Digging Deeper into Lesson 2
Truth or Consequences: Head to Heart Guide
We are sifted by consequences. Trials and troubles can raise the questions: “Am I being punished? Is God upset with me?” Happily the answer is always “No”! We will experience consequences we have to work through at times, but Jesus took the punishment fully and finally.
However, we do have an enemy “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), who delights in crushing us with consequences for the very sins he tempted us to do and then makes us feel we are being punished by God instead! The Lord uses this principle of truth or consequences to sift out of us those things that never belonged in us in the first place.
Review these basic principles of sifting (going through trials) from chapters 1-3 of the book of Job and from Peter’s sifted time (Luke 22:31).
1) God in no way afflicts us.
2) Satan does the afflicting.
3) Satan has legal rights to enforce the curse of the law on sin.
4) Our sins give him open doors.
5) God covers (protects) us with lots of grace.
6) God sets limits to each sifting.
7) "Siftings" are what we call trials.
8) Trials always flush our impurities up to the surface.
9) The best way out of any trial is total trust in God.
10) God makes it work for our good—He is out to restore more than before.
A word to the wise: Surrendering fully to the Lord takes the fire out of any trial!
Lord, make me willing to be made willing to surrender everything to You.
The consequences of present sins are not the only consequences we have to deal with: Others may come to us from the distant past. Naturally we need to focus on our new inheritance in Christ, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have another inheritance to make peace with.
Every newborn Christian has an inheritance from the old man—the person they were before Christ entered in. Depending upon how recklessly, or how extravagantly, we “put on” the old man, there may be a considerable “inheritance” we will have to deal with coming from the ways of the world, the flesh and the enemy that we once embraced.
This is the basis of our “consequence inventory”—things outward and inward that will have to be reckoned with in a faithful way. Fortunately, the Lord is with us to help us work through all of the consequences due to us that grace alone does not remove and which honesty and responsibility call us to face.Jesus will help us grow spiritually as we work through the consequences that make up our inheritance from our pre-Christian self! He will help us:
1) Live with (in recognition and responsibility leading to acceptance)
2) Live above (by casting the burden upon Him in our struggles with it)
3) Live beyond (in finally having them laid to rest—never to appear again)
Now, make a simple list of some of the major consequences that you will need to work through which stem from your pre-Christian or un-Christian ways of the past. Think in terms of relationships lost or broken, finances, career, health, persistent wrong attitudes about yourself or others.
The good news is that our loving Father loves to bring restoration! The only bad news is that He rarely waves a “magic wand” over our lives: He prefers that we become transformed by walking through what it takes to mend our lives. So pray for the grace to follow Jesus on that healing journey!
Return to Truth or Consequences: Head to Heart Guide for more ways to go deeper into these truths or stay "on course" by going to the...