Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Friday, February 28, 2014

God of Wisdom

     Action minus wisdom equals (eventual) disaster. Our God of Wisdom holds everything we need to make decisions that guarantee a good outcome, and yet many times we insist on "doing it ourselves." Our pride in ourselves or just wanting something so bad, causes us to do things that causes many of our own problems.
     For example, one time many years ago, we were supposed to go to my brother's house, who lives about 10 hrs. away. Looking at the weather map the night before, it said that a big winter freeze was going to go through the area we were to be traveling through. I am usually a very cautions person, but I really wanted to go to my brothers, so somewhere inside of me, I decided to ride on the truth that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
     Well, to make a long story short, they closed the interstate, and my husband decided to take the back roads, which, when we saw sunlight the next morning, we realized we had been driving on a road with 45 degree embankments on both sides, and that there had been no other cars in sight. To think what could have happened was scary.
     I learned my lesson. Don't ignore the wisdom that is right before you, and don't add Scripture to it to justify what you do. I am reminded of when satan tempted Jesus, and told Him that if he would just jump off the temple, the angels would catch Him, using a Scripture too!!! Not a good thing to do!!! So many times, when we want to do something, we block our ears to God, and go about our "merry" way, like I did.
     I'm thankful that we have a merciful God who teaches us safe lessons sometimes, instead of "zaps"  us from the get-go. In fact, He gives us many chances to "turn" to Him and His wisdom before peril comes upon us. He doesn't want to hurt us, but if we insist on our own way forever, consequences will happen, and sometimes they are irreparable. We do reap what we sow, and God is not mocked, if we continue to ignore Him, and the Wisdom He gives to spare us troubles of all kinds.
     I have a little plaque in my bedroom that says, "Be quiet and hear the  still small voice of God." His words are whispers of love wanting to save and protect us. LISTEN.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Have Your Way, Holy Spirit

     I'm gaining more understanding of the importance of, and the "mechanics" of meeting with the Body of Christ in fellowship, around our Head. Recently, I have begun to see, by way of the Holy Spirit, that to "successfully" meet together in the peace and harmony He desires, is to "let the Spirit" have it's way through each member. Only in this way, with Him through us, can true unity occur. Even if only one member yields to Him in this way, still His peace can flow. I am reminded of yet another quote from John W. Kennedy's book, The Torch of the Testimony, which God used to open my eyes to this truth. He says, when referring to the beliefs of Spener, a believer from the 17th century in Germany:

"Spener minimized the importance of formal creed and dogmas in order to return to the direct authority of the Scriptures. He stressed the vital importance of a spiritual experience, and said that where there was true life in the Spirit, intellectual differences in interpretation would look after themselves." pg. 189-190.

     For many years now, I have been bothered with the many different beliefs in the Body of Christ. My beliefs, which I had received by the Holy Spirit through His Word, I felt were truth and that God wanted me to "contend for the faith" by speaking up if someone else had and espoused, what I truly believed,  were false doctrines. So, with that in mind, I didn't understand how the Body could meet in peace with each other. It seemed like everyone held so many different, and conflicting beliefs.
     Now, I am seeing that as I "let the Spirit" have it's way, He will move among us and take care of all of that over time, and that it is His "job" and not mine to move among us and bridge the gaps.  While it is true, that He may have me speak up, as we gather, and He does, it has to be Him speaking through me, and not me alone for the unity to be maintained. That doesn't mean other people will not get angry or offended or even cause dissension themselves, as they may not be yielded to Him, as we meet, but it does mean, that, as I continue to be yielded to His Spirit, I have allowed Him to flow through me, which is His will, and the unity between myself and God is maintained, and I believe, it will be contagious, or atleast has the potential to be.
     Also, I am seeing the warmth and love that happens whenever a fellowship meets as each one remains connected to Christ and not to a man. I experienced this many years ago when a group of believers gathered early in the morning in a hotel room to pray. We were there to attend a Christian conference for farmers. At that time, many farmers were in need, and so we easily identified with each other's struggles. First, someone would share a Scripture or something the Lord had shown them. It was so quiet and sacred, as we knew and honored that He was among us. Then someone may spontaneously sing a sweet song, and if the others knew it, they would join in. Then someone may ask for prayer requests, and we would spontaneously pray. A few times someone was carrying such a great load that they would begin to share in trust, and the others would show love and care by either holding a hand, or just by listening with their heart. The Holy Spirit was moving through the surrendered souls of those gathered, and it was Him that had His way and ministered to each one with His love and compassion. It was so rich and fulfilling.
     I miss this kind of gathering in His name, and I am getting a deep desire and drawing by Him to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ so that He can have His way among us, and minister to us, as is His will.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Christ is the Head of the church

