Monday, February 26, 2007

Act Like God Says I Am

Here is a good lesson from Her Husband is Known in the Gates by Bernadine Bigner Cantrell. Mrs. Cantrell corrects our thinking about what a true hypocrite is in light of God's Word. It's a convicting lesson that should cause us to re-examine our hearts and minds and to bring them into obedience to God's will.

Satan has a definition of hypocrite that many of you have bought - acting different from what you feel. It's a lie, yet every assertiveness class and self-esteem-building group would have you believe it. They say if you feel angry, show it; don't lie about it. Don't be deceptive - act like you feel. When someone speaks of kindness, say that you don't feel like being kind. To forgive would be unthinkable if you don't feel forgiving. Don't listen to Satan's messengers! Remember the reputation of feelings - they are not reliable. Sometimes they are accurate; sometimes dead wrong, so you cannot depend on them for guidance. You must depend only upon the Word of God and reject the lies of the deceiver and the words of men.

I had been a hypocrite by not acting like God said I was. God's definition of hypocrisy is acting different from what you are - which according to Romans 6:6 is born again and a new creation. When you act like the old person, you are being a hypocrite. God would have you act like what you are. You must know who and what God says you are.

Many Christians believe "I am just a dirty old sinner saved by grace." A born-again was a lost sinner, but has become a blood-washed believer, a saint who may occasionally sin - saved by God's grace. It is an entirely different perspective. If you get up in the morning thinking you are just a dirty old sinner who happens to be saved by grace, what will you do all day? Most likely you'll sin and won't even be surprised. Saints should be surprised when they sin. What an exciting truth! Many happy changes began to happen in my life when I recognized it.

Unless you live according to God's definition of who you are in Christ, you'll easily slip into wrong actions, just as I did. Wrong actions come from wrong thinking. It is easy to believe what you feel or perceive as truth rather than to believe God. The deceiver was keeping me from it. I was living a defeated life; my feelings and incorrect thinking dominated my decisions and actions. We must examine our thinking in the light of God's Word.

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