Spiritual Armor

August 19, 2021

1 Samuel 17: 38-40

Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor.39David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off.40He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.

Spiritual Armor

               Many of you will recognize this passage from the story of David and Goliath.  Saul, in his good intentions to protect David, gives him his heavy and encumbering armor.  For David this was very confining, heavy, awkward and not the armor that He had learned to fight with.  Saul’s armor represents the natural efforts of the flesh to defeat a spiritual foe.  It represented why they had suffered defeat, because ‘the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through the Holy Spirit to the tearing down of strongholds’.   In fact let’s take a look at this scripture in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,6and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.”

               When we fight with natural weapons, rather they be physical, our words, our actions or our cunning; where are they based and where do they come from?  They stem from fear, jealousy, greed, anger, rage, slander, contempt, unforgiveness, selfishness and natural mentality.  What does James say about us as Christians when we do such things in James 4:1-10, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

               Like David, we have to learn that victory and power is not in conventional weaponry based on earthly design and natural wisdom.  It is based on our faith and confidence in who He is.  I hear a lot of spiritual brothers and sisters talking today about getting guns, concealed weapons permits, storing up goods and finding fortification.  We do live in perilous times and we do have to use wisdom, but Father would never have us to forget that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  Little David was able to overcome and defeat mighty giant Goliath because of the Spirit of God in Him; that gave Him the confidence to know that God would fight His battles and all he had to do was show up and respond in faith.  It wasn’t the natural armor that protected him, it was the spiritual armor of his right relationship with the Father and God’s faithfulness in his life through past experiences.  He knew, not what he could do, but what God could do through him, if he made God his armor and weaponry. 

               Ephesians 6:10-20 instructs us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”  The Word teaches us that our spiritual armament is the strongest and most powerful kind.  It teaches us that our real battle is not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.  This where we must remember that as Ephesians 2 says, ‘we are seated with Christ in heavenly places’.  We are seated in a spiritual position above our foes, even though our natural man may be positioned beneath them.  Where are we living out of, our natural man or spiritual man?  It is the difference between above and beneath, between victory and defeat. 

               No matter what we see in this world, we must maintain our identity and position in Christ.  David won the battle against the giant and the Philistines because he knew his identity in God and his position with Him.  That is where our true victory lies and that is how we will prevail, not with the armor of the natural, but with the armor of the spiritual.

Blessings,

#kent

Arise, My Darling , and Come with Me

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.  For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over [and] gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines [with] the tender grape give a [good] smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

               Do you know the lover in your Lord Jesus?  The one who is passionately in love with you?  He watches you and longs after you.  His affections are ever toward you.  He would know your heart.  Do you love Him?  Are you passionately inflamed with love and desire toward Him?  Do you treasure those quiet times in His presence where the world around you fades away and it is only you and your beloved?  If you haven’t come to know Jesus as your lover you are missing the richest experience of love in your life.  So many of us know about Jesus, we know him in an outward sense.  We may go to church and worship him and occasionally read the Bible, and of course we do pray now and then. 

“To Know” in the biblical sense is to know in intimacy as a husband knows his wife.  Jesus wants us to intimately know Him in the secret place of our spirit.  He desires such union with us that the product of that union is divine life and nature within us.  As His life is alive and flowing through us it will in turn impregnate others with His divine life, love and grace. 

               Some of us have loved our Lord.  We have longed after Him, but He has seemed illusive as He did to the Shulamite maid in the Song of Songs.  She would not be dissuaded but continued to pursue her lover till she would lay hold of Him.  Are we that passionately in love with our Lord where nothing will turn our eye or heart from pursuing Him?  Perhaps these have been the winter seasons of your life.  Spiritually you are languishing as you have gone through the stormy trials of life and have so longed for that closeness with Christ. 

               His word to us today is “Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away”; it is springtime in the spirit and a time of renewal, refreshing and blossoming in His love and presence.  It is a time for fruitfulness and spiritual life to spring forth.  It is a time when He will meet with you in the intimacy of the chambers of your heart.  He will draw close to you as you draw near to Him.  His desire is for those that love Him just for Him.  Even though He is the source of rich blessing and provision our heart is not on what He can do for us or what He can give us.  Our heart is passionately in love with who He is.  There is nothing richer than our fellowship in His presence.  This is why we never cease to praise and adore Him, because He is so worthy, lovely and our heart beats for Him. 

               Christ is coming for a Bride that is passionately in love with Him.  She is the one that will know the deep places in the treasures of His love.  If you are that lover be encouraged that He is coming to take you away in Him.  He will be your all in all and He will meet the needs that no earthly person can.  If you have not known the Lord in this way, you are missing out on the greatest love relationship of your lives.  Come fall in love with Jesus in a way you never have.  Come to know Him as your dearest friend, companion and lover.  Your life will be so much richer than you have ever known.  “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

Blessings,

#kent

Psalm 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

 The Word Hidden in Your Heart

              That which we store up and which we meditate upon continually, becomes the foundation of our thoughts, our values and our way of living.  Even in those times when we stray, lose our way, are assaulted with trials, tribulations and temptations, it is the foundation of our heart that draws us back to our roots.  Why do we need to hide God’s Word within our hearts, because it ties us and binds us to Him.  It intertwines His values with our thoughts.  It gives us compass and direction when we are not sure where to go or what to do.  That Word in us, we want to be like a well-sharpened sword sheathed in the recesses and the presence of our minds.  It is what we pull out when temptation and the enemy come against us.  It is what checks us when the passions of our flesh are drawing us into their web of seductiveness.   It is what gives us a greater wisdom and insight than does the conventional wisdom of this world.  The Word of God is the most powerful weapon that God has given us.  Because it His will and His mind and His authority.  It is what we stand upon when all odds and natural reasoning stands against us.  It is what we hope in, rely upon and what reveals to us our purpose and importance in God’s plan for our lives.   When we clothe and armor ourselves in the knowledge and revelation of God’s Word then we can have the inner strength to walk and to abide in the Spirit of God.  Our focus and eye is set upon our destiny in Christ and everything else becomes secondary to that purpose. 

              When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He fasted for forty days and nights, it was the Word that sustained Him, because the Word is life.  It was the Word that He gave back to satan when He was tempted.  It was the Word that kept satan from finding anything in Jesus that he could use against Him.  Christ is the Word and Christ abides within us, so His Word must abide within us.  Out of the Word we flow in the Spirit of God in obedience and humility.  Eat and drink a steady diet of God’s Word, for in it He will establish and keep you.  When the written word is taken from you then all that you have is what you have stored in your heart.  It is the oil that will light your lamp in the day of His coming.  Hide the richness of that Word within your heart.

Blessings,

#kent

1 John 5:6-8

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

The Spirit, the Water and the Blood

This scripture has always been a little ambiguous to me. I never grasped fully what it meant.  As the Lord dropped this scripture into my spirit this morning and I began to ask Him what He was saying, He took me back to Genesis 1.  He was saying that Jesus Christ didn’t just come in a spiritual mystical sense, but came in the flesh and in the blood.  

Genesis 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”  It is interesting that John uses the analogy of the beginning with the coming of Jesus in John 1 and in 1John 1 as well.  

What God is saying here is that for the longest time the Spirit of God has hovered over this earth of His creation.  For the longest time He has watched it in a state of spiritual darkness, being formless and void of His life and creative hand.  Jesus Christ was the Spirit made flesh.  He came to separate light and the darkness.  He came to give the definition of God in man.  God created and formed in Jesus the likeness of Himself in Spirit.  A foundational part of our faith is that we never deny the deity of God in Jesus Christ who was God in man, thus the Spirit, the Water and the Blood.  The Spirit and the Water define the man of the spirit, but it is the blood the defines the man of the flesh and so it is the blood that must redeem the man of the flesh from sin.  Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.”  Jesus Christ was the atonement of God’s flesh for our flesh, His blood for our sin.  Without taking upon Himself the form of a man He could have never made the atonement for man.  

Water is the defining factor of life.  When we look at the possibility of life on other planets we look first for the presence of water.  It was out of water that God formed, created and shaped the earth.  We know that we were a spirit before we ever received a physical body.  We were like the water and the earth undefined.  Even when we possess a natural body we are like the earth in its state of infancy.  We are waste and wild and without form.  When we receive Christ into our lives and yield ourselves and will to His Spirit then a New Creation begins to take place.  It is the creation of the Spirit, the water and the blood.  It is the Spirit of God in man.  “Christ in you” is that defining work and creation that sets you apart from any other creature or creation in the universe.  In each of us He works uniquely and specifically to be a part and an expression of Himself.   Joined together we form a body that functions under the headship of our Lord Almighty Jesus.  He gives the order and the direction out of which each of us are to function in our unique gifting and God given ability.   This is the body of Christ made up of Spirit, the water and the blood.  These three testify and these three agree that the Son is in the Father and we are in the Son and the three of us are one.

Blessings,

#kent

 

Changing Directions from Death to Life

Romans 5:17

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 

Christ came to change the direction of our lives and from the moment that we came to the decision to receive Christ into our heart our lives were translated from darkness into light and from death to life.  Outwardly or in our conscious mind things might not have seemed that different, much like when a woman first becomes pregnant she probably isn’t even aware of the life that has just started within her. 

We were born into a realm and place of death.  Romans 5:12-14 tells us, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.”  Just as the sin of one man brought all of humanity into this realm of death, the obedient act of righteousness in Jesus Christ has brought back to us an entrance into the realm of life.  These are spiritual principles that work in our lives as we give place to them and as we respond either to life or death.  Romans 8:1-4 identifies these two laws or principles under which all men live, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  Through faith in Christ we have stepped into a realm of life that should be changing our life and thinking.  Many of us live in the delusion that true spiritual transformation and divine life doesn’t begin till we leave this body and go to heaven.  We continually need to be reminded and aware that heavenly life begins when the Spirit of Christ comes in.  How we experience that quality of life depends a great deal on our faith and vision to recognize who we are in Christ and begin to lay hold upon that as we walk in these principles of life.  We may still inhabit a body of death, but Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”  That speaks to me that the law of life can effect even my natural body.  While the Word says that I am to die to the passions of the flesh, God calls us to live unto him using our bodies as instruments of righteousness and no longer of sin.  We can read all of these words and mentally agree with them, but they never really get past our minds and into our spirits.  In order for me to truly live in the law of life that is in Christ Jesus, I have to change the way that I think, no longer reasoning as the world thinks, but bringing my thoughts and thinking into conformity with the mind of God.  Romans 12:1-2 exhorts us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.“  If we want to dwell in the principles of life then we have to change the direction of our thinking and begin to conform it to what God’s word tells us.  In every place that we find it contrary we are to bring it into conformity through the way that we speak, not just looking to the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.  The realm of life is not a sight and sense realm; it is a realm that operates out of faith in the Word of God.  

Are we experiencing all that we should be in our spiritual walk with Christ?  Are we laying hold of and living out of the principles of life in Christ Jesus or do we just mentally acknowledge it while we continue on living our natural lives.  If we want to see and lay hold of LIFE we have to live out of the life principles of God’s word, bring ourselves in agreement and alignment with it.  Is there a dimension of life that we are not fully experiencing because we still have a mindset that is still geared and operating out of the realm of sin and death?  Perhaps we really need to be conscious of the need for us to change the direction of our thinking and to conform ourselves to the mind and will of Christ.  That change comes through the meditation and practice of His Word.  It comes as we yield ourselves in prayer and in deed to be the instruments of righteousness that He has called us to be.  Let’s be aware of who we are in Him and what mindset that we are operating out of so that we might enter into, possess and experience God’s life to the fullest, even now in this earth.  

Blessings,

#kent

Matthew 17:1-13
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
10The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
11Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

