Laying out the difference between being a true disciple of Christ, a truth seeker, versus a follower of religion, specifically the religion of Christianity.
Luke 5:38 “But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
John 5:25Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
In the Old Testament (OT) covenant, God clearly laid out the choice between life and death and what each path manifested. Deuteronomy 30:19 He granted them forgiveness for their transgressions against Him, yet very few repented and turned to His ways. If and when they did turn because of the painful afflictions of going their own way, He was right there to heal and restore them. Yet, even after the outpourings of mercy and blessing, they soon again rebelled in following the dictates of their own hearts. Isaiah 65:12 They lacked the power to truly believe.
Why was it so hard to believe?
The Israelites had God’s forgiveness and help. They saw His wondrous works. So, why couldn’t they follow Him; what was missing? Without God’s spirit in us, we can’t believe as we ought. This is why the Israelites fell so quickly into rebellion and why you see the same thing throughout history. The only way we truly believe is by the power of God’s spirit working in us. John 6:45
Corrupted Spirit vs. God’s Spirit
We are either governed by a corrupted spirit or by God’s pure spirit of righteous love. Soon after birth, we become imprisoned by the lies (what appears as our truth) of the world flooding into our spirit taking us captive to do their will. 2 Timothy 2:26 This corrupted spirit opposes God’s wisdom and love; therefore all we do is sin for we’re slaves to sin. John 8:34 Under its reign, we are blind as our truths are lies, therefore we can’t truly believe in God, thus walk in righteousness leading to eternal life. How can a soul believe in life if it is consumed in darkness and deception; holding lies as truth? How can it find its way out of the pit of darkness and death? The answer lies in the power and victory of Christ’s spirit filling us. God gives us His spirit to govern us instead; this is the new birth. Our Father births us to life, by His will, not our own, by giving us His seed of life. This seed holds His faith which enables us to believe unto eternal life. This Seed of His spirit within us is our deliverance and salvation from the pit of eternal darkness in which people now dwell.
God’s Plan of Salvation
God made a promise to Abraham, that ALL the nations would be blessed through him and his seed. Genesis 22:18, 28:14 He was promised that his descendents would be as the dust of the earth; a promise of giving salvation to many many souls. Have you seen dust recently? What we do see is a huge gap between ALL nations being blessed and just a few truly believing unto obedience that leads to righteousness and abundant life. As I talked about true belief in a previous post, as it stands right now very few would move into eternal life because very few truly believe, yet this doesn’t fit with God’s promise to Abraham.
When true belief has shown to be extremely trying at best, what hope is there that ALL nations will be blessed? Revelation 15:4
This powerlessness to truly believe is why Christ gave up His spirit. He offered up His Spirit on the cross, so it could be resurrected in many in the end days. John 12:23-24, Joel 2:28, 1 Peter 1:13 With the seed of His spirit in us, we are able to grow unto eternal life because we now have the ability to believe because of His spirit within us giving us His faith. Hebrews 12:2 This is why some will not die, but be changed. 1 Corin 15:51 As the spirit of Christ is being raised in souls, then eternal life will begin to exist on earth, for He is eternal life. Since Christ’s flesh resurrection over 2000 years ago, there has been the Holy Spirit, God’s wisdom, in grace enabling some to believe in the hope of salvation. Romans 15:13 Yet, we haven’t see the fulfillment of that hope of salvation as people are still living lives of sin leading to death. The Holy Spirit is a guarantee of what is to come; the union of our spirit with Christ’s. Ephesians 1:13-14 As the wedding feast fast approaches; as Christ spirit starts resurrecting in people thus being “married” to their soul, they will start walking in righteousness leading to eternal life and therefore not taste death.
Marrying Christ’s Spirit
Now is the time to draw near to God, for Christ has sowed His seed in the field, our souls, to bring in His Kingdom. Hosea 10:12, Matthew 13 He has given us the grace and power by giving us His faith to believe in a world of death and lies. Now we have to step into that grace and power by sowing truth into our lives which allows the seed to grow in us.
