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I felt like the Spirit was telling me that I should spend some time on Enoch.  More specifically, that I should take some time looking at his life and help others to understand.  I don’t necessarily think it was for you guys on here, but you get to be the trial run.  We’ll work our way through scripture and then move on to other references.  To start, let’s just go over the main scripture for Enoch.

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. – ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭5:21-24‬ ‭NASB‬‬

 To start, let’s just go over the main scripture for Enoch.  Enoch gets me excited.  I don’t remember hearing many messages preached on him, just that he walked with God and was taken away.  We didn’t know much more to say about that than this.  What do you preach to other Christians about how to apply this?I felt like the Spirit was telling me that I should spend some time on Enoch.  More specifically, that I should take some time looking at his life and help others to understand.  I don’t necessarily think it was for you guys on here, but you get to be the trial run.  We’ll work our way through scripture and then move on to other references.  To start, let’s just go over the main scripture for Enoch.

Point #1 – Walking with God

So what did it mean that he “walked with God”?  That is much of the mystery.  I believe it’ll be more clear as we go along, but I fall back to some of Sadhu’s teaching on walking with God.   To me, it means to walk along side, to know, to talk, to see, and to know each other intimately.  Sadhu had his definition for it that I can’t remember. I know it’s in that series about walking with God.  My definition is probably based off of his, so close enough.  I just think how I’ve seen others walk, or even think of the Bible.  God talks to them.  They see visions, dreams, angels.  The Lord works closely with them.  Think of Adam in the garden, God would walk along side and explain things.  True friendship where there is two way communication.  Working together where the spirit is leading and guiding as you work.  Trust.  Basically, all things that are so far above our typical walk.

Point #2 – We can do this.

Growing up, this was just another one of those scriptures that was one of “those” people in the Bible that were special.  We couldn’t expect to be treated like this, could we?   Of course we could.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality. – Acts 10:34
We have to stop thinking that we can’t do things that God has shown can be done.  If Enoch could do this, why couldn’t we.  One thing he had going for him was that when he was born, Adam was still alive.  Imagine hearing the stories of Adam walking in the Garden with God.  However, we have Christ, and the Spirit.  I can’t imagine how he could find such a walk without Jesus revealed.  He must have found that revelation, and reached forward to it.  It’s like David, who had a heart after God but without Jesus was still walking under a harder covenant.

Point #3 – He was just a man

Think about it, he wasn’t even like many of the figures in the Bible.  He had, what, 10 scriptures written total with him mentioned?  I like to think that he wasn’t even a big “pivotal” figure in the Bible, as it wasn’t planned for him to lead Israel, walk with Jesus, etc, and yet he found a way.  He wasn’t a big prophet or apostle, and yet, how many people can say they walked so close to God, that God just took them home.  Enoch, Elijah, maybe Moses.  Were there more?  I can tell you yes, though I can’t give you proofs.  This still happens.  People who are so close to God that He just brings them up as they don’t need to die.  Those who overcome death itself.  That’s the plan for the end-time army, but Enoch got ahead.  I think he just drew some close to God in a relationship that he was there for that very purpose.

Point #4 – Normal family man

Notice, he didn’t walk with God until his first child was born.  After than, he had more sons and daughters.  That means he did this as a husband and father.  He took care of his family but still walked with God.  That says he’s not much different than me.  He wasn’t like Paul who said it’s better to not be married and focused on God, he found the way in that.  I personally find that encouraging.

 

How do we do this?  I hope to find more exciting things as we keep looking at Enoch to help encourage me but also to explain to me how Enoch was able to.  Relationship should be our goal, not results.

As I was waiting on the Lord today, I was reminded of something Neville Johnson said in his series, Laying Proper Foundations, and basically what he said is that God cannot bring you into the Spirit world while you have certain.. we’ll say wounds.  I can’t really think of the word, but unrepentant sins, areas in your life your susceptible to the enemy, things that haven’t been worked out.  To do so is dangerous because you can so easily be decieved.  After hearing this again, I had to go back before the Lord and lay some things down.  There are some attitudes that I have held lately that are not healthy or Godly.  I had to give those up.  You know, it’s really hard to give things up when you are convinced you’ve been wronged.  You want it to be made right, not to let it go.

But I did.

I think. 🙂

So I was reminded of that again today.  How there’s a certain level of holiness required to get closer to God.  You don’t have to be sinless to know Him, to be used by Him, but there is only so much He can do when you are serving two masters.  I believe Paul Keith Davis liked to call this the Thrones of our Soul.

Do you have an area that you are currently in sin, or fall to easily into sin in?  Are you living with attitudes of the enemy.  Bitterness, regret, envy, lust.

Give them up.  Unless you can come clean, you can’t come far.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? – Luke 14:28

This is actually a response to a question from another post, but figured it’d be good to get out there and say my thoughts here.  The original question was when I’m trying to wait on God, do I clear my mind or focus upon the Word.

How I see it, those are two things.

First there’s meditating upon the Word.  In this instance you probably want to spend time in prayer and worship to get yourself “in the spirit”, basically to where you feel the presence of the Lord, and get focused more upon Him.  Then you take some scripture, and just spend time on it.  What you’ll see I often do is use time when I’m doing something like mowing the yard ( doesn’t take much thought ) or driving to just mull over scriptures.  Repeat it, say it out loud, think through each part of it, etc.  I still think that’s just part of it, and that there’s a much deeper part I haven’t gotten to you.  This is mainly from Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj’s teachings on meditating on the Word.  He says you get in that quiet place, and then just go over and over it.  When you do this, you have different levels of revelation.  The first level is where I typically get to, the Holy Spirit speaking to you, other levels are angels coming to make things clear, the Lord speaking directly to you, Jesus coming, or even going into the Word to experience it.  Neville Johnson also speaks about this some in His teachings.  Both are similar enough in that you get into that quiet place where you are in His presence, and then just focus upon the Word and stay there.  Keep reading, speaking, thinking.  Preferably until something happens.

I don’t do enough of that.

Since I don’t get as much time along and quiet, I tend to try for the other thing, waiting on God.  I’m actually going to sort of take this 3 ways here…

  1. Watching with you eyes, from Praying Medic – From his books ( focused more upon seeing in the Spirit ), he starts with getting in the dark, praising the Lord quietly, and just watching.  Basically try to keep a blank “visual” image and see what shows up.  Keep practicing this to start seeing with your Spiritual eyes.
  2. Visualization.  Neville talks more about visualize.  So in this case, you focus upon the Lord.  Again, very similar to above, first spend time in prayer, praise and worship.  Clear everything else out, find that place of feeling God’s presence, and then just sit and soak.  Picture Jesus in your mind, and stay there.  If need be, speak in tongues quietly or have some music(without words) in the background.  Try to keep your mind clear but focus upon the Lord.  Something I’ll just very quietly praise Jesus or even just say His name to stay focused.
  3. Stillness.  This is Sadhu.  He doesn’t talk about visualizing ( though he doesn’t say anything against that).  Basically he’s big things are desiring the Lord and staying very still and quiet.  This is perhaps the hardest as your mind will just go and go.   I think that’s the case in all of these.  There was one series where he discussed when he first started doing this.  He would come into complete stillness ( no other thoughts, just complete quiet in his mind ) as long as he could.  After a while he got up to going 30 minutes at a time, then suddenly the Lord spoke to him audibly.  If you want to know this, I can probably track down the right one, I know I’ve mentioned it before.

 

In any of the cases, the really big things I’d say are:

  1. Desire – You must come in love for the Lord and yearning for Him.
  2. Expectation – Expect Him to show up, it makes it more real.
  3. Stillness – Try to stop any thought of yours.  It will be hard and takes practice, but that’s what practice is for.  This is something you have to train yourself, but if you can’t be still, you’ll have trouble hearing.

 

In my cases, I think I tend to try to just visualize the Lord and stay quiet ( sort of a combination ).  What I haven’t done is continue to do this day after day and make sure I start building up that endurance to stay there.  Like with so many of these things, I do it for a while, then fall off and I’m not as earnest.

Hope this helps.

These past couple months ( years? ) I feel like I lost sight of something.  I’ve looked at books, I’ve focused on spiritual sight.  I’ve spent more time on the Word.  I’ve gotten bogged down in family and work.  I’ve been pulled away in sin.  I’ve just plain looked for comfort from other places.

What I came to realize today is I feel like I lost sight of my main goal.  I want back to the “My Mission” statement and it still fairly well sums it up.  I want intimacy.  I want to know God in such a way that I experience Him.  When we become close enough with the Lord, he opens up to us.  He brings us to see His home, He introduces us to His friends.  He reveals the things that are going on and also just sits and talks with us.

In all the methods and principles and struggling and work, I strayed off the only path I know to be true.  Knowing God.  What does that look like?  More commitment every day than the one before.  It looks like finding free time to just sit with Him. It looks like waiting upon Him for Him to speak.  It looks like opening my eyes to see Him moving. I just can’t find the words.  I have a “ministry” for now, something the Lord has led me to do, and I’m working on that, but even that I feel must fall secondary.  The primary goal must always be to draw closer to Him.  If I don’t ever stick with it, I won’t break through to that intimacy.

Jesus, name above all names, beautiful savior, glorious Lord.

My heart cries out for you.  Only you.

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. – Daniel 6:10

I think I finally get it.  I’ve read those scriptures that Daniel set aside 3 times a day to pray, and I always took it as, oh that’s some good thing he set up to do, and not something for myself.  Why?  Isn’t Daniel perhaps one of the men most to be respected.  Personally, I think it was Daniel that spoke with John in Revelation, who revealed the end times.  He said he was one of the prophets didn’t he?  I have no revelation on that, it just fits.

Anyway, so it hits me today.  Daniel was smart enough to realize that he needed to stop everything he did several times in a day to come back to God.  To walk in the presence of the Lord, to keep his focus upon Him, to line up his life with Him.  You can’t just go through your whole day without it.  Unlike me, he had the brains to realize that it wouldn’t just happen unless he made it happen.  That seems to be the key right.  In all these things, you plan to succeed.  What’s that saying, “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail”.  Do not trust that you can keep your mind on God all day.  Do not trust that time will just magically come.  If you need to, go to bed early.  Or stay up late.  Set aside some lunches, perhaps a schedule meeting in the morning.  Do what it takes to make sure you are coming back to God.  Always back to Him.

 

 

Sorry for the title, but it’s a reuse of one of my favorite lines from the show “Fringe”.  Fun show, not really that edifying, just fun.

I want to just make a short and honest post.

I get bitter.

There can be several reasons, some recurring, some new ones.  It’s a sneaky little devil.  One day I’m doing great, then my mind runs off onto one of these topics, and poof, 10 minutes later bitterness has poisoned my attitude.  And poison it is.  Bitterness allowed to fester will ruin your soul.  Seriously.  I suspect most of you have someone close to you where you’ve seen this happen.

Well today’s story was with my wife.  I’m going to leave things vague, as there’s no need for particulars.  But today was one of the reoccurring topics.  I was having a bit of a rough morning, she made some comments, I commented back, couple “barely” heated words, then I go off mumbling.  I mumbling because I feel like I am not being treated as I deserve ( strike one ), and that she does this a lot ( strike two ), and I think back about those other times she’s done stuff like this ( strike three, I’m out. ).

So the holy spirit managed to sneak a word in ( I’m pretty impressed in fact, because I didn’t want to listen ), and got me to stop and think about how Jesus would handle that.  Well, you know what happens when you’re grump and bitter.

“Well, Jesus picked out people that would listen to him”

“Jesus was respected for who He was”

and the best one:

“Jesus never had a wife to deal with”.

Obviously, this is the brutally honest part of the quote.  I did not say this out, in fact, this is the type of thing I wouldn’t ever repeat to someone as it exposes just how stupid I can be.  Honey, if you happen to read this, you are amazing.  I suspect you’ve already learned to not listen to me, just keep at it.

At this point God had enough, and pointed out that we are the bride of Christ.  Oops.  Guess Jesus does have to deal with “that”.  In fact, what really came to mind was that God chose Israel, and how horrible of a “spouse” they were.  Remember the life of Hosea who was led to marry a harlot as a testimony of Israel.  Ouch.

Needless to say, I started rearranging my thoughts after this.  When my wife got back ( she had gone to run ) I apologized.  Was I right in what I said at first?  It doesn’t matter.  if I got bigger I’m wrong.  If I got angry, I’m wrong.  I care much less for the actually truth than how I handle the situation.

So, the reason for this post.  I guess humility.  I want anyone reading to see other do ( or think ) their own stupid and silly things, and to encourage you to not give in to bitterness.  Instead, suck it up, set it aside, and make Jesus all you need.

James 4:7 would be that verse.  Resist and he will flee.   Guess what.  I’ve tried it, a lot, and it often doesn’t work.  Of course it doesn’t work in those areas I’ve allowed myself to get farther into.  I can think of a couple areas where the devil loves to come at me, and I resist to a point, and then get pushed over the edge.

I had a new twist on this I wanted to share, so as part of that, I went and did my typical “look at the greek” for the verse above.  Oh, I’m no greek scholar.  I actually did take a Biblical Hebrew class at my university.  I think I can still say the alphabet there, but I’m no scholar.  Instead, I use Bible Hub.  Here’s the link for James 4:7

http://biblehub.com/text/james/4-7.htm

Fun stuff, you won’t catch all the forms of the verbs and nouns, etc of Greek.  Gotta take classes for that, but it did give me one thing.  I followed the definition back for the word “resit” and found one of the definitions as:

take a complete stand against, i.e. a “180 degree, contrary position”; (figuratively) to establish one’s position publicly by conspicuously “holding one’s ground,” i.e. refusing to be moved (“pushed back”).

Well, that explains a little.  This isn’t just resist, this is like “take it to war’ resist.  So on that note, my new method.

Don’t just say no, don’t just run away, don’t just say a scripture.  All good things.  But take the opportunity afforded by the temptation to react to it.  Take action.  Preferably, find the base reason for that temptation that leads you to sin, and then turn to God in a way that counter acts it.  How to explain.  For example, lets say I have a sin which at root is that I’m lacking intimacy.  So I take that temptation, and when it comes strongly, I step aside, turn my heart to God, and find intimicy with my Lord.  I wait upon the Lord, looking to Him, praising and worshiping Him.  Not only does that counter-balance the desires for that sin, but it leads me to seek Him when I hadn’t planned.  Basically, I use the enemy’s attacks to draw me deeper into relationship.

Another way to describe this is through one of my favorite songs from Shane and Shane.  It’s called embracing accusation.  Here’s the lyrics.

The father of lies
Coming to steal
Kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

The devil is preaching
The song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies
Be telling the truth
Of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death
Then death is mine
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

Oh the devil’s singing over me
An age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently over me
He’s forgotten the refrain
Jesus saves!

So the devil likes to come and accuse us, and guess what, he’s right.  We have sinned.  He loves to tell us that, but leaves off the “oh year, Jesus saved you from that” part.  So when he condemns, you take that condemnation, shove it aside, and say, “Good thing God’s grace is sufficient. He is awesome”.

What you’ll find is that when you build the habit of taking the attack against you into something positive with the Lord, the devil is going to stop.  As soon as it’s clear that his attacks are driving you closer, he’ll learn and move on.  Oh, he’ll be back with something else I’m sure, but like the verse says, “resist him and he’ll flee”.

This is actually a pretty straightforward deal, but it stuck out enough today that I just wanted to put it down.  Listening to Neville Johnson again, and as he was talking about getting into the Spirit, he jumped on the heart for a minute.  The heart is sort of the bridge between the soul and spirit.  It’s a little of both when you see the heart mentioned in scriptures.  Interesting thought, but one of the side comments he mentioned was “when your conscious is clear, there is a bridge opened in the spirit”.

Makes perfect sense to me.  When I’m unrepentant, I can’t seem to be with God.  I’ve noticed this a bit.  You’ve probably heard me mention that when I get off away from God, it’s like I don’t try, cause I don’t really play the “quiet time” game.  Need to clarify, nothing wrong with quiet time, I’m speaking of the routine that we’re supposed to do this set of things everyday.  When I’m off in sin, it just doesn’t work.  When I come to God and repent, suddenly it’s clearer.  I can feel His presence, I can hear Him speak.

So I guess I should make sure that early in this process you need to repent of everything.  That’s really part of the openness/honesty, and even bond servant.  If you’re not clear before God, you can’t hear.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7

This is where it began.  I heard this in a sermon recently and had been thinking about this off and on.  This is one of those verses where we try to spiritualize it, otherwise, it’s hard to explain.  “Ask and it will be done”?  That’s not something we see, so we can’t take this at face value.  Instead it must mean that when we really get into God, when He is our desire(“I will give you the desire of your heart”), then we will ask what He wants, and it will get answered.  Tell me, have you seen that either?  No, no.  This is more.  When the Word says something, you should believe it.  So that tells me there’s something to abiding and the Word.

Read Psalm 119 and see what David said of God’s commandments.  Go to Proverbs and find Soloman’s thoughts on wisdom

For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her – Proverbs 8:11

We know from Rick Joyner’s book, true wisdom is Jesus.  Oh, I’m sure I could track down plenty of scripture, but the Final Quest made it so personal.  Revelation is like wisdom, as revelation is the revealing of truth to your heart, and who is truth, that’s right, Jesus.  He is the Word in flesh.  He is truth.  He is wisdom.  When you were young, did you ever mix all the drinks at the soda fountain together.  Yeah, Jesus is sort of like that, all this amazing stuff in one, without upsetting your stomach.

Ok, so this is one of those train of thought messages.  I start by thinking of Jesus abiding, and even more the word abiding in us.  That led me to revelation, truth.  Next came the parable of the sower.  When you get truth, it can become revelation ( seeds that sprout ) or just die on the road (eaten by the birds).  The devil wants to steal truth from you before it roots in.  Even if it starts to grow, he’ll make you busy with the worries of the world, or keep you shallow so it can’t go big.  For us to keep hold of truth and have it grow, we need to protect it and nurture it.  Treat it like the gold it is.  You can’t just go “oh that’s cool” then get back to your life.  Spend time with it

Why is this so important?  Well it’s like the Holy Spirit plugged the pieces together, and much better than I am right now.  As I meditated upon the word dwelling in me, it made me think of it living there.  As a plant, it needs room to grow, nourishment, time, attention.  If I think of it like a person, and I want it to abide, then I need to draw it in, make space for it, love it, protect it.  Basically make a home for it.  I don’t just want it hidden in my heart, or planted, or just held; I want it rooted in, growing, expanding.  I want it to paint the walls, decorate a room, plant a garden.  That’s the sort of abiding we need.  We need it so entrenched in our hearts that we can be transformed by it.  For when the word abides in you, you can ask what you wish and it’ll be done.  So is the main thing that we can ask and get what we want?  No.  That’s just a side-effect of relationship.  What we’re talking about here is authority and relationship.  There are privileges and expectations that come with those.  That is what I want.  I want the relationship itself, not the perks.

And to get there, I need the word to abide.  So when revelation comes, when you see that truth in the scripture leap into your heart and teach you something new, don’t let it go.  Don’t just say “cool” and move back to your life.  Cherish it.  Hold on and fight for it.  Keep thinking over it, write it down, whatever it takes so that it can take root in your heart.  For me, writing seems to be part of it.  I just realized how much I need to hold on, as I have lost so much.  And if there’s somewhere really good to start on making sure I hold onto it, it’s the realization that I need to hold onto truths to be transformed.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.  – (Matthew 7:16)

What fruit are we looking for?

I went through a men’s discipleship course lately that was very big on John 15.  You know the chapter, abide in God.  Those that abide will bear fruit, those that bear fruit God prunes so they bear more fruit.  One of the questions we asked the group was “what kind of fruit are we talking about”.  I of course started with the fruit of the Spirit, but we went on and came up with a number of other fruits.  People being saved, chruches started, lives touched, etc.  It’s hard to measure something like joy, but easy the measure something like the number of people joining a church.  That’s not wrong…. is it?

That thought crossed my mind the other day when I was reminded of another passage from Jesus.

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ – Matthew 7:22-23

So, here we find a group of people who were expressing several of the gifts of the spirit: prophecy, miracles, casting out demons(not sure that’s a “gift” but it’s an expression).  Very visible things.  Imaging a man who came to your church, prayed for some sick and they got well.  We would look up to that man.  Yet, this verse says that Jesus may have never known him.

Neville Johnson said these last couple years that we have focused on the gifts of the spirit rather than the fruit.  If Jesus said you should know them by their fruit, then let’s combine that with another verse.  Sadly, I went looking and I can’t find it.  Hmm… it’s something like we should no longer look at each other from the flesh, but know each other from the spirit.  Sigh.  If someone knows the verse i’m looking for leave a comment.   Possibly it’s just a logical part of 2 Corinthians 5:16.  Oh well.  Sorry for that dead-end.

Anyway, if we’re to judge by the fruit, and we know long judge according to the flesh(2 Cor 5:16), then perhaps we judge by the spirit.  And if the Bible just happens to tell us the fruit of the spirit, well, maybe that’s what we judge.  Is that harder, yes, but I bet not for those who are more open to the Spirit.  For those of us not there, we must be more open, observant, and listen for the voice in us.  But don’t judge by the world, you’ll miss it.

If you haven’t caught on, silly church traditions sometimes bug me.  For example, one of the denominations I’ve been to a bit likes to count up baptisms.  It seems like a decent thing to count as people who pray the prayer, often pray it and wander off.  Those that are baptized are more likely the ones that were touched and will move on.  So we count it.  As we like to count all things.  And sadly we go on to stuff like baptizing those from another denomination “just to make sure”.  They weren’t “baptized” like we are.  I can’t help but wonder if that’s really the concern, or if that adds to the count.  Silly Christians we all are.

So, I went into this, because I wonder how many people live in discouragement that are exhibiting many of the fruits of the spirit, but not the “fruits of the church”.  So they are growing, but from the external view they aren’t on mission trips, and leading small groups, and witnessing to people enough to look good, so they get discouraged.  They come to think of themselves as not as good and lose that desire to draw closer to God.  I’ve been there.  If you are, remember, what God believes is what matters.  Draw closer to Him.

The fruit is the test.  Are you showing more fruit of the spirit.  Love, joy, peace, patience….

If you’re not, the answer isn’t to try hard, it’s to abide more deeply.  Spend more time with the Lord, listen to Him, meditate upon the word, desire God.  Keep your mind on the Lord more and His love, and the fruits will grow.  When you’re being fed by the vine, the fruit will grow on it’s own.  If you try to force it, you’ll just get discouraged.