Four Wells (Part 2)

May 8, 2015

Four Wells
(Part 2)

When Isaac dug the third well they didn’t contend with Isaac for it. This was called Rehoboth or ‘the wide places or streets’. Isaac said, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” There are times of peace and stability within our Christian walk, but the Holy Spirit is a dynamic force and if we are walking in the Spirit then we won’t remain idle for long. We will continue to move and grow in one dimension or another. The well as Rehoboth is like the well of salvation that has been placed in the wide place of humanity. It is open to all who believe and wish to partake of it. It is a well of peace for it excludes no one who wishes to drink of its waters.
Finally we see Isaac moving up to Beersheeba. At Beersheba God speaks to Isaac and he builds altar there to God. This is a place where we dig a well beyond our salvation experience. This is a place of personal revelation and purpose in God. It is a well dug in a place of worship and encounter with the Lord. It is a place where people will recognize and acknowledge the blessing and the anointing of Christ in your life and they will come to you. You are the representative of God to them and they will desire to make peace and covenant with God. You are in Christ and He is in you to the point that others will acknowledge His presence. Where they were hostile before now they come in peace to make peace with God.
We see Abimelech coming to Isaac and we see represented with him the whole man. There is Abimelech the spirit, Ahuzzath the adviser as the soul and Phicol the commander of the forces like the body. Isaac stands now in the place of priesthood to bring those without the covenant, into covenant and peace with God. This covenant is for the whole man, spirit, soul and body. It is interesting that immediately after the covenant was made they found water that same day. The Spirit will produce the life if we will dig the well and the well will become a source of life to sustain and keep us.
Beersheba means, ‘well of the sevenfold oath’. There is no doubt a great deal more truth that this well holds than what we are sharing here. Perhaps what we are seeing as Isaac moves from well to well is a progression and growth in spirit. Gerar, the land in which Isaac had been dwelling, means just that, ‘dwelling place’. God had sent Isaac there during a time of famine rather than allowing him to go back to Egypt. In times of need God doesn’t want us to go back to the world, but He places us in a dwelling place where we can grow in our faith and in our relationship with Him. What we see in Isaac is that He was producing life wherever he was. He was always redigging the wells of His Father. That is what God wants in us, to be well diggers, searching out His truth and becoming that source of truth for others. There will be those who strive and contend with us over it. That’s okay, just move on to dig the next well. Keep uncovering the truths of God’s word. They have been there all of the time, but they have been covered over. God has wells He wants you to dig in your life.

Blessings,
#kent

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Deceitfulness of Sin

April 29, 2014

Hebrews 3:12-14a
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Deceitfulness of Sin

We are a people that are much moved and guided by our souls: our mind, will and emotions. Often we use these natural senses to define our truth and often they are the inroads that satan uses to turn us from faith to an unbelieving heart. Often the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes and the vainglory of this life dictate our values in life. Even when we have embraced a faith in Christ the ways of the world we live in are most often in direct conflict and opposition to it. Our faith in Christ takes us down a very rewarding road, but the rewards are not always evident or seen. Those rewards, like the very nature of our Christian walk, are often ones of faith. The apostle Paul makes a statement in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” It is not always in this life that we see the wonderful riches of Christ manifested. True Christians have to be a people of faith, love and vision. When we loose sight of those attributes, then our hearts can become unbelieving and we start looking at the world. We see the temporal rewards of this life that may be passing us by. In those times of weakness our eyes and heart begin to turn from the Word of Truth, the promises of God, which we possess by faith and the deceitfulness of sin can enter in. Justification and compromise become more and more a part of our lifestyle as we begin to believe the lie and embrace the sin.
Brethren, in Christ, we have not chosen the easy way. The way of the cross is never easy and it can often be demanding and painful. But we endure the cross, despising the shame, even as Jesus did, for the greater hope that is set before us. We have the assurance and vision of our faith that Paul gives us 2 Corinthians 4:13-18, “It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Again, he says in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “We live by faith, not by sight.” The deceitfulness of sin gets our eyes off of these spiritual realities and on the temporal rewards and gratification of this present world. What we often fail to see is what the fish fails to see when he takes the bait, which covers the hook. What looks good and even innocent to the outward man gets a hook in us that takes us where we don’t want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay and cost us more than we want to pay. It doesn’t matter how rich we are, how famous or powerful we are or how much we have if we become the servants of sin and the enemy controls us. The man that possess nothing of this world, yet possess the freedom of his soul in Christ, is a far richer man than the one controlled and ruled by sin. How quickly we can lose sight of this truth.
We can’t allow our confidence to be shaken, by the disappointments of this life. Don’t look back as Lot’s wife did who was turned to a pillar of salt. “We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” Our inheritance is not of this world and we must maintain our vision to see beyond the things of this world. We must be of one mind and vision even as Paul has shared in Philippians 3:12-21, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Here he speaks to us of the results of the deceitfulness of sin, as well as to the glorious hope we have in Christ. Be encouraged in your faith and don’t waiver from it. This world has nothing for us.
We are a people that are entering into the rest of God where we know Him as our all in all. We are not moved by what we see, but by what the Word of God and the Spirit of God are telling us. We are a people with a faith, a love and a vision. We will not be moved. We will not harden our hearts in sin, but with a humble and contrite heart we will find our forgiveness in the blood of Jesus that we might continue to press on into the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
#kent

Three Dimensions of Jacob

Genesis 32:22-32
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Many of us will remember this story of Jacob. We often say that Jacob wrestled with an angel. As I was meditating upon Jacob this morning I felt like the Lord gave a little insight into this man Jacob. Jacob’s life is like our spiritual journey. Consider with me some of the analogies I felt like the Lord was showing me and I know there is so much more to this than what we will share here today.
When Jacob came into this world, he came in with his first-born twin named Esau. Now Esau was hairy, red and ruddy. He was a man of the earth and field. You might say he was the Adamic nature. The scripture that gives us great insight into these three dimensions of Jacob, which is a type of us, is found in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” While Esau is a type of the body, which is pretty much self-centered and driven by its needs and wants, Jacob is a little more subtle. Jacob is a type of the soul. The soul is where our identity lies. It is our mind, will and emotion. It is expressive of who we are as a person. Like Jacob, most of us have our spiritual side and then we have our fleshly side, for our soul is a mixture of flesh and spirit. Even the name Jacob means “heel holder or supplanter”. The truth was he was an artful manipulator. Even so, Jacob had a spiritual side that hungered for the things of God and the desire for the inheritance or birthright that would normally go to the firstborn. The trouble with the firstborn is that he had little or no appreciation for the birthright. Yes, he wanted the blessing that came through the birthright, but he didn’t have a heart or desire for the legacy and the responsibility that it carried with it. Jacob, on the other hand, did, but he sought to gain it through unscrupulous means, even though, prophetically it had been spoken that the older would serve the younger. Jacob is like us in so many ways. He was always cunning and devising in the flesh how he might obtain the things of the spirit. Whether it was his life, livelihood, his wives or his children, Jacob set about with natural wisdom and understanding to obtain them. That is not to say that Jacob did not have his spiritual side. He encountered God at Bethel in the dream of the stairway or ladder with ascending and descending angels. He experienced God’s blessing, protection and wisdom in his life, but like us, we often seem to struggle and work so hard only to come up so short of our dreams and strongest desires. We have that Labon in our lives, Jacob’s father-in-law, that is always promising so much and delivering so little. No wonder, like Jacob, so many of us are frustrated physically and spiritually.
Even though Jacob knew God and had a relationship with Him, he had his shortcomings, his fears and demons to face. His biggest fear was his brother Esau, the one he had taken the birthright and the blessing from. It is like even though we possess the promises and blessings of God we face our own mortality. Faced with who we are in the natural we fear. In the natural we perceive our weaknesses, our failures, the ungodly part of our nature. That is what Jacob faced in Esau.
In Genesis 32 we see Jacob escaping Labon and his stronghold to return to the promise land, but there he must face his Esau. In this place of fear for himself and his family, he is crying out for answers and favor from God. Try and scheme as he will, he fears the strength of the flesh that is represented in Esau and his ability to take from him all that he has labored to build. While he possesses the promises and the birthright they are of little value to him in his own identity. He sends his family and the others on ahead and takes them over the ford of Jabbok, which means emptying. He sent away his family and all that he had and now, empty, he is left alone. There he encounters this third man. The scripture doesn’t say it is an angel, but it is definitely an agent of God. There, Jacob wrestles with this man till daybreak. Could this be the spirit of Christ in us? The spiritual man that we need to change our nature? The first thing that had to happen in Jacob was an emptying and laying down of all that he loved and possessed. Then there was a battle, the struggle and wrestling with that old soulish nature of Jacob, the heel-holder, supplanter and deceiver. These two men seemed pretty equally matched for strength for they wrestled through the night till daybreak. Is this our place of prayer and intercession where we are in a spiritual battle. Have we come to the place that we are going to lay hold of God and let go of everything else unto He blesses us? Are we the overcomers that will prevail with God and man?
What is our greatest blessing? Isn’t it to be delivered of our former nature with all of its weaknesses, lust and affections?
That morning, at daybreak, the man said, “let me go, it is daybreak.” Jacob said, “I won’t let you go till you bless me.” In Genesis 32:27-31 it goes on to tell us,” The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.” It is there that Jacob prevailed with God and received a new name and a new nature. The new name is Israel, “God Prevails”. The agent of God touched Jacob in the hollow of his hip, so that the sinew shrank and he crossed over Peniel, which means, “facing God”. Jacob would always walk with a limp, no longer dependent upon his own strength and ability.
We have a similar word to us in 2 Peter 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” There is a day for our transformation and new nature to come forth in its fullness, but we wrestle on through the night till we, like Jacob, prevail with God and lay hold of the promises of our inheritance. Then, no more do we need fear our strongholds like Labon or our mortality and flesh, like Esau. No longer are we afraid to loose the things we possess and love. The losses and the wounds we suffer are a small price to pay for the glory we lay hold of. God’s nature and character will prevail in us if we faint not. We will see the face of God, our Lord, and live; no longer after the flesh, but after the spirit. These are the three dimensions of Jacob, body, soul and spirit.

Blessings,
kent

Lay Down Your Life

October 5, 2012

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Lay Down Your Life

“Lay down your life.” What does that mean?
“My life” constitutes all of my hopes, dreams, visions and ideas. It constitutes how I live my life, my likes and dislikes, my agendas, my self-worth and personal identity. It is made up of my own principles and values that I have deemed important and worthy of holding on too. It is pretty much about my wants, my desires, my objectives and about “me”.
We often think and maybe even tell the Lord. “I would lay down my life for You. Lord I give you my life.” Yet how many of us are like Peter and Jesus would say to us as He did Peter in John 13:38, “Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” How many times have I said or you said “Jesus take my life I give it to You”, only to latter take it back again and live it for ourselves? Our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. So many of us have a heart to follow Jesus, but our true heart isn’t willing to go there yet.
Did Peter get there? Yes, he did. He couldn’t go there in His own strength and through his failure, he had to come to that revelation of himself that he wasn’t as sold out as he said he was. It took Pentecost, the Holy Spirit and a life of living unto Jesus that prepared him for the giving up of his own life when he was martyred. This is where the trying of our faith comes in that is much more precious than gold. True gold, true faith is revealed in the fire of the trials and testing. Then we find out if what we say and proclaim is really what we are. God knows, but we don’t always really know ourselves. Trials have a way of unmasking us and stripping our true feeling, emotions and beliefs naked. In reality, most all of us dress ourselves in a lot of pretense. It is not only what we want others to believe about us, it is what we want to believe about ourselves. Sometimes we are living a lie and we don’t even know it. We are blind to it. If someone told us the truth about us, we would be offended at them, because it is not our perception.
As we walk with Jesus in sincerity and truth. As we ask Him to conform us to be like Him and transform us into His image and likeness; that doesn’t happen in day or even a year. It is a process of the Holy Spirit peeling and unveiling the layers of us like an onion. Layer by layer He is dealing with us as we are willing to allow Him to do so. If He dealt with us all at once, we would be overwhelmed and would probably give up all hope of being changed. Yet through life processes He is faithfully, each day, dealing with us where we are at and each of us are in our own unique places, that is why we can’t judge one another. He is wanting to touch something in your life today. He is wanting to grow you more in some attribute of His character and nature. Often we think in terms of the big transformation and that often takes place in a greater measure when we are saved and filled with the Spirit.
Salvation is an ongoing experience that starts when Christ comes to indwell our spirits as we invite Him in by faith, but then it begins the process of going into the battle ground of the soul; the mind, will and emotions. There it must be a daily submission of our will to His, our mind for His, our heart and feelings for His heartbeat.
Today God is wanting to work on some aspect of you. Tune into Him and ask what it is and how you can cooperate in giving that aspect of yourself to Him more fully and completely. We need to learn to practice His presence, so that in every aspect and compartment of our lives we are allowing Jesus to be Lord, saying “yes” to Him and “no” to self. “Let us “continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” That means in great reverence, humbling ourselves to the Holy Spirit and how He wishes to deal in our lives to bring about a greater transformation into who He is.
That is our goal isn’t it? To be like Him? Then each day is a daily sacrifice to what we formerly were, to walk into what we now are. It was completed upon the cross, but now we are putting application to the truth as we lay down our lives, pick up our cross and follow Him.

Blessings,
kent

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