Psalms 55:22

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

 

Unto You, I Bring My Life

 

The ways of the Lord are steadfast. He is not moved by every wind of circumstance as men are.  His perspective is high above all and sees all and knows all.  Why would we not want to put our confidence in Him who is all and in all.  Life can weigh heavy upon us at times and seem even an insurmountable weight, but the Word says we don’t have to bear the weight of that burden, because our God has broad and strong shoulders.  He will undertake for us and sustain us.  For where we are weak, He is strong.  Where we would fail, He overcomes.  He is the overcomer in us, showing us His strength even in the midst of our adversity and suffering.

When you have a wash cloth full of water and you want to use it to wipe the counter what do you have to do first?  You have to wring out the excess water, so you twist it tightly in you hands as the excess water pours out.  That is similar to what God must to do in us to make us usable to wash and clean others.  He has to wring out the self and selfishness, so all that remains is selflessness in service of others and we are usable in His hands.  If He used us the way we were, we would no doubt make more of a mess than we cleaned up.  Too much water.  Too much self.  God is breaking us only to establish us in Him who is immovable and unbreakable.  He shall sustain us.

Psalm 25:1-5 in the Amplified version puts it so beautifully this way:

“UNTO YOU, O Lord, do I bring my life.

2O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me.

3Yes, let none who trust and wait hopefully and look for You be put to shame or be disappointed; let them be ashamed who forsake the right or deal treacherously without cause.

4Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.

5Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You [You only and altogether] do I wait [expectantly] all the day long.

It is in our God we wait expectantly and faithfully.  We know that He is has our life in His hands and that all things are working together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  Even when we don’t see our answers in the time and the way we expect to see them, God is still God.  He works all things after the counsel of His will and not ours.  Even though we may think we know how to run God’s business better, trust me, we don’t.

I am reminded of the New Testament equivalent of this scripture in Philippians 4:6-7 (Amplified) it says this, “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.  7And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Is everything in life going to go the way we planned and hoped?  Probably not.  Life has its bumps and turns, some more severe than others, but Christ is the vehicle that helps us negotiate all the roads that life takes us down.  He is our peace, protection and provision.  He will see us through and work His great salvation in us if we hold fast our confidence and do not grow weary in well doing.  The pathway to Sonship is a disciplined path. It will often take us where we would not go and cause us to do what we would not do.  Transformation is like that.  It will turn you inside out as it makes a new creature of you.

Cast your burden and your anxieties upon the Lord.  He is our peace, our confidence, our safety, our provision and our answer to every trial that is set before us.  “Unto YOU, O Lord, do I bring my life.”

Blessings,

#kent

“So then, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”                                                          Romans 5:18-19

Understanding the “Why” of Being

 

A created being can not know its place, its purpose or the fullness of its reason for being outside the One who created it.  Outside of that understanding it can still function and be, in the fractured sense of its own understanding, but that will always be perverted, distorted and imperfect outside of its true purpose and understanding for its being.  In order for one to truly know the reason for why something was created, one must go back to the creator who created it.  Only in his mind and reason are the answers for His creation.

A Creator creates a being in His image, having a spirit like His creator.  There is imparted to the created a gift of free will to choose to function within the design of the Creator, which is its highest purpose, or to function in another way of its choosing.  When the Creator breathed into its created, the breath of life, it was given the life of the Creator’s own Spirit.  As long as the created only ate of the fruit of the Creator’s design, it would abide, live and continue in the life and highter purpose that the Creator intended for it, but in the day that it chose to willfully disobey and step out of its higher life and purpose by eating of the fruit of self will and knowledge it would die to the higher Spirit life it had had the privilege of partaking of.

Within the design of the Creator. there exist a competitor to the creator; a preditor of His creation.  While he can’t destroy the creation, he seeks to possess it.  The only way he can legally possess it is to get the created to choose, by its own free will, the knowledge of good and evil.  He presents that knowledge of good and evil to the created in such a way that insinuates that the Creator is keeping something from them that would allow them to become like Him, when in fact they were already like Him.  He cloaks the death of this poison apple with the lie that they will live in a greater state than what they have known because they will know both good and evil.  To know what evil is, one must experience it.  One must step out of the light and into the darkness, to know what it is like not to see.  Through the free will consent of the created, to partake of this forbidden fruit, that would be the spiritual death of all of creation to follow, the competitor gained the legal access to control the Creator’s creation.  It was never the Creator’s choice, it was the creation’s choice.

