In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.”

‭‭James‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I asked this question to the people in the Bible study group: What are your goals for 2022 and how do you plan on implementing them? None of the goals were unattainable, neither were they impossible. They will all need the Holy Spirit to guide them, but as with any goal it requires consistency. But the one statement that was repeated throughout by all was: I know what I need to do. The knowing was what changed the problem into evil or sin. It spoke of deliberate, conscious habits that led to sinning against the Truth they all know.

The verse above is very clear that if we know what to do but don’t it’s evil. The Holy Spirit gave me this definition for integrity: Integrity is the foundation of consistency. It says your word can be trusted. If you can’t keep your word to yourself, you won’t keep your word to God and others. As believers in Jesus Christ nothing should have a stronghold over our lives. Strongholds are habits that we refuse to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. You may be someone who loves the Lord, but if you continually do what you know is evil, the Holy Spirit will not help you violate the laws of God.

A good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. We cannot bear witness to the Truth while living a lie. The enemy cannot entrap us if the Lord is ordering our steps. I’ve shared this saying before but it’s worth repeating. If Jesus is the Way, you can’t get lost, if He’s the Truth, you can’t be deceived and if He’s the life the devil can’t kill you. James says our temptation to break God’s rules is borne out of our own lust. Lusting for things we can’t afford, instead of desiring them through trusting His promises to give us the desires of our hearts His way in His time. In all our doing we need to leave room for the Lord to perform His will.

Since we know what to do, then why aren’t we doing it? Pride. God will never stop you from “doing you.” He’ll warn you but He won’t stop you. The father of the prodigal knew his son was making a bad decision, but he was hell bent on having his way, so he had his father’s permissive will. The father waited for him to come to his senses and restored him. But the son still lost his inheritance through wasteful living. The same is true for us when the Holy Spirit gives us a warning, sometimes repeatedly, and we ignore Him. He has no choice but to step aside. We don’t get to decide the consequences, so He will let us suffer for a while, not to harm us but to grow us. And when we have learned from our mistakes and humble ourselves and ask for His help, He will not remove the consequences but He will give us the strategy and grace we need to get back to a healthy place.

He says if we’re willing and obedient, only then will we eat the good. Are you willing to stop doing what you know is destroying your life? Are you obedient enough to be consistent? Are you willing to push through the challenges to your decision? Are you ready to go to the other side? Then help is on the way. He’s walking on the water to meet you in the storm. He’s determined -if you are to -see you get your breakthrough. But you cannot go back to what got you in the situation you’re in. Your integrity is on the line, not to mention your testimony as a child of God. Jesus does not appreciate His identity in us being tarnished by our desires for other things. The accuser of the brethren waits to accuse you. He helped encourage you in the mess you’re in, but your True Helper lives on the inside of you. Hear Him!

Read those words from James again. Repent and believe Romans 8:1 and keep moving forward. He keeps those who want to be kept and helps those who call on Him in sincerity. Remember these timeless words of the apostle Paul.

“My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives His life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that He gave Himself for me, dispensing His life into mine!”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭TPT‬‬

You’re not your own and you’re not alone. Remember who you are whenever you’re tempted to go back to what was normal. We’re not normal, that’s a setting on your dryer. We’re spiritual and peculiar. We live by the faith of Christ in us, the hope of glory. Live in His love. Overcome by His grace. He’s got big plans for you on the other side.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

TAKE THE ESCAPE! Your way was what got you in the mess you’re in.

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

January 10, 2022

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