2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The Freedom of Skilled Expression

               An artist, a craftsman, a dancer or a professional all work very hard in one area or another to assimilate knowledge and perfect skills that will help them to express with freedom what they do best.  When a child starts practicing on an instrument, learning little by little and through much repetition and practice they build their knowledge and skills.  Many times in these early stages of development we want to give up.   It is too much work and we are not very good at it.  Then we watch someone who has truly mastered it and we are in awe with the ease and the freedom that they express so fluently what we have struggled so hard to learn a little bit about. 

               Our walk in the Spirit and our knowledge and understanding of the Word is one such area that we are practicing, learning and growing in through our relationship with Christ.  Often, we get discouraged at all of the mistakes, the failures and the inability to always communicate and demonstrate through the Word what we may know in our hearts.  Yet, we don’t and we can’t give up.  We press on everyday practicing God’s Word, the principles of faith and growing in the knowledge and understanding of His Word.  Often, we are clumsy and we fail, but never the less we keep pressing on.  Why, because we behold Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith.  We observe His life and we see the beauty, the grace and the Love of God fully expressed through a human life.  We know that this is His desire for us, to grow up into that mature man or woman in Christ, filled with the Spirit and strong in our command of His Word.  It is then that we see ourselves lifted out of ourselves with all our limitations and the power of God’s Spirit like the wind beneath our wings lifts us into the freedom of expression that shows forth the Christ.  He gives life, action, accuracy and animation through us to fulfill and express His life.  It is in those times that we have the freedom of skilled expression when all that we have learned, worked for, practiced and lived for come into the skilled expression of His life.  We have simply labored to lay the foundation, but it is Christ that builds the house.  It is the Spirit of God that now gives the freedom of expression of who we have become in Christ. 

Whenever you get discouraged, keep your eyes upon Jesus and know that He is the pattern and the template that you are being conformed too. Nothing in life could be greater or more precious than coming into the image of who He is and all that He wants to be through you. 

Blessings,

#kent

The Object of Our Focus

October 28, 2021

The Object of our Focus

Luke 10:27

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

               Where is my focus today?  Even as I seek to set my mind on the Lord or to pray, my mind is flooded with thoughts of outside demands, pressures and the realm of natural things that are filling my soul and heart.  Even as I catch myself and go back into conversation of prayer and communication with God, outward distractions are constantly pressing in to try and break my time of precious, intimate fellowship with Him.  Even more ungodly are the times when I am seeking His presence in worship and praise to have my mind assaulted with impure and unclean thoughts, quickly followed by the condemnation and accusation of unrighteousness.   If this were not bad enough, invariably as I set to read, meditate and study the Word or again seek that time in His presence, the phone rings, the kids are arguing, the spouse is asking that I do this or that.  If one didn’t know better they would think that there was an intelligent effort to thwart that communion time with the Lord.  I’m sure most all of us have experienced this type of invasion on our spiritual endeavors to encounter and fellowship with our Lord. 

               We already know that the forces of darkness are at work in this arena of our soul, again diligent in their work to rob, steal and destroy our relationship with Father.  But “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1John 4:4).”   Do you suppose Jesus ever felt the frustration of constant interruptions, demands, and interventions into His time that He desired to spend with His Father?  We find Jesus, even though no doubt enduring exhausting days of crowds, drawing upon the life of God in Him, the religious leaders constantly seeking to entrap and find fault with Him. Then, he had a variety of personalities He had to deal with in his disciples and others; still He found time to pray.  Our relationship with Father is much like a marriage.  We can’t always spend all the time we would like with our beloved because of the demands of life that are upon us, but at the same time we can’t neglect that relationship and the personal time we need to invest into it.  There are those times when we must shut ourselves off to the world, to the demands, to assaults of outward thoughts and just express our hearts to the lover of our soul.   The greatest commandment we have in life is to love Him.  How can we effectively fulfill the second command to love our neighbor as ourselves unless His love is abiding in us?  Our intimate fellowship and relationship with Him is what spawns the love of our neighbor.  The time of prayer, worship and intimacy with the Lord is what helps us redirect and concentrate our focus upon Him.  What we find is that God isn’t just an object that we stick into a time slot of our day and compartmentalize into an area of our lives.  He becomes the source of a constant dialoguing throughout our day as our dependency and trust is continually in Him.  We are communicating in our spirits through an almost subconscious prayer life that will fluctuate between conscious and unconscious awareness.  He is becoming so much a part our lives that we are learning to live in His presence.  As hectic and demanding as life is, the Lord must become the pivotal and channeling point from which our life is directed.  When we loose that perspective then our life begins to shift off course from His direction and will for us.  Perhaps some of us are finding ourselves in this place today where the object of our focus has slipped or shifted from the Lord being the utmost love and desire of our hearts to being a lesser priority.  Are we often distracted, of course? Are others demanding of our time, energy, and resources, constantly?  It is our heart and love for God that must direct our minds and order our days, so that He is forever upon the throne of our lives.  Everything else of this world will pass away, but what we have with the Father is eternal.  Where and what is the object of our focus today and our life in general?  Is each day birthed in prayer and praise?  We must be careful and diligent to maintain His Lordship in our lives.

