Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Receiving His Love

     God said, "I love you."
     The Holy Spirit said, "If you believe this is true, what is your response?"
     My spirit said, "To treasure myself."

I stand in awe.

Monday, July 20, 2015

How Our Personalities Can Affect What We Believe

     What is our personality? It's comprised of the way we think, act, our perspective, and behave. Does God use our personality, or are we to lay it down so that He can live through us? I believe the latter is true.
     If we hold onto our personality, then those traits we've been used to operating in, will take dominance over Christ in us.
     I went to a Woman's Retreat once and we took a personality test. Although the speaker acknowledged our personalities, she also said, that when we become more like Christ, we begin to exhibit all of the personalities in a balanced way! That is food for thought, but I am thinking that a personality is made up of natural characteristics, and becoming more like Christ begins to shape us into a spiritual being with spiritual characteristics; the fruit of the Spirit.
   Why does all of this matter? I believe that if we don't give our personalities to the Lord in surrender to His desire to take dominion in us, we begin to serve it, instead of Him. When that happens, we read His Word and interpret Him through our personality, instead of by His Spirit. Our view of Him gets askew, and we become blind to the truth. We pick and choose Scriptures that support the way we think and feel in order to not make us uncomfortable, or to satisfy our personalities. When we become closed to God's full revelation of Himself through our spirits, satan is right there to confirm our beliefs, by putting before us Scriptures that will justify our pre-dispositions while we slip slowly into the darkness that we fully believe is light.
     If we think we can keep our own soul from falling (be protected from the delusions of the enemy) by the strength in the traits of our personality, we are sorely mistaken, and walking in dangerous territory.  That is why it is so important to surrender everything to Him, even our personalities. When we do that, then He promises to "keep your soul." Psalm 121:7. When we consider ourselves dead in this way, He will raise our personalities up again, by living through them.

Monday, July 13, 2015

For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.-Rom. 8:2

     There has been a lot circulating, at least here in American Christian circles, attempting to teach the difference between law and grace. Much of this has been propagated by a man in Singapore through television and through his books, and has been accepted as truth by so many here and around the world, I suspect.
     I've seen evidence in the small circle of the people in my own world, become evangelists to this teaching, even using the exact same terminology that the man who they heard it from does. Their enthusiasm, because they say they have received so much freedom from condemnation through this man's teaching, may be akin, in some cases, to when they first received Christ and were born again. I don't doubt the sincerity of the freedom they have received, nor their desire to "help others see the light" as they believe they have, so that others too, can be "set free."
     The problem I have is for those who follow blindly one man's interpretation of the Scriptures of what it means that we are no longer under the law, but are now (since Jesus Christ) under grace. I believe this man's explanation is based on a false foundation, and is infecting the hearts and minds of believers everywhere. It is satan's ploy to use Scripture and the subject of Grace deviously, through how this man interprets it, to lead many astray. He tried it with Jesus on the temple mount, and he'll try it with us too, as he has through this teaching. The difference is that Jesus used countering Scripture to defeat the enemy, and not fall prey to his devices of using isolated Scriptures put together to prove something is truth. If satan had convinced Jesus to jump off the mountain because "He will give His angels charge over you," then Jesus sadly would have either died or been seriously injured.
     So many have just accepted hands down this interpretation from a man to be the gospel truth, and not to even consider "the whole counsel of God" or ask the Spirit for discernment. It sounds and looks so gooooooooood, but it contains soooooooooooo much error. Seems like satan has used the same method he used in the garden also (pleasing to the eye or flesh), to snare so many unsuspecting souls through this dangerous teaching.
     Although, I won't go into the places I believe this man is in error, I will put forth what I believe is true on this very important subject. I'm not pushing this belief, or selling any books or taking up a collection, but just asking you to consider before God and His Spirit what is written below to see if it may check with your spirit. We all must test the spirits to see if they are from God or not. I put myself and what I see on that same chopping block.
     Not being under the law does not mean we disregard God's revealed will through the 10 commandments. It means that the law of sin and death (this is the law we are not under,  not the 10 commandments) has been annulled , or is not longer in use. This law of sin and death (not the 10 commandment or anything else that is God's will revealed in His Word *) meant that "if you sin, you die." Now, under the law of love or grace, if we sin against God's will, including the 10 commandments, and we are truly repentant, there is forgiveness for us, not death. (Because of the atoning death of Jesus on the cross, and when we are "in Him" we have access to that forgiveness or grace.)
     Jesus sums up the 10 commandments for us, making them easy for us to understand telling us to love God and mankind, meaning that they are all based on love. They aren't rules for us to follow, so to speak, to make as a checklist, but they are what will happen progressively more and more when we have His love in our hearts if we've submitted ourselves to the cross where our own will dies daily, so that His will and heart can take dominion in and through us.
     Even when we act unloving to others, which we do everyday, there is forgiveness offered, because of His grace, but the 10 commandments remain as the standard nonetheless, along with His Will expressed in other places in His Word.* We are not to disregard them or cast them aside, thinking we are not "under them" any longer, but we are to, by the power of His Holy Spirit released in and through us, follow them.
     Again, the Law that we are not under is not the 10 commandments or His expressed Will according to His Word*, but is "the law of sin and death."

