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“…[And now, Job, who are you who dares not arouse the unmastered crocodile, yet who dares resist Me, the beast’s Creator, to My face? Everything under the heavens is Mine; therefore, who can have a claim against God?” Amp Job 41:34

“And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance].” Amp Acts 9:5

“In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the curse and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes God].” Amp Eph 2:2

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?” Amp Rom 6:16

Your life as a believer is made up of choices. You chose to hear the word, you chose to receive the life of Christ, you chose and still choose to walk it out daily and deny yourself.

The Lord never takes away your choice. Just like King David chose to stay home when kings were out fighting, and he brought himself into the choice of taking Bathsheba…choices matter greatly. Some of them will change the course of your life, eternally.

If as a believer you consistently make choices that run counter to the will and purposes of God … then even though you might call yourself a believer, the principle operating in you is more like sin and rebellion than the principle of obedience.

Thus, what you have continued to surrender to (sin) becomes the defacto ruler over you, even if you have confessed Jesus as Savior.

This is the truth behind the Scripture in Mt 7:21-23. If you have truly surrendered your life to Jesus (Who is the Emblem of Obedience), then His nature will have victory within you, and that victory will foster obedience.

The struggle between your natural life (call it gravity) and your supernatural life from the Spirit (Aerodynamics) are continuously in a struggle. They are adversarial forces which will always be diametrically opposed to each other, but one of them is going to win.

Which one wins is your choice. You get to choose! You choose whether gravity happens and you crash and burn, or whether you overcome gravity with the principles of flight!

Here is the hard part. Choices are not always easy. Sometimes they cost you greatly, and in surrendering again to Christ, you are called to die to your self, die to your rights, die to what seems fair, die to your own opinions and emotions.  This is hard. But it is necessary. And the Lord has given us everything necessary to make the hard choices. We just don’t like it, but it will yield a harvest of righteousness that will bring peace that is freedom from every agitating passion and moral conflict.

Right now my heart aches for many people I know who are locked into a difficult struggle, where the cost of victory in Christ seems too high. They find themselves falling again and again, captive to their natural emotions, to old habits and patterns of behavior that have only yielded wounds so deep they appear like gullies in the terrain of their soul.

These people are choosing comfort and safety. They think they are choosing freedom, when by their choice they abort the conflict in preference to peace. But it is not a true peace, for it is only the quieting of the struggle, but with it comes a loss of perception, of insight, of holiness in the character of God – for they have actually chosen sin, something that conflicts with God’s will and purpose (the comfort and ease of the flesh).

But I would tell you that in Christ all efforts are worthwhile and profitable, and will yield an eternal reward. You have everything given to you that you need to choose to please God rather than yourself. Choose to please Him!

1Peter 4:1-2 speaks to this directly…

“So since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God]. So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” Amp

The choice is before us daily to live for Christ. It never leaves us. It is never taken away. Rather, it is like while seeing gravity before us, we choose instead to mount up with wings of eagles, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint.

Remember, the Lord doesn’t lay a standard before us to walk out on our own. He is God with us… Emmanuel, and He provides all that we need to stand up under the trial (1Cor 13:10).

Rest in Him even as you fight the great fight!

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“For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we do not belong either to the night or to darkness.” 1Thes 5:5 Amp

“But we belong to the day; therefore, let us be sober and put on the breastplate (corselet) of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 1Thes 5:8 Amp

“And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high.” Lk 24:49 Amp

“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].” Col 3:12 Amp

“For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Annointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.” Gal 3:27 Amp

As a believer in Christ you have a dual provision from the Holy Spirit!  You have the Holy Spirit residing in you – for yourself, and you can have the enduement of the Holy Spirit in power upon you for ministry to others!  Two provisions are available – but we need them both! Do you have them both?

If I am missing the residence of the Holy Spirit, I have none of Christ nor am I any of His (Rom 8:9). But if I lack the enduement of the Spirit, the clothing from on high (Lk 24:49), I lack the power to be Christ’s witness here on earth, and I am like a nuclear powered submarine docked and without fuel cells. I am going nowhere!

The enemy would have us doubt and disbelieve our reality (sons of light) and our clothing of power – both which are substantiated in the word of God, but both of which are apprehended by faith!

Today are you less certain of where you stand than you should be? You may need to check your wardrobe! You are in fact a power-dresser of the first order, but if the enemy has taken you to the cleaners, you may need to refresh your ensemble! Check out Ephesians 6:10-17 to find where you should be standing and on Whom!