     I want to again share a paragraph full of truth from the book The Torch of Testimony by John W. Kennedy. These are the concluding statements made to describe the fellowship of those who gather around Christ. Kennedy says:  

"The church of the New Testament is no mere theory. It is a fact of this, the twentieth century, as it was of the first. The principles of the unchanging Word of God, having been demonstrated and tested for almost two thousand years, have proved themselves applicable to every age and every circumstance. The church authoritative, holy, witnessing, invincible has continued and will continue, not in outward show and ostentation, but wherever the Lord has found a people willing to gather round Him in submission and obedience. It is a church that is indissolubly one, bound by ties of the Spirit. Amid the bitter conflicts and tragedies of so-called Church history, the life of the spiritual movement of the church has flowed on through the ages. The splendid unity of a heavenly race, living a heavenly life passed down from spiritual generation to spiritual generation has never been broken. They are pilgrims and strangers still upon the earth, bearing the reproach of Christ outside the camp, pressing 'on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus'. They gather round Christ their Head, owning His Word their guide, (*through the Spirit), bearing the torch of the testimony."

*-I added this.

Chew on this for awhile and see His church, in whose foundation is Christ, and He alone is building, to create for Himself a dwelling, "that the world may know," according to His eternal plans and purposes. It is a celestial Body, whose glory is His own ,shining forth His love through them, to reach the world and proclaim that He has died for them, and desires all of them to come unto Him and be saved and changed, to the praise of His glory!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Blessing of Failure

     Many years ago our family was in financial straits to the point of owing six digits to our lender for accrued farm debt. My husband had been taught falsely that his value was determined by how hard he worked, and so when we first began to get in debt, due to the farm crisis of the 80's, he knuckled down and tried to "work harder."
     The farm crisis actually served to camouflage his real motivation of working harder and that was to gain acceptance and approval from his Dad. Even with his hard work, though, his Dad would find something he did wrong or would even take credit for what he did right. It was a dangling carrot from a stick my husband ran after, never to catch.
    Finally after 15 years of working so hard, getting into more and more debt, and still bereft of his Dad's approval,  my husband gave up in desperation, and surrendered his life to the Lord. As he grew in Him, He found that his new Father unconditionally valued, loved and accepted him, and brought the gift of forgiveness to him for his past sins. And this, without earning it by hard work!!
     Looking back at this, I am amazed at how God used failure in our lives to bring new life to my husband. If he had succeeded in his efforts, and had pulled himself up out of debt, he probably would have concluded that he could rescue himself, and that he was a person of value because of it. He would have been deluded by this thinking, and may not have found God. After all, he would have gotten what he had wanted: to be accepted by his Dad, and would have believed he was now a person of value. With that, though, he would have been under a false belief system, which would have perpetuated his self-dependence and worship of his Dad's acceptance. Instead, he found the One who will never leave him or forsake him, and whose help he can rely on; the only One who is truly worthy of our worship. He was set free to be, and free to fail, too, without the fear of not being loved.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

More About the Life in Christ

     I need to make a clarification on the quote I included from the book, The Torch of the Testimony by John W. Kennedy yesterday on my blog. (You can order this book through Amazon)  I used one quote about Lutheranism, which was not used to single out this denomination, but to show how the ecclesiastical structure of the day, did not teach a new life in Christ, for the most part,  but only a commitment to certain creeds, which made it cold and dead religion. This is different from regeneration, which "makes all things new" in us and brings a changed life, because of Christ in us.

Today, I am going to randomly write some more quotes from this revealing book  which is exciting my spirit and helping me immensely "see the real church" more and more clearly. It is also helping me see different thought patterns that I have had, which perhaps, have been outside of God's Spirit, and haven't aligned with His vision of His Body. For this exposing, I am grateful to Him.

