Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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Just a Label or the Real Deal

Just a Label

or

The Real Deal

 

Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

There is a sad epidemic in our nation, the “Christian” image. It’s one of the greatest distractions/deceptions to prohibiting people from truly seeking God as He is. For those on the outside, they see the masquerade and turn away not only from it but from God as well. For those on the inside and a part of it, they think it’s life (as they have been taught), yet fail to enter into the kingdom of God. Thus, many are living a deprived and unfilled life and believe that is the life Christ came to give them. They’ve never entered into the true kingdom because they believe what they’ve been told; that they’ve already entered.

For years, I lived this image. However, bound in the deception of it, I didn’t know I was living the image. I thought I was the real deal. So I didn’t seek any further. Yet, my life was a miserable mud-pit (of which I had no idea the extent of until I started experiencing true life). In my deception, I actually thought my mud-pit was pretty good. See how Satan keeps us in bondage?

On the outside, I looked like a follower of God, but I was a follower of self. Even in regards to my “religion”. I did and trusted what I had been taught by religious leaders, not God. Therefore, I couldn’t trust God because I never spent time with God to really know Him to trust Him. I spent time with religious people. I knew them and what they taught, so it was in them that I trusted – in the name of God. I didn’t realize this was the case until I was taught by God and “saw” the difference. It’s a HUGE difference, creating a HUGE chasm between living an image and true life in Christ. Mark 7:6-7

Spirit teaches spirit. It’s through revelation of the Holy Spirit that we gain truth and learn who God is so we can trust Him. When Peter said Jesus was the Christ, Jesus told him that he didn’t learn this from a person but the Holy Spirit. It was by this method of revelation that Christ would build His true Church. Matthew 16:17-18 We truly come to know God by being taught about God from the Holy Spirit. It’s not by flesh and blood that we learn. That is why it’s impossible to explain spiritual truths to someone without the spirit. They’ll never get it. But when you talk to someone who has also been taught by God they get it.

We learn about God from God because it fosters intimacy and love as God desires; just as you learn most about your spouse from your spouse. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, is given to us to teach us all things, especially about Him. We only know God when we seek Him one-on-one being grounded in the Bible and taught by the Holy Spirit. Those bound by this “image” have never diligently sought God trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal and teach them the truth of God and His ways. Instead they’ve relied on a person to show them.

So, what does this Christian image entail … well a lot of things, like going to church, tithing to the church, not saying certain things because you shouldn’t, being under the “authority” of your church leaders, living a certain “lifestyle” in accordance to the church, speaking the church lingo, helping out at the church, helping the church system to prosper, and leading others to come to church. When you really look at this… it is all about the church, not God.

Finally, as I mentioned in a previous post, one of the defining elements of this image is that there is no real need to seek God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength because you’ve already arrived. Sure, you can always learn more, but no big deal, leave that up to the pastors to learn then regurgitate back to you. Luke 16:14-15 (This belief often isn’t said blatantly, but it’s said clearly.) Yet, this seeking is the one thing that leads you to truly trust, surrender and move into the abundant life Christ came to give.

This “image” is one of the most deceptive works out there because once you think you’ve found you stop seeking. People come to a church say “the sinner’s prayer” and are “encouraged” by others to get involved in all kings of activities. When people are busy doing these “wonderful” acts and receiving praise for them, they feel good about themselves and think something has changed, when it has all been self induced.

Now this message may seem “tough” to some of you. But this image is spoken of throughout the Bible. Psalm 50:21, Revelation 13, Matthew 23:27, Isaiah 29:13 People are living one way claiming they are of God, but in their hearts they are still lord. Their trust is in what they think is best and that is being a good Christian. They don’t diligently seek God’s will daily to follow His voice, not some person’s. Here is the catch; you won’t see this masquerade in your own life because you are in deception until you seek God and the light of truth floods your soul. So you may think this isn’t you as I did; but if you truly seek and you will find. So bottom line regardless, is seek God in truth trusting the Holy Spirit to teach you all things. God wants us to be real with Him and in a real relationship. He has so much to give us if we will draw near in TRUTH and SPIRIT.

So what does a true Christian look like?

There is no image. And eventually you lose all labels, and you are who you are as a child of God, of which we all are. This realization comes as we seek God and all He is with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and are taught by Him. John 6:45  When we have a single focus to do the will of God, not the will of man in the name of God. Matthew 21:31 Therefore we can look like a lot of things because God’s ways aren’t our ways.


