March 6, 2017

Walking Step by Step in the Light, Part 2

Welcome back for part two of Walking Step by Step in the Light.

Before I jump into our lesson, I’d like to celebrate with YOU, my dearest ministry friends, my new book that will come out in early 2018. This book shares the beautiful lessons and stories the Lord taught me as I walked through the pages of 1 John. Last week and this week’s messages are a preview of what’s tucked inside this study. If you missed last week, click here to read it. I will share more about my new study in the months to come with fun giveways and ways to participate in helping me get the word out. 

Let’s get back to our message about living in the light.

Last week we received the great news that we aren’t perfect. Best news ever, right! However, that’s not an excuse to keep sinning. We talked about how important it is to recognize and agree with God about our sin because that ensures our sin doesn’t stay hidden in the dark.

What’s the best way to do that? As I struggled with my tongue a few years back, God took me through a process. He gave me a script to follow when I find myself struggling with a sin. But following this process is an intentional choice. We must choose to:

Interrupt our thoughts

Sin begins in our thoughts. Our thoughts lead us down the path of disobedience. And it’s our disobedience that interrupts our fellowship with God. So, learning to recognize and interrupt our sinful thoughts before they lead us to action is the key to uninterrupted fellowship with God.

The best way to counter our sinful thoughts is by drawing close to God. Praying and spending time in His Word sensitizes our hearts to the leading of His Holy Spirit. Something deep within our soul discerns that we are walking outside His Will and grieving His heart.

Confess our sin

How will we respond to what we feel from the Lord? We’ll either feel convicted or condemned. And which one we feel will depend on how we view God. If we know God as a loving God who desires to redeem and restore us, that feeling will convict our hearts. We will respond in trust and obedience. But if we know God as a harsh judge who seeks to punish and shame us, that feeling will condemn our hearts. We will feel shame and guilt and run from God.

If you get nothing else from our time together today, please understand the distinction between conviction and condemnation.

Conviction is from the Holy Spirit. It’s from the heart of our Creator, our loving Father. It is good because He is good. He is safe. He is trustworthy. He uses conviction to intervene in our mess and draw us back into the light and into perfect fellowship with Him.

Condemnation is from Satan, our enemy. It is not good because he is not good. He is not safe. He is a liar and the father of lies. In him, there is no truth at all. Satan uses condemnation to intervene in our mess and move us further from our Father’s heart and deeper into darkness.

God never condemns. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

So beware of  the evil one’s lies. Replace them with truth from the One who created and formed you and deeply loves you. Ask forgiveness from the One who is waiting to draw you back to Him.

Turn around and step back into the light

Make intentional choices to keep from repeating the same sin.

It might be memorizing a truth you can speak or pray when that temptation to gossip, criticize, or control comes your way.

It might be resolving in your heart not to yield to what tempts you and inviting a friend to pray for and with you and hold you accountable.

It might be changing friends.

Sometimes there will be a cost. But it will be so worth it, my friend.

Remember, we don’t fight this battle alone. God equips and empowers us with spiritual discernment to alert us to the people and situations that seek to lead us into sin and darkness. His Spirit provides us with the strength and courage to resist that temptation and stand on the Truth.

Walking in fellowship with Christ, day-by-day, step-by-step, ensures who we say we are, matches who we really are.

We are blood bought baby girls of the One True God. We are daughters of the Holy One of Israel. We are loved. Chosen. Redeemed. Beautiful in His sight. Created with purpose.

Don’t let the devil interrupt your fellowship with God or mar the beautiful woman God has created you to be!

I would love to hear from you today. Share one step you need to take today to walk in the light.

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Sharon Serrano says:

    Much needed! Thank you Wendy! This is speaking to some deep places and continues to confirm what God has been speaking to me in the last few weeks.

    • I so love when God confirms in many places what He is speaking to my heart. I’m very thankful He used me. Truly answered prayer as I pray for Him to speak through the messages He gives me.

      Love you, friend.

      Wendy

  2. Thank you Wendy. Today during my Bible study time I felt the need to draw closer, to grow my faith, to have deeper roots in my Jesus. You just confirmed my study time.

    • Such a precious gift to be used by God in your quiet time. How He does abundantly above all we ask or imagine when we give what He assigns us to Him. He times it perfectly, and He uses it mightily. So thankful for you, my friend. God works in amazing ways through you, your faithfulness, and your giftedness.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  3. First off let me congratulate you on a new book! Woo Hoo! I am so excited for you! What a blessing for all of us to be able to learn from you, Wendy. Thank you.
    I am drawn to your explanation of conviction and condemnation. I want to stay in His Word so that I can filter my thoughts, words and actions thru his Word . I believe this will help me be more aware of the evil ones actions in my life, so that I can turn away from him and back to God’s plan for me.