In reference to Philip Jakob Spener's beliefs, the author writes: "In 1670 he began gatherings in his own house for study of the Bible, prayer and mutual edification, and proposed such meetings from other congregations as a 'church within the Church' which would be able to return to the apostolic manner of gathering, and grow in holiness of life. He emphasized that true Christianity must manifest itself in daily life, and is entered into through conscious experience of regeneration. Believers were not passive in spiritual matters, but have a responsibility for building one another up in the faith, and they live a life of moderation and separation from the grosser pleasures of this world. Spener minimized the importance of formal creeds and dogmas in order to return to the direct authority of the Scriptures. He stressed the vital importance of a spiritual experience, and said that where there was true life in the Spirit, intellectual differences in interpretation would look after themselves. His work caused violent controversy, and he was accused of heresy." (pg.189-190)

Another quote: "Those who would serve Christ enter upon a life of intense, spiritual conflict. There is a complete and infallible guide in the Word interpreted through the presence of the indwelling Spirit, but there are ever forces, be they of this world or of Satan, whose influences are subtly calculated to divert attention from the way which is straight and narrow." (pg. 186) 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What does the Body of Believers look like?

     The following quotes are from the book, The Torch of the Testimony  by John W. Kennedy. This history of the believers who simply meet around Christ, is the torch, or light of Him that they carry. The author shows how this testimony met with resistance with the ecclesiastical systems in the past, and how they still do today. It is a paramount account of the "remnant" through the generations. What I am sharing of his writings from the book, I believe, is hallmark in describing the "true church," and it is my sincere conviction that all who call themselves His, read it and measure their life in Christ by it.

"Christ dwelling within human beings makes up the church, and however solid the beginning, the human element within the church allows for the dire possibility that what has begun in the Spirit may, after a short time, end up in the flesh. Whatever remains is but a human organization, and not the church of Jesus Christ."

"The tragedy of Lutheranism's early spiritual collapse throws into relief a lesson of vital importance, the necessity of balancing the preaching of faith by the preaching of works. Scripture gives no place to a faith which is simply a cold belief in a doctrinal statement with little of not effect upon daily living. The Epistle of James was written to emphasize the poignant fact that 'faith without works is dead'. The basis of the church is not faith; the basis of church is spiritual life; and spiritual life is the result of the impact of faith upon the daily walk in relationship to God and man; spiritual life is the life of the one who is inevitably made a new creation through faith in Christ."

That is all for now. I will continue to post more of what I discern by the Spirit as truth from this book. For now, this is enough for us to ask the Holy Spirit about for our own lives, to "see if we are in the faith." God bless.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

His Ways Are Not Our Ways

     Whenever a person has a problem coping with another person's beliefs, mannerisms, and aberrant behaviors (and this can range from slight disturbances to evil) and they want to keep a relationship with that person, they must come up with a way to deal with them. If the situation is severe, it would be advisable to get alone with God to seek Him for how they are to cope in a good way.
     Many times, others "trip our switch" with their behavior, and we act out of the flesh and cause injury to ourselves, others, and our relationship with them. And we don't want to do that; we want to walk in the Spirit, so we need some strategy that God is pleased to show us when we ask.
     Sometimes, God directs someone to cut off the relationship for a short period of time, or even permanently, especially if one or both person's have so many issues that they cause destructiveness in the souls of each other. If God directs someone to leave temporarily, it could possibly be for the purpose of healing their soul wounds, so they can become more whole. Then when they are in a better place, they can begin to handle conflict in the Spirit, and not be so tempted to "shoot from the flesh," and reestablish the relationship.
     "Walking in newness of life" comes out of the healing touch of God on the inside of us. To think that "becoming Christ-like" is a piece of cake as we relate to others is a mistake.  He is "making all things new", and for that to happen inside of us, our flesh is subjected to the grave which is a slow and painful dying process. When we face this fact, and accept it, we won't resist God, but instead will rejoice to know His purposes and plans are being done in us, and so we persevere.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sects Created by Teacher Worship

