Monday, October 8, 2012

Make me Holy Right Now!

Life is hard, isn't it? From young children, we struggle through school, struggle through college, struggle to find a job, keep a job, succeed, make money, keep our marriage together, raise kids right.... etc.  Wouldn't it be nice if somewhere along the way someone would just give us a break and implant in our minds and bodies all the skills and knowledge we needed for a certain task?  Just give us that diploma and all the knowledge that comes along with it! So I don't have to struggle through 8 years of school!!  Just tell me the right things to say and do for my spouse so I don't have marriage problems!

Let's say a Captain of a ship couldn't find a sailor who knew enough about sailing to join his crew! Let's also say that captain had the power to transplant all his sailing knowledge into a man's head. So he does that for one sailor. Do you think that man will appreciate all that knowledge? Maybe at first. But do you think he'll understand the other sailors who are struggling to learn?  Wouldn't he grow impatient with them, even arrogant, because he didn't have to work for his knowledge? 

If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend. And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away [by force], Mark 4:24-25

I don't know about you, but I battle with my wicked heart every single day. I wake up, read my Bible, pray and then get started on my day and before I've even finished my coffee, I've already thought or done something selfish or prideful, or I've already thought bad thoughts about someone or been critical.  The Word of God says that our hearts are evil and dark and that even our good deeds are like filthy rags when compared to God's goodness and righteousness.

When we give our lives to God, when we receive Jesus's sacrifice for us on the cross, God forgives our sins, past, present, and future and He fills us with His Holy Spirit. But that doesn't mean our hearts aren't still dark. That doesn't mean that we won't sin again.
But it does mean that by the Power of God working within us, we CAN get better. Our hearts can become less and less dark. We can sin less. We can become more and more righteous as God renews our mind and hearts. I want some of that!! I'm tired of my wickedness! How many of us cry out to God to change our hearts? To help us over come some evil in our lives, some temptation, some darkness.  We beg God to change us, flood us with His Spirit .  Yet we still struggle.   I contest the verse above holds the key.  God isn't going to just change you zap you. He's not going to just strike you with lightning and BAM, you're better!  Just like the sailor in the above example, we would not only NOT appreciate it, we would become proud, arrogant, flaunting our skills over others and not being at all understanding of their struggles.

Like anything worth anything, we have to work in order to change. Not for our salvation, but for our sanctification (the process of being made Holy).  If you want to get better. If you want to have victory over your wicked heart, your evil thoughts, your selfishness, pride, or some reoccurring sin, YOU have to do something. You can't just sit and pray for God to change you.  I meet so many Christians struggling with the same problem year after year after year, when God gives us clear directions in His Word on how to become more like Him! And what is that?

Study the Bible!  The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you   And then the verse goes on to say that even more will be added to the effort you've put in!

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Amplified


  1. Okay, this is freaky! Not more than an hour ago, I was thinking about that verse in Mark. I couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd check your blog. Who knew I'd find confirmation at this hour? lol
    I totally agree with you, MaryLu, just like a kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth, having knowledge just handed to you will only make you prideful. I am going through a lot of struggles, but I know that by going through the fire, I will be purified for Christ. Thanks for the post.

  2. Mon Oct 8th,
    "Morning, MaryLu ... and Debbie !"
    Thanks again, for another 'timely Word in due season' !
    At the beginning of your blog, what came to mind was -- we are basically like selfish little children .... "I want .... and I want it NOW !"
    God gives His Word to us ... but "we" have to take the next step and work at -- reading it, putting it to practise, memorizing it, and hopefully be -- changed, transformed, renewed, and revived by it. No, God will not just zap us into all wisdom, knowledge and instant change. He doesn't work that way !
    And that, MaryLu ... is why I believe that "many -- fall by the wayside" after becoming a born-again Christian. They somehow 'think' -- that life is suddenly going to become -- sweet, easy, blissful, etc ... and that every problem will magically disappear ! Wrong !
    The Christian life is is "constant" -- daily battle (with our minds, thoughts, words, actions, etc) ... and many just don't want to put forth any effort of their own.
    Yes, God has so very much for us ... but truly, it is NOT going to be 'handed to us', on any silver platter !
    Thank-you for sharing what you did today, MaryLu.
    And, to my "fellow-Canadian-friends" ... old and new ... I wish you all: "A most Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Day" today !!! We are such a blessed people ... and we have SO very much to be thankful for !!!
    Praise God, and ALL thanks be unto Him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  3. Yes, thanks again MaryLu. I love your example of the sailor - it's bang on. I am guilty of wishing that very thing though - the easy way out; if God would just do His zap and I'd be free from a particular sin tendancy and all would be well. Sigh. I know, there is great value in the learning, in the studying - in receiving the teaching. Growth comes from being fed. And what powerful food His Word is.

    Chaplain Debbie - don't you just love it when God works that way? I'm glad He put that verse in your heart and then led you to The Cross and the Cutlass! :)Cool.

    Brenda - Happy Thanksgiving to you too! :)You are right in saying that we are very blessed here. Very thankful for all God has given us. :)

  4. Hey Brenda! I pray all is well with you. I always enjoy your responses to MaryLu here on this post. Happy Thanksgiving.
    @Caroline: Yes, He continues to amaze me more and more as the years go by. I guess you're never too old to learn. :)

  5. Wow, Chaplain.. that gave me goose bumps! How cool that God planted that verse in your mind before you even saw my blog! I love it when He does that.. when He confirms over and over what He wants me to know.

    Brenda and Caroline, Happy Thanksgiving!!! I had no idea, sorry. I pray you both have a wonderful day. Do you eat turkey like we do?

  6. Hey again ... MaryLu, Debbie and Caroline ... so good to hear from you 'all'. (And yes Debbie .. all is well.) Which just made me think of that famous hymn -- "It is well, it is well, with my soul !"
    Yes, we eat turkey too at Thanksgiving time, MaryLu. Actually did our 'family get-together' back on Saturday though (a huge turkey dinner); and then I did a small turkey dinner here on Sunday for three of us. And strangely enough, "leftovers" of that turkey dinner for supper tonight ! (I love leftover turkey dinner - with all the trimmings !)
    I was on "driving duty" today -- taking my oldest granddaughter back to Hamilton; and then a sister-in-law home to Brantford.
    Beautiful Autumn day here ... oh my -- the fall season colours on the trees, cooler 'fresh' air, interesting clouds, blue skies .... just love it !
    Not only on the Thanksgiving Holiday ... but for the reamining 364 days of the year, we have SO very much to be thankful for !!!
    Thanks to all -- for the 'Happy Thanksgiving' well-wishes. I am thankful, and, so very blessed indeed.
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  7. I am so glad you made the clear distinction between justification and sanctification. It always amazes me at how often the two of those get confused. We are justified by Christ, and Christ alone. But the Bible is very clear that we should work to change, and we can only change because of what Christ has done. However, we still fight against our old self, and it is a very frustrating and difficult journey. But it is one that constantly leads me back to Christ. No matter how hard I try, I will never be "good enough". Thankfully, Christ is, and was, and forever will be!

  8. Brenda, I love Turkey leftovers!! Enjoy! And enjoy your fall colors and crisp air. We don't get so many leaves changing here, but there are a few. What an amazing thing God did. He didn't have to make fall leaves so beautiful, did He? He could have made them brown and ugly. But he made them pretty for our enjoyment!

    Emma. Yes.. a very frustrating and difficult journey, indeed! I love how you said that the hardship always brings you back to Jesus.. so true and so worth it!

  9. Just a quick "P.S." - to: Debbie ... I hope all is well with you, too ! (Forgot to say that yesterday.)
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  10. @Brenda: all is well here. Thanks for asking!