Monthly Archives: August 2015

Throw everything at the wall and see if it sticks….

“Cover all your bases”, “Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it”, “Go til you hear glass break”, Throw everything at the wall and see if it sticks, are frequently used present day figures of speech. Each one of them pushes ‘effort’ which is not bad in and of itself, but put together and emphasized, frustration and defeat can show up pretty quick.

One of the first problems with these type of sayings is that they focus on what we do. If we are have the attitude that we are out to change the world with out even checkin’ in with the creator of the world, we take on a monumental task that usually ends in failure. Life is so much simpler when we trust God. Trusting God is not a passive, inactive mind set. Actually it is very proactive, but not in the self-energizing category.

It is easy to tell from which mind set a person is coming from. Check out who gets the glory. When God gives us answers to things, He nails it! You can’t help but get excited! The results are easy! The only reason we have difficulty is when we worry, push too much, and doubt. Don’t get me wrong. Life is work, no doubt about it, but when we trust Him step by step it is like sailing. Yes we have to adjust the sails and turn the rudder. There is absolutely nothing passive about trusting God. it all hinges on doing this:

 5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

2 Comments

Filed under Bible

Enjoy Joy

Have you ever felt like just being miserable and then couldn’t do it? Have you ever tried to tell ‘joy’ to go away and leave you alone? Everybody has ideas about what ‘holy spirit’ is and how it affects us, but the fruit of the spirit tells all. Joy is one of those fruits. Fruit is something that is produced as a result of operation of the gift of holy spirit.

If you are chilly and someone gives you a sweater and you accept it by putting it on, you can’t stop the feeling of sensing warmth. It is a similar analogy with the gift God has given us. God has given us something very precious. He has given each of us a piece of what He actually is!  (John 4:24) You can’t see spirit (you can’t see God) but you can see its action in something physical and see the results of its action.

Joy comes from within and it is from God.  It is individual.  In II Corinthians 1:24, Paul says:

24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith (individual and personal), but are helpers (sunergos- joint workers) of your joy: for by faith (individual and personal) ye stand.

II Corinthians is a great chapter on the comfort (paraklesis) of God. Jesus Christ talked about the comforter that would come after him:

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (parakleton), that he may abide with you for ever;17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. John 16:22

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible

The Heart of Galatians

Recently, while I was reading Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther, I ran across the phrase ‘tyrants of men’s consciences’ when he was referring to the judgement and condemning attitude of some of the people during Luther’s time. They were promoting intimidation to keep people in line with the religious legalism that was prevalent.

I was specifically reading about Romans 6:1-5 in the commentary. There is some puzzling language in those verses that look like contradictions:

6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

First and foremost, in order to understand what’s written here, you have to look at the context. In Galatians 5, Paul continued to lay out the flesh vs spirit problem the Galatians were having. They were into performing according to the flesh. In the later verses of Galatians 5, he lists the fruit of the spirit which are products of the operation of holy spirit in people’s innermost hearts. Galatians 6:1 starts out and closes with ‘Brethren’. This book is written to brothers and sisters in Christ.

Another thing to keep in mind is that God didn’t put the chapter breaks in His Word, man did. If we look at verses 25 and 26 in the previous chapter and verse 1-5 of chapter six it reads:

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

With all that in mind, the apparent contradiction starts to untwist. We help one another with burdens (baros – like an overloaded ship that presses downward). We fulfill the law of Christ by loving one another and helping one another. We remind each other of the power and love of God that lifts the load. In verse 5, we read that we carry our own burden (phortion- like a ship that is carrying cargo, its proper invoice weight. A ship travels better with a certain amount of weight that prevents being tossed to and fro).

If someone is overtaken with a burden we help because we know that we at times deal with overloads and this happens in life. We walk by the spirit rather than by the flesh knowing that is the only way to help.  The only boasting that goes on is about God and what He is able to do.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible

Living Without The Fear Of Making A Mistake

There is an old saying “Yard by yard life is hard, inch by inch it is a cinch!” I’m sure this pertains to the handling of life’s problems that come along, rather than taking aim at planning and organizing the calendar.

emotions_icon

Fear is a very real feeling. I’m talking about the sick to the stomach, tossing and turning, creepy kind of fear. It can’t be cured by hiding, denying, talking louder, fighting, bravado, or even chocolate! It is replaced by power (Ephesians 3:20), love (Romans 5:5) and a sound mind (safe and balanced) II Timothy 1:7:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

That is why the ‘pause that refreshes’ is so vital. God has given us access into His rest and that is where we want to be. When something presents itself and distorts the perception of safe and balanced, it is time to take time. When we stop the roll of the moment and not allow ourselves to be pushed, we seize the moment, give it to God and handle one step at a time. One step at a time is the best way to let it all lay out otherwise we will get a pile of ‘who knows what’ that gets bigger and bigger!

We all make mistakes, its OK. It’s nice to have a few people around you that don’t hold your feet to the fire, but true peace comes from God who has definitely got your back if you let Him. Sometimes we can get so lost- oops! I mean found! in His peace that as we can pick up the pace of life without blinking an eyelash! Sometimes we can’t, but He still love us and sooo patient!

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible

The Law is Perfect!

God’s law is perfect. Anything God does is perfect. It is man that is imperfect; not the other way around.

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4

No one ever (except Jesus Christ) has ever lived up to the every jot and tittle of the law. Jesus understood that sin in the flesh was something not authored, promised or provided by God  (condemned- meaning not in any way useful to God in His love for mankind). To be in the flesh was to live from the seat of the self, instead Jesus lived unto God in the spirit.

Everybody born has soul (mental, emotional) and a body. From the time of birth man continues to learn and develop habits that contribute to the soul as well as the body. Upbringing, education, and experiences, heredity and emotions all are inputs that define the carnal or fleshy nature. The flesh in and of itself is not sinful but it can be useful to the the adversary of God. The flesh nature can be pushed into making comparisons, gossiping, seeking power and status over others and destruction. It can harbor pride, resentment, depression, jealousy and immorality.

When a person receives the spirit of God (Romans 10:9-10), a third dimension is added and man becomes body, soul and spirit. That spirit is a gift from God. It is power, it is love and it is a sound mind. We have the opportunity to walk in the spirit. The spirit can rule over the soul, as the soul provides for the body. It is in understanding this relationship that man can truly walk with God and be free of all the impediments of the fleshy nature and actually glorify God and walk in His power.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible