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(Editor's Note: Please join Bishop Butler for the third, and final, segment of this series on how to reach God's best for your life. If you have not read Parts 1 and 2, please use "Author Archives" to reference these. First Corinthians 10:5-13 is the basic text for this series.)

4. Tempting Christ
Let's move on to the 4th issue. I want to talk about, first about the things that will stop your potential, and then I'm going to teach you how to get to your potential. The fourth sin was tempting Christ. It says in verse 9, neither let us tempt Christ, that some of them also tempted and were destroyed of serpents.

Tempting Christ is demanding that God do what is contrary to his will or inconsistent with his character. In other words, you're asking God to bless your plan rather than you following His. There's the plan of God and the way of God for you. It's not that you come to God and say, this is what I want to do, this is how I want to do it, this is when I want to do it. Now, would you please do it? That's tempting Christ.

Your job is to find out what is God's will for your life, God's plan for your life, and then obey God. God's will concerning finance is clear, as opposed to your way. God's will concerning marriage is clear, God's way is clear concerning children. Instead of you doing it your way, do it God's way. Stop asking God to bless your mess.

If you want to get to a place of blessing in business, then you need to have business principles according with God's way. I had a man in my church who owned a business. There are lots of single women in the church, and what he was doing was offering his services to do work on their houses. Well, what happened? He would take the money, but wouldn't really do the work. He'd do half the job, know he's got a female on the hook, and take advantage of her. He was running through the church like that. Eventually, of course, that news came to me.

Now, I'll tell you, the judgment of God will come in different ways. And the Lord spoke to me and told me what to do. So, one Sunday morning, the Lord told me to tell the man to stand up. The church was packed, wall-to-wall, including the balcony. I had the man stand up, and I introduced him. I called his name, told them who he was, told them about his business. Then I said, don't you do business with this man any further, because this man is a thief.

God takes it seriously when you steal from His people. He takes it very seriously. People said, man, that was mean. No, it wasn't mean. It was love. First of all, he had to stop doing what he was doing, lest he fall into the abyss and go to hell for what he was doing. Secondarily, my responsibility is to all the sheep and not just the one.

5. Murmuring
The last sin that stopped them from operating in Canaan's land was murmuring. Verse 10 says, neither murmur ye as some of them also murmur, and then watch this, and were destroyed of the Destroyer.

Now, you wouldn't think that murmuring would cause you to be in a position where the Destroyer could get to you, but absolutely it can. What is murmuring? In its simplest form, murmuring is negative confession. The Bible tells us to have a positive confession. Hebrews 3:1 says that Jesus is the high priest of our confession.

Murmuring is complaining, criticizing, fault finding, and rumoring. It's a negative confession. James 3:5 tells us this: "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"

In other words, the tongue is kindling wood. In order to build a fire, you need some kindling wood. Now, kindling wood is not big, but it's a lot of small pieces that are real light and flammable, they create a lot of heat. What it says here is that the tongue is kindling wood. It may be a little thing, but it will roast the logs of your life. It will burn up everything major in your life.

God wants you to enter into Canaan land, and to that place of rest and blessing and success, but complaining and criticizing and fault finding, murmuring, will cause you not to be able to get there. You know what happens? When you talk against your boss at your job, or talk negatively about the job, what happens is that somebody else is going to get promoted. What you have done is run down one of the very things God is using to bless you. As you talk negatively about that job, it will affect your performance with the job. It will cause you to not give 110 percent like you should. It will stagnate your creativity. It will cause you to have a negative attitude when you come to work. It will cause you to start having absenteeism. It will cause you to fight with other employees. It will make you susceptible to other people telling you why they don't like you. And you'll come to a place where you believe it. Your word, your negative confession about that job will cause you to slide where you can wind up getting fired.

Negative confession will get you fired. Negative confession will also get you divorced.

When you start talking negatively about your wife, it will affect your view of her, and it will affect her view of herself. Never tell a woman that you might leave. You don't say that to a woman. What a woman needs from you is a positive confession. She needs to hear that you're going to be here. She needs to hear that she's wonderful and blessed.

Now, if you don't believe all that, you shouldn't be with her to begin with. It's no wonder when you go to bed, she's always sleeping when you get there. She's never going to be up for you, if you're already considering going. So why should she give you a little something anymore?

How you wind up with little or nothing is with murmuring. With your words. You have to build up your woman. I mean, you've got to tell that woman, "This food tastes good." You've got to tell her, "You look good today." You've got to tell her, "Do you know, you are special?" You've got to tell her, "I was at work, and all them Chevys and Fords were going by, but I came home to the Rolls Royce."

Instead of talking about, well, my wife she ain't this, she's got too much weight on her, she's this, she's that, she ain't this, she ain't that, because you think somebody else has got something else. See, that grass always looks greener on the other side, until you get on the other side and step in the cow dung. Any woman that you would ever get has areas that you would have problems with. All of them have their ways. Like you. We all have our ways. Negative confession will cause you to lose your wife, or stop her production. If you are not happy with your woman, you probably caused it with your words. Your words or your actions.

God created a woman as a responder. Women will respond to whatever stimulus you give them. If you keep giving them encouragement, love, backing them up, being a blessing unto them, that woman can't help but falling in love with you. She can't help it. God made her that way. She can't help blooming for you. In time, she's going to bloom. Even the toughest one, in time, is going to bloom. Now some take a little longer than others, but in time she will bloom.

You can lose your children over this issue of murmuring. You need to encourage your kids. Don't tell your sons, "Boy, you ain't going to never be nothing." "Boy, why you so stupid?" You can't talk to a kid like that. "My kids, they just ain't this, they're not that." You're going to have what you say.

When you speak what God's word says about your kids, even when they are not that right now - you still talk about your kids as saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost - they will do God's perfect will for their life. They will wind up in God's perfect will, God's perfect call for their life, in the name of Jesus. Why? Because of words.

Remember, murmuring kept them out of their promised land. God wants you to enter Canaan land. Canaan land is that place of rest. That place of blessing. It's the place of success. It's the place of ability. It's the place of authority. But sin must be repented of, it must be confessed, and it must be forsaken.

Unconfessed sin is unforgiven sin. You must, first of all, own up to the fact that you have sin in your life. You need to own up to the fact that you missed it. You have to confess it. Have to repent of it.

I'm not talking about human sorrow. You know what human sorrow is? Human sorrow is when we are only sorry for getting caught. Godly sorrow is when we are sorry for the sin and have a desire to get rid of it. There's a lot of human sorrow.

If you don't repent, you'll have anger. "It's somebody else's fault. They're doing me wrong." No, you're wrong. And a man owns up to his own shortcomings. Not blame somebody else. If you messed up, you messed up. If you're wrong, you're wrong. Admit it. "I'm wrong, I missed it." Repent of it and turn away from it.

"But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat" (1 Cor. 5:11).

I want you to notice this list. He said not to keep company with him. Now, it's not talking about an individual who may have fallen into a situation. This is talking about a habitual person. A person who habitually continues to fall in and out of sin. Never seems to learn. Time and time again.

This is hard on you, especially if it's family. It's hard. Don't even have company with them, is what the Bible says. What's God talking about here? What God is saying is that this individual, as long as there is no consequence for their sin, will keep on sinning. What incentive do they have to change? None. They only have incentive to change when there are consequences for their actions. Even so much so, the scripture says, don't even eat with the guy. Isolate him.

I want you to notice, however, he didn't just say against somebody involved with sex sin. He said somebody that's covetous, always wanting something somebody else has. He said if it's an idolater. If he's a railer, somebody always with a negative confession. Don't eat with the guy. Somebody who's a drunkard, any kind of drug. Or somebody who's an extortionist. Don't have company with them. Amen. He must be isolated, the scripture said, so he can see the errors of his way, so that he may confess his sins and be truly sorrowful of his sin, repent of his sin, and turn and go another direction.

Thank God for the word of faith. But words of faith will not work with unconfessed sin. You have to confess it. You have to face up to it. God has an anointing and a call upon your life. God has Canaan land for you. God has blessings for you, but these five things will stop you dead in your tracks.

Now you can blame God all you want, and you can blame the church, and you can blame other people, or you can blame your wife. But there's only one reason why you have the trouble you have. You're looking at it. And the real man will own up to his responsibility. If my marriage is not working, guess who is the head of the home? Harry Truman said, the buck stops here. Well, you're the head of your home. Guess what? The buck stops at your door, and you can't blame the woman, you can't blame the kids, and you can't blame the job.

But don't just blame yourself. Get up and do something about it. And get over into Canaan's land. Because whatever situation you are in, because of the grace and mercy and power of God, not only can you be forgiven of it, but you can be placed in a position where the anointing of God will wipe out all of the residue of the past, and cause you to be able to operate as though it's never happened. As a man of God, you have the anointing, and God will work supernaturally in your household.

Keith Butler Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Word of Faith International Christian Center
Bishop Keith A. Butler is the senior pastor of Word of Faith International Christian Center. Keith Butler is the founder and president of Keith Butler Ministries (KBM), an international organization established to take the life-changing message of the Gospel to "the uttermost parts of the earth." Through Live Your Faith Seminars and the establishment of our PISTIS School of Ministry in various locations, Keith Butler provides teaching of the Word of God on a variety of subjects such as how to live the life of faith, how to fulfill the call of God for your life, how to receive your healing, the importance of walking in love and many more topics. PISTIS is specifically designed to train ministers so that they are equipped to go out into their world and teach and preach Jesus effectively.

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