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Posts Tagged ‘cares of the world’

“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and pleasures and delights and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.” Mk 4:19 Amp

“For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.  Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?” 1Jn 5:4-5 Amp

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If you happened to find yourself out to sea and in the water, separated from any immediate support system, but you saw a boat in the distance would you not begin to swim, wave, yell, and if possible exert every means at your disposal to propel yourself towards that vessel?  You would fight to survive, you would not be passive. It’s a no brainer!

However as believers once saved, we seem to adopt the attitude that we now can coast…all need to fight is over. But in that we misjudge both our safety and our need.

As I look at that Parable of the Seed found in the Gospels, four conditions are presented concerning the seed. Only the fourth example of the seed sown on good soil meets conditions to bear fruit and be prosperous.  Some may try and conclude that only one out of every four people hearing the word will successfully continue in the faith and become fruitful for the Kingdom. I would disagree.

For all of these situations: seed along the path; seed on stony ground; seed among thorns; and finally seed on good soil — Jesus presents truth by which to overcome! He tells them all: if you have ears to hear be hearing, perceive, and comprehend. (As the Lord has said this it is not only an imperative … it is made possible by His words).

He further goes on to say: “Be careful what you are hearing.” Read that as what you are giving entrance and power to and force in your lives.  He then proceeds to describe every believer’s ability to affect their spiritual progress in any situation…by filling up on Truth.  He says: “The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you – and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.” Mk 4:24

You see for every seed situation described the same thing applies. You can overcome every adversity you find yourself in by posturing yourself to actively engage with the Lord and listen and give place and force within you to His word of truth. By the measure we hear truth we will begin to reap truth as spiritual knowledge within our spirits and souls.

Now let us focus on just the seed sown on thorny ground.  These believers are in a serious fight that is seeking from the get-go to actually steal the impact and life-giving force of the word within them. Here is the problem. In living in the world the things of this world have a great value and place within their hearts. Their thoughts are actually captive to cares, distractions, fleshly pleasures, and passionate desires. This manner of thinking not only causes them to love the things of this world, but the attachments to this mode of thinking actually begin to choke the light of the word out of them so that the life of Christ fails to bring forward fruit, or it doesn’t develop to maturity.

So why am I even addressing this, and the seed falling on thorny ground in particular? For two reasons: ONE, too often we have held the notion that seed other than that sown on good soil was doomed to futility, that its condition was sealed as lost. (I already mentioned I disagree with that.) TWO, the days ahead are already shaping up to be challenging, and it is more important than ever to be aware of the worlds’ situations, but to counter what we are seeing with the stabilizing force of truth.

Listen to what Jesus said to His followers: “For whatever is born of God….” Stop right there for a second. He didn’t say, “Whoever” was born of God!  This is vital to see.  Whatever is in you that is born of God is ignited to life by His Spirit and His Words. Where we agree with the thought of God and the Word of the Spirit, we are united in life with Him.  This then is about your thinking!

So: “…whatever is born of God is victorious over the world … and he who believes (actively) in Jesus and sticks to Him, trust in Him, and relies on the fact that He is the Son…” this person will have victory over the world.

Especially as it pertains to the cares of the world which will try and choke the word within you. The provision is already made for your victory!!! But your thinking must be more and more aligned with truth!

This victory is also even more sure than your current faith!  So are you gripped by fear over things impending, or threatening, or things to come? Are you being distraught over your living situation, financial hardships, relationship struggles, your failures, health issues, the world picture, the political landscape, corruption, disappointments, etc.

You see there is no lack of worldly fodder that the enemy will not lob at us.  But we have the power of God’s word to deflect those threats and even to rest in. Jesus doesn’t want us to be consumed or choked by the cares of this world, he wants us to remain in faith, be confident in Him, and to be fruitful!

John 16:33 is clear: “I have told you these things so that in Me you might have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you will have tribulation and trials and distresses and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

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“This they said to try(test) Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger.” Jn 8:6

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Amazing! Before the eyes of all present to accuse this woman of adultery, the active, living word of God was being written before them!  The very finger of God was being used again but in a way of grace never before experienced! The effect was to bring conviction and freedom. It was to bring life and cover over judgment.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us the word is alive and full of power… that it penetrates to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul), and the immortal spirit. This is what Jesus was doing there. As He wrote in the dirt, He was truly writing in the very hearts of all the dirt in the form of man present. They each then had the opportunity to agree or disagree; to align with, or turn away from that truth.

It is the very same thing today. We live our lives ruled by passion and desire, pleasures and delights… and yet we think we are saved. We call ourselves believers in fact. But we are often every bit like that crowd, or even the disciples … not knowing what spirit we are of.

At that time, if the crowd had really known the word of God (which in fact was not yet written for them – but is for you and me), they would have seen in Galations 5 that a contrast is presented between the spirit and flesh, between the life of the Spirit residing in us (against which there is no charge), and the life of our own flesh…

At some point you see, there is a distinction. Light does not just blend out into darkness. Darkness certainly does not “evolve” into light. There is a place were dark is dark and light is light – within us. The big question is… given that, what rules within you? Light, or dark? Light thinking or dark thinking?(Rom 6:16)

Imagine that light has a positive charge, and darkness a negative charge. Given a powerful magnet, there would actually be a shakedown of reality in you. Your true condition would be revealed. The prevailing rule of your heart would be seen in all its truth – either the preponderance of light or dark would draw or repel you from the magnet. You would see the truth of your condition – for as a man thinks in his heart so he is!

The problem is: many don’t know their true condition. They are deceived. In fact the cares of this world have choked the word (read life of God or light) in them – so that darkness and their own flesh really rule.

The most dangerous thing about deception is when you yourself are deceived. It is a terminal error! Thinking you stand, your actually are sliding down the slippery slope.

True salvation is to allow the word of God to deal with us. It is Living and Active. It does divide between soul (flesh) and spirit. It does free us from the dominion of our own flesh, and sin, and darkness. But is requires that you remain ever in a place of humility and submission before your God, and that He reigns in you!

Many who have lived divided lives are experiencing today the Lord’s drawing a line in the dirt. He is separating that which is for Him, and that which is not. Let this process show you where you stand!

Let the spirit of repentance have its way in you today, bringing conviction, bringing life, bringing freedom in its fullness to you. Let life and light have the victory!!! The Word is a light and a lamp unto our feet! See clearly today!

 

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Day Twenty-Five

 

Arise and Shine!

 

“Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life!] Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!” (Amp Is 60:1)

 

          Before Moses was commissioned by God to go deliver the Hebrews out of captivity in Egypt, their bodies were bowed under the strain of their evil taskmasters.  Their heads were bowed under the oppression of a system that only cared about what they could produce.  But their hearts remained attached to the belief that a Deliverer was coming to free them.  He did, and has freed – US ALL!  Yet – you and I today can often slide into a place of captivity and forgetfulness of that deliverance and freedom.  We can lose our perspective and thus our position through Christ.  There in that place of being weighed down, our heads are bowed, and we look like captives.  Even as believers, if we are not watchful, the cares of this world can choke and suffocate the Word that is in us (Mt 13:22).  But dwelling within us is the very Presence of the Most – High God, Who is more than a conqueror in us!  To be engaged with that Truth we must receive it, know it, and keep it as a light before us to walk out.

          Think of yourself like a balloon filled with helium.  Under normal conditions you are buoyant.  You float!  That is a picture of the Spirit-Filled life.  You are an over-comer.  But if you change the external conditions and begin to increase the pressure on the outside of the balloon – the balloon begins to struggle and shrink under that greater pressure.  The only way to avoid the collapse of that balloon is to increase the internal pressure to match that of the outside atmosphere.

          In life, when our focus is stayed on the world and its cares, our buoyancy begins to subside.  The problem is:  we are focused on the wrong thing.  Yes, we can be aware of the problem and issues – but we focus on the Lord!  Like Col 3:2 says, we set our minds and keep them set on things that are above, not on things on the earth.  To focus on the cares of this world steals our buoyancy and our over-coming strength in Christ.  This strength dissipates (leaks) anyway over time – so we must constantly fill up and be filled in the Spirit.  We do this by focusing on Christ, meditating on, and memorizing His Word.  We let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.  We put on the love of Christ and enfold ourselves with His bond of perfection (this helps slow down the leaking process) 🙂(Col 3: 14-16).  And we allow His peace to rule in us – this stabilizes agitation and upheaval in us that stirs us to fretting and worry.

          So then focusing on Christ, constantly connecting and filling up on His Word, being enfolded in His love, and having His peace fill and rule in our hearts  — these are the ways we keep our lives in a place of faith and strength before Him so we can indeed arise and shine in His glory.  These are the ways we throw off the shackles of prostration and depression that the enemy would like us to be captive to.  These are the ways we keep our spiritual life buoyant and inflated with the Presence of the Lord!

          Beloved – we are free!  Our circumstances may be pressing hard against us.  We may be perplexed.  We may be pursued or persecuted.  We may even be struck down by events – but we are not struck out and destroyed! (2Cor 4:8-10) Within us resides by God’s grace everything we need to overcome every situation and circumstance.  But our success lies in keeping our focus on Him, His word dwelling in us richly, enfolded in His love, with His peace ruling over our hearts! We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!

          Arise and shine — beloved!

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