The competitor rejoiced in that day, because now he could begin his work of stealing the true identity of the Creator’s creation, of cloaking the created’s understanding in darkness, perversion, self-will, self-worship.  He could bring the Creator’s creation into the kingdom realms of sin and death.  There it would know wars, famine, suffering, sickness, disease, poverty, fear, bondage and death.  Such was the fruit the Creator had endeavored to prevent His creation from having to partake of.

Since this was a legal transacton of the created’s free-will to partake of this knowledge of good and evil, the Creator could not violate His own decree and gift, to keep his created from the consequences of its choice.  It appeared as if the Creator’s competior had stolen and taken captive His creation.  Yet, even in this bleak moment, when now, the competitor controlled the world, the created still had the freedom to choose. The Creator planted the seed of His truth and light even in the midst of that field of darkness.  Through that seed He would insure that His light and presence were still known and present in this place.  He would show Himself strong in the midst of those that welcomed Him and put their faith and trust in Him by their choice.

The sins of the created could only be placated and satisified by the shedding of blood and the giving of a life.  There could be no attonement for sin outside the life-giving sacrifice.  This spoke to a greater sacrifice of which all others were but a type and shadow.  The sacrifice of the Creator’s own Son to attone for the choice of

death and provide opportunity, through the Son, to choose the path back to the Creator’s original intent for His creation and why they were created.

Blessing,

#kent

Today is the Day

March 27, 2020

Luke 21:25-28

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

 

Today is the Day

 

Most of us that have any spiritual relationship or understanding of spiritual things can see that the atmosphere is changing.  The word of prophecy is prolific and abundant in this day. We may not comprehend fully how all the events are unfolding or all that is really taking place in this day.  That’s okay, we don’t have to understand it all.  It is not our knowing that is our redemption, it is our relationship with Jesus, the Son of God.  If we don’t understand anything else, may we understand this, we are standing on the precipice of these last days.  If we know nothing else WE MUST KNOW HIM!  Heaven and earth will pass away, but only what we have in Christ is eternal.  All material and fleshly things will be consumed, but only that which we have received from the Father by the Holy Spirit will remain.

Many people are seeing the signs of the times.  They are buying gold, silver and precious metals.  They are storing up food supplies and trying to figure out a safe place to go when it all falls apart.  May I suggest that there is only one place of safety and provision and that is in the rest and the source of the Father.  If you are going to store up anything in this hour then store up the knowing and faith in Him to meet all of your needs.

Jesus goes on in verses 34-36 of this passage to say, “”Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Now for many this hour is a time of great anxiety, worry and fear.  That is not what God has for His people who truly know Him.  How does Jesus say that you escape all the thing that are about to happen?  “Be always on the watch and pray.”  In other words, it is in flowing in the river of relationship with Christ that we find our redemption and safety.

The danger is to those of us who are still lukewarm, trying to have the best of both worlds.  We want a comfortable religion that doesn’t infringe too much on our personal lives and values so we can feel like we are all right with God and have everything else we want too.  The Spirit of the Churches speaks to us in  Revelations 3 about this very condition.  “So, 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. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  For many of us, we have religion and a form of godliness, but in God’s eyes we are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  Even though we may lack for nothing in this world we are desperately poor in the economy of God and it is His economy that we must learn to live out of, for the world’s is soon to pass away.  Especially to those who are going to stand in their faith for Christ.  The gold He counsels us to buy is God’s life and nature, we buy that by walking the through trials and testing of our faith; counting Him faithful who has promised.  That is how we become rich in faith and we come to know His faithfulness in our desperate circumstances.  The white clothes are the robes of His righteous imparted to us by faith as we walk in obedience to His Word.  The eye salve is the Holy Spirit anointing to see God’s truth and not a perversion of the truth.

If we don’t understand anything else about these end times let us understand this. Christ alone is the rock of your salvation and on Him alone will you be able to stand.  All else around you is sinking sand and if your dependency is upon your own resource you will sink in that sand.  If you know nothing else come to know Him and have a relationship with Him as you never have before.  He alone remains when all else is lost.  As His sons and daughters, we come to know that it is the Father who preserves and keeps us and none other.  Through the many trials of our faith He is preparing us for a reason and a season.  Today is the day! Act on it.

Blessings,

#kent

The House of God

March 20, 2020

 

The House of God

 

Ephesians 2:19-22

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

 

The house of God, as most of us know, is not a structure of wood and stone.  It is not a religion or an organization, but it is a living organism structured, designed, and formed by the Spirit of God for His Holy Habitation.   It is like a house within a house.  You and I are individually the temples and dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, but at the same time we are being formed corporately into the temple and dwelling of the Most High.

What comes to mind is a honeycomb of fitted individual cells all joined together into a hive.  It is there that you find the honey, the anointing, the sweet out-flowing of the Holy One.  Al of its members work in one accord and unto one end, to perpetuate the life of that hive.  Each member has their own functions and abilities and as each one is faithful to function in their gifting and calling, the hive will prosper.

Before we knew Christ we had no real home, no real purpose and we were strangers to God.  It was His grace that led us unto repentance and salvation that He might join us unto His own where we now have purpose and true meaning in our lives.

It says we have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.  These were the stones through which God’s Word came forth and established what we now read as our Bible.  They gave the tenants and blueprints of God’s design so that we could continue to be built with continuity from generation to generation, not wavering from the original design and purpose of our Master Architect and Builder, who is Himself the chief cornerstone, the primary support and anchor of God’s temple as well as the capstone and crown of glory that completes and finishes it.

Ephesians 4:11-16 says, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”  From this scripture has come the terminology of what we call the five-fold ministry.  A brother shared with us a good analogy the other day as we were having fellowship.  He said he saw the five-fold ministry much like the forms in construction that are assembled with reinforcements placed within them and then filled with concrete.  The forms are not the actual structure or building, but are there to give shape, dimension, and form to the structure, but once the concrete has set up and taken the shape it was designed for the forms are stripped away.  The five-fold ministry is not an end in itself, but they are the materials and tools to build the house into God’s design.  The end purpose is to have a unified structure that is an organism that functions in the fullness of Christ, whose head is Christ.  Each member works together with the other and no one member works for their own good, but for the good of the whole.  Much of our mindset today is “what’s in it for me.”  In the true body of Christ, me doesn’t exist, it is all about Him.  That is the house of God.

Blessings,

#kent

Fear in the Mind

March 19, 2020

 

Fear in the Mind

 

1 John 4:14-17

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

 

 

After this article on “Face your Fears” another writing was shared with me that gave the inclination we needed to go a little bit further with this subject.  Our scripture today is somewhat of a mystery and would appear to be a contradiction to what we have shared about the fear of God.  What we need to understand about the fear of God is that it is what compels us into the nature of God.  The fear of God is one of the spiritual attributes that Christ possessed.  Isaiah 11:2, speaking of Christ and those of Him, says, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Fear is something that compels us away from something we are afraid of.  In God, that fear abhors evil and cleaves to what is good.  The aspect we identify with fear gives place to love in relationship with God in Christ Jesus.  The blood of Christ removes all fear of judgement, for it has atoned for our sins and we have right standing and relationship with God because we are “in” Christ.  What we must lay hold of is the strategy of the enemy is always to unsettle us from this place of trust, rest and love we have with Father.  We have come into this place by faith and trust, not by any acts of righteousness on our part.  “We love Him, because He first loved us.”

We said before that while the fear of the Lord draws us into relationship and assurance in Christ, the fear generated in the natural and by our adversary, the devil, draws us out of relationship and rest in Christ.  Mark 4:16-17 says, “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.”  What one sister brought out in her writing was the distress that so many of us endure through mental persecution.  She found that this word persecution carried with it the meaning and connotation of dread, timidity, faithless and fearful.  We know that the greatest battleground we face in our Christian walk is fought in the mind.  We are constantly assaulted in our minds with doubts, fears, and feelings of inadequacy, failure, questionings and unbelief.  We can feel so solid and confident in an aspect of our faith and relationship with God and after a barrage of mental assaults by the enemy; we can suddenly find ourselves wondering if there is a God.   This mental persecution is an assault of fear.  This fear will rob our faith, it will rob our joy and peace, and it will destroy us if left unchecked.  What preserves us is our root or our putting on the whole armor of God.  We see the example of Jesus as He is led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and the devil begins his series of mental persecutions and temptations, but he couldn’t unsettle Jesus, even in His weakest state, because He was rooted in the Word of God.  While the devil tried to pervert the scripture to unsettle Jesus from His faith, Jesus would give back the Word of God in truth, as His rebuttal.

