“Losing Our Way”


Image result for Psalms 139:7

Message Scriptures:

  • “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.strength:” – Psalms 73:26 (KJV)
  • “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” – Romans 3:23 (KJV)
  • “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)
  • “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” – Psalms 139:7 (KJV)

Introduction:

Good Morning & Happy St. Patrick’s Day CLMNWA Family!

It’s good to be sitting in front of this computer once again to bring you a Holy Ghost inspired message from the Word of God. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written any new material. It’s been even longer since I wrote anything or even used Pastor B’s Blog, but this has all been by design. As y’all know I don’t ever write anything just to write it…I depend upon the leading of God when it comes to everything I’ve done with my blogs.

God has grown the Christlike Ministries NWA Blog into a world-wide blog that has reached the shores of 200 nations, but I feel like God wants me to bring back Pastor B’s Blog because we’re going in a different direction with this blog. These messages are going to be a little more personal and practical and will hopefully help those of you who are faithful readers and supporters of Christlike Ministries NWA to begin, develop, and maintain our relationship with God.

In fact, the very first series back comes from You Version and is titled The Way Back – Get Your Christian Life Back On Track.  It’s appropriate to start here because I let myself get away from the plans and purposes God had for me, and I believe that is why I find myself in this new season. I’ll talk more about that in a moment, but for now I’m going to finish introducing this series…and this message because there are 11 messages in this series.

As always I love to give the people who write the devotionals I find on You Version the credit they deserve, and to also allow the devotional to speak for itself. So, here’s the actual introduction You Version gives for this series.

Does your faith feel like it’s gone seriously off-course? This devotional will get you back on the right track.

And this is where this devotional came from…

We would like to thank Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock for sharing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.amazon.com/Way-Back-Christians-Blew-Credibility/dp/1617958611

So, without anymore delay let’s get into this series and this message and see what God has to say to us about The Way Back – Get Your Christian Life Back On Track.

Of course, before we go any further we need to pray so let’s do that first, Amen!?!

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word! Thank You for leading me back to where You want me, and for helping me to resume the vocation and calling upon my like that You have had for me before the foundations of the earth. Lord, I ask that You would speak to us through this series and through these messages. Holy Spirit, I ask that You would make my fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer writing only of the oracles of God, and with the supernatural anointing that only comes from You.  I ask that You would give us all ears to hear what You are speaking to us, and that You would help us to apply what You are about to teach us to our lives so that we would be able to have that personal, intimate relationship with You that we need. I pray that those who don’t know You and even those of us who do know You would encounter You in a real way. In Jesus name, Amen!

Losing Our Way:

Hello friends! It is good to be sitting here today penning the first message of a series that I believe is going to take us all to a more personal and intimate place with God, and hopefully one another as a body of believers. I know it has been a long, long time since I’ve written any new material.  Part of the reason is because I had returned to working secular jobs that required a lot of my time, energy,  and focus.  However, the other part is because I had allowed the devil to steal the passion I had for writing these messages.

I have to start off by confessing to all of you that one of the reasons I stopped writing is because I allowed some hurt in my heart over the lack of financial support of the ministry to be the doorway satan used to steal my passion for writing. You see when I started this ministry it was about writing to glorify God whether 1 person read my posts or 1,000 I always tried to write as though the only one reading these messages was God Himself.

In reality, I allowed the lack of financial support of the ministry to mean that what I was doing for the Lord wasn’t valuable to anyone else, and that caused me to step away from writing because I allowed that to determine my value which allowed insecurity to creep in giving the devil the opportunity he needed to get me distracted from the original reason why I started doing this in the first place…for God’s glory and not my own.

So. I am sorry that I allowed offense and bitterness to take root in my heart. I’m sorry that it caused me to stop doing what God had called me to do, and I’m sorry that it caused me to have a perceived offense against all of you.

These blogs are my way of using the talent and ability God gave me as a way to show my love for Him. I still need financial help with maintaining the ministry, I still need people to buy my book, but the greatest way y’all can support me is by reading and sharing these messages.

In other words, I need to obey God and trust Him with the results, Amen!?! So, from now on I will continue to do that, I will continue to write, and I’ll trust God to provide the funds necessary to continue doing what He’s called me to do.

So…now let’s finally get into this message, and we’ll do that by going back to the description of this series because it’s actually what this series is about, and it also gives the writers of this devotional the opening word of this message and this series…

Does your faith feel like it’s gone seriously off-course? This devotional will get you back on the right track.

Obviously with this being the first series back from a year-long hiatus, and what I just shared with you I have indeed allowed my faith and relationship with God to get off course, and working to get on track is what this message and series is all about. It’s important to understand that just because we find that we’ve gotten off track it doesn’t mean that we aren’t saved or that God is mad at us…it simply means that we allowed the devil to do to us what he did to Peter when he was walking on the water.

