I remember hearing GREAT bible teachings when I was much younger than I am now, and with my head stuffed with impressive knowledge I bet I really thought I was something in the Lord!
So why then did I fumble and fall so often? Why did sin still plague me and lead me fully astray far too many times?
I have since come to a wiser place and deeper understanding that knowledge and "knowing to the end of doing" are two different animals!
What good was it to know the greek word for this or the cultural reasons for that when I had no idea how to apply the TRUTH to my own thoughts and actions in order to produce godly fruit that glorified my God? (and brought the blessings I so desperately wanted to see in my life?)
Have you ever felt that way? Like you've just spent an hour or two even, listening to a really terrific sermon, a great teaching straight from the Word of God; it was so good you have a page or two of notes because what you were hearing excited your soul and stirred your heart. Then you get in a quiet place the next day, on your own, just you and your bible and a willing spirit, and you begin to go over the notes and realize that it is terrific information, important information, life transforming information - but that's all you have.
Cold. Flat. Lifeless. Powerless. Information.
There is nothing about how that information is to be applied so as to bring about the life changes you really want, you desperately need to make.
And it is so FRUSTRATING! You go back to the scriptures and read but the life and power and understanding just aren't there or at least, not easily understood; or you realize that you just don't get it.
This is why so many people don't pick up the bible and read it every day. They know they "should" because that's what everyone tells them, but it is just dry words to them and the possibilities only seem to taunt them in the frustration they are feeling in being unable to grasp how to to apply and receive and enjoy the TRANSFORMATION AND NEW LIFE that is so obviously promised.
That may not be your experience but that was my experience. I kept thinking there was a secret key ingredient that was just MISSING from me. Maybe my past was too bad, too traumatic, too SINFUL for me to experience what I came to call the VOILA' - that incredible moment when the Word of God and the desire in my heart came together to produce FRUIT! Fruit that blessed me, blessed those around me, and glorified God Almighty!
It's why the focus here at Turn the Tide Ministries is on explaining and sharing as much as possible the PRACTICAL APPLICATION of what is in reality and truth a spiritual occurrence.
2Corinthians 5:17 shares a TRUTH
If any person is IN CHRIST they are a new person, the old has passed away, BEHOLD all things are become new.
How does that work exactly? Perhaps you have confessed Christ as Savior (and if not, this is the first thing that must happen to begin a new life) and yet the same tired feelings plague you, the same nasty words come out of your mouth and the same defeated thoughts are swirling around in your brain.
THAT IS FRUSTRATING ISN'T IT?!?!
And most teaching stops with telling you what you SHOULD be, what you OUGHT to do, how things ARE SUPPOSED TO BE; but they never really tell you HOW!
Here's how, and if you will do your part, God who cannot lie will absolutely do His part.
Romans 12:2 YOU reject the ways of the world by simply NOT ACTING THE SAME WAY (Be not conformed to this world) and change your thought patterns by your will and decisions to the thought patterns of truth (by the renewing of your mind) and God will bring about the spiritual transformation so you ARE shining His light and living His truth and doing His will (that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God).
You renew your mind by reading the bible so it's in your head and the SPIRIT will bring it down into your heart in a spiritual act we can't understand but we can receive.
OUT OF THE HEART COME THE ISSUES OF LIFE; Proverbs 4:23
If the word of truth isn't in your head, it can't be brought to your heart and then come out in your life.
Get that word in there! It probably won't happen overnight, but as you stay faithful, He Who is faithful will continue to work.
2Corinthians 10:5 tells us to cast down imaginations that exalt AGAINST GOD and instead, bring every thought into obedience to Christ.
How? By being aware of what thoughts we are harboring and allowing to occupy our minds and asking God to help you get rid of those that don't please Him!
Practice; yes, just like if you were learning to play the piano, practice thinking right thoughts. (Philippians 4:8) You won't learn the piano overnight and you'll never learn without practicing!
We call this Practicing Intense Godliness. We are deliberate about it. We are committed to it.
Read Romans chapter 6. Apostle Paul taught how to live as a new creation in Christ. He gave practical advise for living as a Christian. He didn't mention weekly meetings or financial concerns because that isn't what living a Christian life is about. Gathering with the saints, supporting the works of ministry are side effects of a Christian life.
The actual Christian life is about pleasing GOD in your personal everyday life first! Romans 6 is an excellent starting point, and if you hit a sticking point that you aren't sure of, ask your pastor, your bible study teacher or click here for help.
I have since discovered, as I pray you will too, that VOILA' moments are happening all the time as we walk with the Lord and grow deeper with Him in wisdom and understanding. They aren't a one time thing but a constant in the life of those who choose to live a Christian life!
We pray that everyone reading these words will be inspired to GO READ GODS WORD and begin to see the transforming word of the Holy Spirit in their lives to their blessing and Gods honor, in Jesus mighty name, AMEN!