Tag Archives: Pride

Jesus said…

Long Beach

On the cross Jesus said:  “Tetelestai!”

Best translated as: “It is finished.”

So why do you keep fighting a futile war that is already won?

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. –Ephesians 1:17

From Pride to Praise


From Pride to Praise

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… -James 1:17

Since coming to Christ a big thing God has been teaching me is humility. The Bible tells us again and again that God wants us to be humble.

Does this mean we have to walk around thinking we never do anything right and that everyone else is doing life better than us?

No! I think some people have misunderstood humility. Humility does not mean low self esteem! Esteem means worth or value, and you are very valuable to God. Because of this truth you should hold yourself valuable. You need to know that you were created with a purpose. You are valuable to the Kingdom!

Humility is understanding where your value comes from. Humility is turning pride into praise. It’s realizing that every good and perfect thing you can do is a gift from God and would not be possible without Him.

For instance:

To be humble I do not have to think I’m a terrible writer, but rather I praise God for giving me the ability to express myself, and I thank Him for giving me something worth writing about! I thank Him for speaking through me and motivating me to write what He has taught me.

To be humble I do not have to think I’m a terrible musician, but I thank God for giving me the gift of musicianship. I look for opportunities to use my gift in worship of Him to bless Him and serve the body.

You see pride is stealing praise from God. So the next time you do something well, praise God for making you and giving you that gift or talent. Ask Him how your gift could be used for the Kingdom.

Glory to God!

He who humbles himself will be exalted. -Matthew 23:12

Rise Up!

Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light!

Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Our Christian faith is about a lot more than just a ticket into heaven when we die.  It’s about a relationship with Christ, and a relationship where we can say we know Him as our friend.

Jesus offers us a joy that cannot be taken by anything in this world.  It cannot be stolen by any hardship but instead gives us strength to endure the trials of life.

This joy lasts forever, it is everlasting.  Do not miss out on your joy!

You have not because you ask not.

Ask and it will be given to you.

Call upon the Lord and receive everlasting joy!

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.


(Eph 5:14, Neh 8:10, John 15:15, John 17:3, James 4:2, 4:8, Matt 7:7)

The Simple Life

Have you ever wanted life to be more simple? Have you ever wondered why theology has to be so complex?  I think to many people just trying to wrap their heads around the belief of an infinite creator, good and evil, morality, the fall of man, the concept of sin and our need for redemption through the sacrifice of God’s son—who is actually God incarnate as a man who willfully subjected Himself to torture and murder—seems far too complex.  Shouldn’t life be simpler than that?  Don’t we long for simplicity?  The fact is though, that we are not simple.  Life is not simple.  Our minds are so amazingly complex that scientists have barely started to grasp how they work.

So what is the key to a peaceful life?  How do we embrace a simple life in a complex world?  I think the answer is simple faith.  My mom has a blog called Simple Faith and I believe she is on to something.  When we finally get past our desire to understand all and humble ourselves in the fact that we never will understand everything, then things start to get a little more simple.  When we lay down our pride in fighting to always be right, then things start to get a little more simple.  When we give into love instead of hate, then things start to get a little more simple.

There are so many theologians in the world, men who spend years in college to become a doctor of divinity but then what?  They start arguing with other doctors of divinity about whose “theology” is correct.  Is that really what being a disciple of Jesus is about?  I don’t think so.  I personally think staring at a sunset can teach you more about God than a classroom.  Don’t get me wrong—I am not down playing education.  I am in fact a Bible college student myself.   I am just downplaying the seeking of knowledge over love.  That is where we go wrong.  Love God and love people!  Live the simple life.

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. -2 Corinthians 11:3

Spiritual Warfare: Unknowingly Fighting for the Wrong Side

In my distress I cried to the LORD and He heard me.  –Psalm 120:1

Sometimes losing a battle can actually bring victory for our spirit because we are fighting for the wrong side.  I was recently involved in a spiritual battle and unknowingly I was fighting against God.  I was battling to understand His ways and I was battling for Him to react in certain ways that I thought He should react… But guess what? God did not respond in the ways that I thought He should.  This angered me and threw me into a battle of my own pride and self-will against God.  I became angry with God and told Him that if He was allowing things to happen this way then He must not even be there.  The problem is I was lying to myself.  My heart knows God in a personal way.  He has walked with me since I was a young boy.  I cannot deny His presence in my life.  But does that mean I know He is there in an intellectual way?  Not exactly.  I couldn’t prove God to you and this was my battle—I had set out to prove God to myself.  I was testing God and telling Him what I thought He should be doing.

