by John and Ruth Greene
Let’s face it. As human beings, we tend to be full of both excuses and ideas that are held in the realm of popular thought, the fables of man. (Luke 9:59-62, 14:18-23; Romans 2:1; Genesis 3:12) Much of this is learned from your parents and schooling when you are young. Much of it is little more than the propaganda of people that want to maintain control. Excuses have become a societal virus that can easily plague even those that actively seek the Will of YHWH, disciples of the Messiah. Thought patterns, conditioned behaviors and all the excuses that go with them can sink your spiritual ship, your standing before Elohim [YHWH], whether you actually follow Messiah and whether you will listen to the Holy Spirit as you live your life. (Matthew 7:21; Mark 4:21-25; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; “Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived“; “Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“)
“I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.” – Romans 12:1-2, ISR98
The excuses and thought patterns in your life will dominate you, and like demonic spirits, won’t pack up and leave when you don’t fight them. (Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26; 1 Peter 5:8-9) When you don’t replace them with a new scripture-based foundation, these old attitudes are likely to return in full force even harder to be removed than ever. Trading the old man in for the new man in Messiah isn’t really an option, but a requirement. (Ephesians 2:15) Happily, this is between you and your Heavenly Father rather than through the false judgments of man. (Matthew 7:13-14; Ephesians 4:17-23; Colossians 3:9-11; Romans 6:6; “Temptations & Tough Choices“; “Understanding Sin“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“)
Instead, multitudes create excuses that allow them to remain right where they are and to fear change. (Matthew 10:27-31; John 4:18; 2 Timothy 1:7; Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 56:11) The biggest issue behind faith and the religions of mankind are the excuses that avoid real commitment to YHWH while admitting what that really means. (Matthew 6:25-34; Proverbs 3:5-8) Instead of allowing scripture and the Holy Spirit to correct our minds and hearts, most often professed Christians avoid the issue for what is more popular, something that serves as a ready distraction. (Proverbs 16:3) A lot of time and effort has been made, programming you with the idea of how to fit in and to be like somebody else or everyone else. Instead of recognizing that you are in spiritual battle that is personal, religion, politics and tradition will sell you the notion if you think like they do and do exactly as they say, you will be saved or favored in some way. (Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Hebrews 16:3; Psalm 37:5; Ephesians 6:10-20; Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 10:3-4; “Messiah & the Tool of Envy“; “A Mind of Envy and Competition“)
Religion may tell you that you must go door to door in order to tell others about the need for repentance. They may tell you that you must dress a certain way to be pleasing to ‘God.’ They prefer to tell you what you can’t do instead of what you can do or need to do. They put you down instead of encouraging and upbuilding in accurate Bible knowledge. Many will tell you that salvation is only through their unique organization or understanding. Nowhere in scripture does the Bible mention that salvation is a group activity. The ekklesia was designed to be a body of encouragement and a medium for spiritual growth so that the body or gathering of Messiah could grow jointly and separately in spiritual maturity, serving one another in brotherly love as all fight for Messiah in His commission with mutual support. Instead, religion sells you the idea that you need a man or group of men as high priests instead of Yahshua [Jesus] as your ‘High Priest,’ the sole mediator between you and YHWH. If you are in a gathering of professed Christians can’t operate in brotherly love and foster a personal relationship through Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah through the Holy Spirit, you need the discernment to find an ekklesia that does, or form your own small group or family group as was typically done in the first century. Mega churches and denominations are a contrivance of man. The excuses that keep Christians from abiding in Messiah or pretending that they do are also contrivances of man. Remember that you are what you think, which gives you great power to effect personal change in your life. When you abide in Messiah through the Holy Spirit that power is greater. (1 Corinthians 2:14, 12:1-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; Ephesians 4:14; “The Real Meaning of Romans 13“; “The Prayer Shawl of YHWH’s Protection“)
What you think about is what you cultivate, whether you believe you truly want it or not. Complaining is a friend of unholy footholds and strongholds. (Ephesians 4:29; James 5:9; 1 Peter 4:9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 7:1-2) As you complain you create an excuse, usually casting blame on someone else. You see this in society all the time. Society always needs a good scapegoat, a sin that you need to avoid. The reality is that you can’t blame someone else for how you handle stress or for your high blood pressure. Finding fault is a sure way to hang on to demonic strongholds in your life. (Jude 1:16) Society has also taught you that you must justify yourself. As long as you operate in the Fathers’s Will, you are justified as sanctified and righteous. (Galatians 3:6; Romans 4:3) You don’t need to explain yourself. (Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 4:12; “Breaking the Hold of Stress“; “Family Stress Affects Generations“; “The Truth About Anger“)
The Bible, when you are willing to believe it and apply it personally to your life, empowers an important chain of events in your life. This renews your mind and heart over time, helping you to grow in discernment and maturity. When you discover that a thought or pattern of thought you use is false, do you continue to live that out? Only you can decide what to do with your mind, heart and your life. (Romans 14:5; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10; Titus 3:5; “Life Healing and Belief“; “The Abomination That Causes Desolation“)
The idea that strengthening and keeping your trust in YHWH is difficult or unpleasant is a choice that you make. What you believe tends to bring about that reality. The company that you keep is equally important as you stand firm in YHWH’s track of righteousness. One large source of drama in the lives of many disciples of Messiah is the family. (Psalm 5:11; “Disciple: Live Your Belief“; “Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“)
All people tend to rationalize when they feel trapped or prevented from living life as is desired. The reasons and excuses never seem to end where family is concerned, especially with extended family. Concerning yourself about your popularity within your family because you insist on upholding Bible principles is a sure way to lose your purpose in Messiah and eternal life. When you take on marriage and building a family, you are to cling to one another, not to allow others to create division. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for the discontent of anyone else. Being a Christian does not guarantee the freedom from or the blight of family problems. That depends on the people around you. The difference is that you stand up for Messiah instead of giving in. You don’t compromise your trust in Father, Son or the Holy Spirit. You are never alone when Elohim is your companion. While you seek to live a peaceful life, you are not a doormat for others, nor are you a people pleaser. The Bible admonishes disciples not to be in fear. Disciples of Messiah don’t operate in fear of censure. Instead, disciples need to operate in the present rather than the dwelling in the past, regretting failures or fretting about the future.
YHWH is the great I AM rather than the great I WAS or the great I WILL BE. He wants you to dwell in His presence, which is always in the now. (Exodus 3:14) In this way, you are released from the bonds of expectation, which also help to eliminate those nasty excuses and explanations that so many Christians seem bound to. When you are living in the now, you aren’t focused on performance, conditions or worry. You aren’t considering excuses or rationales. You allow the power of the Holy Spirit in your life through Yahshua [Jesus] the Master. This relationship of reality changes your attitude and eliminates anxiety. Meanwhile, YHWH does as He has always done, as He seeks to favor the ones that love Him and obey Him.
As for the future, it will arrive soon enough as the present. Dwelling in the past will tie you down. Each day is sufficient unto itself. Living in the present eliminates the continual need for excuses, explanations and condemnation that the world cultivates. The truth remains that you will always live in the moment as long as you live. What you fill your personal time with is what is most important to you. The fruit that you bear is obvious. (“Messiah Teaches about Fruit in the Lives of People“; “Disciples of Messiah and Spiritual Fruit“)
Sanctified disciples of Messiah are purified, set apart in heart and mind in the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:22) Excuses are symptoms of rooted strongholds in your heart. (Matthew 16:23; Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14, 10:4; Matthew 12:29; Luke 10:17; Mark 16:17; James 4:7; Ephesians 4:27) These strongholds manifest from envy, faultfinding, blame, guilt, shame and anger, all grounded in the root of fear. You were infected with many behaviors when you were young, even though many are common to man. As you grow, you decide how much of conditioned behaviors you will keep. While these conditioned behaviors came from the past, with YHWH’s help, you have the power to overcome them. You are answerable before YHWH, which is highly preferable to any other authority, those that change with the tides of time and place. You are a human being with spiritual gifts and as you adopt the mind of Messiah, you will eliminate childish things from your life. (1 Corinthians 13:11) Your past is not a reason to explain your deficiencies. You are justified by faith, just as Abraham was. (“Redeemed Through Obedience & Faith“)
Remember that the definitions of what is acceptable in this world changes all the time. What Hitler did in Germany was declared as legal and good by some people. The genocide and persecution of certain ethnic groups can become the law in certain times and places. (Esther 1-10) What terrorists have done for the last decade is illegal, but according to whom? Even religion has created bondage in order to secure its power and influence, often in a grand effort to bring about YHWH’s Kingdom on earth through the power of man. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; John 3:3) Laws and statutes come and go – and along with that, what is enforced. How a law is enforced changes and evolves as well. Your Heavenly Father doesn’t change. (James 1:17; Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29) He has given everyone instructions that enable us to be joined with Him instead of being separated from Him as part of the world. Bit by bit, disciples are able to become more and more like the character of their Heavenly Father as they seek His Will. (Romans 1:28; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:17-23; Colossians 2:18; Titus 1:15)