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Don't Get Carried Away - A Devotion

Don't Get Carried Away
Don't Get Carried Away

Colossians 2:6-8 (AMP)
As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).

It is human nature to get carried away sometimes. Ok, maybe most of the time as we become wrapped up tight in the things of this world and forget to continually work at being firmly and deeply planted in a strong foundation of faith. When the storms of life come it is fast and furious so much so that many people are knocked off course if not completely overwhelmed by situations and circumstances in life. As you therefore received Christ leads one to the assumption that this passage is to all the “saved” folk reading it, hey that’s me! Even Jesus the Lord, well of course?! Not necessarily, there are many people who call Jesus their Savior and Lord but few who truly live with such conviction and calling. We want Jesus Christ to save us and open the door of His Grace so we may have the unmerited Favor of God with every divine privilege but we have no interest in knowing what the Lord requires of us. As you receive Christ, you must decide to make Him Lord of your life. It goes on to say that as believers we should walk, regulate our lives and conduct ourselves in union with and conformity to Christ dispelling the myth that graces exempts us from pursing god-likeness. No grace empowers us to step over sin and leave it behind in order to live a life pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to become firmly and deeply planted in Him, continually building on a foundation of faith so that we are confidently established as Children of God. However, we have gotten a bit carried away. The foundation of faith in the Body of Christ has been ignored and is beginning to break away under the stress and pressure of the enemies attack against the church and all of God’s Children. We must choose to be conformed to Christ and stop following the world. Spiritual discernment has become dull and ineffective in steering men and women clear of the lie of the enemy. The wolves have taken over the church. What do we do to remedy this wrong? It begins with you and me not the pastors in the pulpit or preachers lurking in the shadows. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is intimate and personal not governed or dictated by any man. We have been set free from bondage and captivity to sin including a world that has been overtaken by it whose love for Jesus has grown cold and distant especially in His House and Body called the church. It is high time that we become fixed and founded in Jesus again before we get carried away!

What is conformity? It is the compliance of one’s actions and behavior with a certain accepted set of standards. It means to live in agreement with God as we have accepted His Standards as the Way to life. Or have we? Conformity actually means compliance. Compliance is complete cooperation and obedience that leads to fulfillment. The root word of compliance is to comply which means “complete”. Wrap it up with a bow and it means that as we live in union and conformity with Jesus Christ accepting His Will as the Way for our life, then and only then, we will become rooted and grounded in Him. We will know God and what He desires with the willingness to live that way based on faith that has become our confident hope. But that’s not exactly how the church is living today – the Body of Christ is trying to live in agreement with Christ but not offend the world. This is offensive to God on every level as it takes for granted the total sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is not about changing churches or religion, but about becoming so rooted and grounded in the Love of God that you will stop at nothing to know Him more from the inside out.

Ephesians 3:16-21 (AMP)
May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

They say that the only thing better than having a truck is having a friend with a truck. If you live in Florida, the only thing better than having a pool is having a friend with a pool. Growing up in the humid days of summer, we used to run in the sprinklers to escape the stifling heat. That is until our neighbors decided to get a pool, we all sat in front of their house with their kids watching the dump truck haul away the dirt one day and the concrete truck pouring the pool the next day. A few days later was the glorious opening of the “pool”. As kids, we would play games in the pool making up new ones all the time. One of the things we would do is see who could hold their breath the longest underwater. Being naturally competitive, I remember lying in bed at night seeing how long I could hold my breath and then trying to do it longer for our next “big” competition. I am really surprised this is not an Olympic sport as it is very difficult. But I remember as the water lapped around my head, I would take several quick breaths before diving under the water trying to stay as long as I could until my heart was beating in my ears, lungs burning out of my chest and I became lightheaded just before breaking the surface. The crazy thing is I didn’t have to do it and put myself through such torture but I did so willingly not for a tangible prize that I could take home to put on a shelf but rather I was continuously in a personal challenge to be the best. What if we decided to live for Jesus Christ competitively? Pouring through His Word looking for more and more ways to love Him more and live for Him completely. Lying in bed at night what if our thoughts were fixed on Him and how we could be more like Him. What if we personally challenged ourselves to be just like Jesus Christ? Such an endeavor takes two things truth and discipline, not exactly fun things. However, God has given us His Spirit for just such a task.

The Holy Spirit grants us empowerment, strength, and reinforcement to live our life for God’s Glory. Jesus dwells in our heart as a sound foundation for our love and trust to grow into flourishing faith and confident hope. By doing this, we can comprehend the Love of God for us enough to leave this world behind and become completely committed and complaint with God’s Word, Will and Way for our life. God’s Love for us should be practical, working knowledge in our life not based on a whim. To personally know and experience the Love of God given through Jesus Christ allows us to look past what the eye can see and take hold of hope that is as weighty as a great metal anchor that keeps ships safely afloat in the storm with enough grace not to be broken, crushed or destroyed by its force. His Purpose for our life is always fulfillment. He wants to do superabundantly more than we can pray, desire, think, hope or dream of. But people don’t know this and get carried away by the distractions and deception of the enemy every time. The Love of Christ surpasses all knowledge yet it is our endeavor to constantly know Him more.

I Corinthians 1:9-10 (AMP)
God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.

