The Lost Act of Discipleship
Being a disciple of Christ, the Truth, is fundamental and essential to life in Him and becoming the temple of God …
Being a disciple of Christ, the Truth, is fundamental and essential to life in Him and becoming the temple of God …
God has been teaching me about the Day of the Lord. This poem reflects the puzzle pieces He has been putting together for me. I pray the Holy Spirit will use this to confirm what He has been teaching to those who are diligently seeking truth in these days.
The Day of the Lord:
What will it Be?
The Day of the Lord, what will it be?
Perhaps something different for you and me
A fire of testing to reveal our faith
Uncovering all not leaving a trace.
What is the truth we hold?
The seed of our hope will be told.
Was it our strength, idols of our making?
Was it God’s mercy, eternal and everlasting?
As the Day dawns, the fires igniting
The dark grows darker and the light lightening.
For some growing angst, worry, grief, and pain
For others increasing power, rest, joy and gain.
Judgment cast by our own hands
As God lets our choices stand.
A time of trial unlike any on earth
For some a prison, others new birth.
Look to your left, to your right
Is it peace in God or growing fright?
Our God a consuming fire, coming in the clouds
To burn away all that’s haughty and proud.
For some a thief coming unaware
Others a fulfillment of hope prepared.
A shift among the powers of heaven
From evil’s reign to love’s dominion.
Children of light become mighty warriors
Bringing judgment as evil’s plan foils.
For both a sadness in what is lost
When love to save was given without cost.
But love will prevail in the end
Given by our truest Friend.
It’s mercy that’s without end, not suffering
It will cover all our blunderings
To redeem all that was lost
Though there are paths of different costs.
Out of the ashes will arise beauty
Lives transformed by God’s faithful duty.
In this Day, love holds the victory
As God reveals the fullness of the mystery.
What will the Day be for you?
A day of uncovering shame or being gloriously anew?
~ Rachel DiPaolo
October 1, 2011
The most important activity for believers is building the temple. Was that on your list?
The eternal temple of God is made of the souls of the true believers in Christ. It’s the place God will call home for eternity. So the most important activity we do is prepare/build that place for Him, have you been building?
How do we build?
Among many attributes, God is holy, truth and love. For God to fully manifest Himself through us as the temple we have to be in unison with Him in these areas as noted in the scriptures. As oil and water don’t mix, neither does a corrupt soul lacking these and God’s spirit.
The soul that is able to hold God’s spirit is one that is pure, structured in truth, and consumed in love.
First, Jesus Christ cleansed our souls with His sacrifice. In Him, our slates are wiped clean.
Second, Jesus Christ builds a structure of truth within us. Jesus is the Word of God. It’s the Word, truth, that sanctifies. John 17:17 He gave us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who writes truth on our hearts and minds as He instructs us in the ways of God. 1 John 2:27 As we abide in the Word, putting the truth in us, the Spirit uses that truth in conjunction with our lives and constructs a framework of truth in our souls. I talked a bit about this in the video Prepared for Christ’s Coming.
In Proverbs, it talks about the importance of seeking and obtaining true wisdom and understanding that is of God, not this world. Proverbs 4:5-9. Wisdom and understanding are fundamental to the lives of believers, because these are what make up that framework of truth in our souls, which allows God’s spirit to dwell in us.
An important aside to this concept; we are to seek wisdom, but gaining wisdom isn’t dependent on our IQ. It’s dependent on the ability of the Holy Spirit to teach us and write it on our hearts and minds. Therefore, ANYONE, as God wills, can gain the wisdom and understanding of God. Hebrews 8:10-11 Further, this process varies greatly for everyone. It’s a journey and not instant. You may have many ah-ha moments, but the process of building a framework of truth takes time in abiding in the Bible being taught by the Holy Spirit and Him working out those truths in you and your life.
Finally, Jesus Christ reconciled us back to God, so now we can abide in His presence. When we draw near to God, He draws near to us. Because God is love, when we draw near His love starts filling our lives. Like our earthly relationships, when we cultivate a relationship with God, the fruit is love.
Many professing believers neglect to partake in the second and third phases. They understand the purifying done by Christ, but neglect the latter two – abiding in the truth so that framework can be built and cultivating a relationship with God so that His presence, especially His love will reign in their lives. This is why many operate in their self-will and not in accordance to one who is abiding in truth and love.
