Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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An Algorithm for Abundant Life

An Algorithm for Abundant Life

(Related to Post: Self-Perfecting Mind)

 

Here is a driving equation of a mind being fashioned by God; thus one who is spiritually maturing and ascending …

An algorithm for abundant life:

HUMILITY >>TRUTH >> HARMONY >> GROWTH = abundant LIFE

TRUTH = is and consists of truthful data points, as well as the accurate connection and networking of those data points. The stringing together of data points creates understanding, which crafts our perceptions, which is light. If we perceive in truth, we have eyes of light. If we perceive in error, we have eyes of darkness. Matthew 6:22-23 Our perceptions drive our choices and actions, which shape our experience of reality.

This light by which we see is the morning star rising in our hearts. 2 Peter 1:19, Revelation 2:28, 22:16 It’s the spirit that Christ held and reflected of the Divine, perfect wisdom, thus the spirit of Christ. Colossians 1:27, 2:2-3, 3:16 It’s His spirit, spirit of truth, that imparts the truthful data points and the connections between them to our minds. Thus, He is to be our source of wisdom, thus growth, thus abundant life. John 10:10

When we have truthful data points strung together in the correct way, which His spirit creates in us as we diligently seek to learn from Him, then harmony is created. If you hold the truth and so do I, we are of one spirit acting in supporting ways with one another thus in and creating harmony. When there is harmony between two or more entities then growth can occur.  When we have harmony, then our relationship grows, deepens and expands. The growth is life, abundant life. When we grow in our relationship, we experience true and increasing kindness, love, honor, respect, peace, companionship, unity, support, all the elements of abundant life.

Like trees with the right balance of water, light and soil (data elements strung together in the right way and amounts) that create growth, which is life, when we abide in the truths that create growth, our actions produce abundant life.

Wisdom is having understanding in how to implement the truth (data points and their connections) in our lives. Foolishness is thinking we have this understanding when we don’t.

Humility Precedes Wisdom; Judgment (Arrogance) Precedes Foolishness

The beginning of wisdom is humility, which is constant submission to the wisdom of God, because His wisdom is perfect and superior to any other “wisdom”. Proverbs 1:7, 1 Corinthians 3:19 A key to having a humble mind is maintaining the mindset of a neophyte. Someone who is a novice has the humility that she doesn’t know all, and therefore is continually learning and growing.

Once we believe we are an “expert”, we switch from learning in a situation to judging it. A seemingly “expert” mind is one that assumes it knows, thus easily falls into a judgmental mindset instead of humble and teachable. Psalm 25:9 It assumes it knows, thus judges instead of learns from a situation, and as a consequence this mind is blocked from learning what it ought to in the present moment, for every situation can bring deeper understanding.  Thus it’s bound to foolishness for it doesn’t know as it ought and isn’t seeking to learn. It doesn’t realize it lacks the correct or adequate data points or connections, thus foolish is its response. Yet, when we possess a humble mind our ability to learn is infinite.

A Humble Mind is a Spiritually Maturing Mind

Nowhere do we find a humble mind more so than in a spiritually maturing being. It’s a fundamental requirement to and aspect of spiritual maturation. The only way to mature is to be constantly submitting thus learning from the wisdom of God in our present moments. A spiritually maturing mind seeks the wisdom of God, which is always higher thus beyond that spirit’s current understanding no matter how mature it is. This mindset perpetuates that spirit’s growth thus maturity.

The wisdom of God comes out of the present moment. If we are growing, we are more knowledgeable than we were yesterday, thus God can take us into continually deeper layers of understanding than where we were yesterday. Understanding builds upon understanding. See how this works? This is why some less mature don’t understand the revelations spoken by more mature, thus can dismiss them if they’ve fallen into a judging mindset. They lack the required previous levels of knowledge to comprehend a higher level.

This means, like a beginner, we should always be asking questions. For example, we are always seeking what door to go through in our present moment that takes us to the next step along our personal path fulfilling our purpose. Assumptions and expectations based on what we know are fleeting to this mindset, while questions and seeking are the mainstay. If we are of a humble mind, a neophyte mind, we are consistently seeking and asking, thus learning and growing, thus spiritually maturing.

