Category Archives: 50 Posts for Pentecost

A Struggle and Victory over Depression

Today’s psychology books talk like we are the first generation to have the symptoms of what they call psychosis. In all reality, these problems go back to the war in heaven and the exile of the Lucifer to Earth. Fear, doubt, and worry have been renamed as depression, schizophrenia, anxieties, and PSTD and really most any of them fit into one of the three categories of fears, doubts and worries. Oh and yes, I did say PSTD. But we can look back at some of our Biblical heroes and see how they overcame this mental pressure without medication. In fact, they all had one thing in common when it came to the cure, but we will talk about in a few minutes. First, I want to prove my point.

Let’s go to Genesis and Peek into Abraham’s life;

“And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” Genesis 15:2-3

Abram watched as the slaves and servants in his house had children a plenty. Here he is in his eighties! His beautiful wife Sarah watched them until she was well past the age of having children. And oh the heartbreak! Do you think they battled mental pressure over this? They were God’s chosen leaders and yet…no one was born to them in their lineage in a time when your family line meant life or death.

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Let’s look at David, another Biblical hero;

“How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, [having] sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider [and] hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the [sleep of] death; 4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; [and] those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. ” Psalms13:1-4

You can almost hear the moaning and agony  of not knowing when God was going to show up. David was depressed, desperate for help and pouring out his heart before God. He had a talent for words, but his struggle was real. Here’s a man who had seen such carnage in battle and such heart-wrenching combat that most of our men and women in the military today would shudder. I mean no disrespect, but David and the Israelites were always fighting hand to hand  and had no other options like bombing, drones or missiles. If they were defeated, their women would be passed around from enemy camp to camp until they died. Their children would be slaves and die of starvation or disease. These people lived in uncivilized times where brutal men did horrifying things and to stay alive, and God’s people had to be mentally tough. Was God still God for them?? ABSOLUTELY!!!

How did they make it through, without pharmaceutical companies? Or medical marijuana?

I can identify one main thing that they did throughout all these struggles. It was not easy, but it was simple. 

The real fight for humanity is raging on in the invisible. It rages in the mind. But that is not a new fight as you can see. It has always been there, and there has always been a way to have victory.

What did they do?

For Abram God made Him a promise.

“And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”  Genesis 15:4-5

God made Abram a promise just has He has for all of us as well but that isn’t how Abram won the mental battle. How many people have not taken God at His Word? Billions throughout history. What made Abram DIFFERENT? How did he have a victory.

Read the very next verse…

“And he (Abram) believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness” vs. 6

Abram renewed his mind to the promise and believed it. Believing something means you put it in your mind and act accordingly. You act like it is already a reality! He didn’t let the depression be his reality, he let the promise be his reality.

Abraham then became a mighty example of believing. Look at what Paul writes about this incredible PROCESS of overcoming circumstances.

“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness” Romans 4:17-22

Look at that first verse! Abraham “calleth those things which be not as though they were”. He acted as if he already had the promise even though his body was dead! Lol…dead! He couldn’t physically do the act of making a baby anymore. But he talked about it, he called it into reality. He believed GOD’s promise. How many of us give up on God’s promises long before this. Abraham was 99 when he had ISAAC. Unbelievable!

What about David??? Let’s read the very next verses from above.

“But (BUT BUT BUT!) I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalms 13: 5-6

David reminded himself of his trust in God. That is the “renewed mind” in action right there. Sure, things are going to hit us…we live here don’t we. We don’t live in heaven yet. But WE decide if they are going to knock us down and out. This “reminding himself” technique happens all over Psalms and in David’s heart and life.

God asks us to renew our mind. That’s our job. We get that privilege and responsibility.

We decide if situations that cause fear, doubt and worry are going to knock us down and out. This “reminding himself” technique happens all over Psalms and in David’s heart and life.  God asks us to renew our mind. That’s our job. We get that privilege and responsibility. It’s simple, just remind yourself over and over of God’s promises to you. When things hit you, remind, remind and remind again. You may have to remind yourself once and then you’re good to jump up and go again. You may have to drill it into your head like a wood pecker chasing a termite. But don’t stop until you get the prize of a renewed mind. It will get easier the more you do it.

What are some Promises for me?

How about Psalms 13:6…Lol…It worked for David.

“I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”

By the way, the words “hath dealt” are past tense. He also counted all the times before that God dealt bountifully with him.

Let’s go to the Seven Church Epistles because that is the section of the Bible addressed to us.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

How about from the Leadership Epistle…

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

And Here is the Cream on the Top of it all!

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

This is the one thing that all of those Bible Heroes did. This is what made them different, powerful and blessed. This is what you can do too!

God Bless you today!

P.S. There are times that your hard won renewed mind is being sabotaged by spiritual forces. In these cases, it’s best to call someone who knows how to do spiritual battle and who can minister to you. You may not realize you are being hit and no one is immune to this. If you feel like this is you and you would like me to talk with you one-on-one, please message me on Facebook or email me.

How To Gain Confidence in Your Walk with God

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and told that girl or guy, “I’m proud of you? I’m happy you’re you. You deserve God’s very best today.”?

It’s been awhile for me. I don’t think of it. The longest time I spent looking in my eyes in the mirror is when I’m putting on eyeliner. Why don’t we take a few minutes and tell ourselves how much God loves us? Do you think Jesus Christ had confidence?

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:36

Wow, that verse oozes with confidence. It screams of a purpose and with knowledge that what he was talking about was meant to be listened to. How can we get that same kind of commitment and belief in our purpose every day? Jesus Christ was our example, so how can we walk and talk tall in the knowledge and power of God’s purpose for our lives? Here are the steps to gaining confidence with God:

First, you have to learn what you should believe about yourself.

What does the Word of God say that you are? What purpose did God hand to you? Many of us believe that God has every step of our life planned out or predestined and what will be will be of God’s will. That’s called fatalism. And it might as well be a jack-hammer to the brain. They think He asks one of us to be a realtor, but another guy, well he has to be a doctor, and that lady over there, she has to be a missionary. That is not so. We are not robots with no free will. We are God’s children. Would your grown children abide with you putting that kind of restriction and micromanaging control on their lives? Mine wouldn’t! Here’s what the Word says.

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” Colossians 1:9-10

Sure, God knows what career will best bless your life and can guide you through every decision in your life. That’s why it’s so cool to know Him and His Will, but more importantly, do you know Him? Are you growing up in Him? Are you seeing fruit in your life? Are you increasing in knowledge and wisdom of spiritual understanding? It sounds like that’s pretty important.

How do you learn that stuff? Well…You seek after it. Where do you think the first place to look for it will be? Yup, the Bible. He had that book protected, and watched over for thousands of years, it is literally the most sold and popular book of all time. It shouldn’t be too hard to get your hands on. Next, start reading in the area of the book addressed to you. Start in Acts and read through Thessalonians. All these books are addressed to you right now in your life.

Second, you have to believe.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

So faith/believing comes by hearing and by hearing the Word of God. Jesus Christ spent a lot of time before his ministry began, reading the Word of God and hearing it. He engrossed himself in it. So much so, he quoted it to people all the time. He gained confidence and learned about himself from the Word of God, if it wasn’t wrong for him to do it, then it’s most definitely not wrong for us. Oh, I know. Today there’s all these huge ministries and speakers evangelizing to the masses, but I guarantee that you can get more out of an hour studying the Bible on your own than you ever will by turning on the TV Christianity hour. The Word of God is meant to be handled, read and believed, it is perfect nutrition for you at the time and need in your life. God is so intricate that He made it suited for you with custom care and power. The good ol’ fashioned Bible is still what works to build confidence. It still holds the keys to the ages and can propel you forward in your walk.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,” Ephesians 1:17-20

Do you see here how important it is to God that you get to know Him? In fact, the closer you get the more confidence you have in your walk. The more you study and read, the more you’ll be able to understand what God is and how big He is. Just don’t give up. It’s important and you are worth it!

The Third Step is Renewing you Mind to What the Word says.

Every day we get hit with a million ways to “NOT” think the Word about ourselves. Renewing our mind and going back to the truth is an almost minute by minute battle. It’s just as important to keep the truth running through your mind as it is to get it in there in the first place. IF God says, “by his stripes, ye WERE healed,” then that reality is now! We should be celebrating our healing all the time, instead of letting the world convince us we’re sick.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

Correction and Reproof are a huge part of our walk. We have to learn to be meek about it. None of us are perfect and God is not finished with us yet. Accept that and go digging for the weeds of the mind that talk us out of our confidence. Every day is an adventure and a constant learning of the truth and newness that is God. Don’t settle for less than the journey! It is amazing!

God Bless you today!IMG_0076 (1)

For those who are interested and in Billings local area, Bill and Terri Porta are starting a Sunday School class on Sunday, August 7th at the Open Bible Christian Center in Billings. This will be the first time they have ever co-taught the Word of God. For more information about this class contact them at:

OPEN BIBLE CHRISTIAN CENTER
302 19TH ST. W.
BILLINGS, MT 59102
(406) 656-4946

Sunday school starts every Sunday starting August 7th at 9:45 am. Bring a friend!

 

 

Beloved…

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2

When was the last time someone called you, “Beloved”? It’s a special thing when it happens but even more special in this context here in the Bible. Isn’t it interesting the content of this life altering verse? I love when I read a refreshing post, or hear a sermon where someone dares to think this big. I can hear you ask, “Terri, do you mean to say this is true? God wants me to prosper above all things and to be in health…above ALL things???” Couldn’t a father want that for his child? IF you are one of the kids out there who grew up with confused, or rotten parents, I’m sorry, but God isn’t like that. It’s not fair to read their mistakes into God’s strength, or our mistrust for relationships around us into our relationship with God. We have to put our past experiences where they belong, in the past. We can’t let them decide our future. God is so much bigger than that!  Okay, where else doesGod say that?.

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God thinks peaceful thoughts towards us, not evil ones. He loves us and works miracles on our behalf to make our life better and more peaceful. There is no problem that you have or could come up with that will stump God. He’s seen them all and been victorious over them all. God really does want the best for you. If you don’t believe me just read what He wrote about you.

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Just keep going! You are loved, BEloved to God. And He wants to help you.

 

God bless you today!

 

Who Do We Know, Really Know?

Error is, often times, subtle.

It can sneak into our thinking and suddenly change the way we believe, over time, without us knowing it. We live in a world full of subtleties.

My hubby and I watched a movie last night that really opened my eyes to these kind of subtleties. Slowly over the course of this romantic love story the woman was being pushed outside her comfort zone. She didn’t realize it, until almost too late,that her captor/abuser/lover, had her right where he wanted her, submissive, blind and bound in a dangerous game of torture and abuse. It was like watching the temperature being turned up on the stove with a living frog in the pot. He lured her in with games and manipulation. It was like watching a lamb walk into the slaughter never realizing she walked willingly towards her own demise.

As I thought about my day, prior to watching this movie, I realized that a wooing like this is occurring in Christianity as well. The pit of my stomach dropped and I realized that a long walk towards total bondage is where we are headed if someone doesn’t speak up.

I don’t mean to hit you with the scorched earth tone, but sometimes we need to stop and take a look around. Line by line, in this blog post, I’ll take you through the truth from the Bible. Then you can decide for yourself about the error. A latitude the Devil never extends.

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“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Timothy 2:5

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6

There is only one true God. One.

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

God is a spirit. He desires those who will worship Him in spirit. Who is God? Is He eternal? Yes. Did He have a beginning, no, He’s always been. Will He be forever? Yes, He is eternal.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalms 90:2

God is a great big God. He has plans objectives, and goals. But He never takes over our freewill. He never puts us in bondage, He gave us our freewill, why would He take it away? He is all love, all goodness and all tender mercies. He created all life. And He created the new birth that we receive along with salvation when we believe Romans 10:9-10. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Salvation: the Greek word = sozo’ means wholeness or complete)

We receive the gift of salvation and a new inner man. It’s an entirely new creation that is spirit, and is perfectly interfaced with our flesh and mind. We become whole.

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:” Colossians 3:10

We choose to believe, so therefore we put on a whole new man (or woman, the Greek is not gender specific)

What does this mean now? The spirit that God is  imparts His spiritual DNA and binds it to us. We are forever marked as His child. His family member. We are sealed into the family of God. He anointed us with an Anointing. Don’t flinch here, but in the Bible, the word for an anointing, is “Christ”.

To anoint is just the mark, or the seal as a family member to God’s family. This anointing first happen to God’s son. It was very public and very special. Do you recall the Holy Spirit landing on Jesus after he came up out of the water? Before that, he was referred to as Jesus of Nazareth in the Bible. After that moment he is referred to as Jesus the Christ. Or Jesus Christ the anointed one. It was because he was anointed with the same stuff, we get after we get born again. The word “Christians” came from followers of Jesus saying they have “Christ in” them. It was eventually shortened to Christians. We didn’t just get that from being followers of Jesus.

Let’s take this one step further, if you are willing. Let’s see if you can jump all the way out of the pot.

Now, that we have this anointing, this mark, this spiritual DNA, God asks us to walk in Jesus Christ’s stead here on earth. He asks us to do good works, and be ambassadors for Him. For who? Jesus? No. An Ambassador represents the homeland where they are from. The nation of their birth. What is the nation of our new birth? Heaven. Our new birth is spiritual, we received a spiritual mark we are sealed with a spiritual seal, we receive a spiritual gift. God is spirit, so the He gave us what He is.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Ghost or Spirit they are translated from the same word)” Acts 2:38

This gift interfaces with our minds. It becomes a conduit, or an internet connection up to our Father in Heaven. Remember the verse in John that Jesus told the woman at the well? God is a spirit and the true worshipers will worship Him in spirit and in truth. God wants the lines of communication to be open between Him and us. He wants to fellowship with us. Christianity’s best definition is “the way of a Father with his children”. God wanted a family. Have you ever wanted kids? I have. I spent 10 long years in a marriage aching for children. My ex had no interest. What sorrow filled my life. You can’t imagine the waiting, the ache, the longing to see my child breathe its first breath, only to find out he (my ex) didn’t want any children. When my son was born, to the wonderful man I love, I cried with joy at the thought that I would forever be called a, “Mom.” Can you imagine the wait God went through?? He has waited an eternity for you to believe and be born to HIS family. He is a Father, OUR Father. He is God. He chose you and of your freewill, you chose Him. How much sweeter could it be?

When Adam and Eve were first created they were His children as well. But they were tricked out of their gift of holy spirit. Did they die when they were kicked out of the Garden? No, not physically. God had to call them out loud, when, wouldn’t He know where they were?  Of course He knew. But they had lost their connection, back then they could lose what today is sealed in us forever. They lost their spiritual birth. God lost His Kids. Imagine the pain of being separated from your newborn. It must have been heart wrenching, so from then on God planned a victory over that deceiver the devil. A victory that would seal the devil’s fate forever.

The plan formed.

A man (Adam) lost the holy spirit, so a man would have to get it back. A man would have to win the victory, a perfect specimen, a perfect man. Jesus.

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from (of) heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Cor. 15:45-49

After Jesus was raised, he had a new spiritual body, just like we will have when we are raised at the gathering together. I guess it makes sense, we’re going to go live in heaven, with our Father who is a spirit. We have to have a body that works where we will live.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Here’s the error. After all that, all that God did for us, people say we have a relationship with Jesus Christ. God has no beginning, He is eternal. Jesus Christ had a beginning when he was born. A genesis, a start. Don’t believe me?

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 1:18

God created a sperm to fertilize Mary’s egg and gave Jesus perfect DNA on his Father’s side. He was in every way a man just like Adam was created a man, Jesus was a man, the Man and the Son of God. The word “birth” in the verse above is the Greek word, γέννησις gennēsis. Do you recognize this word? Gennesis in the English is Genesis. How does Genesis start? “In the beginning,” It means birth. It is when a life begins. Jesus Christ started there, his genesis was at his birth.

Let’s sum this up.

“For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 1:1

We have a spiritual inner man that God created in us at the new birth. The earthly house is our physical body, if it died, we would still have that spiritual body that anointing, that “Christ in us the Hope of Glory.” as it says in Colossians 1:27

We have something in us that is our gift. It is an entirely new creation built because of what Jesus Christ did by our Father in Heaven.

“17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ (anointed), [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all (new) things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (reconnecting) 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21

This verse ties it all together. Jesus passed on the job of reconciliation to us. We are ambassadors for Christ. But who do we report to? Who do we have our relations with? Whose child are we? Christians today believe we have to have a personal relationship with Jesus in order to call ourselves Christians. That simply can not be the case. Jesus had a beginning. He was the Son of God. There is only one true God. So do we have a relationship with Jesus?  Or do we have a relationship with the one who redeemed us, who bought us back, who created life to begin with? Well, you need to look at this section in 2 Corinthians, and I mean look. Let’s go back one verse in 2 Corinthians 5, to verse 16.

“16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.” 2 Corinthians 5:16

Know is used three different times and is translated from two different Greek words in this verse.

The first word, “know” is the Greek word, “eidō” which means; to know by telling, or by learning about. It is not first hand experience. It’s the passing on of knowledge by others.

The second time it occurs is the Greek word “ginōskō” which means; to know by experiencing first hand. Who wrote Corinthians? Paul. Did Paul meet Jesus on the road to Damascus? Did the disciples and apostles that he wrote to, meet Jesus, yes, they were all still in the time period when Jesus was alive and they could’ve experienced him first hand. They could have met him, talked to him, known him. That is the word ginōskō. 

The third time “know” occurs is also the word, ginōskō. 

So let’s reread the verse with this new understanding.

“Wherefore henceforth (from now on) know  (learn second hand) we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known (experienced first hand, met, talked to and known) Christ after the flesh (when he was alive in the flesh), yet now henceforth (from here on we) know (experience, talk to, or know) we [him] no more.”

How can we have a personal relationship with Jesus, if we will not be able to experience him, or meet him or talk to him? Jesus Christ was the son of God, our savior and the savior of the world. But God is the one true God. He is who we know by way of our gift of holy spirit. Does this make a difference in who we pray to? How we pray? Or what kind of walk we have?

ABSOLUTELY!

“Christ in us” is our salvation, the purchased package we receive when we get born again. But our walk, is who we fellowship with and how we go about walking by faith and not by sight. That “walk” is in Christ, the anointing that God gave us.

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

Do you see the subtleties? Do you see the trap? God is a spirit, they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in TRUTH. Do we dare to believe the truth? Who do we know? Ginosko? We know and walk with God. The one true God the maker of heaven and earth.

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18

Jesus Christ experienced God, he KNEW, by experience, God, so he was able to declare him. Jesus never wanted to be made into God. All he ever did was declare Him to the world. He obeyed God. He didn’t want to be God. That was something the Devil always wanted. That is the reason the devil was kicked out of heaven. Since the devil could not be God, and he couldn’t get us to worship him, he had to take the worship God does receive and twist it. No man hath seen God at anytime. Wow. Did people see Jesus Christ? Even the devil was seen by a men.

If we were to look on the face of God we would go instantly blind. Our physical eyes would not stay in our heads! He’s too big, too powerful, too bright and way too…well God. How dare we think we could contain Him, or put Him in a physical box. He is incomprehensible to the human mind just as much as the Model T could not comprehend its maker Ford. Oh but we like to believe we have all the answers. We are such prideful creatures.

Can we, just for once, allow God to be all that He is? Can we give Him permission to be bigger than we can hold, imagine or understand? Does He even need our permission?

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I believe that this truth can help us be more positive as believers. It can give us more hope in the BIG God we serve. He is unique. He is one and He is ours. All that He is could never be understood by us. But when we accept that I think we can begin taking the steps to true faith. We can expose ourselves to His-story and see the bigness and freedom of truth. Jesus Christ was God’s son and He adamantly declared the austerity and grandiose of a Healing, Loving God. Why can’t we? I know I strive everyday to become more His child, more loving and more guided. But I’ve realized that I can’t serve Him and cling to Man’s traditions. What does Man know that God could not astound?

I am so thankful to be under the shadow of His wing, ever protected and ever loved.

God bless you today!

 

All parenthetical insertions are provided by me for further understanding in the literal sense of the verse taken from the Greek usages and context over the span of the cross-referenced translation. In other words, I looked up the word in Greek or Hebrew, then looked up all the places it occurs in the Bible to come to a more thorough understanding of the word. 😉

God’s Arsenal Includes You

Isaiah 54:17

 17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.

When I read those words I see God has an arsenal and He will use it to bless the lives of believers and their families. I see his hand of protection in every direction I look. I hope you take a moment too and look around at all the things God has blessed you with.

There isn’t a weapon that could be formed against Him, or you, that will prosper. YET, yet, yet! God is no respecter of persons, so how does He meet out this blessing and protection fairly? How does He figure out who to bless and who to withhold His merited favor from? Not all of us receive roses and gold doubloons from the sky right? Some of us really struggle in this life. Why is that? Why would a God of love hurt one of His children?

I’m so glad you asked…

It’s a little thing called freedom of will. Little, ha! That’s laughable. Freedom of will is our God-given freedom to choose whatever life, action, or thought in any given situation, at any given time. Freewill is ours. We always have a choice of who we want to serve.  Will we serve God with that action, thought, or decision? Or we will serve ourselves; which invariably means we serve the devil because our human frailties lead down a bad road, with a bad person. Even if they aren’t truly “bad”, we still can be wrong. Wrong because sometimes the choice isn’t between what is bad or good, sometimes the freewill choice is harder. Sometimes we have a choice between what is good and what is best. How do we know?

Graduation kindergaren

I’m so glad you asked…

It’s a little thing called “wisdom”. We gain wisdom in this world by our experiences, or what we take in by way of our five senses. Then we gain maturity. At first we aren’t very good at making decisions on our own. We need lots of help and guidance. My six-year-old son does things sometimes that make me want to scream and holler at him like throwing things. Yesterday he threw his back pack on top of the car where he could not reach it. He laughed and laughed until I got in and drove off with it on there. (I knew it wouldn’t fly off) He got a little experience there. How must God feel when he sees us flailing around? Ha!

Look at this section in Ephesians 4…

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting (MATURING) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:”

God gave us people in our lives to help us grow mature and gain wisdom. One of the things that always tripped me up as a young believer was “drama”. People would say things to get me riled up with envy, or try to manipulate my emotions with a bit of strife. That crap doesn’t work anymore because I learned about it. I learned what it was and how to avoid it.

Check out these verses…

“A wrathful  man (an angry man or woman) stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Proverbs 15:18

“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.”  Proverbs 17:1

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 17:14

(It gets away from you fast, so don’t even go there)

“Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease” Proverbs 22:10

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16

Wow, huh.

Strife is anything that stirs up, stimulates or provokes people down a wrong path. Look at that. Where envy and strife is there is confusion and every evil work. If we are going to learn how to be wise, we have to learn about the devil’s arsenal too. But as we mature in Christ, we see this stuff coming a mile a way. We have the wisdom to get out of it before it starts.

God does have a big arsenal and He blesses people tremendously! But He has also given us freewill. He is a respecter of conditions. So if we allow ourselves to get caught up in the envy, strife and confusion, we have tied His hands in the situation. God is very just, He never breaks His own rules. The devil knows this. So the devil attacks believers with their own bad decisions.

Remember those choices between what’s good and best? Well, let’s say your friend comes to you with a whole load of crises in their life. One crisis happens to be about a fellow believer and friend, or just a fellow believer. They go on and on about how this person has done them wrong. You want to listen. You want to be a good friend so you listen to them. This is where wisdom meets freewill. God wants to bless you abundantly, but strife is getting stirred up in your heart. Envy and every evil work will follow. What should you do? Wisdom nudges you to stop them and yet, its’ so enticing to keep listening. This is where your freewill choice comes in. This is when you have to decide who you will serve.

This is a longer post today, but I feel like it’s important too. For those of you willing to read to the end here, I commend you!

It all comes back to this verse…

“14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:” Ephesians 4:14-15

Try this next time someone comes to burden you with all their strife. As they are speaking, ask God what to say. He might give you the words, but He might get you out of it another way. Ha!  I’ve had all kinds of things come to my rescue like my phone ringing, a crying baby, a knock at the door. Trust me God does have an arsenal to get you out of these situations, but you have to choose to not participate either.

God bless you today!

Plant God’s Word, Grow the Abundant Life, Harvest His Love

In so doing that you will…

Avoid being Pigeon Holed

pigeon hole

Sometimes we get so hung up with what the Devil is promoting; death, disease, error, confusion we become defensive and then go on the defense. When really love is on the offense. Love moves forward, love takes the lead, love is constantly planting in new ground. We should always be asking God, “What’s next?” What can I do to bless this person or that person? What can I do to love without hypocrisy? What kindness can I bestow? How can I give when the pressure is on? Where do I go next on this path God? God might just tell you to smile at a total stranger.

God honors conditions.

What would you do if you had an employee who was always asking you those kind of questions about your company?  Here are some examples in the Word of that kind of heart.

“Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshing floors. Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.” 1 Samuel 23:1-2

David asked, what do I do God? In that situation, David succeeded in battle. In fact, he did that over and over again. David did what it says in Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

But, you may say, I can’t hear God’s voice.

“For I am the LORD, I change not;” Malachi 3:6a

If He spoke to them then He still speaks today. He still moves today, and He’s still in the miracle business. But we must trust and let Him direct our steps, otherwise the conditions are not fulfilled and we will not see results.

We must become like Abraham became…fully persuaded.

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” Romans 4:20-21

How do we become persuaded like that? We start with little things. Ask God what route to take to work today. Use short, “yes” or “no” questions, “left” or “right” questions. Start practicing with the baby steps. You are going to miss it more than you get it in the beginning. But then, when big situations come up, you will be tuned in. God wants you to treat every time like the first time. It’s easy to assume God wants you to do the same thing in each scenario, but resist the urge. That’s how Christians get pigeon-holed as kooks.

When He works within you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure as it says in Philippians 2:13 it is in the quiet of your mind. Let the answers drop into your thoughts. Its your will, your actions. You decide to do them. He never takes away your free will choice.

I’ve heard it said that you need to practice doing this at least 2,000 times before you will be sure you are hearing God over your own mind. Do you know what that means? Our society is so geared towards distraction that you have to really focus. In David’s day and time, he didn’t have internet, cell phones, traffic jams or television, a few bleating sheep were his constant companions when he got started.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5

By the time he was in the midst of the roar of battle, he had practiced enough to hear God clearly working in his own spirit and mind. God does not change. He did it for David and He will do it for you too. It takes patience, perseverance and practice, but like anything worth doing, its work and worth getting it right. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t hear God right away. It will take time.

Practice, Practice, Practice

This is real and it takes time, but it will also get you out of the defense and onto the offense with God. God wants us to hone our spiritual abilities. He gave them to us after all. Hearing Him speak to you is a biggie. When you are so busy seeing God’s direction in your life you will be a hard one to pigeon-hole.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” Ephesians 1:3

God bless you today!