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Posts Tagged ‘rebellion’

“ For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal ] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.”  Heb 4:12 AMP

“So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”  Is 55:11 AMP

“…and from His mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and HIs face was like the sun shining in full power at midday.”  Rev 1:16 AMP

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What is it that holds a sword together – intact. Is it attraction and cohesion of the molecules inherent to the sword?  Is is because the metal has been forged in fire?  Is it held together because of an assigned “identity?” – “We are sword.”

In your own body, there is information coded within your DNA that determines the cells role, place, identity, and even when that cell should die.

Back to the sword for a moment, imagine a day, when the sword molecules begin to have opinions about their roll, or position, or place.  It would usher in rebellion, mayhem, and a total failure of the integrity of the sword to be a sword. The overthrowing of their assignment to be a sword would cascade into dissolution, for rebellion is contagious.

Only when the molecules of the sword obey is there the strength and integrity of purpose to be wielded as a sword. Only when cohesion to their greater purpose grips them are they a force to reckon with.

And so it is with the Body of Christ, the Bride. For some two-thousand years there has been a call for assembly to the Bride, to be and become – the Bride which is the Body of Christ.

There are forces of opposition to this call of assembly which are external to the Bride and are of the enemy. But the word says, the enemy will not prevail against the church.  We can overcome him.

But the forces of opposition to this assembly call upon the Bride that are strongest, even stronger than the enemy’s power, are the internal forces of independence and self (flesh) within every member of the Bride.

We are like the molecules of the sword, before it submits to being a sword. We often refuse to know our place, or take our place, because we have not fully submitted to the One Who determines that place.

While Scripture depicts the Sword as ushering out of the mouth of God, it also says that the Spirit wields the Sword (Eph 6:17). Both of these pictures require obedience, unity, and integrity. We must become one with the Lord.

Until our own obedience to the Lord is complete – our unity and integrity as a force for the Kingdom of God will be lacking. Until we accept and submit to and take our proper place, we can not be wielded by the power of the Spirit.

In an individual body, when rebellion and dis-function persist, it results in disease and then death. It requires a “sword of surgery” or treatment to bring things into balance and alignment, and integrity.  Even then, what appears to be a loss of wholeness can arise.

So too then, the Sword of the Spirit is needed to assess light from dark in the Body of Christ, to separate them, even to the dividing of bone and marrow, soul and spirit.

When that has happened, the Bride and the Spirit can be one together in their song, “Even so come Lord Jesus come.” Maranatha. When this happens, we will be one with the Lord, and His purposes can come forward.

Saints, take your place…

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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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“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!

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Day Thirty-Seven

 

First Threads of Rebellion-

The Pain of Cain

 

“If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”  Gen 4:7 Amp

 

 

          This story is rich with application for much that we see in the world today – especially as it relates to confusion over why certain people feel so rejected by God, even when they seem to have a heart that desires His acceptance.   So we look for a moment at Cain.

          The first thing you must see is the choice Cain makes for his livelihood:  he is a tiller of the ground.  However, just over in Genesis 3:17 we see that the ground is under a curse because of Adam and Eve’s sin.  Now, they shall eat in sorrow and toil of the fruits of it – all the days of their life.  It is one thing to have to eat of it, it is another altogether to bring this as an offering to God.  Yet this is exactly what Cain does.  He brings fruit from ground that is cursed – expecting that it will be received.  Cain brings produce that is a product of ground that is cursed because of his dad and mom’s rebellion – and brings it expecting God to be pleased with it. 

Another point is, as part of the product of having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – man now knows how to distinguish between good and evil – between blessing and calamity.  So Cain knows this as well.  He knows what is good and what is evil.  He also knows God’s prescriptives for offerings.

          God had already demonstrated for Adam and Eve the kind of sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to Him. God Himself had made the first kill to shed blood to cover them from their nakedness.  God Himself made — for both Adam and Eve — long tunics of animal skins to clothe them.  This was also well known to Cain.  Thus, animal sacrifice for covering and atonement had been inaugurated to cover man’s bad choices (even freedom to choose badly) – even his choice to choose evil and calamity.  This too would have been known to Cain.

          Yet, Cain brings an offering of cursed ground and is angry and indignant, sad, and even depressed when his offering is rejected by God.  That is when God speaks words of eternal wisdom which also apply to circumstances even today!  His says:  “If you do well [Cain], will you not be accepted?”  Translation:  “Cain – if you follow what I have shown you is My way and My will – it will please Me and it will be accepted.  Is that not enough?”

          God continues: “But if you do not do well [choose My way and will] sin crouches at your door; it’s desire is for you, but you must master it.”  Translation:  “Not choosing My way, Cain – is you giving into your way — which is not only rebellion, just like your mom and dad did, but it is a poorer choice.  It cost greatly – but you still have the same choice.  Sin is now waiting for you, hungry to consume you – My desire is that you master it Cain – not that it master you.  Whatever you surrender to, will rule over you.”

          Now what I want you to see and interject in this same scenario, is a young couple, believers – living together but not married, yet expecting the Lord can bless them.  They believe they love the Lord with all their hearts, yet their love is not framed in obedience.  Thus, they become perplexed and saddened when the Lord does not bless their lives, or recognizes their prayers.  They become dejected in spirit.  Yet like Cain – they approach God according to their own ways, ignoring God’s commands.

          Think now of the young man who has grown up, knowing and following the Lord, who becomes confused concerning his sexual orientation.  Deceived, he pursues that life-style only to become isolated and bankrupt in his relationship with the Lord.  Thinking he has been made this way, but deceived, he finds himself rejected by God.  Failing to understand how he got there, he too is angry, sad, and depressed.  This young man felt he loved the Lord genuinely and even served him, but he also did not frame his love in obedience to God.        

          To all of these – God says:  “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”  There is a way by which we come to God – it is according to His word.  There is also a way by which He has said He recognizes our love – it is by our obedience.  John 14:21 says, “The person who has my commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me….”

          Perhaps Cain said in his heart (or even these others), “That’s just too rigid, too impossible, too narrow to expect someone to live that way.”  And yet, it is the rigid bridge that can support our weight and bring us safely across a great chasm, would we reject it as rigid as well?

          The key to removing such heart-break and disappointment in each of these cases is to actually see how intransigence and rebellion will never get us the acceptance and approval from God that we desire.  The very thing that we hold onto so adamantly – is the very thing blocking us from His acceptance.  It is our way, our rights, our will which we cling to so steadfastly.  We think we should die if we cast these aside – but truly we will die if we retain them.  It is our submission and obedience to Him which will bring us His approval; it is the true knowledge of Him which ushers in eternal life.

          There is indeed an elimination that is necessary! The solution, however, is not to eliminate our brother, like Cain did.  Nor is it to eliminate God – as so many unfortunately do when they feel like they are unaccepted on their own terms.  The solution is to eliminate the very thing which makes us unacceptable!  “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”  If you come on My terms, according to My way – will you not be accepted?  Indeed you will – and it is the will within us which needs to engage.  It is the will which needs to say, “I will obey.” It is there we will find the acceptance of God which we all need.

 

Be-loved, follow His way.    

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Day Twenty-Six

 

LIVE

 

“…Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  Amp Mt 4:4

 

          It’s not the things of this world (neither bread, nor relationships, nor medicinal care, nor any other thing) which upholds and sustains our life.  That, in fact, is the sole purview of the Sovereign Authority of the Universe – God Himself!

          There is someone, however, who has drifted from God.  You have left the table of His Word.  You have turned from strong fellowship with Him.  You have allowed the place of your living to become entangled and dependent on the world – what it offers, what it believes, and you have even adopted its standards.

          There was a time you honored your parents.  But then the world presented something you wanted (which they did not feel was a healthy choice for you) you brought railing accusations against them.  You traded your obedient heart (to them and to God) for a heart of rebellion and so have now brought upon yourself the penalty of suffering for that rebellion.  Justify it as you might, unless you repent of that rebellion to parental authority, and turn your thinking and believing back to the truth, and set your heart again in dependence on the word of God (and eat at that table only) – the suffering will continue.

          Think back to Samson.  A man of great strength who was brought low when he forgot Who held his life, and when he rebelled against his parents to get the Philistine woman.  Ultimately – his life disintegrated as he was chained to the pillars of the idolatrous temple of Dagon.  At the end, he destroys the temple – pulling it down, but it takes him down as well.

          Now as you see your situation – see your past rebellion and repent of it.  Turn from past thinking and change your mind to hold God’s thinking once again. As you repent and ask forgiveness, you crumble the hold that pain and suffering have on you – just as Samson crumbled those temple pillars.  You then de-throne rebellion, and place God on the altar of your heart once again.  With that your life can be sustained not by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

          Be repentant, be restored, be-loved!

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Day Eighteen

 

More on Habitation

Those Who Seek Honor for Themselves

 

“He who speaks on his own authority seeks to win honor for himself. …”

Jn 7:18a (AMP)

 

 

          On Day Sixteen we first began looking at the habitation of the Lord.  Today we continue that topic with a look at something that can block the Lord’s habitation in our lives: having a wrong motivation – which is a motivation not from the Lord.

          The Body of Christ has allowed waters of disobedience to muddy and cloud truth in our hearts by retaining motivations from ourselves — yet believing they are from the Lord.  This passage in John 7:18 deserves much focus and meditation.  Jesus clarifies that if we speak according to our own authority (what I believe I know/understand/trust in my own soul) I speak to win honor for myself. 

          Have I sent myself to a task?  Have I taken up a cause or obligation where the Lord has not sent me?  Have I pursued action and busy-ness — racing to do things for the Kingdom that appear good from every logic angle I inspect, but have not been requested or sanctioned by the Lord? If I do not have His yes – His Amen – in me, if I have not made a “practice” of surrendering to Him my life and my works and motivations, then I am quite probably operating on my own authority for my own honor.

          Many would quickly say to this, “Well God gave me a brain to use – to decide things.  He would not have me be just sitting around not using it!”  And indeed God did give us a great brain – a wondrous computer to compute with.  But He wants it to be brought under submission to Him in every way.  The Lord does not want us to operate as loose canons working independently of Him!

          Does a musical conductor allow you to play any note you want at any time you desire?  Does your own body allow your hand to go off seeking its own plan and fulfillment?  No – of course not!  Yet the Body of Christ consistently presses against the constraint of God’s love to do exactly what it believes is the correct thing to do – without waiting for the leading of the Lord.  It was this same independence that got us into trouble in the Garden.

          Listen to the second part of John 7:18:  “…But He Who seeks the glory and is eager for the honor of Him Who sent Him, He is true; and there is no unrighteousness or falsehood or deception in Him.”  You might see that and say it’s ok because it’s talking about Jesus – He was supposed to do only and all that the Father said to do…, and you would be correct!  But you see – Jesus is the Head of His body.  And that same body (His Church) should be constrained just “as He is” … by His rule, His authority, His leading, and His instruction.  1Jn 4:17 says that “…as He is so are we in the world.” To be otherwise – is acting independent of His authority, is seeking our own honor, and is in fact rebellious and resistant towards Him.  This simple independence will preclude and interfere with the Lord entering habitation with us – everytime.

          Be-loved.

 

 

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