Blessings,

#kent

Amber Alert

October 27, 2021

Amber Alert

Mark 10:14

But when Jesus saw [it], he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

               We have instituted a wonderful system in this country, so that when a child is abducted or kidnapped or lost, announcements are made everywhere concerning their situation.  Information is gathered and distributed to allow people to be on the look out for the things that might identify this child or their abductor.  It is wonderful how there is information, coordination and cooperation on a wide and often national scale to recover our little children.

               If we were to look at this from a spiritual perspective for a moment, many of us recognize that there has been a mass abduction our children spiritually, mentally and morally.  We need a spiritual Amber Alert to awaken us to the fact that our society is being taken spiritual captive and it starts with our children.  Most of us realize the need to monitor the television that they watch, because it can be a strong instrument and influence to ungodly and wrong thinking.   We see agendas being promoted every day that have messages coming through every venue possible to dumb us down spiritually and morally to lifestyles and indoctrination that are contrary to Biblical principles and values.  The innocent and inquisitive mind of a child is the most susceptible to the influence and the persuasion of the enemy.  Especially if we as parents and adults become careless and complacent concerning our duties to protect them and give them right values. 

               Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:

 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”  This exhortation still stands for us today.  It is so easy in our busy society and the demands of life to allow our children to go unguarded and unprotected simply from the lack of instruction and the influence we can have in their lives.  It is not practical to isolate our kids and keep them from any physical contact with the world.  We can’t practically do that even for ourselves, nor is that God’s intent.  He wants us to be lights in our world.  We must start by lighting a candle in our children, instructing them daily in the Word, and continually talking about the things of God and the goodness of God.  Don’t fall into the trap of using God and His Word like a big stick to threaten, condemn and coerce our children when they sin.  Let them know it is the sin that brings consequences for wrong actions and leads to our hurt.   Instruct them in who they are in Christ and help them daily to grow in a personal relationship with Him as we pray with them and teach them the Word.  Discuss with them these attitudes of the world they are hearing and give them sound Biblical principles as to why they are wrong and the consequences of what they bring.  Very often, we have allowed the world, the schools and the government to become our children’s guardians; instilling their values and belief system into our children.

               We must have a spiritual Amber Alert sounding right now.  It has to start with us as adults recognizing and addressing the very real attacks and abductions that are taking place with our children everyday in all of the areas that influence them.  Their protection is in bringing them to Jesus and having them sit at His feet.  Instill that Word and the love of God in their hearts daily.  We must be their covering and protection through the influence we have over them.  We can’t become so distracted by work and the demands of life that we neglect our most important purpose.  If we don’t influence them, then we better know that someone else will.  1 Peter 5:8 says,”Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” Our children’s young innocent minds are prime targets for spiritual influences of darkness.  As parents, grandparents and adults that have influence in children’s lives, we must be the spiritual guardians of their souls and the protectors of their little spirits.  We want to wake up to the Amber Alert of the Spirit and take action to preserve and instruct our children in righteousness and the ways of Life.  

