HOW TO NOT FALL AWAY

Why do Christians fall away from their faith? Never forget that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1Peter 5:8). Because we live within the spirit world, we must always be vigilant for demonic attacks. Those attacks can be wrong thoughts or temptation to sin, but they are often through other people who offend us.

The reason Christians fall is that they take off the breastplate of righteousness that protects their heart from the daily temptations to be prideful or to give in to their sinful desires. The breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts from sinning or becoming offended. Being offended causes us to be self-focused and prideful, then we say and do unkind things. The breastplate of righteousness also protects us from God’s wrath for sin by reminding us to do what is good and pleasing in His sight. For example, do you think Christian leaders who fall into sexual sins have on the breastplate of righteousness?

The first step to putting on the breastplate of righteousness is to ask Jesus to forgive your sins, come into your heart and be your Lord. 2Corinthians 5:21 states, “For our sake, he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God’s righteousness protects you when you make Him Lord of your life, which means you surrender your life to do His will. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” And 1Peter 4:2 states, “So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” Also, 1John 2:17 states, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

How do you know if you are righteous?

The righteous walk by faith (Habakkuk 2:4b; Romans 1:17b). Galatians 3:11 states, “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” And Hebrews 10:38 states, “But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” Also consider, Hebrews 11:6, which states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

The righteous die to sin, then practice righteousness. 1John 3:7 states, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” Also, 1John 3:10 states, “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” And 1John 2:29 states, “If you know that he [Jesus] is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” 1Peter 2:24a also states, “He [Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

The righteous rejoice in the Lord and gives thanks. Psalm 97:12 states,”Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!” And Psalm 64:10 states, “Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!” Also, Psalm 140:13 states, “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

The righteous are wise and increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9 states, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” And Proverbs 10:31aThe mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.” Also, Psalm 37:30 states, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

The righteous hates falsehood (Proverbs 13:5a). Proverbs15:28a states, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer.”

The righteous are not selfish but gives. Psalm 37:21 states, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” And Proverbs 21:26b states, “The righteous gives and does not hold back.”

The righteous serve God and desires to do His will. Malachi 3:18 states, “Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” And John 9:31 states, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” Also, Isaiah 48:18 states, “Oh, that you had paid attention (listened) to my commandments (instructions)! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

The righteous pursue righteousness. 1Timothy 6:11 states, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And 2Timothy 2:22 states, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Also, Romans 6:13 states, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

According to what you have just read, do you have on the breastplate of righteousness? From the list above, where do you need to improve?

The best way to practice righteousness is to fear God.

Hebrews 11:7 states, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” God told Noah to build an ark and gather two of every kind of animal to survive a great flood, something they never experienced. Noah faced constant ridicule from the wicked people around him. But he obeyed God out of reverent fear, and because of his faith, he was considered righteous.

The fear of God is to have a deep respect and awe of His mighty power and love. We demonstrate reverent fear by obedience to God’s Word and loving Him. Deuteronomy10:12-13 states, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” Do you fear God, walk in all His ways, love and serve Him, and obey His instructions? The following verses describe what it means to fear God:

You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him. –Psalms 22:23

Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. –1Samuel 12:24

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh [body]; and refreshment to your bones. –Proverbs 3:7-8

Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit). –Proverbs 28:14

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. –Psalms 115:11

Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! –Psalms 34:9

Conclusion The breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts from becoming offended and to be tempted to give in to our fleshly desires. When we seek to please God, we will love those who hurt us and not allow sinful desires to trap us in pleasing ourselves or being unkind. Being righteous requires that we make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives and surrender our will to do His will. The person who has on the breastplate of righteousness will walk by faith, die to sin, rejoice in the Lord, increase in wisdom, hate falsehood, give, serve God, and pursue righteousness. Fearing God helps us keep the breastplate of righteousness on by reminding us to trust Him, shun evil (sinning), and do what is good.

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HOW TO PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AND DEFEAT THE ENEMY WHAT

HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR?

In The Last Days, Why The Righteous Will Not Fear

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

Fear God, Not People


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Fear God, Not People

Dear Friends,

King Solomon shares the following wisdom in Proverbs 19:21-23.Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. 22) What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23) The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”

In the 2020 election, people fear that the country will be destroyed if either presidential candidate is elected. DO NOT BE AFRAID! Fear is a bondage that will cause physiological stress on your body, which will make you sick. LOOK UP and find peace and rest in God’s ability to fulfill his purpose for you and our country. The fear of God is to reverence and trust Him, that His purpose and judgment will prevail in our country, no matter who is president.

If you fear or show reverence to the Lord, you will be free to not fear the future because no harm will visit you. We may have troubles, but that will not harm us, but help us grow in our faith in God’s provision and protection. If you don’t fear God but instead fear for the future of our country, then you will NOT rest satisfied, and your fear will invite the devil to harm you. See my post called “How the Devil Causes Trouble

I wrote in my post called “Are you a sheep or a goat?” that love is the defining term of a true Christian, who loves those who do not believe as they believe. In verse 22, King Solomon tells us that steadfast love and truth are to be desired in your life, so seek to love and speak the truth to everyone you meet. Another action of a true Christian is to fear God. People who fear and trust God will be content with whatever happens in this election because their eyes are on God not the concerning circumstances.

In my last post, I explained that you can lose your heavenly inheritance by having idols in your life, even unseen idols. In this post, I will reveal how you can make activities and people into idols when you do not fear or trust God. Idols are often called vanities, or vain things. Jonah 2:8 states, “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love (of God).” Idols are lying vanities, as opposed to the living and true God because they are imaginary and are powerless to help you. So, putting your confidence in idols is vain.

Idolatry of Activities

You can identify unseen idols by evaluating where you spend excessive time and effort; even ministry can be an idol, or gardening, or blogging. Ouch, I stepped on my own toes. I can give specifics, but we are each tempted in different ways to serve unseen idols of activities. So, ask God to show you what controls your life? Remember, an idol is anything that draws you away from your love and devotion to God and people. Idols could be your work, hobbies, sports, TV, movies, books, social media, video games, pets, alcohol, drugs, food, etc. How do you spend your time and energy that then keeps you from spending time with God? Raising children doesn’t count because that is a God-given purpose. Even if you’re busy caring for your children and home, you can fill your home and car with praise music or scripture reading while performing your tasks.

Idolatry of People

How do people become unseen idols? A celebrity becomes an idol when you get your identity and a sense of belonging from them. Our loved ones become idols for the same reasons, plus, you expect them to love and accept you unconditionally. Yes, you want people to love and accept you, but they cannot meet your expectations because they cannot love you the way you want. Only God can meet your need for love, acceptance, identity, and belonging; all other sources are idols in your life. Why do you idolize people? To hopefully get something from them.

People are foolish to make idols of the presidential candidates. They worship their candidate and think their candidate will make their lives better. People, especially politicians, make the worst idols because they will let you down and will not meet your expectations most of the time. Plus, people make the worst idols because they are sinners.

People also make idols of pastors and other spiritual leaders. You know those who have made the pastor or spiritual leader an idol when they leave the church when the spiritual leader leaves or fails to give them what they are looking for. They had no interest in loving God and loving people.

Conclusion:

God’s purposes for you and this country will prevail. We can trust God to always love us and provide the things we need. Trusting the government is foolish. So to, people and activities will let you down eventually because they cannot meet your expectations. Fear God and worship Him only, love others, and be truthful and you will be satisfied, and no harm will come near you. Above all, do not fear the future, only fear God as the judge of the world.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce

Related Posts:

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

What is Wrong with Fairness?

What Is Required to Stand Before God?

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

Are you in control of your life?

Know Your Purpose?

Psalm 91 Posts

What Is Required to Stand Before God?

What matters at the end of your life? What will God say to you when you stand before Him? What if God says, ‘I never knew you; depart from me.’ (Matt. 7:23)? The subject of this post is heavy, but necessary to ponder because we all will stand before Him someday, maybe today. Will He say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:21,23)?

Jesus said in His first sermon in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” What is the will of God? The will of God is to obey His instructions in the Bible and do what we know He has called us to do. God has called each of us to invest what He has given us into other people and not hide it.

Disclaimer: Our salvation and eternal destiny with God are not because of what we do or by our works but is by the grace of God. Ephesians 2:8-10 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Once we have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit seals us, and then we must work out our salvation by renewing our minds and doing His will.  See the blog posts called Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One) and Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).

What does God require of us?

Moses, the first leader of Israel, writes the requirements from God in Deuteronomy 10:12-13:

1. To fear God

2. To walk in all His ways

3. To love Him

4. To serve Him with all our heart and with all our soul

5. To keep the commandments of the Lord and His statues for OUR GOOD.

Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

At the end of King Solomon’s life, he said in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. King Solomon did not always fear God or keep God’s commandments because he married foreign wives who led him to worship their foreign gods. In the end, King Solomon realized his error.

What does it mean to fear God? 

The Bible says in 2Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

The fear of God is to have deep respect, love, and awe that we demonstrate by doing good and obeying His instructions (Deuteronomy 6:2; 10:12; and 1 Samuel 12:14). The following verses describe how we are to fear God and the benefits:

Psalms 22:23 states ”You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, …”

1 Samuel 12:24 states, “Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”

Proverbs 3:7-8 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body) and refreshment to your bones.”

Proverbs 28:14 states, “Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit).”

Psalms 115:11 also states; “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”

Psalms 34:9 states, “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack!

