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Circle of Life … PART 2

Circle of Life … PART 2

Continued from previous post … Circles of Life … To be Born Again Part 1

To be “born again” or “born from above” is to be born of the spirit of God leaving the spirit of man behind. John 3 Only by being born again into the spirit of God can we escape the bondage of the spirit of man because it is only then that we leave that circle.

Once born for a second time, the source of who we are isn’t of man but of God, thus we are new creation. Galatians 2:20. The source changes everything. No longer are we connected and tied to the corruption. Instead we are connected to God thus eternal life. Therefore the “issues” we developed and owned start to fade as the chord is broken.

Consider what this means. It’s tremendous. No longer are we bound to that spirit of man and all the corruption is creates. No longer are we bound to our destructive behaviors. No longer are we bound to our past. No longer are we bound to those who hurt us. This is a significant part of what it means to be born again – you literally start feeling and acting like a new creation. Once you’ve truly experienced this new life – it will blow your mind – literally… (more on that in a minute). It frees you from the corruption thus your “issues” and you are truly able to move into a different place in our soul leaving the corrupted past behind.

HOWEVER, though we are born of the Spirit of God, we can still walk in the old life like we are still in the other circle. We do this because our minds are not aligned to our new spirits. Our spirit is there – our minds have to catch up. Our bodies are machines; machines that are trained to function and respond in a certain way. Most of what we do is automated – our responses, thinking, attitudes, and perspectives. And all of these were developed when we were attached to the spirit of man, thus they are formed in corruption. Thus, our minds need to be rewired to align with our new spirit. Our machines need retraining and it starts with the hub – the mind, which directs everything else. Beliefs, ways of thinking, emotions, perspectives, attitudes, lies, and deception are all aspects of our minds that have to be renewed in God’s truth and wisdom.

As we seek God’s wisdom in the Bible and the Holy Spirit’s instruction, our minds are rewired to be in sync with the spirit of God. As a result, the “issues” we had start to dissolve and we start to live in freedom. The fruits of the spirit, the words and ways of God, God’s wisdom and truth take their place.

The renewing of the mind is a process; it isn’t instant. Further, it requires our participation. It takes dedication to seeking God’s instruction, a willingness to let go, to walk in God’s ways, and a strong desire for truth. If we don’t make this journey of renewal we will remain trapped to the spirit of man by our minds, though we have been severed from it. This is how many believers live. It’s a sad state because they have been given the key to freedom yet fail to use it.

It’s like a man who has been in prison and one day released. Though free, he continues to live as a prisoner. He doesn’t understand what it means to be free because he has been imprisoned for so long. His mind is wired to think like a prisoner and therefore hasn’t come in sync with the reality of his condition, freedom.

The renewal of our mind is an essential component of experiencing the new life we’ve been given. Though we are free we can still live like we aren’t. Spiritual birth isn’t our choice just as physical birth isn’t, but this renewal is where we do have a choice. John 3:6 When the disciples asked what is the work of God, Jesus responded it is our work is to believe in Him, which is our new life. John 6:28-29 That means our part is to spend time with God, abide in His Word, listen to the Holy Spirit, and respond in obedience to His leading. If we do, over time our minds are transformed and come in line with the spirit of God. When our minds are transform to a certain extent, we literally feel born again and like a new creation.

When we seek and commit to the journey of developing a transformed mind, we will start experiencing amazing freedom, fruit of the spirit of God, the Kingdom of God, and a new reality. We’ll experience the freedom, joy, abundance and love we’ve longed for.

Our minds are a powerful tool. We can choose to seek God and His truth or we can choose to remain as we always have been.

What circle do you want to be a part of? 1 Corinthians 15:22


Christmas – A Revival Celebration


A Revival Celebration

The second part to my previous post will come later this week, but I thought this was a VERY important post. I wrote this Christmas 2008, it was a good reminder, with a couple of adjustments … we have an opportunity this season don’t miss it by blending in.

Recently I read in Plain Truth Magazine an interesting article, Jesus Christ – God Incarnate. It mentioned how originally December 25 was a pagan festival commemorating the birthday of a false sun god. It is believed, the church intentionally selected this day to celebrate Jesus’ birth to counteract the pagan feast of the sun god and turn people to the Son of God. Instead of Christianizing a pagan festival the church established the celebration of Jesus’ birth as a revival celebration.

And who do people remember today, Jesus or this sun-god? Seemed their plan worked.

Yet, interestingly after all this time we still have dual celebrations. One is a secular celebration with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, decorations, giving gifts, etc. The other is the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

I knew about the sun-god, that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, and the pagan origin of many of the secular festivities and decorations, and for awhile these facts put a hiccup in my enjoyment of the season. If there was one thing that God didn’t like, it was His people taking on pagan practices as their own because it could lead them to sin. To top it off the description in Jeremiah 10:2-5 sounded like a Christmas tree to me. Whatever happened to being in the world but not of it?

