Time and Clutter

February 1, 2016

 

Time and Clutter

Ecclesiastes 8:5-7

Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment. Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man [is] great upon him

 

 

               Are you ever overwhelmed in life by all of the clutter that fills your life and the lack of time to deal with it all?  I find that trying to stay neat and organized seems to be an exercise in futility. Our lives are so inundated with mail, junk mail, phone calls, solicitors, bills, materials from work, school, church, kids, and internet.  Then there are always all of the projects we have to do or someone else wants us to do.  In the midst of this deluge of information, materials and pulling from every direction to make this decision and meet that need we can become overwhelmed and overloaded.  There doesn’t seem to be enough time to deal with it all and even if there is, after while we just want to run away and escape all of its demands.  As I look at my desk and the condition of my home and garage I think too much stuff is not a good thing.  Who can keep up with it all?  Obviously some of us are more gifted in that area than others.  While it seems it is hard for many of us to finish one thing before we are distracted and on to something else, thus leaving in our wake a barrage of unfinished business, this is the real world.  It is filled with clutter that demands our time and energy to deal with it.  What’s worse is when you don’t want to throw it away or get rid of it because you might need it someday.  “My God, My God, who shall deliver me?”

               This is for me this morning, so you are welcome to listen in, or not. 

               Our time has to be more and more ordered by priorities.  Most important things first.  This brings us to the spiritual aspect of our lives, which we should have rated number one on our list.   Don’t you find that without God first, the rest of life begins to fall apart?  He is the order in our lives and helps us with focusing on our priorities.  Sometimes it demands getting up earlier in the morning or staying up later at night just to have that time with Him.  Our families should be our next priority.  How often do we neglect our wife or husband, children or grandchildren because they’ll understand if we have work demands, or are wading through all of the clutter that takes all of our time and attention away from them?    

What about meeting the needs of others?  “The needs of others, I hardly have time for my own needs.”  Isn’t this part of our life mission, to reach out to others and meet those needs where we can? We haven’t even talked about work, which usually consumes a major portion of our time and life.   It is a constant juggling act to balance all of the areas of our lives.  Yet, I have to believe that God is our wisdom to walk in this world and deal with all of the issues that we are faced with.  Truthfully, we bring a lot of it on ourselves.  Our possessions bring with them the bondage of time and money to take care of and deal with them.   Simplicity, in as much as it is attainable, is an asset we need to cherish.

In Matthew 6 Jesus give us some wise counsel we need to continually apply to our lives.  In verses 19-21 he says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Doesn’t this deal with our priorities and the things we value in life?  It is so easy for our focus in life to get on the wrong things.  We are not here to gain the world for ourselves, but to gain the world for Christ.  In verses 24-26 and verse 33 Jesus says, ” No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  …But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

               Time and clutter must find their order in the One we serve.  The Lord and people must be the focus of what we live and work for, not things.  The Holy Spirit is the filter through which all things must pass and judgements must be made on their significance or value.  How much clutter do we bring on ourselves that hinders us from the more vital things in our lives?  Let us order and organize our lives for the advancement of His Kingdom and not ours.

Blessings,

#kent

The Spirit of a Jackass

September 14, 2015

Jeremiah 14:6
“Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights and pant like jackals; their eyesight fails for lack of pasture.”

The Spirit of a Jackass

Oh that men would praise Him rather than sing mournful hymns and songs. Oh that men of the cloth would have restored to them spiritual vision and insight. The religious man perishes and is made like dry bones. He pursues God only with his mind and intellect while his heart is far from Him. He has not the faith to embrace and hold the things of God because he stands upon the barren heights of man’s religion and tradition. It is what he has been handed down from his fathers and it is what he has learned to embrace. Now, as a wild donkey, he stands upon the barren and desolate heights of religious intellect and the traditions of his fathers to find he like the jackal is looking for some dead thing to feed upon. His spiritual eyesight fails to see that God is so much more than the cathedrals of theology and learning. He is not only the God of the past, but of the here and now. He doesn’t know how to find and relate with God in his own present tense. His soul is lean though his head is full of knowledge. He dwells in the land of famine and feeds upon the fodder of human reasoning. He has a form of godliness, but denies the power thereof. Thus, he finds no pasture and rest for his soul, but wrestles with fears, doubts and unbelief. The product of this man is found across the landscape of religion. They have their structures, their forms, their incantation, ceremonies and holy words, but their lives are devoid of the life giving power of true relationship and fellowship with Father God. There God is kept in their holy box instead of being a living fire in their hearts.
Though the truth is spoken to them they can not hear. They will not receive for they are like the wild donkeys, stubborn and set in their ways. They, in fact, resent and despise those who live in and speak the truth, for they are the heretics of their religious box. The religion and their tradition have become their idol and indeed it is the religion and form that they worship and not God.
Jeremiah 14:10 says, “This is what the LORD says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” The strongholds of religion will fall. Their religious walls have only served to hide the hypocrisy and sin of those who inhabit them. The Lord Almighty has judged the form and tradition of religion, because like the law of Moses it has become an instrument of death and not life, it has only condemned with judgement and fear instead of giving life, liberty and freedom. God does not dwell in edifices and structures of men, but in the living stones of His peoples lives and hearts. “Unless the Lord build the house they that labor, labor in vain.” The Lord will establish His house. 1 Peter 2:4-10 speaks the mind of God concerning His house, “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. 6For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” 8and, “A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” This is God’s temple and this is His house that He has built through the hands of His Son, Jesus Christ.
God is calling His true people out of the former traditions and forms of men into the relationship with Him whereby you may cry “Abba Father”, Papa God. Our God is a God of relationship not of form and dead letter. He is desiring to bring you into the fellowship of His family and communion with His Holy Spirit. That relationship is not one of ceremony but of knowing Him in the intimacy of your heart and life through Christ. Wild Donkeys will not hear this word for they are stubborn and stiff-necked, determined in their own way even when it leaves them in famine and desolation, but those who have spiritual ears will hear and come out from among her to find that true and living church which isn’t in an organization, but is a living, functioning organism of His life, love and fellowship. This is the word of the Lord to His people this day.
Blessings,
#kent

The House of God

June 2, 2015

The House of God

Ephesians 2:19-22
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

The house of God, as most of us know, is not a structure of wood and stone. It is not a religion or an organization, but it is a living organism structured, designed, and formed by the Spirit of God for His Holy Habitation. It is like a house within a house. You and I are individually the temples and dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, but at the same time we are being formed corporately into the temple and dwelling of the Most High.
What comes to mind is a honeycomb of fitted individual cells all joined together into a hive. It is there that you find the honey, the anointing, the sweet out-flowing of the Holy One. All of its members work in one accord and unto one end, to perpetuate the life of that hive. Each member has their own functions and abilities and as each one is faithful to function in their gifting and calling, the hive will prosper.
Before we knew Christ we had no real home, no real purpose and we were strangers to God. It was His grace that led us unto repentance and salvation that He might join us unto His own where we now have purpose and true meaning in our lives.
It says we have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. These were the stones through which God’s Word came forth and established what we now read as our Bible. They gave the tenants and blueprints of God’s design so that we could continue to be built with continuity from generation to generation, not wavering from the original design and purpose of our Master Architect and Builder, who is Himself the chief cornerstone, the primary support and anchor of God’s temple as well as the capstone and crown of glory that completes and finishes it.
Ephesians 4:11-16 says, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” From this scripture has come the terminology of what we call the five fold ministry. A brother shared with us a good analogy the other day as we were having fellowship. He said he saw the five fold ministry much like the forms in construction that are assembled with reinforcements placed within them and then filled with concrete. The forms are not the actual structure or building, but are there to give shape, dimension, and form to the structure, but once the concrete has set up and taken the shape it was designed for the forms are stripped away. The fivefold ministry is not an end in itself, but they are the materials and tools to build the house into God’s design. The end purpose is to have a unified structure that is an organism that functions in the fullness of Christ, whose head is Christ. Each member works together with the other and no one member works for their own good, but for the good of the whole. Much of our mindset today is “what’s in it for me.” In the true body of Christ, me doesn’t exist, it is all about Him. That is the house of God.

Blessings,
#kent

What Has Church Become?

November 28, 2014

1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

What Has Church Become?

Does our church, our gathering together in the name of Christ still resemble this exhortation in 1 Corinthians 14 or has it gotten swallowed up in the organization, the structure, the program and the one man headliner. Is it about a functioning body where different members are able to contribute as they are led of the Spirit or have we become dumbed down to depend only on the leadership to carry out the act of worship and give the Word. In many churches our services have been reduced to a series of rote mechanical functions that we have memorized and go through. That isn’t the church that Paul speaks about here. We have become accustomed to playing church rather than being the church. Our religion has separated us into clergy and laity. One performs and the other is the audience that listens. We wouldn’t know what to do if the Holy Spirit actually showed up in our service because He would throw the agenda on our bulletins all off and mess everything up. We would lose our order and our control and our smooth running programs. We have been so raised up in this organized church mentality it is really hard for some of us to conceive of something so different where we actually individually and corporately begin to operate in the gifting the Holy Spirit has for each member. Besides that it would most likely get out of our time limitations and constraints. Then we couldn’t beat crowds to the restaurant after the church and we might miss the football game.
Church has really ceased to be all about Him. It has become all about us. After all, we are doing God a favor just to show up on Sunday mornings, right? God forbid if someone or something should offend us. We’ll just take our attendance elsewhere where we are more appreciated and they sing our flavor of songs. What has the church become?
The truth is when we turn everything over to the Holy Spirit it can get out of our comfort zone. It can get messy and it certainly may not fit into our agenda. or box It doesn’t mean there isn’t leadership and there isn’t an order, but it is subject to the Holy Spirit and not to man. Let me tell you, when we allow and invite the Holy Spirit to show up we go home with more than just a self-righteous attitude. His presence touches our lives and changes us in ways that only He can. He doesn’t use just one man or a worship team to do it, He moves through His body and upon His body as His will dictates, when we allow His will to be done. Paul says here we have these different functions through the various members for the strengthening of the church. Something tells me that church might have looked a lot different back then than it does today. Today, our churches are built around our charismatic leaders, not our charismatic bodies. Isn’t it time we quit playing church and start being the church where each one of us functions in the calling and gifting upon our lives? It doesn’t have to be limited to the Sunday service. Your ministry and calling should spill out into your everyday life. You are not only for the edification of the church, but to edify, encourage and build up all who are in your presence. If we are in Christ and He is in us then we must become the daily expression of who He is and we need a place of worship where that is actually what we do, WORSHIP Him who is worthy until we enter into His presence and He is the headship and the direction of our service. I can tell you it won’t be the same thing every week. It will always be fresh and new. You will know that you have been with Him, not just heard about Him.
What has church become? How do we bring it back to what it should be? It is time we became activated and no longer stagnant, because the church that we have known isn’t what is lighting a fire in the midst of our unbelieving nation. They need to hear and see the reality of God’s presence just as we do, not just the rhetoric about who He was. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He hasn’t changed, we have. Church, wake up to who you are and come alive in your spirits so that you can be the expression of Christ in the midst of His body and in the earth today.

Blessings,
#kent

Not the Outward, but the Inward

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The church is not so unlike the Jewish nation before us. We have taken the principles of the kingdom of heaven and have fashioned them into laws and burdens that are placed on the backs of men. So many of our denominations have taken a revelation and a truth, dug their foundations and built their denominations and that is where they have staid. God is not stagnant. He is an ever-moving river of truth. He is continually unfolding and unveiling His plan before us. His truth is all there in His Word, but the revelation of that truth has not been fully manifested. It is a progressive thing. One of the chief kingdom principles is never think that you have it all and never be content to build your faith and religion on present day truth. That is not to say it isn’t truth, but it may be only a facet and part of the whole.
From the early days of Christianity men have done what the religious leaders of old did with Judaism. They try and make our faith a mandate of rules and regulations. Men still try and dictate and control by taste not, touch not and eat not. If Christ taught us anything He taught us to change the outward there must be a change inwardly. Jesus once told the Pharisees, “ It is not what goes into a man’s belly that defiles him, it is what comes out.” Jesus knew that unless the condition of the heart is changed no amount of rules and regulations will really change men. They may try to act correctly outwardly, but inwardly they are still the same. The kingdom of heaven in us begins with a heart change. It must change from the desire for earthly enrichment and expression to the desire for the Spirit of God to have expression through us. No longer my will, but Your will be done. What we find is that when we really get in step and in sync with God’s heart and the Holy Spirit, we have set out on a God adventure and there is no telling where it may take us. It is exciting and it is ever fresh and new. The neat thing is we are not struggling to control it, but we have relinquished control to the Holy Spirit. Now our chief desire and ambition is to flow in harmony and obedience to Him. It is no longer about religion telling us we have to do this and we can’t do that. The law that governs us lives within our hearts and we know that our obedience to Him leads to heightened relationship and fellowship. We have found that our faith is not of the ceremonial outward protocol, it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Instead of ceremony we celebrate who and what we are in Christ and all that He is becoming in us. Perhaps that would explain why there is such a large movement away from traditional religion and more of a move toward non-denominationalism. The kingdom of heaven is not about the organization it is about the organism in which the Holy Spirit is released and free to move in and through His body according to His will and purpose and not the dictates of men and their programs. Where the Holy Spirit is free to move is where you will find that it will be as the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power.” Isn’t that what we desire and seek today? We have heard countless words, but God we want to behold your power. We want to see the kingdom manifested in the lives and affairs of men. This is what we press into as we seek the deeper experience of the kingdom of heaven. We want to find the lover of our soul, our King. We want to find the place of intimacy and relationship with Him where we have true communion and dialog with His presence.
May our hearts become inflamed with an everlasting passion for our Christ and His coming as well as His manifest kingdom. When we are consumed in our love for Him, the things of this world become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Righteousness then becomes a state of who we are by association and relationship with Him who is righteous rather than something we seek to achieve through outward efforts and works. The kingdom of heaven in you is allowing and giving place to Christ being all that He desires to be in you. Allow the kingdom to flood into every part and fiber of your being and your life. As He is in you, so will you be in this world.

Blessings,
#kent

A Life in Order

June 3, 2014

A Life in Order
Psalms 119:133
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

This is really the Lord speaking to me. You just get to listen in and glean what may apply to you.
God is a God of order and that is an area I need to be so much more like God. I wonder how many of us can really say we have our lives and houses in order. Do we order and run our lives or do our lives and lifestyles run us? I have to confess that disorganization is far too much of a weakness in my life. I kind of go with the flow jumping from one thing to the next before the former is finished and put away. It doesn’t take long before I’m buried in disorganized paper work. I fail to have a place for everything and everything in its place.
We were in a class and the instructor gave an illustration where she had two volunteers come up. She gave them each a deck of cards and then ask which one could most quickly give her, in order, the cards that she called out. One deck was totally disorganized, with cards turned in both directions and as hard as that person tried she couldn’t begin to keep up with the other person whose deck was all in order. It hit home that this often is a picture of our lives and why there is such chaos and ineffectiveness.
When we look at the nature and the order of God, we don’t see that. God is a God of order and structure. As I was looking through the scriptures pertaining to order I was impressed by a number of scriptures from Exodus and Leviticus that speak of order in the tabernacle. For instance, Leviticus 1:12 is typical of many verses which says, “And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that [is] on the fire which [is] upon the altar:“ There was an order of doing tasks and an order in which things were to be done. I believe that God has an order for our lives of when and how things are to be done. So often we go through life doing things however and whenever. We don’t enjoy a lot of peace because we are always looking for what we misplaced. For our lives to work effectively we have to find the order of the Lord for us, both naturally and spiritually. It’s not that we have to be annal and legalistic about everything. It is important to stay flexible and moldable, but we do this while being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s direction and order for our lives, because we want ours and His to be one in the same.
Job 10:22 speaks of disorder in this regard, “A land of darkness, as darkness [itself; and] of the shadow of death, without any order, and [where] the light [is] as darkness.” Disorder is like muddied waters, even our light is like darkness and its hard for us to know where we are going, as well as finding the resources to get there.
On the other hand 1 Corinthians 14:40 exhorts us, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Since order is a nature and attribute of God, I’m realizing that I need to make it a priority in my life to get more organized. That means I have to practice overcoming a lot of bad habits that keep me in that state. For some of us we may have lives that are in great order outwardly, but spiritually we may be running amuck and have our lives out of balance and out of order. It is great time for all of us to make that commitment to put our lives and houses in order. It will no doubt again be a “God help me thing”, but that’s okay, by His grace we will set our lives and houses in order.

Blessings,
#kent

I Have Declared the Former Things from the Beginning
Isaiah 48:3
I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did [them] suddenly, and they came to pass.

One of the ways that God reveals to us that He indeed is God and not some other object of our affection or worship is that He is all knowing. He knows from the beginning to the end and nothing is hid from Him. The book of Daniel shows us one example of this when Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream. He was going to put to death all of his wise men, sorcerers, astrologers and soothsayers, because not only did he want them to tell him what the dream meant, he wanted them to tell him what the dream was. There was only one that could meet his request and that was Daniel after the Lord revealed it to him. Even the great Nebuchadnezzar had to acknowledge that God was God.
All through the Bible God has given a prophetic Word that spoke of what He would do and what would happen in the future. This is a testimony and witness to us to know that God is God. If it were not so, He says because of the hardness of our hearts, we would give credit to our idols. “Because I knew that thou [art] obstinate, and thy neck [is] an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared [it] to thee; before it came to pass I shewed [it] thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. (Isaiah 48:4-5)”
Many of us have found ourselves in the captivity again of a worldly and religious system that has captivated our minds and thinking. We attempt to walk in Christ, not led by the Spirit, but led by men of natural minds, steeped in religious thinking and ways. The Lord is about to do what He has said in Daniel 12:3-4, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
Look for the Lord to begin to declare a thing in and through His people. The Lord is calling us out of Babylon and into Him. That Babylon is the religious tradition and kingdoms of men. Does that mean we aren’t suppose to go to churches? What it means is that God is raising up His true bride in the midst of her who has only had the outward appearance of holiness, but inwardly is full of abominations and wickedness. This is the day to tune your ear to the Spirit of God and begin to hear His voice. He will lead you into the place of true worship and return you to spiritual Jerusalem. He will give witness to your spirit when you are in the place of true communion with Him.
There is a stirring in my spirit that we are about to see a great increase in divine revelation and knowledge as the Lord begins to declare it through the spirit of His saints and increase revelation knowledge of Him. Look for Him to do it in you as you get quiet before Him and seek Him in the inner chambers of your heart. This is a revealing of Himself not to puff us up, but to further affirm in our hearts that we are His redeemed, called out of the world to declare and live unto the majesty of our God. Seals are being removed from the Book and the things shut up are being opened because this is the day of their unveiling.
“20 Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob.” 21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock and water gushed out. 22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD , “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:20-22)” God is calling us into a day of spiritual liberation. It is the day to get in touch with who we are, not as a religious people, but as God’s people. We belong to the organism of the body of Christ, not to the organization of religion. We are on the brink of the great things of God and we want to be in the flow of God’s Spirit when He unveils them. He has spoken His Word to us to prepare us and suddenly it will come to pass, what we have taken for granted and become complacent about. This is an hour to be stirred up and preparing your hearts for the Lord’s unveiling.

Blessings,
#kent

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