by Susan Sampson
Why do we live in the dungeon when we are daughters of the King of kings?! Why do we walk right back into the dungeon after Christ has set us free from the power of sin and death?! “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). This week the Lord continued to show me my sins of fear and unbelief. Fear is the opposite of faith. And it is faith that is the KEY which unlocks the door of the prison that enables us to come out and follow Jesus. We must believe the gospel is true by faith. We must believe Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins. We do not owe any debt for our sin. Christ paid it ALL. We must believe this truth by faith. We cannot make up for our sins no matter how hard we try. Only the Son of God, the Lamb of God was able to make full restitution for the debt we owed. We must CONTINUE IN BELIEF!
How do we continue in belief when our thought life is out of control? We must take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). It is our thought life that robs us of our freedom and keeps us bound up in knots so we can’t follow Paul’s teaching. We must take seriously our sin and believe the power of the gospel. We have to say “NO” to our flesh, our selfish, sinful desires. Instead of following our feelings, we must carefully and diligently follow the Word of God. The Lord is using this study to transform our hearts and minds and lives. All authority has been given to Jesus. He is the Living Word. He is our Lord. He is our Master. We must bow to His authority in our lives, no matter how painful. I must confess my sin of pride in not wanting to bow and wanting my own way. God’s ways are NOT our ways. He is God and we are not.
All of this is impossible apart from the grace of God. And so we cry out to our beloved Savior along with the blind man and say, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:39) We remember who Jesus is. We remember “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love” (Song of Solomon 2:4). This is the beautiful truth. God’s word is absolute truth. Our feelings cannot be trusted, they are not true. They are like shifting shadows which change moment by moment depending on our circumstances. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jer. 17:9). We must stand on the rock of the Word of God. CONTINUE IN BELIEF!
So practically speaking, when 4 p.m. rolls around and the cloud of confusion descends and we desperately want to CONTINUE IN BELIEF, what do we do? We “enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise!” (Psalm 100:4). We do as Paul commanded us and “Rejoice in the Lord always…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:4,6). And many times this will be a sacrifice of praise because we don’t feel like it when everything is pressing in. But God is worthy of all praise and thanksgiving at all times. The result of our prayers and praise and thanksgiving is verse 7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What perfect timing from the Lord with the Thanksgiving holiday this week. He is so good!! It is my understanding that when the Pilgrims landed in the new world they prayed Psalm 100. May the Lord pour out His grace to enable us to say “NO” to our 3-year-old selves and Believe by Faith, Follow by Faith, Fight by Faith and Continue in Belief by FAITH!! To God be all the glory!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!