Zion

September 14, 2012

Psalm 132:13-18
For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling:
14“This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it—
15I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food.
16I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy.
17“Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18I will clothe his enemies with shame,

Zion


Many of us may know that Zion was a stronghold or hill in pre-Israelite time.  David captured this hill from the Jebusites as described in 2 Samuel 5:6-7, “The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, “You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.” They thought, “David cannot get in here.” 7Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.”  This is where David  takes up residence.  Here is Psalms 132 Zion is referred to as the desired dwelling of God, His resting place where He eternally dwells and where He is enthroned.  In the natural it was the high place and stronghold of Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, the place of headship, rulership, authority and kingdom.
Verse 17 says, “Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.  I will clothe his enemies with shame.”  A horn is a “strong one”  What we gather from the scripture and from how Zion and Jerusalem are described in the spiritual sense, we can gather that the natural Jerusalem and Zion are only a shadow of a heavenly Zion and Jerusalem.  King David, is a type of Christ that has come to reclaim and conquer what satan has stolen and gained possession of.  Zion represents the spirit of man which was God breathed and owned but which fell into the enemies’ hands through Adam’s disobedience.  Christ Jesus is the King of Kings that reclaimed Zion upon Calvary.  Hebrews 2:8-11 says, “and put everything under his feet.”
In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”
That is a scripture to meditate upon for there is a wealth of truth in what is said here.  Jesus conquered Zion which is represented in the redemption of mankind.  Christ is that horn, that “strong one”  Psalms 132:17 refers to, but more than that He has become the eternal resting place and dwelling place of God.  The awesome thing is that we are “in Christ” which brings us into and makes us a part of Zion.  Didn’t Hebrews 2 just say, “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”  We, the IN-Christed Ones are that Zion and Jerusalem of God.  We are His holy people and the place of His habitation, because our spirits are in Christ.  What we await is the New Jerusalem, the city of God to come down out of the spirit and manifest itself in this natural world.  Christ, Himself will lead that descent.
Revelations 21:1-4 declares, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Do you see that New Jerusalem is not just a location, it is a person.  It is the bride of Christ.  Christ in His people.  Praise God!
There could be so much more written and said about this, but I just felt Father wanted to give us a foretaste of what Zion is all about.

Blessings,
kent

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Unless You Change

September 13, 2012

Matthew 18:1-4
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Unless You Change


As Father dropped this scripture in my heart today, the thing that caught my eye as I read it were the words, “unless you change.”  I don’t know if that had really stood out to me before, but it must be pretty important because unless we change and become like little children, we will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Have all of  us that profess to be believers really changed to be like little children or is it pretty much still me making things work, trying to be successful, determining my own destiny and goals and doing what I need too in order to reach them?  Have I really changed?
Little children have certain qualities Father is looking for in us as His children.  He is looking for total trust, dependency, unconditional love and faith.  Little children are most often totally honest, unpretentious, sharing, giving and obedient.  They are innocent and pure in their spirits.  They are curious and hungry to learn about the world around them.  They often see the hearts in people and not just their outward appearance.  We seldom have the untrust and skepticism about children that we have about adults.  Most of the time they are pretty much, “what you see is what you get.”  A small child is seldom arrogant and full of themselves.   They are humble, trusting and loving.  The world is what distorts that simplicity and innocence of children as they grow up and learn its ways,
Jesus is saying that if we want to enter into the kingdom we need to go back and unlearn the ways of the world, so that we can learn the ways of the Father.  We are no longer the children of this world and of its darkness.  We are the children of light, truth and love.  Those qualities are often best observed in a small child.
There is so much of the world and its ways we try to carry with us through our Christian walk and it is not of our of God and it is not our true identity.  It is an orphan spirit that doesn’t truly rest and rely upon Father.  It is selfish, self-centered and self-motivated.  It is easily offended with others and seldom walks in true love and humility, demonstrating “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Spiritual maturity is not growing up to be the best you can be, it is growing up into Him through death to self and identification with Christ.  Self and all its efforts will never transform your life and change you into the image of Christ.  At best, it can only do a cheap imitation.  Only as we lose ourselves and allow Christ to live through us can we be transformed into His likeness and nature.
Let us meditate upon that phrase, “”unless we change” and become like little children.”
We’ll never know Father’s rest in all our effort to please Him and be like Him.  We find it as we just become His little child; loving, trusting and obeying Him.  We find it as we see and do what Daddy does.  As we watch the Father and follow Jesus, we become like little children.

