Tuesday, July 28

IOW - Character

I have the privilege of hosting IOW today and I have selected the following quote.

We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark- the imaginations of our minds, the thoughts of our heart, the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God's sight. Character is what you are in the dark.
~Oswald Chambers ~ My Utmost for His Highest

When God examines our heart today what will He find? The content of our heart reflects our character.

There are so many distractions in the world today constantly competing for our attention. If Satan can capture our heart he is also capable of capturing our mind. And the old saying is that if we give the enemy one small corner of our heart he will walk all over the other part getting to that one corner!

Nothing in this world is worth the sacrifice of our soul. The satisfaction from sin in this world brings temporal pleasure to the flesh. Sin is satisfying for a season. Sin leaves feelings of guilt, shame and destruction.

The Bible tells us that God must be first in our lives in all things. He doesn't want a portion of our heart. He wants all or nothing. He loves us and cares for us more than anyone will ever love or care for us in this life.

Living for Christ requires obedience and submission. It requires a willingness to give up self and follow Christ. It is no longer about me and what I want for my life. Following Christ means putting Him first and seeking His face daily for His complete will in my life. It also requires great sacrifice and unselfishness.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

To give God first place in our life means to turn to Him first for help, to fill our thoughts with His desires, to take His character for our pattern, and to serve and obey Him in everything. What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly bump God out of first place if we don't actively choose to give Him first priority in every area of our lives.

Filling our minds and our heart with God's Word, pursuing Godliness and Holiness in our lives, and picking up our cross daily and following Him will perfect our character. These are the things that we must focus on to replicate God's character. These are the things that will mold us to be solid Christians built on a solid foundation. That type of character will definitely withstand the storms of this life.

God is calling His children to a place of spiritual perfection. We cannot achieve this assignment unless we apply and practice the instructions God has given us from His Word. A Christian's life must reflect Godliness and holiness in all areas. We cannot pick and choose which scriptures would be most suitable for our lifestyles.

There are churches all over the world preaching and teaching false doctrine from their pulpits. And worse than that, Christians who are not able to discern truth from error because they don't know the Bible. Their relationship with Christ is very weak and as a result, they have placed themselves in the hands of the enemy, being led down a path of deception and destruction. The apostle Paul warned that false teachers would attempt to infiltrate the Christian church from both the outside and from within. (Acts 20:29-30) We must allow the Lord to minister to us and train us according to His Holy Word and by the power of His Spirit. We must be cautious that we do not allow deception to lead us into error.

A huge problem existing in the church today is that people simply do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Many have settled for counterfeit religion filled with false teachings, much less than what God has to offer. A lack of spending quality time at the feet of Jesus in prayer has opened unending doors of deception. Many have negated the power of God because they do not know Him in the way that they should know Him. Our society has embraced everything or anything that comes from a pulpit. We have not yet learned to embrace the Cross and the Christ who died upon it.

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7: 21-23)

Partial scriptures taken out of context makes "greasy grace" preaching very popular. People love that warm and fuzzy feeling and often feel irritated and uncomfortable when a preacher challenges them with the truth from God's Word. There is danger in preaching only selected scriptures and partial truths. The Bible clearly states that sin does separate us from God and no sin will enter heaven. If only part of the Bible is preached and people do not have the opportunity to hear the truth, they are being deceived into believing that they are doing well spiritually and on their way to heaven, even if they are living in sin.

Churches are convincing people that they are fine just like they are because Jesus loves them. These folks are in church but not in Christ. They participate in all kinds of activities in the church but have no relationship with Christ. They are experiencing a Mr. Roger's neighborhood and are being told there is no need for salvation. Authentic Christianity results in life transformation but the truth must be preached because people's lives are hanging in the balance.

Spiritual perfection comes from seeking God, reading and meditating on His Word, and spending quality time with the Lord in prayer. These must be a part of our lives on a daily basis if we are serious about pursuing and demonstrating the character of a whole Christian. Can the people who you encounter each day see that you have a genuine relationship with Christ? Are you producing good fruit or is there an unholy mixture of bad fruit in your life? Are you seeking after the latest charismatic teaching with partial truths or are you really seeking after Him?

If we truly want to see the power of God manifested in our lives, we must focus our eyes on the things of God. We must be willing to allow ourselves to be saturated with His Word so that we will have the ability to discern between truth and counterfeit. Spiritual perfection as a whole Christian can only be obtained by applying the entire Bible to our lives

Who or what is influencing your character today?

Mr. Linky is not working for me today so please leave your comments.

Blessings friends!


  1. Is spiritual perfection really possible this side of heaven? I wholeheartedly agree must we must immerse ourselves in the Word and seek Him diligently, but I don't think we'll reach spiritual "perfection" until He brings us home. I do understand your point, though, about the many ways Satan infiltrates our churches, watering down the message.

    Can I say this is a tough quote, Deborah? Wow. I kept wondering, "What am I in the dark?" I gave it a shot. You can find my post at:

    The Next Step: Darkness and Light

  2. That was really good. We need God first and let our character follow and stop letting outside sources influence it. Thanks for hosting today, hopefully we can get Mr. Linky back on track soon.

  3. Thank you for hosting TIOW. I enjoyed your moving post and speaking of greesey grace.

    Mine is up at http://budurl.com/inthedark

    I hope mine doesn't come off and greesy grace. I don't agree with the warm and fussy that allow sin amuck.


  4. Graet quote! My post is finally up at http://hisfirefly.blogspot.com/2009/07/in-other-words-who-am-i-in-dark.html

  5. I really liked writing about this quote Deborah. You made some very valid points today. There are many false teachers telling people what they want to hear. We as believers need to study the Scriptures for ourselves. There are too many new believers who need discipleship and someone to walk alongside them. They need to build on the foundation so they can grow. I've met so many people who claim to be Christian and yet pick and choose from the Bible what they like. Amazing!

    But I guess we should not be surprised. That's what the Bible says will happen.

    Thanks for a great quote.

  6. Deborah, thank you for hosting this week. What a challenge to consider what/who we are in the dark. And a great post reminding us to be mindful of whose teaching we are following. Great food for thought that I'll be chewing on for a while.

    My post is at: http://mipasmonologue.blogspot.com/2009/07/in-other-words-coming-out-of-darkness.html


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