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Saturday, February 27, 2016

The school of the Spirit

I have no idea what image comes to your mind when you think of the words "death to self", but let me tell you how it is playing out in my life.  It seems to me Satan is the head of the department of "death to self" in the "school of the Spirit".  He is, as always on a leash controlled by the President of the School of the Spirit.  Satan ends up a victim of his own devices because God promises the believer that He will work all things out for the good.  In his commentary on Isaiah, Victor Buksbazen, points out that, "evil carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction." (Isaiah 33:11)  Another famous Isaiah passage states,"If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. 16"Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals And brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin. 17"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD."  Isaiah 54:15-17  In addition we must keep in mind the context of Romans 8:28 and read all the way through to the end of the chapter seeing what things cannot separate us from His love, and over what things and spirits we are more than conquerors.  For when we take the time to read this list we will see the very things that God allows in a believers life, in order to bring us to the blessed goal, the end of our strength, (Deut. 32:36, Daniel 12:7) which then allows for the breakthrough of the veil that keeps us 'flesh bound' when we should be Spirit free!

So what does "death to self" look like, it looks like a pretty heavy disagreement between a husband and a wife, that causes the husband to rise up in anger.  It looks like being betrayed and hurt by one who "should" bring love and comfort.  David gives voice to these feelings in Psalm 55:12-14 "12 I would be able to take it if one who hates me were putting me to shame. I could hide from him. It is not one who hates me who has put himself up against me. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, one who has gone with me, my close friend. 14 We shared together. And we walked with the people in the house of God."  David does not see the whole picture yet because he wishes bad things on them, instead of seeing that they are only being used by God to reveal the "truth of his own condition", and that is always a good revelation, because from that starting point God can really do a beautiful work, giving us a proper foundation.  First, we know that He is our loving father and that He is the personal guarantee of all the promises to us so we are secure and without fear.  Second, we realize that this puts us in a place of eternal rest and trust, because the works of faith are already done, we just walk in them.  Third, the sovereign loving, merciful God allows blind sided crashes to come in to our lives and reveals to us that we are "not as strong as we think we are." (Rich Mullins)  Those crashes result in a release of the flesh that we thought was gone and we echo Paul's words , "Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?"  If it has been revealed to our hearts that you run to your FATHER, your Abba, when you are prodigal in every way, you will see Him doing the most amazing thing in all of scripture, running toward you with mercy that swallows up your words of repentance and totally restores you!

So in the end, death to self, and the breaking off of the flesh in the school of the Spirit, once again is a deeper revelation of His incredible mercy and the finished work of the cross that allows all glory to go to our resurrected Savior!  It may appear on the surface to be an attack, but it is just another opportunity to roll all of our trust and faith on to our ever deepening relationship with Immanuel!   (Most likely to be continued)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

How then shall we live? and How do we do "church"?

So my flesh was a mess today.
Where was my place of rest and trust?

I went for a walk.

This is what I have so far, it is only a beginning.

So we learn our identity who we are in Christ, then we have to learn how to walk in the Spirit, even in the face of loud clanging worldly things, only if we are totally cut off from men either their praise or their hatred, cut off from it in such a way that it does not, cannot rock us from the place of eternal rest and trust. We are dead, dead, dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. We only do what we see the Father doing, we are not a “reactor.” We do not react to the people or very very loud situations around us, we are so dead in the flesh and so alive IN CHRIST that we are no longer living our life, but He is free to live His live through me. Finally!

Thoughts on “church”
There are 10 basic lessons:
2 on being “in Adam”
3 on being “in Christ”
3 on walking in the Spirit
1 on the gathering and the gifts
1 on Israel and eschatology

We pray and seek God and in His perfect time He sends us out.

We go out and proclaim the gospel
New converts are drawn by the Father.

New converts are taught the 10 basic lessons.

We pray and seek God and in His perfect time He sends us out.
We all go out to proclaim the gospel.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Protestant lies

A brother posted a list of things Catholic's do that are wrong and had scriptures beside the examples to back them up, which spurred me to write this...
This will be long, so if you have the attention span of a dog in a room full of squirrels, just look away now. A list equally as long could be made for every protestant denomination and non-denomination currently in existence. Starting with John 17 the entire chapter is a cry from the heart of Jesus that His followers would be one, united in love, humbly working together. 99.999% of all the teeny tiny divisions in the Body of Christ have come about as a result of pride and a despicable (in God's eyes) unwillingness to humbly work within a broken system living and shining His light, the light of Christ in you, in such a way as to correct error, without the need to go down the block, build another building and proudly become the latest and greatest "righter of all wrongs". The KJV bible (I know I am prepared to duck) is used and defended to the death by the majority of protestant Christianity. The translation of "mansions" in John 14:2 is so horrible it is beyond belief. A simple word that means abode, or dwelling place where the emphasis is on WHO we are with in HIS place, now becomes my place, and not just my place, but a really big fancy my place. ( ) The word "church" again brought to you by the exalted KJV scholars should have been basically a "gathering of people with something in common" the emphasis would have then been on what we have in common, which is, the LIfe of Christ. Ekklesia is just a Greek word with no greater meaning than a carpenter's union, or any other gathering around a common interest. Can you see how the importance of the word would then be, 'What is the common interest? What makes these people different? What is it that has changed and gotten hold of them?" A proper translation of the word would have put the emphasis on Christ but this horrible translation has put the emphasis on us, what we do or do not do, has become our mark and this leads again to pride. The fact is no one part of the body has all the truth and no one part of the body is all bad. I learn from Catholic teachers like Henri Nouwen and Brennan Manning and I learn from many protestant teachers. Pride is the main evil in the world. Pride and sloth prevent protestant 'churches' from following the pattern set forth by Paul that "each one bring a psalm a hymn a spiritual song" 1 Cor. 14:26. We are content to "let the Pastor do it." and we set up the inside of the building in such a way that indicates nothing is expected from the "audience". The message is simple we all start out "in Adam" and by the grace of God our eyes are opened and we are drawn to a place of being born again "in Christ" and then this life flows through us changing us and bringing glory to Him.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Where is your brother?"

A dear friend recently posted this truthful statement from Oswald Chambers..."When we can imagine our worst enemy forever alive in the new creation, adoring God along side us, then we can begin to say we have loved like Christ."

It is truth, but from that beginning we can see our way to an even greater realization of consecration. 

 And to go a little farther down the road that He has us on. There is a beauty and freedom in coming to a place of rest and trust that has no 'worst enemy." I think the presence of a 'worst enemy' in our hearts, is the dark crevice of a yet remaining, teeny tiny spot of self-righteousness. "I am better than that person and that is why I can hold them in contempt." It is in this crevice that demons drive their nail and hook their rope to climb back into your life and set up their mini-throne. It is from this tiny spot, that they grab a mega phone and begin calling out fear, threat and intimidation. Powerless, but sounding powerful, their one focus is to hinder your fellowship with the Most High God. When God reveals this truth to you, repent and release this person from your fleshly judgment and listen for the astounding beauty of the clear voice of the ONE who at great cost loves you with an everlasting love, and listen for one more sound, the teeny tiny sound of a nail and a rope falling from a high place into the dust. Isaiah 54:1 "Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman," says the LORD.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Babies Crying

I wonder how much of the violence, anger and evil in the world is viewed by God as "babies crying", longing for a Father's love and protection?  I wonder when the "church" will become the true "kahal" of God that sees as He sees.  Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Leaning in to His intercession

Jesus is already interceding for those we love and care about.  So He is already in the "War Room" and since He is wisdom and has an eternal perspective, His prayers are the prayers we need to be one with. 
How often have I crashed into His "War Room" like Kramer on Seinfield busting in and "praying" my thoughts or my desires for a friends life, the cheap, easy, wide way of no cost and no time spent waiting?
The idea is to humbly enter the room, tip-toeing over to where the Savior is humbly kneeling, and kneeling next to Him, shoulder to shoulder, and then tilting my head in His direction so that I can hear clearly what He is praying and giving my "amen" to Him and His way.  (Of course, Christ in you is the truth, but this is just a visual to help 'settle' my mind.)
This is costly and humbling.  I have to give time and quiet space to God for this to happen, but this is the place of authority in prayer.  Be still and know that He is God.