We’ve all done it. We know it the moment it happens. And we cringe inside. Our internals knot up. Sometimes…we feel physically ill. We allow words to pass ((or fly)) through our lips without first consulting our heart and mind…or perhaps we choose to ignore the messages of those two, vital organs altogether…
“Everything is going to be okay.” ((but we don’t believe it will))
“I don’t know why I said/did that.” ((but we really do))
“I’m sorry.” ((but we’re really not.))
“I forgive you.” ((but we really don’t))
“I will pray for you.” ((but we know we won’t))
…And then there are those times we believe something so strongly that our mind is shouting, our heart is pounding, and their shared message is at the door of our lips, but we allow fear or pride to kill our voice. Resounding, painful silence.
There is a situation that begs for truth. ((silence))
There is a relationship that yearns for reconciliation. ((silence))
There is a legitimate offense that needs our apology. ((silence))
There is a need to forgive another…or even again. ((silence))
There is someone who needs our prayers…now. ((silence))
These are the things that resonated in my spirit when I was meditating on what is now my favorite salvation call in all of the Scriptures…Romans 10:8-13 (NKJV):
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
I asked God, as one who had already been born again and adopted into His kingdom, I asked Him, “God, why believe and confess? Why is it not enough For someone to believe in their heart? Why is it not enough for someone to confess with their mouth? Why both?” Now, I wasn’t asking God out of doubt or challenge of His sovereignty. I really wanted to know.
El Yeshuati: Do you remember times when you have spoken things you didn’t believe and how that felt?
El Yeshuati: And do you remember times when you believed something so strongly and wanted to say it, but you didn’t?
And there was His breath of understanding. The fingerprint of His Word. He knows how distracted (on a good day) our hearts and mouths can be, and He knows how deceitful (on a really, really not good day) our hearts and mouths can be. When we enter that moment of surrendering our lives to His Lordship, He wants our heart and mouth to meet and agree on who Jesus is and what Jesus did for us.
When we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, we are acknowledging, agreeing, and making verbal covenant that Jesus is who He is revealed to be in the Gospel. When we believe in our heart that Jesus was crucified for our sins and resurrected from the dead, we are demonstrating faith in God and entrusting our very self – our spiritual and physical life – to His deliverance, protection, healing, preservation.
This is available to anyone. ANYONE. It says so in the above verses. Twice. It’s even available to that co-worker who acts so ugly. It’s available to your momma’s-friend’s-son who stole something very precious from you. Anyone has access to salvation while on this planet…even and especially those who abuse, mistreat…deal harshly or speak lies…murder and thieve…and also those who live good, moral lives without regard for God.
Whoever..WHOEVER…all, any, every, the whole and as many as choose Him…
Will. Be. Saved.
Saved from what? I’m so glad you asked. Saved from spending eternity separated from God…saved from spending an eternity in ultimate, indescribable darkness with gnashing of teeth and torment and punishment and unrectifiable awareness that you denied Christ because you did not believe and confess when you had the opportunities and ability.
I was rescued from that end in October 1995 on a Sunday night in a pile of brokenness on my daughter’s bedroom floor. There was no “repeat-after-me prayer”…no Romans Road…no formulaic prayer. It was just a very transparent me bringing the overflow of my fractured and surrendered heart through the honest confession of my mouth to a holy, forgiving, loving, compassionate, merciful, patient, kind Father who received me with fullness and rejoicing.
You can have this assurance, too. All you need is a heart and a mouth. Even if you can’t articulate audible words, God hears your thoughts and reads your heart. Just confess and believe.
Learning and Growing with You ~ Tammy
I’ve been there…done that…got the scars and have enough t-shirts to open a re-sale shop. I have allowed burn-out, offenses, preferences, apathy, and valid soul wounds to make me want to step away and “take a break” from the fellowship of Believers…or at least slip in after worship starts, sit on the back row and not be an active participant for awhile. At least that’s what I “tell” God I want to do…usually about once a year. It typically goes something like this:
Me: God, I am so hurt by/frustrated with/tired of blah, blah, blah...
God: (Silence as I feel His gaze…)
Me: But it’s just not fair, God! Why do so many who profess you get to sit back and float through their saved journey on a life preserver while they watch a much smaller number of Christ-followers towing them along behind by a rope as they simultaneously swim against the current and fight off sharks?!?
God: (Still silence as I feel His gaze more intensely…now with a raised eyebrow.)
Me: (squirming now as I always, almost immediately feel the turning of my heart back to His Kingdom) I know…I knoooowww…I have tasted and seen that…You. Are. Good. You are goooooooood, God, and I would be miserable in that back row [and distracted].
God then usually speaks to me about keeping my focus on Him and not on those around me. And He boldly, tenderly, firmly, lovingly leads me to where I need to be. He sustains and strengthens my spirit, encourages and instructs my mind, counsels and heals my heart, and establishes my position in His perfect will.
Taking a Texas-sip-swig of ((COFFEE)) and opening my Bible to Hebrews 10…join me?
As Believers, we are not excluded from experiencing hurts…even within the church body…and especially if we are engaged in Kingdom ministry and spiritual warfare. While involvement in God’s Kingdom plan is fruitful and fulfilling, there are moments…days…seasons of tribulation. In ministry, we put up/contend/serve with people. Heck…if we are living life, we put up/contend/serve with people. We deal with people who are broken, wounded, and at all different levels of maturity in their faith…if they have a living faith at all! This will often provide times of frustration and makes us more “vulnerable” to hurt because when we minister, we are in relationship with others…and sometimes others’ broken places bump into / collide with our own. And even more (not) fun is the truth that as we actively and intentionally engage in spiritual warfare, we will become a favored target of the enemy.
Hebrews 10:23-25…”Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some…”
At times, it may be tempting, inviting to “give up” and raise the flag of spiritual service surrender. Often, too often, Believers get weary, hurt, or angry, and just quit church – church as they understand it – altogether. What they may not realize is that they have not quit going to a destination at an address on a scheduled day at a scheduled time. Rather, according to the translation of this text, they have given up and “abandoned, deserted, utterly forsaken” the population…the “assembly of Christians.”
This is not saying every Believer is bound to attend every assembly every time the church building’s doors are unlocked. This verse is not addressing the LOA (Leave Of Absence) that is sometimes merited or necessary to attend to family needs, physical healing, personal spiritual retreat and restoration, but this verse is about going AWOL (Absence Without Leave) out of disobedience or rebellion.
Hebrews 10:25b, 32…”…but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching…But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:”
Gathering together with a population of Believers to worship God and study His Word – no matter whether the address is a building OR a parking lot OR a home OR in a shelter OR under a bridge – serves a most vital purpose in the health and growth of a Christian. It provides us an opportunity to encourage each other, equip and be equipped, practice accountability, pray [not prey, that’s for another post], fellowship, and meet the needs of others. Verse 25 not only exhorts us to encourage each other, but to a greater degree, more willingly, and more consistently as we recognize these latter days.
Instead of remembering where God has brought us from, what he has brought us through, and where He is taking us to, we too easily get distracted and discouraged by the day’s (or season’s) training ground called testing and tribulation. Hey, I have not ever enjoyed or been successful at eating healthy alone, exercising alone, doing life alone. Same precept, my friends. We assemble with other Believers to encourage each other in the Word, in deeds, and in love (v. 24). We. Were. Never. Meant. To. Do. Life. Alone.
Finally, Hebrews 10:35-36…”Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:”
If we do not throw away free and fearless confidence…cheerful courage…boldness…assurance…He promises that our faithfulness will be rewarded. As we respond to and walk out God’s revealed will for our individual and corporate lives…we patiently endure and remain constant – even and especially in moments of hurt and seasons of trial – then we will receive the promise (❤️) of eternal rewards in His presence. 🙌🏻
Should you find yourself today in a position of isolation…not attending the assembly because of past hurts or offenses…set apart from other Christians instead of set apart for the Lord…don’t waste another breath of eternity (😳) and repossess the territory of your heart and mind and will that you have surrendered to the enemy. Evict satan and take it back! Reclaim and resume your intended and most valued purpose for the Kingdom!
Learning and growing with you…
Oh yeah…our current series…click ((here)) to listen to the first three messages!