Archive | May 2014

First Things First

Sometimes insomnia takes over the wee hours. There’s usually a reason for it. I call this my “insomniacross”. It’s time to be receptive. Time to pick up the insomniacross and follow! Often, when that happens, although it’s not physically pleasant, you just go with it, since sleep is not an option.

It’s as if the Lord is saying, “They that sleep sleep at night.” As in ”we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night…” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-7)

Yes, that’s probably a wee bit “literal”, but it certainly reminds me that we live in very dark times indeed, and there are so many who are spiritually sleeping through it, unaware that what they do not know can and will hurt them.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11)

There is always a gift in these episodes. So I wake up and resume reading in my little New Testament. It’s Luke 11, where the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Here we are introduced to Luke’s treatment of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus admonishes His disciples to be persistent, with the promise that whoever asks, seeks, and knocks will receive the Holy Spirit.

He also illustrates God’s desire to answer this prayer the way a loving Father would respond to a request from His child: He would not give a snake in place of a fish, or a scorpion in place of an egg. He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Nothing less than that. No substitutes.

My attention is drawn back to a familiar story preceding this teaching on prayer, beginning at 10:38, the account of Mary and Martha. It is a segue into the discourse on prayer – something I did not see before which seems to set the stage for it! Stay with me – this is a bit complex.

Not to fault her, but Martha represents the busy approach to Jesus. She is obsessed with the details of serving Him. Clearly she wants everything to be right as a way of honoring and respecting her guest!

However, she is so busy with the details of serving Him that she is not taking time to just sit with Him, to converse with Him, to know Him better, and to listen to what He wants to reveal to her! She must make every detail count to please Him. (Or is she pleasing herself?)

What’s really a bur under her saddle is Mary’s lazy attitude. Just look at that girl, sitting there at Jesus’ feet! She is smiling and laughing while I’m slaving away. I’ll put a stop to this! She may not listen to me, but she’ll listen to Him!

“Jesus, excuse me, but can’t you see how busy I am getting dinner ready? There’s so much to do! Can You tell Mary to please get up and help me? I’m up to my eyeballs in all these details of wanting everything to be right for You, and I need help!”

Martha is hurt by Mary’s lack of willingness to help, but here comes salt to her wounds!  “Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41,42) What? You have to be kidding, Jesus!

Could it be that “carefulness” (anxiety is what the word means) and trouble are not what Jesus asks of us? It seems He desires our friendship. There it is again, the difference between servanthood and friendship! (See my last entry from May 26: https://withintheholyspirit.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/cross-purposes-31-greater-love-hath-no-man/.)

There’s a repeated message coming across. One worth waking up for in the wee hours! What’s going on here? The connection may be a little difficult to pin down at first, especially if we take great pride in being a detail obsessed servant of the Lord.

Might there have been a connection Luke had in mind, as he prefaced the teaching on prayer with the account of Martha the servant and Mary the friend?

Could this be an indicator that points us in the direction, not of the religious “busies”, but rather toward the spiritual stillness and silence, the listening attitude of friendship with Jesus?

Might this be the “posture”, depicted by Mary, whereby we quietly, receptively hear from Jesus all that He hears from the Father, rather than telling Him what we think is the right way to do things and asking Him to bless our mess? Might Mary’s way be the attitude in which we do a different kind of “praying”?

We’re all capable of super-servant self-righteousness. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details rather than getting caught up in the Spirit with the Lord Himself.

The question is: what characterizes my prayer attitude: the demanding servant or the friend quietly listening to His Still Small Voice?

The times noisily cry out to us, on every level from personal to political, “Do something! Do something!” Yet there seem to be few if any lasting solutions.

Although there is a call to action from some “alternative” sources, who may have a better handle on the real news than the mainstream media, the question still remains, is an activist stance or resistance, without the input of the Lord, going to turn it all around as we play social and political hokey pokey?

Some of these sources claim the Name of Christ, yet almost never is there the recommendation to approach Jesus as not only our Friend, but our Elder Brother and ask for the Father’s will to be revealed to us! If ever there were a time when it is imperative to claim the promise of Jesus, that the Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who persistently pursue Him (and consequently the answers only He has), who never give up asking, seeking, and knocking, that time is now!

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” (James 1:5,6)

We must be in the listening mode, as Mary was, not wringing our hands in anxious Martha mode. We must become listeners to the Still Small Voice, in a prayer state of receptivity. That’s a new idea if we’re used to telling God what we think should be done.

It would seem imperative that we sit with the Holy Spirit as we meditate upon and internalize 2 Chronicles 7:14 as to specifics – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” On some levels it means that God and the Holy angels must intervene at levels we cannot even begin to imagine.

