Great and Unsearchable Things

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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Trusting and Loving

     My husband wrote me a poem before we were married and one of the lines said, "So deep in love is trust." This meant to me, that trust is embedded in love, or another rendering would be that to truly be "in love" one has to have trust in the other person for it to work.
     I believe that is affirmed in Scripture when it says "Love believes all things." If one loves someone, with God's love, they trust that what the other person is saying and doing is the truth. And I did that. 
     But, what if trust has been violated or is in question, from someone who you loved? This happens everyday in life, somewhere in the world. What if it happens in your world, with someone you believed in, and who you gave your trust to? How can you trust again? Just pretend like you do, when inside of you, are questions and doubt? If you think someone has lied to you, is it wise to come together and talk about it? If they have done something wrong, and are unwilling to admit it, will putting everything on the table on your side, be of any use, except to give them another opportunity to lie again? Won't this only lead to more frustration and hurt, with things still not being resolved?
     Then there is the question of our own suspicious leanings. If we are looking for wrong-doing, won't we find it, or think we have?
     Can mistrust always be resolved? Or, sometimes, do we have to just accept leaving things alone, and the distance that results between people, who formerly were connected?
     Since I can't trust unless something is proven or misproven to me, I will have to live with that, until or unless God reveals things clearly to me, because I know myself, and I know to pretend otherwise, is to invite more disaster into a relationship. But, I'm sad, I must admit. I want certain relationships to be restored, but the current situation of me not communicating with them, may be God's protection for me, which I must accept.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Godly Sorrow and Mercy; Both lead to Repentance

It's the mercy of God that leads people to repentance, and it is also Godly sorrow that leads to repentance. When we sin, are sorry for it, and decide to turn to God (repent), it is most likely because we know that He will meet us with mercy when we do. So, the mercy of God must be taught or demonstrated by others in our life to know that. If God was not a merciful God, who would go to Him for forgiveness? Instead, we would run away and hide, which many do because they don't know God. That is part of what we, as believers, are to proclaim: "His mercy endures forever." This truth believed helps others see that He will receive them with opened arms, if they turn from their sin and unto Him.
John 6:37-
"All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Love Covers

Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine. "-Ezekiel 16:8

From this Scripture in Ezekiel, the thought occured to me-In our relationship with the Lord, is there a certain time when we become "old enough for love" and then truly become "His?" I believe this Scripture speaks.

Perhaps His love is so precious that if He would give it before it's time, we would use or abuse it. Or maybe we would disregard, take it lightly, or even not be able to handle it. Until He covers us with it, we are naked, only subsisting on our own resources, and sorely wanting. And, maybe that is another reason why He waits until it's time. Could it be that we have to be finished with trying to get love through other people first, and be disappointed, or hurt or rejected, before we would even be ready to receive His love?

When our being is in an immature state, we want everything our way, even who we want to love us, and how we want to be loved, not knowing that He is the only One who can love us perfectly and wholly, so we go about seeking it, as the song goes,"in all the wrong places".

 If we don't let Him mature us, we remain naked, and will be considered part of the Laodicean church, spoken of in Rev. 3:17. They proclaimed they were rich, but God said they were poor, wretched, blind and naked. Although having the earth's riches, they knew nothing about richness of soul which only He can provide. He covers us with His Love, and calls us His, if we let Him.

His love covering, as we are fully surrendered to Him, truly makes us only His. Getting to this place of maturity happens when we allow it to. With each attempt to procure love for ourselves, and with each failure to provide what we truly need, we choose to run into His arms of grace, for our healing and repair. This strengthens our assurance each time, that He is the only One sufficient for us, until we are finished trying to get love by other means. Then we are "old enough for love." We are ready to receive Him and Him alone.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Most Precious of All Relationships

      I am God's servant, His friend, His daughter, His child, His sheep, His field, His building, His jewel, His Son's Bride, and the apple of His eye. If I really searched it out, I would probably find that I am many, many more things to Him. In all these ways, we relate to Him.
     I am discovering that each one of us has a unique relationship with Him, one in which, we cannot push on others, nor them on us. There was a song I learned as a child, whose words are:

I am Jesus' little lamb,
Ever glad at heart, I am,
For my Shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my needs and well provides me,
Loves me everyday the same,
Even calls me by my name.

