Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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Washing One Another’s Feet

Washing One Another’s Feet

John 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Once Christ washes our feet (Christ Washing Your Feet), THEN we can wash one another’s feet.

When we’ve been washed in the truth by heeding the voice of the Good Shepherd, (thus the love of God is the growing foundation/intention for all we do, as love is the sum of all the commandments), then we have His love. When we have His love, then we can wash another’s feet as our Teacher does because He is in us and we are in Him. We can only give what we first have. We give what we are. Thus love God first, THEN others. Mark 12:30-31

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet …”

Washing our feet is following/obeying Christ, the truth, in the paths of righteousness. When we follow the light (truth) of Christ, we begin to see. For truth reveals the lies. Only until we are in the light does it expose the darkness within our souls. Psalm 36:9 In this awareness and exchange of truth for the lies, we are set free.

Christ, with truth and love, removes the plank from our eyes; a plank because before He removes it we are in great blindness. But once the plank is removed, we can see in others that truly it’s a speck. Sin/lies are nothing in the face of truth and love. This is what we realize when we begin to see, thus it’s only a speck in another’s eyes from our point of view because we’ve intimately learned the strength of God’s love.

Matthew 7:5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“… you also ought to wash one another’s feet … that you should do as I have done to you”

We do as we see Our Teacher, Christ, do, as our will becomes His will. John 8:28 He serves mankind by pouring out the words of life (truth); for that is what love does and desires – to give life – therefore we do the same for others. John 6:68 There is no greater treasure than the truth/love of God. We know we’ve found this treasure, when we’ve experienced its power and manifestation in our lives. It’s the nature of the pure love in us to flow to others; thus we wash another’s feet. Prov 12:28

” ….  a servant is not greater than his master”

In this intimate instruction to His disciples, Christ taught that some people will receive the words of life and some won’t. If people receive Christ’s words, they will receive our words, because we have been taught by Him. This similitude with Christ is a reflection of the master-servant; teacher-student relationship. However, like Christ, we also will be persecuted (rejected, silenced, etc.) for the words of life we speak. John 13:16

John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greaterthan his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

What does it look like to wash another’s feet?

It’s speaking words of life into their lives with the intention of pure love. Suppose, you have a family member who is rough around the edges, defensive, and sometimes crass. Yet with “enlightened” eyes (no more plank) given to you by following the Good Shepherd, you see the rough exterior as a symptom of a bound spirit. You see beyond the bondage and the beautiful creation she truly is.  Because the words of life abide in you and God’s love, now you can speak the love of God into her life. This love will flow unconsciously through your actions. If those words/acts are received, they become healing serum to her soul. They help to burn away the dross/lies she carries around affecting the way she interacts with you and others. Your love helps to free her from the prison of her mind to become who God created her to be. This is the power of truth. This is the power of love.

Yet, some will reject words of life, because what is the fragrance of life to some is the fragrance of death to others. 2 Corin 2:14-17  Each soul is under the care of the Good Shepherd and we can trust in His perfect ways, timing and care. He gives the increase. 1 Corin 3:7

What are seemingly most weak, truth and love, are the most powerful weapons we can possess, as we witnessed with Christ who brought down the enemy of mankind with these two powers.


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Do to Others, Do to Christ

Do to Others, Do to Christ

 

Matthew 25:40 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

There are two ways we care for the spirit of Christ, the seed of His spirit in us and in others. Matthew 13

What we do to ourselves and others, we do to Christ, for Christ has purchased us with His blood. Acts 20:28 Christ owns us, the vessels holding a soul and spirit, who one day will be united in an oneness to His Spirit and thus a part of His kingdom. Some of us are being currently prepared for this union, thus our once corrupted spirit is being transformed into a spirit like Christ’s. Others are still in the darkness of their corrupted spirit. 1 Corin 3:13-15 But regardless, Christ owns all because one day He will be in all.  1 Corin 15:28 There will be a new heaven and new earth in which no death dwells. Rev 21:1, Rev 20:14. Christ holds the keys to death and Hades and He will set the prisoners free. Rev 1:18, Luke 4:18 Therefore, what we do to ourselves and others we are doing to Christ. Talk about a new framework for viewing yourself and the souls in your life. It’s very convicting. How do you see others; your neighbor, the people who come across your path, family, acquaintances and even enemies? Do you judge them? Or do you love them in truth and spirit knowing the sovereignty Christ has over their souls?