The wisdom of the divine integrated into our souls by the spirit of Christ is our compass. It’s His spirit interacting with ours in our inner person that guides, instructs and leads us down His cogent roads. It’s these roads that create a network of thinking and acting that produce an abundant life.

This algorithm works for every facet of our lives; marriage, relationships, business, health, and home life. For example, as my husband and I learn of data points (mercy, forgiveness, divine love), and learn how they interact within our marriage, they lead to choices and actions that are harmonious with one another, thus we experience growth in our marriage. This growth creates a marriage of increasing abundance (comfort, support, care, peace, beauty, divine love). As we remain humble in our minds, we continually grow in our understanding and thus expand in all those traits that greatly enhance our marriage. Thus the marriage is always getting better. We can apply this to every area of our life. When we do we start experiencing abundant life.

Our minds create our reality. A mind crafted by the wisdom of God is continually creating better present moments, thus life always gets better.


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The Ultimate Lie

The Ultimate Lie

The messages of this world and religion have made life with God somehow less, which is a lie. It’s this lie that must be exposed in our soul to enable us come into the fullness of God’s righteous love. As long as we are holding this lie, we won’t let go and embrace all He has for us. We will continue to make decisions against His leading and thus repeat the dynamic of what happened in the Garden of Eden over and over … that somehow we know better.


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A Slave or A Child

A Slave or A Child

 

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Free will – freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

What is it to be free? What kind of freedom do you really want?

Every belief, thought, decision and action we take is influenced by many sources; our experiences, past, lies, truth, friends, culture, traditions, manipulation, media, family, teachers, knowledge or lack of. Making a free will decision isn’t realistic, many things influence us. When you boil it down, what influences us are either based on lies or the truth. Lies and truth make up our beliefs. And, we are governed by our beliefs, meaning we serve them. In other words, we are a slave to them. Thus we are either a slave to lies or to truth. Though the word “slave” has negative connotations, being a slave to what is truly good is a good thing.

In this life we have two options; we can serve the truth, God, or we can serve lies, anything that opposes God’s ways. We can be a slave to righteousness or a slave to unrighteousness/sin. This is the only real choice we have.

1 John 5:9 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

Which will you serve?

The answer seems straight forward … truth. But it’s not that easy because the very nature of a lie is that you think it’s truth. If you believe it’s truth, you don’t question it, but continue to act according to it until it’s revealed for what it is. When we live according to lies, our lives produce what we don’t desire; sickness, poverty, lack, suffering, pain, anger, bitterness, envy, oppression, hardship, and afflictions.  Aren’t these elements of death what we really want to be free from?

Slave to Righteousness

Romans 6:18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

If you chose truth, then you will seek truth from the one who is truth, God. Only in seeking truth are the lies revealed for what they are. By seeking God, we see the lies for what they are and chose to believe His ways, which we learn are of peace, joy, fulfillment and love. In chosing His ways and will, we chose to believe in His words over another’s in every situation and our actions follow. James 2:20 In choosing God, we give up our ways and the ways of the world, and embrace His full governance over our lives as He deems good, because we’ve learned only He is truly good.

Because of God’s love for us, though we are heeding all His ways and thus a slave to righteousness for He is righteous, abiding in His truth is more of being a child than a slave.

God is perfect in righteous love. Therefore everything He does is for our very best and will truly satisfy us. God is the perfect Father; as it’s His will to provide, protect, care, help, nurture, comfort, lead, guide and love us. Luke 12:32 Imagine being under the care of the perfect father who had every resource at His finger tips? Being a recipient of this love is what it is to be God’s child.

As His child, you are not only governed by His perfect righteous love, but you are a part of Him. Therefore, your desires become His desires. Thus, He gives you the desires of your heart because they are His for you as well. Psalm 37:4 Like a child, 1. you abide in complete rest as God cares for all that concerns you and 2. you follow your desires. To abide in rest and live by your desires is what it means to be a slave to righteousness. Incredible truths.