The issue is I was going through these terrible uncontrollable mood swings.  I would get thrown into these deep depression spells that seemed to have no trigger.  They started months ago and had become increasingly more consistent to the point that it was happening multiple times a week, for a day or two at a time.  I almost considered going to see a psychologist.    Looking back at how uncontrollable this was I seriously think it may have been demonic influences and dark forces trying to steal my joy in Christ.  The problem I had with defeating this battle is instead of trusting in God’s word to get me through it, I turned it against Him and blamed Him, doubting His word.

At the point of writing this I have not had one of these depression spells in almost a month and I really believe I was cured and delivered by God.  How did it happen?  By giving up.  I gave up on the complex of having to intellectually understand how God works.  I gave up on trying to prove God’s existence to myself.   I was driving and heard a song on the radio that said “What do I stand for? Some nights I don’t know.”  I said to myself, “I don’t know and that’s ok.”  I was referring to knowing intellectually if God exists or not.  Suddenly a wave of peace and calming swept over me.  I felt a load of weight released from my shoulders.  It was the first time I felt the Holy Spirit in quite some time and it came from admitting my own intellectual doubt of God’s existence.

It’s ok to say “I don’t know.”  It’s ok to be honest with yourself and your doubts.  It’s ok to be you.  We believe by faith and not sight.  My heart is much further along in my faith than my intellect and God knows this.  I am finite and He is infinite.  I am not God and neither are you…  It’s ok. He understands this and loves you far more than you will ever understand.  Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly.  Whisper His name for He is near!  Hope lives and His name is Jesus!

I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. -Psalm 119:147

I shall not die, but live!

I called on the Lord in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.
-Psalm 118:5

I have a lot of random vivid memories of being young. One of them is a time I was at the beach with a friend and his family. I was putting on sunscreen and stretching my arms to cover all of my back. My friend’s dad was behind me and kind of chuckled as I finished putting the lotion on. “You could have asked for help you know!” he said. I replied, “I got it all right?” “Yeah… you got it all.” he said laughing and shaking his head. He obviously thought I should have asked for help and probably thought I was being stubborn, silly or childish by not asking.

I bring this up because now, about twenty years later, I still find myself attempting to do things on my own that would be so much easier if I just asked for help. Not only help from other people but help from God. I’m realizing that I’m stubborn! And no one knows this better than the Lord—and perhaps my wife and mom. I set out to do things and I don’t want to ask for help. My pride and determination tells me I can do it on my own. This is risky, especially in spiritual battles. Battles cannot be won alone because we are fighting an enemy that does not fight fair.

They surrounded me, yes they surrounded me; But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. You pushed me violently, that I might fall, but the LORD helped me.
-Psalm 118:11

Call on the Lord and He will answer you in your distress. Take the weight off of your shoulders and give it to Him. We don’t have to do everything alone in life. Lean on Jesus and He will guide you through the storm.

Let it Out!

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29 NKJV)

It feels good to unload things.

It’s good to let things out that you are used to keeping in.

It’s hard to be open but being open is the key to freedom.

Honesty is the gate to peace.

Peace will never be found when you are trying to be something that you are not.

Let it out!

Truth is only found from an honest search.

Let faith arise.

Be you!

“Your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5 NKJV)

Give God power in your life!

Open yourself to give God room to show His power.

Open your heart to let the Holy Spirit move!

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15, 16 NKJV)

God is Bigger Than That

Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. –Matthew 5:5

I’ve realized that sometimes I pack God into a box, a little box that fits with my way of thinking and understanding.  The problem is God is bigger than that box and He’s bigger than the box you put Him in as well.  It’s a tiring pattern—trying to understand God and then continuously not understanding why things happen the way they do.  I say, “Wait God, this isn’t what the instructions on my box said.”  I read a blog about a man who walked away from the faith because of a bad church planting project…  We are such selfish creatures.  We expect our faith to be a “get out of jail free card” or “insurance against the world’s problems.”  We have a bad day and suddenly it’s God’s fault for not fixing whatever the issue was.  I’m throwing away my box because God is bigger than that—much bigger!  Although there are a lot of things I don’t understand about God, here are a few things I do:

