En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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-From A Dad: Conquering Self!

Posted by Scott on November 18, 2007

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow after me.”  -Luke 9:23

Make a Definite Decision to Follow Christ!

For us men this is not easys we tend to battle pride in our hearts more than anyone else.  To make a definite decision to follow Christ rather than our selfish desires takes a strength that only the Holy Spirit can produce in us.  We try to hold on to God on the one hand, but on the other hand our sinful wants and desires.  As the Holy Spirit prompts us to make this decision it is a wise thing to accept Christ and follow after Him with our entire being.  In Joshua 24:15 Joshua made a profound definite decision as he said, “….as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua was being used by God and was not about to rebel against his God, so, to make such a definite decision should have been expected.  As us dads move forward with the decision to follow hard after Christ it is wise to burn the bridges of our old life.  You might ask why in the world would anyone burn their bridges?  Burning bridges give you only one direction to go…forward!  God lead the Israelites through the desert straight for the Red Sea and through more wilderness into the promise land.  However, there was a route that was much faster and was an actual road.  God knew, though, that these people could turn back as times got rough, so He took them in a direction they could not turn back to.  This is the same way with us burning our bridges…we do not need the opportunity to go back to old life style.  Make that decision and march forward in Him.  God will give us the strength and courage to stay the course through His work with Holy Spirit.  Our decision needs to be firm like that of Joshua.

Be a Daring Disciplined Warrior For Christ!

Guys for our families sake we need to deny ourselves of some indulgances.  No matter how much money we make or don’t make, power comes through having the courage to deny ourselves of some of life’s best activities and things.  Many of us battle this as well.  We battle self-denial and restraints on our lives, because the world is doing some much around us we are tempted daily to join in.  Alot of great leaders have fallen because they failed to deny themselves of anything.  Men, beautiful women are bountiful in our land today.  However, we need to commit ourselves to deny the fleshly urge to “mess around” and be a “one woman man”.  This requires discipline and daily denial.  Everyday when we get up mentally tell yourself not to look upin another woman in want.  In our prayer time each day we can ask the Lord for the strength to resist these temptations.  Ask the Lord, if we find ourself in a tempting situation and trust me we all will, to provide us a clear and quick escape route.  With each temptation will come with a way of escape.  the Holy Spirit is not going to leave us alone out there to battle the multiple temptations we see and experience everyday.  As a body builder buffets his body daily by working out, eatting the right foods, and staying away from activities that will break his body down, we too must buffet our bodies in a holy sense.  Our workout is praying, meditating on the scriptures, listening to God, and being obedient to His calling on our lives daily.  This is how we prepare ourselves to be a God glorifying warrior for Christ.

We Must Be Devoted By Taking Up Our Cross…Daily!

If us dads are not deeply immersed in God’s word on a daily basis we will find ourselves in utter defeat.  We cannot neglect God each day and expect to win this battle over selfishness.  To be devoted to Christ requires commitment, daily activities that push us closer to our heavenly Father, and obedience to the word of God.  In Matthew 6:33 Jesus addresses the needs of our lives.

“…and He will give you all you need from day to day if you will live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”

Keeping our eyes on Kingdom of God is the goal.  That is to be our primary devotion from today on.  It takes diligence and devotion to accomplish this through Christ Who is our strength.  Making sure we attend a local church the Lord has lead us to, daily prayer and bible study with meditation and listening are all ways to win the war over self.  You really want to get over yourself?  Give someone that needs help whatever you can….make it sacrificial whatever it is.  This brings stuff and self in check everyday.  We realize that we are not anything apart from Christ.  Continue with our daily devotion in order rid ourselves of “self”.

Following Christ Will Take Unabashed Determination!

Taking a stand for what you strongly believe in is not easy.  Failure must not be an option when it comes to following Christ.  He will give us the courage to reject wrong decisions if we will prepare ourselves daily for that courage.  This determination I speak of only comes with the help of our heavenly Father.  This battle that wages within us over cratering in to self can be won with the bold tenacity of an attitude like Winston Churchill…an attitude that says we will not give in to our lustful desires with God’s mighty assistance. 

Dads, following Christ will be the hardest road we travel.  This is especially made tougher because we have a family to think about now.  When we were single, it did not take much to make a decision in standing firm for Christ and our beliefs.  Now, with a family we may not think too long about Who we believe in, but we do think longer on most of our decisions as to how it will effect our kids and wife.  Following Christ could require our lives someday in this world.  Many missionaries have to make these same decisions all the time and many have lost their lives and the lives of their families to horrible deaths.  Be prepared to accept whatever plight the Lord takes us to.  Be encouraged and stay the course.  Heaven is our final goal, in glory with our savior we so valiantly fought for.  The example of devotion, desire, decisions, and discipline is found in the very One we are to worship and glorify.  Men, make the tough decisions and make the right decisions in the power of our almighty God.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

 

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