by Pastor Tim Burt
I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 24 years old. Prior to that, I did not know the Lord as I do today. I knew Him as a story but not personally or intimately. He was up there and I was down here. Consequently, I was not living my life for the Lord and did mostly whatever I felt like doing. Life was about getting stuff, having fun, and trying to be reasonably nice in the process.
I was also like many of the people I hung out with. We thought it was normal to connive or lie or cheat or even occasionally steal to get what we wanted. We thought everyone did that. Actually surveys have shown that most people do. It has been a problem for God that has hurt mankind from the beginning. Genesis 6:5 says,“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
There were may ways to steal that people considered normal, such as calling in sick for work and getting paid for it when I wasn’t sick. So many people do that today that companies now call them personal days so they don’t have to listen to people’s lies. I am too embarrassed to tell of the little ways I might have connived, cheated, lied, or even stole back then. I just wrote it off in my mind as something everyone did and as normal.
Jesus changed my life and perspective helping me to see that He didn’t look at it that way. His Holy Spirit began to expose my deception by illuminating His truths to me. Eph. 4:28 says, “If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work and then give generously to others in need.” When I first saw these instructions from God, the words were like a punch in the stomach they hit me with such great force. I could also see my sins in Proverbs 6:18 “a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil.” It wasn’t that I was a big schemer or majorly evil, but I did see levels of wrong imaginations and scheming to get what I wanted. His Word purged that from my life.
All of these sins were a part of a bigger problem – fear! I would have never recognized that without the illumination of Gods Word. I knew nothing about the promises of God. I figured you had to go out and get what you wanted no matter what it took and regardless of whom you hurt. I was fearful I’d never have enough and it led me to imagine and carry out evil and scheming thoughts. Over time I discovered that everything good comes from God and that He is merciful and so very willing to help us with what we can’t do in ourselves, if we will pray and have faith in His promises to do so. We are supposed to be good and do good but we will always fall short. Jesus gave us His love when we did not deserve it. He forgave our sins when we did not deserve it. Psalm 103:10 says, “He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does He deal with us as we deserve.”
Instead He gives us His precious promises when we trust Him by faith rather than leaning on our own ability. 2 Peter 1:4 says, “…He has given us all of His rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires…” Do we deserve His supernatural help? Do we deserve His supernatural protection? Do we deserve His all His promises of blessing? No but He gives them to those who will trust and have faith in His desire to help. That and only that is what keeps people from lying, cheating, scheming, and conniving to meet their needs when times seem impossibly tough.
He wants us to learn honesty and integrity. He will teach us to be diligent and faithful. He will help us build a strong work ethic. His love toward us will help us impart kindness and the fruit of the spirit.
God wants you to have great faith in Him, not a life of fear and anxiety that tempts you to violate integrity. He wants His blessing upon your life. Have faith in Him and see His helping hand manifest over all your life as you patiently trust Him. This is the source of true integrity.
Acts 3:25 “You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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