     Because He calls us by our name, indicates that He knows us individually and uniquely, and by implication, He relates to us in like manner, and we relate to Him likewise. For example, I talk to Him throughout the day in my thoughts, and in my heart. I know He is near me at all times listening and responding. I know it by faith and trust. I don't have a formal relationship, but one which is near and dear, although I do highly respect and revere Him. On the other hand, I live in the light of His grace, which I desperately need daily, but try not to take it for granted. I am His and He is mine. I love to have Him reveal truth to me, and trust the His Holy Spirit will lead me there, even as I ask Him. I respect His timing, but usually want things to be revealed sooner. If I didn't know forgiveness was there for me, I could not live near Him, but would run and hide. I know what life is like without Him, because I've lived there before, and it is a literal hell on earth without hope. As He will never leave me, I would be a fool to leave Him. After I've found what I was looking for, through His Son, why would I ever go back into the land of the lost, after experiencing the land of the Living?
     Thank you, Jesus, for being the bridge that led me back to our Father, so I could know Him and be with Him forever and ever.
     How do you relate to our Father? It sometimes helps to write it down and look at it, as I have. It helps to realize just who He is to you, and who you are to Him too, which warms the heart with gratitude and awe. It also helps to want to share Him with others, so that those who are lost can also have, cherish and embrace Him as we do, and so that they can experience His love and grace in their life and "be found." We are the ministers of reconciliation, who have been given this ministry of telling about Jesus, His Son, who provides the way back to the Father.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our Light Afflictions

     I am going to touch a sacred cow today, especially among "spirit-filled" believers, and that is the subject of healing. Although, I personally believe in the gifts operative today, I don't believe that the Scripture, "by His stripes, we are healed," indicates physical healing for all who are His. There, now I said it. I am, however, open to believing this, as the Spirit leads, if I am wrong.
     It would be especially timely for me to discover His truth about this, because I am currently suffering an unexplained symptom, and would be most grateful if God would heal me of it. But, I don't want to just will myself to believe what others do with the notion that if I do, I will be healed. This would be presumed faith and I would have to lie to myself to "believe." Only He can reveal to me the truth about this often controversial subject.
     So, I am seeking Him. First, let me say, that "by His stripes, we are healed," I believe, refers to our being healed from our sin-sickness, and the stripes from the whippings was part of the payment (punishment) He took on Himself to pay for our sins. Then join that with the passage in  2 Corinthians 4:16-17:

 16Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,…

     So, if our bodies are decaying, this means they are not eternal, and we will experience the result of that decay which may mean bodily disease or illness, as it goes through the decaying process. The only help we will get is from God who is the Healer, as our bodies continue to decay. The "eternal weight of glory far beyond comparison," refers to our "spiritual or heavenly bodies" we will receive one day. These will be eternal.
     I definately believe that God heals, and will heal through human vessels who have that gift and through any means He chooses, as He chooses. So, those who believe in healing as a provision in the atonement, will not hear of it, and dogmatically teach and preach it unequivocally, not open to changing their position, for fear that someone who believes differently might affect their faith level. Most won't even factor in the Sovereignty of God in all of this, and don't want to hear it.
     As I said, I am open to the Spirit of God to lead me into all truth, if the truth I am believing is in error. In the meantime, I am asking Him to heal me, or to bring someone who has the gift of healing to pray for me, or even to direct my attention to what is wrong so that I can do something about it if what I am doing is "causing" it. 
And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come-Amen.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Following Him Despite Our Preferences

