The High Places

April 19, 2018

 

The High Places

 

2Chronicle 20:23

Howbeit the high places were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.

 

In Old Testament times post dating Moses we know there was an altar of the Lord that dwelt in a tabernacle and later, through David, came to rest in Jerusalem.  For us, who are New Testament Christians, this altar has become the equivalent of Calvary and the Cross.  It is the central altar around which our faith rests and where we find communion with our fellow believers and the Lord Himself.  It is our place of worship.  It is the place where we committed our hearts and souls to the Lord and ask Him to come into our hearts, cleanse us and be the Lord of our lives.  It is that place as Romans 12:1-2 puts it, “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 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”   It is that altar where we consecrate ourselves, our worship, our affections and our commitment, first and foremost to Jesus Christ, our Savior.  He alone is the object of our worship, before whom there should be no other Gods.  For it is written, “thou shalt worship the Lord God and Him only shalt thou serve (Matthew 4:10).”

Once again we are asked to go to the places we would rather leave hidden and obscure from the Holy Spirit’s observation.  Today He comes to us to address the “high places” in our hearts and souls.  These were the places, other than the altar at Jerusalem where the Israelites went to worship.  They were places not designated or ordained of God. They were often places of cultic activity, idol worship and perhaps the places more convenient than the altar at Jerusalem.  What are they for us today?  Could they be the places of inordinate affections: our sports, our play, our work, our lust and sensuality, our harbored attitudes of unforgiveness, our movies, computers, games and any number of things that have come into the high places of our heart.  If we are to prepare our hearts before the Lord as our scripture indicates we must deal with and take down the high places.  These things are not easy to let go of.  Our flesh craves and covets them, but they have become an abomination and have brought a separation between our God and us.  They are the idols in our lives, rather we recognize them as such or not and with them we are breaking covenant with God.   These are often things and areas we just as soon stay ignorant of because it will cause us to face areas of our lives we don’t want to face.  It is really those areas where our flesh makes provision for itself to stay alive and active in us rather than going to the cross.  Are we willing like King Josiah, after hearing the Word of the Lord, to go into the high places of our heart and soul and tear down the idols and affections we have built there?  We must be willing to come honestly and openly before the Holy Spirit and ask Him to show us any unclean way in our heart. Then, as He begins to reveal these things, we have to be obedient to put them away from our lives.  Our flesh will cry out and we will still want to harbor and keep some part of it, but when we do we are leaving seed for it to return and it will.   2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us, “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.”  What are the high things in our hearts that exalt themselves against God today?  We must, by the Spirit pull down the strongholds and bring every thought into obedience to Christ.  We must guard where our thoughts take us, because they may well be the seed for disobedience, rebellion and idolatry.  We must guard our hearts and keep them tender in the light of God’s grace and truth.

“God, give us grace and strength to lay it all on the altar of sacrifice and let go of all that would offend You.”

For us to live an uncompromised life we must tear down the high places and deal with the hidden issues of our hearts.  This is what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us, it is to prepare our hearts to be pure, consecrated and in right relationship with our Lord.

Blessings,

#kent

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Death of the Saints

April 12, 2018

Isaiah 57:1-2

The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away,

and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

 

Death of the Saints

 

You know as the Lord gave me this scripture today I struggled with it.  Out attitudes toward death first may be fear of death and then that death is not in the will of God for His people even though the scripture plainly states Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  You know we are spirit people contained in terrestrial or natural bodies.  This container of our flesh is but a temporary container of the eternal spirit that we are.  As we come to know Christ we come to realize that our fleshly man is not the means for which we live, but it is our means to the end for which we live.  By that I mean that we know longer live after the flesh for the flesh, but our bodies are to instruments of righteousness for His name sake.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 speaks to us this way, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  The point of what Paul is sharing with us here is that it is not as much about the quantity of earthly life that we possess, but the quality of the life that we live.  We know by faith in Christ that when this earthly tent passes away we have a building from God, an eternal house.  It is our faith and vision as we look beyond death to walk into that with which we desire to be clothed upon, even the fullness of resurrection life in Christ.