     When I first heard the phrase in the Word "the priesthood of believers" I didn't know how God would expound on it's meaning for me during my life. I understood initially that it meant that we all were equal in His sight. While true, it has a much more in depth meaning than that. (I Pet. 2:9, Gal. 3:26-28, Rev. 1:6)
     As He's come to increase my understanding, I am seeing that it also includes that  we all have access to God, without any one person having more access than another in the Body of Christ, no matter who they are.  We all have access to the same Holy Spirit, and we are encouraged to approach the throne of grace boldly. We, like the priests of old, bring prayers of intercession for others, and we entreat Him to seek guidance, and understanding of the truth in His Word, believing that He will answer us in His way and time.
     He is our only Teacher in this aspect. Man followers only receive what others have said about His Word, and parrot it, even to the point of using the exact same phrases. In doing so, they forfeit the unique expression the Lord has given them. Worse than that, they allow, even if subconsciously, a ecclesiastical order to be established in their minds.
     I am wondering if this belief, that some are more important or worthy to hear from God, stems from the gross error that was handed down to many of us from the Roman Church which demanded that "the laity submit to the Pope." It clearly drew lines between the "priesthood" that Jesus established.
     But, the Word says that the Spirit would be the One who would "lead us into all truth." (John 16:13)  He is the One who, when asked, reveals God's heart and mind to us according to His Word. Many do not know this, or even access Him in this way, because of  the influence of the evil ecclesiastical system that has planted doubt, fear and insecurity in them, by teaching that some are indeed better equipped to hear from God, and to interpret the Scriptures, than others.  This has been handed down through the centuries, and is even having an effect today in the form of man-followers, or "teacher worshippers."(Matt. 23:8) It seems many people, who could hear from God themselves, have picked their favorite "teacher of the Word" and follow whatever they say, or at least repeats it, without even checking it by the Spirit.
     We, as members of His Body, have been given "ears to hear," but many are not using them, or don't even know they can. This is resulting in further division in the Body as many members gather around certain teachers and their teaching which all seem to contradict. If we each sought the Spirit, as our Teacher, He would lead us into all truth and we'd be going in the same direction, and would eventually end up in the same place of understanding.
    You are a priest; I am a priest. Let us have no other god before Him, and worship at His feet together. And this too, you should ask God about.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

God's Heart and Mind

     One gains God's perspective by submitting to His work, with maturity as the outcome, while yielding to the Spirit's counsel as He leads into the truth of His Word.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Two Different Churches

     Consider another rendering of the verse "don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together." Instead of meaning "go to church" could it mean "don't resist Jesus as he is building his church, putting each piece of the Body where He sees fit." Some writers hijacked the assembling from Jesus to the people, even though He is the One who is building His church; the one who the gates of hell will not prevail against. The other one, the man built one, will not prevail.
     Stephen tried to tell the Pharisees this same thing when he said, "He does not live in a temple made of brick," and he got stoned. Where 2 or 3 are gathered there He is in the midst of them ,because He is in us; His dwelling place.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Unity of the Spirit

     When we try to make our beliefs a doctrine that others need to agree with, then life in the unity of the Spirit is broken. Any forced issue between people in the Body, creates a schism worse than any false belief does. The greatest of these is love.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

To Know God or To Know About God?

     I am reading a book called The Torch of the Testimony by John W. Kennedy. In it, he makes a statement that I have never thought about before. Referring to the letter to the Corinthians that Paul wrote them, and the author's observation that they had played at being philosophers which had so increased their self-importance that they had, in practice, denied the Lordship of Christ, he draws a general conclusion that "even an occupation with truth itself, is a potential destroyer of God's purpose for His people."
     I have always believed that the "truth" of God, was the same as Christ, because He said that He is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. The author, though, has suggested, if I understand him correctly, that being in love with truth, can get in the way (or he says 'deny the Lordship') of Christ having the pre-eminence in our lives, which simply means that He is not first, as He should be.
     A few years ago when I was visiting a friend of mine, we were discussing how we enjoyed reading the Word of God. She had said that she finds Christ in every page, and then added, "why else would you read it?" and I replied, "to get understanding." My mind went to the Scripture that says, "in all your getting, get understanding." (Prov. 4:7) I was referring to the understanding of God's heart and mind in His written word, but her answer sounded more spiritual, and  I have pondered it since then.
      Because of my previous interchange with my friend, and now reading what this author had to say about how being occupied with truth itself can displace Christ in our lives, I am wondering if I am guilty of this. I do love truth. Do I love it more than Christ Himself, though, is the question. Is that possible? I will let Him search my heart and know it on this matter. Glory to God for His revealing Holy Spirit, who does indeed "lead us into all truth."

Friday, February 07, 2014

Enduring Faith

Matt. 24:12-14

12"Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. 13"But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

     These Scriptures tell of the times before the 2nd coming of the Lord. I haven't given myself to studying eschatology, so I can't show you an accurate timeline. Let's save that for the scholars. But, what jumps out to me is vs. 13-"But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved."

     Does this refer to one's salvation, or is it talking about being saved physically from everything that is going on around them at the time? I don't think it is that important to define, because I see the important quality that person will have is endurance; of not quitting, but of continuing in their faith in God through any and everything.