Blessings
kent

The Blessing of an Offering

September 12, 2012

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The Blessing of an Offering


We have a calling upon our lives in Christ to walk in the footsteps of our Savior.  His entire life was an example of presenting Himself as an offering unto the Father.  His service was both Godward and manward.  The climatic end to this offering is when He offered up His very life as an attonement and sacrifice for our sin.  Every place that we see Jesus offering Himself we see in it’s wake the blessing that follows.
In God’s call upon our lives to be an offering and a living sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to God, a blessing will follow us.  We will bless our God through a consecrated life and our spiritual act of worship.  We will also be a blessing to our sphere of influence, because an offering leaves in its wake a blessing.  How is our life blessing those around us, our family, friends, acquaintances, strangers and even our enemies?  Often, for us to be a blessing it will cost us something, but our life is a pouring out of the love of God that Christ is working in us.  Because of the sacrifice, offering and blessing that has been imparted into us; we are now becoming that same expression of offering and blessing to others.  We are identified with Him in His death.  Our offerings are not just about money or material resources they are about the expression of our love for God.  That expression of love and offering can take on many forms and have numerous ways of expression, but all of those expressions come back in the love of God to us and through us.
Our society has become one of consumers, getters and takers.  It has become our way of life. It is the pattern of the world that we are not to be conformed too.  God wants to teach us to be givers.  We walk around with the keys to the kingdom of God in our hands.  We have the power to unlock doors that others can’t unlock.  We have the knowledge to share life and hope that others can’t share.  We have the resources of God at our disposal, but they are not tapped into through self-effort or ability.  They are released through us, as we become that living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. As we are identified with Christ in death, burial, resurrection and ascension we become the expression of all that was accomplished by Him in each one of those areas.  As we come into the full submission and obedience to His will, we are empowered with authority to speak life and to do the works of the Father even as Jesus did.  As we lay down our life we are empowered with His life.  That is the blessing of an offering.

Blessings,
kent

Remembering His Word

September 11, 2012

Hebrews 6: 16-20
Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Remembering His Word


This morning the Lord gave a prophetic word which I inadvertently deleted when I closed the page without saving it. The following is a recall of the essence of what He shared with me.

Humble yourselves before Lord. He is the Lord your God and you are the sheep of His pasture.  Look into His face and behold Him, there you will see His unchanging, immutable promises that will not change concerning you.  God has called us and purposed us for such a time as this.  His people, He is calling out.  Don’t set you eyes upon the things of this world or earthly gain which is quickly perishing,  Set your heart upon the things above.  Those things which the Father gives you are not perishable, thought they pass through the fire they will not be burned.  One of those imperishable things must be your faith which is unwaivering and never changing to the circumstances around you.  Hold fast the Word of God, for in it you will find comfort and promise in this coming hour.  Don’t be as Lot’s wife who looked back at the things which were perishing, only to perish herself.
Love the Lord with all of your being and know that it is time for you to enter into the Ark of His safety.  That place is in the abiding place of Christ.  Know that even as the world hated Jesus, it will hate you, for you are not of this world.  God is calling us up higher and wants to bestow greater blessings into and through us, but He is looking for sanctified vessels; consecrated to His purpose and ever in pursuit of Him.  Pursue and buy the gold that perishes not with the using.  The gold of His nature and character.
God is your Fortress, your Bulwark and your High Tower.  Acknowledge Him in all of your ways and He will direct your path.  Your security is not in this world or in worldly possessions.  It is not in what you store up or prepare for.  Store up the bounty of God’s Word and promises in your heart, for they will be your meat in the midst of famine.  God is faithful over His own.  Do not be afraid, but do run into Him.  He alone is your hiding place.
God has raised you up and set you here for such and time as this, for this season.  You are His body and the expression of His glory.