Many of us will go there by means of the grave, but God is saying that it is not a fearful thing.  In our scripture today He is saying that many don’t understand why the righteous are taken.  He says they are taken to spare them from the evil that is to come.  When the saints enter into death, they can enter into to it with peace.  They rest in the fact they have lived a good life and fought a good fight.  Whenever their time here is done the Lord stands at the threshold ready to receive them into life.  Paul says that is even more desirable than this life.  Many times it is the fear of uncertainty that is our greatest fear of death.  It is the loss of what we have always known to be life that we are reluctant to let go of.  What we do know as saints of God is that what is on the other side of death is far more glorious and sublime than what this earthly existence could ever offer, when we are in Christ.

Psalms 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints.”  Death should hold no fear for those of us who know who we are in Christ.  Most will face this at some point in life whether it be sooner or later.  The important thing is that we stand fast in the identification with His life.  While we yet live and breathe the breath of this earthly life let us fight the good fight of faith, living even now out of the life of His Spirit and power.  It is the Lord that numbers our days on earth, let us seek to live each one faithfully to His glory.  Have no fear of death, but have purpose and meaning in the life you now live.  There will be a people in the timing of the Lord that will not see a physical death as Christ comes forth with and within His people.  Whether we are that people or not we will live out of the life of Christ, submitting our body to Him if He calls us home before that time.

Blessings,

#kent

April 5, 2018

1 Peter 1:3-9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

 

Scenario of Two Lives

 

There was once a man that lived up in the mountains at the top a steep spire that was very difficult to reach.  Up there he lived alone raising his gardens and small livestock, capturing his water from the frequent  rainfalls.  There he lived isolated from the world and separated unto God, studying his bible and praying daily.  There he endeavored to live his life without sin wholly unto God.

There lived another man who was part of a large family and had many children of his own.  He lived in a crowded city that was full people, commerce and neighbors pressing in on every side.  His means were meager as he struggled to feed and provide for his family.  There were many conflicts surrounding him.  There were many difficulties that beset him.  There were many people continually putting demands upon him and expecting from him.  He also was a godly man, given to God and spending time with the Father in the brief moments he had to himself.  In his life he wrestled with many trials, temptations, persecution and needs that never touched the first man.  Daily he would repent of his sins and failures of living for God, but he would also remind himself of all that Christ was to him, had done for him and was doing in him.  Daily he reminded himself that his righteousness was that of Christ and not his own, that the blood of Jesus covered Him and the Spirit of Christ indwelt Him.  Daily, amidst all of the trials and demands upon his life he endeavored to live in the love of Christ and to share that love with others.

In the end which man accomplished the greater holiness and was most effective for the kingdom of God?  Which man had been perfected more into his image and likeness?

Having that vertical relationship with God is undeniably important.  It is where we draw from the source and the well of His life and strength, but if we never have the horizontal stretching through our relationship with humanity then we can only selfishly accumulate to ourselves, but never give out that which the Holy Spirit is imparting into us.  We can never know the growth we gain through the stretching that we go through in our relationships and the trials of this world.

Through Jesus, we see both the vertical relationship of communion and oneness with the Father and the willingness to be poured out for others that He might release that love into humanity, eventually giving the ultimate sacrifice of His physical life, not for Himself, but for us.  It is all of the trials of our faith that make us much more precious than gold.  Don’t be discouraged by all of life’s problems, demands and woes; this is the place where your faith is exercised, matures and grows.  This is the place where you have the opportunity to live out the things you say that you believe.  If you have your failures, as we all do, know that you are not condemned, but you have an advocate and intercessor with the Father, Jesus Christ, The Righteous.  As we confess our sins and failures He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  That overcomer lives in you, because Christ is in you.  As we continue to daily identify with Him, we also learn to walk in an overcoming life.  We, like Jesus, learn obedience through the things that we suffer (Hebrews 5:8).