I think this negligence is why many are called but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14. Christ died for all people. Christ died that all may be saved. But few move onto walking in the purpose of His tremendous gift.
Look at the list you made at the beginning. Do you spend time abiding in the truth to gain a soul lined with truth? Do you nurture your individual relationship with God like you would do with a spouse (remember He calls us His bride)? This is how the temple is built.
Many people spend incredible amounts of time building up their earthly habitations whether homes, careers, health, families, and relationships and neglect the principle thing – their soul. It’s the one aspect that matters and affects all else, and if they neglect it, the rest greatly suffers as Haggai instructs us.
Haggai 1:6- 7 You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!
God says seek FIRST the kingdom of God, Him within you, and His righteousness and all else will be added unto you (the physical necessities of life). Matthew 6:33 Many people attend to the physical first, thus lose out on both. If you attend to the spiritual, then both will prosper. It’s God’s law of how He created this life.
Now you see why building the temple is to be the priority. Your belief systems affect EVERYTHING. If you change those, everything changes.
Each one of us is to do our own building of our part of the temple, our soul. No one can do it for us. We can support each other in the building process (which is very important and it’s part of building the temple as well because we are all conncted), but no one can actually do the building for us.
Restructure your list to make building the temple the first priority. Yes we have to work, attend to our families and health, but those should come second, because when you attend to the main thing the rest follows as it should. I’ve tested it out by taking on this promise 10 years ago. My life has proven it true in every way. It isn’t instant by any means because building truth and cultivating a real relationship with God isn’t easy in a world of lies, but it’s the path.
Now you see why this life isn’t just about being comfortable. God has a much greater mission of preparing His eternal dwelling.
From my previous post, there were some comments questioning whether all churches are lumped together in this concept of Church System. Here I want to address that issue because it touches upon a fundamental aspect of our walk with God.
God is judge, not us. His Word is judge, not us. Ezekiel 34:20
Even Jesus didn’t judge for Himself. He heard from God and that is what He did. We are to follow His example in all things. John 5:30 “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. Further, Paul says he doesn’t even judge himself, only God judges him. 1 Corinthians 4:3-4.
When we ask the question whether this denomination, my church, or this pastor is good or not, it’s God’s judgment not ours.
What do I mean? How do we know what to do?
When it comes to our lives, we don’t judge good or bad. We look to God and His truth and that’s our guide. God judges and we follow His lead, whatever and wherever. Following God’s lead and not our judgments is choosing to eat of the tree of life instead of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The former is letting God be judge and being one with His will and simply walking in it. The latter is putting us as judge of what is good or bad.
To know and follow God’s judgments and ways, we have to set our ill-understanding aside and follow Him daily. Luke 9:23 Therefore, each day we sit with God, we seek the truth, we seek the pure manna from heaven (the instruction/truth of the Holy Spirit grounded in the Bible), we seek to know God so we can follow Him, and we seek His counsel throughout the day. (Seeking entails having a LOVE for the Truth, and putting time to know God as the priority in our day) We seek, ask, and act. We don’t pontificate on what we think is good by our own limited understanding. We seek counsel from the One who knows all.
Therefore, it’s not up to us to judge about this church or not, it’s up to God. To be able to know and hear His leading in this area we have to diligently seek Him. We have to put His words above religious leaders. We can’t read the Bible with our religious leaders opinions as our filters. We read for a desire for truth, realizing we don’t know and we may be misled in our current understanding. As we do, we will come to know God and His will; as He directs. We will be in the state of mind to be watchful for the times we are in. We will be hearing from God so we can walk in His will.
If we haven’t spent time diligently seeking, we will be very susceptible to deception. We won’t be able to follow God’s voice and not the voice of others because we are listening to ourselves. Make sense?
Seeking to know God comes first, so we can follow Him above all else. THEN we’ll be able to know what to do because then we will simply see and follow as Jesus did. It’s not about us deciding good or bad. It’s knowing God and following Him. See the difference? This following comes into play with all aspects of our lives, including this issue of leaving the church system (CS).
If you aren’t diligently seeking, how can your truly follow God’s voice? Again, not seeking is a spiritual death trap, because you remain spiritually blind. So even if you feel I’m wrong about the CS, spend time each day with God seeking to know Him as He is and His truth – this is your life, literally. Amos 5:4
When you seek you gain the spiritual “eyes” to see and the “ears” to hear. Revelation 2:29 As for leaving the CS, I “see” the CS corruption and the spiritual death and decay it breeds. Jeremiah 19:4 “Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents.” It isn’t my judgments, it’s just looking and seeing as God leads. It’s not about comparing churches, saying this one seems pretty good, or this pastor seems like a good man. Those are all our judgments. Instead, it’s seeking God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Then wherever He leads we follow. 1 Chronicles 16:11
The Bible is written to all who profess to be God’s people, which includes many denominations and groups. We all are to be examining our lives by its words. To think they are words for someone else is a grave mistake. Read Jeremiah, Isaiah, the minor prophets and Revelation seeking the instruction of the Holy Spirit and listen to what God has to say. When you look into the Bible with a heart to know truth and not to follow the doctrines of mankind, then you will “see”. Then you will know what to do. You will “see” the CS for what it is, how it destroys souls, and the impeding judgment. You will see the contrast between the system and the true temple of God.
The Bible speaks about the impeding judgment on the “house of God” and to leave and fully embrace God as our sanctuary, which is leading to something tremendous… the New Jerusalem, the temple from heaven. Revelation 21:2-3 It’s out with the old and in with the new, just as in the days of Jesus. We are the temple of God. God’s dwelling place is with us, in us. We have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we are His, and a taste of things to come. A fuller manifestation of God dwelling within us is upon us. Revelation 21:22 Be careful to not be like the church leaders and members of Jesus’ day, who held on to their traditions and understanding and missed Christ, the truth. The old is passing away, and God is doing a new and tremendous thing … are you ready to embrace it?
I feel we have entered into another degree of spiritual warfare; perhaps because the time of judgment is near or upon us??
In the past month, I’ve been seeing the warfare in my life, the lives around me, in the blogs I read. We are facing struggles and tribulation on a spiritual level that is affecting our daily lives. (the physical and the spiritual are connected – one affects the other.) We feel overwhelmed, burdened, discouraged, or depressed. When we are attacked at our core in our spirits then it makes dealing with the day to day stuff much more difficult. Proverbs 18:14 It makes small things seem big. It throws things out of perspective into the wrong perspective. Our trust in God wanes. Our steadfast belief that He is in control and will provide and protect us diminishes. His love feels distant. We begin to turn to the world’s wisdom instead of His. We can become fearful, timid, aggressive, or ineffective.
Then in my quiet time the other day I read Nehemiah 4:17 “Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.” It struck me that what this verse is saying is what I had been feeling and what we need to do. We are being attacked to such a degree that we need to be ready for battle daily. Each day, we can no longer just focus on building the temple but we have to fight the spiritual battle as well. If we don’t recognize the attacks and fight the enemy we won’t be able to build. There has always been spiritual warfare, but lately it seems it has intensified.
As for building the temple, it’s not a physical temple we are building. It is a spiritual one and we, our spirits together, are the temple, the temple of God. We hold the spirit of God. The part of us that is a part of Him holds His spirit. Each one of our spirits is like a pillar. If our spirits are mal-nourished and lacking in truth, then they become like rotting broken down pillars.
We build by stirring the deep (spending one-on-one time building intimacy with God through His Word) each day. This is our work. John 6:29 Our work is to believe – to live in God’s wisdom and truth. Because our beliefs are the core to every thought and action. When our spirits are thriving and strong, then God’s spirit is strong within us and works through us in mighty ways in our lives and the lives of others. When we succumb to the attacks because we don’t recognize them for what they are, we become weak and neglect to be steadfast in our beliefs, which negatively impacts everything.
I believe that the time is upon us, where we need to build the temple with one hand and hold a weapon in the other.
The fantastic news is and what I am experiencing in my life is the mighty power that Jesus Christ gave us in the spiritual realm to defeat any and every enemy. Luke 10:19 However, we have to be aware of that power, use it through faith and prayer, and use it right when we need it, not wait.
Lately, as I have experienced more attacks, I’ve been prepared with the knowledge of the power that I have in Christ. When they come, I call upon God the enemy backs off. It is tremendous!
Who is the enemy? Most often ourselves, our flesh nature. We have an external evil warring against our spirits but even that enemy usually uses our weaknesses, our lack of knowledge of truth, our issues, our temptations, our desires, and our self-will to discourage and lead us astray.
These are challenging days, but God has laid out the tools before us to be more than conquerors in all that we face. It is our part to learn what tools are there and to pick them up and fight so we can continue to build.