The Lord on High

May 16, 2018

 

The Lord on High

 

Psalms 113:5

Who [is] like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

 

Praise the Lord who reigns on High,

Whose love and power and grace,

Pierce the earth and rent the sky,

Who looks upon His beloved with open face.

 

His heart is tender and His love is great,

As He gathers us as chicks beneath His wing,

His love is jealous over His mate,

As her song of love she sings.

 

The Lord is merciful to a thousand generations;

His forgiveness reaches through the span of man.

Redemption and salvation are His great vocation,

As He brings His beloved into His eternal plan.

 

His ways are high and past finding out,

Yet He shares His secrets through the Holy Spirit within.

He leads us in the way up into His high and holy mount.

Mount Zion is His throne-room where the issues of life begin.

 

Be still and reverence this High and Holy One!

Lay prostrate upon your face as unto the Lord you call.

Then rise to sing His praise and magnify the Son,

Who is worthy of all our praise, the Redeemer of us all.

 

His Holy Hand directs His Holy Plan,

As He searches out His own.

In weakness and utter dependency of man,

Is the glory revealed and His great power is shown.

 

It is not in us, who will or do,

But it is God who gives the increase.

It is His power and grace working in me and you,

That brings forth wonders that never cease.

 

Oh Lord, we wholly lean on Jesus name,

As we run this race in our soul.

Your Spirit life is the conqueror’s flame,

And Your HIGH CALLING is our goal.

Blessings,

#kent

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Our Balanced Position

May 15, 2018

 

Our Balanced Position

 

Philippians 4:19

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

All of us know what an old wooden wagon wheel looks like with a hub and spokes that extend out to the outer wheel.  We also know that in order for that wheel to be round and true, all of those spokes have to be of equal length and strength.  If any of those spokes were broken, or too short or too long then our wheel would be out of round and lopsided.   God’s character, truth and provision are much the same way in the way we perceive it and incorporate it into our lives.  Many of the more mature Christians reading this can look back over their walk and probably identify times and areas of their lives that were out of balance.  Many of us have areas in our lives like that right now, but may not even realize it.  Many times when God brings us into the revelation of a truth, it is like this is the greatest thing God could ever do and we take off running with this new revelation as if were the whole package in itself.  The reality is that it is a spoke of Truth and not the whole wheel.  It is in these times that we tend to get out of balance, as we are more extreme in one area than another.  Many of our denominations are built and operate out of this premise that we have more of a truth or revelation of God than another does.

We could debate about what is the greatest gifts of the Spirit, or what is the greatest area of ministry or who is the greatest in the body of Christ, or what is the greatest truth of God’s word.  The truth is simply that it is ‘the one most needed at the time’.  All of God’s truth, provisions, the attributes that distinguish His character, whether it is as our savior, healer, provider, deliverer, strength, protector, and all that God encompasses is contained in the hub of who He is.  God is a never-ending circle of completion and fulfillment of all our need.  We don’t have “needs”.  We have one need and that is for our God.  If we possess God and He possesses us, then all of our need is supplied according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Wherever we lack in our natural man, our God can supply that need.  Whenever that wagon wheel runs over a rock or bump that tries to compress that wheel by bringing specific pressure to bear, all of the spokes work together to provide strength and unity to provide that the wheel retains its roundness.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 it says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” We see that there are many diversities in the Spirit, but the Spirit is the one they all originate from and the “manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”  From this analogy it is not hard to see how each of us are like the spokes in the wheel of God’s body.  As we operate out of the Spirit we all supply one another’s needs according to the gift that God has given us.  Each one of us is essential and important in the economy of God.  If we are failing to live in the destiny and purpose of God for our lives then we are throwing things out of balance.  Needs may not be met because we are the missing link and spoke to carry out God’s purpose and plan.  The balance in our walk and in our faith is seeing that all of God’s truth is essential as God’s Word and power is being made alive and having expression, through us His body.  As we dwell in the Spirit of unity and love, everyone’s need is met; balance is complete as we realize that all parts are needed to complete the whole.   “Our God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Blessings,