Count it all joy in the race that is set before you.  Run to win and win by faithfully walking in what the Father has called you to be, the continual expression of Him.  He has enabled us by the Spirit of His power and strength to be more than conquerors through Christ that loved us and gave His life for us.

Blessings,

#kent

 

Failures that don’t end in Defeat

 

Micah 7:7-10

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. 9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.

 

 

We have all known times of failure in our life and most of us have experienced the Lord’s rod of correction.  There are times when we have stubbornly pursued our own interests and pleasures to only find bitterness and sorrow at the end of what we thought we had to have.  Our sin has consequences and many of us can testify of the great pain and suffering we have had to endure because of our foolish disobedience.

In those moments of failure, when the house that we have built upon the sand is washed away, we may stand in utter shame and humiliation that we have come to this point in our lives.  We may almost think the world and the ones that we loved would be better off without us.  We have had to fully confront our iniquity and the failure which has resulted from it.  How can we even face God or the ones who loved and respected us?   We see failure written all over us, what do we have to live for and have to offer now?

Our scripture today is one of hope and encouragement to the person who feels like a failure. In this scripture we have a nation of God that failed Him and had to suffer the reproach and the discipline of His correction.  The one thing we have to know about our God is though He will discipline us; He will never stop loving us.  He has a tender heart for the one who is truly repentant and will set their heart upon Him again.  After all, that is what discipline is for, to show us the error of our ways and bring us back to righteousness.  No matter how low we go, God never stops loving us, but a man without hope or faith is dead.  Without hope there is no way but down.  Hope causes us to look up into the loving eyes and heart of our Heavenly Father and say; “Can you still use this broken pot?”  It is our hope and faith in the Lord that believes that though we sit in darkness the Lord will be our light.  Christ will plead our cause and will be our advocate.  He will lift me again out of my place of darkness and bring me back into the light of His salvation.  All those who cursed me and judged me will be put to shame for though I was defeated I don’t have to fail.  The Lord is our victory and He is our good success.  When we were willing, through repentance, to relinquish the failure that we were; God begins to form a new man fashioned in the form of victory and uprightness.  He is a man that rises out of the ashes of failure to find victory and purpose again in His God.

Only God can take our failures and defeats and turn them for good.  When our enemies thought they had nailed our coffin shut, then God will raise us up to their shame.  You can trust that it won’t be in our time, it will be in His time.  No matter how bad we mess up and no matter how bad we fail God, our loved ones and even ourselves, all hope is not lost if we will put our eyes back on Jesus.  His love and forgiveness can reach into the deepest hell and depravity and set the captive free.    No one else and no other God can do that but Him.  Our failures don’t have to end in defeat, in fact they may be what bring us to our ultimate victory in Christ and our enemies will be put to shame before us. God can still brings us back into the light of His salvation and grace.  ‘As long as there is life, there is hope.’

Blessings,

#kent

They would See Jesus

March 30, 2018

John 14:8

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

 

They would See Jesus

 

Even as the disciples were asking Jesus to show them the Father, there are those who are asking us to show them the Christ and they will be satisfied.  Have they been so long with us and not seen the Christ?  Is He not living, breathing, burning and expressing Himself through us?  Many have known us after the flesh, but they have not seen the Christ and known us after the Spirit.  They only observe our natural man and the weaknesses of our flesh.