Blessings,

#kent

The Way of Faithfulness

October 26, 2021

The Way of Faithfulness

Revelations 19:6-8

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 

            The message of this hour is for the Bride to prepare herself for the Lamb, her husband, Christ.  Here we read where his wife has made herself ready and she was granted that she should be clothed upon in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.  The question for us today that might be inspired by this scripture is, “how do we prepare ourselves for the Lamb”?  Obviously, this scripture is addressed to the Bride which we consider ourselves a part of, as His saints.  Previous to this passage, in Revelations 19, we have read about the great whore, Mystery Babylon, the beast and the man of sin all of which sought to destroy the seed of God through great persecutions.  We can summarize that our walk in God is not always an easy road, whether in this time or the times to come, so one of the primary requirements for us is faithfulness.  Hosea 2:19-20 tells us, “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”  In fact, this scripture covers several areas that the Lord will deal with us in our betrothal to Him, all of which work together for the preparation of the Bride.  Even as the Lord is ever faithful to us, He desires faithfulness on our parts to Him.  This is an area that many of us fail in.  Our hearts are not wholly His, but we share our affections and desires for others, other things and other pleasures.  We are often easily moved away from our faith and faithfulness by circumstances and adversities that we face.  God desires to develop in us a faith that cannot be moved, but is cemented in love to Him as His love is to us. 

            Concerning righteousness, Ezekiel 44 speaks to us of an order of priests that minister faithfully before the Lord even when the children of Israel went astray.  God says these were the ones that should come forth to minister before Him, but like the Bride here in Revelations 19 there were requirements of how they should dress.  Ezekiel 44: 16-18 describes these requirements: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.  And it shall come to pass, [that] when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird [themselves] with any thing that causeth sweat.”

The righteousness signified by the linen garments is that which doesn’t cause sweat.  Sweat speaks of the works of our hands and the efforts of our flesh, that which we labor to perform and accomplish through religion or self works.  It may be noble, honorable and good, but it is not acceptable when we come to minister before the Almighty.   Hebrews 4:2-3a tells us, “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…”  Verses 6-11 go on to say, “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.” 

          The linen garments of righteousness that the Bride is arrayed with didn’t come from her self efforts at righteousness.  It came from entering into the rest of the Lord; into faithfulness and fullness of faith in the accomplished work of the cross. It came through embracing Christ in relationship, knowing Him, becoming in tune with the voice of the Spirit and the will of God.  It came by faithful obedience to Him regardless of the circumstances and living out of His life, power and strength.  It came through constantly submitting, repenting when failing and humility before Him.  He is the only One that can transform us, change us and array us with His righteousness, but we have to get into the harness with Him in faithfulness.

Blessings,

#kent

A Principle of Life

October 25, 2021

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A Principle of Life

               If given the choice, most of us would be quite content to live a nice, safe, secure, healthy and relatively uneventful life.  In many ways, a lot of us have.  We need to ask ourselves is that really living or is that comfortably dying a slow death? 

               One thing fear does, is it gets us out of our comfort zone.  It often gets our heart racing and our adrenaline pumping.  Our senses come alive in the face of danger and uncertainty.  If we could see our lives in the light of the spiritual couch potatoes we would become if we never faced any trials, testing or adversity, then we can better appreciate why God allows them to come into our lives. 

               In order for our faith to grow, it must be challenged so that our faith can come up to the level of our challenge.  Since fear doesn’t come to us from God then we must realize that faith is the antidote to fear.  Faith sets our eyes and attention back where they belong.  Looking to the Father.  When we realize that fear comes from our inadequacy, weakness and inability to control a situation, we either have to face it in the frailty of human ability or have a revelation of what God has given us to counter it with.  God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but what He has given us is the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  We have a mighty arsenal to combat fear and to overcome it.  Fear only works as long as you are afraid.  When you are no longer afraid, fear has lost its power.  What the Word of God is telling us is that you don’t have to be afraid.  You don’t have to fret, worry or be anxious.  What you need to do, is lay hold with faith and confidence upon God’s Word, His promises and assurance.  The more you fill yourself with the Word of God and spend time in His presence; the more bold, confident and faith-filled you become.  To the enemy and the spirit of fear, you then, become a force to be reckoned with.  The person who really has a revelation of their identity in Christ, who knows their position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and operates in their God given and appointed purpose is a dangerous person to the enemy of fear and darkness.  The gates of hell can not prevail against that person. 

