We all have a tendency to show the world the side of us we choose to reveal. We smile when we’re sad, we laugh when life hurts, we show strength when we are falling apart. Living like this over long seasons of life cause us to feel isolated both from people and from reality. We get so use to being accepted in certain ways that we develop a persona for different people based on how we feel we relate to them. It amazes me to see the undue stress we put ourselves under to be accepted for the things we are not, and losing focus of who we were designed to be. How much more beautiful is it to live in the fullness of who God designed you to be before time began, and to let the right people accept who you are without struggling to be someone else? I think we should all choose to be rejected by the people that would deny us in our authenticity. We have a God that sees through what we pretend to be. He knows what our hearts really desire and what they need to thrive. We have an idea of what we want, God’s wisdom knows without a doubt what we need. Be authentic with God and feel His acceptance of you. He created you to be the way He finds you. He will never be surprised by you. God knows every hair of your head and every sin you have or will ever commit. As you seek The Lord in prayer let him into the fullness of your heart so that He can make you whole. Let Him put the things that seem out of place back in order in your life and in your heart. You have to give Him all of the pieces if you want Him to work in completeness in your life. Don’t hide what you consider ugly or shameful. He sees you as His beautiful child, washed clean in the blood of Christ. He saved you so that you could come to Him. So go! Find the authentic relationship that both God and your spirit long for. No acceptance of people or things of this world will ever take the place of His love.
The deceiver looks to accuse us. Not only to God but between ourselves. The worse we feel about ourselves the further redemption seems. When sin clouds redemption among brothers they attach that characteristic to God. Accusations taken to The Father are met with forgiveness and cleansing if partnered with repentance. Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” 5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by. (Zechariah 3:1-5) The Lord stands by waiting for His children to return. The saddest thing for us, and pleasurable for the devil is when we feel unworthy. We forget out identity and turn away, again to the pleasure of the deceiver. Do not let accusation take you away from God or His purpose in you. The devil will seek to destroy your reputation, but God will always seek to establish your character which cannot be changed by anyone but you.
Adam Gave It Away
I was considering the fallenness of the earth and the fact that the earth is under the control of satan. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. (2 Corinthians 4:4) The world falls deeper into the chaos of sin every day. People think of sin as the big things (murder, assault, rape, etc.), but in fact the world is covered in sin when you compare us to the holiness of God. The world God gave us was covered in His glory, and it was very good! And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31) The world has fallen into darkness (away from God’s light) and its sinfulness is so prevalent that people don’t recognize it anymore. Sin has become normal and everyone is desensitized to it.
I began working through Genesis today for a group study and had a thought in regards to all of this. God gave the world to Adam and Eve. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion… (Genesis 1:28) Adam and Eve were given dominion over all of the earth and its creatures! But above we see that satan is the god of this world. We have to realize that Adam gave satan this world in original sin. In God’s light Adam ruled over all of God’s creation, but in sinful darkness, satan is lord. I say this to illustrate how sin gives the deceiver power. Sin gives him a foot hold in the lives of all people. When hearts are turned back to God and made pure in the blood of Jesus, satan is defeated. God’s light drives out darkness. The same goes for your mind, heart, and life. Give God control of everything and walk in His light. Satan doesn’t have dominion over you if you refuse to give it to him, in sin. Don’t make the same mistakes we see in Adam. Let him be our example and let Jesus be our way out. Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can you escape the darkness. The Spirit of God is yours in Jesus. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:17-19)
When emotions run high and fear creeps in: stop in the silence/stillness of God. (1)Identify what is real, (2) what this can teach us, (3) how God can act through this, and (4) how we can show God to others in that moment.
- (1) Ask God to speak truth to your heart. Know that you are prone to sin and the temptation to react without guidance. Be honest and show humility when you examine your own heart. Seek to discover what is real so proper action can be taken.
- (2) After we know the real emotion, find its purpose in your situation. What can it teach us about ourselves? What can it teach us about others? What can it teach us about our role in this situation (are we to learn or be an example to teach others)? Every situation is a chance to learn!
- (3) Can you identify how God is acting through the situation? Who is He spurring toward growth or realization? What defenses are being broken down or weakened? Is He drawing people closer to Him? Is He providing provision that might be missed in the presence of high emotion?
- (4) How can you be His example? Maybe God has brought you a difficult situation so that you might show others the power of the Spirit in your life, what reliance of God really looks like. Being an example of God creates more change than being a person of words. God let Lazarus die, which brought Jesus to tears. He did this so that He might be glorified when Jesus brought Him back to life!
(Matthew 24:45-51) “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This is a parable we should live by. They all are of course but the ideas of God cannot be simply spoken and understood. They must be developed in a heart filled with the Holy Spirit to become fully alive and applicable. Any time Jesus provides us a parable it speaks to every aspect of our life. The beauty of that is how the Word is alive and evolves in meaning to guide us in all seasons of life.
This parable speaks to God’s children, those who have accepted Jesus and are seeking to develop their lives with the indwelling of the Spirit. God is our master as we delight in the service of His kingdom. The religious structure man has created, in an attempt to reach God, clouds the true desire of God. God wants our hearts, our faith, our obedience, and true relationship with Him. Following the rules of fallible men leads away from His calling to us. The rules instituted by man create exclusivity which does not exist in the eyes of God. The rules man creates drive brothers and sisters in Christ away from the steadfast forgiveness and acceptance in Jesus. Not being open to relationship with all believers and helping them to grow is the same as ‘beating our fellow servants.’ If we are not ‘feeding’ them and helping their walk, we are in fact ‘beating’ the love of God back as He reaches out to all of His children. Look at this parable as a call of God to treat everyone with the love God shows you in your fallen condition. Don’t follow the rules of man. They are fallible, like the man who devised them. It is a mistake to take and try to grow the perfect word of God. If God didn’t choose to put in in scripture, who are we to add to the perfect plan of our Master?
God has a plan for all who are obedient to His guidance. The plans and blessings God has prepared for those who are faithful to staying His course are far beyond our imagination. One of the most difficult aspects to walking in God’s light and taking Him by His right hand is that those who have hardened their hearts and choose to dwell outside of God’s light will never understand this walk. Being selfless, joyful, at peace, and confident make the lost question the sanity of a mind focused on the things that are eternal. God’s plan will not always be clear to those who stay in the shadow of earthly sin. Faith allows a believer to be steadfast in the provision of our God. We must accept the responsibility that comes with a knowledge of Jesus and the indwelling of the Spirit of God. God’s people must harness the power available in the Holy Spirit and become leaders of the lost, a guide toward the light of God and His path. We are only able to rightfully lead when we are rightfully lead by God. A real leader must see the goal before those who are meant to follow. Be a reflection of God’s light and a beacon in this dark world.
We must allow God to fill our hearts with His Spirit and His Word to fill our minds with His truth. We have to be open to receive truth, in any way it is given to us. It may be through difficult times, quiet times, joyful times, times of fear, times of anger, times of panic. It may come through a person we love, someone we are fearful of, someone we respect, someone who is the opposite of what we desire to be. God is always speaking to us, always giving real life examples of His word. Are we always listening? Are we always available to find the application of His truth? Do we expect God to tailor His infinite wisdom to accommodate our closed mind? If He did, would we receive far less than He was willing to provide? We must use knowledge to help us receive God’s provision, and understand how it can mature our spirit, fill our heart, and direct our minds. We must finally enter into God’s Wisdom, God’s viewpoint. We can use the tools He makes available to us to enter into sanctification, holiness. Seeking God daily opens the doors to the life God desires for those who will enter into His kingdom, enter into His Glory.
(2 Chronicles 15:2) The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
Think about the many culture that exist around the world. The Hawaiian culture is laid back and trusts in everything being ok, where the Chinese culture is at the other end of the spectrum with its structure and control. Every other culture within the spectrum has customs and ways of doing things that make the most sense to those people. Each is also developed by man who is fallen. Thus each culture will inevitably leads its people away from God’s perfect way. A laid back culture will fail to act and miss the path of God, where the controlling culture will fail to rely on God’s guidance and miss God’s path as well. As the world falls deeper into the darkness and toward Armageddon, we see God being ignored. This is very true in America. The country was founded by Christians and grew based on His principles. Now we see a movement toward removing God and His founding structure from this country. Everyone is becoming fearful of terrorists, financial collapse, or excess crime rates. They fail to see that those fears grow as we drift from the design of God and subsequently the fathers of this country. I only use the U.S. as an example because its origins were found in God, thus they’ve strayed from its good start. Other cultures were founded in darkness and show more variance due to their human conception. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to develop within us a heavenly culture where reliance on, faith in, and love for God are its main focus.
In the Sermon on the Plain Jesus again speaks of the contrast between the life of this world and the life that awaits those you live a life in His light. People who find this life to be one of absolute pleasure and happiness are receiving the rewards of this world as opposed to the infinitely better reward that is promised to those who are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.
20b “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
21b “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
25b “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
There is a great deal of danger in losing sight of the ultimate prize found only in God through Jesus. The pleasure of this world is nothing in comparison to the place God has made for His people. Stepping back from the reward of heaven I like to sit and think about how a life lead by Jesus Christ is a better life in general. Even without the reward of paradise the blessing we have the opportunity to be to this fallen world is right in front of us. How much more satisfying is it to give happiness to someone that needs your help? How wonderful is it to give a part of yourself to people knowing that will make an impact that stands the test of time? Imagine the legacy that all of us are capable of leaving if we use our time on this earth to shine as much light on this darkness as we possibly can. What joy is there in blending in? I feel that when people can’t understand why I’m not angry when people persecute me, or I give away gifts the Lord has blessed me with in excess of what I need; they are seeing me reflect the light of my savior to this world. The harder it is to shine the harder we must persevere. Darkness is the absence of light. If we allow our light s to dim in adversity the darkness will take over. In the end Jesus has already claimed victory at the cross. I’m here as a Christian soldier to represent my God who saved me from this darkness and adopted me as His child of light. In the end, representing God and my salvation is being a living version of the Beatitudes, a living version of my savior Jesus Christ.