WELCOME TO EXERCISE CORNER
Let’s learn about exercising our God-given FREE WILL.
Free will is defined as the power of choosing one’s own actions. It is the act or process of using or asserting one’s choices. We are all given a ‘free will’ by God. We exercise our free will by the choices we make.
I love reading and studying the Old Testament. It shows us God’s personality, His heart, emotions, and how He handles people. God gave man a ‘free will’ to love and obey Him or to do whatever he wants to do.
EXAMPLE: He appointed Saul to be the first King of Israel. Saul reluctantly accepted. Most of the time he followed his own free will and not God’s commands. He put God in the position of having to discipline him and chose another king.
In the New Testament Paul completely demonstrates a ‘free will’. He spent the first part of his life preparing to be a religious leader. He watched Stephen be killed and he didn’t have a twinge of guilt from his conscience. Then he himself went about murdering Christians.
When he meets Jesus, his will becomes what Jesus wants. He completely deluged himself in Jesus, got a new functioning, healthy conscience and surrendered his will to Jesus. The rest of his life he did what the Holy Spirit commanded him to do. LET’S USE THE 10 COMMANDMENTS to see what shape our free will is in.
l. YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER ‘GODS’.
A ‘god’ is whatever a person puts first in their lives. Our present world has many ‘gods’. Our free will can serve Jesus Christ, or our will can serve other gods such as ourselves, our spouse, our home, money job, sports, medicine. The list is endless.
It’s not wrong to love our spouse or appreciate and be grateful for what God allows us to possess.
It becomes a ‘god’ and takes God’s place when we make it #1 in our lives, spend our time serving it, worshiping it, allowing it to control us, our time and energies. EXERCISE TIME:
Who or what is number one in your life? God, you, your family, job, possessions, money, sports, religion, car, medicine?
Who or what do you worship? Who or what do you live for?
Who or what takes up all your time? We all have a ‘free will’ to choose.
2. NO IDOLS
An idol is an image used as an object of worship. A person or thing that is blindly or excessively adored. The Bible is clear in Deuteronomy 9:12, 16 that we make the ‘IDOLS’. Luke 16:13 teaches us the problem with idols - we cannot serve 2 masters.
EXERCISE TIME: What are your idols? Can you identify it or them? How much of your life do you spend with your idol? How much with God? How important is your idol? How important is God to you?
Why do you have idols? What need or needs does your idol fulfill inside of you? 3. DON’T MISUSE GOD’S NAME.
We can misuse God’s name in other ways besides swearing. However, swearing using Jesus’ name is l00% wrong. We represent Jesus while we live on this earth. We misuse His name by the way we live, places we go, compromising, fence sitting, the language we use like course joking, abusing people, mismanaging God’s money and
getting into financial difficulties, how we raise our children, even how we dress and
present ourselves to the world. Really in every aspect of our lives we represent Jesus’ name.
EXERCISE: How do you misuse God’s name?
Are you a compromiser?
Is it how you handle money? Or don’t handle your money?
Is it your clothes - the way you dress?
Do you go to places you know you shouldn’t go to?
What about your friends? Are they good for God’s reputation?
Does improper language come out of your mouth?
How does your life measure up to representing Christ here on earth?
I want to insert that our free will is closely connected to our CONSCIENCE. The more we do not live using the 10 Commandments as our standard and guide for living, the more we deaden, dull or kill our conscience. We need both the free will and the conscience working together as we saw in Paul’s life.
4. THE SABBATH DAY
Years ago we traveled to a church that was an hour away from our home. We loved it. I’m very frugal, so after church we would grocery shop there because prices were cheaper. Or if we had other shopping to do we would combine church and shopping. PLEASE I mean no condemnation for anyone. THIS IS HOW I FELT.
My conscience would hurt while shopping. We just left a fabulous atmosphere where God ministered to me. Instead of taking the day to reflect and continue absorbing what
I witnessed and learned, I would shop. I was killing the sensitivity of my conscience. We eventually stopped and I have felt better.
I know Sundays are l of 2 days we get to crowd activities into. But we really need to rearrange our lives in America and give God one day as well as one day of rest for our bodies and minds.
When I was little, stores weren’t even open Sundays. Sunday was special. We went to church, had a special family meal and just spent time at home. It wasn’t the hustle, bustle times of now. I wonder what God could to with us and our country if Sunday went back to His day?
How do you spend Sundays? Is it a time to catch up from the rest of the week or a time you rest?
Can you rearrange your time to eliminate some activities on Sunday?
Do you spend time with your family or it is a day of sports on TV or attending sports events?
Would you willingly change your priorities on Sundays?
Wouldn’t it be good for our minds, souls and bodies to have one day to rest, relax and forget all the worries of life? We have a free will to do just that. I believe God’s heart wants that for us.
5. HONOR OUR PARENTS.
If you were raised in a Christian home with 2 loving parents, you were blessed. Honoring your parents will be natural and easy for you. This was not the situation for most of us. However, when we join God’s family, it becomes a command to honor our
parents. We honor them by forgiving them and asking them to forgive our sins against them. We honor our parents by taking them to doctor appointments, cutting their grass, speaking kindly and respectfully to them, doing what we can for them. We honor them by changing our bad attitudes toward them to godly attitudes.