Fearing God is easy when you keep your mind focused on seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  See the blog post called How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? for more details.

How can I be assured God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The Apostle Peter’s instructions in the next passage give us hope. Peter tells us to be diligent, which means to apply ourselves to accomplish something. Meditate on the words of 2Peter 1:3-11:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,

through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence,

by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises,

so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (lusts).

5) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, virtue (moral excellence; right action and thinking; goodness of character), knowledge, self-control, steadfastness (perseverance), godliness, brotherly affection (kindness), and love. (my paraphrase)

8) For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9) For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

10) Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.

11) For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A promise is an assurance we depend on. Verse 10 promises we will never fall if we practice faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, and love. Verse 11 promises we will enter the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ. Verse 8 promises if we have these qualities we will not be ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. How fantastic is this!

Conclusion:

Our life on earth is but a blink or breath compared to eternity (Ps. 144:4). So, being mindful of the day of judgment and what God will say to us, should be considered. In this post you learned that you are eternally secure when you do the will of God, fear Him, and diligently seek to add to your faith; moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

RELATED POSTS:

Self-control and Maturity

How Patience is a Sign of Maturity

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Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

Love From a Pure Heart


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayer topics are: the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

What should you fear? What is fear? Fear is a thought that controls your beliefs and decisions.  We mostly fear the unknown. If you are afraid of germs or the virus, then you will protect yourself.  If you are afraid of snakes, spiders, or mice, then you will scream and run away or try to kill them.  There are many fears a person can have, and some are irrational fears.  Have you seen the movie “What About Bob?” starring Bill Murry and Richard Dreyfus?  This movie depicts how irrational fear controls the life of Bob, played by Bill Murry.

Irrational Fears.

Many fears are irrational thoughts that can be overwhelming but can be overcome. Most fears usually originate from a bad experience, your imagination, or from what you watch on TV (i.e. news) or in the movies, and what you read.  For the life of me, I do not understand how people can watch horror shows. Fearful images remain in your memory and cause stress in your body, which leads to illnesses.  Traumatic memories that trigger fears can be healed so the fear no longer controls you.  To heal traumatic memories read my short book.

For example, irrational fear controls people who are preparing for the worst disasters that may never happen. Of all things, we are experiencing a pandemic and are told to stay in isolation, so everyone is buying up all the toilet paper, cleaners, hand sanitizers, etc. You should have at least 1-3 months of necessities on hand to help you get through  most difficult times.  I am glad I have three months of toilet paper in my what-if storage shelf because we can’t find it anywhere.

You can transform fear into peace, by replacing the fearful thoughts with reassuring thoughts of protection.  Read through all the Psalms and note every passage related to protection, deliverance from troubles, and God as your refuge. Write key verses out that help you feel peaceful and review them. This exercise will greatly encourage you and strengthen your faith.  Read my blog series on Psalm 91 – Psalm 91 Posts

What should you fear?

You should fear God.  Not in an irrational way but because you want to stay in a right relationship with Him by not sinning. The fear of God is a combination of being in awe of His mighty power and love and His judgment, which causes you to turn away from doing evil. When you sin you do evil because evil is disobeying God and doing and saying things to harm or cause trouble for other people (Webster dictionary also see Romans 6). Proverbs 3:7 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.” And Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Believe and know, God strongly supports you when your heart is completely His and you are submitted to Him. 2Chronicals 16:9 states, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.

Pride keeps you in fear of the wrong things, like the fear of man instead of God.  Fear of rejection causes you to do anything to not be rejected, even if it is sin.  Pride keeps you from being in awe of God and submitting to His authority and turning from your sin. Proverbs 22:4 states, “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” Is this something you would like? Read “How Pride Destroys

What are the benefits of fearing God?

  1. God’s angel protects you, and you will be blessed, and you will lack nothing. Psalms 34:7-9 states, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9) Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
  2. God will help you and shield you from all harm. Psalm 115:11 states, “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.Proverbs 19:23The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
  3. You will have confidence and you will feel safe. Proverb 14:26 states, “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.
  4. You will have wisdom and know what to do. Psalms 111:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.
  5. You will have a long life. Proverbs 10:27The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.

Conclusion:

Being fearful is our natural inclination.  But it is better to fear God and be under His protection and provision than to fear the things going on around you or to fear people and what they may do or think.  To keep your peace and not be afraid, claim the promises in your Bible, especially the Psalms, and stay away from the things that put fear into your mind. If you have an irrational fear that is controlling your life, please seek help or read my short book on my website.

I hope this post has helped you, and I am praying for you.

RELATED POSTS:

How to Embrace the Challenge of Change with Grace

Bondage to Unseen Controls

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

What Controls Your Thoughts?

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

TRUST Leads to PEACE


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).