God is more intelligent than I am

God is more loving than I am

God is more compassionate than I am

God is more caring than I am

God is more just than I am

God is more merciful than I am

God is more righteous than I am

God is bigger than I am

Looking Unto Jesus

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:1-2

Wow, sometimes the Holy Spirit can really get on these “themes” in my life. I’ll be going through a season or phase in life and everywhere I go a certain scripture or lesson will be outlined to me. The past couple weeks it has been this seemingly simple message: Look to Jesus! For the last couple weeks everywhere I go whether in my thoughts, surfing the web, reading a devotional, at school and even in dreams this verse has been highlighted to me and more specifically the “looking unto Jesus” part.

Have you noticed how a lot of times when the Lord speaks to us He speaks in simple phrases of a few words, but these simple little phrases resonate deeply into our soul and mind bringing transformation, inspiration and revelation? This directly relates to how Jesus taught in parables while here on earth. The stories to a skeptic are nothing but silly stories but to one with “ears to hear” they come to life and bring darkness to light. It’s interesting how we humans will spend hours typing out our thoughts and write entire books to try and get a meaningful message across, but the Lord will just say a few words and they will reach the depths of our soul breathing life into us. The word of the Lord is powerful! Praise God and thank you Lord for your Word!

About two months ago I was praying before going to bed. About half way through praying I switched from praying in an outward audible voice to praying in my head. I then—for whatever reason—blurted out the question “can you hear my thoughts?” to God. Immediately a voice replied and said, “Yes, I hear you.” I was so shocked at first. I had never heard the audible voice of God and honestly was not really ever expecting to. My first thought was “whoa if God’s talking audibly to me now He must have something really important to say” so I replied “speak Lord for your servant hears” quoting 1 Sam 3:9 when Samuel heard the voice of God in bed. There I was waiting for a response. I was sitting there all excited waiting for God to tell me something deep and amazing but He said nothing else. I later realized that what He needed to say had already been said. God said, “I hear you.” Those three simple words have transformed my prayer life and boosted my faith dramatically. They have resonated in my mind and soul since that day. The simple words “I hear you.” I feel that someone reading this needs to hear those words tonight. Know this truth: Jesus hears you! He hears every prayer that you say to Him. He hears every worry and care in your heart. He hears you and He loves you beyond your understanding. Pray boldly and keep seeking first the Kingdom running the race with endurance. When you start feeling weak, look to Jesus!

The enemy loves to take our eyes off of Jesus. The enemy loves to shift our focus to ourselves. Out of the right motives of wanting to please God the enemy will take your eyes off of Jesus and have you focusing on your own performance in life. The enemy will make you focus on all your works and deeds making you think you have to live up to some certain standard to be acceptable to Christ. This is all lies! Jesus accepts you just as you are. If you are struggling with a certain sin then take your eyes off of the focus of beating that sin and simply look to Jesus! This is where the battle is won my friends. Sin will be overcome when we look to our Lord and find strength in His loving eyes gazing right back at us. Sin is only overcome when you throw that sin upon the cross and accept that there’s no way you’re going to do this alone. That’s when Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” (Matt 11:29)

Lord give us strength in this race of life. Give us endurance Father that we may continuously set our eyes upon Jesus even in the midst of trial and persecution. May your word be a light unto our path in Jesus name.

-I Want To Believe In God [dot com]

“Where are you Lord?”

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. –Deuteronomy 8:2-3

Have you been going through a time of struggle and hardship in your walk with God?  Has your faith been tested leaving you in trial and temptation so that you cry out, “Where are you Lord? I need you!”  If so, this is probably exactly where God wants you.  

Immediately after Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit drove Him into the wilderness where He was tempted for forty days.  What’s significant about this is that Jesus had to go through this process before He could start His ministry.  This was not an easy time for Him.  He was tempted, hungry, humbled, and completely dependent on the word of God to overcome Satan.

Matthew 4:3-4 says:

Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

He quoted the words that Moses had said about God teaching the Israelites while in the wilderness to be dependent on Him.

If you are in a time of wilderness in your walk with God then rejoice in your trial because God is teaching you something.  He is preparing you so that you might be useful for a greater purpose.   So embrace this trial and run the race with endurance, looking unto Jesus!  Give God all the glory through this process because it’s not about you. Perhaps that’s what God is teaching you.  John the Baptist said it best, He must increase, but I must decrease.”