Blessings,
kent

Romans 8:28-30
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Called According to His Purpose


At some point in life we all ask the questions about who we really are, what is our purpose and what is my life really about?  I remember going through this in college.  I had grown up in a wonderful Christian home with parents and grandparents that were godly and had always taught me about Jesus.  I had a relationship with Jesus, but it had always been built on mom and dad’s values.  Now I had to figure out are my values and purpose the same as theirs?  I went through my times of worldliness and self.  What I found was that I was going through the actions of having fun, partying and living my life, but at the end of the day it left me feeling empty and without purpose.  Fortunately it didn’t take me too long to realize that the same Lord and Savior I grew up knowing through my parents was the same Lord that brought reason and purpose into my life.  As I began to turn my heart back to Him and seek Him for more, what I discovered was there was so much more to the Christ-filled life than just church, messages about salvation and trying to live a good life.  I began to find relationship with Christ in a dimension that I had not previously known before.  I began to get that sense of His destiny and calling in my life.  Many of you may have had similar experiences in how God has called you into His purpose and eternal destiny. It amazes me as I look back over the years and see how many times the Lord has had His hand upon me, protecting and preserving me, teaching and instructing us, keeping us from massive blunders, because we sought His counsel and asked Him to direct our paths.
I am just speaking from my heart here.  God can be so near and so real at times and seemingly so distant at others.  There are times in your life when you know they are  God moments, events and happenings.  Then there are those times of desperation when we call out to God and it doesn’t seem He hear or answer.  Does that mean His calling or His purpose has changed concerning us?  No,  He doesn’t change, neither does He repent of the gifts and callings He has placed in our lives.
It is easy to love and trust someone when they are always there, always doing and providing for you, but what about when they pull away, when they disappoint you and you become disillusioned?  Do you still love them the same?  When you are in the heat of the battle and there are no reinforcements are you still as committed to fighting the good fight or do you just want to give up and quit or die?
There is a vision I heard shared, I believe by Gene Edwards, and the short version went in effect like this.  ‘Jesus came down the road and met three women one day.  The first he embraced, kissed and covered with attention.  His love was so evident to her.  The second He placed His hand on her shoulder  and gave her a reassuring smile.  The third woman He verily glanced at as He walked by her.  When the recipient of this dream or vision questioned the Lord about why He acted differently to the three women.  Why did He seem to love the first one so much and the last one so little?   He was shown that the first woman is like a new Christian.  They need to touch and feel the Lord’s love so they know He is real.  The second woman had known and walked with Jesus.  She knows He is real, but still needs that reassurance of His love.  The third woman knows Jesus so intimately that Her love for Him is not based on His showing outward affection or love.  She just knows that she knows, that she knows.  Rather she sees the evidence of God’s moving or presence, her faith is not shaken, because she simply knows that He is.’  As we mature in Christ that third woman is the place that He is taking us, because she, that was outwardly loved the least was truly loved the most.  She knew her purpose and who she was in Christ.  Outward circumstances could not shake that from her.
In Jeremiah 1:5 what God spoke to His servant Jeremiah He is speaking to all of us that are called according to His purpose.  ” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Know that all things are working for the good of those that are called according to His Purpose, even if they don’t seem good at the time.  Know Him, trust Him and don’t allow anything to move you away from your purpose in Him.

Blessings,
kent

Higher Level Living

September 7, 2012

Matthew 5:11-12
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Higher Level Living


What is our natural response to insults, verbal and physical attacks, slander, gossip and false accusations?  Isn’t it to fight back, justify, retaliate and begin attacking our attackers.  Suddenly we find ourselves drawn in and participating in the same fleshly ugliness of those who attacked us. We have come down to their level and are fighting with the same carnal weapons they are.  We are opening our hearts to be influenced by the same spirits that are influencing them.
“An eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth,” some will say.  Funny you should say that because a little further down in Matthew 5:32-42 Jesus says,  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
Wow, that is pretty unconventional wisdom by this world’s standards and wisdom only a few are willing to walk in.
Why?
Because it denies all of “my” rights.  It is asking me to give up and renounce what is “mine”.  It is asking me to return good for evil and it imposes seemingly unfair demands upon “me” as a person.  It  seems to be letting injustice prevail and our rights to be taken unfair advantage of.
When we can all walk in the principles that Jesus gives us in Matthew 5-7 it is probably a pretty good indicator that we are getting very close to being dead unto self and alive only unto Christ.  For us to willingly walk in the principles that Jesus is describing means it can no longer be about me, but only about exemplifying and living out of  Christ.  These are the principles that He walked and lived by.  The reason He could is because His heart and affection weren’t upon His natural man or the things of this world.
We all have our possessions and things we have worked hard for.  We all have our reputation and our dignity to uphold.  It so goes against our grain to be taken advantage of or exploited or to be spoken falsely about.
What Jesus is telling us is there is a higher level of kingdom living that most of us never touch or  really know because we are still so connected and attached to this earthly kingdom and realm.  Many of us still think that the political candidate or president is going to determine the fate of the world, the nation and my well being.   We may believe if others aren’t of our particular denomination or persuasion of belief they are going to hell or will miss it and yet how many of us are really living these principles of Jesus?
What we all need as believers  who say we love Christ is a deliverance from a lot of our materialistic and capitalist ways.  They are not His ways, but what the world has taught us is true and valuable.  If we are not of this world then why are these things still so important to us?  The truth is most of us are really living out of a lower level of life and values than what Christ has called us too.
Sometimes we don’t think much about it until we are put in those positions where we must choose between the conventional wisdom of this world and the wisdom that is from above.  If you want to really stand out as odd, even among most of the Christian community, try truly walking in the principles that Christ lays out here.
Finally Jesus really stretches us even more in verses 38-43 by saying,  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus is calling us to a higher place.  It is not a realm where we can operate in conventional wisdom or even love with conventional love.  It  is place that we can only operate out of, by His Spirit and His Agape’ love.   It is a place where our self identity can not live; only our identity in Christ.  It is a place where we need to thank God for our enemies, because they are the only ones who can help elevate us to this realm of living and being.  Are we ready for a higher level of living?

Blessings,
kent

A WAKE UP Call

September 6, 2012

Ephesians 5:13-15
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

A WAKE UP Call


Remember when you first came to faith in Christ?  It may or may not have been an emotional time, but we believed in our heart that we had invited Jesus in and He was now living within us.  What joy, peace and cleansing may have swept over us.  We became a new creation as we were born again, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.
From there we quite likely went to church, prayed, hopefully read our bible and grew in our faith.  What happens to many of us along the road of our salvation and walk with Jesus is that we can become complacent in our faith.  Our faith becomes like a garden untended; before we know it weeds have overgrown it and there may be little sign of the spiritual fruit and vegetables that once grew there.  We have gotten complacent.  We fell asleep.  Our attention became distracted by the world, business of life and other interests.  Slowly, but surely, our relationship with Jesus slipped further and further into the background.  Life goes on, but our garden of relationship with Jesus has become a weed patch.  Spiritual lethargy has overtaken us, our spiritual senses are dulled and things may still be going along good on the outside, but inside, at best, we are lukewarm.
Listen to what the Spirit writes to the Church of  Laodicea in Revelations 3:14-20.  “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”   We so often hear this scripture in verse 20 as an appeal to the unsaved, but clearly, here, we can see that it is an appeal to a church and people that have become blinded and dull to their spiritual condition and relationship.
What is God telling His people in this hour?  Especially a people that fit many of the attributes just described in the Church of Laodicea?
WAKE UP!    The Spirit of the Lord is calling to us, His people, in this hour to wake up out of our pride of self-sufficiency and plenty.  Outwardly we may be prosperous, but inwardly we have become wretched, poor, blind and naked.
All of us can see the world around us quickly declining.  It is no longer a matter of “if”, but “when”.  The Spirit of the Lord is arousing His sleeping ones.  Hopefully we hear His soft voice in our spirits and respond to it, but if we cover our head with our pillow, then perhaps it will take a life changing event to awaken us and hopefully not too late.
It is time to revisit the garden of our soul where we had intimacy, communion and relationship.  That place alone is our safe haven and our place of  strength.  In Psalms 91:1-3 it says, ” He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”” Then it goes on to describe how the Lord is our protection in a world that is falling down all around us.  So many of us have been abiding outside the shelter of the Most High and under the shelter of our ability, sufficiency and self efforts.  If we want to rest under the shadow of the Almighty then we have to be abiding in the Vine; in intimate and personal relationship with Christ.  All other foundations are sinking sand.
Jesus is calling us, wooing us back to Himself.  It is not His desire that any should perish, but we must discern the times and the seasons.  We must listen and hear the trumpet sounding in Zion and the alarm going off in the Holy Hill.  Song of Solomon    2:10 says, “My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”  He is calling us up into Himself.  Up into that sweet and fragrant relationship where we turn our eyes fully upon Him; again where ‘the world becomes strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’.   Now is time to return unto Him, repent of our former ways, circumcise our hearts and cultivate again the garden of steadfast love and relationship.

Blessings,
kent

Building the Temple

September 5, 2012

1 Peter 2:5
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Building the Temple


Currently we are in the process of building a studio next to our home.  We have a blue print that gives the basic plan of construction, but I am asked of the builder on a fairly regular basis what do I want here or how do I want this to look?  Nearly every day we are making decisions that affect the looks and the functionality of that building on a permanent basis.  It began to make me think how our lives are so much like the temple of God in the process of construction.  We have the Word of God as the blueprint upon which we build our lives, but every day we are faced with situational ethics that we must make decisions on what will shape its final outcome, look and purpose.  There are those decisions and choices of our will that the Master Builder gives to us to make.  If we mess up and make the wrong decision, it may be able to be corrected, but at what cost?
As we have the stewardship in building the temple of God, our personal temple, we must make the decisions that flow with and are compliment to the intent of the master plan.  For those of us who are in Christ, that is spiritual priesthood and the offering of spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God.  Our temple is not just for our pleasure, but for His.
“Lord help us to make the right decisions concerning our lives that bring you glory and praise and honor. Help us to become your dwelling place and your holy habitation.  Help us to live and make decisions concerning our lives that reflect the character and the nature of Your name which you have given us. Help us to be spiritually minded and not naturally minded, for Your Spirit abides within us.”

Blessings,
kent

Principles of the World

September 4, 2012

Galatians 4:8-11
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

Principles of the World


Paul says here that formerly, when we did not know God or rather were known by God, we “were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.”  What are these things to which he refers?
In verse 3 Paul clues us in, “So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.”  It means that we came under the law of Moses which showed us our sin and condemnation, but only the promise and shadow of our salvation.  These principles of the world could only keep and maintain us in the bondage of sin and condemnation.  At there best they were only shadows and types of that truth which Paul brought to them in the reality and fulfillment of Christ.  That divine sacrifice of Calvary was the doorway through which we step from the kingdom and the principles of this world into the kingdom and principles of God and life.
Paul says in Romans 8:1-3, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  That tells us that never, by returning to former law of Moses, will we be set free from sin.  It, along with all the principles that pertain to this world, were superceded and annulled by the cross of Christ.  He is now the higher law of life and liberty.
There is no more condemnation to the those who are in Christ Jesus.  Take note of the preposition used here.  It not spoken to those who know about Christ, to those who believe on Him or through Him.  The place of no more condemnation is “IN HIM”  That means we live out of Him, not just the knowledge of Him.
Many of us as Christians have struggled with sin all of our lives and still feel the wretched condemnation of it because we still haven’t had a true revelation of who we are IN Christ.  We don’t fully grasp that we have reckoned the old man dead and are alive unto Christ.  It is no longer out of self effort that was governed by this former principle of the world that we live.  We live out of the principle and law of the Spirit of Life that is IN Christ Jesus alone.  He was the law fulfilled IN us.   Now we are dead to the former as we live into the present.  We don’t overcome sin and the principles of this world by trying to be like Jesus.  That is self-effort and self can only perpetuate self.  It can never perpetuate Spirit.  Only Spirit can perpetuate Spirit.  Paul tells us that this is now what we live out of, the Spirit, no longer the flesh.  Romans 8:5-11 goes on to say, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives IN you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is IN you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living IN you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives IN you.”  The mind of the Spirit, is the mind of Christ IN us.  It is His Spirit abiding IN us, bringing us into ONENESS and PARTICIPATION IN Him.  We no longer are to operate out of the former us, no matter how good the intent.   We are dead unto self, but alive unto Christ, even as Paul tells the Galatians in Galatians 2:20,  “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives IN me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Only as you live out of who you are IN Christ as a son can you overcome the life you formerly lived as a slave under the principles of this world.

Blessings,
kent

Hey You! Wake Up!

September 3, 2012

1 Peter 5:9-10
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Hey You! Wake Up!


Isn’t it amazing how there can be a time when we are so in love, so on fire, so excited, full of joy and anticipation about someone or something, but as time goes on that which was extraordinary, can become ordinary, neglected and taken for granted.  It has often happened with our spouse, our children, our careers, but most unfortunate is that it also happens with our relationship with the Lord.  The things, events, people and especially our God, how do they fall off the radar of intensity, love and excitement?  Other things keep coming in and little by little diverting our attention, draining our excitement and distracting us from that which was once the most important thing in our lives.  Sometimes opposition, trials, frustrations tend to exhaust us and we get tired and want to give up.  So we tend to quit trying, we just want to take a sabbatical from all of our problems and challenges in life.  Often when we come to this place we let go of our self-control.   Instead of alert we be become apathetic, complacent and uncaring.  Now we are ripe for the adversary to come in.  We are like the sheep separated from the flock, vulnerable and easy prey.  You are not alone when this happens.  It happens to most of us at one time or another.  That is why we so often see our brothers or sisters that were so strong in the Lord and then we find out they have fallen into sin, or a couple that seemed to have such a strong family and marriage has come to divorce and separation.  The enemy is looking for our places of weakness and vulnerability.  This is one reason we need to be strong in our relationship with the body and have close fellowship.  We need accountability with one another, we need to be able to share our weaknesses and struggles praying and lifting up one another rather than condemning, judging and gossiping about each other.
Brothers and sisters you have precious seed within you.  You have the life and promise of Christ within.  You have an enemy that hates that seed.  He will do whatever will rob, steal or destroy it out of your life.  He will do whatever will make you fall or others to fall because of you.  This why the Holy Spirit is saying here, “Wake up!  Pay attention!  Come out of your slumber, your apathy and complacency.  The destroyer is near and seeking opportunity.
A pastor shared a scripture out of Proverbs 24:10-12, “If you falter in times of trouble,
how small is your strength! 11 Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. 12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”  We have a responsibility not only to stay awake for ourselves, but also to rescue one another when we are getting weak or faltering in our walk.   We are all going to have trials, difficulties, troubles, heartaches and temptations.  That is a part of our destiny and heritage.  While none of us look forward to going through these they are the birth pains of the kingdom of God within us.  These are the places where God is able to help us to find the riches of gold tried in the fire, When we overcome and prevail through them in the faith of Christ, this is what makes it ours because we possess a victory through experience.  It is great to read the testimonies of others, but there is nothing more precious than when the testimony becomes our own.  We all have testimonies and experiences, but in the midst of the heat of our trials we tend to forget what God has already done for us.  I find that I am often brought to tears as I begin to remember and recount the many blessings and faithfulness of God in my life.  It is always good to keep a journal of all the answered prayers and the ways that God is moving and doing in your life, because we have short memories and we tend to forget.  We only see what God hasn’t done for us yet, rather than all that He has already done.  Recounting the blessing and faithfulness of God will build faith, reassurance, new hope and confidence as you are facing your trials and tribulations.  Ask David.  Much of Psalms is David writing about the faithfulness of God in His life and the attributes of His character and nature.  That was building faith in Him to continue to stand in His trials, putting His faith in the Lord in the midst of great adversity.
This is a day when the tempo of the spirit world is changing.  It is going to become much more intense both in light and in darkness.  God is going to begin moving through His people again in a much more powerful way.  As He does the spirit of opposition will also become stronger.  It is not a day to run and hide or be fearful.   It is a day to rise up in the authority you have in Christ Jesus and come forth in a new boldness of faith.   As I prayed this morning there was a fresh anointing of power and authority as I prayed and prophesied over loved ones and those that God would have me pray for.
Let us wake up out of our apathy and complacency of spirit.  Get excited again about the mighty Christ who has called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.  Open your ears and eyes to the things of the Spirit, stepping into what God shows you with authority and purpose.  Remember what can happen through you isn’t dependent upon your ability, but upon your willingness to allow Him to be mighty in and through you.  Together, as one man, let us lift up holy hands and say, “Here am I God, send me.”  Let us stir up one another to good works and ministry.  Let us edify, build up one another and magnify the name of the Lord in our midst.  Hey you! Wake up!  This is a day for us to walk in victory and to be filled with the joy and excitement of what our God wants to do in and through each of us.

Blessings,
kent

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