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Stirring The Deep


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Cry Out for Mercy

Cry Out for Mercy

God saves us, not ourselves. Therefore, we each are in great need of God’s abundant mercy.

The cry of mercy is a heartfelt cry of wanting nothing of our self-driven life and wanting only the life God has for us. It’s a cry that we are tired of following the dictates of our heart influenced by this world and want to completely follow God. It’s a cry to be governed through and through by God, and thus no longer to govern our own soul. This cry spews from our lips, when we understand the corrupted nature of our self-will and the death and filth it manifests and the perfection of God’s eternal life for us. It’s a desire to forsake all that separates us from God. It’s the response of seeing the truth of ourselves and God. It’s the response to tasting God’s love.

John 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life

When we come to this point in our soul, a point of deeply and honestly wanting to forsake our self-driven life/soul (repentance) and follow God in every way, then it’s God who gives us a new spirit. He replaces the old corrupted nature with a nature that’s of Him. In a very real way, we (our self-driven soul) are crucified with Christ, in Christ and then filled with a new spirit like a new operating system. As we can’t birth ourselves into this physical world, we can’t birth ourselves into the spiritual one. It’s all God’s work in us.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Some doctrines can be somewhat misleading on this point by putting salvation into the hand of people as if it is all their choice. Our part is to ask for mercy, for our self-driven life (flesh) to be crucified, and for God to have mercy and give us eternal life by giving us life through His eternal spirit. But He is the one who gives new life.

Christ died for our sins. He conquered sin and death of that self-driven life that we might be identified with Him in His death and be resurrected to a new eternal life as He was. Our part is to call out to God in mercy to ask for that resurrected life, as we willingly crucify our self-driven one. Galatians 2:20 We lay down our life. God raises us to eternal life as He raised Christ.

To gain the new, we have to let go of the old. But, it’s God who gives the new birth. He is our Father. It’s His doing not ours.

Testimony we are God’s

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

This verse above is the testimony that we are truly born of God … the Spirit of Christ is in us. The Spirit of Christ desires the things of God. It longs for truth; loves the truth. It seeks to do God’s will above all else. It longs to obey God in all areas. It loves God and loves others in purity.

Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

How can you truly obey without abiding in the Bible being instructed by the Holy Spirit on what God desires of you in your life? This is much to important to simply rely on what others tell you God wants you to do.This new spirit is very real. You experience a change in how you operate, think, feel and what you desire. You let go of the self-will that has driven and directed your life since birth, and now you are directed by a new spirit from within. 2 Timothy 1:7

The time of the end is very close. Cry out for God’s mercy, repent (turn from self-will), and ask God for His life to consume yours.


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Remarriage (PART II)

Remarriage

(PART II)

Divorce Part I

Back to the question if we do divorce (understanding what it creates from the Part I), God’s Word seems to say if you remarry you commit adultery – unless you reunite to your ex-spouse (if they haven’t remarried since the separation) or he/she dies.

Romans 7:3 “So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.”

This truth may seem tough, that if one divorces then they aren’t to remarry. However, except for the two reasons above, it seems the Word of God says it is better for us and others not to remarry. As I’ve dived into this issue the past couple of weeks, I wonder why I’ve rarely heard anything about this topic of remarriage? Am I missing something in the scriptures that makes it a non-issue so that we can remarry regardless?

Perhaps the issue of why it seems to be a non-issue is we often don’t seek God’s will but our own. We listen to our own justifications and rationalizations and those around us. We listen to society that says we have to be married to be fulfilled. Yet look at the many unhappy marriages? Perhaps God is right? It is better for some to stay single. Our leaders haven’t helped much either. Many church leaders have followed their own will in regards to divorce and remarriage and therefore reinforce it in their listeners. We let passions rule us instead of God’s will, truth and love. And as long as we are ruled by our will instead of God’s, pain and destruction is what we will create and receive.

Seeing this issue of not remarrying as difficult is looking at it from society’s perspective and giving into its emotional rule in our lives. We need to trust that God’s will is truly better for us and everyone else. And that perhaps we really would be happier and more fulfilled by not remarrying. Who knows what God has in store for us? How He will use us and fulfill us in other ways that satisfy us beyond our imagination? How little we really trust Him. If it is His will and we honor His will, don’t you think He will give us what we need to fulfill it?

Society makes us believe if we don’t remarry we are missing out, but then again society doesn’t lead us to the path of life, but the path of death. Society leads us in so many ways away from God’s truth and will. We have to re-associate our thoughts according to the Word of God. What truly equates to life according to Him? This isn’t about legalism, it’s about love and what is truly loving.

1 Corinthians 7:39-40 “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment–and I think I also have the Spirit of God.”

Psalm 31:19 “Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!”

Psalm 112:1 “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments.”

Our deliverance from this growing epidemic of divorce is to heed God’s Word and seek His love. We need true love to choose the right spouse, to love that spouse, and to make the right decisions if divorce occurs. God designed this world to work in a certain way. We need to trust His counsel because He is the only one that truly knows the right answer and He is love. We’ve proven we don’t know it. And if more people realized that they shouldn’t remarry after they divorce, perhaps they would and be slower to marry in the first place and not give up so easily when problems arise, but seek how to live in a fulfilling marriage by the power of God.

Every commandment of God comes down to love. Only He knows what is truly loving in any situation. We need to trust Him at His Word that His truth is best for us and others. 1 Timothy 1:5 “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith”. We each need to seek the counsel and wisdom from the Holy Spirit above all others in this area of our life.

If you have been divorced and remarried. What is done is done. Consider that it may have been outside God’s will and move forward in truth and abiding in love in your present marriage. Never underestimate the extent of God’s mercy and love, especially for the choices made in ignorance. God can renew you, your spouse and your marriage as if it was your first marriage and give you a tremendous gift in that mercy. He can make all things new. I’ve witnessed it. Psalm 57:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17 And moving forward in future decisions, walk in His truth and will.

The answer to all this mess we’ve created is to focus on seeking God’s Love, abiding in Him and in His Word, and cultivating a deep and real relationship with Him because that changes everything – this is our deliverance from ourselves, which we so desperately need. The best thing you can do for your marriage or if you are single preparing to marry is to cultivate a personal and intimate relationship with God.

Someone referred me to this paper written by John Piper on the issue. He breaks down the Biblical verses related to this topic. I found it very interesting. It is worth the read. Divorce & Remarriage: A Position Paper

Titus 2:4 “that they (older women) admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,” — We need more admonishing toward love.

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Mountain Top Reflections

Mountain Top Reflections

 

We live in a hilly area of California. The other day I took a walk up to a high point in our neighborhood that overlooks the valley below. It provided a respite from the busyness of life; a place to be still and quiet in God’s presence, and to hear His voice.

As I looked over the mountains, the beauty and complexity of God’s creation amazed me. I thought, what a peaceful and revitalizing time it must have been for Jesus to escape from the multitudes to a mountain to be alone with God, to be still in His Father’s presence, to pray, to reflect. Did He just sit there and feel the gentle breeze across His skin as I am now?

As I looked over the expanse, I reflected upon God’s creation and all He has given us to enjoy, and the perfection of how everything works in harmony. But then a sharp pain pierced my soul as I thought about how many people never consider God and what He has done – how for so many years I didn’t. As my eyes fell upon the houses built into the mountainside, I thought about how people look to their own strength, provision and protection, something I’ve often done. They think they provide and protect when in a moment the God they forget could make those mountains crumble – those mountains they feel so secure upon in their houses – houses full of their precious treasures like their spouse, children, and pets.

Who are we to think we protect or provide? How quickly we could be crushed? Haven’t we learned from floods, earthquakes, fires, and hurricanes that we aren’t in control? That we are dependent on God’s mercy? What arrogance to think we are the providers, protectors, sustainers of life . . . that we are in control. How arrogant to forget our God when His beauty, complexity and order are all around us are screaming about His power, might and love. Without His mercy, we would all perish.

When Jesus was on the mountain – did He think a similar thing? Did He think about all He has done for us and all He was about to do and yet now we continue to turn our back on Him, reject Him, think we know better, don’t heed His Words, don’t spend time with Him, and don’t trust Him?

How sad it must make Him even now, when He has done so much for us, and we continue to reject His true lordship and kingdom in our lives. He has created a world that reveals His wisdom, perfection and love. Yet, we don’t exalt Him but we exalt ourselves. Even though we continue to deny Him and go our own way, He continues to preserve us. Even for those who do intimately know Him, how often we slip into thinking we are in control. We get consumed with worry, when He has done so much for us. God forgive us.

This mountain top experience was very humbling. And yet, it was full of powerful moments of praise for all that God has done, does do and will do. God’s love and patience overwhelms me.

May we daily have mountain top reflections that puts our perspective in the right place and reminds of us who we are, who our God is, and how much He loves us and pours His mercy upon us and that it is His work and not ours to be exalted.

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