      I didn't realize how much I have filtered God's will, through my own preferences, but He's showing me that I have, by shining His searchlight in the cracks and crevices of my soul. I am discovering this falseness and resistance in me, due to opening myself up to hearing from Him about where to go on a short-term missions trip.
     Through steps He had me take, of searching this out, 2 countries surfaced which I really had no interest in at all. They weren't on my preference list which I had written deep inside of me. That's what I am talking about. When I surrendered to going to either of those countries, sincerely, an "Isaac" experience took place. The knife was fully prepared to "kill" my beloved countries, and an angel stopped my hand. I believe He counted my surrender as righteousness.
     Someone else is going with me, and we both are waiting for His revelation of destination and timing. So far, nothing is clicking in us, and so we wait.
     I am so happy about Him showing me this because I didn't see it, and because it reveals the extent in which He conforms us to His image. Even our blind spots are revealed, and brought to light, where surrender can happen, resulting in making all things new. Amen!!!

"He is at work in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure."- Phil. 2:13

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Resting In Him, or Indulging Your Flesh?

     My thoughts this morning turn  to "leisure time." What do we do with it, and have we considered that our time, too, is the Lords to use for His plans and purposes? Or, do we think of it, as "our own to do with as we please" and justify it by thinking, "He gives us all things to enjoy"?
     How many hours do we spend on the computer or by watching movies, or TV, or doing things for our own enjoyment? Have we even asked the Lord what He would have us do with our spare time? We are not our own; we were bought with a price.
     He wants to live through us on this earth, but if we have already decided what we are going to do, how can He? We need to have a Kingdom perspective and then we won't we mulling around on the earth, eating from it's fodder. (Food of scavengers with poor nutritional value, rather than filling ourselves with Him, His ways and  purposes)
     If we live in this way like "earth people" we will find that our existence becomes one which is flat and meaningless. We will be found wanting of the feeling of significance. Atleast we need to hope we will, because if we find true satisfaction here, it shows that we have "believed the lie" of the world, our flesh and satan that  says "it's all about you." One of the big problems with that mentality is that we can't fill our flesh up, because it keeps asking for more, and truly has a bottomless pit.
     "Come away with Me" whispers the Holy Spirit through "Christ in us." Only by first plunging into the desires He has for us on this earth, and then "doing them" can we find true fulfillment, and "the things of this earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace." Take my leisure time, Lord, and use it how You desire. Amen.  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Prosperity Redefined

     Christ followers-You are rich for you possess the pearl of Great Price, Jesus Christ Himself. Your prosperity is not of this world, but is of Him. In Him we have righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. He has purchased your right-standing with God our Father, our cleansing, and life-everlasting, and has given it to us. Seeing your prosperity from a Kingdom mindset frees you from trying to fulfill that desire on earth.

Only God Can Heal Soul Wounds

Jeremiah 3:15-"Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping;  Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not."

As far as a soul goes, divorce kills the child. The wound is incurable. "Rachel" representing mothers of these children see the wound, and cannot heal it. No human can. It is only God who can bring real healing to the "Daddy hole" left inside of them.

Please lift up every child you know who has been ravaged by the sword of Herod (a type of satan), asking God the great and only soul healer to bring His comfort, love and healing to them this day with Christ, who fills all things, and makes them new. Amen.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

     Many years ago I was attending a women's retreat in the hills of Hot Springs, Ark. Before the speaker took the stage, we worshipped. I wasn't feeling up to "high" worship, and so I was just sitting there. I apologized silently to the Lord. Then He replied back to me with something that surprised me. He said that I was worshipping because I wasn't worried about anything, but I was at rest and peace.
     This changed my perspective of worship. It is an internal thing of a heart at rest. Rest indicates trust. When we aren't worried about anything at all, is when we have placed our cares on Him. To be in that posture 24/7 would be a wonderful state of being! It is the place we are moving in by His grace.