               An example of such a person was seen in David.  He was called, appointed, anointed and knew who he was in God when he confronted Goliath.  He didn’t fall into that trap of fear like the rest of the camp of Israel.  He came from a place of faith and authority, not his, but the Spirit of God in him.  Later, we see Saul, with all the resources and armies of Israel at his command pursuing David’s life, but unable to capture and take it.  He was that spirit of fear that pursued David, but was unable to prevail, because David put his trust and confidence in the Lord. 

               Was that an easy place for David? No, it was a very difficult place, but at that time David lived and walked with God closer than at any other time in his life.  Adversities are often allowed in our lives to stir us into faith.  They cause our spiritual senses to come alive and get our focus off of the world onto the Lord.  Fear isn’t always a bad thing, not because we want to succumb to it, but because we want the faith to arise in our hearts, along with the resident power, love and the mind of Christ to overcome all fear and the adversary that stands before us.  The force of opposition only serves to make us stronger.

               We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  Our Captain, King and Savior has conquered death and the grave.  He has set down at the right Hand of the Father until His enemies be made His footstool.  We are the body and feet of our Captain and King, Jesus.  He is putting the enemy beneath our feet, because we are His. 

               Someone once said, “You need to either get busy living or get busy dying.”  Our time for being complacent, lethargic and comfortable is soon coming to an end.  We need to make the choice to live or to die, life or death.  If we are going to live then we need to live out of the place where we pursue fear and it doesn’t pursue us.  We have to come into that place of having assurance of who we are and what God put us on this earth for.  We were not put here to be subject to this kingdom that lives under the rule and power of sin and death.  We live under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  We were put here to invade this earthly kingdom with the kingdom Heaven, Life and God.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  We are God’s portals, conduits and well springs through which He invades the kingdom of this earth.  That is not going to happen through spiritual couch potatoes that are content with the leeks and onions of Egypt.  It is going to happen through an army of believers that are hearing the trumpet of war sounding in God’s camp and are responding to it.  If we don’t respond to God’s calling and come into that place of abiding in the Almighty and under the shadow of His wing, then soon the spirit of fear will arise and cover the earth and those who have not found their place in Him will be overtaken by it.  Father has not given us that spirit of fear, He has given us the Spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”.  We are His kids and we were born for this, so don’t allow fear to rule your hearts, but come up into the faith and confidence of who you are in Christ and trample fear beneath your feet!

Blessings,

#kent

Power of One

October 22, 2021

The Power of One

Acts 1:8

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

               Our mighty God is a dynamo, a source of unfathomable and unlimited power.  He is the power plant of the universe, of all creation.  Out of Him all of the power of life and being flows for every creature both small and great, rather heavenly or earthly.  God is the source and the continued supply of power and life for all that was, is and is to come.  While all of creation benefits from the outflow of God’s power and life, not all are privileged to be partakers and part of His transmission and distribution of power family.  We have come into the family of this power by faith and trust in the power and salvation of God through His Son Jesus Christ.  We a part of the grid and the network of His life and power throughout the earth.  It is His power flowing through us to live godly lives to His glory that illuminates the world around us and dispels the darkness and ignorance that fills unregenerate man.  When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, empowered you and has residence in you, you, by virtue of His Life in you, become a shoot and a branch of what He is.  You are connected to the network of God’s life and power in Christ.  The unique thing about God’s power is that its objective is not to dominate, but to serve.  We all enjoy the benefits of electricity in many aspects of our daily lives.  We all know that by mishandling electricity it has the power to severely hurt and even kill us.  Yet, when we turn on a light or open our refrigerator we don’t do so out of fear, because the manifestation of that power that operates those things has been harnessed and designed in such a way to serve us and enhance our quality of life.  God has designed us, His sons and daughters, to operate the same way and to manifest the life of God in our unique ways and with our different giftings.  We are not only for the benefit of mankind and our world, but one another as well.  In order for us to function to the capacity that God created us we must be plugged in and in constant fellowship with our power and life.  With that power God has freely given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. 

               Today, as you live your life, live out of the power of the One in which you have placed your trust.  Let your light so shine before men that they may truly see the face of the Father in you.  You are the light of the world, so shine brightly, consistently and stay plugged into your source of life and power.