Clearly the answers need to be ascertained by praying for the Holy Spirit first of all, for consecration and single minded devotion to Jesus, Who reveals the Mind and Heart of the Father. The answers to our present dilemmas may be something entirely different than what we think they are… God’s infinite view of first things first is not necessarily our finite view of first things first.

 

Cross Purposes 31 / Greater Love Hath No Man…!

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The opening words of the following passage from the Gospel of St. John are often repeated on holidays where we are remembering and honoring those who give their lives for the ideal of freedom. Certainly they deserve our respect and a hearty salute. What an incredible sacrifice! Yet not often do we call these words to remembrance in their more all embracing context, in remembrance of our one Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave His life for friend and foe alike.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:13-15)

Servants, slaves, soldiers, employees, or even perhaps children participate in the directives of their overseers (or captors) without reason and without question. This is blind obedience, often based in fear and without comprehension. Jesus’ words preceding this passage can trip us up a little, as He prefaces His remarks with an idea that gives the impression that friendship with Him is very conditional: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” He clears this up for His disciples as He develops His conversation with them.

Here’s the simple difference: Servants obey without understanding. Friends participate and cooperate enthusiastically with understanding, affection, and love. Understanding of the mission trumps blind obedience any day as the motivating factor for those Jesus calls His friends! That’s what He’s clarifying here. He makes known to disciples all that He hears from our Heavenly Father! That’s the difference between religion and Christianity: understanding versus blind obedience. It’s a “heart matter” in so many ways! Christianity moves us from religion into salvation consciousness.

We pick up our cross and follow Jesus as His friends once we “hear” what He shares with us from the Father, as the “Word” of the Lord enters our hearts with understanding. We can then willingly embrace the “mission” of Salvation and understand its ramifications. It’s why we’re here. It’s what we are and what we do – with understanding!

We can then also grasp with heartfelt conviction that, in spite of outer appearances, we really have no enemies! The whole world is instead filled with friends, brothers, and sisters in need of being sprung from the status of P.O.W.s on a cosmic scale, to being set free and on their way “up and out” to being sons of God!

Wow! Blind obedience does not bring this view. Only the inward understanding provided by Jesus, based on His written Word, through the Holy Spirit, can enlighten us to the realities of the mission. We certainly need the “outer” written Word, but we are motivated by the “inner” Word and the Divine Love, light, and fire that it kindles.

Then we carry forth God’s own Love into life, His infinite unconditional Love toward all. If Love is unconditional, it is not selective or exclusive. Romans 5:7 demonstrates this Love very, very clearly: “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” That’s the difference between finite, human, conditional Love and our Heavenly Father’s infinite, divine, and unconditional Love expressed through Jesus Christ. The apostle goes on to explain in verse 8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Divine unconditional Love is the only Love powerful and enduring enough to pull off a rescue like this on a cosmic scale – until the job is complete. But what else would our Father in Heaven do in a situation where His own sons and daughters are not only cosmic P.O.W.s, but have also experienced such massive Luciferian programming that they suffer from spiritual Stockholm Syndrome? (Defined as feelings of trust or affection felt in circumstances of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward his or her captor. The victims may even buy into, support, and embrace the goals and objectives of their captors.)

His promise abides, however, per John 14:18 – “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” And so it is!

What great Love our Father has for us, that our Elder Brother Jesus Christ – fully informed of the risks and the cost – would descend from on high, in full agreement with our Heavenly Father, with the intention to set every one of us free from sin, death, and the power of the devil, and to bring us back Home with Him! Can we speak of this enough? Can we sing His praises loudly enough, once we have experienced the status change from servants to friends having a solemn awareness of the situation?

Our beloved Savior moves us through spiritual rescue to redemption to resurrection! He took our sins to a gory death on the cross in Himself. Our servant status died there too. We’re resurrected as His friends, free to follow Him, fully informed and convinced, completely into everlasting glory – with a hotline to our Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit.

Now there’s the freedom worth dying for!

Once we understand the magnitude and nature of what He reveals to us through His word and the Holy Spirit’s counsel, revealed to heart and mind, as we ask, seek, and knock, we can receive the magnificent “Vision” of our Father’s Love, our true home, and where this thing called “history” is destined to go. For we are no longer servants but friends, the recipients of endless, fearless Love!

Thanks be to God for His provision for our everlasting freedom through the Love, life, teachings, death, resurrection, ascension and eternal reign of Jesus Christ – in Whom we live, move, and have our being! Let us always keep these things in eternal remembrance in our hearts and minds and never forget His unfathomable Good.

Cross Purposes 30 / Reasons For Religion

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The art that accompanies this entry symbolizes what critics may perceive as they observe the Body of Christ. The image is skewed, scattered, broken, fragmented, and off kilter. The cross is almost hidden. That’s intended. No, it isn’t pretty. It doesn’t please the eye. If it were a song, it would likely be off key. Little about it would rhyme. And this may be how some see Christianity.