This is a new season.  It is a season where we will be stretched beyond our earthly limitation and will have to manifest our heavenly presence.  We have comfortably abode in Babylon the Great and been content with the present economic, religious and political systems.  This morning the Lord gave me Revelations 14:8, “A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”  We are on the brink of collapse of those things that we have grown up living and trusting in.  Your day of preparation is at hand and that which the Lord has prepared you for is about to be put into action.  You are going to find in this hour that you can speak and do things that you never would have believed for prior to this time.  The times will demand it and faith must arise in your hearts.  This is not a time for the faint in heart, because now you must know what it is trust in the Lord and to walk in the power of His might.  It is not a time for you to be overcome with fear, but to overcome fear with the faith of God.  Father has not left you alone.  His Spirit abides in you and will be with you.  It is not a day to function out of natural understanding and reason but out of the directives of the Spirit of Christ within you.  He has told us that His sheep would hear His voice and they would not follow another.  Today you will hear His voice as never before and He will order your steps if you will obey Him.  The world will be in CHAOS, but My children shall walk in perfect peace.  The things that come are the judgements of this world.  You are a part of their judgement.  Where there is no hope, you will be that light and that hope.  Many will come to me through your light, the light of My Son in you and the harvest will be great.

Show men the Christ.  It is time to take your light from under the bushel and set it upon the light post that all might see and know of Me.  You are passing into new wineskins so that you might contain that new wine that I am pouring into you.  Rejoice for this is the day you have longed for.  Look up for your redemption draweth nigh.

It is only by the Spirit.  The Lord also turned me to Zechariah 4:6, ” So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”  The name Zerubbabel means, “born in Babylon”.  We have been born in Babylon, but now the Lord is calling us out, back into the spiritual state of Israel to restore His temple.  Roll up your sleeves and let the work begin.  It is not a labor of sweat and flesh, but the labor of the Spirit and power of God working through you.

Gross darkness is about to cover the earth, but the glory of My light is about to rise upon you.  Be encouraged, but turn your eyes and your heart from the world, for former things are passing away.  The fires have been lit and the judgements passed.

Supernatural faith is being imparted into those who will believe me for it.  I am your forward and rear guard.  Stand fast in Me.   I will take you through the fires that burn before you.

 

FEAR NOT

  1. M. Beddome.

 

1 Ye trembling souls, dismiss your fears;

Be mercy all your theme;

For mercy like a river flows,

In one perpetual stream.

 

2 Fear not the powers of earth and hell;

God will those powers restrain;

His arm will all their rage repel,

And make their efforts vain.

 

3 Fear not the want of outward good;

For his he will provide,

Grant them supplies of daily food,

And give them heaven beside.

 

4 Fear not that he will e’er forsake,

Or leave his work undone;

He’s faithful to his promises,

And faithful to his Son.

Blessings,

#kent

 

The Will and the Way of God

 

1 Chronicles 15:2

Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.

 

There is a story in 1 Chronicles that tells us of David’s desire and zeal to bring the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem.  Here in 1 Chronicles 13:7-10 we read about his first attempt and see that not only was it unsuccessful, but it resulted in the Lord’s anger and the death of a man.   “And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. And David and all Israel played before God with all [their] might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets. And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.”  Our reaction to this account might not be so unlike David’s, somewhat shocked, stunned and thinking, “God, why were you so severe?”  When God responds to men’s actions and His judgement results in death, one of the first and foremost things it generates is a fear of God, not just in the “be afraid” sense, but in the sense that we can’t take God’s will and His ways for granted.

Think about if for a moment with me about how we handle the things of God.  When I examine my times that are supposed to be set aside and consecrated for Him, I see my own personal agendas and ways leaving smudgy, dirty little finger and handprints all over them.  Think for a moment of God’s will and way being like this huge plate glass window that is sparkling clean and transparent.  Then here come His kids.  They don’t even think, “I need to really be aware and respect the purity and cleanness of this window.  I can look through it, but I don’t want to put my hands on it or I will dirty it.”  If it was a sliding glass door then there would be a proper means by which we would pass through it, open and close it, without placing our hands on the glass.  This is a rough illustration of what David did and why Uzza died when He touched the Ark.  In Leviticus 20:26 God speaks of His desire for His people, “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD [am] holy, and have severed you from [other] people, that ye should be mine.”

The Ark of the Covenant was the most sacred of the pieces of the Tabernacle.  Its place was in the Holy of Holies and it represented the very presence and place of God.  Throughout the Word there is an awesome respect and fear that is directed toward it, for what it represented.  It wasn’t that David’s heart was not in the right place because He wanted to bring the Ark up to Jerusalem, it was his methods that were wrong.  There are right ways and wrong ways to handle the things of God.  When we get careless and sloppy in our walk with God, we find ourselves incurring judgements and disciplines for the way we are handling the things of God.  Hopefully it won’t be as severe as Uzza, Nadab and Abihu, or Ananias and Sapphira.  These people gave their lives to be examples to us not to take the things of God lightly and not to do things our own way.  Many of us are far guiltier of this than we realize and I’m feeling the conviction that the Lord wants us to really begin to examine our relationship and our action concerning the things of God.  There was a right way that David should have been transporting that Ark.  That was a priesthood function that was laid out very explicitly by God in Exodus.  Do we fully realize that we are the priesthood of God that carry about the Ark of God in our spirits?  How are we handling the precious entrustment God has placed upon us to carry His name and His testimony in our daily lives.  Have we grown careless in our commitment and our obedience to Him?  Are we doing many of the things in our lives, both spiritually and naturally, our way instead of His?  Are we putting our dirty little hands of selfishness all over the window of His Holiness?  God wants us to transport His life in these bodies with immense joy, rejoicing and gladness, but He wants us to take special care that we do it His way and not ours, no matter how good it may seem.  Let’s ask the Lord to show us the areas of our lives where we may be dishonoring and disobeying Him.  Let’s covet His Holiness and Righteousness, seeking to be well pleasing and compliant with His will and His ways.  God has extended much grace toward us, but that is not our license for sin and dishonor concerning the Holy Life He has placed in our keeping.

“Lord, help us not to be foolish concerning our lives and walk in You.  Help us to always look upon You with the utmost reverence and respect.  Help us to honor and obey you, searching out Your will and Your ways of godly and righteous living.”

Blessings,

#kent

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding;

6in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

8This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

 

 

Distracted, but not Dissuaded

 

 

Have you ever had those time when you were trying to pray or have quite time with Papa and your mind was continually inundated and distracted with other thoughts that you kept trying to put away, but they kept coming back?  It is like you couldn’t focus on prayer or the word, because of these mental imaginations and thoughts that were like magnets pulling your attention in another direction.  Sometime it is brought on by an emotional turmoil or conflict I am having with some person or situation.  I find that this will happen occasionally and sense I seem to have very little control over it. That being the case, I might as well take whatever it is that my mind is distracted with and just give it to the Lord.  He said in all of your ways acknowledge him, so whether my thoughts are spiritually inspired or not, still, all that I am is His.  What can I do, but simply say, “Father, I am sorry for all of this mental distraction, but since I am yours, I give it all to you. Lord, only your Spirit within me can help me to do as 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us to do. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  The primary thing is that I don’t want my thoughts and desires to be opposed to those of the Lord, so I am going to bring Him right into my mental barrage and say, “God here is what I am dealing with, help me get it in alignment with You, Your will and Your purpose.  Help me to cast down and overcome all that is not of Your Spirit and Your will.”   Satan loves to assault our minds and then turn and condemn us for the very thoughts he perpetrated upon us.  These are not my thoughts till I give them ownership by embracing and entertaining them.  Even if I find myself having done that I can repent and ask the blood of Jesus to wash me.  We must refuse to be robbed by the enemies’ condemnation any more.  I am not going to allow myself to be separated from my identity in Christ.  When the enemy attacks me with distracting thoughts or temptation, he is assaulting and attacking the Christ in me as well, because my life is hid in Him.

Satan is always out to Shanghai our identity and our faith in God.  So I will continually remind myself of who I am in Christ and remember that my purpose is for His glory and not my own.

We aren’t immune from the assaults of the enemy, distracting thoughts, temptations and interruptions.  Neither do we have to allow these to be grounds of condemnation and feeling spiritually inadequate.  We just never cease to acknowledge Father in all of our ways, to continually worship our God and magnify Him in all that we do.  No matter how distracted or insistent the thoughts are, keep your heart on Jesus, keep your praise on Him and ask Holy Spirit to give you the victory and peace.  As Romans 8:27-29 says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  I will continually acknowledge Him until my paths are made straight!

