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The Cost of Forsaking All [message #6114] Fri, 09 October 2009 02:47 Go to next message
sparkles  is currently offline sparkles
Messages: 246
Registered: March 2008
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Some of us have mouthed the words of forsaking all for Christ, but I would have to say in reality that has not happened yet.
What does it mean to forsake all? To be honest I don't have all the answers to this. The Bible tells us we are to forsake all, pick up our cross and and follow Him, but what does that really mean? And how does one walk that way? Since we all have a personal walk with Jesus it will be walked out in different ways for some people, and yet there are some things everyone will have to forsake.

I can remember hearing someone say that outwardly people had forsaken the ways of the world, but then in their heart they had not forsaken the world and it's ways, but rather had suppressed their worldly desires for them to one day rear their ugly heads again.

Webster's definition of "forsake:" to give up, renounce, to quit or leave entirely, a syn: Abandon.

To Renounce: to give up, refuse further to follow, obey or recognize, repudiate.

The world is a snare to the christian. I think some get so bogged down with the cares of this life, that they just get weary in the fight, and the way of compromise just looks easier. BUT it is not easier because all the ground you lost while in the compromise you must fight to get back, and that is not easy. It is much easier to just continue on in the fight and don't give in to the self pity, self righteousness, bitterness, anger, resentment and any other thing the devil would tempt you with. We need to cry out for grace to help us. Pray for the Lord to give you the strength you need in the battle.

I must say, it could get discouraging at times if we looked at circumstances, but God tells us to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

I hope some people respond with their thoughts of what it means to forsake all, even with examples in their lives of how the Lord has spoken to them. I want to learn from my brothers and sisters in Christ, and one way to do that is to encourage each other. I have been greatly blessed with what some have posted on this site, and I believe I will continue to be blessed by what God is going to do.

Re: The Cost of Forsaking All [message #6116 is a reply to message #6114] Fri, 09 October 2009 18:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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I don't have all the answers either, Sue, but I have learned some valuable lessons by trial and error. I know when we have truly forsaken something, as commanded by God (obvious sins, such as 10 Commandment type) it is very liberating. The things we once struggled with, while trying to serve both God and our own fleshly desires, are no longer issues and we can walk in fellowship with God without having to constantly repent and deal with comdemnation. But the key, to me is, making that commitment, from the heart, to turn from or repent, forsake, the sin. Sometimes deliverance is needed, sometimes prayer and disipline can do it. Sometimes it's as simple as Nancy Reagan said, "Just say NO!"

THEN, we've got to learn to keep the doors of our minds and hearts closed to whatever that would give place to the devil to bring us into bondage again. I don't want to use my personal experiences as an example except to say, I've made the mistake of opening doors that had been closed for many years, that can or could include what I watch, read, listen to, as well as who I'm around and who's advice I take. And all these problems could have been avoided if I'd kept my focus on Jesus and walked in The Spirit, not giving place to the flesh.

And also, I have found lately that part of forsaking the world and it's ways include the world's religious system. The desire to know and fellowship with fellow believers is good and needful; BUT (for me), the enemy uses the traditions and religiousness of man to ensnare MANY. I seem to have more spiritual battles and challenges from dealing with 'christians' and their unwillingness to believe what God says in His Word, that those who don't make any attempt to walk in righteousness.
'It's not for today'; 'that's not what it means'; 'Yeah, He can, but He don't, that's why there's doctors'; 'you're taking it out of context'; 'that translation is too strict and harsh'; and on and on....

I know this, for sure; God is a jealous God and He doesn't share His Glory with any other. If we aren't walking in holiness and separate from this world, seeking only His will for our lives, then we're fooling ourselves if we think we're disciples of Christ; overcomers; crucified with Him; or even christians. We're saved by GRACE, not by our works...BUT, true salvation will produce godly works. Someone I was listening to the other day(Tom Hamilton) said that if we're still living like we were 20,30 years ago before we got saved, then we might need to check and see if we're really saved.(my wording) And you're right Sue, about what 'someone' said years ago, if it's just works of the flesh(outward obedience) then at some point when the trials and testing come, our true hearts will be revealed. I'd say that was a prophecy that's been proven to be true...look around you, where's all those who, with joy received The Word and testified of God's goodness? Scattered, with many returning to the world and it's ways; medical science, denominational system, pagan holidays, trust in man for finances, secular wisdom of man rather that seeking wisdom from God, becoming involved with 'this kingdom' rather than focusing on the kingdom of God. We can't 'be IN Him' and live like the world does and defend our actions by saying Christ has set us 'free'. As some southerners might say, 'THAT DOG WON'T HUNT'.

Weren't we admonished time after time to COUNT THE COST...Isn't it about time we started PAYING it? What is the cost? Giving up our SELF centered, self willed, lives and serving God out of a willing desire, rather than from fear and peer pressure.

Maybe it's not too late, God is a merciful God...I pray for His mercy on us all.

[Updated on: Sat, 10 October 2009 01:45]

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,”
Re: The Cost of Forsaking All [message #6117 is a reply to message #6116] Sat, 10 October 2009 10:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sparkles  is currently offline sparkles
Messages: 246
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James said
"Weren't we admonished time after time to COUNT THE COST...Isn't it about time we started PAYING it? What is the cost? Giving up our SELF centered, self willed, lives and serving God out of a willing desire, rather than from fear and peer pressure."

Excellent point, James. Seems like self is something that just hates to die, so sometimes we just need to make a decision that self is going to be put to death and then to follow Jesus with all that we have. Is this always an easy decision? No, but God has given us every means whereby we can walk in the spirit and not fullfil the lusts of the flesh. Like the Word of God says:
I Cor. 10:13-14 "There hath no temtation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."

So here we see one way of escape, to flee. At the point of the temptation we count the cost: lose ground, give in and sin, or as we have been commanded, flee. Nobody said it would always be easy since there are always the devils children to help you make a bad choice, but God said He would make the way of escape, all we need to do is obey. There is such liberty when we walk in obedience. And truly such joy when we know we have pleased our heavenly Father. I had the most wonderful earthly father one could have, and I know how much I wanted to please him, how much more with our heavenly Father?!
Re: The Cost of Forsaking All [message #6125 is a reply to message #6117] Tue, 13 October 2009 22:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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Today I was reading a book by Gary E. Gilley titled,'This Little Church Stayed Home'. It is exposing some of the many deceptions that have crept into the church today. I certainly don't agree with everything in it, but there are some areas that he points out that are very true.

It covers the problems that have came in through the thought process that's influenced by a postmodern world. Also the watering down of scripture by the various translations, removing authority and sufficiency by taking away the infallibility of God's Word. Also he writes about the Emergent Church and that whole mess that's growing rapidly.

Here's something he quoted by D.A.Carson that sums up the additude of many who believe we have no responsibility as Christians apart from saying, 'IBelieve'...

"People do not drift towards holiness.

Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate towards godliness,
prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith and delight in The Lord.

We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith.

We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation;
we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism.

We slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,”
Liberty or Legalism? Freedom or Bondage? [message #6127 is a reply to message #6125] Fri, 16 October 2009 15:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sparkles  is currently offline sparkles
Messages: 246
Registered: March 2008
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I ask myself these questions when I need to make a decision of
something I want to do, or someplace I want to go, or something I want to see. Am I at liberty and free to do it? Or would I be bound by legalism if I didn't. Sometimes the choice is quite simple: WWJD or as the bracklet fad of a few years ago would ask: What would Jesus do? Years back, before the braclet fad came out, we would consider this question when making a decision, and our desire was to please Jesus in every area of our lives. What we did with our time was important, and we wanted to glorify God in what we did, how we acted, what we said, and we didn't want to grieve the Holy Spirit. Not so today with most people who once praised God together.
Now the cry seems to be "I am free and don't bind me with your legalism!" My question is: Is it really legalism and bondage?