If you are without power in your life, and you are fighting in your own strength – the likelihood is that your power cells need recharging or that you have never received the Promise of the Father! Check out Acts 2:39, Joel 2:32, Acts 1:4, and Jn 14:16 and 26.

If you look at the Scripture for Col 3:12 you will see the use of the word, “clothe.” That is the same word used in Lk 24:49 describing to be clothed in power from on high.  It is also the same word used in Gal 3:27 describing you as being clothed in Christ.

Now here is my point. Looking at Col 3:12 the imperative command is to “clothe yourselves.” You clothe yourselves in Christ and in His power, which is also to be enfolded in His love (Col 3:14). As you are so clothed you have the power from Christ to minister in HIs behavior, His character, and His nature.  You are thus empowered to have tenderhearted pity, mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourself, gentle ways …and you will have the power to endure whatever comes with a good temper!

I want you to understand this is dynamite! This is miraculous, wonder-working power! You may think it is less than feeding the five-thousand, or turning water into wine.  But you yourself are the vessel being transformed! And the power of God is coming forward through you to minister out of the full-ness of Christ!  Without His enduement of power and His clothing from on high, you will not be able to endure the things of this world with a good temper!  This is a miracle manifested through you in life-changing character. And as Colossians 3:10 states, this is not a static thing. You are ever being renewed and molded into fuller and more perfect knowledge after the image and likeness of Christ….

SO… if you are without this enduement … this clothing of Christ that manifests as power to minister to and for others…

Wait for it…

You are seriously lacking in your party clothes for the marriage supper of the Lamb! (Lk 15:22, Mt 22:11)  This is the very same garment that is the promise of the Father – clothed in power!

Would you refuse such a garment provided for you? Would you scorn to wear the provision of Christ?  I pray not. I pray your thinking would be renewed in truth to receive all that Christ has for you, with no rejection of anything!

Blessing from Him!

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“Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is, and do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.” Eph 5:17-18 Amp

Sometimes improving our spiritual walk is more about refining our focus than improving our stride. Sometimes we need to hone our aim – if we truly become what we behold, then improve your beholding!

The force of the word of God can focus us and it can empower us. Let it do so! So as Ephesians above instructs us – Stop being vague and thoughtless and foolish! We dissipate the force of our lives by doing so.

Often we think of the end run and where we would like to be and we try and focus on that as the target to hit. But a better plan might be to focus our heart and to aim with the force and provision of the word.

Hear what I am proposing: Ephesians gives us a glorious target. Exact, definitive, perfect as a target, and a singularly refined point that will ensure not just the focusing of our heart but rather that all things will proceed along that same line! What I place my heart to pursue, ensures the rest of me will follow.

So what is our improved focus? What is our better aiming point? To grasp firmly what is the will of God – and to do this by ever being filled and stimulated by the Holy Spirit!

As I agree with God in this, as I incline myself towards that goal, and release myself by faith into His hands – He aims and shoots us like an arrow to an unseen destiny of a time and duration of His choosing. But in His hands we can be certain we will hit His mark! Propelled in trust and rest and confidence in Him, I can be certain all things are corrected for – thrust, wind, velocity, etc. –He will get us to where He wants us to be!

What I have to give up is control, and that seems to be the hardest part. If I realize, however, that not knowing what we are going to look like in our final state (1Jn 3:2) means it is impossible to aim at that target, then perhaps I can begin to trust the trajectory the Lord is aligning for me…

My part, my responsibility… is to be ever filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit. Even as I may not particularly know how to do that, again it is accomplished by faith, and trust, believing in the Lord, and placing myself in His hands, in His authority – that He will bring me to such a place because His word says that is His desire and will for me, and He can make it happen.

Even though that may seem a vague thing because it is a spiritual target, and not seen by natural eyes, it is not a vague thing and requires a deliberate, ongoing effort of trust and faith from us!

Saints, launch out in this! Press into Him by faith! Place yourselves fully in His hands! Without vagueness, thoughtlessness, or foolishness, let Him hone you and shape you! Your destiny, your life, your fruitfulness and your joy will reach a level in Him that you cannot even imagine, but He can do it!

The way is His, be the arrow in His hands, and FLY! To God be the glory!

“For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

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Are you aware this very day you have available to you righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees? You also have before you relationship with One Who dwells ever within the kingdom of heaven, and it is available without price, without penalty, already purchased for you.  But there are demands that will be made of you: to submit, to obey, to trust, and primary to all …BELIEVE in the One Whom the Father has sent and to cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His messenger (Jn 6:29).