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Audio Series – Developing a Relationship with God

Audio Series – Developing a Relationship with God

 

RachelDiPaolo1On Blog Talk Radio, I’m recording a series of shows all around cultivating a deep relationhsip with God, which I encourage you to check out. The shows are interconnected and build upon one another, but you don’t have to listen to them in order, though I recommend it.

To access them, you can either click on the link to the right and go to Blog Talk Radio or go to Itunes and subscribe to them. In Itunes under podcasts, search for Stirring the Deep and they will come up.

Ones now available are:

Tasting God’s Goodness
Adorned as God’s Bride
Growing in Intimacy with God through the Bible


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The Choice

The Choice
Whom Will We Serve

 

2 Chronicles 15:12-13 – and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Luke 14:26-27 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Some powerful verses, aren’t they?

The Choice

We have a choice to make; a choice between God’s will and our will. Are we going to follow our way and what we think is best or are we going to follow God? Which we choose will determine if we enter into the kingdom of God.

We can only choose if we know what our choice is. Therefore, we have to learn who God TRULY is and who we TRULY are. Only then can we decide. Otherwise we may be choosing ourselves and not realize it or choosing a false image of God, not God.

This choice is the one Adam had to make. He chose himself when he chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He decided he could choose what was right, good and best in his life. Like Adam, we all have this choice to make, our way or God’s. But first we have to see God and see ourselves.

Born into Self-Will (sin)

We are born in this world following our self (sin) – like the fallen Adam. Bound to this self will, we learn to trust our pride, strength, intellect, ideas of what good is, and goodness. Our trust is in us. What we trust is our idol/god. We experience life with us at the helm. We see what it manifests. We have no idea that there is another option because it is all we know. We are blinded to God’s way. We haven’t learned of it therefore can’t chose Him or walk in it. We will do what we know. What we know we trust.

Then something in our spirit awakens. We become aware that there is another way; to trust God instead of us. This first awakening is what people acknowledge with the “sinner’s prayer” – it’s simply awareness. This awareness plays out in four ways as in the parable of the sower of the field. Matthew 13 Only the seed, the Word, that falls on good soil continues on and prospers. Good soil is the soul nourished with the spirit and truth. Though many have awareness only a fraction choose God.

Seeking God to Choose Him

Until we seek God grounded in the Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit, we don’t have the information to make the choice of truly denying ourselves to follow God. John 6:45 One, we aren’t fully aware of the self that is contrary to God (sin is a symptom of self, it’s self, the source, we are to repent, turn from) second we don’t know God deeply enough to trust Him with our lives. How do you really trust what you don’t know?

At this awakening, we can choose to pursue God or not. Pursuing God means seeking Him with all our hearts to know Him deeply and personally. It isn’t easy. It takes commitment to diligently seek. We need to get to know God amidst all the deception that fills our lives, which keeps us from this very act. Lies like you don’t need to seek, you don’t need to read the Bible, you just need to do be a good person, and you are too busy. There are many counterfeit substitutes within spirituality to keep us from digging deeper so we can truly make a choice for God and believe.

If you believe there is gold in your backyard what will you do? Go dig. If you believe God is your God what will you do? Go dig. If you believe only God is righteous and you aren’t therefore you don’t know what is truly good, then you will seek God and His ways and truth because you are clueless. You’ll desire to draw near and know Him. Faith without works is dead. Faith is believing and trusting in God and His ways. You can’t follow what you don’t know. To truly know God as He is and not some image concocted by you or this world, you have to get to intimately know Him. You have to get to know God and His ways in order to follow them. You don’t choose what you don’t know and trust. Believe is a loaded word.

This need to seek is why the path is narrow to life and few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 It takes commitment and diligence in seeking God. This is why many are called few are chosen. Matthew 22:14 Of the called, few choose to seek out God and get to know Him as He is. For those who truly seek God, they are able to choose between themselves and God because they understand what the choice entails.

Christian Image – False Security

One of the greatest distractions from seeking is buying into the image of a follower of God. Once you think you’ve found, you stop seeking.

This “image of a Christian” keeps people from seeking. (One who lives the manufactured Christian lifestyle) This manufactured image misleads people into thinking they made a choice when they haven’t. This “image” has a fundamental trait – no real necessity to seek God to get to know Him. It deludes people into thinking they have God when they don’t because outwardly they’ve changed their actions. They have only heard the call but they haven’t sought to really be able to make the choice. They are still following self.