Blessings,

#kent

Daniel 4: 4-8

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. 5 I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. 6 So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. 7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. 8 Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)

 

Where do We Find Guidance and Understanding?

 

The secrets and mysteries of God are hid with God in Christ.  Isn’t it funny how men and even Christians will seek other sources to reveal these mysteries and guide their lives?  How many of us read horoscopes, listen and read other philosophies, listen to spiritualist, talk show host and look to other sources to guide us and give meaning and interpretation to our lives?  Instead, how many of us are seeking out the wisdom of the Spirit?  Even this powerful king of Babylon recognized and acknowledged that there was only One that could interpret the mysteries that he had dreamed.  Why is it that whenever so many of us have needs or lack understanding God is often our last resource rather than our first?

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 teaches us this, “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16″For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

We are not so unlike Daniel in that we also have the Spirit of God abiding in us and it is this same Spirit that gave the interpretations to Daniel that now reveals the mysteries of God to us.  The natural mind can’t comprehend and process such things because they are spiritually discerned.  We often quote the verse in this passage that says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”, but rarely do we complete it when it goes on to say, “10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.”   Paul goes on to say here that we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God that we may understand what God has freely given us.  That is what God wants us to grasp today, what He has freely and abundantly given us in Christ Jesus.  Among those things are the spirit of wisdom and knowledge.  How do we know the mind of God?  Verse 16 says, “But we have the mind of Christ.”  It is in this mind that we can walk in the Spirit and comprehend the things of the Spirit and know the mind of God in a matter.  Paul says that he speaks this message among the mature, those that are stable and grounded in their faith.  When we have the mind of Christ and understand what we have then we don’t have to look to other sources for guidance in our lives, we look to the Lord first and foremost.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Acknowledge whose you are and whose mind you possess and then walk in the revelation of that knowledge and wisdom.

Blessings,

#kent

Are there Any Who Understand?

Psalms 14:1-3

The fool says in his heart,

“There is no God.”

They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

2The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand,

any who seek God.

3All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good,

not even one.

 

Are there Any Who Understand?

 

While God has made Himself known in so many ways, often men will not acknowledge and worship a God that they can not bring to their own level. So they make false gods after the imaginations of their own minds and thinking. They worship even their own corrupt ways and become a law unto themselves. The fact is, we all have been conceived in iniquity.

“The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” In Romans 3:23 Paul says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” In Ezekiel 22:30 God says, ““I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” “All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one (Psalms 14:2).”

Do you suppose God ever feels like the rejected parents who have poured out their life, their love and their very best to their children only to be despised and rejected? The children rebel and that which you poured your heart and soul into now turns to rebel, despise and reject you. Parents that have experienced this from their children know the heartbreak experience of that person which was created in your image now turning their back on you and rejecting the love you have for them. How grievous and wounding it is.

The fact that the human race is still in existence today is a tribute to God’s unconditional love and grace toward mankind. Thank God, He had a Son that was willing to stand in gap for us and intercede on our behalf. He was not only willing to intercede for us, but to take His own Holy life and become sin for us that He, who alone was able, might receive upon Himself the just recompense of our sin and in turn impart unto us by faith His very own righteousness. Romans 5:6-11 declares, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Father is looking for those who will return to Him. He is looking for a heritage and a legacy of those who live by faith and obedience to His name. Those He can call His sons and daughters. Those who will honor, fear and revere the Mighty God of their salvation and redemption.