I’m not asking you to do anything except what God required me to do. I’m not even going to tell you it will be easy. However, I will tell you it GETS easier and it changes you.
EXERCISE: Do you need to see what is your heart toward your parents? Are you harboring unforgiveness, hate, anger, bitterness?
Do you need to settle issues inside yourself toward your parents?
Can you follow Jesus’ teachings of turning the other cheek? Could you go the extra
6. DON’T MURDER
Do you have a hot temper and fly off the handle easily at people?
Are you always angry with someone? MATT. 5:22
Do you harbor hate and bitterness in your heart to anyone?
Is your past unresolved? Are there people you haven’t forgiven?
Murder is not only taking away someone’s right to live. It is also killing relationships.
Do you take time for your wife & children? Do you invest yourself into people? It is also killing the conscience which we need to live as God’s children on this earth.
MATT. 12:36 tells us our words kill. How do you speak to people?
What do you say about people? Do you say different things behind their backs that you don’t say to their face? Are you killing them with your words?
Are you an abuser? If you are, you are killing the personality, dignity and self-respect of the one you are abusing. Get Help!
7. DON’T COMMIT ADULTERY
There is more than sexual adultery. There is financial adultery and spiritual adultery. I am a firm believer both married partners need to be involved in the finances of the family.
There are too many traps and ways one person can get into financial trouble and thus commit financial adultery against the family. What is financial adultery? It is keeping financial secrets from your spouse, having accounts only you know about and buying things without consent and approval of spouse.
Spiritual adultery is adultery against God. It is having other ‘gods’ and ‘idols’ which
takes us away from a relationship with Him.
EXERCISE: Are you guilty of sexual adultery?
Stop! Stop being unfaithful and breaking your vows and commitment to your spouse and to God.
Ask God to forgive you. Ask your spouse to forgive you. Ask the other person to forgive you.
Stop. Go through deliverance. Find out why you are doing it. What inside of you needs delivered, healed, changed?
Can you make or keep commitments? Are you a loyal person or a betrayer? Is your sin selfishness only looking out for yourself and your needs?
Are you demonically in bondage from your parent’s indiscretions? I’m speaking of generational iniquities which you will inherit.
Are you involved in pornography? Do you read romance novels? Do you watch the wrong kind of movies or TV? Do you fill your mind with soap operas? Do you have secret debt?
Do you have idols and gods in your life that come before a solid relationship with God? Identify them and get rid of them. Put God first in your life and live for Him. Stop killing your conscience. Get control of your free will and use your life for good and God.
8. DON’T STEAL
EXERCISE: Do you shoplift? Do you cheat people?
Do you buy lottery tickets? This is stealing God’s money to gamble.
Do you buy for yourself before finding out what other family member’s needs are?
Do you selfishly spend on yourself for your pleasures instead of paying off debt or providing family needs?
Do you spend time with your family, or do you rob them of you, your time, attention, wisdom, talents, input?
Do you slander people and steal their good name?
Do you live the way you want, doing what you want and steal God’s good name you represent?
9. DON’T LIE
EXERCISE: Do you tell lies? When did it start and why?
Does lying help you live in unreality about yourself and your life?
Do you tell ‘half-truths’? Twist the facts? Invent stories?
Do you gossip about other people? Do you slander your neighbor? Are you self-righteous and need to look good to others all the time presenting a false image of yourself and your life? This is deception which is lying.
Do you have secrets? Secrets are deception.
Do you deceive people? Do you practice hypocrisy?
Do people even know the real you or do you hide behind falsehoods?
Do you know how to be honest or have you killed your conscience in lies, deception and secrets?
Breaking the 10 Commandments is killing your conscience. It is using your free will to sin against God and people.
10. DON’T COVET.
To COVET is to want what other people have. It is resenting the fact that others have what you don’t have. The sins involved are jealousy, envy, greed, adultery, stealing, hate.
Do you covet someone else’s life? Job? Money? Relationship with God? Car?
Children? House? Husband or wife? In coveting someone else’s money or possessions do you jealously gossip or slander them? I learned the hard way, we can only see inside someone’s window. We really don’t know what their lives are like.
COVETING is a seducing demon sent by Satan to attack us to be discontent with our lives, marriages, God, possessions, job etc. REJECT IT. Denounce it. Command it
into the pit in Jesus’ name. Ask God to forgive you and fill you with contentment, peace and joy from Him.
Ask Him to help you enjoy the life He has given to you and to keep your eyes on Him and off people.
So how did you on our exercise journey? I have a lot of work to do in my life. How about you? What shape is your conscience in? Sin kills the conscience. We must take it back by seeing our weak areas, admitting them, asking forgiveness and changing. I believe once our conscience is healthier, our free will can choose right over wrong behavior. We will make God’s choices in life. We will become like Jesus.
? 2009 Awellroundedwoman,com, a division of James J. Holden, L.L.C.