Pathway To Excellence

Psalm 147:5 “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.”
When we compromise on God’s clearly stated truth, we dilute His standards. God knows best. Rationalize as we might, compromise is simply an attempt to bring God down a notch, to say that we really know what is best, which always leads to unpleasant consequences.
Galatians 6:7-9 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
When we compromise our convictions, we settle for less than biblical excellence. Obedience to revealed truth in the Bible allows us to maximize our God-given potential. Compromise reduces our effectiveness as God’s servants and is the pathway to spiritual mediocrity.
Likewise, compromise is the precursor to entanglement and enslavement to sin. Compromise seems easy at first, but it’s long-term consequences are severe. Sin still seeks to master us, and what starts as a minor concession can become a major problem later.
You always lose when you compromise, for God will never change His Word. The best way to protect yourself from the temptation to compromise your values is through an accountable relationship with someone you respect and trust. As long as Satan can keep us isolated, he as a better chance at getting to our thoughts. Satan doesn’t want us talking to each other or spending time together revealing our weak points and praying for each other. Since it is apparent that compromise has its birth in a thought that may seem insignificant at the time, we cannot take the directive to “renew our minds” lightly. If Satan works in our minds, that is where we must take special effort to protect ourselves from his attacks. Bible study, worship, or any opportunity to fill your mind with the truth of God is something you must regularly engage in. The mind will be either fertile ground for the truth or vulnerable territory for the lies of Satan. Don’t be fooled by the notion that you can open God’s Word once on Sunday and be equipped to fight Satan’s attack the rest of the week. That’s what he wants you to believe. Don’t fall for his lies. Study and equip yourself for the battle of a lifetime.

We are to meditate on the Word of God. Scripture gives us an understanding of the ways, will and purpose of God for our lives.
Confronting Barriers
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Key Verse: “The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:24
For most of His children, God’s hedges do not seemingly entail suffering, but only protection. For some, however, they mean unending pain and weakness, disappointment and sorrow, varying in degree to total imprisonment.

Why this must be so, we may not know; sufficient for us to know that God Himself has hedged us in, and God’s hedges are always hedges of protection and blessing.

And God Himself, living there both with us and in us, longs to make our thorny wall a thing of wonder to men and angels and demons – – a thing that will one day bring forth holy blossom and fruit.

Fragrance and fruit from a thorny hedge – – how can it be? Only by His Spirit’s enabling…Did not the thorniest tree of all bring forth the holy flower of redemption?

If God has entrusted you with a hedge of suffering let Him teach you how to live within it so that His holy purpose and His life-giving fruit may be fully accomplished through us, His children of light, the salt of this earth!
Father, sometimes I feel that I am hedged in by my circumstances. Let me recognize these barriers as Your protection and blessing. Let the thorny hedges in my life bring forth fragrance and fruit for Your glory! Amen.
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