Living Light

Stirring The Deep


How to be a Superhero (PART I)

How to be a Superhero


Awhile ago I read the Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela and Hard Work by Roy Williams. I was compelled to read these books, though I didn’t know why.

As I was nearing the end of Hard Work, I knew why; the dedication these men showed for their passion. Regardless of obstacles or situations beyond their control, their resolve to their passion and their purpose was astounding. At that time, I needed that resolve – and God used those books to show me what that meant. But I couldn’t have that resolve without God’s strength.

As believers we are God’s workmanship created for certain purposes. Ephesians 2:10. However, when challenges arise putting us face to face with our vulnerabilities, fears, and weakness, we can have the tendency to pull back, become stagnant, or give up. We start to believe we don’t have what it takes like the resources, ability, wisdom, or energy.

Often for what God calls us to do, we don’t have what it takes of ourselves. However, as a believer we never face anything alone. God is working in and through us to accomplish the works He created us to do. Our part is to submit and do what He says. When we submit to God’s work in us by being obedient His word and leading, then we have His strength and are able to accomplish far beyond what we imagined, yes like a superhero.

Therefore for the challenge that lies in front of us, like a struggling marriage, health issues, demanding work, or problematic children, we don’t have to be concerned about our endurance, ability, or resources because God’s strength is working in and for us. When we realize what we’ve been given, we do what we normally wouldn’t do. We live gloriously beyond ourselves.

It’s fundamental to a life of a believer to learn to work in God’s strength. In order to accomplish the purposes that God created us for, we will have to act outside our comfort zone so we will need His strength.

There are many reasons for God wanting us to live beyond our own strength; here are three.

1. When we are acting in God’s strength, His power is reflected in our lives and He is glorified. Our very lives give Him praise, because what is accomplished is obviously done by Him and not us. As our lives reflect Him, He is shown to the world. Like Daniel in the lions’ den, it wasn’t about his strength to be able to close the lion’s mouth it was about God’s. And who got the glory? God.

2. Living beyond ourselves drives us to trust in God because we are totally dependent on Him. John 15:5 We were created to live in union with God, not separate. Trust is key to that union and being rightly related to God as He desires. Daniel had to trust in God. No one else could save him. He trusted, and God delivered. Talk about forming a tight bond. How Daniel’s trust must have grown from that experience.

3. Because of our reliance and need of God, we develop a deep intimacy and relationship with God grounded in love. When God delivered Daniel from that lion’s mouth, what that must have done for their relationship.

Because fulfilling our purposes will require us to trust in God’s strength, we can only be in God’s will if we are willing to act outside our comfort zone. That means we have to learn to work and trust in His strength and not our own. On the flip side, God only gives us strength for what is His will. If we are acting outside His will, we won’t have His strength. Therefore, it’s our job to seek His will for our individual lives and walk in it.

What does that mean practically?

To be continued …


A Time to Leave ….

A Time to Leave ….

In my opinion, those who are following Christ Jesus will eventually leave the church system (CS) or the institutional church.

There will come a point when static beliefs of human-organized religion limit the pull upon our hearts for something deeper. As a result, there will come a time when the wheat will be separated from the tares, and I feel that time is upon us.

The church system has always had its problems because it’s full of people with problems. But there will come a time when the cries of the prophets who foretold these days will be answered and the corruption of the church will be addressed by God. This judgment by God is why Jesus gives potent warnings to the seven churches in Revelation. It’s a last call to get things straight before God does. There will be a time when there isn’t any more time. There will be a time to leave

As the end draws near and for God’s people’s protection, He is calling out of the CS those who truly follow Him. They are hearing from the Word of God that it’s time to leave and obeying it. Revelation 2:29

The CS is being consumed with darkness as the self-determined will (our “enemy”) gains ground. Lamentations 2:7 As the CS begins to fill with the darkness of deception, lies and the enemy’s ways, those heeding God’s voice are moving out of the darkness and into the light – for what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corin 6:14 Proverbs 14:7 There are many verses about not being involved with unhealthy fellowship. However, these verses are largely ignored by church goers as they listen to the church leaders who tell them they must be in a church. (Unhealthy vs. Healthy Fellowship)

I left the CS embracing the true church in 2004. (Out of the Church System, Into God’s Arms) As the years have passed, I see more and more believers coming out and embracing the true church, which is outside the CS. The true church is those who hold the spirit of God. Who put God and His Word first. Who seek His face. Who follow His voice. Who trust in God more than man. Who make up the temple built without hands.