    • Roberta, I’m so thankful the conviction/condemnation teaching spoke to you. The first time I realized that and let it sink deep was a powerful, transforming time in my faith. It allows you to really listen to what He is speaking and willingly apply it because you know it is for YOUR good and HIS glory.

      And thanks for your kind words about the book and my teaching.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this, it is just what I needed. How often I want to push all the ‘work’ off on God. It was easier to just keep asking why I’m tempted…again…or why I’m not a “new” man already in this one area. Instead, looking deep, realizing that when I turn again and again to that sin it is always because I’m not renewing my mind daily, I’m not staying in the Word, I’m not in constant prayer, I’m not leaning on Him–honestly many times I’m not even praying for a way out of the temptation–I’m praying afterwards to not have to deal with the consequences. And oh my…I know better. 2017 has been a year of growing pains and of pruning–and it’s only March!! I thought I was too old for this. Thank You for being open and obedient and putting these 2 posts out there. And congratulations on your new book—I am sooooo excited. Your two Inscribed studies are amazing!

    • Karen Shaffer says:

      Jolene, I echo your sentiments! I keep asking myself how much more “heavenly sandpaper” does God need to use to refine me! As Paul says in Romans 7:14-20, “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Unless I stay immersed in God’s Word at least twice daily and memorize Scripture verses, I get caught in the riptides that seem to be pulling me under. It starts out as stress from my job or small compromises I make then progresses to bitterness, anger, anxiety and fear, just to name a few. Wendy’s teaching always blesses me by the way she articulates her knowledge and wisdom gleaned from God’s Word. I am looking forward to doing a study with her in her new book!

      • Karen, thank you SO much for sharing that passage from Romans. It’s one of the most powerful verses about our sin nature, and how great that it comes from Paul! A great addition to today’s teaching.

        And thank you for your words of encouragement. They are especially filling as I get ready to release a book. Satan loves to attach during these times. I look forward to studying it with you!

        Blessings,

        Wendy

    • Jolene, I am so touched by what you shared and your vulnerability. I know I can relate and I’m sure many other women do to. We forget to ask on the front end and gird ourselves up against our sin and temptation. That leads to asking forgiveness on the back end, over and over again. So thankful this met you right where you are. And I pray God continues the work He is doing in your heart, and you see transformation very soon.

      Thanks for your kind words about my books. I’m so excited for this one. It was lots of new stuff for me to learn, and I can’t wait to share it!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. Melissa Chambers says:

    Yes Wendy! I love every message God gives you to share with us!
    I took a big step yesterday by visiting a friend’s church. I hadn’t walked into a house of Worship in months (nearly a year)! I knew I had missed being surrounded by Believers but didn’t realize how weak and weary my spirit was because of it! I am looking forward to going back. I had let the enemy use hurt feelings to interrupt an important part of my relationship with Jesus but NO MORE! #YayGod

    • Hallelujah!! This is GREAT news. I pray He infuses you with such JOY and PEACE and WISDOM as you join Him again in a house of Worship. I pray He surrounds you with amazing friends who will build you up and walk alongside you.

      #yayGod

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  6. kim stewart says:

    SOO excited about the new study of course! My one step for walking in the light is for sure prayer (thanks for always encouraging us to pray) – especially when tempted to control my teenagers!

    • YES! Prayer. And having walked that road (still have one 19 but out of the house), prayer has been the key. And now I am equipping them with prayers and Scriptures from afar via text and e-mail. It never stops, but it becomes more relational than adult/child parenting.

      Love you,

      Wendy

  7. Annette says:

    I have been recently praying for help to be kind in my thoughts, in what I say, and in what I do. The area I have the most trouble seems to be with my thoughts. It is very troubling. I like sleeping in the dark, but enjoy walking in the light with Him. Thank you Wendy for your inspirational blogs, and looking forward to your new book.

    • Annette I pray that as you seek God’s help controlling your thoughts that He will help you take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and replace it with a TRUTH or PROMISE from His Word. I pray He will help you think on those things that are excellent, praiseworthy, admirable, good and true. He will be faithful!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  8. My one step I have to take is to either marry the man I’m in a relationship with, or break it off. He isn’t a believer. I could add many ‘buts’ to that sentence, which is probably how I ended up sliding down that slippery slope in the first place. I just can’t bring myself to do either. So disappointed with myself…

    Thank you for your transparent ministry to us women, Wendy. You’re a leader who is easy and pleasurable to follow.