Blessings,

#kent

Good Souls Hiding in Ugly People

Luke 19:1-10

And [Jesus] entered and passed through Jericho And, behold, [there was] a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that [way]. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw [it], they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

               There are a lot of people in this world, and perhaps in some degree or another we are some of them, who are living out a life of ugliness and sin that they don’t really want to be inside.  Perhaps they have been caught up in a lifestyle, or addictions, or behaviors that they really hate in themselves, but seemed trapped and unable to change.  There are a lot of people who really don’t like who they are or the ugliness that they can manifest through their actions.  Zacchaeus was such a man.  He was the chief of the publicans or the tax collectors the most despised and hated of people among his countrymen.  He was a little man in a big position, but it wasn’t where he was happy.  He had wealth and position, but He didn’t like who he was.  He was unhappy because he was living contrary to the nature that God had intended for him.  I looked up the meaning of Zacchaeus and it means, “pure or innocent”.  Now it is not hard to see that Zacchaeus’ life was anything, but that.  He had heard everyone talking about this Jesus and the extraordinary man that He was.  Something stirred in Zacchaeus’ heart as he sought to try and see this man.  Sometimes it is hard for us to see Jesus, because our stature has become so low, but he didn’t let this detour him. Even though the crowds of people who knew and hated him tried to prevent him from pressing through he was determined that he would see Jesus.  We are often crowded out by condemnation that says we are not even worthy of seeing Jesus.  The first step in changing the ugliness of who we are is seeking higher ground.  It is in seeking a higher vantagepoint where we can see Jesus and where he can see us.  There needs to be a determination to seek out the one who can change what we hate in ourselves.  God had created Zacchaeus to have a pure and innocent nature, as He has created us, but it had become perverted through sin, greed and the world.  When Jesus passed by and looked up in that tree where Zacchaeus was hanging out, He didn’t see that ugly little chief tax collector that everyone else saw.  He saw a man that needed to be returned to the nature of who he really was, pure and innocent.  Jesus basically invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.  Now Zacchaeus could have said no, but like many of us we so desperately want to be different and changed from what we have become into what He has created us to be, we know that we need to accept His invitation. It is our only hope.

               It was the fellowship and the communion with Jesus that transformed Zacchaeus’ heart.  After He had been with Jesus, he recognized what had been missing out of His life.  Position, power, authority were no longer the compelling issues with Zacchaeus.  He just knew he wanted to be right with God and he was gladly willing to give up or restore whatever was necessary to maintain that relationship that he found with Christ that day.  It is in the presence and relationship with Jesus that our ugliness will be transformed.  As we are conformed not to the world, but transformed through the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus, we see change.  When Jesus becomes the sole object of our communion and companionship our lives will change from the inside out.  We are always trying to change the outward things, but until the inward attitudes of the heart and soul come into spiritual alignment with God’s heavenly purpose the rest of us can’t really change. 

               If you feel like that ugly person without, not necessarily in looks, but in attitude and disposition then seek higher ground.  Jesus is looking at you and seeing the inward man of the heart, that good and precious soul that He created in His image.  Come into His presence and give your life to Him so that God, by the Holy Spirit, can transform you into who you really are.  Come to repentance and make things right with God and with others.  Today God wants to truly bring salvation into your house and into your soul.  He wants to transform that ugliness into the beauty and the purity of soul that He has created you to be.

Blessings,

#kent

Orphan, Son and Father

October 20, 2021

Luke 15:11-31

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Orphan, Son and Father

               Many of us have read or heard sermons on this parable many times before, but the Lord was dropping into my spirit just a few key principles from this example that I don’t know that I had ever heard or thought about before. 

               In the midst of Christianity today, there are many of us that have an orphan spirit.  It is one that really doesn’t know its identity.  It is one that is not secure in who they are in Christ and they don’t often have a good sense of what the nature of their Father is.  They are often only looking after their own best interests; they like to hoard and keep things for themselves and they really lack that security of just being loved and accepted.  As a result, most of their world is pretty much about them.

               In this younger son we see such a spirit.  He had everything and yet all he could see is what he thought he didn’t have.  He didn’t want to build into his father’s house but wanted to take his inheritance and use it to his own self-indulgence which is another quality of an orphan spirit.  So, father gave him his inheritance and let him go.  Now, an orphan spirit, isn’t interested in legacy or building and sowing into something greater than himself.  All he really sees is himself and often carries a victim mentality and sense of entitlement.  After all, his father “owed him” his inheritance because it was rightfully his.  He had a “right” to be free and spend his inheritance how he wanted.  What an orphan spirit does is take us down a road of perpetual poverty, because we never see beyond ourselves.  All that we think we have or gained becomes dust and blows away, because we don’t have a vision to see our Father’s heart.

               Now this orphan spirit son finds himself where this spirit will always tend to lead you, being dependent upon others to feed you the pig’s food. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.”  Finally, he gets a revelation that even his father’s servants are living better than he is and it would be better to go back to father as a servant than to live starving and dwelling among the pigs.  He now sees the fruit and the consequences of his orphan spirit.

               Then we see the heart of the Father as he comes back home.  ““But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” 

               You see the Father’s heart is always for restoration and legacy.  He was willing that his son departed for a time that eventually he might come to repentance and be restored.  The Father never saw this boy as any less than a son when he left and when he returned.  His love, his heart and longing was always for him.  The father didn’t receive him back because he deserved it.  He didn’t kill the fatted calf and celebrate because of his great choices and he didn’t put the ring on his finger because he deserved to be a part of the family any longer, but because the father wanted him to know who he was to him and know that he still belonged to the family not just as a servant, but as a son.

               Now we see the spirit of the older son. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

               The older son has been faithful to his father and to his father’s house.  He has staid the course and paid the price, so this causes a great offense in his heart when he sees how his younger prodigal brother is received back with celebration and royalty.  He becomes very angry.  For those that are in the Christian faith who have been sons and have walked the walk and staid the course, take note, because the day is coming when the prodigal is going to come home and your hearts are going to be tested in similar manor.  The son sees from the perspective of what is deserved, but the Father’s heart is one of grace and restoration.  Just because we are sons doesn’t mean that we have a father’s heart, but God wants us to get His heart, because it is the next level of maturity.  It is where we understand that it is not about us and never has been.  It is about the kingdom.  It is about restoration and reconciliation of that which was lost being restored back to the Father.  It is not that the father didn’t already love the older faithful son, but what did he tell him?

               ““‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”  This is what we must understand as sons; all that that the Father has is ours and it is ours for a reason, so that which is lost may be found and restored back to the Father.  As sons we have to catch the Father’s heart or we will be offended.  Just like Jesus, we must descend so that we can ascend and bring others up with us.  It is not about us, it is about the Father’s house and kingdom, His love for the lost and His desire for legacy which is a lasting representation of His nature and character in the earth.

               Thus we see the Father’s heart to restore the orphans to sonship and the sons to fatherhood, so that Father God’s kingdom will come and His will, will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Blessings,

#kent

The Lord’s Timing

October 19, 2021

Esther 5:8

8Then Esther said, My petition and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the dinner that I shall prepare for them; and I will do tomorrow as the king has said.

The Lord’s Timing

               Most of us are familiar with the story of Esther, young Jewish girl raised by her cousin Mordecai.  The Jews had been led as captives in Babylon and Mordecai was employed in the King’s court.  Vashti, the former queen of Babylon had been disposed for her insubordination and Esther had been selected in her stead.  Esther, whose former name was Hadassah, had not disclosed her race or background.  Then we have Haman, the Agagite, who had been promoted by King Ahasuerus to be the chief of the princes under him.  Haman had a deep-seated hatred of the Jews and Mordecai in particular, because he refused to pay homage to him.  Haman had devised a plot and sold it to the king that there was a certain group of people scattered among the king’s domain who were different and didn’t keep the king’s laws so they needed to be annihilated.  The king had allowed it be passed into the law that on a certain day this genocide would take place.  The only hope for the Jewish nation and people now rested with Eshter.  Eshter is in a very precarious situation and a wrong move on her part could cost her life and the life of her people.  Our scripture today brings us to the place where Esther has taken a great risk in coming before the king without him summoning her.  He has received her and she has invited him and Haman to a dinner.  Yet at this first dinner she doesn’t rush to the point and present her request or beg for people’s lives.  We see her inviting them back again for another dinner the next day.  Now the king knows that Esther has a petition and is more than willing to grant it to her but she waits to disclose it.  Why does she wait?