In Matthew 7:22-23, people were doing great acts in God’s name. But they were doing what they thought best, thus living by their righteousness and not God’s. They never spent time to really get to know God. They lived the image of a Christian but were far from truly being a Christian.

This is why God says to seek Him. Amos 5:4 In seeking, you get to see who He truly is and who you truly are. In that awareness, you are able to choose between Him and you. Choosing Him is believing in Him. Believing means He is Lord in word and action. This is true faith.


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The Awakening

The Awakening

Light as a sword cuts through the darkness
Where it goes life replaces the corpses.

A thought dispelled, a bond broken
An act redeemed, a life spoken

The voice long silenced breaks forth in song
A melody of love is forged and strong.

Truth takes flight changing the course of time
In response the soul plays a new rhyme.

A thought dispelled, a bond broken
An act redeemed, a life spoken

Thoughts transcend to a new dimension
Creating a path of freedom in redemption.

Though a flower dies upon a field of gold
A new bloom rises bearing eternity untold.

A thought dispelled, a bond broken
An act redeemed, a life spoken

Eyes wide open see a crystal lake
An awakening brings birth of no mistake

Heaven rejoices in voices and strings
For one new birth among the beings.

~Rachel DiPaolo
January 2, 2011


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Love Letters to God

Love Letters to God 

In the last post, I recommended writing two love letters to God; one reflecting where you are today in your relationship with God and one where you would like to be.

The first commandment is:

Matthew 12:30 ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

How many of us actually live a life that fulfills this commandment? What do you do with someone you love? Do you do the things that cultivate a relationship with God in which you can love Him with all your heart, soul and mind? Sadly most are more concerned about following the commandments of men (i.e. being in church) and those are put first, while this one is lost in the busyness.

I challenge you to put God first. Seek for Him to be your first love.  Do what it takes to Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Spend quality time with Him each day getting to know Him through His Word; talking, listening, sharing and growing in unity. Seek to learn from and listen to His Holy Spirit given to you.  Start by writing a love letter describing your relationship today and then write one for where you want to be. Then you’ll know where you are headed and then DO what it TAKES to get there.

Here are a few exerts from the letters I wrote. How limited our words are.

Exerpt of my Love Letter of Today

My Lord,

How my heart longs for you; your presence, love and truth. You are my everything. Apart from you I’m nothing and can do nothing. You are my life.  

Time with you each day means so much. I cherish each moment we spend together. It ills me to miss it. Your words spoken to me are perfect. You always know just what to say and when to say it. My heart longs to hear your voice constantly. Let your whispers ring clear in my ears. Be ever so close to me.

Thank you for the love you’ve shown me. It’s one far purer, deeper and more real than I’ve ever known. Thank you for the strength, peace and help you give me. Your faithfulness is my hope, delight and strength. I feel protected in our embrace. The shelter of your strong countenance give me peace.

I love you Lord. I want to know you more. I want more of you to consume me as I’ve tasted your goodness.

Exerpt of my Love Letter of the Future

My Lord,

We are bound, You and I, in the soul. We do everything together in unity of will, truth and love. You are the love of my life. Your love pulsates through me and others feel that vibration. I can’t stop talking of You for you consume my thoughts and my life. Our oneness is deep, rich, powerful and passionate. Only in your strength do I breathe. I see and feel you in every step and at every turn. Your words of wisdom fill my thoughts; I can’t wait to hear what you will say next. They leave room for nothing else.

All day long I hear your sweet whispers to me. In everything I think of and consult you, for our lives are one. I’m clothed in your love. May your fountain of living waters never cease to fill me. May there never be a separation between you and I.

You are my joy, strength and life. Your love is sweeter than any I’ve known. It changes, renews and refreshes me. I feel captivated by your love. I’ve never felt more alive than I do now.

Your spirit moves in me like a gentle breeze. It never leaves; even in the stillness the power of your spirit is evident.

I long for you and yet you are always there. I hunger for more and you constantly fill me up. There is no love like your love.

I feel the fortress of your countenance surround me and in you nothing can harm me.

Our footsteps are as one. My mind never wanders from your truth. My eyes never glance at another. I’ve know the perfection of our ways, there is no one who can compare.

In you my energy is boundless, I could run forever. Yet the rest and peace that fills every breath creates a balance of perfection.