Monday, March 17, 2014

God's Invitation

     Come, I say. My arms are opened wide, and they are warm and will bring you comfort. You can rest in Me. You are wanting Me to prove my love to you, and yet I already have. You just need to believe and trust it. You fear losing yourself to Me because you think that I may hurt you. This is not true. I desire to comfort and keep you safe. Soothing souls is what I specialize in. I want to rock you until your heart is quieted, and I will if you will trust Me with it. Your anger and loneliness comes from your lack of trust in Me. See Me as an ocean, and jump into Me with abandon. Then I will envelope you with My everlasting Love, Grace and Goodness. When you do this, you will be swallowed up into My Life, and My Life will express those same things through you. So, Come, and drink of the well of Life freely. It is yours to enjoy fully. I am yours to enjoy fully. Jump in, jump in, jump in.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

He Leadeth Me Down the Path of Righteousness for His Name's Sake

     Consecration, Sanctification, Being Washed, His Holiness, His Presence, Repentance, Heart Training, Joy, Drawing Closer, Substitutes We Run To, God is Good-these are some things that are swimming around in my Spirit lately. This is where God has me, and what He wants to show my heart to help me draw only from Him. Do  you know what He is showing you? Listen quietly and you will. And go there.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

He Will Preserve Me Blameless

      When growing in Christ, (or Him manifesting more visibly in you) certain things can be observed simultaneously. One is that when He manifests Himself through you, spiritual fruit is seen outwardly. The other thing that "happens" is often inward and is usually perceived by only you. It is the observation that when offense comes through you, the self-condemnation or guilty feelings, go away much faster than before, enabling you to go forward in Him, with lesser and lesser fallout to oneself. This is due to the reality that He has worked His ways and His will in you. However, the intensity of the offense seems to increase, and that scares me at times. It's as if I haven't realized what has been hidden in me, and now the Lord is bringing it to the surface. My feelings of wanting to self-condemn are strongest at this point, because this was one of my modes of operation in the past. God, by His Spirit moves us forward in Him, and satan is right there pulling us by using our past ways to try and yank us backwards. Sometimes it seems like my very being is being ripped in two, so I focus on what He has done in me, and not the rebellion of the flesh against that growth.  I am realizing that satan is trying to make me doubt what God is doing in me, and also trying to turn my heart against the forgiveness I already have in Him.     
     During these times I cling to the truth in the verse that says,"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.…" I. Thess. 5:23,24.
     This is God's Spirit confirming to me that He will preserve me blameless at His coming, and reminding me that the Light that is Him (in me) does dispel the darkness. Amen.

Friday, March 14, 2014

From Dry Bones to Sinews

     Living in two realms is strange and challenging. What I'm referring to is the transitioning from being in the flesh and becoming spirit, as we are being conformed to His image. Lately I have done things as if it was not me doing them, but Him, and at the same time, I've been aware of it, usually in retrospect. The "nevertheless, not I, but Christ," reality is experienced.
     It could also be the same as being in the world, but not of it. When Christ in us begins to take dominion over us, it feels like being in a very foreign place. We've hung our hat so long in this world that is passing away, that experiencing the new world feels isolating and lonely, but exciting at the same time. Another benefit of being there is that the things that bothered and/or upset you in the old world, won't anymore. You are ascending above the fray. Sounds surreal, doesn't it? Yes, it is surreal coupled with new experiences, thoughts and feelings as the process continues. One brother calls it "becoming a son of God."
     If "more of Him, and less of me" has been the sincere cry of your heart, then He is putting you through His baptism of fire. The outcome of that over time is  experiencing more of Him inside of you, and then manifesting Himself outside of you. Ultimately His will becomes your will; His life your life; and His heart and mind; your heart and mind. The "you" that has been known, will no longer be. You will feel your old self passing away and experience Him coming more alive. It is a real and strange transformation where the light gets brighter and brighter until the noon day comes, or until He is established in you.  Prov. 4:18. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lawlessness Will Increase

      A few days ago one of the most passionate evangelists of the century, Steve Hill, of the Brownsville Revival fame, died. I am sad, not of his passing, but because the Spirit of the fear of the Lord, which is one of the seven spirits of God, expressed Himself through him mightily for many years and many came to the Lord, including my daughter and then subsequently, her brothers.
      I haven't seen this same spirit expressed through another vessel in this generation, except maybe David Wilkerson, who also was taken to Glory. Who will provide a clarion call to "turn from your sins, and unto God"? Has God removed this from the earth and could his passing be part of when God takes away that which restrains? If so, it is a sad day indeed, and a scary one. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-8
6And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;…