Sowing the Seed
We sow the seed of Christ’s spirit by seeking truth, for God is truth. As we do then His spirit of wisdom grows in the depths of our soul. John 12:25 Wisdom is truth driving our lives. We gain wisdom by listening to and following His gentle whisperings to our soul, leading us into all truth. John 6:32, 45, 57, 63, James 1:21 It isn’t religious doctrine we heed and follow; it is the perfect spirit of God communing with us in the depths of our being. Psalm 85:8 The spirit of wisdom grows within us as we listen and obey God’s voice, which is now possible because we have Christ’s spirit of faith in us enabling us to believe. James 2:14-26 In time, we are trained in righteousness, so we can walk in righteousness. Sin ibrings death. Right-mindedness brings immortality. Proverbs 12:28
Further, God takes our transgressions, now under the umbrella of His forgiveness, and they become part of our training ground as we are chastened by them and delivered from them by a loving Father. In time, our minds are renewed and we become holy eternal creations. In God’s perfect timing, all will learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:9 First those of the “elect”; then the rest. 1 Corin 15:22-24 The elect serve the rest by preparing the way and bringing in the Kingdom by Christ’s spirit in them.
As we sow truth, we start to yearn for God’s will over all else because we become aware of the perfection of His ways and how it is His ways we truly desire in everything. We realize we are truly poor in spirit, and need His spirit of wisdom. Matthew 5:3 When we gain these understandings, we abandon all other “wills” to be fully governed by His spirit. Our part is to know and embrace the will of God and forsake all other paths; for love involves choice. Mark 8:34
Now is the time to listen for the voice of the Son of God; because those who will hear will live; for the kingdom is at hand.
John 6:38-39 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
God is love. God is righteous. He isn’t one or the other. He is both ALL the time; He is righteous love. When you know God, then you know this love and you begin to see it in ALL His ways; and certainly in His plan of salvation for mankind.
The spirit of rebellion in each of us leading to sin thus death first revealed itself in the Garden of Eden. At its appearance, God foretold His salvation. Genesis 3:15 A Seed (Christ) of the woman, would defeat such a spirit forever. God, the perfect Father and Creator, set out to develop His creation into a people who could abide with Him forever in perfect righteous love. He is love and for a true bond of love to exist, love is given and received in its purest truest form. Mark 12:30 He had the love; and His creation would to.
With the choice of following self in the Garden of Eden, mankind showed their weakness; their ability to go against God’s will of perfect love. They demonstrated that without being governed by the Spirit of God from within, they would go their own way forsaking God’s, thus severing the bond of perfect love. When Adam and Eve received as truth the lie based in fear that they were “missing out,” fear and lies were brought into this creation. Genesis 3:1-8 They chose to go against God’s instructions, which kept them in perfect love with God, one another and creation. Now they were no longer governed by pure love, but fear, and not by truth, but lies. Thus sin existed in them and in creation. Adam and Eve didn’t understand the consequences of going their own way for they only knew God’s perfection, until the moment they went astray in their hearts. This was the first time they were exposed to anything related to death and death itself.
Now all of God’s children are born in pain. Genesis 3:16, 3:20 Eve is the mother of all living. And because of sin, her children, us, are born in pain (sin). All have to come through death/sin then into true life. Hebrews 9:27 This journey teaches us the consequences of going our own way, (an understanding Adam and Eve originally didn’t possess) and our need to have the mind of Christ to truly discern between good and evil, right and wrong. Even Christ, as our forerunner, learned obedience (righteousness) through the things He suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8 God took their transgression and thus ours, and used it to teach mankind an very important lesson for life to exist eternally: only God’s will is good, thus we have to be a part of Him. He put creation on a path of salvation in which He would give us His spirit with the mind of Christ so we would always walk in righteous love with Him. 1 Corin 1:30
Challenge: To Really Believe in God
As we saw in the OT, people will not believe in God; that His ways are better, He forgives and He is love. When He laid it all out they wouldn’t follow Him. Isaiah 48:18, Deuteronomy 28 They wouldn’t receive His forgiveness and repent. When their sin manifested terrible consequences, they kept rebelling. When He spoke from heaven, did amazing miracles, and showed His power, they still strayed. Finally in Christ, He showed the depth of His love and forgiveness, people still would not believe so He would be Lord of their lives. (True belief is walking in God’s truths because you know and love Him; not simply acknowledging His existence, who He is or what He does.)
Consider your own life, how often do you look to your understanding instead of following God? No matter what we learn or know, following self is like a cancer we can’t rid ourselves of. We can’t believe God to wholly follow Him. Luke 16:30-31, Romans 7:24-25 (If we truly believed, we would follow wholeheartedly.) As Adam and Eve did, we’ve done the same. The difference in our relationship with God now verses the Old Testament, is that now Christ is preparing His vessels (our souls), which He purchased by His blood, to fill them with His righteous, so we can abide with God forever as eternal creations.