One of the Greatest Gifts to Give

When we truly believe in someone it’s a powerful force in their lives; as you see even among corrupted souls. Now consider the ultimate belief in someone; to be who God created them to be. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is to believe in their best self; to see beyond the mishaps and corrosion of sin in their lives and see the wondrous creative soul designed and fashioned by God. When we start to view others in this light instead of judging their brokenness, we start to have the eyes of Christ. Eyes longing to love in truth, to help grow and defeat their greatest enemy; their self-will from which all corruption flows. When we see this beautiful seed of a spirit, which is of Christ, in others waiting to express itself through the unique creation in which God made them, it gives us the ability to truly feed, nourish, clothe, and set them free from the prison of their corrupted self-will. HOWEVER, we first have to be feed, nourished, clothed and set free before we can have this glorious vision. For it isn’t ourselves who feeds, nourishes and sets them free, but Christ’s spirit in us touching their souls. With Christ’s spirit, we are part of their watering that helps them become who God intended. 1 Corin 3:6

Bread = truth of God

Drink = spirit of God

Garments = righteousness

Prison = the self-will

Overcoming Judging Spirit with one of Loving-kindness

A judging spirit is contrary to a loving spirit. To see others as Christ, we have to be delivered from the judging spirit and filled with His Spirit of loving kindness.

By default souls are born with a judging spirit because they are born controlled by their self-will and judging is a key characteristic of the self-will. It causes judgment toward themselves and others and it’s a deep vast spirit that penetrates most thoughts far beyond people’s awareness. When it’s always been a part of you, it’s hard to see it for what it is until the light shines upon it. But this judging spirit is not of the spirit of Christ. John 12:47

If this corrupted spirit is so pervasive how are we freed from it? By feeding the seed of the spirit of Christ in us. Christ has put His seed, a seed of His spirit, into the soil, our souls for we are made of dust, to be nourished in water (spirit) and light (truth). The union of spirit and truth births true life.

How do we see others from a spirit of love? First, we feed the seed of the spirit of Christ in us. We feed it words of truth and listen to the promptings of His spirit. As we OBEY and WALK in His ways, that spirit will grow in us. Then we will be able to feed the spirit of Christ in others; for we give what we are. And how we treat ourselves and our own soul is how we truly treat others. This awareness should open eyes to the hypocrisy in our actions. We say we love; yet in our actions we don’t even love (in God’s love) our own souls.

As we feed Christ’s spirit in us by the truth and obeying the truth, it starts to grow and we are transformed. Luke 6:45 This spirit transforms our mind to the mind of Christ, the wisdom of God, and our faith to be fully in God and thus we become new creations. When our spirit and mind are shaped in the spirit of Christ, which is righteous love, then everything about us changes. One key aspect is the judging spirit dissipates because the self-will is dying as we abandon it and walk in truth.

As this spirit grows in us, then it is able to feed, nourish, and help others come out of the prison of their debase mind, for they have the seed of the spirit as well. The Christ spirit in us waters the Christ spirit in others for it is all one. As our spirit matures, we are able to see others as He does with the amazing love and mercy by which He gave His spirit to redeem and save. In that new sight, our heart and actions change to be of love, mercy and honor.

Judging ourselves and others is meaningless vanity that causes massive destruction. Christ came to redeem us. To continue to judge isn’t to trust in His power or what He has done, but to hold onto that which is dying and He came to destroy.

Malachi 2: 10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?

Seek to see and understand this judging spirit in your soul and for it to be purged by the power of God’s grace working in you. This is God’s will and when you come in line with it, it will be done. We can only repent from what we are aware of, and obey what we hear. Seek to be aware and obey God’s promptings of truth. In that process, you will grow and thus the spirit of Christ in you and others will be fed the truth, drink of the spirit, be clothed in righteousness, and freed from the prison of your self-will mind.


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Fellowship: A Spiritual Matter

Fellowship: A Spiritual Matter

 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

Fellowship is a spiritual interaction between two or more souls. It’s connecting with other similar spirits. There is only one of two spirits which we can be; a spirit of God or a spirit not of God, a spirit of truth or a spirit of lies, a spirit of light or a spirit of darkness. Which kingdom we belong to and foster faith in signifies what type of spirit we are, (see post). Because of this polarization, we can only connect with those of the same spirit; a spirit of light can’t connect with a spirit of darkness … And what communion has light with darkness?