The good news, however, is on the other side of the tribulation, when the Light of the world returns to get His Bride for the marriage supper of the Lamb, and the ultimate plan of the ages is consummated, when He will rule and reign forever and ever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Favor According to His Will

          In the Christian world of doctrines, there is a word called "favor." One meaning of it, I fear, is that "God wants what I want," using His Word which says, "He gives you the desires of your heart," interpreted with a carnal mind, to try and prove it's meaning.
         Favor is something I believe in, but with a different perspective. Rev. 3:7-
"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open."

     God does go before us, and open and shut doors, as we trust Him and submit our petitions to Him, when they are in line with His will. When our heart's desires are one with Him, He gives us favor in this way.

Monday, March 10, 2014

By Beholding We Become

     The following contain parts of an article written by Hannah Whitall Smith. I hope you gain spiritual understanding from it, as I did.

Conformed to the Image of Christ

Hannah Whitall Smith

In order to be laborers together with God, we must not only build with His materials but also by His processes, and of these we are often very ignorant. Our idea of building is of hard laborious work done in the sweat of our brow; but God's idea is far different. Paul tells us what it is. "We all," he says, "with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Our work is to "behold," and as we behold the Lord effects the marvelous transformation, and we are "changed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord." This means, of course, to behold not in our earthly sense of merely looking at a thing, but in the divine sense of really seeing the thing. We are to behold with our spiritual eyes the glory of the Lord, and are to continue beholding it. The glory of the Lord does not mean, however, a great shine or halo. The real glory of the Lord is the glory of what He is and of what He does-the glory of character. And it is this we are to behold.

Let me give an illustration. Someone offends me, and I am tempted to get angry and retaliate. But I look at Christ and think of what He would have done, and dwell upon the thought of His gentleness and meekness and His love for the offending one; and, as I look, I begin to want to be like Him, and I ask in faith that I may be made a "partaker of his nature," and anger and revenge die out of my heart, and I love my enemy and long to serve him.

It is by this sort of beholding Christ that we are to be changed into His image; and the nearer we keep to Him the more rapid the change will be.

 It is not by effort or by wrestling that this conformity is to be accomplished; it is by assimilation. According to a natural law, we grow like those with whom we associate, and the stronger character always exercises the controlling influence. And, as divine law is all one with natural law, only working in a higher sphere and with more unhindered power, it need not seem mysterious to us that we should become like Christ by a spiritual union with Him.

But again I must repeat that this union with Christ cannot come by our own efforts, no matter how strenuous they may be. Christ is to "dwell in our hearts by faith," and He can dwell there in no other way. Paul, when he tells us that he was crucified with Christ, says: "Nevertheless I live: yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me."

"Christ liveth in me," this is the transforming secret. If Christ liveth in me, His life must, in the very nature of things, be manifested in my mortal flesh, and I cannot fail to be changed from glory to glory into His image.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Enemy's Voice versus God's Voice

     What are some of the unwritten false beliefs in your head concerning your relationship with God? We have them, you know.
     One that popped into my head this morning was "God should be the first One you think about in the morning." Well, the first thing I thought about was getting my cup of coffee, then it was off to the internet to see how much it would cost to get a refund from an airline ticket we purchased. Now, let's go to FB and write a comment, and watch a video on walk dancing. Then I realized I needed to get off of it quickly or I may spend too much time there, thinking it could become another habit I would need to break. Then I came to my blog to write, and that is when the nagging belief I still had in me popped into my consciousness. It was a "belief" that was planted by the enemy years ago, to try and make me prove my dedication to the Lord.
     If we have suffered with perfectionism before coming to the Lord, that same thing will try and invade our relationship with Him in various forms. It is a voice that comes to condemn, telling you things you "should" and "should not" do. If it's the enemy speaking in your head, he raises the bar, to where you never measure up, while loving the guilt and fear he puts you through.
     When we are aware of his devices, we can then cast off these accusations as part of our inheritance according the Isaiah 54:17. It says, "every tongue that rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn."
     As I grow and mature in Him, I am learning that His voice is not one of condemnation or accusation, but comes quietly and lovingly to point out things that are not in line with His will, so that I can bring them to Him. The enemy, however, just likes to point the finger and wants us to feel guilty with no remedy but our own strength, which he knows will fail without God. In fact, many times, he wants to cause us to "double our efforts" to prove something.
     In my case, he tries to work on me in the area of following the Lord's will "perfectly." But, God is delivering me of perfectionism, and it is sooner and sooner that I catch the enemy before he catches me, and go on in confidence that the Lord is my strength and my shield, ignoring the "conditions" he puts on me. Instead I embrace even more the unconditional love of my Father and rest in that, and my peace returns. Selah.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Pure Motivation for Obedience

     When I was under the tutelage of my parents growing up, I lived in a rule-based environment, with a lot of "should" and "should-nots." Don't get me wrong, I believe in disciplining children, but if the subliminal goal is that they will always do everything perfect, and that is communicated to them, than it can become oppressive and anxiety-producing to the sensitive child. That was me.
     I learned early about the many boundary lines I could not cross when scorn was given to me whenever I did, so I became compliant, and tried to follow the rules the best I could. When I got older, I told my mother that the only reason I obeyed was so that I wouldn't get in trouble. She said that was wise.
     Wise it might have been, but living in an atmosphere of scorn, did it's damage  on the inside of me. What it also did was trained me to obey to self-protect, and this transferred to my relationship with God.
     As I am growing in Christ, and He has dressed my wounds, and renewed my mind progressively, my trust in Him for who He is has grown, and I am seeing that out of the love He has for me, and the resultant love I have for Him, I WANT to follow His Will. That puts a whole new angle on obedience, and one that is more in line with His heart's desire for us, His children.
     It is such a delight to want what He wants out of love for Him, than to just "do it" from fear of punishment, or sheer duty. Only He can work that sort of change on the inside of a person. Obedience flows out of love, and this motivation is a blessed offering unto Him, and a joyful response for what He's done for us.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Love, Not Conformity

     Don't you just love it when something is resolved that you have wrestled with for a long time? When you once couldn't see clearly, but now you can and you have peace about it? Only God can do that.
     The issue that I struggled with was one concerning how far I was to yield to my husband. Did it even extend to taking in his beliefs and practices in following God? Was that the way unity looked in God's eyes?
     God has answered me. We, as wives, yield to our husbands in love, not necessarily in conformity. We are respectful to their beliefs, even if we think they are in error, and we don't treat them differently (in scorn) if they are.  We listen and we love despite differences.
     We don't have to be afraid of being influenced by false beliefs through them, as the Lord is our Shepherd, and the Lord is his Shepherd, if he is a believer. It is in an atmosphere of the Holy Spirit's love, and acceptance, as we allow it to flow through us , that others (including our husbands) are then free to listen to us, if He leads us to present "how we see it" to them.  If we begin to control, people's hearts shut down, and division happens, as a result, and "the war begins."
     "Keeping the unity with the bonds of peace" is the motto of our fellowshipping in the Body of Christ, but also in the marriage union. (Eph. 4:3-6)


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

When Spirituality Becomes a Fad

     Whenever the world embraces something which originally stemmed from a presumed Christian theme, beware. I am thinking of  the celebrations of Christmas and Easter, angels, wearing a cross, even embracing "cool" Jesus movies, displaying John 3:16 at sports games, (even though God does use this, as His word is truth) even increased church attendance that happens after a perceived threat comes such as 9-11, and other trendy fads. The thing is, that many who call themselves  His become excited by these "proofs", thinking that the world is turning to Him, and become deceived. What is happening is that His truths are being watered down or presented in a worldly way, and so the world is accepting them in a palatable form which requires nothing of them.
     To truly be transformed requires an acceptance of who Christ is, and then in that acceptance, He brings transformation in a person. Some think that the formation of certain political groups and fiery commitments to them, indicate that His Kingdom is coming, and that He works through the legislative process to bring transformation. One is of the Spirit, and the other is of the flesh or world, which are diametrically opposed to one another.
     Again, He cries, "come out from among them and be separate," and you will not be "entangled with civilian affairs." If we mix with the world's desires and perceptions, even those who profess they are following Him, can be deceived into seeing something that is not there, when these fads begin to surface, when they are usually only a mirage. Satan uses what is seen to lure believers into drifting into the mode of determining truth from error by this, instead of operating in faith which looks to the truths of God to do that.  

Monday, March 03, 2014

Which Way to Turn?

          Which Jesus is the "right" one? While most people proclaim that God is a God of love, and He is, there seems to be at least two camps in defining what His love looks like. One camp seems to overlook the Word telling us that if He loves us, He will discipline us, while the other one accepts it. The first one believes His love wants to prosper us in everyway, and the other one believes that it is through suffering that our obedience is taught, as Jesus' was.  I have been exposed to both of these belief systems, and it is to the latter one, that I lean.
     The hard sayings and truths of Jesus caused many in His day and in ours, to leave Him, all the while thinking they have found Him. They've just reinvented Him to make Him who they have wanted Him to be, instead of seeking who He really is.
     There is a maze of beliefs in the Christian world that one must let God resolve within themselves. He does this in many different ways, but woe, to us, if we resolve the dilemmas by making His Words say what we want them to, or even if we adopt "what we have been programmed to believe" in our own "denominations" and don't question that with the check of the Holy Spirit. We do, don't we, want the truth, and that truth only is from His heart and mind, of what He means by His own Words? So, we ask Him to "lead us into all truth" (and He will, if He knows we are sincere)  which will result in peace when He reveals them to us. They will set us free  from confusion, fear, and double mindedness.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Impacting Our World

     Do we jump on a bandwagon where many Christians are congregating, and by the power of the masses cause change? Do we cement our belief systems and together espouse them, believing that is how Christ would have us "let our light so shine"? Do we really believe our viewpoints, solidified by a majority, and proclaiming them in earnest causes others to consider our thinking as valid, and in this way, they might "see the light" and turn from their wicked ways? Has apologetics ever been an effective way of influencing others, or does it just sharpen the opponents' views and strengthens others resolve? Is the dissemination of information the way to evoke change in our world as followers of the Way?
     Are we to impact "the world" as a group, or are we to "impact our individual worlds"? My mother used to say that if we all just took care of our own houses, then the world would be a better place collectively. Although, she wasn't talking about spiritual matters such as how we "let our lights so shine" or how we are "to occupy" until He comes, the principle is well taken.
     I believe that as I "let Him have His way through me" when I have contact with people in my sphere of influence, brings more impact than if I join my own thinking with others of like mind, and try to use that to bring change. In fact, is our own thinking even valid, if it is only from our carnal minds, and not from the mind of Christ, which we possess, if we let this mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus. And what was that mind He is talking about in context of that verse?

Phil. 2:1-11

1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,a 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,b being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

As we "let this mind" (one of humility, even unto death) be in us, in our own individual world, the power of His Spirit, I believe, will have more impact than any group effort, fueled by fleshly opinions and perspectives. In fact, the latter, will only bring angst against the very purposes of God, and present to the lost world a false understanding of who God is.  We may not "see" the impact of His Sprit, but we, as people in Him, walk by faith and not by sight, and we know and believe in it, because we ourselves have experienced it when He drew us unto Himself, and continues to empower and grow us by His grace in our lives everyday.

"Less of me, more of Him" (as John the Baptist said many years ago) is the goal, and the only way, to impact others, as His light, released through us, and also supernaturally as He sovereignly chooses, dispels the darkness in our worlds. Amen.