Archive for December, 2013


21Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:21-26

Never noticed till today.  Martha comes to Jesus believing that He could have healed Lazarus if He had come earlier.  First of all, that’s more faith than most of us had.  She’d seen it before, she knew He could.  Jesus says He will rise and Martha says that she knows he will rise again on the last day.  Jesus response was more than just telling her he had that power.  It was redirecting her whole belief system.  Jesus was in essence saying, “Martha, do not put your belief in your ministers or lawyers.  Do not place your hopes upon their PHD’s in divinity and theology.  Do not believe upon your commentaries and doctrines of faith.  Place your hopes in me.  Place your belief about what is possible in me.  I am life, I am the resurrection.  Don’t trust in your own experiences but upon my living words”.

Still speaks today.  I see us placing our faiths in what we have interpreted and experienced from the Bible, and not in a living person Himself.  I see us believing what is taught by man rather than taught by God himself.

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I ran Cross Country in high school.  I know what it is to have endurance, I know what it is to finish the course.  I just don’t apparently know how to do this with my life.  I too easily stumble, I too easily give up.  I left failure disappoint me.  I let my weakness take over.  I let the enemy sidetrack me.  Then I come back, and start again.

I guess that’s one thing I have going for me, I keep coming back.  I repent.  But it just gets me back, not moving forward.

I started reading Rick Joyner’s new book, “The Path”.  If you haven’t read it, I suggest doing that.  I don’t have a lot to say at this point, other than it’s much like the Final Quest ( another must read ).  It’ll fire you up and get you back on the path.  He mentions three things in here to keep you on the path.

  1. Learn to hear His voice
  2. Obey
  3. Stay in His presence

I think many of us fail because we don’t obey.  Sure, we’ll do it for a little bit, but then it’ll start small.  We sleep in when we planned to meet the Lord in the morning.  We decide it’s not worth the frustration to do the right thing.  We give in to selfishness rather than Godliness.  And at some point, we realize where we are, and decide we’d rather stay for a bit.  You see, often, the problem is not that we don’t hear, but that we don’t obey what we already know.

I want that to end today.

It’s not the first of the year yet, not time for new resolutions, but I’ve never really liked them anyway.  This isn’t a resolution, not a promise, just a cry from deep in my heart.  I want to follow you God.  I want to please you.  I want to endure, I want to push on.  The trials will come, and I want to find joy, knowing that each one draws me closer to my Lord.  Each is a chance to please Him with my obedience, my dedication, and most importantly, my love.

I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.  – Song of Solomon 6:3

 

I have often found myself thinking that I would be more Godly if I knew what to do.  I listen to these men of God, and their walks, and tell myself that part of my lack of growth is that I don’t hear from God like they do.  That if I could hear His voice and know His will for my life, then I could have a chance of walking with God as well.  Of course I don’t always say it in these words, but that’s the basic gist.  If I knew God’s will, I would do it.

Except all I’m doing is trying to blame-shift.  I’m trying to put the fault on God’s side for not speaking to me, rather than on my side.  I had a revelation on this when I started to meditate upon this verse:

And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. – John 8:29

I realized that although I don’t hear like these men of God do, I don’t have the revelations that they do, I still know ways to please God.  There are different levels of revelation, and the Lord judges us based upon our level of revelation.

You see, there’s plenty of things I know to do that would please God and I don’t.  Or I do them for a little bit but don’t stay consistent.  So if I have these small revelations and I’m not faithful there, why would he entrust me with more?  However, if I’m faithful to act in all that I currently know, God will surely be faithful to show me more.  The problem is that I don’t do the things I know to do.  It’s much easier to debate, than to obey.

So I look at Jesus, who did everything to please God and realize I can do that as well.  In fact, I had a day that I felt I actually did fairly good at it.  Just a day, but it was a good day.  I found that I actually have a chance at success, that I can overcome.  I think it’s a focus thing.  Rather than looking at these goals I’ve set up for myself and feeling like I fall short, instead I just take each moment and ask myself if it will please God.  If I think it will, I do it.  Simple as that.  And if I am wrong, I have to believe that God is faithful to correct, and to know I am willing to take any correction and act on it, to continue to please Him.

Try it.  Decide today that you will be pleasing to Him.  If you set it in your heart, and desire it, you can achieve it.  This is perhaps my best chance at holiness.

And without holiness, no one can see God.

 

I got an interesting email today.  The pastor of a previous church of mine decided to start something new, a Bible verse exchange.  Basically, it’s a chain letter of scriptures.  Copy 20 people, send your favorite verse.  When I read it I just shook my head.  I can’t say that I know what it is, but this isn’t it.  I’m sure there’s some good points to this, but really, is that the best we have.  I’m not trying to play down this pastor, or that church, because it’s most of us.  In one way or another we all do these things.  I can’t even place a name to it other than it was started by man.  We take something good from God, we spin it, but a name on it, and ship it out trying to do God’s work.  When will we realize that God’s work is just that, His.  And as long as we are making up the plans, it’s not really His work.

I think I’ve got down the rabbit hole a little too much.  Basically I’m tired of the life we have made.  I’m tired of playing these church games.  I’m starting to see it a bit more here, I feel like pieces are slowly coming into place.

What is our purpose?  What did God make us for.

If you look at how our churches go, it was for salvation, giving, or even entertainment.  The churches I’m often around it’s salvation.  Eternal life as we tend to call it.  We want to spread that good news.  But tell me this, what were Adam and Eve made for?  There was no one to save.  There was no poor to feed.  There was no one to spread God to.

It seems to all be coming back to Eternal Life.  Jesus came to bring us eternal life(John 3:16 tells us).  But we are treating it the wrong way.  We look at eternal life as Heaven, as the end goal we’re all pushing toward.  We put all our efforts at crossing that finish line and bringing as many as we can with us.  We praise God that He gave us a chance to go to Heaven, but we’ve forgotten where we began.  Like I said, Adam and Eve weren’t looking to Heaven. The already lived there.  God had a different plan for them.  Sin came in and messed it up, so Jesus came to fix it.  Remember that.  Salvation was not an end goal, but a fix to get us back on track.

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. – John 17:3

Adam and Eve knew God.  Eternal life isn’t about getting to Heaven, though that’s a consequence of it.  It’s not about having our sins wiped away, although that is also part.  It’s about knowing God, truly knowing Him.  Not this religion we have made.  It’d be like reading 20 biographies of Abraham Lincoln and telling others we know Him.  Knowing God means something personal.   It means a two-way street of communication, talking, seeing, being with.  That’s not the Christianity many of us live today. Adam and Eve were made to be “Sons of God”.  God made them like Himself, He put them on the Earth as a training ground.  A place where true Sons of God can be made.  This life isn’t an accident but a training ground.  We have one life to live to prepare ourselves for destiny.  God placed destiny in each of us.  A destiny to know Him, to be used by Him, to do great things and to come home into our place with Him.  But how we live this life determines how close we end up to Him.

This has built up in my heart the last few weeks.  I’m not doing my best walk, but I can feel my spirit crying for this.  Crying for more.  I can read my bible, pray, fast, and do so many other good things, but they are all just religious activities without the person at the heart of it all.  Jesus.  I feel in a way I’m coming back to Practicing His Presence.  That I want all my day to be walking in His presence.  I want to bow down and in humility find the Lord at the beginning of each day, then walk the day with Him always in my thoughts.  Each spare moment I pray to Him, in the Spirit and without.  I want to put aside my fantasies, my fictions and my daydreams and take up Jesus.  I want to stop this stupid business of pushing Him aside when He comes in the way of what I need to do, whether that’s work, family, entertainment.  Either God is all, or I am.

When you search for Me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Sometimes the scriptures make things clear.  If I’m not finding God, then this might just be the problem.  God told Israel they would find Him if they searched with all their heart.

I’d like to say I do, but I know I don’t.  I will do it for a couple hours, maybe even a day or two, but so quickly my flesh sneaks in.  Whether I decide to sleep in and skip my time with the Lord because I’m feeling tired, or whether I would rather watch TV with my wife than look into those scriptures I wanted.  Sometimes it’s sin, but more often its just some of my heart.  You see, there’s so many things that aren’t bad, yet if you’re saying “with all my heart”, then it means with all your heart.  I’ll take care of my family, I’ll make sure I get the rest I need, but my first desire, my first choice must be the Lord.  If I can do those things knowing I am putting God first, then it’s fine, but if I put him aside for them, it’s not.

In the last couple years I’ve made what seems like big strides, though in eternity, it’s probably pretty small.  Yet I’m still short of this.  Probably way short.  How do you measure all your heart.  I guess with your time, your money, your dreams.

My contentment with the world continues to fall.  I am not happy even after two days of just spending time with my family and enjoying “life”.  I find myself yearning and longing for much more, because I know it’s there.

I think perhaps my deepest fear is to come to the end of my life and realize that God had set a table before me, but I was content with the crumbs.  Sometimes I even think of the scripture where God met those who had ministered in His name and said “I never knew you”.  My baptist doctrines tell me that would never happen, but can I really say God knows me.  Cause I’ve never met Him face to face.  We’ve never talked on the phone.  I’ve heard whispers and fleeting glimpses.  How can I say I’m a friend of God, when I don’t know His voice or face.

If you haven’t seen this, you should watch it.

http://livingvineministries.org/teachings/

I haven’t listened to Brad McClendon much before other than hearing at one of Paul Keith Davis’s School of the Spirit meetings.  The Simplicity of Jesus message was just amazing.  I think that’s where a bit of my last post came from.  I sort of forget.  I listen to so much that they blend together over time.  I just hope my spirit holds onto many of the truths.  I then went on to listen to the Lessons from Jesus.  If you hear some of how he walks with God, it’s amazing and discouraging.  Amazing that they have such a conversation, that the Lord comes to teach Him things.  Amazing that God moves in such a way.  Discouraging because I am so far away.  To see what some people have, and to look at my life, how much I have struggled, and to feel like I may never see this.  I feel sometimes like I have tried for a long time to find God, and that He’s just not near to me.  He is to others, but not me.

But as far as I know, that’s a lie from the enemy.  He is near to me, I just am not there yet.  God wants that relationship, but for one reason or another, I’m not there.  I could make up a number of reasons, but all I really know is that I need Him.  I am so hungry for Him.

These messages did do one thing for me.  I have decided that I am trying to build up my faith and my relationship on others too much.  I get that feeling of the nearness of God from listening to others talk about Him and not from my own walk.  I can’t live off of another’s relationship.  That’s a way to be introduced, but not a way to get to know.

So I’m cutting back on the messages, the books, the sermons.  I am cutting back on what others say, and opening up to what the Lord says.  I am devoting more of my time to worship, his presence, and prayer.  I wish to talk with Him throughout the day.  In the past I’ve had rare glimpses of Him answering.  I want those to be more common.  I want to be ready to listen at any time, to obey, and to allow myself to hear Him more clearly.

It’s not a pattern, it’s a person.