A physical church built by man has always been filled with true believers and not, wheat and tares. But there will come a time when those groups will be separated, and if you look around it is happening now.

A couple interesting points I’ve noticed … Those leaving and embracing the true church are being led by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit – not by man’s persuasion. They have the Holy Spirit and follow the Spirit. The Spirit is moving them away from the CS that has corrupted and blasphemed God’s name. It’s because they draw near to God in truth and spirit on a regular basis that they are able to hear His voice among all the deception and follow at their appointed time.

Second, many feel restlessness in their spirits as they start to see a chasm between what is happening in the CS and God’s Word. They sense something is “off” that causes them to seek God’s counsel. When they do, they hear a call out of the CS. However, it’s only when they leave the CS that they see more clearly what it is and what it is becoming. The deception and darkness is great, even to dim a seeking believer’s eyes. Matthew 24:22

You can’t deny what is happening; believers are leaving the CS. They aren’t falling away from God or the true church (body of Christ – that’s not about a building or business), but the opposite – they are drawing closer to them. God is connecting these souls in amazing ways to encourage, support and pray. God told us what the CS would become and there would be a time to come out of it and into His care. Revelation 18 We have been warned. We have been told what to do. It isn’t our decision to stay and fight or to leave. It’s our duty to follow our God who is our faithful Lord and Shepherd.

For those in tune with the Holy Spirit, God calls them out to the wilderness where they become completely dependent on Him. They encounter others who have followed God’s voice out to abide under the protective wing of God. It’s a place where God is the provider, protector, teacher, guide and comforter – and who better? He is faithful beyond words to those who really trust in Him and not man.

Wherever you are, seek God in truth and spirit. For the times we are in, the warnings are vast about the deception that will take place. Seek and develop a love for the truth because is what will save you in the end. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

Examine your heart :

Who are you truly following God or man?
Do you speak of what God has taught you or what man has?
Where is your trust? Your dependence?
Where is your time spent – doing church activities or seeking God?
Do you abide in God’s Word or in man’s opinions and interpretations of God’s Word?

You may not agree with me, but I pray you seek God in all truth for there is no better time to start than now.

Related Blog Posts:

The True Church
Babylon – The Church SystemLeaving the Church Verses


Rewards for Foolishness

Rewards for Foolishness

God will not reward foolishness.

No good father does.

We’ve all seen the scenario of a child acting up in the store and to assuage him the parent lets him have some M&Ms from the check out stand. What does that teach the child? Act up and get rewarded! Thus, the cycle begins. Can you imagine if God did that with us?

A more knowledgeable parent or perhaps a more patient one doesn’t encourage bad behavior and neither does God. God won’t reward us for our foolishness, but for our obedience. Our foolishness hurts us and others so God won’t reinforce it. Instead, we experience the discomforts of our actions instead of reward. Yet, because of His mercy, God keeps us from the full onslaught of the consequences we’ve manifested. He allows as much discomfort as we need to get our attention for the areas He wants to address in our lives. Psalm 107:17, Psalm 119:71

The discomforts (like physical aliments, trying situations or relationships, physical hardships) are to get us to seek. When all is good, we don’t ask. It’s when things go wrong that we start looking for answers. Our discomforts are often a sign we are somehow out of line with God and His will for us.

We chose to be either rebellious children living in a world of affliction because we are not heeding His Word and instruction in our lives. Or to be children who seek to walk in accordance with God’s will because it’s a path of truth, freedom, and love. Obedience is our wills coming in line with God’s so that we start living in the fullness of abundant life He desires for us. As our wills align, we gain unity with God. We live as one with Him in truth, love and purpose. Proverbs 13

Obedience isn’t about forgiveness. We are already forgiven now and always in Christ.