Many of us struggle in our faith because we are succumbing to the circumstantial reasoning and mental persecutions.  For satan to undermine your faith and confidence in Christ, by first always getting your focus on you apart from Christ is His first and primary strategy for your defeat.  Every time we are dwelling on us, outside of who we are in Christ, it is going to bring us into defeat.  Our victory is in who we are “in Christ”, He is our hiding place, more importantly, our identification, because He has given us His name.  God allows us to be shaken, so that once we are shaken enough, we will become settled in the truth and will be shakable no more.  Hebrews 12:27-29 tells us, “And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God [is] a consuming fire.” The fear of the Lord empowers us with the boldness and authority of the Word and the God who wrote it.  It is the day to break free of the death shrouds of our timidity and fearfulness and a day to walk and live in the authority of who each of are in Christ Jesus.  “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Romans 8:37)”

Blessings,

#kent

Rest or Stressed?

March 18, 2020

 

Rest or Stressed?

 

Hebrews 4:3-11

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God

For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

 

Have you ever seen or experienced one of those events where a person will stand upon a platform of some type and allow themselves to free fall backward into a crowd of people they are trusting will catch them?  It is a great example of the principle of trust.  You have to overcome your fears and anxieties of being hurt.  You have to put your confidence in someone else to catch you and prevent you from being harmed.  That is a hard thing for us to do.  It is essentially what God wants us to do in regards to trusting Him.  Often we start too and then we chicken out because we are afraid He will drop us.   It is a hard thing for us to relinquish being in control of our life and circumstances.  Even though we know that we are a mess, make mistakes, and are full of faults and weaknesses we would still rather rely upon our abilities, our strength and our wisdom.  As a result we have a society full of stressed out people and many of them are Christians.

If you are like me, it is hard to lay down our work and activities even for one day.  It is like it has this hold on us that draws us to it.  Somehow if we don’t work on it, it won’t get done and the world will end.  It is easy to look back on it and say, “yeah, that is stress, that is not rest.”  God gave a Sabbath to teach us a principle of rest.  God says, “There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.”  This passage teaches that there is only one way into this rest and that is through the avenue of faith.  Faith, no longer in our abilities, and ourselves but in Him.  In a way, God has taught me some of this principle as I write these Trickles of Truth.   I couldn’t begin to produce all that God has given me.  Each morning as I fall back into His arms and say, “Father, what do you want to share with us today?” That little act of faith results in the words you read from these writings and often I’m probably more amazed at what comes out than you are.  Certainly, it is often not what I would expect.    As God leads in our daily lives we need to learn the principle in every area of our lives of what it means to rest in Him.

You know Jesus didn’t get up each morning, look at His day planner and think, “will I’ve got fourteen healings today, three sermons, ten deliverances and I have to feed a multitude. I had better have my cup of coffee and get hoppin’.”  He entered into the presence of the Father.  As He communed with Him there, the mind of the Father was revealed to Him and He just did what the Father showed Him and spoke what the Father gave Him.  As He rested in the Father, He became the expression of the Father.  As we learn to rest in Christ, we will become the expression of Christ.  It is not in all of the do’s and don’ts that we are made righteous, it is as we fall back into the arms of Jesus in every aspect of our lives and just let Him be Lord and have His way in and through us.  As we knock a hole in the bottom of our self-reliance then instead of being a self-contained vessel we become a conduit and pipeline through which the Spirit of God can flow through, touching not only our lives, but the lives of others as well.  The results we see are not our righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ revealed and not our will, but His will being done.  It is all a matter of faith and reliance on Him, not just mentally, but experientially as we are willing to let go of our grip on this life.

The Word almost speaks a paradox in Hebrews 4:11 when it says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  Isn’t that contradictory to say we labor to enter into rest?  No, because it is not in our natural man to relinquish control of our life.

Romans 12:1 says, ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” This presentation of our lives as a living sacrifice is an act of continual obedience and faith on the part of the believer.  He is laboring against all that his natural man and instincts are telling him.  Like the old joke goes, “the problem with living sacrifices is they keep crawling off of the altar.”  We laugh, but we know it is all too true.  It is a labor to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him, but at the same time it is a rest when we do, because then He becomes our life and strength.

