Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Toxic Combination: Pride and Fear









That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Colossians 1:10












Accountability is not a subject most people like to discuss. We value our independence and the freedom to do whatever we want in our own way and in our own time.   After all, we tell ourselves that we are grown and we can do whatever we want and whenever we want.  Right?  Not so!  God calls us to a higher standard.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  2 Corinthians 6:17-18

There are two main reasons why most of us find it nearly impossible to make ourselves accountable:

1)         Pride -  We want to ‘save face’, we resist answering for our actions because we don’t want to face the humiliation of being wrong.  Pride motivates us to try to hide our failures and wrongs from others and from God.   But God's word tells us:

Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18 


2)        Fear – fear of unpleasant consequences leads us to cover up and or blame others for the wrong that we did.  But God's word tells us:

            For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.   2 Timothy 1:7

The bible tells us that there are 6 things that the Lord hates:


These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.  Proverbs 6:16:19
It also lets us know that the fearful will be among the first in the lake of fire:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  Revelation 21:8

But taking responsibility for our actions is the only way to preserve the freedom given to us through Christ Jesus.  Apostle Paul lets the believers in Galatians know that we are to:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free , and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.   Galatians 5:1

We have to finally -  once and for all - let our old creature go so that Christ-like behaviors; the fruit of the spirit can overtake us.   We are new creatures in Christ Jesus.

  
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.   2 Corinthians 5:17

Not being accountable is an un-christ-like behavior.

We that have been called out of darkness into God's marvelous light have been released from the power of sin. Therefore, we can choose to obey the Spirit’s promptings instead of being enslaved to the sinful patterns of the old creature.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He assumed responsibility for all of us, He took on the responsibility for all our sins and gave His life for everyone, regardless of whether or not they accepted Him. Now, when you call on Jesus Christ to save you, He takes that one step further.  He stands before God in acknowledgement of you, testifies on your behalf that you have accepted Him and are depending on Him for your salvation (to be saved from the second death; which is hell, and being cast into the lake of fire). 

"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and in the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:22-23.

In order to have success in Christ, we have to be accountable.  God requires this of us. Accountability is a protection that accompanies responsibility and motivates us to live a life that is worthy of our calling in God.  It is a gift given to us by God to guard against the painful consequences of ungodly choices.

Examples of being unaccountable 

1)      Adam & Eve
          A)      Given 3 instructions (Genesis 2:15-17):
                   - Cultivate the Garden
                   - Maintain it
                   - Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
          B)     After eating from the tree, instead of owning up, they:
                  - Hid from God
                  - When confronted by God, they began the blame game

2)      King Saul (I Samuel 15)
        A)      God, through Samuel, instructed Saul to "utterly destroy" the Amalekites
                  - Saul took it upon himself to spare King Agag and kept all that was good
                  - When questioned by Samuel, he first lied and when caught in the lie, blamed it on the people.

Because they did not own up to their actions:

1)     Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden
2)     God rejected Saul as King of Israel

What a horrible outcome in both these situations all because they were not accountable for their actions.

Liberty in Christ is a great privilege. But it carries responsibility, since our actions, words, and attitudes have a profound effect—for either good or harm—on both ourselves and others and most importantly, our relationship with God.

King David discovered this when he sinned with Bathsheba  If only he had been accountable to his position and the task set before him, he never would have withdrawn from his responsibilities and isolated himself from those he was supposed to be leading, the disastrous outcome of his family may never have occurred.  Even though he repented as a result of Nathan’s rebuke, the consequences followed him for the remainder of his life.  (2 Samuel chapters 11 & 12)

We, oftentimes, lose by refusing to heed people’s warnings—and we always lose if we ignore God’s.   Anyone who refuses accountability is walking on dangerous ground. 

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  James 1:14-15

The devil works day and night to devour the body of Christ by ruining their lives and testimonies.  He has assigned himself a job and that is to steal our joy, kill our faith, and destroy our hope as believers of Jesus.   Temptations lurk everywhere, promising pleasure but ultimately leading to misery and regret.   

While the principle of accountability applies in every area of human society, ultimately, everyone is answerable to God. As followers of Jesus, we are responsible to the Lord for how we are presently living, and one day we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of ourselves to the Lord.

You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: " 'As surely as I live, says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' " So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Romans 14:10-12

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.    II Corinthians 5:10

The time to prepare for this encounter is now. Believers have the privilege of daily accountability to the Lord. This is not only a time of humiliation before God, but an opportunity to ask Him what He would have us do. He is our heavenly Father, who has given us principles through His word for living, which will result in peace, joy, and righteousness and most importantly, eternal life with Him.  God is up to something good in the lives of His children, and we need to check in with Him each day to make sure we are walking in His ways. He tells us in His word:    

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.  Jeremiah 29:11


But how can He do this if we do not make ourselves accountable to Him?

In our daily communication with God, we should present what we did, what we neglected to do, ways that we failed or succeeded, and then let God affirm, encourage, or correct us.  Learn to see our activities, attitudes, and words through His eyes and His word, and take time to rejoice over even the smallest acts of obedience to God.

You should know that God plans for us to succeed, He provides for our success, He equips us for success and He promises us success:

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Joshua 1:8


But none of this is completely possible until we learn to be accountable to God for our actions and behavior.


Our goal should be to live in such a way that we can one day stand before Christ and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.





Biblical Studies




10/30/14
01/16/16
02/27/17
10/04/18


6 comments:

  1. Thank you for this Candy. I have been struggling with how to live my life in the future and what path I should take. This is a beautiful post and worthwhile reading. Your posts mean a lot to me and again help me understand the power of the words even now they show substance. I wish to turn my life around and not worry so much about the future. My aim is to work in Pastoral Care but I am not sure where to begin finding out who to ask. Can you help? I would appreciate your advice or tips. God bless you. 💜

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    1. It was my pleasure reading your comments on this and the other 2 blogs. It sounds as if you have a sincere desire for God's word which is always a good thing. As you can see in this blog, I rely heavily on the various illustrations found in the bible to guide me. If you desire to turn your life around, everything you need, all the instruction and guidance is found in the word of God. Read what God told Joshua at the beginning of his leadership. Pastoral Care is a broad filed; what type of pastoral care are you specifically interested in.

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  2. Bereavement counselling. I would specifically like to work with young people and perhaps widowed spouses. There are too many young people taking their own lives. I feel they need spiritual quidance and a reminder that they are not forgotten. It is hard to counsel them when they feel everyone is against them. I know this because I was depressed for a long time. All the medical professionals seem to do is give them drugs that are unsuitable. I know there is a place for them but most are too young to be taking anti-depressants. They need a holistic approach. Sorry I rambled on a bit! This area i feel is right for me. Or should i just let God decide? Thank you for the tip regarding Joshua. I will start on it tomorrow as it is now 03:48 this Wednesday morning. Please keep posting and i will continue reading them. God bless you Candy you are very special 💚💜💖

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    1. Does your church provide any of the services that you are interested in? If not, there are organizations such as Hospice, various nursing homes, hospitals and other agencies where what you feel led to serve that would welcome the opportunity of someone providing a holistic approach. As you continue to seek God for guidance, He will lead you and open doors for your ministry. God bless you in your efforts to do His will. Let me know how things go for you!

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  3. I understand that I have to asume my mistakes before God, but why before people? Thank you for your precision in examples with Scripture. What shoud I do when I can not stand on obedience on God than if you say we have to asume our mistakes?

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    1. In answer to your first question Anthony, I would refer you to James 5:16 - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. It's not so much that you confess before 'people' as to a person that is upright or righteous before as that person will be able to not only pray for you but may be able to assist you in overcoming your particular sin. Secondly admitting the error of your ways in Godly sorrow along with the desire to be free of the yoke of bondage puts you in the proper position for God to help you be free from your struggle. It takes pray, knowledge and application of God's word and prayerfully someone that you can be accountable to that helps you get to a right relationship with God.

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Comments are welcome and encouraged!