Victory of Christ
Christ did for us what we couldn’t; became our faith. Hebrews 12:2 By His spirit in us, we are able to believe and follow; to possess a spirit having the mind of Christ which is being poured out on all flesh. Ezekiel 39:29, Ezekiel 11:19-20, Hebrews 8:9-11, Acts 2:17 Christ had to die and resurrect to be the seed of life; a seed that once it died could be raised in many. John 12:23-25 He had to die so His spirit could be resurrected in many, because no one would truly believe God or follow Him unless they were a part of Him. 2 Peter 1:4 No one comes to Christ unless God calls Him. John 6:44 No one can come to the Father expect through Christ. John 14:6 It’s all God’s work by His spirit. Something dead can’t bring itself to life. Something unborn can’t birth itself. For us to believe, really believe, we need His spirit and this is what He is giving us in abundance.
Becoming a new creation who can abide with God forever is the purpose and victory of Christ. 1 Corin 15:55 Without God’s spirit living in us in such a fullness as Christ, there will always be sin and death. Ephesians 4:13, 1:10, 3:19 For us to be God’s creation who can abide with Him for eternity, we have to have the mind of Christ and this is exactly what He is giving us in these days, though some are rejecting that voice, wisdom, and good conscience to their own destruction. 1 Timothy 1:19-20
Our sin is harsh; it is death. When we see what it creates in the Old Testament; death, destruction, stoning … it is horrific. Thus, in His love God destroyed it in Christ. He destroyed the seed of death. He destroyed the self-will in all of us through Christ’s death and resurrection. Being birthed in pain, we learn the death nature of self-will. By God’s grace in Christ, the self-will dies and souls are married to Christ and transition into eternal life. Though dead, He resurrects to us to life and starts to mold us into eternal creations.
Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
While you are enjoying hamburgers, friends, and fireworks, consider what true liberty is. It isn’t doing what you want; as we’ve been led to believe in America of the free. The liberty presented of and by the world is an illusion.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one
The whole world is under the sway of the wicked one. In Matthew 4:8-9, “Satan” offers Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He will bow down to him, because they are his to give. This earth is Satan’s/evil’s domain. (Satan is the cumulative force (energy) of the human self-determined will) You don’t have to look far to see this truth in religion, government, education, financial systems, consumerism, and media. If you take time to dig a little deeper, you will see just how real his kingship is on earth. Satan is a created being. There are the children of God, and then there are the seed of the wicked one. John 8:44, Matthew 13:25 His presence, work and influence are very real, not mystical as he would have you believe. All is inundated with his messages and influence. There are really only two choices in regards to true liberty; following Satan’s way/messages or God’s. Only one brings freedom.
Many times I’ve said, be careful of the influence of others. Satan’s spirit floods the airwaves. It’s his copycat of the Holy Spirit. He sends out his propaganda of who we are supposed to be, do and want. He tells us want it important, valued and accepted. The messages are EVERYWHERE. Like lost sheep going to the slaughter, most people serve them. We make great sacrifices for them. We own them as truth, life, happiness and the American way. This is his world and the kingdoms of this world serve his purposes; thus true liberty by this world is an illusion. 2 Corinthians 4:4
It’s easy to spiritualize Satan’s sway over the world negating its power, but it’s foolish and blinding to do so. His manipulation, control, and influence abounds and yes in America too, which is cloaked in the illusion of liberty. True, in America we are able to “do what we want” more than many countries, but is that really freedom, or just another from of bondage? Your enemy is extremely shrewd. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful I don’t have to sleep with an Uzi under my pillow, but I don’t want us to be unwise in the enemy’s tactics, thinking it is America of the free, when it’s just another form of bondage, which many are blind to and is increasing daily.
Some may be outwardly slaves, but free inward. Others can be outwardly “free” but in bondage inwardly. What is the worse? True bondage or freedom begins with the mind. What truths we hold bind us or free us. When we hold and live by the truths of God, we are loosed from Satan’s sway. A mind united to God in truth is the only one that is free; because God is perfect in truth and love. Ultimately what we deeply desire can only be fulfilled through unity with God, thus He is our freedom, and any other way is bondage.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty
America exemplifies this bondage of the mind. The bondage of the American mind is apparent in the epidemics of obesity and diseases, sexual addictions, work alcoholics, drug addicts, debt, and stress. We bind ourselves by following Satan’s messages. We are not healthy as free people would be, we are deeply sick as we are trapped by heeding the lie from the beginning, “do what you want.” But are we really doing what WE want? Or want Satan wants?
America symbolizes Satan’s modus operandi (MO), “do what you want”, in the name of liberty. Yet, as I mentioned, he is manufacturing what we “want” by his propaganda. It’s how he manipulated Eve, it’s how he tempted Jesus, and it’s how he tempts and manipulates us. Though this statement has an appearance of liberty, it moves you away from truth to self, thus bondage. (Following God is truth and life, following self is bondage and death) The gay pride movement is an example of this MO at work. They are doing what they “want” and as society supports and reinforces their actions, these poor souls are becoming more deeply bound to pain and sealing them to a fate of slavery to that pain. We are to love the person, not the pain. But this isn’t happening and in the name of liberty and “do what you want” these souls are in deeper bondage than they were before because now it’s who they are, instead of a symptom of a deeper hurt. This is one example of many inward bondages masqueraded as outward liberty.
Look at the hours spent serving Satan’s messages (anything contrary to God’s truth). Look at the time spent deeply seeking God and His truth. Now do you wonder why we are in the state we are in? It’s time to be honest with ourselves. Who is America really serving? Who are YOU really serving?
As you set out to honor liberty today, honor the only true liberty and the only One it comes from, God. God’s presence and truth in you is the only true liberty. The liberty painted by this world is a masquerade of Satan that only puts you in further bondage. Be wise.
The greatest prison is our mind. Thus, liberty is of the mind, and that is what Christ came to give us among many other treasures. The truth sets us free. Though it isn’t an easy journey to be renewed in God’s truth because of the pressing in of the world upon our minds, but if we seek we will find.
The True Liberty
Liberty is of the mind
A gift to receive, to find
Given from the One above
Found through the sacrifice of blood
A door to an unadulterated way
A path to truth, for this pray
May you walk this narrow road
Difficult as it sets a new mold
Reshaping your mind to a new kind
Removing the veil holding you blind
Seek for truth on high
Allowing your bondage soul to fly
Look not to what you see
But to the One of Eternity
A PODCAST (click here to listen) is available on living in victory in our lives. You can also get it at itunes. Search for Stirring the Deep under podcasts.
Overview: Many of us are facing trials and challenges. It can be frustrating for a believer because you see the promises of God and then look at your life and wonder why the huge gap. Or perhaps you have learned that trials do refine your faith, but wondering when will they ever end. I hope to encourage you by sharing the deeper purpose and reason for many of those trials by giving a different perspective on the situation.
In this two part segment, I talk about two main reasons for why we experience what we do. In part one, I cover the first reason and part two I discuss the second reason and how to journey through them victoriously.
A PODCAST (click here to listen) covering the second part to living in victory is available. Also available through itunes.
Overview: In the previous show, I talked about one of the reasons we experience the trials we do as believers and how we can battle them and come out victoriously.
In this show, I cover another reason we face what we do and again, discuss how to come through it successfully as God intends. We’ve been given all we need in Christ, we need to know what we have, how to act on it, and act on it.
As the end is drawing very near, each one of us needs to ask ourselves a very serious question, Are WE Ready? 2 Corinthians 13:5 Do we have the oil in our lamp so we’re prepared when the Bridegroom comes? Matthew 25:1-12 Are we a wise virgin with the knowledge and truth of God, or a foolish one lacking understanding and wisdom? Are we one to whom Christ’s return will come as a thief in the night or are we one who will know of His return? 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4
Oil in the Bible is equated to the Holy Spirit. The lamp is our soul. Matthew 5:14-16 Do we have the oil of the Holy Spirit that brings the true light and life of Christ within us; our guarantee we are His? Christ Jesus is coming for His Bride; those who are ready to be united to Him in truth and spirit. Like an earthly bride, there are preparations required. We need a spirit prepared to be united to Him.
How do we know that we have the Holy Spirit who is given as a guarantee and we are ready?2 Corinthians 5:5 (Hint: it’s not just about speaking in tongues, which can easily be manipulated by deceptive spirits) There is MUCH deception these days around the filling, anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit in believers’ lives. How do we know that we haven’t been deceived into thinking we have the Spirit when we don’t, falsely promised by others that we do, and have a spirit of deception in His place? 2 Corinthians 11:4
We look to the Bible for our answers. 2 Corinthians 5 is a helpful chapter on the evidence one should experience in their lives when they have the Holy Spirit.
Evidence of Holy Spirit within You
First, you are taught by God. God Himself prepares your soul for Him. (vs. 5). Jesus is the Word. It’s the Word that sanctifies you. John 17:17 This preparation of God entails you diligently abiding in the Bible, the Word, and seeking the Spirit of God to instruct and teach you in who He is, in truth and your union with Him. John 6:45, 1 John 2:27 It’s allowing the truth to penetrate your life in molding, changing and setting you apart for Christ. He teaches you and His truth starts abiding in you altering your life.
Second, you obey God. (vs 9) When you have the Holy Sprit, it’s your aim (internal desire) to please God, thus obey Him. You seek in the Bible, being taught by the Holy Spirit, to know God’s ways and truth so you can walk in them. You are driven to know truth so you know you are pleasing God and not following the dictates of your own heart or following the ways of others. Matthew 15:8-9
Third, you fear God. (vs. 11) When the Holy Spirit dwells within you, you fear God in all areas of your life. You feel very accountable to Him, like a good child to a parent or a faithful employee to a tough boss. No one else has to hold you accountable to the things He tells you because you fear Him. Yes, others can point out your blind spots, but to what God has told you, you possess a strong will to do what God says out of a fear of going against Him. When HE tells you to do something you do it. Though you may have to war against you rebellious sinful flesh, the desire in your deepest self is to do what God has asked of you. It’s a desire to be obedient; therefore your choices will reflect that obedience. What you do will also be driven by love. Though you fear Him, you also know of His love for you. The course of your life shifts to align to His will. Again, you seek to know God’s will from Him and not from another because you want to be sure you are walking in truth and what HE desires, not being led astray by your own heart or someone else.
Fourth, you are a new creation. (vs.17) You start experiencing a deep change within. It feels like you’ve been given a new operating system that governs your body and soul. As a new creaiton, you are directed by God’s spirit and no longer your self-will. As the body and soul respond to the new operating system, you start to think, act and feel differently. Your desires change. Above all, your will longs to be in unison with God’s will.
Fifth, you experience fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Because these are fruits of the Spirit, it comes from the Spirit and not your self-imposed efforts. The occurrence of these fruits in your life comes from a place beyond yourself and what you use to know and do.
So are YOU ready by these measurements?
IF NOT, FEAST upon the pure bread of heaven; the Bible taught to you by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. Seek the truth from Him as you abide in the Bible. Read with the motive to know God and to draw near to Him as someone you love in truth and spirit. This seeking and abiding is the path to being prepared for the soon coming Bridegroom.
The manifestation of all these points is a process. Though you may feel a lack in some of them, are you growing in them? Are you experiencing them more today than three months ago? Are YOU diligently seeking God or are you leaving the seeking up to someone else, to only live off their efforts? It doesn’t work that way. The wise virgins couldn’t give their oil to the foolish ones. And when the foolish ones came back with their oil, the door was shut. Are you ready with your own oil?
Here is some of the best relationship advice you’ll ever receive …
Song of Solomon 8:4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.
This verse has several meanings, and one is it offers some superb relationship advice, don’t push or manipulate love. Don’t try to force a bond of love where it isn’t – something we see happening a lot today.
Simple isn’t it? But, how many of us try to stir or awaken love before it pleases? How many of us know people who do this? With friendships, marriages, children and even with God? People have their plan and drive to accomplish it to their and others detriment. But it’s not about our will, but God’s. He alone knows what is truly best and ultimately most satisfying for us. If we push our will we bring on much more heartache and pain than if we trust and walk in His will for our lives.
Let’s take one example where this pre-awakening occurs, marriage. Marriage is a life long commitment. It’s a decision that has a huge impact on our lives. Yet, many marry for the wrong reasons. Our emotional needs and fears can be very powerful and make it easy to justify and rationalize situations where we would normally have greater discernment. We push our agenda though it isn’t best. We let our emotional need/fear drive our actions. Because of the power of our emotions, we need to put God’s Word first and let it dictate our actions, not our emotions.
Here are a few situations where love is awakened before it pleases.
“Settling” in marrying someone because you think that is the best you can do.