Where are we at today, in a place of rest or stress?  Perhaps it is a good day to crawl up on the lap of Daddy God and just rest in His arms of Love, knowing that He has your life and the whole world in His hands.  Just REST.

Blessings,

#kent

Rest

March 17, 2020

Hebrews 4:1-5

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith, 3Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

 

Rest

 

What does it mean to rest?  When we are truly resting are we still worrying and laboring with our mind and body? Resting is entering into another state of being than when our body and mind are active and working.  Resting is a state in which the mind and body are being turned off and labor has ceased.  Many of us have experienced insomnia where we tried to rest, but we can’t get our minds to shut off and sleep eludes us.  Instead of rest we find restlessness and are wrestling to find sleep.

When God talks to us about entering into His rest what is He telling us we should do?  Are we to just sit down where we are and expect God to do everything and provide everything for us?  Is that rest?  No, God is talking about a state where we turn off the natural mind that is filled with its desires, concerns and worries.  He is talking about a state of obedience and trust in Him where we see the finished work of Christ and the Cross.  We rest in all that it represents to us and all that has been and is being accomplished through it.  Most of us are pretty aware that we can’t earn our way into heaven through our own goodness and righteousness, but in many ways we haven’t learned the place of rest that is in Christ Jesus.  As long as the natural mind is always actively seeing and reacting to the circumstances around it, it remains in a state of insomnia and restlessness, never able to fully find its peace.  In order for the message of the rest of God to have any value and substance to us it has to be combined with one key ingredient and that is faith.  “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  God never created us to be gods unto ourselves; He created us in His image to be the expression of who He is, of His nature and his character.  He created us to abide in harmony and fellowship with Him.  We can never find that place without faith.  If we truly have faith then it will result in obedience out of love.  The more we intimately know God, the more we will grow in trust, obedience and love.  The more we intimately know God in and through Christ Jesus the more identified we will become with His life and the finished work of the cross.

The reality check is this; we live in a natural world, filled with many godless people and we have to function in an economy that is not spiritual and filled with greed and selfishness.  That must mean I have to really struggle to be godly and fight the devil.  I need to condemn sin and every sinner I see so that I am not like the world.  Isn’t that how many of us see our calling and our faith?  Like it is a war, it is a struggle and I have to try harder to do better and to fight sin?

Have you ever seen a person trying to swim in water when they didn’t know how to swim?  There is no lack of activity.  They violently thrash and kick just to keep their heads above the water and not drown, but that isn’t swimming, that is just trying to survive.  When we learned how to swim we had to learn to work with the water and not against it.  We had to lose our fear and learn that if we would trust the water we could actually float without a struggle.  Learning to swim is an exercise in learning to trust.  The rest of God is the same way.  We can’t rest with all of our thrashing and work to overcome sin and live righteous.  What God is teaching us is that rest is a matter of trust.  Christ has overcome, He has paid the price for sin and He has conquered sin and death.  Why are we trying to accomplish what He has accomplished for us from the beginning? Our rest is learning to rest in and appropriate what Christ has already done by full association and reliance upon Him.  It doesn’t mean we cease living and functioning in this world; it means that now we function in identification and trust in His life.  We no longer live out of our goodness or our ability, but His.  “Christ in me” is my hope of glory; my flesh can never accomplish that for me, no matter how hard it tries.  The rest is the trust to let Christ be in me, to have expression and to have full dominion over me.

Rest, like swimming, is something that we practice.  We learn not to fight God in our ignorance, but rather work with Him, as one with Him.  Hebrews 4:12-13 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

As we begin our rest in God, yielding and trusting the Holy Spirit.  As we read and meditate upon God’s word to intimately know the One we are to be like; then that Word, quickened by God’s spirit, will begin its spiritual surgery within us exposing what is of Him and what is of the flesh.  He exposes our true motives and intents.  He will show us that a lot of what is religious and looks outwardly good is just spiritualized flesh, but it is not Spirit.  Rather than us thrashing the water and trying to change ourselves from the outside in, in the rest of God we will find Him changing us from the inside out.  He will sanctify us, spirit, soul and body.  The transformation that takes place in us through the rest of God is one in which we cease to struggle and strive with Him and we simply, through faith and trust, come into compliance with what He is revealing to us.  It is a process of shutting our eyes to the circumstances and the fears, concerns and the sin that surrounds us.  Instead we are opening our consciousness to the Spirit and the Word as together they guide and support our rest.  In the process we sometimes inhale a little water and we start to spit and sputter.  We immediately want to forget our position of rest and go back to trashing and struggling, but we begin to learn that it is only counter productive to our rest, so we have to let down and again rest our head upon the breast of Jesus.