    • Judi, first, thank you for your kind words. Such a sweet compliment to greet me today.

      Second, I pray God will help you be STRONG and COURAGEOUS to take the steps He is leading you to take, whatever they are, in regards to the man you are dating. If it is to break it off, you can trust He will have something GREATER and BETTER on the other side. He always blesses our obedience.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  9. Nita Haddad says:

    Excited to hear about your new book Wendy! Will it be an InScribe Study?

    • Thank you, Nita. Yes, I believe it will be an Inscribed Study. Have you seen our newest one from Cindy Bultema? It’s a study on Corinthians.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • Nita Haddad says:

        Yes I have, Wendy! And our pastor is doing a sermon series on Corinthians! However I may wait til summer because I am doing First 5 with 1 &2 Samuel and a really good Lenten study and Lent devotional! It does look good as all InScribe studies are!

  10. Marla L says:

    I needed this today. Thank You Wendy!!

  11. Julie Woodman says:

    Thank you for your words. I need to remember the difference between conviction and condemnation. I too often let the words of condemnation pull me down, instead of listening to the words of conviction and turning back into the light of Christ.

    • Amen!! So thankful this message was for you. May God help you take those negative thoughts, and the evil one’s lies, captive and replace them with the truth of His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and remind you of His power to mold and shape and take you to greater heights with Him.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  12. Jody hammons says:

    Such clear and direct words for us today. I am working very hard on my thoughts to go in a good direction. That is a struggle for me. The way you speak about conviction and condemnation brings it even clearer to me. I am also very excited about your next book.

    • Jody, isn’t it sweet how the Lord met you here today. I’m praising Him for hearing the cry of your heart. May you continue to see His hand at work as He works IN you.

      Thank you for the words about my next book. Mean so much. 🙂

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  13. Thank you, Wendy, for these words today. The distinction between conviction and condemnation really stood out to me. Congratulations on your new book! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

    • Thank you, Eileen. And, it’s been a blessing to see how so many of you were equipped and encouraged by the distinction between conviction and condemnation. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  14. WENDY!!! Can we all just start dancing and singing at the top of our lungs? I’m SO EXCITED for our Papa’s message of unending love is going to go forth through your book based on 1John. I’m am praising Him with you and for you! Thank you for walking some treacherous roads… filled with faith. Look at what is happening to Jesus’ glory!
    As for my step to stay in the light… I have been saying NO to most mindless TV this week so I can fill up with more of my Daddy’s love. Sometimes I don’t realize I’m dehydrated… but Living Water is a game changer! And a soul filler. I love you my dear friend! Thank you for always using your light to point me to THE light of the world!

  15. Susan G. says:

    “Interrupt my thoughts” This is what I have been trying to do lately. To derail the negative or angry thoughts and turn my thoughts back to Jesus, His Word and His promises. The quicker I do this, the quicker I can stop the enemy’s inroads to my mind and heart.
    My favorite verse to do this is reciting Phil. 4:8 “Whatever is true…noble…right…pure lovely…admirable…think on these things.”
    Thanks for this today!

  16. Barbara Prince says:

    Hi Wendy,

    Your words always speak to my heart in some what, because you just honestly share truth. I find that I can get very complacent in my walk of faith and I’ve been like that lately. It isn’t anything big. It’s just this feeling that I need recharged. I struggle having to do that all on my own. Yet, I do know that I always have the help of the Holy Spirit, if I would ask more fervently.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us and with me!

    Blessing my dear friend.

  17. Dee Dawson says:

    Wendy, I have enjoyed reading both parts of this. I think right now I need to be recharged, to make sure my energy is being spent in putting God always first. I also need to refocus my time upon on God more, less social media. I am just going to go to God, and empty everything out of me that needs to go and get full of God again. More of Him , less of me. Congrats on your new book! Looking so forward to reading it!!

  18. Good stuff Wendy! I’d have to say the “Interrupt My Thoughts” hit me first…God’s constantly reminding me of 2 Corinthians 10:5. I must take every thought captive and do it immediately. By doing so I prevent the possibility of it snowballing, which happens quickly. Phil. 4:8 gives great wisdom in regards to what type of thoughts to interrupt myself with. Thank you much for the reminder today! Already praying for and about your new study!

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