It doesn’t help that there are so many cares of the world today, either. It’s easy to get distracted, and when you allow offense to take root in your heart it can help the thorns choke out the word. Before you realize it…it’s been over a year since you wrote a message and you are way far off from the path God had you on.

As always, the first step is always realizing that you are off track, admitting that you are off track, and then repenting for it and asking God to help you get back on track.

  It doesn’t take much to lose our way.

If you’ve clicked on this devotional, perhaps it’s because your life feels adrift; turned topsy-turvy in the churning, competing undercurrents of what the Bible says vs. my wants -money, church, work, faith, sex, prayer, power, selflessness, selfishness. A swirling mess.

     In all that noise, how do we get back on course with God?

Before to we begin, know this: you’re not alone.

It doesn’t take much to lose our way.  That is an understatement, isn’t it!?!

How many of you know that it didn’t take much for Peter to take his eyes off of Jesus when he was walking on the water, and that before he took his eyes off Jesus it was the circumstances around him that began to distract him. Instead of continuing to walk towards Jesus and trust the word that he had from Jesus he began to notice the wind and the waves and the fact that he was walking on water…and the moment he took his eyes off Jesus…he sank.

However, what the writers of this devotional are talking about is something a little more subtle than that.  It’s like going out for a hike using nothing but a compass. I had to do that as part of my military training. If you are off just a few degrees from where you are going you’d be surprised at how far away it can lead you from your intended target. It doesn’t take much at all to get you off. As the writer of this devotional says…

Think back to your days in geometry class – did you ever have a teacher who diagrammed what a difference a degree makes the farther you get from the origination point? Here’s an example: if you were traveling toward a specific destination and were off by a single degree—after one foot you’d be off course by only .2 inches. Hardly even noticeable to the naked eye, right?

But what happens when you travel a longer distance?

After a mile, you’d find yourself off target by 92 feet. Traveling from your town by circumnavigating around the globe, you’d miss coming back to your current location by more than 435 miles. Oops. And if you were traveling from the earth to the sun in a straight line, you’d be off by 1.6 million miles!

They used the example of geometry class and I used the example of hiking with a compass, but in both illustrations the truth is that it doesn’t take much to get us off of the path God has us on. You don’t have to be fully engaged in some kind of sin…you can just be caught up in the hurts and business of life (like I was), and suddenly you realize that you haven’t been doing what God called you to do for over a year.

The amazing thing about God is even though I haven’t written anything new God continued to draw people to the Christlike Ministries NWA Blog in record numbers, and He’s still doing that today.  It showed me that the real success of my ministry wasn’t ever meant to be shown by the amount of money it brought in, but by the amount of people who are being reached.

The ministry was never meant to make money it was meant to make disciples. It is meant to help people to begin, develop, and maintain their walk with God. It’s meant to educate God’s people, equip them for their own calling, and encourage them to step out and into the vocation God has entrusted to them.  It’s about teaching us all to allow God to work in us, on us, and eventually through us…so that we can take our God-ordained positions in the body of Christ.

The success of the ministry is the fact that it’s reached 200 nations. The success of this ministry is about people investing in their relationship with God not investing in the ministry itself. The provision for the ministry is God’s job…writing these messages to accomplish the vision of this ministry is my job.

God has always seen to it that I had the money I need to make sure the ministry stays online.  It still hurts my heart that there aren’t many people willing to invest in the ministry, but I can’t allow that to keep me from doing what God called me to do…and that’s what I did…and that’s all the devil needed to get me off of where God was taking me.

 It doesn’t take much to lose our way.

If you’ve clicked on this devotional, perhaps it’s because your life feels adrift; turned topsy-turvy in the churning, competing undercurrents of what the Bible says vs. my wants -money, church, work, faith, sex, prayer, power, selflessness, selfishness. A swirling mess.

     In all that noise, how do we get back on course with God?

Before to we begin, know this: you’re not alone.

So, the question becomes, of course, when we find we’re off in our relationship with God how do we get back on track?

As I mentioned a moment ago, the first step is to recognize that you’ve gotten off track, the second step is to repent and ask forgiveness and ask God’s help in getting back on track.

In all of this it’s important to understand that the devil may try to attack us here with condemnation, but as Romans 8:1 says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Yes, I understand the rest talks about walking in the Spirit and not the flesh, but the point here is that we need to understand that God isn’t mad at us or disappointed in us or ashamed of us…and that we need not be ashamed of ourselves.

Listen, even the Bible tells us that even the disciples lost their way for a while after Jesus was crucified. So, if they got off of their path (and they were able to physically walk with and talk with Jesus) it’s not an uncommon thing for us to get off of our path.  The important things are to recognize when we get off path, repent and ask forgiveness, and then get back on track…and that’s what this series and these messages are about.

There are three things I believe we need to help us get back on track.