A woman’s ticking biological clock causing her to marry the man in her life at the time, but not the right one for her.
Growing older and marrying out of a fear of being alone.
Feeling a lack of value and just happy someone will marry you.
Loving to be in love, so marrying seeking an idealistic state and not really for the person.
Marrying someone who is a “good” person, but not necessarily good for you.
Feeling pressure to marry because all your friends are.
Ultimately all of these reasons for marriage are based in fear. God’s counsel and wisdom aren’t based on fear, but on love. If fear is driving your decisions and actions – stop and seek God’s deliverance from your fears. Sometimes we have to seek deep within ourselves to discover our true motives, because our ability to rationalize is great. But it’s a search we all need to take.
It’s God’s desire to give us the best, the best for us. We can trust God to intersect our paths with one who is right for us when it’s time. We need to let Him do His job and not push our will, especially this area. It’s one where ill-made decisions have a significant life changing impact. Though a marriage may sedate certain fears like the ones above, it will bring a whole host of other issues when it isn’t right.
Wait for the right union. Sometimes we have to wait because God is preparing us for the relationship and/or preparing our spouse. When we trust God, then all works as it should and when it should. Nothing is impossible for God. Seek His counsel. Wait on His timing. Don’t be the judge of how everything should work out. Let God create in your life what is perfect for you. Listen and follow where He leads. Walk in His footsteps not your own.
When you are ready, and when the other is ready, then it will occur. It isn’t about being perfect and all your issues dealt with – it’s about being ready for you to enter into a marriage. God brings you to a place within your spirit that will set you up for success. God has an infinite number of ways for your path to cross with one who is right for you. Trust Him in the preparation, timing and how it occurs.
Now what, sit around? No, seek God and the rest will follow. When we seek and draw near to God, He works in us according to His good will and pleasure. He moves us into new situations. He guides us down new paths that lead to a new life in Him. There is nothing that God can’t do, but we have to put Him first – that’s His way. He is to be our first love and then all others follow.
If you are married and you feel it was the wrong decision because it was based on fear and/or the wrong motives, what’s done is done. God can still work it out. Nothing is impossible for Him. He can make all things new. He is the Creator. He can create your marriage into one that will satisfy the both of you. But you have to believe and trust that He can do this work. Our faith is everything. If we succumb to the thought that we are forever in a state of hopelessness that is where we will remain. Unbelief is a thief to satisfying marriages. When our mind gets overrun by negativity, then we are headed for a downward spiral by our own doing.
Seek God’s face. Trust in His work. If you find trusting Him difficult then spend time with Him. Trust is the fruit of deep a relationship with Him.
Regardless of the relationship don’t awaken love before it pleases, instead trust and leave that part to the Creator.
Today I’m celebrating 13 years of marriage to a wonderful man. Our marriage is better today than it ever has been and it’s ALL attributed to what I spoke of last week, seeking God. I know most don’t believe that’s the answer to their heart’s desires, needs, problems, concerns – but it is. When God’s truth and love fills our lives, it changes everything. Let me tell you a secret, Matthew 6:33 REALLY is true. Few believe the truth of this verse, because few truly seek God first. It’s a great loss for it affects everything in our lives. I’ve walked life on both sides, seeking and not, there is no comparison to the difference. I had no idea. But you don’t until you seek. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Last week I talked about the importance of seeking God, and how it’s foundational to our lives. This post expands on that topic in talking about an essential aspect to seeking, reading the ENTIRE Word of God being TAUGHT by the SPIRIT.
When we read the Bible it’s CRITICAL to read the ENTIRE Word; to give attention to all books. The more I talk to others, the more I’m learning that very few truly abide in the entire Word of God. Let me tell you it makes ALL the difference. The Bible fits together like a huge puzzle. Each verse, chapter, book is connected to the rest to create a fullness of truth as God desires us to know it. When we neglect certain parts, we are getting partial truth, and that leads to all kinds of problems.
If we leave out certain books, skim over others, read a verse hear and there, we aren’t allowing the Spirit the opportunity to teach us all we need to know. Especially in these days, we need to be abiding in the entire word of God trusting the Spirit to teach us for it’s the truth that will save us. 2 Thessalonians 2:10
For example on a serious note, much of what happens in the end days is spoken of by the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets Hosea through Malachi). Their words in line with the rest of the Bible create a picture of what will happen in the end. To understand the fullness of truth as God desires us to know for the times we are living in, we need to read the entire Word. When we abide, meditate, seek and look to the Holy Spirit to teach us, we are allowing ourselves access to some very important truths. The truth protects and guides us. Otherwise we will have partial truth and partial understanding, which leaves an open door to deception. So it’s not just reading the Bible, but the ENTIRE Bible with the instruction and guidance of the Holy Spirit that matters.
Here are some Tips for Reading the Word that are vital for diving deep into the Truth.
Read the ENTIRE Word. I suggest one chapter from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament with a Psalm or Proverb each day.
Give ATTENTION to all the books.
Trust the Holy Spirit to TEACH you ALL things. 1 John 2:27, John 14:26. Your foundation of truth needs to be built by God, not man. A foundation built upon man’s words, opinions and interpretations of the Bible is shaky ground. In addition, the Spirit teaches in a way that man doesn’t so that the truth is written on our hearts and minds, changing us.
Read not as a task to check off your list, but put your heart and soul into it. Meditate, abide, contemplate, and ask God for understanding. Read the Word with the ATTITUDE that you are communing with God, learning from Him. Draw near to Him through His Word as you would someone you love with a devotion, passion, desire to know Him as He is.
RIGHTLY DIVIDE the Word 2 Timothy 2:15. Be observant for how the Spirit connects verses together bringing certain ones to mind as you read others.
Read a VERSION close to the original Greek and Hebrew. Use the Strong’s concordance.
Abide in the PURE Word – just you and God – trusting the Spirit to teach you what you need to know when you need to know it. There is a time for others’ words, but have the mindset that God is your primary teacher and that His instruction is foundational and all others secondary.
PRAY for a passion for the truth. Abide, meditate, and listen.
Read with the MOTIVE to seek God. Get to know Him as He is, to get to know His ways and truth – not to “fix” you or for a lesson to teach the Sunday school class. Ask God what does HE want to teach you today – and open up your mind and heart to anything He might want to show you. Your needs will be resolved as you seek Him FIRST.
Read DAILY the REST of your life. No engagement is richer, deeper, more powerful and true. The Word is dynamic, powerful. Truth builds upon truth so there is no end to learning.
God has given us all we need to have His power move through our lives – His Word and His Spirit. The two work hand in hand. One without the other doesn’t work, but together they are a mighty force in our lives. When you seek God in this way, you move into true life – one of truth, protection, beauty, joy, peace, comfort and hope – one that is abundant.
Please don’t waste any more time on all the things that don’t matter and won’t make a difference, and do the one thing that will, seek God.
Isaiah 65:10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have SOUGHT me.
We are called to seek God. Seeking means to frequently resort to, seek with care, inquire, to practice, study, follow, seek with application, search for, investigate, and crave. It’s a passionate endeavor in which we are committed to going deeper and deeper into the truths of God and into Him. It’s about Him. It’s about our individual relationship to Him. It’s a voyage into His Word being taught by the Holy Spirit that alters our existence. This quest leads us into His unfathomable presence until we are consumed by Him therefore one with Him. John 17:21-23
The general ill-assumption is that once you are “saved” anything else is “extra”, but this thought leads to a belief that is in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:2 For years, this mentality was mine. Oh, I did the “right” Christian duties so satisfy my “requirements” before God, but I wasn’t seeking God, so I wasn’t doing what God requested. I didn’t seek God as my first love. Deep down, I didn’t understand my need to seek. I learned from the pulpit that what I was doing was sufficient. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
The majority of us lack or have lacked the understanding of the significance of seeking God. First, it isn’t made clear from the pulpit; actually the opposite is reinforced. Second, it’s widely accepted as part of this “extra” mentality. Therefore, many called by God’s name lack earnestness in seeking Him, because they’ve learned it isn’t necessary and not important. Thus the ill-assumption follows that not much comes out of it. When you consider it, this mindset doesn’t make any sense. When you read the entire Word of God being taught by the Spirit, it REALLY doesn’t make sense. Yet, we are too busy to abide in His Word and seek, so we remain blind to how upside down our thinking is. We heap up teachers and think this is seeking God. 2 Timothy 4:3. We faithfully go to church and think this is seeking God. We have been grossly led astray in our beliefs, and many are suffering because of it.
This mindset that seeking God is “extra” contradicts what a true reconciliation and union with God entails. True unity with God is seeking Him with all our heart, soul and mind. It’s putting Him first and nourishing a relationship with Him where He becomes our first love. Whether we seek Him or not affects the destiny and state of our souls.
In Isaiah 65, it addresses those called by God’s name (you and me) and the ramifications of seeking God or not. The consequences to seeking Him in truth are throughout the Bible, especially blatant in the Old Testament among the prophets who spoke of our days.
For those who DON’T SEEK God’s face, what is in store: (These are people who will draw near with their mouths and go through the actions of what they should do, but don’t truly seek God’s face)
For those who DO SEEK God’s Face:
Sing for joy of heart
God tells us to seek Him. He tells us what will happen if we don’t. He calls us to seek to Know Him as He is. No one can seek for us. It’s an intimate act between each person and God. God designed it that way. It’s not about more teachers or more programs; it’s about coming to God one-on-one abiding in His pure Word with the Spirit as our teacher. It’s about pouring out our heart before God, allowing Him into the depths of our soul, and Him pouring His life into us. It’s allowing the Word to penetrate every area of our soul and life. It’s daily coming face to face with God Almighty. Isaiah 29:13
We are called to seek God with all our heart, soul and mind. It’s a one-on-one interaction; our heart after His seeking Him and abiding in His Word, the entire Word that reveals His heart to us. It’s talking, asking, digging, and listening. It’s about a real, deep, honest and growing relationship, the most important one we have.
Seeking isn’t “extra” – it’s life. Our souls depend on it. Take time to seek and you’ll see.
Amos 5:4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek Me and live.”
Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Here is one more dream instructing me during these wilderness tests . . . I’ve written a lot about dreams lately as God has been using them to show me my heart among other truths I need to know. Where the other two dreams (Preparing for God’s Calling, Wilderness Tests – God’s Care) I shared revealed doubts and fears deep in my heart, this one was a bit different . . .
In my dream, my eyesight started to get blurry. No matter what I did my eyes wouldn’t clear up. My vision became so blurred that people and objects were shapeless blobs. Needless to say it made me anxious. At one point, I was holding my cousin’s new baby and almost dropped him as I stumbled over a chair. Fortunately my aunt was there to brace me. After bumbling around for awhile here and there, it was time to get dressed for some formal function/party I was attending that night. But my eyesight was so poor; I didn’t know how I was going to get ready (hair, makeup, all that stuff). Then a young blonde-hair woman said she would help me. The sweetness in her demeanor and in her voice gave me a peace in my spirit. I didn’t know her, but it didn’t matter. She was very willing to help me out. As we went back to the dressing room, I looked in the mirror and I saw that my hazel eyes had turned a crystal clear blue. There was still a haze covering them as they were still transforming but I stood amazed. A wave of encouragement came over me as I realized they were blurry because they were going through this change.
As I sought out the meaning of this dream the next day during my quiet time, this is what I felt it meant. It’s a reflection of what is happening in my life – a transformation within my soul as God tests, renews and prepares me. Eyes are the windows to the soul. A change in color from hazel to blue reflected God’s work in me through this time of testing. The blurriness inhibiting me from seeing clearly and moving about represented how I feel about my situation, the unknown and the uncertainty, which I’ve talked about in previous posts.
During this trial, as my trust is tested I feel at times like I’m bumbling around. But it’s this uncertainty that beckons me to trust and rest in God’s Truth because if not now then when? Is He my God or isn’t He? Though circumstances seem undefined or uncertain, there is hope because if I look (as I did in the mirror) I will see God is working in my soul and using the circumstances to mold my heart and spirit for His will and purposes. He is breaking my trust in other things, so that it will be in Him as it should be. As He works, He is filling me with His living waters in areas that need a refreshing.
I thought the blonde girl represented an angel helping me as I went through this time. I felt God say that all that is happening is under His watchful eye and care. He is taking care of my needs. He is with me every step. He is working it all out in the perfect way. That morning after my dream I got a deep sense that everything is happening as it should. I’m in my Maker’s hands and He is molding me according to His desire and will, which ultimately is what will most fulfill me as well. My part is to yield to that molding, trust Him and above all believe in His promises to me.
In this trial, my trust is breaking in other things and I know that is so it will be established more firmly on Him. When it’s in Him then crystal blue living waters can freely flow through my soul and circumstances. This dream was more of a look from God’s perspective, which is the perspective I need to focus on.