Obedience isn’t about being “good”. No one is good but God. Obeying God’s commands is about walking in God’s will. The moment we focus on trying to be a good person, we act according to our expectations and assumptions about what good means. Because we think we know what good is, we cease to seek God’s will in all things. Instead, we are following our definition of good thus our will, which is limited and often different than God’s. The essence of religion is people trying to be good, according their definitions. It’s easier to follow a set of rules verses seeking and listening to know God’s will day to day, but following rules doesn’t bring abundant life – drawing near to God does. True Christianity is about being in unity with God’s will. Big difference. Obedience is about the heart. If you are in line with God’s will in your heart, the right actions will follow.

Obedience isn’t about US taking control and making things right. It’s about God working in us. For Him to work, we have to submit. For a doctor to do surgery we have to submit to his work. We can’t be running around the hospital. Once we know God’s will for us in a situation, then our focus changes from moving forward our way to His. Part of our submission comes through prayer. Our prayers start to align to His will, and that is when our prayers become powerful. John 15:7

When I have a discomfort like an affliction in my spirit or a physical aliment, I seek. I seek God’s instruction and He opens my eyes to see my error. God doesn’t want us in affliction. He rewards a seeking heart with enlightenment and truth. Usually, it’s something I’ve justified to such an extent that I don’t see it as going against God’s will. But as I seek because of the rising discomfort, the Spirit points it out so clearly that I can’t deny my error. As a child of God, I desire to walk in God’s way. So upon knowing my error, my heart is moved to walk in His truth.

Though I desire to walk in God’s will, it can be hard to obey. We do what we do for a reason; approval, fear, self-protection, or lack of trust. So God also has to deal with this aspect of our rebellion as well. He has to go the source of why we do what we do, not just the outward actions. If you don’t fix the source nothing is fixed. Thus, obedience is a process. It’s a deep work of the heart and that takes time.

Because it’s about the heart, and it’s God who changes our heart, our part is to seek God’s work in us. Our role is to be willing to submit our will to God. To lay down on the surgeons table; to take the small steps of obedience as He leads us; and to pray in line with His will. Because a changed heart isn’t easy, we will never be more dependent upon Him, His strength and mercy. We have to depend on God to carry us through. We have to depend because it’s His work, not ours.

One area for many of us is a change in heart toward another. Can we just change our heart? Have you tried? I find I can’t in my own strength, but I’m not meant to either. My duty is to come to God and desire to submit and pray. I pray before each encounter with that person. I pray for a new perspective about them. I pray for God’s love to abound in me. And above all I trust in His work in me and His grace to carry me through.

Obedience is a process – an affliction or discomfort happens, we seek to understand, the Spirit reveals our error, we submit to God’s will, we pray according to that will, God works through our issues that cause such actions, and we start walking in His will. It’s a journey, but it’s the path to life. I’ve walked through this process in enough areas in my life to know it truly does lead to a more fulfilling, freeing, and loving existence.

Don’t ignore the discomforts or explain them away or think that is just life – seek. Deeply seek and listen as you spend time in God’s Word and prayer. Let God peel back the layers of your soul to expose the truth of your heart and actions because only then can your will start to align with His. As your will aligns with God it begins a sequence of events to bring on a change that will move you out of the discomfort and into the reward. Hebrews 11:6


Swayed & Misled by Posers

Swayed and Misled

by Posers

We are the sum of our beliefs.  Our beliefs are formed from various sources. It’s the work of a child of God to believe in Truth that comes from one source, God and His Word. John 6:29 It’s work because we’ve all grown up with lies. It’s work because we have to unlearn and relearn. It’s work because we are surrounded by an abundance of appealing false philosophies filling our ears that speak to our deepest needs, hungers, and desires. It’s work because truth is only found in God and His Word, which requires the devotion of a steadfast heart set on knowing the Truth. And it’s the work God has given us to do.

Who we listen to are those we allow to influence us and our thoughts, thus our beliefs. Jesus heartedly warned us that in the end there would be many false prophets, posers of ministers of light, and wolves in sheep’s clothing leading people astray. If we heed their words, we will be influenced and we will be headed for the darkness of deception instead towards the light of truth. Most of us underestimate our ability to be influenced. We confidently assume we will be able to discern. It’s a dangerous assumption. What we give ear to, especially on a consistent basis, influences us.

Jesus said these posers would abound in the end. Look around; they are. They look good, kind, and humble. They appear to say the right things. They use God and Jesus’ name.  Our enemy (the collective self-will) isn’t stupid. He knows what we fall for. He knows many of us are too smart to fall for the slick salesman type, though many fall for those as well. The greatest evil is that which is disguised as good. Our enemy’s deception is shrewd.

This week I’ve been learning an interesting lesson …

Those who are walking under the tutelage of these posers are and will suffer greatly for it in their souls. False beliefs and lies torment our soul. These men/women have a power to harm and destroy with their words. When we are listening to them we are feasting with the enemy and thus inviting all sorts of evil into our lives.

It’s nothing new that posers lead people astray. But we often fail to deeply consider the next phase, what happens to people’s souls as they are lead astray? They suffer greatly. They suffer torment in their lives. This connection between souls who are being tormented, and the souls who give their ear to these posers grabbed me by the heart this week. However, those suffering often attribute the torments to something else, because their hope of deliverance comes from these false leaders. The nature of deception is you don’t know that you are deceived, but instead believe you are abiding in the truth.

As this dynamic started to become clearer, my reading for the week took me into Revelation 9. The description of the locusts and the army of horseman in this chapter are men and women. They are given power to torment and destroy those who don’t have the seal of God on their foreheads (a knowledge and trust of the Truth). Their power is in their words. What stood out to me was their description is like that of religious leaders.  Isaiah 9:15, Revelation 9:19

Religious leaders hold a tremendous power over others because they are speaking to our deepest issues where we are most vulnerable; fears, quilt, loneliness, healing, deliverance, death and life. They speak with intent of bringing the answers, freedom and hope we long for. Therefore, they are more influential than most in our lives. Their power and the power we give them are grossly underestimated.

This connection between a soul’s torment and following posers hit hard.  There is so much suffering these days that is coming in all shapes and sizes, could this be one of the reasons for the torment people face? Lies destroy. Lies are growing among those labeled as Christians and it is destroying many.

How do we overcome this deception and falling prey to the enemy of torment? A love for the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

What does a love for the truth look like in someone’s life?  If you love something, what do you do?  You absorb yourself in it.

With a love for the truth, you abide in the Truth, God’s Word on a regular basis. You don’t search for the answers you want, but whatever the Holy Spirit desires to teach. It isn’t just about you, it’s about truth. You seek God’s ideas and thoughts on His Word, not man’s. Instead of relying on man to teach you his opinions, you seek instruction from the Holy Spirit, who was given to you to teach you all things 1 John 2:27. You seek with a desire to know the truth whatever it is. You ask for your beliefs and thoughts to be renewed in His truth and His ways; for lies and deception to be purged. You are willing to let go of “truths” you’ve held on to. You are willing to go wherever God may instruct and lead you. You have a passion for understanding, wisdom and truth, and how you spend your time reflects it. You embrace it as a life long pursuit.

A love for the truth will save us in the end. Many Christians are going to take and are taking a mighty fall because they are really trusting in another besides God. They are putting their trust in their pastors and their favorite religious leaders, who need them to depend on their words to pay the rent, pay for their child’s school, and to support all the salaries their church has created.

Our beliefs are everything. It’s a love for the truth that will save us in these days. No one can pursue the truth for us, it’s a personal endeavor.

Verses of Encouragement for those who Trust God– Psalm 91:4, 7, 9-10 Psalm 28:7, 119:114, Proverbs 30:5, Ephesians 6:16


Don’t Awaken Love Until It Pleases

Don’t Awaken Love

Until It Pleases


Here is some of the best relationship advice you’ll ever receive …

Song of Solomon 8:4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.

