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10/2 Hearing God’s 1st ‘R’ in Maturity in Jesus

 

prayer1We begin to look at the 10 ‘R’s’ of maturity in Christ Jesus with the word: “Relinquish”. Now I must say, that seems a strange place to start.  Others have suggested maybe to start with Repent or even to Resist … but no, we shall start with this word first.

The key to why this word is first is found in the meaning of the word: ‘Relinquish’.

According to the Collins Concise Dictionary, this word means ” ….to give up a struggle, to surrender, renounce, or to get go of something you have held to…”,

Does that give you a key to why we have started with this word? Think back to when you came in contact with the Food News, the gospel of the Kingdom, the news about Jesus.  Wht was your first reaction?  At this point, most people are divided into two groups: Those who accept the truth and begin to change OR those who reject the truth and turn away.

What makes the difference? —- > Those who ARE willing to ‘relinquish’ versus those who ARE NOT willing to let go of their own ways of thinking and dealing with their issues.  It is to these two groups that we direct these next posts.  We will treat them separately as often their motives for not accepting the Good News is different.

First we look at those who do NOT chose to ‘relinquish’ but decide to keep on the road there are headed.

  1. This group hangs onto their denial: “I don’t need this religious stuff! We don’t talk about religion! I don’t need any of this God stuff. I’m doing fine as I am.”
  2. ….. OR to choose to hand onto their pride: “What will others think if I accept Jesus? People will think something is wrong with me. I’m embarrassed to ask for help. I’m fine on my own!”
  3. Perhaps it’s their regular patterns of Avoidance – “I can’t deal with this now! It’s too much to take in so I’ll leave it for another day.” Procrastination or not taking the time to think about God will mean further delays to the good that the Lord has planned for them.
  4. For others, it’s refusing help – “I can do this by myself!” Even though this means ‘going round the mountain again’, or ‘hitting a brick wall again’ as the Lord is getting them to a place to accept Him. Sometimes He does ‘paint people into a corner’ to help them see that God is real and that He wants to help them.
  5. Some are content in their own lifestyle. Accepting Jesus means change and that’s something some people don’t want. John 2:19-20 points out that those who cling to their old lifestyle do so because accepting Jesus means letting go of the things they love:

19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.…

John 3:18-20 makes it clear still:

18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.…

women w glassesThis is the main reason the people in the world will not listen to the Good news.  They love wht they are doing and don’t want to change.  They don’t want to give up their gambling, swearing, excessive drinking and so on.  They would rather do this than search and follow Truth.

For them coming to Jesus means surrendering something they think gives them life and a reason for living. If only this group would give Jesus a change to show them what real living means!  This group of people have believed the half-truths and lies that finding and hearing from God means laying aside their pleasures; it’s too much for them to pay that price.

This refusal to deal with their own ‘iniquity’, to be able to see Truth or to want to lay aside their pride is the major stumbling block to finding the Life in Jesus He offers. Of course this means that when a crisis comes along, instead of having the God of the universe to help, this group relies on their own defences, ways of dealing with pain and trying to handle the problems on their own.

Can we see now how important ‘Relinquish’ is to see the Truth? Getting to the point of saying “I am willing to do what God is asking of me!” is the beginning of freedom in Christ!  Until we are willing to be honest with God and confess our sin as the Holy Spirit shows us, we are living in denial.  Stepping across the stumbling block of pride is necessary to see ourselves the way He does – but with much more love!

In our next post, we will continue with this first group of people who are unwilling to ‘Relinquish’ their personal outlook on life in trade for the Truth of God’s word. It is only here that we can start our maturity in Christ and live the kind of life He offers.  Join us then,

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.hearinggod.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

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