You who have embraced Christ with all of your hearts are such a people. 1 Peter 2:4-5 describes us, “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” If we truly recognize the destiny unto which we have been called then we realize the high and holy calling that is upon our lives. By God’s grace let us live into the sons and daughters of the Most High that God has called and created us to be. We have the privilege of honoring and worshiping the Wondrous God that so many others have despised and rejected. Yet we know as parents that the heart of a father always longs for the return of his wayward children. We are Father’s instruments of love and reconciliation to that wayward world that we might extend again Father’s great love and forgiveness for them. His heart never stops beating for them, because His love is without condition. May we be the ones that stand in the gap today, ever making intercession and proclaiming God’s love and reconciliation to them that whosoever will may come in.

Blessings,

#kent

His Church

March 15, 2018

 

His Church

 

Ephesians 5:25-30

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.

 

 

We, the Church, the loving bride of Christ, are taking in our hands the faces of the world’s wounded, downtrodden and outcast.   We are the voice of God’s love and good news to those that are looking for direction and purpose in their lives.  At some point, I think most people come to the realization of how shallow and empty that life is without God in it.  Some would scorn and say we just use God as a crutch, because we aren’t able to think for ourselves and have no mind of our own.  I am just so thankful that I have the wisdom to recognize how lame I am without Him. They are right I have no more use for my mind, because I understand how much greater it is to have the mind of Christ.  Yes, the world and its spirit will often mock and ridicule us, but in the end what do they have but themselves, a meaningless life and an eternity of darkness.  Mock the church if you will, but a least she is full of light and hope.  She has purpose for living and being.  She is more than just the expression of humanity; she is the expression of God’s redemption working in humanity.  Yes, we will find in her many cracks and flaws if we are only looking on the outward vessel, but contained within her is a treasure beyond measure.  It is the awesome presence of God’s Holy Spirit and Life.  So many and varied are her members, all of them unique and different, but each one reflecting some aspect and dimension of God’s nature.

The Church is the redeemed of the Lord.  It is the blood of Christ that now courses through our veins with the life-flow of God’s life, love and forgiveness.  His mind is renewing our mind.  His thoughts are becoming our thoughts.  His eyes are becoming our eyes as we see our world from a kingdom of heaven perspective.  As we hear with spiritual ears the world’s voice, we are moved to compassion for the hurting and the weak.  We are moved to indignation over the world’s sin and antichrist behavior, but in it all, we are the salt of the earth.  We are the ones that season it with the flavor of life and godliness.   We are the ones who bring hope and the message of God’s love and reconciliation.  Our world is perishing before us as we speak, but are we speaking God’s life and His love?  Are we communicating with our world only on its terms, or are we communicating in a manner that our world is seeing something different in us?  It doesn’t take us standing on a soapbox, preaching hell, fire and damnation to communicate God to people.  It takes living a life that is like His, full of self-sacrifice, compassion, righteousness tempered with humility.  It is not about us being lifted up or us being better than others, it is about us rolling up our sleeves and being willing to get down in the mud and dirt so that we lift someone else up.  God didn’t place us in the position of looking down on others. He has placed us in the position of servanthood, of being the least that we might serve the greater.  People won’t care about what we have to say until they know we really care.

It is sad when see so much of the church caught up in the outward show of things, in crowd appeal, pomp and splendor.  You are more likely to find the greater presence of the Lord in some small nobody minister of the Lord who is simply in the fields of humanity laboring for the kingdom.  His notoriety is not in the way he dresses, or performs, or orates, it in the likeness he has to Christ and His nature.   He stands out the way Mother Teresa stood out.  These people are a unique breed who have lost their life in expressing His.

Is that who we are today?  How much of our life is still about us?  Most of us would have to admit an awful lot of who and what we are is still about us.  This is not to condemn us, but it is not in living for us that we will find God’s highest and His richest blessings.  We have to become about serving others and that doesn’t mean letting everyone manipulate you into what they think you should do.  It is in being humble and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit to direct you in His purpose and His plan.

The Church is a beautiful woman, but she is not yet without spot or wrinkle.  It will no doubt take the fuller’s soap to cleanse her and the fire of God to iron out her wrinkles, along with the washing of the water of the word.  Each one of us is a part of what makes up God’s church and His bride.  How are we living out our part?

Blessings,

#kent

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