God Sides with You

closet doors

I read a great statement that my niece posted from her church, Woodland Heights Christian Church, in Crawfordsville, Indiana. They said, “God sides with you against your sin; not against you because of your sin.” This comment harkens back to the promise God made to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We may be weary

With the enemy and the world fighting against us, it’s easy to feel burned out or isolated while doing God’s will. If we give an inch to this emotion, it is easy for us to slip out of God’s will and sin. When we become weak, we become easily led astray by thoughts contrary to God’s will. 

We may feel desperate for a return to some previous experience when “life was simple.” We may wish for old friendships. Or we may be so frazzled that we long for a quiet bubble of rest from God. One thing is sure, just as our immune system becomes weaker when we are down or exhausted, so do our spiritual “deflector shields” (nod to Star Trek) collapse from exhaustion, repetition, and alienation. 

Our help

Jesus is aware of our spiritual health, which is why he said, “See that no one leads you astray.” (Mark 13:5) When we need help, remember, the Holy Spirit is The Helper (John 14:16).

The cure for spiritual weakness is time alone with Jesus. We may think, “I need to talk with so-and-so.” or “I need to step back from some of my commitments.” You may be correct but first go to your “prayer closet,” lock the door, and talk with Jesus.

You may say, “Why? It never works for me!” Well, there is a well-established approach. This approach has been recommended by great Christian leaders such as Charles SpurgeonD.L. Moody, and Franklin Graham. 

Guidance

What I’m about to write should not be taken as a formula or recipe but as guidance from people mightily used by God.

Before we can “hear from heaven,” we must unclutter our minds; rabbit trails are the antidote to prayer! To clean a cluttered mind, we start with confession. We need to tell Jesus everything – this is transferring our burdens to Him and becoming “clean vessels” for the Holy Spirit. 

Then it’s good to thank God. Our thankfulness is a declaration of faith, acknowledging our trust in Him. Our gratitude can easily transition to praise. We may not be able to carry a tune in a bucket, but it’s uplifting to sing to God. God doesn’t judge us on the quality of our voices. “God inhabits the praises of His people.” (Psalm 22:3)

Hearing from God

Now, with uncluttered minds, forgiven souls, thankful hearts, and God’s presence, we’ve prepared ourselves to hear from Jesus. Jesus is the Word (John 1:14), so it’s good to open God’s Word to a personally familiar and meaningful passage. It might be John, chapter one, or the “Beatitudes” in Matthew, chapter five, or perhaps, it is Psalms 32

Before we begin reading, we can ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to receive the living Word of God; then we read, pondering each word, each phrase, asking the Holy Spirit to make these words alive in us. 

Refreshment

As we read, we also quietly listen. Soon we will become aware of the presence of God, and He will open His Word to us; His Word will feed us. His abiding presence is medicine to us. Being in His presence heals us, strengthens us; He refreshes, renews, and rejuvenates us. We can linger with Him.

God sides with you

When we come out of our prayer closets, we will be spiritually refreshed. Having a regular time for meeting with Jesus is better than going to a gym! There’s some value in regular exercise, but so much more value from a consistent prayer time. (1 Timothy 4:8)

So, when we sin, let’s remember this post. Do not forget that “God sides with you against your sin; not against you because of your sin.”

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


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