Many of us have heard of Smith Wigglesworth and been blessed by his testimonies. There is an excellent book about Smith called: Smith Wigglesworth The Secret of His Power, by Albert Hibbert. I would like to share a couple quotes from the book.

"Smith Wigglesworth believed that a Christian should not be governed by his temperanment. Many people are slaves to their anger." Smith had a problem with anger, but he shut himself up to God until he had complete victory over his emotions. After this "He never reacted in anger, even in the face of criticism or persecution--and he had his share of both." I would ask: How many of us can say the same, or can any of us?

"Wigglesworth was holy because he had his priorities in the proper order." Beyond a glance Smith didn't read the newspaper, why? "He simply did not have the time to read them. Besides, he said, why should he waste the time reading the paper which would give him the partial truth when, by reading the Word of God, he would be assured of getting the whole truth?"

"Two things dominated Wigglesworth's life and ministry. Firstly, he had a consuming love for the Word of God. Secondly, he had an overwhelming confidence in the God of the Word. What the Word of God said on a subject settled the matter as far a Wigglesworth was concerned."

What have these quotes about Smith to do with liberty or legalism, freedom or bondage? Smith was a free man, more so than many we know, because his freedom was in being conformed to the image of Christ, in every area of his life. Was he perfect? No. Should we be like him? Only as he was like Christ. God has a plan for each of us, and our desire is to be like Jesus.

As I said earlier one of our goals is to not grieve the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:29-32 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Talk about a death to self way to walk! I pray the Lord give us all grace to walk in truth.
Re: The Cost of Forsaking All [message #6129 is a reply to message #6116] Sat, 17 October 2009 16:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sparkles  is currently offline sparkles
Messages: 246
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There has been a slow dulling down of the church as we see the end of time come as we know it. The Bible speaks of a great falling away in 2Thes 2:3-4. Right before that the Lord says in verses 1-3a "Now we beseech you, brethern, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, not by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means:"

Galatians 5:16-26
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, forniction, uncleanness, lasciviousness(lewd, Lustful),
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance(discord), emulations(envious rivalry,jealous), wrath, strife, seditions(resistance to authority), heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings(to rebel), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."

Can we truly say we have forsaken these works of flesh in our desire to follow Christ, or are we partaking of them by allowing them in our homes by the medium of TV, movies, music, dress or talk? I know, you think I am a legalist by saying this, but do these things really glorify God and edify the Holy Spirit in us when we partake of such things? I would say it does not. But it is between you and Lord what you allow in your homes, just don't deceive yourself with the "I'm free" talk. If you give up such things because someone says to, and it is not is your heart to do so, then it would be a legalistic thing to do. But if you give things up because the Holy Spirit is convicting you, there is tremendous freedom in that.

When you look at the verses on the lusts of the flesh it would describe TV, movies, and music. Just look at the words to the songs and think what you are saying or singing. Or how about TV. I just talked with a friend and she said a couple of her friends in church don't have TV's. Why? Because of the filth and anti-christ spirit and the lusts of the flesh on it. Our Lord tells us how important it is what we allow in our minds. Phil.4:"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Maybe as the close of the age is at hand, and we see wickedness increasing, and our government getting us deeper and deeper in debt, which will just help set the stage for the Anti-Christ, maybe it is time to get alone with God, and ask Him for help and guidance. There is a dullness in the church today, and a complacency, where many have be lulled into a sense of resignation of what is going on, and have left their first love, and their hunger after the things of the Lord. "I'm free" seems to be the cry of many, but I would say free how? To choose which way to compromise or sin?

Col. 3:15-17 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful,
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jeuss, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

[Updated on: Sat, 17 October 2009 16:58]

Re: The Cost of Forsaking All [message #6335 is a reply to message #6129] Wed, 25 November 2009 02:01 Go to previous message
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1410
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This is a most edifying thread... thanks to you both for taking the time to write out your thoughts.

I ran into this quote the other day by Jim Elliot it goes with the subject heading:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. --Jim Elliot

I want to believe!
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