But the demands that are asked of us are far eclipsed and exceeded by the delight of knowing the Lord here today, and of course in eternity that we get to enjoy in Him and dwell with Him.

But how can we have the righteousness required to even enter the kingdom of God? How can little old you and me meet the standard required?

Under the Old Covenant, the scribes and Pharisees possessed a righteousness that was of a legal, performance-based, external nature. They personified the cup that was cleansed on the outside, but inside is full of greed and robbery and extortion and malice and wickedness. Their own righteousness had a limitation, it could not penetrate into the heart of man because the covenant could not cleanse the inside of man.

Hebrews 9:9 portrays the situation this way: “Seeing that the first [outer portion of the] tabernacle was a parable (a visible symbol or type or picture of the present age). In it gifts and sacrifices are offered, and yet are incapable of perfecting the conscience or of cleansing and renewing the inner man of the worshiper.”

This Scripture is saying that under the Old Covenant, cleansing of a person could not penetrate to the inner man or conscience. Rather, it cleansed only the outside and was to tide mankind over until the New Order of the Messiah came that would bring a better covenant (Heb 9:10-11).

But the Good News is that the Messiah has indeed come! He has enacted a better covenant, by which no area, especially the inner man, is left uncleansed. Rather, all of man is cleansed – especially the inner man, the heart, the conscience, the seat of man’s thinking and personality – all are cleansed.

This then is what makes the way for man’s righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees… to receive Jesus Christ as the Messiah, to enter into covenant with Him as Lord and Savior – and to receive His cleansing that penetrated to the very inner man! It is only “in Christ” that we can possess such righteousness – because this righteousness is of His very own nature that comes to dwell within us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In so entering into relationship with Jesus, you then also enter into His Kingdom which He Himself has advanced. You are now a new creation where the old has passed away – and the new has come!

It is important to understand a basic requirement for walking in such righteousness, for it is not automatic. The need is to not only be saved, but it is to remain responsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is only those who are led by the Spirit that are called the sons of God (Rom 8:14).

The difficulty which remains after salvation is that you have a continual choice. Sometimes even a moment by moment choice…to obey the new resurrection life of Christ now in you, rather than your old nature which has technically been made dead with Christ by being nailed to the Cross with Him (Rom 6:6).

It is in the failure to recognize this need and to exert proper self-control that people fall into a life-style of ignoring this truth – and thus become perpetual “sons of disobedience” (Col 3:6). It is here that people deify themselves and only obey their earthly nature and appetites and fail to rest in faith in the new nature of Christ that should be in headship over their lives.

These are in fact people who have received Christ as Savior, but have never worked out their salvation with fear and trembling, nor have disciplined themselves to rid themselves of things like anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from their lips!

In essence, their old nature (which has been nailed to the Cross- and which they should reckon as dead) has retained rights and place and status that it should not, and so it still makes demands. They continue to respond to these demands and thus lead a rollercoaster life … sometimes having victory, others plummeting deeply into sin and failure.

The real problem is they have not become servants of righteousness (Rom 6:18). Instead, they have continued to cater to their flesh. You must understand, this is a very dangerous place! A new choice is needed here, and every power that is needed to make that choice has been already given!

Listen to Romans 6:19 as Paul instructs: “I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and every increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification.”

If you have received Jesus as your Savior there is a need to have reflected a corresponding change in your life and the way it is lived! If you do not see such progress and change, then you should question the reality of your salvation! You should not delay but resolve the issue today!

If your current vehicle for transportation is undependable for a trip across town you would not set out on a journey across country with it. Likewise, if your current relationship with the Lord is weak and undependable in your eyes, how is it that you would trust it to usher you into eternity safely? The Lord would have you rectify the situation even today!

So today, is your righteousness more than that of the scribes and Pharisees? Is your relationship and interaction with the Lord such that you are ever seeing progress in how you live your life? Are you tender and humble before the Lord, or is a two-by-four the implement of choice to get your attention?

Warning. You are too far away from the flame of the Lord in your life. Move closer! Seek Him continuously! Pursue Him in love! Be responsive and able to be moved by Him easily! Live and move and have your being in Him – there is no counter-fitting this! Press in with all your heart. It is to your benefit – not His!

Last thing. A servant of righteousness conforms to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action. Like dentures lacking enough adhesive bonding, are there big gaps between your thinking and the Lord’s? Your actions and the Lord’s? Your purposes and His? If so …ask Him to bring you in line.  Ask Him to bring what is needed.

Today, become the slave of God with your present reward in holiness, and your end in eternal life with Him! Have His righteousness that exceeds and far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees!

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“A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church].” Gal 5:9 Amp

“Sacrifice and offering You do not desire, nor have You delight in them; You have given me the capacity to hear and obey [Your law, a more valuable service than] burnt offerings and sin offerings [which] You do not require. Then said I, Behold, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me; I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.” Ps 40:6-8 Amp

“For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom 8:29 Amp

 

If I believe that one of the pivotal traits that Jesus brought to earth as the Word made flesh is the capacity to hear and obey the Father and to do His will, then to depart from that same likeness would be to entertain deception, rebellion, lawlessness, and even the spirit of antichrist…

If pursued without repentance, this course of rebellion ends in destruction. It resists truth, embraces error, and attempts to defeat in this age the very testimony of the Kingdom of God that is to come as the body of Christ walks in submission and obedience that is of Christ. It is this very same obedience and submission of the church that will defeat the enemy, Satan.

This then is the difficulty at hand…

A teaching is circulating in the Body of Christ as Biblical truth that actually has no Biblical grounds or legitimacy.  In fact, it is leaven: rebellious overreach disguised as passionate zeal, with a nature much closer to that of the “five I wills” of Isaiah 14, than “here I am, coming to do Your will, O God.”

What is this teaching? It is the concept of Activating Angels – that somehow, since Angels are ministering servants (to those who are to inherit salvation) that the Body of Christ has command authority to direct them in their tasks.

This is a leap of error, incited by those who foster false teaching – leaven which misleads the whole church!

Here are some pivotal Scriptures which directly contest and contradict this teaching:

1. Mt 26:53  Jesus Himself says He can appeal to His Father to provide Him with more than 12 legions of angels – but He would not command them Himself directly. Jesus relegated all His actions and words under the authority of the Father. Yet do we as His body have authority vested in us to command angels which Jesus Himself would not exercise? I think not.

2. Gal 5:5-6  These Scriptures emphasize anticipating and waiting for the blessing and good which our righteousness and right standing with God cause us to hope. What IS TO BE ACTIVATED is our faith, which is energized and expressed and works through love. No where in the Word is there an example, a description, or demonstration of saints activating Angels or directing them in any manner. We instead look to God, without fretting or being anxious, and in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make our wants known to God (Phil 4:6)  This is the walking out of the same nature as Christ Jesus, Who looked to the Father with faith for everything, constrained Himself to that, and demonstrated that to us!

3. Luke 10:19-20  The authority that is given to us through Christ is to stand against the enemy, it is not to dispatch angelic forces of God. We see in this passage that we can rejoice because our names are written in heaven, not because we command heavenly assets.

4. Jn 1:53  We indeed shall see heaven opened with the angels of God (note of God – they are His) ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.  We are called to be witnesses of Jesus, and to manifest His Name through the Holy Spirit. To witness of Jesus I must be conformed to His image – not an independent operator trying to command angels – which even Jesus deferred to the Father.

The greatest witness to the power of God in my life is a changed life. It is an inside job (that reflects a changed heart and mind and an enlivened spirit with the Holy Spirit dwelling in me), and the Word of God dwelling in me richly. It is in fact a life of obedience, even unto death.

If I operate in an external demonstration of power that is not mine, not legitimately given to me by God, and seems to contradict the very nature of Christ (here I am to do Your will Oh God) there is difficulty in that witnessing to Jesus Christ in any manner.

That is perhaps the greatest disparity with this particular teaching. With a zeal for acclaim and demonstration it seeks power displays that carry none of the love of Christ that remain as His hallmark. On the contrary, how can power and authority usurped achieve anything except the furtherance of rebellion that Christ died on the Cross to put down.

It is in obedience that worship offered to God is accepted. We see in the word no place where the rebellious offerings of King Saul find any acceptance with the Lord.

Likewise, I find no obedience to Scripture, to Jesus, or the Father in this teaching concerning Activating Angels. To quote Watchman Nee: “Satan is not afraid of our work so long as we act on the principle of rebellion. He only laughs in secret when we do things according to our own thoughts.” (Spiritual Authority 1972)

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“For [you seem readily to endure it] if a man comes and preaches another Jesus than the One we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the [Spirit] you [once] received or a different gospel from the one you [then] received and welcomed; you tolerate [all that] well enough!” Amp 2Cor 11:4

“Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;” Amp Eph 4:22

“We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God’s consecrated ones).” Amp Col 1:4

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.” Amp Lk 10: 20

 

We can never lose sight of the fact that on our best day we can quickly become a great liability if we wrest free from the moorings of Christ and the likeness of His Name, His Spirit, and especially His Word – His Gospel.

We are still living in a flesh container even while housing the Name and the Presence of God through the Spirit. But we must remain vigilant. 

Humility is how we do that.  Like the disciples when they saw the power of God working in them – were cautioned to rejoice because their names were written in heaven.  That is a practice of humility needed as we increase in the operation of the power of God and in the Spirit.

Think of the Apostle Paul – he was given a thorn in his flesh as he says: “…to keep me from being puffed up and too elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations there was given me a thorn ( a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.” Amp 2Cor 12:7

Though this thorn was described as a messenger of Satan, the fact was – it was providing an important function: it was deflating the natural tendency of the flesh to puff up and move Paul into error and pride (the opposite of humility).

Our flesh (soul and physical body) – all that we essentially had prior to salvation, must be continually yielded up to Christ as a living sacrifice. We daily reckon ourselves as dead to sin – but you see all our flesh has not engaged in sin. It is that part then which happily likes to the lead in walking out our Christian life. But it cannot!

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Natural passions, and proclivities. We are cracked pots at best that the Lord chooses to work through for His glory! 

However, I am called to not only continually reckon myself as dead to sin, but also by my faith in Jesus, lean my entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness – and to stay in His love. This leaning is me laying my natural life continually on the mercy seat as a living sacrifice. We are never to depart from that posture.

This becomes an anchor for my soul which otherwise has great potential to want to add, assist, help, interpret, and participate with the Lord’s work – but is always wanting to run ahead of God, to anticipate rather than obey, champion rather than submit.

This is why Moses had to be trained in the wilderness so long before being of use to God. I am the same way! But the blessing for us is that we now have the indwelling Spirit that provides another anchor of safety, another protection against spiritual drift.

So we see that we have an anchor for our soul (leaning it constantly on Christ). We also have an anchor in the Holy Spirit – Who constantly applies the work of the Atonement of the Cross to my life – bringing me to all Truth as He continues to reveal, disclose, and transmit to me the very life of Jesus Christ.

There is also the foundational anchor to which the other two are vitally linked and which forms the critical anchor of agreement – that is the Word of God: or more specifically here, the Gospel. These three in operation: Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Gospel are critical in keeping me from drifting into error or excess (which would all come from the liability of my flesh with assistance from enemy agents stirring up my flesh). James relates this liability as he comments: “But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).” Amp Jam 1:14

An important underscoring is needed here about the Gospel. It is written. It can be studied, reviewed, meditated on, and it can dwell in us richly with exactness that we ourselves employ to enforce truth. The Gospel and the word carry definitiveness that can renew our mind and protect us from drift. Like a runway provides safe landing and lights for an approaching aircraft, the word lights up our path – it is a lamp illuminating the way to proceed.

Here is the issue of concern. Without healthy vigilance and distrust of my flesh, and without a gracious dose of humility in recognizing that constant liability… exaltation, puffed up-ness can happen to the most committed saint (recall Paul here). We all can be vulnerable to the danger of drifting. We each have the same issue and liability. None of us are exempt!

So the question to be asked is: what is currently ruling over you?  Is what is ruling over you aligned with the Jesus of the word, the Spirit of the word, and the Gospel of Truth?

Romans 6:16 asks a probing question:

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will you are the slaves of him who you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?”

Check your six according to these three anchors: Jesus, the Spirit, and the Gospel.  Has exaltation crept in via your flesh that has become puffed up? Are the doctrines you are embracing and practicing in full agreement with the word? Or have you slid into receiving teachings for itching ears that mask themselves as truth but about which the word is silent?

While these three anchors are perfect and vital, they are only as good as your humility and submission to them will allow.

Take a moment. Submit yourself before the light of God’s truth: let the Holy Spirit reveal where you are “out of G” with Him.

There is a reason why the word is settled in heaven, and why the Lord has elevated it above His very Name.  It is the place where you can know and trust unequivocal truth. It is also the place where Jesus forever displays His own submission to the Father and the words the Father has given Him to utter.

Yes, it is by Jesus you are saved – but it is by the word spoken by Christ that spirit and life have gained entrance into you. Ps 119:130 says: “The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.”

Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not work exclusively, but cooperatively with the word, and in unity and redundancy – providing a three-fold anchor for your safety against the overreach of your flesh into things that are not of Christ, and against pride which has demonic likeness.

There is no good thing that is withheld from those who walk uprightly, but even your hunger and thirst for spiritual progress must be yielded to the Lord. It is indeed the tactic of the enemy to work in subtleties – convincing you that you are simply pressing in to all the Lord has for you when in actuality, you are pressing beyond the bounds of truth and doctrinal accuracy and are kindling a fire of passion and hunger that is in danger of burning down the house because it will not submit to God.

Be on your guard Saints… for the enemy is afoot like a devouring Lion… withstand him!

“And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him]. “ Eph 5:10 Amp

The Importance of Being Dealt With By God…

We all like feedback.  We all want some manner of knowing that we are pleasing God and that the substance of our lives is tracking with Him.

Often I have wondered if the Holy Spirit could not provide us with something like the “playback” of football plays all marked in color squiggles of how the play fell apart. Maybe He even could provide footage of our lives with His evaluations to improve our “swing!”

Have you been guilty of too tight a grip?Worse, have you been resisting His move in you? I have for certain!  But the Lord has been actively loosening my grip and perfecting my swing – something I could not begin to do for myself!

Here is what He has shown me: His Love! He has shown me my total inadequacy, and even lack of compatibility in my flesh for His love to move and animate my natural life. Like trying to put nuclear power into a small Tupperware container – my own self is that inadequate.  It is not the leaning of Him on me, it is rather the leaning of my entire personality on Him that He calls for!

Here is where I had the problem.

Through particular set of experiences I had run amiss of His ways…and indulged opinions and emotions of self and the flesh. He allowed me to “feel” in my spirit the hardening, the coldness, the growing remoteness from Him. I could not stand feeling so locked up.  I had to go to Him and ask, “What is this Lord?”

But before that, I was holding wounded thinking, and feelings of betrayal, I could not move forward in His love. I became stuck. So for a short time I was frozen, unable to cooperate with His love, but also unable to process the problem. I became uncomfortable.

Output of His love was stilled. I wasn’t blocked, I was blocking, stifling Him! I was like the proverbial Dead Sea with no outlet. And with no outlet for the life of Christ through me, there was indeed a backup.

We are so good in the natural to sense a physiological problem. Not so good in the spiritual realm. But we must get better! Thankfully the Holy Spirit is always on task, and His discipline and disclosure are effective. In His grace He answered me and provided diagnosis, in His mercy He provided a way of remedy!

Then I was led to repent and renounce those thoughts and perspectives…

Here is the thing. He will not force you. He is a Gentleman. But He will allow you to become very uncomfortable, because your resistance is rebellion. Your refusal reaps death.

The difference between disobedience and death is time…. It is important to understand that. Only when I am aligned with Him in His doctrine, in His will, in His way – in His love being manifested …am I in life. When I balk against that, I balk against life.

But the great news is He does clarify for us where we are drifting away. Where our own “pudding” is deviating from His perfect blend and consistency!

Here’s how: 2Jn1:1-9…

– He recalls to mind the command to love one another

– He shows what this love consists of: that we live and walk in accordance with and guided by His commandment.

– Specifically, that we continue to walk in love (guided by it and following it)

– Then verse 9 is the clincher: “Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but He who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son.”

You see this is the Lord’s perfect recipe, and His perfect checks and balances. Better than any handbook on improving our stroke, the Lord has provided His word as a yardstick, even a litmus test of our hearts, like a template reflecting His perfection we can unequivocally know – either we are approved or disapproved in our conduct – our likeness to Him.

Not because I am checking my pulse against His and analyzing it.  But because the Holy Spirit brings us to awareness in our spirit man we register a distance and a loss that causes recognition — something is very wrong.

This spiritual perception is the Lord’s grace and His truth at work by the Holy Spirit! He shows us where we are not abiding and brings us under conviction.

It is the Holy Spirit Who continually reveals, discloses, declares, and transmits to us the truth of Jesus Christ. And as He transmits to us all that is of Christ He is not bringing forth just a thought – He is bringing forth into us the very substance of Jesus!

It is in this manner, in the abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit, that righteous fruit grows – because of the work which His Presence accomplishes in us! This is the very “Pudding” of the Lord!

The Lord has One Pudding Recipe. It cannot be counterfeited! There is only One thing that is Christ-like, and that is Christ Himself! He alone with the Holy Spirit can validate the substance of His life in you – His pudding! Be open, unveiled, and fully submitted.

“Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the Presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exaltation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight] –…” Jude 1:24 Amp

Amen!