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Posts Tagged ‘love’

“And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, but he who endures to the end will be saved.”  Mt 24:12-13 AMP

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What is it that we as the Body of Christ are to endure in?  Love. Love for God.  This is love that first looks to Jesus and loves Him and will keep His word as He asks (obey His teaching) Jn 14:23.

Anyone who does not really love Him will not obey His teaching (Jn 14:24).

Truly, this is the crisis that the Body of Christ faces today.  We must learn to prefer obedience to Christ over our own opinion and preference.  Because we continue to exercise our perception and opinion, rather than obedience, we remain in the realm of the flesh instead of operating in the spirit.

The story of Noah and his three sons gives great clarity to this need of the body…

After the flood, Noah plants a vineyard and harvests grapes to make wine. It happens that his youngest son, Ham, finds him uncovered in his tent.

It is Ham’s flesh which delights in reporting on Noah’s sin. Yes, even though Noah was God’s authority at this time, he had a failure here. He got drunk and was uncovered. Ham makes use of that to point out his father’s failure.

But Ham fails even before then to regard the dignity of God’s authority.  His obedience has been half-hearted up till now, and the one who is insubordinate in heart will always expect authority to fail.

It is the flesh of man still operating that delights in finding the failure of authority.  But Shem and Japheth act with love, as they go and cover their father even walking backwards so as not to look upon his failure.

What can we learn from this concerning love? Love is not just an emotional condition, it is a spiritual choice that causes me to act in concert with obedience to Jesus.

Is it that by my love I am condoning sin? No. Noah’s sin had already happened. In covering their father, the issue was not of condoning. it was continuing to give a place of dignity to the authority of God. And most importantly, it was Shem and Japheth operating according to God’s principal of love rather than rebellion.

Here is the vital point that we often miss. When we are only half-hearted ourselves in our obedience to God, another’s sin can provide a necessary catalyst to expose our own half-heartedness and even insubordinate heart, thus bringing before us our own need for forgiveness and repentance.

Sin and imperfection are apart of our lives as long as we live in tents of flesh.  But we show ourselves to be God’s children when we choose His way of covering sin in love rather than our own way of declaring another’s failing.

Somehow, we fear that to cover with love allows the other party to get away with the sin. But this is the enemy’s tactic to get us to operate out of our flesh and in the principle of rebellion and insubordination.

God does not need our trumpeting of another’s failure.  He desires our obedience to His word and the demonstration of our love for Him that supersedes even our own opinion and flesh.

As He has covered us so graciously and undeservedly, who are we to uncover another?

Now, the ramifications of this are most poignant for these end times…

The Lord is preparing His Body to be His Bride, but we in the Body are often finding out our brother’s sin and lifting it up to scrutiny to the  world.  Where is our obedience in that?  Do we think the Lord doesn’t know of the spots and blemishes still on His Bride?

But recovery comes as the Body pulls together in Love and fights against the enemy’s plan!  Beloved! We cannot win this battle in the enemy’s tactics or nature. We win when we walk in the spirit and nature and obedience of the One Who has redeemed us!!!

Today, the need is more dire than ever before for us to begin a strategy under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to intercede for the Body at large in love and travail  – for otherwise we will devour each other as the enemy desires.

It is time to have our own hearts purified of our divided opinions and interests.  It is only God’s opinion and interests that matter. We must confess our lack of confidence in His ways and plans, and fully cast our hearts on His altar of love so that we too will become fully clothed and operating as one in the spirit.

It is time to put off …

“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 …” Eph 4:22

It is not that Jesus needs to hear our findings on other’s failures.  It is that He desires to see us choosing His nature and provision over that of our own.  It is this way that is obedient.  It is this way that ushers in the victory and the Kingdom of God.

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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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Day Fourteen

The Value of One

“What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?” Lk 15:4

We are moved today in the world by the notion that more is better, faster is better, and getting a bigger bang for the buck is good.  This thinking even spills over into our strategies for the Kingdom of God, though I don’t see this in the heart of the Father or Jesus.  In fact, what I see from the word is a continual reiteration of the great value of just one individual from Jesus’ perspective.  He constantly connected to people, individually, mano a mano, wherever He was at.

For instance, when the woman with the issue of blood was pressing through the crowd seeking only to touch the hem of His garment to receive healing – He recognized her touch as He felt the virtue of power leave although He was surrounded and hemmed in by crowds who were also touching Him.  Even when talking to groups of Pharisees He was able to discern their thoughts individually, and to recognize them as belonging to each person.  He also is able to discern when just two or three are gathered in His name – and He assigns value and power to that gathering for having their prayers answered.  Also, every deliverance, every healing, every salvation – Jesus accomplished one by one.  Mark 6:56 tells us that “as many as touched Him were restored to health.”  You could be part of a group that was touching Him and getting healed – but unless you touched Him yourself, you could not receive healing.  He deals with us individually.  Each of us is distinctly unique and important individually to the Lord!

This value of you – your value to the Lord is something that settles your heart as to your importance in His eyes, becomes a platform of strength against temptation and sin, and fortifies you in your place and role in the Kingdom.  The only way we can know this value, however, is to have revelation of it from the Lord through His word as we sit before Him.  He communicates it to us!  He begins to personalize the truth of His word for us.  It has our name on it as His love letter!  He says to us: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jer 31:3)  “I have loved you to the last and highest degree.” (Jn 13:1)  “My Father has loved you even as He has loved Me.” (Jn 17:23)  But this value of one is not just for us alone!  The Father desires that none should perish, but that all would come to repentance – hence He would have us communicate His love and value to others so that they may know Him.

Each of us has people within our sphere of influence (people we know and interact with) who are in a sense “lost sheep” or struggling.  Jesus values these people!  He would leave 99 of His saints to go pursue the one that is lost.  He would have us care and notice the needs of these people.  The question is:  Will we?  Would you and I have His heart concerning these people?  Are we willing to reach out in caring for the one He wants to recover?  Are we willing to put aside our pursuits and pursue what and who He wants?

The problem is we want evangelists in stadiums to do our work for us.  We want people to come to a church service and find Jesus.  But Jesus is saying to us – as the Father sent Me, now I send you!  He is waiting for us to hear Him.  He is waiting for us to gain His heart that each  “one” is vitally important – because everyday of every life – He works through one at a time – changing families through one child – changing churches through one life on fire for Him….. We cascade forth into the world as His living water – one person at a time!  Are you willing to go for Him – to pray with Him — to seek and save in His name – the “one” that is lost?  He is waiting to hear from you – His “one”.

Be-loved.

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