               Throughout the story we see God at work setting people and events in place to deal with this design to destroy His people.  We see God doesn’t come in and just take charge and supernaturally change the course of events, but He is at work in and through the lives of His people whose hearts and minds are right with Him.  We see how Esther has been called and set in a position for such a time as this, but more than that, we see a woman who is willing to be obedient even at the risk of her own life. We also see a woman who has given herself to fasting and prayer to prepare herself for what she must do.  She has tuned into the Lord’s counsel and she has committed herself into His hands and is reliant upon His wisdom to guide her.  At this point in the story we find her not sharing her story with the king, but waiting.  The principle that we can see here is that we need to be sensitive to the Lord’s timing.  As we read further in the story we realize all that God is working is not quite in place yet.  Had she disclosed her petition at this time the results would not have been the same. 

               There are times we get a word from the Lord, but then we just run with it and don’t continue to stay tuned into Him and wait for His timing.  When we fall on our face we get back up dazed and confused at why God didn’t come through for us.  We may have just got ahead of His timing.  There is a time and season for all things and it is important that we learn to be sensitive to when God’s time is.  God’s time is most often, not our time, but if we want to see supernatural results then we had better get in tune with God’s timing.  It is one thing to hear from the Lord and it is another to move in His time.  Be sensitive to the timing of the Spirit.

Blessings,

#kent

Holy Ghost Bug Spray

October 18, 2021

Ezekiel 8: 10-12

So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and detestable animals and all the idols of the house of Israel. 11 In front of them stood seventy elders of the house of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising.

12 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.’ “

               There is a place in the recesses of our hearts and in the inner sanctuaries of our soul that we have allowed insects, creeping things and detestable critters to feed upon our imaginations.  There, in those secret places, where we don’t think others see us, where maybe we even consider that God doesn’t see or care, we create our idols.   Those idols are the secret affections that have sprung from our imaginations that we have entertained and enshrined within our dark places.   Outside our temple looks spiritual and holy.  No one realizes what lurks in the basement of our minds and heart.  God sees it and in time, left unrepented of, it will be brought to the light and exposed for what it is. 

               God took Ezekiel and showed him what was in the hearts of those that were the spiritual of Israel.  In recent times we have seen God expose scandalous things among men that were deemed by the church to be spiritual leaders and teachers.  The truth is, bugs can creep in to all of our spiritual houses.  If they are left to have their way they will little by little corrupt and pollute the well spring of our life.  In the same way that a man speaks out of the abundance of his heart he will act out of the imaginations of his mind.  These things harbor in a cocoon that creates a wall of insensitivity to the spirit within us.  It is not that we are unaware, but we try to ignore it, push it back, but we don’t deal with the ugly little critters that are eating at our vine. 

               We need to apply a Holy Ghost bug spray.  We have to tear back the cover that hides the things that creep in our basement.  We need to come with brokenness, repentance and expose ourselves openly before the Lord.  We not only want to hate the corruptible things that defile our soul through our imaginations, we need to smash the idols and eradicate them from our life.  The bugs and creeping things are always looking for access and a way back into the recesses of our heart and mind.  Vigilance must be maintained that stomps on the little critters every time they rear their ugly heads.  We are often tempted to zombie out and let down our guard, but we can not, for they are after our life and seek to devour and destroy, to undermine and corrupt all that is holy within us. 

               Is it time for an application of that Holy Ghost bug spray?  Allow Him and invite Him to come in to expose those hidden things of the heart.  Work with the Holy Spirit through submission, repentance and obedience to exterminate these defiling spirits of the flesh.  They can come in many forms and varieties, but the one thing they all have in common is they are an abomination and they have come to devour and destroy.  We are tempted to cloak them with spirituality and religion, but this serves to not only corrupt and defile us, but the body of Christ as well.  We must eradicate not only their existence, but also the places, the galleries of idolatry we have made for them in our hearts through our imaginations.  We must judge ourselves that we are not judged.

               “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

Blessings,,

#kent

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