The Pattern of a Transfigured Life

Many are seeing this spiritual day that we are in as the seventh day or the day of the Lord. This is the day of both fearful and great things. It is no coincidence that the author states here in Matthew 17 that after six days Jesus took with Him his inner circle of Peter, James and John and led them up into a high mountain by themselves. This was a special time when Christ was transfigured before them and they saw Him in all His splendor and glory. This could well be seen as a first fruits unveiling of the Christ. In this glorious moment we see two other figures appear with Him, Moses and Elijah. These two speak to what Christ is, was and shall be, the fulfillment of the Law and the manifestation of the Spirit of God. They were like two witnesses of Christ, the Word and Spirit. Then the Father Himself speaks; the final and ultimate witness that, ” This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
We get a context of the feast of Tabernacles by what Peter is inspired to ask Jesus, offering to build three booths or shelters, much as was used during the Feast of Tabernacles when the children of Israel were called to remembrance of their sojourning days when they lived in tents and temporary dwellings. “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Peter was thinking after the natural dwellings or shelter, but immediately God sheltered them in His cloud of glory and he gave witness of His Son.
The Lord is bringing His elect up into the mountain or the high places of the Spirit to reveal Himself in a way we haven’t known before. It is a picture of the glory that is hidden in His people. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” In verses 16-18 Paul goes on to tell us, “Therefore 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.” What the disciples were seeing was the eternal glory that awaits the believer in Christ. We are in effect already those tabernacles or dwellings that house the Christ and all that He is as seen in Jesus, Moses and Elijah. We are seeing all of the facets of what He represents to us, the fullness and completeness of Him in Word and Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 really further defines this very truth of not who we are, but what we are looking into by faith, “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.”
The Lord is giving us an insight into our heavenly dwelling that we have in Christ and into a transfigured or transformed man who has metamorphosed into his spirit man. Remember that Jesus is the prototype and the pattern for us. What He showed us of Himself, He is bringing us into. Jesus later goes on to reveal that the Elijah that was to come had come in John the Baptist. This day and this hour we stand again in this time of a John the Baptist or Elijah ministry where the voice of God’s Spirit is going out through His people to ‘make straight the way of the Lord. Repent and get your hearts right before Him, for the King is coming and His kingdom with Him’. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 tells of this day of the Lord, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”
When we have this understanding of the Christ that is yearning to be revealed through us we know our time is short and our calling is great. It is a time for us to put the daily routines of life aside and press into God’s purpose through us in this hour. It is not in our efforts or righteousness, but in learning the REST of who we are in Christ. It is all about releasing the spirit man that is in us and following in obedience to the Spirit that is leading us into His fullness.

Blessings,
#kent

A Call to Godly Perspective

September 24, 2015

2 Corinthians 5:16-21
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

A Call to Godly Perspective

We are naturally inclined to see, hear, smell, feel and taste. We tend to analyze and evaluate our world from a natural perspective. God has brought us into a spiritual sense. The Apostle Paul is talking here about no longer evaluating and seeing your world from a natural, self-centered perspective, but from God’s perspective. Paul is saying here that even Jesus, the Christ, whom you knew after the flesh, it is not His flesh that we relate with now, it is the Spirit.
What is the spiritual perspective of God? It is that He was in Christ reconciling sinful man back to Himself. The Lord Jesus fulfilled the act needed for man to be reconciled and now we are His ambassadors, His expression of love and truth to express the intent of God to man, as He has expressed it and made it real to us. We who have experienced Christ and His love and salvation working in our lives are now God’s voice to the world around us saying” Come and be reconciled to your God. Come to know Him through the shed blood of Christ that has made attonement for your sin so that they will not be counted against you.” We must see men, no longer after the flesh, but as spiritual beings in need of the message of reconciliation. The mission statement of the God is summed up in verse 21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God is imploring us and He is imploring others through us, “Be reconciled to God!” We should carry this message of reconciliation to the world around us, if we do nothing else. Regard those around you as spiritual beings, lost and searching for the answer as to their existence and purpose. We find it when we are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. God in Christ is making this appeal through us. Let us be faithful to live out of this godly point of view.

Blessings,
#kent

We Have the Mind of Christ

September 22, 2015

1 Corinthians 2:14-16
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ

We Have the Mind of Christ

What a bold statement that the apostle Paul makes here when he says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” If you or I were to come out and say something like that many Christians might consider us heretics. It is made clear by what is written preceding this that we can’t make this statement if we are walking and reasoning out of the natural man. It is after we live and walk in the Spirit that we become spiritually minded and put on the mind of Christ. We can discern that the man who is not centered in the mind of the Spirit is often one that is a mixture of flesh and spirit. Most of us have seen or heard of someone who thought they were “the Christ” and were caught up in a God complex where they spoke as God. We all know of Jim Jones and David Karesh, for example, that led many astray and to a tragic end. Paul is not speaking in this context, because we never see ourselves as “the Christ”, we see that we are in Christ with the Lord Jesus being our head and yet He is bringing us into His likeness in mind and in being. Many are so afraid of identifying with Christ that they rob and deny the power of what He has called us to be in Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing, but as a part of Him all things are possible. Our faith is taking what God’s word says and counting it as so, even when the physical world and natural evidence doesn’t support it. Faith is what bridges the gap of time and space and the eternal. In Christ and in the flesh we stand between two dimensions and we are trying to reconcile who we truly are. In the natural we often see evidence in us that is often contrary to what we know we should be, but our faith renounces the old, repents of the shortcomings, sins and mistakes and then embraces God’s word and promise as to our true identity. Satan is always trying to convince us of who we are not, through feelings of unworthiness, condemnation, keeping our eyes on the natural man. Christ is saying to us, “Count that former man of the flesh as dead, as crucified with me upon the cross. Identify with me in resurrection life, for the power of sin over you is broken. You are a new and spiritual creation that no longer has to be subject to the law of sin and death. You have been called to be the children of God who walk after the Spirit and put no confidence in the flesh. As a part of your faith in identifying with me I am imparting my life to you and through you by My Spirit that dwells in you.”
God’s word provides our pattern of thinking and living. His Spirit is guiding and leading us into all truth. He is exploring our inward parts and revealing those areas that still need to line up with His nature and character. The difference is that the Spirit doesn’t bring conviction in us to condemn us, but to transform and change us. It is the man of the soul that must come into submission and obedience to this man of the spirit. As this happens our spiritual mind becomes more and more a way of our daily thinking and reasoning, for the natural gives way to the mind of the Spirit.
We have the mind of Christ, but it is our choice to embrace it and put it on by faith that leads to good works and righteousness.

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

Wells of Salvation

September 1, 2015

Wells of Salvation

Isaiah 12
AND IN that day you will say, I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for though You were angry with me, Your anger has turned away, and You comfort me.
2Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.
3Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.
4And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name and by means of His name [in solemn entreaty]; declare and make known His deeds among the peoples of the earth, proclaim that His name is exalted!
5Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth.
6Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Isn’t it wonderful to have a well of salvation to draw the water of life from? Every day we must go to this well, for from it we draw the life, the direction, the strength and refreshment we need. As we drink deep of the Spirit of Life we are refreshed, filled with joy and thanksgiving. It is at this well we find the anger of the Lord turned away from us and instead we find forgiveness, redemption, healing and hope. As we drink from this well we realize that all things are possible, because the life we drink from is not our own and it knows no limitations, short of our faith to believe and God’s wisdom in how He responds. Faith becomes our bucket by which we draw out this water of life and we find its increase in our sharing it with others. It is with great joy that we draw this water, because we drink from the fountain of eternal life.
The Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon spent his life in pursuit of the fountain of youth. It was in front of him all of the time and he wouldn’t even have had to leave home to find it. He pursued the vanity of the flesh and no matter what we do with the flesh or how we operate on it, it is a corruptible commodity and will pass away. What we can discover and drink from is a well that is so much richer, deeper and more lasting than any fountain of youth or means we may seek to preserve this natural life. As we drink from the well of God’s eternal Word and abide in the Spirit of His life, we have great reason for rejoicing and praise. Our greatest joy can be in sharing this life with others that they also may know the great joy associated with this well.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:10-15 about this living water and this well of salvation. “10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11″Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”” He is that well of salvation, that eternal source of life, hope and joy. He is our strength, our portion, our deliverer and our very present help in time of need.
Every day that I come to write I take a drink and ask to able to share some aspect of this water with others so that they also might be strengthened, encouraged, refreshed and partakers in this life. The Lord spoke to the woman at the well that in drinking from this you will never thirst for another. As we drink of Him we become His well spring. Out of God’s people is the issues of life as we share with others what we ourselves have found and rejoice in.
Take your bucket of faith and continue to draw and drink deep from this well, but then share the joy of the well of salvation with others that they also may know this great joy and likewise become partakers of so great a salvation. You will be amazed at what God can bring up out of your life as you drink of Him and depend upon Him to be your source and well spring of life.

Blessings,
#kent

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