#kent

The Gift

May 14, 2018

 

The Gift

 

1 John 3:16

Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

 

 

Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. “  The greatest gift we can give one another is ourselves, our life, our time and our love.  Often we equate love with what monetary gifts we can give.  Those gifts are good and loving expressions, but they should be in addition too and not in place of the others.  Many of us don’t realize that we are a gift to someone else that loves and needs what we have to give.  Far too often we end up withholding our gift or using it on the demands that life puts on us, rather than on those who really need and would appreciate it.  Our quality time can be of more value than we can realize.  Our personal love and attention are often the only things that can meet the needs in others.  Especially in our society, we tend try and use a lot of substitutes, but there are hurting and lonely people for whom the greatest gift is our personal time, attention and love.

I know I have often been guilty of being so involved in my work or interested in other things, that I have neglected the greater needs in my family.  Many of us realize that we have done this.  When we come to the end of our lives it will be the relationships that we have built through the investment of our time and our lives that will matter most.  We all seem to think there will always be tomorrow, but tomorrows will run out and we will have never lived and loved for today.

The greatest reward we have in life is the satisfaction we have in giving, in making another’s life a little better, a little richer and ministering to those little personal needs that we all have.   Jesus gave us the most precious and priceless gift that anyone has ever given, His life.  That gift has perpetuated life now through millenniums of time.  It is the gift that keeps on giving.   God has placed a gift in us that we must be faithful in giving.  The more that we give it, the greater the increase.  Someone needs the love and personal attention that only you can give.  Let us not deny those needs wherein we rob not only them, but ourselves as well.  Give out the love that Christ has placed in your heart.  It is not for keeping, but for giving.

 

 

This an attachment with this writing that a friend had sent and I thought it so illustrated this point:

 

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying

groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years

was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

 

He often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and

look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot

him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.

 

He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only

wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was

different since he had passed on.

 

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

 

 

 

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and

remembered how he had loved his steak.

 

Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a

soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of

T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated and then put them back.

She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

 

She saw me watching her and she smiled. “My husband loves T-bones, but

honestly, at these prices, I don’t know.”

 

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.

 

“My husband passed away eight days ago,” I told her. Glancing at the

package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. “Buy

him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.”

 

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the

package in her basket and wheeled away.

 

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy

products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy.

A Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing

else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

 

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the

front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady

coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was

the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled

her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.

 

As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my

eyes. “These are for you,” she said and placed three beautiful long

stemmed yellow roses in my arms. “When you go through the line, they

will know these are paid for.” She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss

on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she’d done,

what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked

away as tears clouded my vision.

 

I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue

wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the

answer seemed so clear. I wasn’t alone.

 

Oh, you haven’t forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my

eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

 

Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.

(Please read all of this, it is really nice)

 

This is a simple request. If you appreciate life, send this to your

friends, including the person that sent it to you.

 

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank

you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

 

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as

possible. Thank you, Lord , that I can see. Many are blind.

 

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that

I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

 

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost,

toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud.

 

Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

 

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in

magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced.

 

Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

 

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord,

for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

 

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my

circumstances were not so modest.

 

Thank you, Lord, for life.

 

Pass this on to the friends you know. It might help a bit to make this

world a better place to live, right? A friend is someone we turn to when

our spirits need a lift. A friend is someone to treasure.

 

For friendship is a gift. A friend is someone who fills our lives with

Beauty, Joy and Grace and makes the world we live in a better and

happier place.

 

YOU ARE MY FRIEND!

 

God bless you and yours.

Blessings,

#kent

All Dried Up

May 11, 2018

 

Joel 1:7-12

7He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.

8Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

9The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’s ministers, mourn.

10The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

11Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

12The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

 

All Dried Up

 

The time is coming when the Church as we know it will be dried up.  She will be stripped bare clean.  Her ceremonial functions will cease and God’s people will mourn.  The vine will appear barren and wasted, unfruitful and cast off.

 

“Lo, the day is at hand, the great day and terrible day of the Lord when the earth and the heavens will be shaken by spiritual forces and sounds.   The waster will come, the destroyer will mount his horse and death will ride in fury and darkness.  As the paps have ceased to suckle so my outward Church has ceased to bring forth the sincere milk and the meat of the Word.  The priest and ministers mourn, for what they once knew is gone.

The true Church is not that which seen with the outward eye, but that which is hidden in Me.  It is the bubbling streams, fountains and brooks beneath the surface of the ground and hidden from the natural eye.  When all looks lost, when the enemy gloats in his victory then the water of My divine life and power will break forth to water the earth and life will spring forth in the desert places.  First, the wasting must come and the waster will have his season.  Just as the appearance of life is gone in the day of drought and famine, it is not gone but simply hidden awaiting the rain.  When the former and the latter rain do come they shall come with such life that they will dispel and cast out the spirit of death.  Life shall reign, fruitfulness shall abound and your enemies will be driven into the sea.

Prepare for the day at hand.  Buy from Me true gold tried in the fire.  Get the oil of My Spirit and anointing and fill your vessels, for only the Spirit of Christ in you will sustain you in that day and those that know not my Spirit will perish.  Prepare and make ready.  Set your houses in order and enter into the temple of My presence, under the shadow of the Almighty.  Come and hide yourself in Me till the darkness is past.  The life that you have known shall pass away, but the life that I shall bring forth shall so surpass it.  Remain faithful and true, steadfast and obedient, for I the Lord am the Rock of your salvation and with a mighty hand I will cover My faithful ones.”

Blessings,

#kent

Acts 4: 32-35

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

 

Where do our True Riches and Resources Lie?

 

Many of us are coming to the sobering realization that the rich and abundant life as we have known in it in America is quickly coming to an end.  So much of what the Lord has been speaking to us to prepare for is now coming into plain view.  A great deal of what the Lord has been speaking has been about the preparation of our hearts and our relationship with Him.  He has been encouraging us to get our eyes off of the things of this world and on to His kingdom.  We, as the body of Christ, must begin to learn how to function in God’s kingdom economy.  What we have known up to this point and time has mostly been about how to prosper in this world’s economy.  Now we see the foundations of this world’s economy quickly crumbling and the handwriting is on the wall.  We may hope that America’s stimulus packages will be our salvation, but in truth they it may only fuel the inevitable.

The question in our hearts and minds is, “What do we do now?”  The Lord has been trying to prepare us by shifting our hearts and affections from this world and getting them where they have belonged all along, which is upon Him.  I don’t know how it will all take place, but I sense that God is going to show Himself a much greater provider than many of us really believe that He is.  If our riches are no longer in our monitory system, then where are they?  Well first and foremost, most of us know that they are in the Lord.  Yet I don’t know of any one that has ever seen money just raining out of heaven.  God works through natural means His wonders to behold.  What we are going to need to do in these coming times is to lose our isolationism and independence so that we can begin to come together in community.  In our community is where our true riches and resources lie.  What we can no longer do as individuals we can do as a community of like-minded believers who are willing to live and give for the common good.  We see this principle in operation in the early church who were often ostracized, plundered, persecuted and stripped of their earthly position and possessions.  There is strength in community when we come along side of one another and each begins to put their brother’s need before their own.  In order to truly be a body we have to learn to function and operate as a body.  We have only seen this in an in-part realm in our current church bodies.  We can see a better picture of it in our Amish communities and others like them that have maintained this as a way of life.  Now is the time to wean ourselves from the dependence we have had upon the world.  I am not telling anyone to quit their jobs, but we can readily see that our jobs and our income are no longer our security.  As we prepare for the leaner and more trying times ahead remember this principle and ask of the Lord His wisdom as you prepare and make decisions.  Begin to establish tighter stronger bonds of relationship with fellow believers.  God is going to be taking away our independence so that we can learn His unity.  This also means that as we come into closer quarters with one another there will more occasions for irritations.  God is teaching us to lose our selfishness and ourselves.  We all have so much more of it than we want to acknowledge or probably even realize.  We are entering into a time of practical hands on Christianity where the rubber meets the road, so get ready to die to yourself.

Things will begin to radically change, but God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power and a sound mind.  As we set our eyes upon the Lord He will begin to bring forth a new order and you will see that your communities must grow much stronger, because it will no longer be about us individually, but about us corporately.  Begin to prepare by setting aside and storing up the essential things.  It is time to get rid of the non-essential baggage that only weighs us down.  As we seek the Lord He will give us His wisdom and guidance.  He is well able to care for His own.  He showed us that when He cared for over a million people out in a wilderness with no natural resources to rely upon.  It is a time when we will begin to learn what it is to truly live and operate out of a kingdom economy.  God’s kingdom knows no lack and He is well able to supply all of our need according to His riches in glory.

Blessings,

#kent

 

Repeating Offenses and Failures

 

Romans 7:17-24

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.   Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. or I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

 

               I don’t know that there are any of us that don’t struggle in our lives with our character flaws and weaknesses that seem to want to continue surfacing and have long been a source of consternation and dismay to us.  We don’t like these flaws, habits, strongholds, weaknesses and shortcomings; we hate them.  We know they don’t please God and yet we find ourselves again and again falling back into these snares.  We may even wonder if we could still be saved, as many times as we have failed, repented and then failed again.  This is where the rubber meets the road for many of us in our spiritual walk.  The latter part of Romans 7 deals, I believe, with this very issue.  It really boils down to a warring issue within our lives.  There are two laws that war in our members and while we serve the law of God in our mind, we find the law of sin, still wanting and seeking place in our bodies.  As we seek to ascend in our minds and spirits we have the flesh seeking to pull us back down, bringing condemnation and once again breaking and interrupting our spiritual fellowship with the Lord.  We, like Paul, cry out, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Then he goes on to answer his own question, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  What is he saying, that we can be divided and our mind serves God and our flesh serves sin?  No, he is saying that which ever one we give place too, that is the one we will serve.  Romans 8 really goes on to give the extension to the answer of our dilemma that he has addressed in Chapter 7.  Romans 8:1-2, ” [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”  It is in grasping and laying hold of the higher law that now governs our lives that we begin to walk and live in a new mindset.  It is the mindset that is identified, not with our old man governed by the law of sin and death, but our new man which is governed by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  One of the greatest reasons for our prayer life and spending time in the Word is so that we can renew our minds in who we are in Christ.  We are no longer that old person, enslaved under the law of sin, subject to its bondage.  We have been set free; the Lord has broken those shackles off of us.  Does that mean that we will never be tempted or influenced by the former things?  Not at all, we know that the flesh, and that former mindset that wants to regain its strongholds in our lives, constantly assault us.  Our freedom is in Christ and in our walk in the Spirit.  Romans 8:5-10, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.” If we are the ones still trying to conquer our weaknesses in our own strength then we are doomed for the failure we’ve experienced in the past.  It is the Spirit working in concert with our will and submission to Him that is our empowerment.  Romans 8:13, ” For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”  Our lives in the Spirit are a continual overcoming of our flesh and the law of sin that wars against our members.  Are we going to lose some battles, yes, we still fall short far too often, but we have set our course.  Our eyes are fixed upon our Savior and “it is no longer I that live, but Christ in me (Galatians 2:20).”  That old man was crucified with Christ on the cross, but daily we become a living sacrifice consecrated unto Him.  He is our victory and in Him we are more than conquerors.  Don’t be discouraged, for His blood washes and forgives our failures as we repent and turn back to Him.  The more Christ fills our hearts and minds the less room and place there is for sin as the Holy Spirit is given full place to govern over our souls.  Press on, identified with who you are in Christ.  The Holy Spirit is empowering us to be the sons of God He has called us to be.

Blessings,

#kent

The Kidron Brook

May 8, 2018

 

The Kidron Brook

 

2 Chronicles 30:14

And they arose and took away the altars that [were] in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast [them] into the brook Kidron.

 

 

There is a valley and stream that runs east of Jerusalem called the Kidron brook.  As the Lord began to unfold some things it is interesting that Kidron means “dark”.  What was interesting also was that I was seeing that when there was a purging of idolatry, idols and altars of incense, it was the Kidron brook they brought them too and disposed of them.  The scripture we read above is from Hezekiah’s reign when he was restoring the Passover in Jerusalem.  During King Josiah’s reign we read in 2 Kings 23:4-6, “And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped [it] small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.”  Again in 2 Chronicles 15:16 King Asa deals with his idolatrous mother, “And also [concerning] Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from [being] queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped [it], and burnt [it] at the brook Kidron.”

We can see here from several examples that when a righteous king came upon the throne in Israel that there was a purging of idolatry and those idolatrous things were disposed of in the brook Kidron.  As interesting as that is, what does that have to do with you and me?  We know that it is the bride of Christ that is the New Jerusalem.  Revelations 21:2 says, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”  We know that it is the “true church” that is the bride of Christ.  When I say ”true church”, we do not speak with regards to Protestants, Catholics or any denominations thereof.  We speak of those who have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb, who have received Him as their Savoir and abide in relationship with Him.  Jesus is the King of righteousness that has come to reign upon the throne of our hearts and lives.  What kind of groves, idols and altars of incense might He find within our hearts and lives?  The edict has gone forth and the Holy Spirit is carrying it out in our lives.  He is cleansing His house.  He is cleansing us individually and corporately.  He wants to smash our idols to dust and cast them back into the dark places that they came from.  That Kidron Brook in our lives is in that valley of our will, it is on the East where the Son of God arises in our hearts.  He is shedding His divine light upon the areas of darkness, rebellion and idolatry in us.  This is the day of His purification.  If we are not willing, as many in those days weren’t, to come and relinquish our idols, then instead of the baptism of fire, we will experience that baptism of judgement.  Our idols, those things that we covet and hold so dear will not be able to save and deliver us in that day.  Many of them scoffed and said, “Oh they have been talking about this for years and nothing has happened.”  2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  God is calling His people to repentance in this hour.  As we are willing to tear down the strongholds that we have permitted to exist in our lives and grind them to powder, casting them into that Kidron brook it is the act of relinquishment of our will to His.  It is where we cast the sins of our separation into the dark waters that carry them forever away from us.  Today is our day to sanctify and purify our temples.  What idols and strongholds am I not willing to let go of?  What is hindering me in my relationship and fellowship with my Savior King?  What is it I need to throw into the Kidron brook?

blessings,
#kent

 

The Way of Your Ancestors

 

Job 22:15-22

Will you keep to the old path that evil men have trod? 16 They were carried off before their time,

their foundations washed away by a flood. 17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do to us?’ 18 Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things, so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked. 19 “The righteous see their ruin and rejoice; the innocent mock them, saying, 20 ‘Surely our foes are destroyed, and fire devours their wealth.’ 21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. 22 Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.

 

Some cultures, especially eastern ones, put a great deal of emphasis upon their ancestors; our culture does not have that emphasis.  We come from many different backgrounds and heritages.  I tend to believe that just as physical traits and characteristics are passed down from generation, there are spiritual influences that may be passed on as well.  These can be both good and bad.

Perhaps I come from a long line of ancestors who were preachers and men of God.  Many of them no doubt prayed and asked God’s anointing and blessing upon their heritage and the generations to follow them.  In that case I was born into a blessing and the Lord might be answering their prayer through me as I respond in obedience to the call of God upon my life, whatever that may be.  I have a spiritual influence that moves me towards righteousness and sensitivity toward the Lord.  While it is an influence it is still subject to my will and choice.  We can see in the lineage of David how that the Lord promised that his seed would not fail to inherit the throne as long as they walked in the ways of the Lord.  As we follow history we can readily see that his seed didn’t always choose the way of their father, but departed from the Lord and chose wickedness.

If we look at the flip side of this and now we will say that I came from a long line of criminals or of wicked and perverse ancestors.  Does that mean I must follow that same pattern?  It is true that there may be spiritual influences and the same spirits that influenced my ancestors may seek a home in me.  Again that cycle can be broken by my choice.  If God, in His mercy, reveals the way of life to me and I respond to that, then He has also made a way for me to be free from the evil spiritual influences of my past.  It is important that when I come from this background that I renounce every spirit of darkness that has attached itself to me, that I acknowledge Jesus Christ as my only Lord and Savior and that I ask for His blood to cover and cleanse me from both past and present sins and influences.

This does not mean that these spirits will not test you and they will try and convince you that you are the same old sinner and person that you were or that your ancestors were.  This is where we dig our heels into the promises and the declarations of God’s Word, for we walk by faith and not by sight.

Perhaps someone reading this is struggling with their past and they are feeling the condemnation and accusation of the enemy upon their lives.  This word is for you, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:16).  Hold fast the confidence of your faith, for the Lord is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him and He will see you through.  He knows you struggle and has given you the Holy Spirit to help you and encourage you.  Perhaps you have stumbled and fallen into those past ways.  Now, perhaps you feel the Lord will forsake you, because you have failed.  No, God is there for you.  You have an advocate; one who pleads your cause and His name is Jesus.  When you cried out for forgiveness the first time the Lord heard you and forgave you, now you must forgive yourself and as Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “…neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin no more.”  Often when we sin in a great way we want to continue to punish ourselves by not receiving the Lord’s forgiveness and we begin to grieve the Holy Spirit, because we won’t receive what He has already given us.  Forgive yourself now, come out from under the condemnation that you have felt and receive what Jesus died to give you.  Look to Him for His strength to make good choices and be set free, regardless of your background and ancestry.

Blessings,

#kent

 

Kingdom of Heaven  (Part 3)

A Matter of the Heart

 

Mathew 13:19

While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside.

 

“Our mind must bring our mortal man into agreement with who we are as a spiritual being.”  Jesus likens the gospel of the kingdom unto a seed planted in the ground.  The type of soil that it falls into has everything to do with its success in taking root, growing up and bearing fruit.  This has to do with the condition of our hearts.  In this parable from Mathew 13 Jesus describes a number of conditions in which the seed doesn’t take root or if it does, why it doesn’t remain and become fruitful.

Our hearts, spiritually speaking, are made up of our soul and spirit.  We have already discussed how Christ came to reside in our spirits when we asked him into our hearts.  Our souls are made up or our mind, will and emotions.  These constitute how we relate to the Lord both initially and throughout our relationship with Christ.  It is the realm of the soul wherein lies the battle for the kingdom of heaven.  A person who has received Christ and given themselves to God, has the desire to press in with their soul and possess what they already possess in the spirit.  This is what the Bible terms walking in the Spirit.  What was not possible before, is now made possible because of the power of Christ in us.  Romans 8:2-5 puts it in this perspective, “2For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], 4So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. 5For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and  seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.”  Self has been dethroned and Christ has been enthroned in our hearts.  We now operate under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  What we could not do in ourselves, Christ has done for us, so it is now a matter of bringing the soul into alignment with the law that has been written upon our hearts.  It is the law of the kingdom and the Holy Spirit is its administrator.

In this lower realm of heaven where the souls of natural men abide we find that there is still a war going on for our souls.  In this realm we find principalities, powers and rulers of darkness still in operation and launching assaults first to keep us from coming into the kingdom of God, but then once we have, there is still the assaults to rob it from us.  It is our soul that is caught between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.  The difference is that now that we are in Christ we are equipped with spiritual armor, the Word of God and the power of God to do battle with this enemy of our soul.  Still there is a responsibility that lies with each of God’s children to utilize what God has provided us.  There is the need for continual vigilance to align our minds and our thinking with the mind of Christ and the Word of God.  If satan can deceive or get a hold of our minds then he can pull us down from our relationship and intimacy with Christ.  He can pervert and pollute our walk and put us again under the bondage of the flesh.  He desires to bring us back again under the mindset of the law of sin and death.  On one hand he seeks to corrupt us and on the other he seeks to condemn us when we step in his corruption.  The more condemnation we feel and give place too the less faith we have to lay hold of God’s promises and His Word.  There is a war in the heavenlies of our soul.  In this realm of the kingdom of heaven the battle is still going on.  We are in it and we must be mindful of it.  Ephesians 6:10-18 exhorts us, “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 11Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. 14Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 15And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace, 16Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. 18Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).”  Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.”

The soul is the spiritual battleground where the war must be won and the kingdom of God established.  Christ has given us the victory and He has sat down at the right hand of the Father till His enemies be made His footstool.  We are the feet and the body that must carry out the victory and establish the kingdom of heaven in this earth through the power of Christ within.

Blessings,

#kent

 

 

Kingdom Principles (Part 2)

The Kingdom Within You

Luke 17:22

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

 

I believe the kingdom of heaven is not so unlike the make-up of man.  God so often works in threes and we can see the kingdom of heaven much the same way.  We know for instance that there is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In a man there is spirit, soul and body.  In God’s tabernacle and temple there are outer court, inner court or holy place and Holy of Holies.  Much of God’s structure can be seen following this pattern.  In meditating upon the scriptures that pertain to the kingdom we can see the kingdom working in three aspects.  We are all pretty much settled on the fact and truth that there is a heaven beyond this natural realm where indeed God and His heavenly host reside.  We have come to see and believe that this a place of perfection where sin and corruption have no place.  When we’re redeemed through our faith and acceptance of Christ into our hearts and lives, the kingdom of God was brought into our spirits.  Our spirit is like the heaven of our beings.  It is the place of God’s resident presence through the Holy Spirit.  It is the one place we can presently know perfection and righteousness and it is this presence and indwelling of the Holy One that sets apart from the world and this natural realm of being.  When the gospel of the kingdom of God or heaven is preached; it is the gospel of salvation and of Christ redeeming and saving us from our body of sin and death.  Through that gospel we live in the hope of heaven and the kingdom of God fully being manifested in our life and being.

As a side note I have wondered about what is the difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven.  It appears that in the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John where this terminology is most used that Matthew likes to use the term “kingdom of heaven”, whereas the other gospels seem to predominately us the term “kingdom of God”.  We can see these terms used in reference to the same parable in different gospels with one using one term and the other using the other term, so they would appear to be interchangeable and of the same in meaning.

Returning to this idea of a three-part kingdom of heaven, we can relate to our spirits actually dwelling in a heavenly state.  When Christ came into our heart or our Spirit, the kingdom of God came within us.  Colossians 3:1-4 exhorts us concerning the state of salvation we have entered into and how that is to influence us outwardly.  It says, “IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God, 2And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. 3For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory.”  Our relationship with Christ should be bringing us into a realm of heavenly mindedness.  Our mind must bring our mortal man into agreement with who we are as a spiritual being.  Lets look a little further into how this heavenly indwelling is to impact our former man and nature.  Ephesians 2: 1- 6, “AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins 2In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. 3Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. 4But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, 5Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). 6And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”  Here we see that in Christ we currently sit in heavenly places with Him.  So the seat of our spirit is in heaven.  Obviously we would love to see the rest of our being in this place also, but in this realm of the rest of our being we see a progress of salvation at work which will bring us to next realm of the kingdom.

Blessings,

#kent

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