     Even in our present world, and more specifically in the world of our own lives, we encounter obstacles and hardships we must endure through. Perhaps it serves as a preparation for some of us, of what is to come.

     Some call marriage "tribulation." If that's the case, how many have endured to the end? Divorce is rampant, with little to no regard for the covenant they  took with God as their witness. The point is that if we can just "quit" so easily, will we endure in our relationship with God when things come against us? The hard things of life are testing ground for our enduring faith in Him alone, that is needed to "be saved."
     These Scriptures, by implication, say that when the love of most grow cold, is when we will need that endurance even more. As in a marriage, if the love has grown cold from our spouse, we need God even more to getus through, by trusting in Him to protect and keep us. But, if we willfully "give up" whether in our hearts or by terminating the marriage legally, can God rescue us then? We didn't endure in believing Him for what only He can do.
     Endurance implies "suffering through," and in this context it also implies "not losing faith" in the process. Some thoughts to chew on.  

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Saving a Whole Family

     I am currently working on making a booklet on Our Family Testimony. I will take it to a conference in March that my son is speaking at, and will make it available at no cost to those who attend.
     It tells about the marvelous grace that God poured out on our family. He came to me first back in 1990. From that point on, I was given the assignment to pray that He would rescue the other family members from darkness, which He subsequently did, over a period of 11 years.
     For about the first 6 years, it seemed like nothing was happening, but He had given me a promise, "You will be saved, you and your whole household" that I held onto, and waited for Him to perform. Finally, after many trials and much turmoil, in 1996, my daughter was saved, then my husband, then one of my sons, and then the other.
     I wrote the booklet for 2 reasons: to encourage other people's faith, that God can, and will do the same for their families as they trust Him for it, and to leave a written legacy for my families' future generations, so they can know what God did when he translated us out of the kingdom of darkness, into the Kingdom of His dear Son.
     One thing I found out, though, about sharing my testimony through the years is that women start comparing what God did in our family, look at their own, and get jealous. Instead, I had hoped that women could "take hope" in what God did in ours and to not  despair for their own, but rather have renewed faith in His willingness and ability to restore all things in their family too.
     If people believe God wants to, and therefore will save each member of their family as they put their trust in Him to do it, our testimony can be a picture of that reality, encouraging them on in their faith.
     If anyone would like one of these booklets, I will send you one. (They aren't printed yet, so it might take a month or so.) Please contact me at 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Hood-winked by Works

     Teaching Scripture in error can wreck havoc in a person's life, and block Christ from one's view. Let me explain.
     There is someone in our family presently that believes the parable of the talents  means that when Jesus comes back, he must have made interest on his money, or he will go to hell. He said that yesterday, and plans to have someone invest his money so that he can make interest on it.
     The horrific travesty of it all is that if he thinks he can "earn his way to heaven" with his interest, then he hasn't truly received the finished work of the cross through the death of Jesus on his behalf, which means that he will go to hell. How dark is that darkness!
     Maybe no one has ever told him that it is by grace through faith that he is saved, or in believing that Jesus' sacrifice is enough for him. This is the pure Gospel.
     Since this man is 96 years old now, and time is obviously running out prayers for his eyes to be opened will go up from the other members of our family who have truly received Jesus. And, as led by the Spirit, we will probably have someone talk to him and present the Gospel to him; a free gift and nothing we can do to earn it.
     So, false teaching is nothing to take lightly. In this case a person thinks he needs to earn his way to heaven, and in doing so, pushes away the gift of God unknowingly. So, so sad. Pray with us for this man please.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Things UnSeen

     Walking by sight and not by faith is a path to potential defeat. Whenever we want  to know God is really telling us the truth about what He says He will do according to His promises, by wanting natural evidence (like Thomas and the resurrected Jesus) shows that we don't really believe Him. That is why we are "blessed" if we believe and don't see.
     It's a trust thing. Do we really believe Him? When He gave me a promise for my family, that He would "restore the years the locusts have eaten" in our lives, and what I began to "see" was not in line with that, I stopped believing Him. I got discouraged and sad because I was looking at the "seen" and corruptible things, and not the "unseen things" (the things that were happening in the spiritual realm by faith) which are incorruptible.
     But, praise God, He still "proves Himself" to the ones who want to see the nail prints, and gets us back on track, showing Himself faithful despite our unfaithfulness.