Blessings,

#kent

Where We Live

March 16, 2020

John 14:1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”

 

Where We Live

 

Where is the Father’s house and what is the Father’s house?  We know that a house is an abiding place.  Jesus said in John 2: 19-21, “Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body.”  Jesus is the house and the habitation of the Father.  Jesus says in John 17:20-26, “”My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24″Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25″Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.””

So many of us have grown up with a concept that when we die, if we believe in Jesus, we will go to heaven and there will be this beautiful mansion that the Lord has prepared for us.  Well, I have not yet been to heaven so I can’t speak to the fact of whether there is or isn’t a physical mansion.  What I do know is that there is a much deeper and richer meaning here than just a physical structure.  Jesus is talking about an abiding place, a place where we live and hang out.  Through these scriptures we can see that Jesus is the temple of the Father and that the Father inhabits and indwells Him, just as Jesus lives in and through the Father.  What Jesus has done for us through the cross is to provide for us this same relationship and access that He has with the Father.  As we embrace the truth of the cross and our salvation that is complete in Christ we receive the Holy Spirit and the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in us.

The mansion or the room that I am looking for, that Christ has prepared for me, is the one where I am dwelling and abiding in His presence and moving in the office and purpose for which He has prepared me.  Each of us has that place of abiding available to us in the sense that Christ has come back by His Spirit and has indwelt us, He is able to bring us into this abiding place, room, mansion, in other words, our place in Him.   He says in John 14:4, “You know the way to the place where I am going.”  We know the way, because ‘He is the way, the truth and the light.  No man comes to the Father except through Him.’

There is a place that is prepared for you right now in your habitation in Christ Jesus.  Let us get our eyes off of “over yonder” and begin to see who we are in Christ today and where He wants us to be abiding today!  Just as you abide in Him, He abides in you and is with you.  Begin to truly grasp and identify with who you are in Christ.  It has nothing to do with who you used to be or even with much of what you identify yourself with being today.  Begin to see the old man passed away and the new creation you are in Christ Jesus.  Live out of the truth of that new creation man.  This man abides and has his being in the Father’s house, which is Christ Jesus.  He moves and lives out of the gifts, abilities and purpose that the Father has gifted him with and in all of his ways he growing and being transformed from glory to glory into Him.  This is where we are to live.  This is our mansion and abiding place.

Blessings,

#kent

Spiritual Act of Worship

March 13, 2020

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.

 

Spiritual Act of Worship

 

Jesus came upon this earth and fulfilled His earthly ministry and then presented His body as a physical sacrifice for the atonement of our sins.  Yet each day prior to this He would offer Himself up to the Father as a daily spiritual sacrifice, often forsaking personal desires, comforts and needs to do the will of the Father and to minister to the needs of others.  God is love and Jesus is the physical manifestation of that love.  His life was not self motivated, but God motivated; always carrying out the will of the Father.  Here is our prototype and example of what it is to present ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.  This is your spiritual act of worship.  This act of worship is not just about praise, or singing songs or being in prayer, all of which are good and a part of worship.  The spiritual act of worship is about taking up our cross daily and following Him, the Shepherd of our souls.  It is about hearing His voice and seeking His highest will for our lives and then living in obedience to what He is showing us.

The kingdom of God doesn’t follow the pattern and the ways of this world.  Even the good things of this earthly life may not be the best that God has for His people.  As we grow up into Him and walk this walk, then He is showing us from glory to glory, His good, then pleasing and finally His perfect will.  The way we come into this perfect will is by this spiritual act of worship wherein the mind doesn’t any longer reason after the natural man, but reasons by the mind of the Spirit that is congruent with the Word of God.  How can a man not react in retaliation when he is slapped in the face?  How can a man give his coat to someone who has already stolen his jacket?  How can you bless them that curse you and despitefully use you?  These types of instructions don’t follow the reasoning of the natural man; they transcend human reasoning and response.  They can only be performed as acts out of the love and nature of God that indwells us.  Our flesh still often wants to respond out of the flesh, “an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  The spiritual act of worship takes us into a new dimension of living.  Our actions become love actions, and not human reactions.  Our enemy often becomes the object our ministry, whom we love with Christ’s love, pray for and serve.  We learn to retaliate by pouring the hot coals of God’s love upon their heads and by giving back loving-kindness in ways they don’t deserve.