With your hand under me there isn’t anything I can’t do; no challenge I can’t conquer. Your care for me overwhelms me.

I am most blessed among all to know your love. May you be the love of my life for eternity.

There is no better time than NOW to start getting to truly know God as He is so that you can truly love Him as He is.


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New Year – Time for Goal Setting

New Year – Time for Goal Setting

Crumble up that piece of paper with your New Year’s goals and resolutions. We’re starting over, unless this word above is at the top of your list as the building blocks of your life.

As the New Year dawns, setting goals is a task that comes to many of our minds. We’re reminded of the goals we set last year, all the ones we didn’t accomplish (sigh) and the ones we did (yeah!) We reflect back on how life didn’t go as planned and wonder why we bother setting goals in the first place. Some of us resolve not to set goals so that we aren’t disappointed despite the proven fact that those who set goals accomplish far more than those who don’t.

As you are thinking about your priorities this next year, I want you to consider ONE very important goal. The most important goal you will every make because it affects all the others; a goal given to you by YOUR God. The first and most important activity you partake of in your life. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.

Mark 12:30 ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment

What do you do when you love someone? Think about the love of your life or the one you hope for. You can’t wait to see them. You make them a priority. You reorganize your days because of them. You are devoted. They consume your thoughts. You can’t get enough of their presence. You talk and listen, you hang on every word. You replay what they said in your head trying to figure out what they really meant. You share your inner most thoughts. You aren’t always hanging out with just their family and friends. You want to be alone and intimate.

This passionate engagement is how we should be with God. Drawing close to Him means abiding in His words and letting them permeate our lives in faith, stirring the deep. Just as we long to hear the thoughts, desires, will, and concerns of those we love, if we love God or want to grow in love with Him we will spend time with Him in His Word, listening, talking, sharing, and growing. And being with the family, other believers is wonderful, but it doesn’t and can’t replace alone time with Him.

Here is a little test for you. Who do you say God is to you? Do your actions match your words? Many say they love God, but their choices and how they spend their time tells a different story. Let yours tell the same story. Be authentic. Be real.

If God is YOUR God, don’t you want to know (deep personal knowing) Him, especially because He tells you to know Him? Wouldn’t you want to know the One you are trusting with your life? Isn’t it true that we actually can’t truly trust without knowing?

I challenge you in this New Year to make your actions match your words. Make God a priority, THE priority. Spend quality time with Him each day in prayer, reading the Bible, and listening to His counsel. Spend time with Him as you would with someone you love. Treat Him like YOUR God. Treat Him like YOUR first love.

If you didn’t set another goal but this one, it wouldn’t matter because this is the only one that truly matters and when you do this simple act it affects every other purpose and plan you have.

A good goal is SMART

Specific – Decide on a place and time each day to meet with God.
Measurable – Track the times you spend with Him.
Attainable – Chose a time that you’ll be able to be consistent. Consistency helps habits to form.
Realistic – Be realistic – like 40 minutes each day verses 2 hours.
Timely – There is no better time than now to make God THE priority in your life.

Over 10 years ago, I started seeking God and spending time with Him each day. It was the most impactful life-changing decision I’ve ever made. The ripple affect of spending time with God each day has been astounding touching every area of my life and every aspect of my soul. It’s the best discipline I’ve ever kept. It changed everything. I read Matthew 6:33 and did it. I didn’t worry about anything else; I just focused on seeking God. His Word is true – all else did follow as it should.

God made it simple – seek Him and live. Amos 5:4 He is the way to abundant life as He has planned for you. Don’t make it more complicated than it is. Seek Him. Put Him first. He’ll handle the rest.

If you are already spending time with God … perhaps try to take more time to being still and listening for His still small voice. With practice you can learn to tune into His voice more clearly to hear His perfect counsel and wisdom for you life. Also, try staying connected throughout the day. Pray before major tasks. Make additional time to be still and listen. Try to be more consciously connected to Him throughout the day so that you can pray without ceasing.

If you set any other goals make sure they are ones that allow you to spend time with God each day.

Start by writing TWO love letters to God; one reflecting where you are today and one reflecting where you want to be at the end of the year … that second letter is a reflection of where you are headed.

Happy New Year!


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Circle of Life … PART 2

Circle of Life … PART 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Christmas – A Revival Celebration

Christmas

A Revival Celebration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Circles of Life…. To be Born Again PART 1

Circles of Life….

To be Born Again PART 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued …