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How’s that for a title.  Coming from the guy who likes to quote things like “God is love” showing how it all boils down to love.

Well…. here we are.

I’m stuck on a passage again.  This happens to me often enough.  Any time I want to spend time reading and meditating, this is the only passage that comes to me.  I can’t move past, I can’t move no, and I can’t make sense of it.  Granted, I’ve spent a lot of my free time on my “project”, so I haven’t had as much time just sitting in the Word as I should or want.  Also I’ve been off in audio books.  I digress.

I’m writing this as much to relay some information on as to just try to get this out of my head.  Sometimes just talking about something will force you to see it a little different, to look a little closer at a word, or something like that.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:9-11

As with many other passages, I saw the you “may be pure”, and it caught my attention.  Now, section by section:

“And this is my prayer”

Not a command, but a prayer.  So this is more than just “do these things” but “God help me do these things”.

“that your love may abound more and more”

We need more love.   NASB says “love may abound still more and more”.  So their love is already abounding, but we want it more, and then even more.  But how is our love to abound.

“in knowledge and depth of insight”

NASB says “true knowledge and all discernment”.  That would be epignosis, as in experiential or as I say, revelation knowledge.  This isn’t knowing facts, but having them revealed to you.  Discernment is clear enough, seeing through the muck at the truth.   So love alone is not enough.  Just growing in love doesn’t get us where we are going.  No, we need that love directed by revelation and discernment.  This is where we use the love God gave us, but also lean upon him to direct that love.  We can’t just go out and love everything more.  That’s inefficient and wasteful.  We are to be love, but the act of love must be directed as God directs.  As we learn how to apply it, we need to abound there.

“so that you may be able to discern what is best”

Again, why love through those methods above, so we can do the best we can.  We need to find what is the best that God has for us and focus there.  Practice your discernment and wisdom.  Search out insights from God and apply them.  Live the best life you can.

and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ”

Again, NASB “in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ”.  Not sure why I didn’t just start with NASB.  Oh well.  First, we walk this way that we may be pure.  Why is that important, because our relationship is built upon holiness.  The pure in heart see God.  The more pure we become, the more He can step in.  Next thought, “until the day of Chirst”.  Just another verse as proof that we can walk in holiness and purity.  Paul didn’t pray that we “try to walk pure”, or we walk “in a more pure manner”, or even “we are pure when Christ comes.  No, be pure until Christ comes.  And the way to reach purity, apply your love with discernment and revelation.

“filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ”

Have to admit, I don’t have much here.  What is the fruit of righteousness?  Looking at several other verses, peace is mentioned a lot, but it seems to be the fruit of a life lived in holiness.  The preparing of your soul and spirit by staying pure before the Lord to make you into His image.

“to the glory and praise of God.”

Always to His glory.  We live, that He may be glorified.  That others may see our love, and come to know that it is merely a bare reflection of the love God showers upon us.

Love with intent.  Find the truth, apply it, and love even more.

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That pesky truth…

Ok, so I’m starting a new category here.  It’s for those things that God decides to drop my way that I really didn’t want to hear… sigh.

Case in point, couple days back me and my wife were having a little spat.  Nothing big, usual stress from work, family, holidays all piling up until we each probably felt like we were doing too much.  Mumbling like “I have to do everything” may have been heard in our house.  We each had our reasons to be bitter.  It sort of just appeared quickly, not even sure how it escalated so fast.

On my side I was doing fairly well at trying to just keep my mouth shut.  I’d love to say that I show enough Jesus that I can keep a right attitude when I feel like I’m “mistreated”, but alas, no.  Instead, I just try to keep my mouth shut and not say the things I’m thinking that I am sure aren’t Godly.  The next morning after this started, I got a little break of a couple minutes, and just popped out my phone to read from a Bible app.  I’m in Phillipians 1, where I’ve been stuck for a while.  I suspect I’ll post on that reason soon enough.  Anyway, I hit this verse:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight – Phil 1:9

I’ve been spending some time meditating upon that recently, but in this instance I didn’t get past the first 11 words or so.  Love may abound.

And so quietly and gently the Spirit asked “is your love abounding to your wife”.

..

There are some days I regret actually listening, especially when it grieves my pride so much.  Of course the regret is temporary and totally my old man speaking.  So gently the next couple hours I worked myself back into love.  I set aside my grievances, even knowing that some may be valid and I might have to deal with being “mistreated” again in a similar manner, but this day, learning to love was more important.

Pesky truth, why can’t you just let me sulk.

This is a quick recount of revelation that hit me a couple days ago.  First let’s start with the base, then I’ll explain.

Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.” But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once. – Matthew 15:21-28

I had heard speakers speak of this passage.  I’m not sure who I picked it up from, but a quick search put Andrew Wommack up near the top.  He is a well known for this healing ministry, and mainly the divine health he walks under.  One of the phrases I know from his talks is “You’ve already got it”.  Basically at salvation we received the full “salvation” of payment of sins, healing, deliverance, etc.  Basically the full definition of the Greek word Sozo ( if I remember right ).   In light of this passage, the truth that healing was the “children’s bread” has sparked a number of healing ministries.  The thought being that this is something that is expected, basically a right of the believer.

Again, I had heard this, but haven’t walked in it myself.  I had actually had a conversation on this topic with some family just a couple days back.  During the occasion, I was around a number of family members that had been passing around a cold.  Sure enough, about 2 or 3 days  into this, I noticed I was feeling achy, a little sore, and strangely cold inside a house where others seemed to be warm.  I know the feelings.  It’s that first stage of the cold where it’s starting to take hold and things are about to go downhill.

At a certain instance, I needed to step outside to go grab something from the care.  During this, I was thinking about walking in divine health and God’s healing.  If this is something we have available, I feel like I should be fighting for it.  I’m tired of watching so many close to me struggle with sickness and disease.  On the way to the car, I begin thinking through verses about healing.  That’s when the passage above pops into my heal.  “Children’s bread”.  Hmm, as I pondered that, another verse popped into my head as bread struck some memory.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:9-11

And the revelation fell with an almost audible thump.  I jerked to a thought with the shock of it.  Could it really be that simple, could it match up just like that?  But the truth in my spirit cried out with .. joy.

You see, if healing is part of God’s “bread” to His children, and we know that a good father is happy to provide bread to his child when asked, how can we doubt his desire for us.  How can we not expect such a good God to heal us?  I know these verses speak of more than just healing, and more than just gifts, but I cannot argue the intersection.

When I need healing, I ask God.  God, being a good father, and healing being part of the bread He has for His children, will happily give it forth.  So I should ask and expect it.

So I did.  As we continued through the day, I got a chance to just look to the Lord and ask for Him to heal this cold.  The feelings were still there.  So as we talked and did things, I kept trying to look to the Lord, picture Jesus.  Each time I was able to focus upon Him with feeling, the feelings would decrease.  I think that was just my method of faith.  As I focused upon the Lord and felt His presence, I knew His goodness would take care of me.  Over the next 15 minutes or so, I felt fine.  Several days later, I’m still fine.  A little tired out, but then again, I’ve been around a lot of family for the holiday.

So… to be picky… I know there are some times where healing might not come.  I can think of some instances from ministers I know to walk closely with the Lord where they prayed for someone and God would not heal them.  Those cases were pretty rare and had a very specific reason.  Usually a problem on the part of the person.  The way I see it ( my “theology for now” ), is that it is expected for God to heal.  So I trust Him.  If it doesn’t seem to be happening, then I also trust Him to reveal to me what is wrong.  He is a good God.  If I am not receiving what He told me, then there is a better reason and I will wait upon Him to tell me.

I suspect, just like any revelation, this will be tested a lot and soon.  I’m not looking forward to that.  Any attempt at drawing closer to the Lord almost always leads me to a period of wilderness, and I’m not always successful there.  Lord help me.

Sometimes all it takes is just 10 minutes during your workout where you set your eyes upon the Lord, still your heart, and be open, and you get a “download” as Paul Keith Davis likes to say.  That’s what happened last night.  I get the impression that the Lord is just bubbling over with things to tell me, only waiting that I’m still and humble enough to receive them.

I carry burdens, lots of them.  I suspect we all do.  It takes so little.

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Job
  • Mortgage
  • Friends
  • Parents

Expectations are placed upon us by things around us.  Usually people, sometimes just ourselves.  There’s actually a Marriage devotional we went through called iMarriage that I’m reminded of.  According to them, the expectations we bring into the marriage are often the things that drives it apart.  Your spouse will most likely not live up to your expectations.  It’s ok to dream, but to expect is to place a burden.  When I expect my wife to make dinner sometimes and I continue to find myself making dinner, where do I go.  I go into my expectation, wondering why she can’t handle such a small thing.  What did I do that I have to do this.  Whine, whine whine.  Now I’m bitter.  That bitterness will just spread until it finds other reasons to reinforce itself.

Back to the point.  I can focus on the expectations.  My work expects me to keep everything going(that was super bad for a while), my wife expects me to do all sorts of things and remember stuff(oh boy), my child expects me to play all the time, I expect myself to work on my writing, and fix the house, and rake the leaves, and so on.  God expects me to do my quiet time and find time to wait quietly, and pray, and intercession.  Don’t forget worship.

In the end, I fail it all.

But Jesus…. my beloved Jesus.

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy ladened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

We need to change how we live.  I need to, so I don’t get buried under the pressure.  What was Jesus yoke?  Easy.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:36-39

Love God, love others.

I can do it, sometimes.  When I am able to set myself aside.  I have to drop all my expectations, my fleshly desires, and my priorities.  Then I come to God empty.  Live small.  Make yourself small before the Lord.  Some days it took me a few minutes in the shower, another day a minute on my knees, another day 30 minutes of worship in the car.  Whatever way.  Come to God and bow before Him.  Get everything of yourself out of the way and Know Him.  When you get that mindset right, all the other stuff becomes so easy.  You come home and immediately clean up the dishes, clear the mess, and start some laundry because it’ll bless your wife to do it.  When you find a moment in the car, you praise the Lord because it’s pleasing to Him.  When sin comes, you answer as Joseph “How can I do such a thing and sin against my God!”

Set yourself aside.  Live small, so that He may be big.

 

The Spirit gave me this little nugget while raking leaves today.  I was thinking how I’ve often heard the response from people who don’t believe you can see God ( while living at least ) that “you can’t see God and live”.  The verse they’re referencing is from Exodus.

But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” – Exodus 33:20

There’s a lot of arguments I’ve heard to go against this, but I had an interesting new one today.  As I had that thought, the Spirit said to me, “Doesn’t that sound familiar”.  I thought so too.  It sounded similar to the tree of knowledge.

But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” – Genesis 2:17

But wait, Adam and Eve didn’t actually die when they ate from the tree.  Yet that’s what God said.  We realize that the death was more spiritual.  Their physical boides continue on.

So what’s to keep us from applying the same principle.  When they ate the fruit, a part of them ( spiritual ) died.  So when we see God, a part of us ( old man ) can no longer live.  When you come face to face with God, something will die.  It could be you, but it could also be the flesh in you that dies and gives way to something greater.

Ok, so I’ve had it for a bit, but finally started reading Gazing into Glory by Bruce Allen.  I knew of Bruce from the Lancaster prophetic conferences that he did with Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj and Neville Johnson for years, but never really listened much to him.  So I went back to look at the intro and realized this book was very relevant for my quest, so I started working through it slowly.  And slowly it was.  Like most good books, I could only go for about 10-15 minutes at a time before I had to stop and chew on things a while.  I actually haven’t finished, but I think I’m past the relevant parts for this post.

Guess what most of the book was about.  Seeing God, moving into the Spirit, working with God.  You know, all the stuff I’ve been pursuing.  Here’s some basic notes I took along the way.

  • First key – Passion.  Search with all your heart
  • Second key – Pure in heart shall see God
  • Third key – Obedience
  • A lot of talk about sanctifying our imagination.  Watch what you put into your mind, focus on Jesus.  ( Take every thought captive )
  • “Imagination is reality according to God”
  • “You’re as close to God as you want to be”
  • “Jesus is no respecter of persons”
  • Begin to practice His presence, focusing upon an image of Jesus in your imagination.  When you read the Bible, picture it.  When you’re longing for something from God, imagine it occurring.
  • Passion, passion, passion.

So if you’ve read much of my stuff, basically all the same stuff I’ve been taking from others.   Same things I’ve been trying to work toward.  This was a nice affirmation that I’m on the right track.  Almost everything he was saying, I could “nod” my head at as something I knew that I should be doing.  Sometimes it’s just nice to get another person’s input and realize you aren’t so far off.

The other encouraging thing was his story.  He worked his way into this.  He didn’t start with some big supernatural encounter as many others I’ve read.   He didn’t have a voice speak out to start talking.  No, he heard some of these truths and began to apply them in his life until he broke through.

It was a bit different than Neville or Sadhu, so that was good.  Followed more along the lines of Neville.  Use your imagination, sanctify it, focus it upon God.  If you’re passionate enough and stick with it, God will use that.

For me what I’ve taken is I’m falling short on two things here.  First the passion.  I get it for a couple weeks here or there, but don’t keep it strong like I should until I break through.  Second, focusing upon Jesus.  I’ll do it for a couple days, but it’s tough.  It’s tough to leave so much else out of your mind and focus to keep it upon the Lord.  Strange thing is when I do it, it continues to be more and more real.  Often I’ll stop and focus upon the Lord for a couple minutes and having this wave of love and peace flow through me, as if He’s right there ( which of course He is ).  It’s like each time I come back to these things, they’re a little more real.  If I can just hold firm this time.

 

 

 

 

I was bitter.

I find this happening a little too often.  Bitterness is a disease, but even more.  It’s like a cancer that spreads.  When you let it in, it tries to grow and grow.  It will consume you if you don’t cut it off.  I’ve seen it in too many others around me.  Yick.

That’s not my post for today, I just started bitter.  Some was directed at my wife (sorry honey).  You know how we all have expectations.  Well, my expectations weren’t being met.  As part of this, I was wondering why I would continue to do all the things I do.  You see, the Lord had taught me to love her and sacrifice for her especially in the times I don’t think she would deserve it.  That’s a different story for another day.  So here I am wondering why I keep doing that, and the Lord suddenly gave me 1 Peter 4:8

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

I had always looked at this verse like that of God’s love.  He loves us so much it can cover over our sins.  Basically grace.  But that’s not what it’s tell me.  It’s telling me to love because that covers sin.  In the moment, the meaning was clear to me.  My actions of love for my wife would cover over results of my sins and keep the consequences of those.  You see, I have my own problems as well.  I wonder sometimes ( as I think we all should ) how our marriage goes so well when the two of us ( especially me ) have so many issues.

What I learned is that my love for here and the actions I take ( especially when I don’t feel it ), covers over many of my own shortcomings and has kept out marriage in the shape it is in.

So what is this telling me going forward.  It’s telling me just how important love is.  I am not perfect and don’t expect to be anytime soon ( I have hopes ).  I will sin, and that sin has consequences even though I am forgiven.  In the Spirit God sees me as sinless, but if I were to kill someone for example, I would still end up in jail.  Sin has a result, even forgiven sin.  Yet there’s another way.  Love.  An abundance of love will cover over the sins and make them like they didn’t exist.  So when I am so desperate for the Lord but know that I will still fall into sin, I should love Him even more.  Show love most especially in those times where it doesn’t make sense.

Why, because love covers my sin.  Covering my sin helps make me holy again.  Holiness is relationship.

 

Let’s get real.

I was listening to Bobby Conner yesterday

 

Gotta love Bobby Conner.  I actually met him once and he prophesied over me.  That an event would happen, but not so much what it means or what will occur because of it. Still waiting on that to see.  Anyway, I’m listening to him and he brings up a scripture I know well.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:12-13

Nothing big and new here, but just re-emphasizing this for me.  If you want to find the Lord, then you must seek with ALL your heart.  There’s no half-hearted effort to be had here.  All or nothing.  This was just one of like 5 times I had to stop the video in just the first 30 minutes or so.  So many good little nuggets.  Anyway, it just hit me again how important this is.  I’m getting more desperate and focused, which is good, but I need to push deeper.

Not sure if you saw this video I posted a while back:

https://wordpress.com/post/waitwithme.wordpress.com/630

Looks like the video link doesn’t work anymore, I probably have it saved somewhere if you need it.  It was Neville Johnson’s son(Mark) talking about how his eyes were opened.  Basically he got determined enough and he knew one of the keys to God was sacrifice.  So he took a show he watched with his dad often, and put that time aside to spend with the Lord.  This came to mind recently as I was thinking about the Old Testament.  There are all these sacrifices and offerings they give which are representations of spiritual sacrifices, yet only one of them was Jesus.  The Sin or Trespass(forgive me, don’t want to go digging right now).  But there were others.

God is big on sacrifice.

I’m ready for something new.  I’m ready to stop flopping around in the same area and listening to all these things but seeing so few of them.  Let’s take Mark’s approach here.  We will find God when we search with all our heart.  So let’s pick out something in our heart that isn’t necessary.  Not family or job ( well, maybe job ), but something not required.  TV show, books, hobbies, etc.  I am not saying to cut it all out ( at least not right now ), but pick out something big and important to you.  Something you desire.  A good example for me is audiobooks.  I love to listen to them as I mentioned.  I’ll go little periods without, but always fall back.  Pick out a thing or two and commit it to God.  I’m not saying forever, just long enough.  I would suggest picking something that frees up time, because you need to put that time into God.  Praise, worship, prayer, and especially just waiting upon Him.  I’ve actually got a couple things in mind, one which is not exactly a sin, but close enough it doesn’t count as the type of sacrifice I’m meaning.  But others do.

Now take that sacrifice, stand before the Lord, and tell Him you will set that aside until He moves.  How long?  As long as it takes.

I can’t stand living like this much longer.

You in?

 

That was fun.  I had heard about him and ended up meeting him through some friends.  Pretty down to earth guy, sort of country small town guy.  You wouldn’t expect much from him to look at or talk to (at first).  He isn’t a pastor, or even a normal “minister”.  He doesn’t have a big ministry or anything even known.  Yet God has touched him.  Wow.

I just heard him telling stories.  One of them he was brought over to a country in Africa to be one of a couple speakers for a conference of several thousand pastors.  He speaks at churches in the area, but mostly just goes where he’s led.

He says he doesn’t go minister somewhere unless God tells him.  So he hasn’t set up a ministry or church, even though enough people would follow him it could have.  He has seen healings, deliverances, and so on.  The best story was the beginning one though.

He was part of a small church and stuck on a committee ( of one ) to look for the new pastor.  It was going badly, divided church, no one could agree.  So he began a nightly prayer meeting.  Every night him and his wife would go to the church and pray.  This kept on for about 5 months or so I think.  Finally God told him it was time to leave.  He had grown up in this church, so a big deal for a little country church.  Well that leads down a couple paths to this period where God baptized him in the spirit and he had a period where he couldn’t talk normally for days.  God would lead people in and he could minister to them, but otherwise, nothing intelligible would come out of his mouth.  One was a woman who came that morning to see him.  Her and her husband had troubles and were on the verge of getting divorced.  During the drive to his office, she was praying to God about it.  Well when she got there, suddenly this man started talking.  Now in this case, he had no idea what he said, it was like God said it in his ear and it just came out.  Well he repeated this woman’s prayer from on the way word for word.  She ended up in tears on the floor.  Her words on the way out were “our marriage will be fine”.

There were so many other stories he gave of what God had done.

This is the kind of ministry that touches my heart.  The type where God steps in and does something none of us could do.  And it all began when he started praying to God for an answer and wouldn’t give up.  That’s the sort of dedication I’m seeing across many of these ministers.  Same thing Neville talks about, you keep doing and doing it until you break through.

Don’t we all wish to do the work of God.  I imagine the day I come up to Heaven and wonder if I will be greeted like Jesus’ parables for the faithful servants.  Will I come and find that I have done well for Him or not.  Personally I think if we’re not sure, we should fix that, but that’s not the point of this post.  No, I want to focus upon the work of God itself.  What works are pleasing to Him.  What deeds should I be doing to know that I am doing well.

I’ve been in church a long time.  I know the answers.  Go on mission trips, lead a small group or Bible study, volunteer with the children’s classes.  Summer camps, committees, witnessing, giving.  There is so much to be done and much that the church needs.  In fact we were given a book to help us here.  I am a Church Member.  An interesting book with a lot of good points and suggestions.  You can pretty much narrow it down to that same concept as the famous line from John Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”.

Yet through all this, something is still wrong.  Then guess what I ran across a couple days back.  I am still amazed I can find verses like these in scriptures I have read many times.  In John 6 Jesus was speaking of working for the bread that endures.  Then He just comes right out there with it.

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”‭ – John‬ ‭6:29‬ ‭

Well, there it is.  The work of God is not ministry, service and giving.  Those are all great and fit into it, but that’s not where you start.  You start by believing.  Not just believing in a God that has saved, but in this Jesus whom you know.  All the work is done in believing in Him.  When you believe, you change your life.  When you believe in His love, you declare it to others.  When you believe in His power, you introduce it to the world.  When you really believe in Jesus, you escort Him into your life to change you, and the world around you.

Believe.  That is the work you need to do.  When that belief is rooted in you, it will overflow out of your life.