The Word makes it clear here that in order for this to happen there has to be a transformation of our minds.  That transformation is from the Greek word “metamorphoō” from which we get our word metamorphosis.  It is like what we see when a caterpillar goes into a cocoon state and transforms into a butterfly.  It is transfiguring from an earth bound being into a heavenly being.  It is the same word that is used when Jesus was transfigured on the mount, changing the state of His being.  It is also the same word that is used in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  It is just like Romans 12:2 says, “Do 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.”  Just as we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is we need to be moving from the good, to the pleasing, to the perfect will of the Father.   Much like the example of the tabernacle of Moses, there were those who were in the outer court, those who ministered in the holy place and the high priest who ministered into the Holy of Holies.  We are being carried into that place as we grow up into Christ, our high priest, in all things.

Today, our lives in Christ are no longer our own.  We are His.  All that we are and all that we do must now become centered in this purpose.  This is our daily act of spiritual worship that is bringing us into His presence and likeness.

Blessings,

#kent

Let This Mind be in You

March 12, 2020

 

Let This Mind be in You

 

Philippians 2:1-5

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

 

 

The Lord is developing a mindset in us as He transforms us into the image of His Son.  All that the Holy Spirit is working in us is to bring us to the place of being like-minded.  Most of us experience a good deal of strife in our lives and most of it comes from our self-will conflicting with another’s self-will.  So what am I saying, “just roll over and play dead?”  “No, roll over and let Christ live.”    We have to roll over that former mindset that is set on ourselves, getting our way, having our rights and looking out for number one.  Don’t most of us still hold on to a lot of that mentality?  Jesus made the statement, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Use that same protective, self serving and preserving instinct that is in you for others.  But it is hard to use it for others and us also, because then there is the conflict of who comes first, them or me?  Somebody has to give way to somebody else.

Where do we experience probably the greatest conflicts in our lives?  It is usually within our own families.  We are more real there than any other place.  We kind of subconsciously expect that they just have to love us for who we are just like we are expected to love them for who they are.  When we see these principles of putting others first operating in our families then we will probably see them operating in other areas of our life as well.  Rarely does anyone have to fulfill this role of self-sacrifice more than mom does.  We shouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more women at the forefront of heaven than men, simply because they are called to a life of self-sacrifice.  They must continually lay down their lives for their husband and children.  Most of them do it as a labor of love.  It is that same spirit of love that we must learn to carry out into our world and among other believers.   The home is often a good proving ground and reflection to us of where we are at with this mind of Christ.  No one can seem to push our buttons like our loved ones and the only reason they can is because we still have buttons that can be pushed.

Christ, who is our example and model and whose mindset we desire to have, had it all.  He was ruling and reigning in heaven; everything was already His, except that He saw a need.  Now, because of His nature, He wants to respond to that need.  There is a humanity that is dying in trespasses and sin.  There was none that could save them except for Him.  Christ, acting out of His great love for us, moved through the plan of God to fulfill Philippians 2:6-11, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  The love that constitutes His nature compelled him to identify with us and take upon Himself the weakness of our form, but not our sin nature.  It was for our sin nature that He sacrificed His sinless life for us.  In that wondrous sacrifice He then took upon Himself the sin of all humanity to pay the consequences for it.  Christ was God and yet he was a servant willing to give all and sacrifice all for the good of all.  Through the suffering He became partaker of all the glory, for God highly exalted Him above every name that is named in heaven and in earth.  It is this mindset that takes us along the same path of God’s love where we are laying down our lives for the good of others.  It is true that many times we will be despised, unappreciated, and taken for granted, but our service is first to Him who has called us unto Himself.  Just as His love was not conditional upon our response to Him, the love that Christ is perfecting in us is not conditional upon the response of others to us.  It is that love of sacrifice and giving that exemplifies that nature and mind of Christ in us.  “By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35)”.

Blessings,

#kent

%d bloggers like this: