Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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Streams in YOUR Deserts

Streams in YOUR Deserts

Isaiah 35:6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert

God has been teaching me this “streams in the desert” level of trust He desires of His children. A level of trust in which His people KNOW He is able to make streams in their deserts so that they act on that faith. If you truly believe in this power of God in your life, how different would your responses be to life’s impossible circumstances?

Do you believe God can make streams in Your deserts? Honestly? What do your actions show? This level of trust is what God desires of us because this is who He is to those who trust in Him to be their God.

 2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

When the circumstances of life exceed our illusionary control, do we believe God can make something new within those situations or do we run? Quitting jobs, leaving vocations, getting divorces, running from responsibilities, sedating emotional pain, withdrawing from life, and retreating from ourselves; when we come against a roadblock and we see there is no more strength or resources to continue forward, what do we do? Do we run? Does God run?

Many of us tend to run. I know I have in the past. Either, physically in abandoning a situation or relationship, or emotionally in withdrawal, or as our pride likes to frame it moving on, which sounds so much better, doesn’t it? Within our human means running away can seem like the only viable option. And it’s true when we rely on our strength. But what about God’s? Who does He say He is to us? Deut 3:22, Isaiah 45:2, 52:12, 58:8 God doesn’t run. Time and time again, He shows how He makes streams in the deserts. The Bible testifies to this power, and our lives testify to it if we are willing to stop running and walk His paths. I’ve seen it, have you?

God’s love always endures, always hopes, and never fails. He is the Creator and can do anything, and if He is OUR God then His power and strength abound to us IF we abide and trust Him. John 15:7, Eph 3:20

The turning point in our lives that enables us to experience the power of God is TRUSTING Him in TRUTH and SPIRIT, which comes from being a new creation in Him.  It seems, we trust more in a psychologist or doctor to help us than God. We trust in self-help and the wisdom of this world to work through our “issues” more than the creative hand of our God who says He makes all things new for those who are in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Are you exchanging trust in someone else, for trust in God? God does use the elements of this world for our good, but where is your trust? Big difference. God’s creative power isn’t a theoretical concept, it’s God in your midst.

If God is so powerful, why don’t we see more deliverance by His mighty hand in the lives around us? Lack of trust, real trust based on becoming a new creation fashioned by God. Trust is the fruit of abiding in the Word of God and being taught by the Holy Spirit, which transforms our souls into partakers of the divine. Romans 10:17

We can’t do what we don’t know. Without individually abiding in the Truth and letting the Spirit of Truth write the Truth on our minds and hearts, fear binds us to a carnal reliance on a physical world that is only a shadow. Fear sets in, takes over and we start running or fight in our strength, which is just as bad. Meanwhile, the power of God is dampened by the lack of belief.  Matthew 13:58 Fear keeps us from trusting and waiting on God’s deliverance His way.

God offers a much better way. He goes before us to fight our enemies, He delivers us, and He makes our paths smooth, IF we TRUST Him in truth and spirit. (If we are trusting in a false image of God, it isn’t real trust, but idol worship) As we daily feast on the bread of heaven; abiding in the Bible seeking His face and to be taught by Him, then trust is the fruit. As He regenerates our lives into a new creation, His power starts flowing through us making streams in the deserts, our deserts.

In difficult challenges where there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope … remember God’s ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8 There is no limit to His power. This powerful Creator working in our lives is who He is to His children; to those who seek His face. His people don’t act out of fear or hopelessness, but in power, truth and love.

In Hebrews 11, know as the faith chapter, God says He diligently rewards those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 Seek Him and abide in His truth and righteousness and see the Creator at work in your life creating something incredible from what seemed dead and hopeless.

Instead of running, seek the regeneration of God so that by the power of His Spirit in you, you love your husband, love your children, Titus 2:4, respect your bosses and employees. Colossians 3:22, 4:1 You work as to the Lord. Colossians 3:23 You lean not on your own understanding that sees no way out. Proverbs 3:5 You don’t complain, which doesn’t glorify the power of God. Phil 2:14 You don’t harden your hearts by being stubborn in continuing to do it your way or giving up. Heb 3:8 Seek the power of God, who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think. Eph 3:20

God is looking for those who trust in Him, not in their own strength and resources or of this world’s, but Him. Who do you trust in really? God has tremendous things in store for those who do. Psalm 31:19

 1 Corinthians 13:7 love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


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WHY Christians Live with a Dual Nature?

WHY Christians Live with a Dual Nature?

 

God, I did it again – I was pushover and let others walk all over me. Why do I have to be so weak? What am I afraid of? Change me! I don’t want to do this anymore! It hurts me and others so why do I still struggle with this? Why, why, why?

Have you ever felt like this? Wondering why you continue to struggle with a certain part of you particularly when it hurts you and others? These unwanted aspects of us are of our flesh nature (our self-will in rebellion to God’s will). When we are born into this world we are spiritually dead because of sin that separates us from God. When God breathes eternal life into us, a new spirit is born in us. With a new heart, not a changed one, the flesh and spirit co-exist.

In previous posts, Where to Focus – A Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Why Do Christians Seem Two-faced?, I’ve written about the spirit and flesh dynamic. I promised to talk about why we still battle the flesh, when we’ve been given a new spirit. So why does our old nature remain with a wicked heart? Why couldn’t all traces of our old life be gone forever now? Though the source of our old life is dead in Christ its lingering stench remains in our life, why? Galatians 5:24, Romans 7:15-20

There are several reasons. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul was pleading for his weakness to be removed, but God let it remain so that he would learn God’s grace is sufficient. That is one of many reasons. Here are a few more I’ve been thinking about:

Reason 1: God is Glorified

It is God’s purposeful design to have His Spirit in our fallen bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:7 Living with this duality, God shows His power and mercy in the expression of the fruit of the spirit through our lives. God is to be glorified, not us. Aware of our fallen state, when we experience the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, it is truly a glorious thing. It is clearly not of us and to sense the power of God working in us is an amazing gift and testimony to others. Hence, God receives praise and honor for what He as done.

Reason 2: Magnitude of God’s Love

Despite our frame, God’s love is boundless to the extent of making us His children. Romans 5:8 The carnal mind can’t comprehend the things of God. We can only know God if we are born of the spirit. Our flesh remains once we have the spirit of truth so we can clearly see what we were in the flesh. Without the spirit of truth we are blinded to our own depravity. But when we see in the light our wretchedness, His love becomes overwhelming. He loved us so much that He wanted us to be a part of His family so we could spend eternity with Him. He loved us despite how we acted, thought, and rebelled. If we were only spirit we couldn’t understand the magnitude of His love that loves us despite who we were.

In addition, in plainly seeing our wretchedness, we learn His love isn’t based on our actions. His love is unconditional because that is who He is. This lesson is critical to learn in order to have an intimate relationship with Him. Otherwise we think His love is based on the extent of our goodness. With our flesh lingering which deserves no love, His love astounds us. We have never experience unconditional love like we do with Him.

Reason 3: Dependency on God

Without God we can do nothing, but with Him we are complete and perfect. John 15:5 As we live with the two lives in contradiction, we realize how much our flesh is helpless, destructive, and full of death. We start to see the lies we lived by and the death they brought to us and others. Our emptiness and lack becomes undeniable. Along with this new perspective of our old life, we begin to learn about the new life we have in Him; its purity, love, completeness, holiness, peace and joy. The contrast in our lives fills us with gratitude and praise for the tremendous gift He has given us. We begin to comprehend the extent of Christ’s sacrifice, its power and love to give undeserving broken souls beautiful new lives so they no longer have to live in the misery of the old.

Reason 4: Submission to His Lordship

We learn first hand anything that comes from our will leads to death, therefore with each new awareness of the depravity of our flesh we freely submit to His Lordship. With eyes wide open to the contrast of the flesh verses the spirit, each one of us experiences that His ways are better. Learning these truths in the presence of our fallen flesh moves us to choose to yield to His Lordship. God wants us to submit freely, not forced, because that is what true love does. The contrast draws us closer to God; loving Him more for all that He has done and given us. We have to understand the truth of who we are or aren’t and who He is so without reserve we will surrender to Him in love.

There is nothing good about the flesh, but it lingers to teach us many important lessons.

Bit of encouragement

Sometimes we succumb to the rule of our old nature because of spiritual immaturity. We don’t recognize the flesh for what it is, or we are taken off guard and a flesh mindset sets in and takes over. The good news is one we are covered in Christ’s righteousness every moment of every day and two God always provides a way out – prayer. He has given all we need to overcome the flesh – a new spirit, His Word, prayer, and His power. We need to nourish the new spirit, abide in His Word, learn to recognize the flesh, and use the power of prayer given to us in the moment the flesh starts to take over.

When the flesh starts to dominate, we can call upon God and He is faithful to deliver us from ourselves. Sometimes in these moments we might not feel like praying, because the flesh is in rebellion to it, but do it anyway. Prayer is very powerful because through prayer we shift to trusting in His power instead of our own. If we try to overcome our weakness by ourselves we’ll fight a losing battle. God always provides a way out of our temptations. We won’t find the strength in us, but we will in Him, every time.

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