The core lie that keeps people from seeking truth from God is that He’ll make our lives less somehow. That we’ll miss out. That He’ll leave us and we’ll be worse off than before. But these are all lies that keep us from obtaining the abundant peaceful and restful lives we desire.

In this choice, we are far more than a slave, because we become a part of God. (Led By Spirit of God)

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Slave to Unrighteousness

Romans 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

In not choosing God, so we don’t seek Truth from God, we default to being a slave to unrighteousness and the elements of death, for God is life and anything counter is death. We become slaves to lies by believing them to be truth. By believing and thus acting on those lies, we manifest a life of things we don’t want; pain, suffering, fear, hardships and so on.  We may “conquer” one issue, but the underlining belief hasn’t changed so it’s redirected and manifests in another way. We are left feeling trapped, overwhelmed, discouraged, oppressed, discontented, and wanting more.

When we serve unrighteousness, our decisions are based on the world’s messaging. We’re directed by the conglomeration of external influences, whichever messages are impressed upon us the strongest. Lies are lies. Though they take on many faces the results are the same; a spirit lacking in truth, righteous love and peace. We trust what we know, and we make choices on what we know. There is no free will, just decisions manifesting pain.

Two paths, two very different results … which will you serve?

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.


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Led By the Spirit of God

Led By the Spirit of God

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Last week, I discussed the Path of Salvation and how it’s not only knowing and believing in God, but becoming a part of God. God is life. When we are a part of Him, we have eternal life. Becoming a part of God involves seeking, hearing, and obeying for to be a part of Him is to become as He is. 1 John 3:2 This journey is working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Phil 2:12-13

Working out our salvation is walking the narrow way of truth. Matthew 7:13-14 It’s learning from God, then obeying as we are taught. When our thoughts, will, and desires are one with God, we are His sons and daughters because we are a part of Him. We reflect His nature, as a true son or daughter would. We mirror the result of His ways; His holiness, love, truth, mercy, compassion, and righteousness. If we are truly fellowshipping with God, we will see these characteristics expanding in our lives, as light expands to fill the darkness.

To be led by God means we are no longer led by our self will. It means learning God’s ways, then acting according to His ways and no longer our own. It means setting aside our judgments and letting Him judge. It means letting Him rule our lives. It means abiding in rest as God moves through us. It means seeking and listening; for how else will we know His will to live it?

This turning from our ways to follow His ways is repentance. Repentance occurs when we learn that God’s ways are better, thus they become our desire and passion. For example, God tells us to honor all people. 1 Peter 2:17 To each one of us, He will specifically direct us to what that looks like. He will teach us through our circumstances and in accordance with the Bible. As we listen and obey to His specific counsel to us, we experience the positive effects of walking in God’s truth. We each learn first hand His ways are far superior and in response our souls start to long for His precepts as we see the perfection and righteous love they possess. Psalm 63:1

John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Obedience, the core of repentance, is born out of love. His words are righteous love, thus as we know His words, we desire to walk in them. In repentance, our core passion changes from following self to following God, thus we have a love for the truth of God and our lives reflect that love.

It’s essential to understand the power of God as THE Teacher in our lives and the necessity for us to TRUST Him to be. Matthew 23:8 As we fellowship with God each day, He transforms us so that we are crafted in His truth. 2 Corin 5:17 This doesn’t happen when we listen to others talk about Him. In learning from God, we aren’t simply gaining knowledge of His ways; He transforms us by the power of His spirit moving in us as we commune with Him. This power is how we are able to walk as He leads. The power is available to us through His abundant grace. 2 Corin 9:8 Without His power working in us we couldn’t walk as He commands. Therefore, His commands aren’t burdensome. We desire them and live them by His power.

1 John 5:.3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

As God teaches us, He transforms us, which enables us to walk as He leads. Ephesians 1:19

Through this process of seeking, listening and obeying, our lives start to manifest the qualities of God (His holiness, righteous love, peace, rest, power) because we are becoming a part of Him. As the kingdom of heaven matures within us, we experience abundant life. John 10:10 If we aren’t experiencing increasing abundant life, we are following the wrong shepherd.

1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

Each of us has to walk our own narrow path. No one can do it for us. We each have to be taught, led and shepherded by God for those are the ones who become a part of Christ, the Word. John 6:45 Those are the ones who lay down their self will and ways and are transformed by the Truth. This is the path of salvation, thus eternal life, because it leads to a point of desiring to be completely consumed by God, who is life.

This narrow way of seeking, listening and obeying to a point of holy rest where God governs all is why many are called but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14 Most are governed by mankind’s doctrines, thoughts, opinions and ways and not God’s. Only God’s ways lead to eternal life. His words in accordance with His power purify us to a point of becoming one with Him. What Christ did was beyond powerful. He gave us the ability to possess the spirit of God that we might live in truth because His perfection can abide within us.

1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


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Defeating Sin

Defeating Sin

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,

The same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work on those who believe in God. Ephesians 1:19-20 This power enables us to be sanctified; which is to live in righteousness. It frees us from the sin/death in our lives and brings us into abundant life here on this earth. John 10:10 Sin creates hardships, afflictions, pain, addictions, and suffering in our lives. Many feel bound by sin; even many professing believers. They know they are forgiven, yet still suffer bondages to sin and its consequences. There is a way out, the full gospel.

 Hebrews 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

We are no longer have to be slaves to sin/death; Christ made a way out of this bondage. He is the way, the door, the Word of God. The path out of sin/death in our lives is the narrow path, the path of truth. Its one few find because few truly seek truth from God Himself. Matthew 7:13-14  But for those who do travel the narrow way, they seek God in truth and learn spirit to spirit, He writes His truth on their hearts and it changes them, sanctifies them, He fills them and makes them into new creations. As a new creation, they have a new mind, new desires, new thoughts, and above all desire to be totally governed by God’s Spirit inside-out. 2 Corinthians 5:17 They walk the path of life, thus experience abundant life.

The purpose of going the narrow way of truth is receiving God’s spirit, which is the gift of life, eternal life, and abundant life. When He is directing us, He leads us to the fulfillment of the desires of our hearts as He intended to fill them. We experience joy, peace, rest, blessing, comfort, and righteous love because God’s spirit resides within us manifesting Himself in our lives.

Our part is to seek. Matthew 6:33 The lies and deception of the world has filled our minds, so we must seek for the truth and as we do it sanctifies us. John 17:17

Our part also is to cultivate trust in God above all things. Luke 14:33 We do this by trusting Him to be our Teacher and Counselor. We seek and listen to His instruction, act on it, and witness His faithfulness. In time, as we learn to trust His wisdom and will, we forfeit our self-will in every way and embrace His will. On this journey of the narrow path, we let go of our self-will and desire God’s will as He shows us His righteous love and goodness. Luke 17:33

This narrow path journey has been ignored by many. Ephesians 1:4 The doctrine of grace has been misunderstood. It’s by grace that we are able to live as new creations; a life we must seek and learn from God as how to walk. As we seek, He empowers us to walk it for it’s Him making His home in us. John 14:23 When it is Him working through us, His commands aren’t burdensome, but easy, a delight, and our desire. 1 John 5:3 They are how to live and are life, so we live an abundant life. In grace, we have tremendous power working for us and freeing us from the bondage of every sin. Ephesians 3:20.

1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Many have been taught that the resurrection of Christ is the end. It’s just the beginning. His resurrection and life and the power it demonstrated are what God pours out on us. It’s the power that moves us from the pit of sin/death and into an abundant life here and now. Yes, it’s a journey, but every seeking step brings us more into life and out of death.  People aren’t living an abundant life because they are living in sin. They believe it is what it is until they die and go to heaven. Conversely, God is offering us His righteousness and His Kingship in our souls if we will seek.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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The Ultimate Choice: Choose Life

The Ultimate Choice: Choose Life

Would you rather be operating by God’s mind or by your own? God is giving you the choice.

The Choice

Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

The pilgrimage through this earth comes down to a singular decision. Will you choose to be TOTALLY governed by God or self? What you choose depends on the life you will have; the first manifests true life and the second death. It’s one or the other because God is life and anything contrary is death. Most people unknowingly choose death because of the lie that has kept people from God; that life fully governed by God is less than what they can give themselves. When in reality, the only things you miss out on are the things of death.

The life we desire; peace, joy, righteous love, truth, rest, contentment, and blessing, comes when our souls are united to God’s Spirit so that His spirit operates our being in every way. This life is manifested when our self-will is literally dead, silenced, and God’s Spirit takes the reigns. Galatians 2:20  

The ultimate blessing is to be completely directed by God so that our every desire, thought and word is of Him, by Him and through Him; a place where we are fully governed by the Spirit of God and nothing of our self-will. Lamentations 3:24 In this state abundant life is manifested in us and in our lives.

Isaiah 58:13 If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,

The eternal Sabbath is being at complete rest, so that you are totally powered by God’s spirit. When you are governed by Him, you are at rest because it’s all Him and nothing of you. John 15:5  In rest, you do nothing of yourself. You give up all your ways, pleasures and words to God and He drives your life. If you aren’t working, efforting, striving or exerting your will, then His will can prevail. You cultivate no trust or confidence in anything of this flesh existence. The exterior life is nothing but the shell that is powered by God. In this state, you are a complete slave to God and His righteousness and know no other greater delight, for He is life. Acts 17:28

Romans 6:18   And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Imagine if ALL you did was directed by God who knows everything … the outcome and ripple effect of every action?  All you do would be done in truth and righteous love. Imagine how your life would blossom into all it was meant to be. This is what Christ came to create, God’s spirit abiding within souls of mankind, Immanuel.

How to silence your self-will?

What is the path to make this choice; to be completely governed by God?

  1. SEEK God in TRUTH and SPIRIT. You need to know the difference of your self-will and God’s will and the extent of its control in your life. If you don’t seek truth FROM GOD, you can’t make this decision because you don’t have the knowledge of what the decision entails. You can’t choose what you don’t know. How can you know without diligently seeking daily and above all else?

Jeremiah 7:13 And now, because you have done all these works,” says the LORD, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer

  1. BUILD a relationship with God so you can TRUST Him. To honestly let go of all, you have to trust God and nothing of yourself. How can you trust without an intimate relationship?
  2. ACT on His instruction specifically to you. As you act according to God’s counsel and witness His faithfulness, you come to a point of forsaking all to be completely governed by Him – then the choice is the result. How can you act if you aren’t listening to Him?

In our limited awareness, we have no idea the outcome of what we do. If we hold onto our own judgments about what is good (essence of religions), we’ll make errors (sin) leading to pain and suffering in our lives and others. No matter how good our intentions, we don’t know the beginning and the end. Thus, anything done of ourselves, no matter if we judge it good or not, is sin. Sin equates to death. Therefore, we need to be at rest and letting God flow through us as He wills which is accomplished by forsaking every aspect of our self-will and letting His will rule. John 5:30

Seeking God and His truth with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, abiding in rest, and experiencing the fruit of His Spirit testify that we have chosen His will over ours; a life we can start experiencing now. When we come to this point, we are ruled by God’s Spirit thus walk in His commandments, because He is living through us and His righteousness taking us over.

More Discussion on this Topic


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Importance of Repentance

Importance of Repentance

Repentance is an ongoing back and forth exchange with God. It’s seeking God’s truth, learning from Him, then turning from your way of doing something to His way. It’s the path to abundant life for His ways are wisdom, life, truth, peace, and joy. It’s God’s desire to give us an abundant life, but we have to follow His instruction. So basic yet many don’t follow.

To follow His instruction you first have to be spending time each day learning from Him by the Holy Spirit through the Bible. Then listening to His promptings and instructions in the details of your life. We each have different lives and circumstances, so we have to seek His counsel for the lives He desires us to lead. His ways are not our ways. Repentance is following God in the details of our lives … and those details add up to becoming a new creation and living a blessed life.


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Seeking God in Truth and Spirit

Blog Talk Radio: Seeking God in Truth and Spirit

A new PODCAST (click here to listen)is available on trusting Seeking God in Truth and Spirit.

Overview: The main difference from a maturing believer and one who isn’t is a seeking heart. Those who diligently seek to know, trust and love God are those who experience Him and abide in His kingdom. In this show, I talk about what this seeking entails, why it is important and how God rewards those who seek Him. Seeking is the key to knowing God in truth and Spirit and walking in His power. It is what changes your life to be united to Him.


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Drawing Close to God

Drawing Close to God

The ultimate choice we have to make is between following God and following self. Following God leads to eternal life and following self leads to death. To be in unity with God, we have to turn from our self-will (true repentance) and follow God’s will. In following God we seek to do only His will, just as Jesus did. John 5:30 But we don’t know God’s will unless we seek to know – thus why God tells us to seek and live. Amos 5:4 When following self we do what we think is good and right – whatever it is.

To learn about God through the Bible a similar approach must be taken in order to draw near to God in truth and spirit – we have to deny self.

God tells us to believe in Him. The Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit is a gateway to deeply knowing God so we can believe in Him as He is. This venue isn’t everyone’s; for we are all unique. But it is a part of my journey, and for you who feel called to this thought-provoking venue will resonate with my journey.

Reading the Bible isn’t about learning “techniques of good living” to then fulfill our own purposes and desires. We have to let go of all our self-will in coming to God in order to really know God and for Him to be our Lord.

There are three areas of denying our self-will when abiding in the Bible in order to learn about God, thus draw near in truth and Spirit.

The first area is in regards to making time to seek God. It’s putting abiding in the Bible to be taught by the Holy Spirit as the priority. Consider all the times you’ve put something above spending time with God, when God has told you to seek Him first. Matthew 6:33 Times you choose to sleep in, attend to another person, do a task, or get consumed in work. At those times, YOU are deciding what is more important versus doing what GOD has told you to do – love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, to put Him first, and to diligently seek Him. This choice to do what you want is following your self-will. When you continue this pattern, deep down you think you know better, otherwise you would do what God says. So who’s will is dominating in you?

The second area is who you focus on when you do abide in the Bible. To get to know God through the Bible, you have to set your needs, wants, and expectations aside and focus on God. If you read the Bible with the mindset and motive that is focused on you, then you aren’t denying self, you are putting self first. You are putting your self-will and what you think the time in the Bible should be about above seeking to know God. Instead of saying, God, what do you want to teach me? What do you want me to know about you? It’s always about fixing you, searching for a certain answer, or preparing for a Bible study. Whose will is in control at this point?

If your interactions with your spouse were always about you, you would learn very little about her/him. There would be no true intimacy or bond. You would do what you thought that person wanted, but you really wouldn’t have a clue. You haven’t sought to know him/her intimately because every interaction has been about you. Therefore you wouldn’t have a real relationship, certainly not a healthy one. With God it’s the same. We have to realize we don’t know God unless we individually seek to know Him. Until we do we have a false image of Him, which means we have a false relationship. It’s necessary to seek Him while putting ourselves aside to know Him as He is. Then we’ll start to develop a real relationship.

The third area has to do with conforming the Bible to your beliefs versus the Bible molding your beliefs. It’s realizing that you have filters and ways of viewing God and the Bible that are wrong. That you hold ideas that you think are “truth” but aren’t. When you come to learn of God, you have come with a humble heart which is willing to receive and hear anything God may teach you instead of trying to fit the Bible to your paradigms. If you think you already know, you don’t really seek. You conform what you read and hear to what you already believe. If you think you already know then who are you following when you abide in the Bible?

In order to know God through the Bible, there is a choice to make, God or self. It’s a prelude to the ultimate choice of choosing Him in everyway over our self-will.

The way to life is choosing God. The only way for the Bible to be unsealed to you so you can draw near to God in truth and spirit is to choose God in these areas. If you don’t deny self when coming to the Bible to be taught by the Holy Spirit, then you are reading for your own purposes and goals based on what you think is good. Your will is in control. This is how the Pharisees could know the scriptures, but be totally off. They used them to fulfill what they determined was right and good.

God has to be first. He is Lord. He can’t be second.