  1. Prayer…one of the first things that happens when we start getting off track is that we aren’t communicating with God, and we aren’t allowing God do communicate with us. If our prayer life was better we would’ve been able to hear the Holy Ghost tell us we’re off track, and that’s why it’s important that we re-establish communication with God.
  2. The Word of God…the other thing that happens when we start getting off track is that we feel like reading the Bible has become a chore instead of a joy.  This is the best way God communicates to us.  So if we aren’t praying which is our way of talking to God, and if we’re not reading His Word which is His main way of talking to us…it’s impossible to maintain our relationship with Him.
  3. Church…I know that there are a lot of you reading these messages that feel you don’t have to go to church to encounter God.  That’s true, but the reason we need church is to develop relationships with other believers to help keep us accountable and on track. It’s not good for man to be alone, and it’s also not good if we don’t have godly counsel to help keep us on track.

I believe this is a good place to wrap up this message, and give the writers of this devotional the final word and also close this message out in prayer…

 The men and women of the Bible were also a hopeless cacophony of mixed motivations. Lots of the time, they were deep in the weeds doing their own thing. So if that’s you, you’re in good company. But remember – those same men and women also got things back on track, and developed such a rock-hard faith that they would stay strong in the face of persecution, would single-handedly fight giants, could fearlessly face down armies and perform impossible miracles.

     This is where we are meant to be living every minute of every day.

If you’re feeling a long, long way from that kind of actualized, trusting faith, let’s find the way back.

Let’s Pray:

Lord, here I am. I’m tired of wandering and I want to come home. For too long, I settled for a bubblegum faith that quickly loses flavor. I want a faith that is built to last for eternity. I open my hands and my heart to You now and ask You to lead me back to the path. Amen.

In Closing:

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this first message of this series, and that if you’ve found yourself in a similar place that you’ll be encouraged to know you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for us to get so sidetracked by life that we find that we’ve allowed our relationship with God to take a backseat, but the great thing about the Lord is that He always leaves the ninety-nine to pursue the one that has gone astray.

Friend. It’s important that we know (and I mean really know) that God isn’t dealing with us or mad at us or disappointed in us or ashamed of us.  As I write this I feel that there are people reading this message that the reason you haven’t gotten back on track with God is because you feel that God is either disappointed in you or ashamed of you, and I believe God wants you to know that neither is true.

Listen, God knew you and chose you and adopted you as His son (or daughter) before the foundations of the earth. Yes, He left the decision to choose Him up to us, but once we make that decision to become whosoever’s that have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved…that means we are in Christ. Now, I know there are many out there that like to dispute once we’re saved we remain saved, but I am not one of them. I believe that the only way we can lose our salvation is if we chose to leave God by placing our faith in another god…and that we can some times become our own god.

However, I also believe that redemption and restoration is always a “Lord forgive me” away, and that as long as we’re drawing breath redemption is available. The Bible says if we confess our sin that He is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness.

I don’t know who I’m talking to today.  I don’t know what’s happened in your walk with God. Maybe you walked completely away from God. Maybe you’re like me and you didn’t realize how far off from God you were. Maybe you’ve never had a relationship with God at all…the good news is that there’s grace available right now.

You can begin or restart your relationship with God right here and right now. It doesn’t require some big, drawn out religious sounding prayer. If you believe God is calling you either into a relationship with Him or calling you back home even though we don’t need a long, drawn out prayer I feel like we all (myself included) need to get alone with God, believe in our hearts, and confess with our mouths these words right here…

Pray this with me:

Lord Jesus, You have loved me even though I have not loved You. I admit that I am a sinner and I know that there is no other way to have my many sins forgiven except through Your blood, that was shed at Calvary – for sinners such as me.

I believe that You died for me and that You took all the punishment for my sins that I justly deserve. Lord I repent of all my sins and pray that You would forgive me all my trespasses.

Please come into my life – I receive You as my LORD and Savior for You promised that as many as receive You – You will give the right to become sons of God.. even to those who believe on Your name. Lord I believe and want to follow You as My Lord and Savior, from this day forward…

Thank You for hearing my prayer,

Amen

I know this first message has gone long, but if you have read all the way to this point would you do me a favor?  If this message has blessed you or reached you won’t you please take a moment to let me know by commenting on this post.  I would also like you to know that there is still and always will be a way to support the ministry financially by purchasing the book 7 Hebrew Words For Praise you can do that by going to this link here: https://www.createspace.com/6896095.

I hope you’ll join me for message 2 of this series titled: The Curse of The Casual Christian. Until than thank you for joining me for this message.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend and St. Patrick’s Day. I would like to thank all of you for your prayers, patience, and support. I know there would be no Christlike Ministries NWA Family without all of you, and I want y’all to know I truly love and appreciate every one of you.

Blessings & Grace ~ Pastor B

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