*-I believe that the Levitical law has been revoked, now since we all are priests and kings unto God, and not just a chosen group as it was under the Old Covenant. They had to have specific and unique directives from God to a carry out what Jesus has already fulfilled as the High Priest under the New. Whereas, the 10 commandments were for all people who are in Him everywhere.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Sin of Self-Preservation

   I've just been guilty of the sin of self-preservation, because God shined His light on it in my heart and actions, after the fact. I am so grateful He did, because if He hadn't I would not have been aware of it, and I would have believed that what I was doing was God's will, when, in fact, it was not. Because He revealed this, I had to retrace my steps and rescind a decision I had made, which would have impacted many people's lives harmfully asking for their forgiveness.
     The sin of self-preservation can be described like this: Choosing your own comfort, pleasure, escape from suffering, (even stress) preference, or the easy and indulgent way instead of bearing the burdens of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a very subtle sin which can creep in over time as one's emotions are worn down with the actions or even sins of others. It seems justified to walk away, but this is not the kind of "turning the other cheek" that Jesus talks about.
      Breaking fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ just because we get tired of messing with their weaknesses, and the subsequent mental or emotional pain it may cause us, is the same as "leaving His house desolate," while "building your own paneled houses." (Haggai 1:3-5) We are to help those be built up as His dwelling place, taking them along with us as we hobble along too.
     My husband and I are learning the sacrifice we are to make for one another, even when it's hard; especially when it's hard.  We can only do this with His Strength and long-suffering nature, allowing it to be released through us, and not turning our backs on people like we almost did.
     How beautiful a mansion He is making of us! Let's encourage each other to become a part of it. Let's really "turn the other cheek" and "take it" for the sake of the Body and for His glory!!!

Monday, June 01, 2015

The Power of Your Love

Stronger than a raging river,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Vaster than the biggest ocean,
Holy Water, flow through me.

Let me lay down all the barriers,
That are deep inside my heart,
Dams of evil and destruction,
There to falsely guard from hurt.

But they've only served to keep me,
From the Grace He has to give,
For the Love that's flowing outward,
Is the Love that I receive.

So flow through me, Mighty River,
To my love refresh his soul,
Let him know of your salvation,
That brings healing and makes whole.

How can he delight in me, his garden, if the gates are locked?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

This Is No Sacrifice; Here's My Life

     A few issues that have been brought to my attention for consideration lately are the following: Do I want to go to Italy with my sister-in-laws? Is global warming real? Did I know Alex Haley really didn't write the book, "Roots"? My answer to all of these are, "I don't have time for this."
     God tells us to "redeem the time," until His return, and "to occupy" until He comes. Also, He tells us to proclaim Jesus to those in our world, and seek first His Kingdom. If we, as Christ followers allow the distractions of the world to consume us, our lives would be eaten up by them and the life Christ wants for us would go by the wayside. Don't get me wrong; I love pretty places like Italy, and I love to find out the truth of things and could spend my life researching them, but what good would that do? It would only serve to occupy me, instead of me occupying what God wills for me.
     Not only does God want our life, but our life is made up of time, and He wants that too. I mean, are we really giving up our life if we want to keep our time for our self? No, one is directly connected to the other. When He involves us in ministry, it involves helping other people in one way or the other; not pursuing our own likes and interests without end. These are the things we give up for Him, as He gave His life up for us.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Time to Plant and A Time to Uproot what has been Planted

     Although in Matt. 19:6 it says that what God has joined together that man shouldn't separate, was referring to marriage, I believe the principle can stand alone in reference to all relationships and to all things.
      In my experience, I've had some relationships that have dissolved without reason. I was, and remain totally stunned about these. The question
of "what did I do wrong?" or "what didn't I do?" plague me off and on concerning them. Other relationships have remained strong and firm even though there have been periods of no communication. These, I believe, are the ones God has joined together.
     For the ones that didn't last, and even ended abruptly, could these be those who God Himself never joined, and so He, by His sword brought division?
     Whenever I have wondered too long about relationships in my life that have ended, He's reminded me of the truth that He came not to bring peace, but a sword, and will even use it to divide people in our own natural families. When relationships end, I believe it is God-ordained because these relationships and the toxicity they carry interfere with what He is wanting to do in us. If we try and hang onto a relationship He is wanting to end, we are rebelling against Him.
     Conversely, when relationships last, God is somehow preserving them because the connection between the two people is providing some things He is using to get us where He wants us in our growth in Him, which we are not to be interfered with.
     It says in the KJV, "what God has joined together, let no man put asunder." There is a seriousness stated that we should heed, when put this way. He is in control and if we're submitted under His Lordship (we acknowledge His sovereignty in our lives) he will either keep safe or destroy our relationships based on His Divine wisdom and purposes, and we can rest in that.