Last week I talked about how we engage in “buying and selling” to increase our faith within the two different kingdoms. (see post)

We “buy and sell” with the kings of the kingdoms, but we also trade (A form of “buying and selling” in which two or more have something to offer and exchange; the beliefs they bought) with those who are in the kingdom, another word for trading is fellowshipping.

Matthew 25:16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.

We trade (fellowship) with those of the same kingdom as we are. For example, the man who has chosen to “buy and sell” faith from Christ can only trade with others who are “buying and selling” from that same kingdom because God’s truth and wisdom are contrary to the world’s. 1 Corin 3: 19, 2 Corin 1:12 As we commune with others buying from the Holy Spirit and we exchange what we’ve been learning, this exchange affects our faith.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

We increase our faith by 1. “buying and selling” with the king of the kingdom and 2. trading (fellowshipping) with others of the same kingdom. Following the example from my previous post, if we are trading with others who believe working 16 hours a day leads to the fulfillment of their desire, then our faith will be strengthened in that worldly belief. If we are trading with others who are following God’s wisdom and enjoying true rest and the power of God working in their lives, our faith in His wisdom will be strengthened.

Matthew 18:20″For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  (what kingdom you increase faith in is the one you bear the name of)

For fellowship/trading to occur both have to be “buying and selling” individually from the king, because then they have something to exchange and trade. If one is buying from Christ and the other not, no exchange can take place. This disunity is why people can hear the truth from others, and not be changed by it. Someone can hear one speak of the truth, but it falls on deaf ears because they are seeped in “buying and selling” with the kingdom of lies jading what they hear. These people haven’t been buying the gold refined in fire from Christ, the Word of God, but have been “buying and selling” with the kingdom of darkness. It’s one or the other. Each one does their own “buying and selling” from the king, then they can fellowship. If two souls’ kings are different, there is no fellowship, there is no trade.

Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’

We “buy and sell” in every area of our lives. Most everyone is taught to “buy and sell” from the kingdom of darkness from birth.  To move out of the kingdom of darkness, we have to make a choice to start “buying and selling” with the King of  the kingdom of light. John 6:29. As we do, we move away from the kingdom of darkness, its ways and philosophies, until we become aliens in this world, disconnected and consumed with the light of truth. As this happens, our lives start to bear the fruit of kingdom of light; rest, peace, joy, fulfillment, contentment, and love. There is only one kingdom whose ways deliver what it promises, the other is full of lies and manipulation of our hope.

Our faith determines what our lives manifest. Seek to “buy and sell” the truth from the King and fellowship with those who do the same.

 


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The Purpose and Meaning of Fasting

Blog Talk Radio: The Purpose and Meaning of Fasting

A PODCAST (click here to listen) is available on the deeper meaning of fasting you often don’t hear discussed. You can also get it at Itunes. Search for Stirring the Deep under podcasts.

Overview: Fasting is an area that is greatly misunderstood and misused. When we understand the spiritual implications behind it, then it has tremendous power in our lives.

Here I discuss this act and the spiritual depth and meaning behind it. I hope this explains unanswered questions about it. Hint: it’s much more than not eating.


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Support and Faithfulness

Godly Support of Others

In these days as many are facing trials and challenges it’s so important to have the right support of others, for that can make all the difference. In this video, I talk about the support we should seek as well as be and the impact it can have in our walk.

Counting on God

We can’t expect God to answer our prayers according to our expectations … but we can count on His faithfulness in everything. In this brief video, I talk a bit about what can we expect from God and why sometimes our prayers aren’t answered as we expect.


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Hanging out with the Wrong Crowd

Hanging out with the Wrong Crowd

Remember in your teenage years the concern that your parents had about you hanging out with the wrong crowd? What was the big deal? Feel the concern you have now for your kids? The influence of others is a powerful force in our lives, was then and is now.

Growing up, my parents often expressed concerned about who I was hanging out with. My mom would give me that “look” when she disapproved of those I was chumming with. You know the one; the one that speaks more clearly, loudly, and deeply than any words could? They didn’t want me involved with the “wrong” group; a group that would lead me astray down the wrong paths in life causing me harm whether physically or emotionally.

God, our Father, is the same with us, yet perfect in love and truth. He doesn’t want us hanging out the wrong group; others, who even if they are well intention, will lead us down the wrong paths. God desires we connect with others who prosper our soul.

In the Bible, God tells us to be extremely careful and discerning about fellowships and friendships. Proverbs 12:26 Their influence is strong over us; a little leaven affects the whole lump. (Now, we are in the world and around those of the world, but what God is referring to are those who we listen to, seek advice, guidance and counsel from; those we see as fellow believers. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

The Bible speaks of the lies that abound and the lack of truth, and how it destroys many. Amos 8:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:10, Revelation 9:17-19 Where do lies come from? The mouths of others. So, who we hang around and give our ear to is of utmost importance. If we feel any twinge in our spirit about others we are involved with whether an individual or group, we need to listen carefully to that “prompting” and seek what the Spirit may be trying to tell us.

Like the kids in High School, our need to be a part of a group and accepted is a strong driving force in our lives. That force can override our discernment. It causes us to justify or dismiss what we know or are “sensing” isn’t good. It causes us to overlook the little nudges in our spirit telling us something is off. Thus, it’s important to listen and heed the words of our Father in the Bible telling us what is good for our soul and not justify, but simply listen and obey.

God is prodding a lot of spirits right now about the fellowships they are in. He has been prodding mine. Many are justifying away His promptings to their own detriment; what’s the big deal, they do some good, it’s not all bad, no one is perfect, or I don’t want to be seen as “judging”. (Sound familiar, like what you thought as a kid?) If this is you, stop and listen to God. There is nothing to fear with Him. Seek out the still small voice trying to lead you to the paths of life. God desires your protection and the blessing and prospering of your soul. Trust Him.

Like those teenage years, we often think we know what is good, because it feels good to be a part and involved in a group and to be accepted. But God knows the hearts and we have to trust Him to see what we can’t. We have to trust His lead, and that means we have to seek it. By not quenching His Spirit within us, we will be able to follow Him to what is healthy and good for our souls. In order to not silence His voice, we need to cultivate a place in our lives and spirits to be able to hear His whispers among the shouts. If we don’t, we’ll dismiss it and follow the wrong crowd. Like our parents then, we have to listen to God now. To listen to God means we abide in His presence with the Bible and seek the instruction of the Holy Spirit.

Unhealthy fellowship can lead us unknowingly away from God. It can fill us with lies, which leads to torment in our souls. Psalm 26:4-5, 2 Timothy 3:5, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, 1 Timothy 6:5 God wants to protect us from all of this, as our parents did and as we do now with our children. If we take time to read the Bible and to seek out His instruction and follow His lead, He’ll honor us with fulfilling fellowships; fellowship as He intended. There is no cookie-cutter mold. Fellowship can come in many forms, trust Him. If we don’t, we are very susceptible to hanging out with the wrong group and suffering greatly for it.

True fellowship among believers is like a cool breeze on a hot day. It nourishes our souls. It helps us to bloom into the spirits we are meant to be. It involves vulnerability, openness, trust, transparency, intimacy, care, love and support. It entails each one individually seeking God and coming together to share his/her experiences. It’s in line with God’s Word. In this space, prayer is real, support is genuine and love is without hypocrisy. Romans 12:9

We are all connected. We all affect each other. For this reason it’s important to foster healthy connections and not unhealthy ones. Fellowship is a powerful force in our lives whether for good or bad, don’t underestimate its impact.

When we focus on fellowship with God first, then we’ll have the discernment, listening ear, and counsel about all other fellowships. God comes first, all others second. Put Him first and He’ll guide you to the rest that will bless your soul. As you heard many times growing up, it has never been truer than now – your Father does know best, listen to Him.

Further Reading:

Unhealthy Fellowship vs. Healthy Fellowship

As I mentioned, fellowships comes in many forms, here are some bloggers, who I enjoy and I thought I’d share with you.

Reality Revelations
Nathan’s Weblog
Scottish Warriors for Christ
Journey Into the Sun


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Our Capacity to be Influenced

Our Capacity to be Influenced

 

Through the awkward teenage years, I had a close friend who had a significant impact on me. Not only because we were around each other ALL the time, but it was an influential period in my life, as it is for most. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if she hadn’t been a part of it. It reminds me of the movie, Sliding Doors, a thought provoking story about the choices we make. Our decisions obviously have a huge impact on our lives, and choices about our friends have far-reaching ripple affects because of the power of their influence on us.

In day to day life, it’s important to understand our capability to be influenced. Right now we are being impacted by society, spouses, friends, religious leaders, family, and co-workers, in good and bad ways. This is why the Bible tells us to be wise about who are friends are and who we fellowship with, for their influence is extensive. (Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fellowship)

When a strong emotional element is part of the relationship, then the influencer gains even more power in affecting us – elements like acceptance, fear, guilt, loneliness, insecurity, attention, love, value, and purposefulness. Interestingly, most of these elements come into play when involved in a religious institution, like the church system (different from the true church, body of Christ). Thus, it’s tremendous power over people.

Because of the influence of others especially in the church system, it’s critical that we abide in the pure word of God (separate from others’ interpretations/opinions), on a daily basis. Take time to meditate on God’s truth. Learn to listen to His instruction and to hear His voice distinct from the others. Learn to trust Him to be the Teacher and have a foundation built on His instruction, not a human’s. Give an attentive ear, mind and heart to His Word and His instruction for a period each day without the influence of others’ words along with it. If we do this, in time, we will be wiser and more discerning among those who influence us. We will gain the ability to test all spirits as we are instructed in 1 John 4:1.

Matthew 10:16 “hold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Years ago, I set out in the search for truth. I asked God to reveal the lies and deception I was taking part in. As I put His Word first above all others and abided in it daily, He started opening up my eyes and still is. It amazed me how I easily trusted the words of others – especially religious leaders. How I didn’t really test them. How I couldn’t test them because I wasn’t in the Word with a passion to know God and His truth. I didn’t put the Word first in my life. I relied on others to interpret and explain it to me and that was one of my biggest downfalls.

From personal experience, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s very profitable to spend time alone (months) simply in the Word of God with no other interpretations or opinions trusting the Holy Spirit to teach you. John 14:26 The Apostle Paul, spent time alone, so what he learned, he gained from God, not man. Galatians 1:11-12, 16-17 It makes ALL the difference. Why? Because are easily influenced by others and because of the heightened emotions religion brings.

If we are abiding in the Bible, but continue to embrace the interpretations of others, we can’t help but be strongly influenced by their words. Their philosophies will be a filter by which we read the Word. We have enough of our own filters to deal with, or should I say for God to remove and replace with the truth. If we are relying on others, we aren’t giving ourselves a chance to remove those faulty filters that twist the Word of God. If we come to God with a desire to know the truth and nothing but the truth, He will expose the deceptions in our heart. A love of the truth is what saves us in these days from the massive and growing deceptions in and outside the church community. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

Because of the extensive influence of the church system, it has become a feeding ground for deception. God’s Word says the enemy will take over the sanctuary. Lamentations 2:5-7, 14, 4:12 Though, it can be difficult to accept, especially because it’s the object of many believers’ trust, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. When we are in the midst of Satan’s shenanigans (the self-will of man), it’s difficult to see and believe that our church would be influenced by him. In these days, we need to abide in God’s pure truth on a regular basis and put our trust fully into Him and not in man or the church system. Because of the deception that abounds, God is calling many of His people out of the church system and to Himself as the sanctuary. He is fulfilling the role the teacher, shepherd, protector, fortress, comfort, and help.

I know this post has gotten quite serious but the warnings in the Bible in regards to this issue are extensive. We have nothing to fear when our trust is truly in God alone. How do you know where your trust truly is? Remove those things from your life and you will soon see.

My prayer is that we will take time to recognize and acknowledge the influence those around us have on us; to ask God to give us clarity about what relationships and situations to embrace and which to let go. If it’s a letting go, know He’ll provide every need – I’ve seen it time and time again. He is more faithful than we know as we truly put our trust in Him.

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Unhealthy vs. Healthy Fellowship

Unhealthy vs. Healthy Fellowship

 

In the past years, the question of fellowship has come up more and more. Perhaps because of the times we are in. It’s a topic heavy on my heart as I see many who are in unhealthy fellowships, as I once was. They looked good on the outside, but the subtleties of what they supported or didn’t took me on a path away from God by thinking I was on the right path when I wasn’t. For example these fellowships entailed; the Word wasn’t really the focus, my time in the Word wasn’t critical, cultivating personal intimacy with God wasn’t the center, dependency on teachers was accepted, trusting the spirit to teach wasn’t emphasized, a works mentality was honored, as long as I was in church I was headed in the right direction, and so on. They had major impacts to my spiritual health.

Now, we are all fallen. Look at who Jesus hung out with. Fallen people but they had a hunger for truth and listened and followed His Words. He is The Word. He was the authority. As in His communities, is the Word really first in ours? Now contrast that to the Pharisees who didn’t listen to His Word, but were quite religious, who followed the doctrines of men, and thought they knew better. It is about our hearts. It is about who is our authority, who we truly trust, who we truly follow – God or man.

Others have a tremendous influence on us and it’s critical especially these last days to examine the fellowships we are engaged in. Fellowship to me means the gathering of believers with the goal to encourage, exhort, pray, serve, tell of God’s good works and praise among other purposes. Healthy fellowship enriches our spirits, while unhealthy destructs.

The questions we all need to ask ourselves:

1. Are the fellowships we are engaged in healthy according to God’s Word?
2. Are they what GOD desires of us? Or are we following the crowd?
3. Have we taken time to deeply seek God’s will in this area?

Here are some verses on what kind of fellowships NOT to engage in:

Psalm 26:4-5, 2 Timothy 3:5

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

1 Timothy 6:5 “useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. “

In these last days, the false prophets, teachers, leaders, and messengers, will be where the majority of God’s people are – in the church system. There are a multitude of verses warning us about this unhealthy association with others as well as the vastness of deception and lies in the end days. God knew unhealthy fellowship would be extensive these days and warned us over and over because its influence is powerful. Let’s take heed to His warnings. Let’s understand our ability to be influenced by those around us.

Our guard from being in unhealthy fellowships is abiding in the Word in faith on a daily basis. Psalm 17:4 It’s our responsibility to examine our fellowship in the light of God’s Word like the verses above and act according to His instructions not our justifications. Justifications like; sure they (their church) are off on some things but overall I think they are doing good. By whose judgment, ours, the church’s, or God’s?

Lies are damaging, yet too often we excuse them. 2 Corinthians 11:4 The other day a fellow blogger mentioned in her blog, God’s Promises are Real, that Satan’s only weapon is lies. But what an effective tool that is! I think Christians start compromising the truth when they fear of appearing judgmental, pushing others away, being alone, or being rejected. At least these have been some of my reasons in the past. But it is for the sake of our spirits and others that we need to hold fast to the truth and expose lies with a motive of love when we see them.

Right now most of us, if not all, are living in some deceptions and lies because we live in a fallen world and its influence is strong over us. But as we abide in God’s Word and He reveals those lies to us what do we do? Continue to accept and support them? The Apostle Paul encountered all sorts of issues among believers. What did he do? He exhorted them and if they didn’t take heed to God’s Word, he responded as in 1 Corinithians 5. He didn’t hold back, justify or ignore. When it was necessary, he said certian people needed to go if they didn’t heed instruction. He told them to not compromise by letting damaging behaviors slide. And in some cases, he told them to leave unhealthy fellowships. He understood that one bad apple ruins the batch. He did this because He loved them.

Healthy Fellowship

True, healthy fellowship is a wonderful treasure. What does it look like? Different fellowships hold different purposes, but here are some of the characteristics I see in the Word:

  • Informal gathering of 2 or more believers getting together being open, honest
  • Each person is in the Word being taught by the Spirit and He is the source of truth not a human teacher
  • What is spoken of is tested against the scriptures
  • Drawing near to God and love as the goal – not entertainment, not increase in numbers
  • Each actively uses their gifts
  • More mature ones help others to learn from God and be dependent on God not man
  • All parties are active, not passive
  • Time to encourage and exhort as lead by the Spirit
  • Opportunity to help others in need
  • A place where it is okay to question beliefs of others and okay to disagree
  • Where there are no man-made rules only the Word of God
  • No dominations, but unity in the Spirit
  • Intimacy to pray for one another
  • Minister to each other’s deeper needs because you take time to know them
  • Share God’s work in each others lives and praise God

Fellowship is a gift. God designed us to be connected to one another. But with this gift, as all gifts, we need to take heed to His instruction in this area so that we aren’t misled and the gift isn’t misused. It is a very influential area in our lives, whether good or bad. We each need to examine our fellowships in light of God’s Word and spend time seeking His will for where and who we fellowship with. Fellowship comes in many different forms. Let’s not limit Him or ignore His leading in this area. It is critical to our spiritual health.

 

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