turn away and stay turned away from ‘self’. This is a much better choice. To repent then is the action of turning. We know that we will do wrong. Since we were born with the ‘self’ nature, we have no other choice but to do wrong. So the issue isn’t the wrong that we do but how do we address that wrong. When we repent of self’s actions that means we turn from those actions and never repeat them.

After our revival back in the 90’s I had a lot of ‘self’ I had to repent of. It wasn’t easy. I remember one night clearly where God asked me to confess my sin as an act of repentance. I cried out in agony but I followed Him in obedience. The spiritual pain was intense but in the end it was the start of an ongoing journey of repentance than I have never stopped. The first steps of my repentance had to do with the actions I had done in my past. I had a lot to repent of and it took a long time to clear the past so I would only have to repent of my current wrongdoing. I had a backlog of debt. Over time I began to understand that repenting of actions would be a tedious ongoing exercise if I didn’t deal with root of self in the nascent form of thoughts.

The next step I had to learn was to repent of my words. This was dealing with issues before they became actions. I found out I had to repent for a lot of my words; especially the ones that brought out negativity and faithlessness. By repenting of my words, I did see a decrease in my actions that I had to repent of; but I still did wrong. Somehow I had to get to the thoughts so I could stop the words and actions from even forming. This would be the greatest challenge of all because it meant dealing with all my thoughts that led to my words and actions. As it says in Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Paul understood this dynamic of repentance intimately. He wrote about the challenges one goes through living a life of repentance but he finally hit on the key. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 he wrote “[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” Paul correctly understood that if we are to be successful in our diet from ‘self’ we need to deal with the desires that come from ‘self’ that turn into thoughts. We need to take these thoughts captive to Jesus.

Taking our thoughts captive are acts of repentance that are the most challenging. The reason for this is that the ‘self’ nature is so crafty and deceptive that it masquerades its desires as coming from God. It has taken me a long time and a difficult wilderness journey to learn what desires are from spirit and which are from ‘self’. When those ‘self’ thoughts come now, I can spot them easily and take them to Jesus with no issue. Thoughts from spirit will always have the theme of faith, hope and love. Thoughts from ‘self’ will thematically be the opposite in fear, hopelessness and hate. I have found less and less thoughts from ‘self’ slip by that lead to words and actions. Slowly I have lost a great deal of the mass of ‘self’ I had before the wilderness, and my spirit man is stronger. In fact, all of our family has had similar experiences. Now we are not perfect, but we are dealing with far less ‘self’ than we used to all thanks to repentance.

Remember that God will not tolerate ‘self’ in us. When we get to heaven we will be placed on the scales of justice and if there is more spirit than ‘self’ in us, we will be brought in. John 3:19 sums it up the best. “The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.” The mass of our spirit will determine just how much reward we will receive. Those that have gone through the wilderness to have God expose ‘self’ so they can repent of it will have far more spirit than ‘self’. The ones that pass through the fires of the wilderness will rise to the highest rewards, with the highest reward being in union with Jesus Himself.

The transition from believer to disciple to adult son-ship is a long, arduous journey that starts with repentance. Jesus is our example in this. He died so that you might live. His sacrifice paid the price for the acts of ‘self’ that you have done. It is simple to accept His blood as covering for your wrongdoing for it is free. This is where newborns in Christ start. But after this decision, you must live a life worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice. This means you must live a life of continual repentance. “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]” 1 John 1:9. This will reduce the size and mass of the ‘self’ nature that is at war with your spirit. If you think that you can keep your ‘self’ nature and still receive all the rewards of heaven, then there will be little hope for you in the days ahead. God’s ways will not be mocked and He will not tolerate ‘self’. Only what a man sows will he ultimately reap. Think about that.


Homer and Wanda