This verse has several meanings, and one is it offers some superb relationship advice, don’t push or manipulate love. Don’t try to force a bond of love where it isn’t – something we see happening a lot today.

Simple isn’t it?  But, how many of us try to stir or awaken love before it pleases?  How many of us know people who do this? With friendships, marriages, children and even with God? People have their plan and drive to accomplish it to their and others detriment. But it’s not about our will, but God’s. He alone knows what is truly best and ultimately most satisfying for us. If we push our will we bring on much more heartache and pain than if we trust and walk in His will for our lives.

Let’s take one example where this pre-awakening occurs, marriage. Marriage is a life long commitment. It’s a decision that has a huge impact on our lives. Yet, many marry for the wrong reasons. Our emotional needs and fears can be very powerful and make it easy to justify and rationalize situations where we would normally have greater discernment.  We push our agenda though it isn’t best. We let our emotional need/fear drive our actions.  Because of the power of our emotions, we need to put God’s Word first and let it dictate our actions, not our emotions.

Here are a few situations where love is awakened before it pleases.

  • “Settling” in marrying someone because you think that is the best you can do.
  • A woman’s ticking biological clock causing her to marry the man in her life at the time, but not the right one for her.
  • Growing older and marrying out of a fear of being alone.
  • Feeling a lack of value and just happy someone will marry you.
  • Loving to be in love, so marrying seeking an idealistic state and not really for the person.
  • Marrying someone who is a “good” person, but not necessarily good for you.
  • Feeling pressure to marry because all your friends are.

Ultimately all of these reasons for marriage are based in fear. God’s counsel and wisdom aren’t based on fear, but on love. If fear is driving your decisions and actions – stop and seek God’s deliverance from your fears. Sometimes we have to seek deep within ourselves to discover our true motives, because our ability to rationalize is great. But it’s a search we all need to take.

It’s God’s desire to give us the best, the best for us. We can trust God to intersect our paths with one who is right for us when it’s time. We need to let Him do His job and not push our will, especially this area. It’s one where ill-made decisions have a significant life changing impact. Though a marriage may sedate certain fears like the ones above, it will bring a whole host of other issues when it isn’t right.

Wait for the right union. Sometimes we have to wait because God is preparing us for the relationship and/or preparing our spouse. When we trust God, then all works as it should and when it should. Nothing is impossible for God. Seek His counsel. Wait on His timing. Don’t be the judge of how everything should work out. Let God create in your life what is perfect for you. Listen and follow where He leads. Walk in His footsteps not your own.

When you are ready, and when the other is ready, then it will occur. It isn’t about being perfect and all your issues dealt with – it’s about being ready for you to enter into a marriage. God brings you to a place within your spirit that will set you up for success. God has an infinite number of ways for your path to cross with one who is right for you. Trust Him in the preparation, timing and how it occurs.

Now what, sit around? No, seek God and the rest will follow. When we seek and draw near to God, He works in us according to His good will and pleasure. He moves us into new situations. He guides us down new paths that lead to a new life in Him. There is nothing that God can’t do, but we have to put Him first – that’s His way. He is to be our first love and then all others follow.

If you are married and you feel it was the wrong decision because it was based on fear and/or the wrong motives, what’s done is done. God can still work it out. Nothing is impossible for Him. He can make all things new. He is the Creator. He can create your marriage into one that will satisfy the both of you. But you have to believe and trust that He can do this work. Our faith is everything. If we succumb to the thought that we are forever in a state of hopelessness that is where we will remain.  Unbelief is a thief to satisfying marriages. When our mind gets overrun by negativity, then we are headed for a downward spiral by our own doing.

Seek God’s face. Trust in His work. If you find trusting Him difficult then spend time with Him. Trust is the fruit of deep a relationship with Him.

Regardless of the relationship don’t awaken love before it pleases, instead trust and leave that part to the Creator.