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Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Learning to Walk in God's Image

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

There is an age-old question that never goes away, never stops being a topic of discussion, and never seems to be absolutely answered—at least for those who are not Christian. The question is, Is man basically good or evil? 

The answer is, because of the taint of sin, man has been infected and tainted from the moment of conception. This is why some children are born with infirmities and deformities. Though they are born with good and innocent hearts, they are quickly infected and defiled by the sin in this world that has defiled every aspect of this world. (If you've ever seen two toddlers fighting over a toy, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Innocence is short-lived!) And no one except Jesus has ever been excluded from being infected by sin. Let me explain further...

God's intent in the creation of man was to create us in His image. Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) says, "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image..." Psalms 139:13-14 says, "For you have formed my inward parts: you have covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well."

When God made us, He made us wonderful in design, but the sad truth is that we've all been tainted by the sin that is in this earth. We were conceived and born into a world that had been defiled by sin. That sin has infected every man. Romans 5:12 (TLB) says, "When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. His sin spread death throughout all the world, so everything began to grow old and die, for all sinned."

Everything God created was created for good. God Word tells us that it is He who gives witty ideas and inventions. Satan tries to pervert their use for evil. That's true for media, computers, the internet, sex, for any good thing from God. They were all created for good but the devil perverted the use of each one. Satan through sin has tried to pervert every good thing in this earth including the character qualities within us that God gave us for good. Within our personalities, there are godly character qualities that are to be developed. For example, being steadfast—being sure in what you believe and faithful, determined, and purposeful to live it out, is a good and godly quality. To be stubborn—unreasonably, often perversely unyielding and bull-headed, is the perversion of steadfastness. God wants us to be steadfast but not to be stubborn.

Being stubborn hinders God from helping us. In Psalm 81:12 NIV God says, "So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices." Being steadfast will do the opposite. Steadfastness can help us greatly in defeating troubled times in our lives. When we will become steadfast against the devil, against evil, and against every attack of the enemy in our lives, then we will begin to see the attacks slow down or stop. When we steadfastly say No devil, I won't fall for your trap and go to that perverse internet site. No devil, I won’t accept this cold – By Jesus stripes I am healedNo devil, I won't stay in unforgiveness. I rebuke you! I don't care what that person has done to me, I am going to love them with the love of Jesus. Be gone in Jesus name!  When we won't let the devil pervert character qualities and instead use the strength of godly character, we will win many more battles than we will lose. When it comes to resisting the devil, God wants us to be absolutely steadfast against him. God wants us to take on the heart and attitude spoken by Isaiah. Isaiah 50:7 “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."

God wants us to learn to set our face like flint and be steadfast against every attack of the enemy. He wants us to quit being a doormat for him and stop letting him eat our lunch. He wants us to use the name of Jesus and the authority given us in the name of Jesus. We do so by putting on and USING the whole armor of God.

Ephesians 6:16 says, "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one." The devil shoots one fiery dart of temptation or trouble after another. He never quits trying. We will either eventually become overcome by being worn out from them or we will take godly qualities like steadfastness and set our face like flint. Have you ever seen an emotional rock? No! Don't you let the devil put you on an emotional roller coaster with the attacks leveled at you. Just discern; Is what I’m experiencing from God or is this the devil attacking me? If it’s the devil, be steadfast in holding up your shield of faith and quenching every fiery dart of the enemy. Read him God’s promise. I rebuke you devil. Psalms 46:1 says, “God is my refuge and strength, and very present help in trouble.” Then rejoice and trust in God’s promise. Continue to be steadfast in quenching every fiery dart.

We were created in His image to live life His way. Jesus died for your sins. Now rise up in His strength and resist the devil trying to ruin your life.

Acts 10:38 (NLT2) "And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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