What struck me in this article was the intention of the church – to have a revival celebration not to “Christianize” the pagan festival. What mindset do we hold today as Christians? When you look around it seems to be Christianizing something pagan. Therefore, the whole dual celebration seems silly, compromising, not what we should do as a people set apart. So, I’ve disengaged to a certain extent from the secular fanfare. (more on this later)

But with this deeper understanding that the intention was a revival celebration . . . my view altered a bit. This new awareness infused a new profound joy into everything about the season – for me it changed from compromise to revival. Compromise dishonors. Revival honors.

Revival is why we celebrate Christ. The word revival suggests new life, new birth, renewal, bring to life someone who once dead. We celebrate His birth and what His birth was the forerunner of, our spiritual birth. Jesus’ birth paints a picture of ours – as He was born of flesh and spirit, we are born of flesh and spirit. Once we are born of the spirit, His life of peace, power, strength, love, mercy, truth, and joy lives in us and gives new life to our mortal bodies. Romans 8:11 We are no longer one of the walking dead, but have become eternal beings experiencing true life. We no longer are who we were; we are free from our past destructive lives and all the pain, sorrow and trouble they manifested. We are no longer mere men but spirit beings having a human experience. 1 Corinthians 3:3

This true life that lives within us is the revival that we bring to each day and what we celebrate this time of year.

As for the pagan festivities. . . as I was praying over this situation I read 1 Corinthians 8. Everything in itself is pure. Romans 14:20 . . . we live with an incredible liberty that the Old Testament folks didn’t have because we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. They needed all sorts of rules because they didn’t have the spirit of truth and discernment guiding them like we do. Without this spirit it was easy for them to take on pagan beliefs, so they had to stay away completely.

Pagan artifacts become harmful when people attribute power to them however small. Otherwise they are just a tree or a piece of wood – God’s creation. The pagans put up greenery in their homes this time of year, winter solstice, to protect them from death. They attributed a false saving power to it and that is what is harmful. If I put up greenery in my house – I do it because I think it is something beautiful of God’s creation, nothing more. Nothing is harmful in itself it is what we attribute to it – and from His Word, I believe that is what God doesn’t like.

However, by standing out by doing something different this season like putting up different decorations, we would make a much bigger statement to the rest of the world who is in bondage. We blend in too much in my opinion, missing a great opportunity. And that blending in is what is harmful to others.

Most of us don’t attribute power to decorations – that is silly, but what about the gifts we give. If we give gifts to show our “goodness” or to prove our goodness, then we are attributing something more to that act than we should. Or what if we give certain gifts out of pride. All we do should be in love, not for self-glory. Or what if we get caught up in envy and want? Then we are not trusting in God’s perfect provision and we are intermingling with pagan thought practices (thoughts against His will). There are plenty of things during this season to lead us astray in our hearts . . . as with every day.

This is a wonderful and joyous time of year where we take time to celebrate Christ and the new life He came to give. I encourage you to infuse a spirit of revival with each gift you give, each family encounter, each party you attend and each decoration you hang. Stand out. Make a difference. Have people ask, why? Live in the freedom and newness of life and share that life with others by loving them with His love.


Circles of Life…. To be Born Again PART 1

Circles of Life….

To be Born Again PART 1

Imagine two separate circles. The smaller one represents the spirit of man and the much larger one represents the spirit of God. We are either a part of one or the other. We enter into them by being born; one by being born in the flesh through man; the other by being born in the spirit through God. John 3:1-21

The first human man to know God, Adam, was the first man into the circle of the spirit of man when he chose to go his own way. This circle encompasses man’s will fulfilling his own desires completely separate thus contrary to God. To be a part of the second circle, the spirit of God, is to be in unison with God’s will and to be one with Him. John 17:23

When we are physically born, we are born of the flesh and therefore into the spirit of man. Our spirit is easily corruptible because it’s detached from God. Further, it’s a spirit that is corrupted because it’s united to the others in the circle who are of the spirit of man and thus corrupted. 1 John 5:19

Within the individual circles everyone is connected. Everyone impacts, influences and affects each other. If we are in the circle we are a part of that circle; being shaped by those in it. Some connections are stronger than others, but all influence one another to some degree. Thus what circle we are in will determine the condition of our spirit.

Where we clearly see the impact of this connection as in the circle of the spirit of man is in families. Everyone has “issues” that has caused a whole host of problems, issues like a lack of value, rejection, neglect, perfectionism, irrational fear, jealousy, addiction, manipulation, and pride. Many of these issues often start with one’s parents, because it’s a strong connection, then those issues are fed by others in the circle. One person gets issues from their parents, which they got from their parents as so on. Issues are passed along like a disease.

When we are born into this world we are born into the spirit of man, therefore we are in bondage to corruption. Psalm 51:5 At conception, we begin to be affected by those in that circle. We are born with a self will that is detached from God and connected to this degraded spirit of man. Immediately, we started to absorb other’s issues like our parents’ issues making them our own. Imagine if we didn’t “own” them how differently our lives would have played out? But we never had a choice to receive them or not we just did because we were connected to them. This influential element is how it is in these circles; we are connected to everyone else because we share the same spirit.

Every issue I’ve had is because I’ve “owned” someone else’s issues. They modeled lack of value, so that is what I learned. They treated me poorly because their own pain, but I took it as something wrong with me. This isn’t pointing the finger – it’s acknowledging that we are all connected. (When we get older we have more of choice about how to handle our issues, though if we are in the circle of man it is just moving from one corruption to the next.) This is true for everyone. And once I owned it, which we do at a young age, it corrupted my mind sending me on a path of ill-thinking, which led to destructive mind and behaviors, thus a corrupted life.

Now you can see how that death/sin was passed along through one man, Adam. And how life is passed along through one man, Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:22 We are all connected. Flesh conceives flesh. Spirit conceives spirit. John 3:6

To be continued …


A Superhero’s Strength (PART II)

A Superhero’s Strength


Continued from previous post, How to Become a Superhero (PART I)

What does working in God’s strength mean?

In 2006, God called me to write. At the time, I didn’t like writing. I didn’t think I could write. I had nightmares of writing from the months of writing my masters thesis in graduate school and a corresponding chapter for a scientific book. (sounds exciting, hey?) It was probably one of my least favorite activities. So the fact that I felt compelled to write, I knew it wasn’t my idea, but God’s – especially because I’d be writing about a relationship with Him. After a painstaking week of making the decision to leave the familiar waters of my career behind and plunge into unknown depths, I committed to it. The next day, I sat down, prayed and started writing and … the words flowed. Every morning as I sat down at the computer I prayed – God help me, I can’t do this alone. He always did. I was and still am totally dependent on Him to put words on a page for others to read.

Once committed, God gave me the desire. I enjoy writing. It’s fulfilling and challenging. It’s surprisingly rewarding. It’s been an incredible experience of acting in and depending on God’s strength.

However, though God has shown His faithfulness in this venture every day for five years, I still get a little anxious each time. I am still completely dependent on Him because it has always been about His strength and not mine. However, though it’s “uncomfortable” and I feel “out of control” it’s glorious at the same time as I see His working in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The Role of Prayer

One of the most powerful ways of embracing God’s strength is through prayer. When we are in God’s will, what we pray will be done. John 15:7 Prayer of a believer who is seeking God’s will is extremely powerful.

In prayer we are reminded God is in control. It’s His power and not ours that makes a difference. In prayer, we humble ourselves to His will. We shift our confidence from us to God. We sync up our lives with His will. We are asking God to do the best for all effected by a situation. We are aligning our minds with truth. We look to God’s strength not ours. We admit our need for help and call upon God to help. Prayer stirs things up. It changes the situation. When we are in line with God’s will, our prayers are powerful.

Dealing with Difficult People

An example I’m sure many can relate to of working in God’s strength where prayer has proven powerful is dealing with difficult family members. Ones who have treated us or those we love poorly. Who have taken advantage. Who have abused the privileges of being part of a family.

On one occasion, as I was seeking God’s counsel with a family member, He told me to establish healthy boundaries but to love that person. (The boundaries would help me to love.) On our own truly loving someone like this can be a difficult task. The resentment, pain or anger may be too much to get past. We can try to fake love and care, but it’s not only hypocritical but a waste of time because our true feeling come out.

However being God’s will that we love him/her, He will provide what we need to truly love. I’ve seen Him do it time and time again. Our part is to be willing to walk in God’s will and submit to it and pray. (It’s easy for our pride to interfere with a willing heart to be humble and love.) With a willing heart, we pray for a heart to love that difficult person. Before each interaction with him/her, we pray for God to give us the right heart and mind. We ask other believers to pray for us.

Summing Up

When we are operating in God’s strength, instead of trusting ourselves to accomplish a project, grow a business, repair a relationship, provide for our family, or protect our family, we can look to God to do those things through us. His strength gives us the ability to do what we do with resolve, persistence and passion. We can approach each day with the attitude of doing what is in front of us, leaving the outcome is in His hands. We are obedient to Him, and leave the results up to Him. Not only does this provide a tremendous peace, but what He’ll do through you will surprise you.

One warning … be prepared to only receive what you need today. God will provide what we need, when we need it. Philippians 4:19. The problem is we want strength not just for today but the rest of the year. We want to feel superhuman. However, God gives what we need today. That daily provision keeps us dependent on Him and not ourselves so that we don’t make an idol of ourselves, or anything else. It is for our own protection and freedom. Matthew 6:34.

2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:13

If God has put a passion or purpose on your heart don’t give up. Don’t trust in you or your strength, trust in His. Pray and move forward and see how He brings it to pass. You were never meant to accomplish anything alone. Purposes created by God whether our vocation or to truly love another can only be accomplished by the union of you and Him. Yes, it can be uncomfortable living beyond yourself and yet it’s glorious at the same time because you constantly see God at work in and through your life. It creates an intimacy with God that is rich because of the level of dependency and connection you have to have to live and work in His strength.

What will your life story tell? What do you want it to tell? Let it be a powerful story because you trusted in God’s strength that took you to places beyond yourself.