Philippians 3:7-9 “No Confidence in the Flesh” – 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
My friends, there is a cost to knowing God, and a price to be in a restored relationship with Him.
Hold onto these 2 words: Repentance and Righteousness.
Yes, Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross so you can enjoy an eternal relationship with God. (We can see this in Romans 5.) Plus, when you choose to make The Lord your Savior, that is not a penalty you’ll ever have to worry about again. Take a look at Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Yet as we progress in our relationship with God, we will find there are certain attitudes and actions that could hinder us from really getting to know the Lord our God, and you and I have an extremely important choice to make regarding whether (or not) to give up those actions and those attitudes.
Perhaps you’re at such a crossroads today? Take a minute and consider this for yourself, and where your attitudes and actions might be even at this very moment (except for the excellent decision to read this newsletter 😊).
God shows us what is preventing our spiritual progress, but sometimes we resist and even fear the sacrifice that we know we need to make. I know I do sometimes.
I recall a time briefly before leaving for my third deployment into Iraq (Ramadi /Fallujah) when I was struggling with leaving my family again for a year, and my attitude was not my finest hour. I was sharing (also known as whining) with my wife, Susan, my perspective that perhaps the Army ought to send a Chaplain who has not yet deployed (and other complaints). Susan jumped in and said something to me that I believe was from the Holy Spirit. She said, “suck it up buttercup, you are good at this, and you need to do what you have been called to do!” I paused and absorbed this message, and almost immediately was able to release the tension and any unhealthy attitudes about the deployment. I thanked my wife for her bold and faithful words of truth and encouragement. She smiled and told me that she knew the Army saying would hit home. Even though she was right about military verbiage having some impact, it was her belief in me and my abilities that was the most motivating for me.
Flash forward to the end of this story; it ended up being my most impactful deployment as the Task Force Chaplain of a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF2) that decisively took back Ramadi and began taking back Fallujah in 2015-16. I had to get through, and let go of, the fruitless attitude before I could have ever successfully accomplished the task God had placed before me. I had to let go to move forward, and I believe it will not be the last time this will be required in my life; or in yours.
Q: What attitudes would you consider letting go of today?
Q: What actions should you choose to give up and release to God today?
Let’s all take a moment and do this right now, let them go; so these attitudes and actions will not hinder our relationship with God anymore.
Pause for a reflective/repentance moment… This is where many people tend to get stuck when they may resist allowing healthy change to happen. Sadly, if we refuse to change, we can make it very hard to experience Christ’s surpassing joy and power.
LET GO AND LET GOD…
My friends, please realize that the behavior God is asking you to let go of and to release, is usually the same behavior that is speeding you along down the path of destruction (see this in Proverbs 16:25.)
While “with God” is the path of life. Let’s look at Psalm 16:11.
11 You make known to me the path of life;You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
My friends, please don’t stay trapped in your old distracting and destructive ways. Instead, make the choice to let go and move forward with our heavenly Father. I assure you; He is absolutely worth it!
In God’s presence, may you experience true joy in believing and abundant spiritual growth.
Blessings from Above, Chaplain Robert Kinnune