One side note, letting go of self-will isn’t about losing your identity. It’s coming to the understanding that God’s will is good and leads to true life and therefore that is what you want to do. If you were walking through a dense forest and you had a guide with you who knew the best and safest way to get through it, what would you do? You would follow him. Same with God. God knows the path to life. We walk with Him when our will is submitted to Him because then we are walking in His footsteps. The journey leads us to what we’ve always truly and deeply desired, because God is that good.

Tomorrow when you sit down to learn about God through the Bible consider these three areas. Ask the Spirit to examine your heart; are you really making this about God and seeking Him or about you?


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What Are You Made Of?

What Are You Made Of?


Mark of Self – the one you don’t want
Revelation 13:17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Mark of God – the One you want
Ezekiel 9:4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

The other day at the gym, I saw a man with a tattoo on his forearm of a bar code with the words “Made in Rio” above it. It struck me, the mark we bear reflects by whom we are made, thus by what we are made of? The man with the tattoo was “made in Rio” – a part of that heritage, culture, beliefs, and family. Each of us is a part of one of two entities made up of a heritage, beliefs, and family …

Ultimately, there are two options by which you can “be made of”; self or God. There is no neutral ground. Either you are made of God or made of self, which is under the sway of “evil” (what is contrary to love) because it is counter to God. 1 John 5:19 What we are made of starts in our minds and in our wills – that is why the mark is on the head (mind) or on the hand (will). Revelation 13:16

Which mark do you bear? Take time to contemplate this question in the light of Truth. Many are deceived in thinking they bear the mark of God when it’s truly of self; for that is what deception is.

What makes up your thoughts? What do you meditate on? Ideas of people, religion, or philosophies of this world? In what do you really trust? What do your actions show?

Have you experienced a renewal of your mind, a mind transformed from seeking your will to God’s will? To be spiritually minded instead of carnally minded?

Whose will do you truly desire to do? Yours or God’s? Do you desire to do what you think God wants or do you spend time daily with Him to truly know Him and His will so you can walk in it?

Who do you serve truly?

To have the mark of man is to strive to serve this life. It means you live by the wisdom of the world. You trust this wisdom fulfill your desires and purposes. You try to be the best in and of this world. Your mind is filled with thoughts and beliefs of people, institutions, etc. It’s ultimately about serving you; of course this can wear many disguises because to outwardly do so would be “selfish”. But that is at its core. You know best. The world tells you if you don’t live according to its wisdom, then you won’t advance. You can’t “buy and sell” unless you follow its protocol, bear its mark, own its philosophies and follow them, that is the only way you’ll advance to becoming to who you want to be, which will ultimately fulfill you and be good, of course.

Let’s dig a bit deeper. You feel you strive to do what is right and good. Even if you are oriented to be a good person isn’t that really serving your own need to be good and feel justified? Jesus said only God is good. Luke 18:19 So why do people strive for to be good outside of God? Possibly it makes us believe there is a change. We are different. We are special. We will be in God’s good graces, though we aren’t seeking His goodness. The only true transformation comes by the hand of God and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. It isn’t about our efforts but Him living and working through us. Many will be surprised in the end to see that they were really serving self, or the image of God constructed by self, but not God. They haven’t sought God to know Him to truly follow Him. How can you follow who you don’t know?

To be truly born again from above and to have a transformed mind is to “be made of” God. It means you have sought the truth to the extent to make a choice between self or God. Only the truth dispelling the lies of this world enables you to see past the deception the self will for what it is, death and destruction. With the knowledge of the truth of God and His ways, you let self go (true repentance) to follow God’s ways that bring peace, love, joy, rest, and life. Bearing God’s mark means you seek to live with God as Lord of your life, not you. Therefore, you seek to know God, know His ways and seek His counsel in all areas so you can walk in it. He is your first love. You meditate on the things of God. You want to advance and grow in the wisdom of God, not man, therefore you spend time seeking God’s wisdom not man’s. To seek God, to know, trust and live in and by Him is to be made of God.

Who owns you truly? Do you feel like a slave to this life? To the things of this life? How much time do you spend seeking God? How are you trying to advance in your life? All these things tell you who you are really serving, thus what mark you truly bear.