I have been around only two pastors in my life where the Holy Spirit has spoken to my heart that this is a Man of God. Considering how long I have been a Christians and how many churches that I have attended that seems pretty sad. You should have spiritual discernment as a believer that indicates who is telling the truth about God and who has no idea what they are talking about because the Spirit of God lives in you. The Truth will indeed set you free if you know it. (John 8:31-32) I have keys issued to me by my employer. Over the years, they have added many keys as my responsibilities increased. If you handed my keys to someone who is unfamiliar with where I work and what I do, they would have no idea what keys opened what door. The same is true of God’s Spirit who works with Truth (which is the Word of God). We have the keys to the Kingdom but no idea what key opens what door. The Spirit of Truth or the Holy Spirit gives us life but many people do not acknowledge the Spirit living inside of them as evidence by the confession of their mouth and declaration of their actions. (John 14:16-17)The Lord told the woman at the well that one day we would worship in Spirit and Truth and today is that day or is it. (John 4:23-24) It may be God’s Intent but does not appear to be our response. We are to live in complete companionship and participation with Jesus Christ. So why don’t we? There is to be no dissension between believers but we are instructed to live in perfect harmony and full agreement not based on our relationships with each other but according to the mandate of Jesus Christ. The church has blown it! Every church can tell you about the split that tore them apart and some are multiplying and dividing faster than human cells in a petri dish. This is not the Will or Way of God who is called faithful. His Promise is true. Division comes becomes are understanding of the Word is divided and not Spirit-led or quite a few “people” would get over themselves and lead their churches into companionship and participation with Jesus Christ rather than lurking in the darkness trying to do a little sheep stealing at night! The Word of God and His Spirit unites the Body! Let’s not get carried away!

2 Peter 3:17-18 (NLT)
Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and] fall from your own [present] firm condition [your own steadfastness of mind]. But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!

We must learn to align our heart, mind and body with Jesus Christ. His Way, His Will and His Word are for the completion of my life. There is no man that can speak into my life like Jesus does. We must learn to live on guard against anything that might carry us away from Christ. We must grow in grace which is the undeserved favor and spiritual strength. We must know and recognize the differences between religion and a true relationship with Jesus Christ. How do we do that? It’s simple live according to the Spirit and Truth. We have the Spirit – He’s a given by God that is. The Truth must be taken in. Refusing to eat will cause the body to fall into a state called failure to thrive. Refusing to take in the Bread of Life on a regular basis will do the same thing to our spirit. (John 6:35-36) You must not let a day go by that you do not spend time in the Word of God in communication with the Spirit of God. (John 6:47-48) Faith fortified Abraham even when his body was failing producing the miraculous promise. God fully satisfied his faith and completed the work long after the man was unable to do so. (Romans 4:19-21) This is God’s Will for your life to completely fulfill His Plan and Purpose. People who choose to worship the Lord with their life in Spirit and Truth will develop faith and confident hope that are so strong that they will not be moved when the Lord tarries knowing that everything they think or ask that God is doing it better than they could imagine. (I John 5:13-15) All of this is possible when we live united with God in conformity to Jesus Christ as our Savior AND Lord.

I Corinthians 2:12-14 (AMP)
Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God. And we are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [Holy] Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit]. But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.

You do not need to depend on a person to feed you God’s Word or explain it to you. God has given you the Spirit of Truth who is the Holy Spirit to write God’s Word on our heart and completely reveal its meaning even hidden meanings meant only for you. If you are waiting on for God to speak to you through someone else, He will do it but you are missing the sweet secrets that He shares through His Spirit in an intimate relationship. Such a relationship with God’s Spirit is communion with God as the Spirit takes the Bread (Word) He is given and breaks it and blesses it. This Truth invested and inscribed on our heart immediately allows us to discern false teaching on the spot protecting us from being carried away by men. There is so much gross misrepresentation of the Word, Will and Way of God that we must dig deeper into the Word and give it to the Spirit so He can explain the Truth. I don’t want to live not to offend the world but to never offend God so sometimes the Gospel may be offensive but who will refuse it covered in His Love. We must evaluate that what we are allowing to come into our heart and mind is sound and wholesome while purposing to live in agreement with God and not mankind. (I Timothy 6:3-5) This balance is only achieved through the Spirit and Truth partnering in our life to empower our pursuit of Jesus Christ by faith grabbing hold of confident hope never letting go! There is a harvest of righteousness including peace, joy and love that comes from such conviction and commitment to Jesus Christ never wavering we see the Glory of God manifest in our life. (James 3:17-18)

Ephesians 4:13-15 (AMP)
[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead. Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Our purpose in this life is oneness in the faith that produces full comprehension of the Son of God and His Unfailing Love. We are to measure our life according to Jesus Christ but how will we ever succeed if we do not know Him. If we all decided to conform our life to Jesus Christ on a personal level, it would pull the Body of Christ together on a corporate level. It is not your pastor’s job but the responsibility of every single person called by name to Jesus to do it. Will you do your part? Decide not to be carried away today. Invest some time in building a firm foundation of faith and use confident hope as an anchor for your soul. (Hebrews 6:19) This can only be done by committing our live a life of worship in Spirit and Truth. No more relying on unstable people but a completely ABLE God! Wavering in our faith produces nothing. (James 1:5-8) Faith produces harvests and moves mountains always doing God’s Good in our life. Confident hope keeps us standing until it comes! Get planted today – the Best is yet to come!

Hebrews 10:22-25 (AMP)
Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.

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