A friend of mine commented the other day on how disgusted she is with religious people. “They aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. They are such hypocrites.” At first I was a little surprised at the rest of her remarks, some of which were quite heated and full of popular, over-used expletives. She claims to be “open minded” concerning just about everything. However, when it comes to “believers”, she cuts them no slack!

Instead of reacting to her reactions, I decided to explore this a little myself. Is there evidence for her conclusions? This is what I came up with, based first of all on her challenge. After doing some self examination as well as a little spiritual “time travel” into the past to revisit some religious “worlds”, I discovered that her claims may carry some weight.

These “reviews” amounted to the formation of a question: Just why are people involved in religion, or “spirituality”, as some prefer, since they regard themselves as “spiritual” and not “religious”? Unfortunately the two seem to have become mutually exclusive in some minds. However, Lucifer is a spirit and he certainly “believes in” God, so I guess that makes him “spiritual” too, eh?

Please, mind you, these are observations, not judgements. Christians get accused of being judgmental quite a bit, and that ought to be cause for serious, honest introspection and repentance. I cannot “judge”. I do not sit behind a tall desk, dressed in a black robe, a gavel in my hand dispensing sentences for crimes, offenses, or misdemeanors. No, my name is not Judy.

Observations and conclusions about why people do religion:

1. You grow up in a tradition. The whole family – immediate and extended – follows “the tradition”. Blindly. You “believe” because it’s your family’s belief, but you do not really know God. You may be nominally Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, whatever. “It’s what we do.”

2. Religion is entertainment. You know – the parlor games crowd. Dabbling with no commitments. Spiritual one night stands. Tarot readings, newspaper astrology, palm readings… reading everything but the Bible. Seances, visiting haunted buildings, dancing in circle under a full moon, spoon bending, retreats and workshops on how to discover or enhance your psychic abilities or see auras. This is the group that objects most vehemently to the word religion for some reason. No, we are spiritual.

3. You have a curiosity about the “unseen”. So you involve yourself in metaphysical research. The word itself simply means “beyond the physical”. There are many branches of metaphysical science. It’s essentially the study of how the unseen – “energy” – effects the realm of matter, what we can see. It is the study of the interplay of cause and effect of the unseen on the seen – prayer, positive thinking, science of mind, affirmations, and the like. Personally I do not actually regard this as a religion, except to add that paradoxically all religions have metaphysical practices and tools. Metaphysical science observes and theorizes how religious practices work, for example, how does prayer or ritual effect physical situations? Yet it would also include the effects of light or color (art and symbolism), sound or vibration (music), within integrative healing settings.

4. The next reason why people do religion is that the church basement is the nearest thing to an exclusive social club where you can get the latest gossip about who should be excluded from your clique. The rule of thumb is to always bring your yardstick to the quilting circle. That way you can decide how someone who’s not there does not quite measure up to your standard for them, but you indeed wind up being tall in the saddle of self righteousness. Right, pilgrim?

5. Or maybe you are someone who likes to win, even at church in the men’s Bible study. You like to impress with all your knowledge, which certainly exceeds that of anyone else in the room. But you’re on your fourth marriage, and your current wife hasn’t yet mentioned to you that she’s filed for divorce. Your his-hers-ours batch of kids are pretty much little hellions whose respect you’ve never managed to win, and who may, if they’re fortunate, not grow up to be like you. But since you’re too heavenly minded to be any earthly good, who cares?

6. Maybe you’re afraid of hell when you die, and the life you’re living now is riddled with guilt and drama. So you’re into chastisements, punishments, penance, and really love a good hellfire and brimstone sermon every now and then. Your life is so bad that this kind of thing actually gives you comfort. It leaves you temporarily feeling better (or bitter?) about yourself, and you think if you can please God with your ego attempts at being good, this will give you a better crack at Heaven.

7. Then you may be one who chooses a religious path that shows you how to keep your sunny side up, but the reality is that you’re torn apart on your insides and the outside of your life. It’s a place where you can learn principles and affirmations that basically instruct you on how to serve a gourmet dinner on top of a dumpster, but the garbage and its smell never get taken away, and the inner stench permeates every area of life. You just can’t get away from it, because you haven’t realized that it’s what’s inside a man that defiles him, as Jesus taught. It may be a religion of “getting ahead” in the world, or how to attract more stuff into your life. But it isn’t changing you from the inside, and that’s where the work needs to be done.

8. You’ve always been into politics, so you join a religion that may run anywhere from ultra-conservative right to ultra-liberal left. Whatever it is, it must be politically correct, having its particular agenda for mankind, just as long as it’s a religion informed by those who know what’s best for everyone else – “the” cause or party you blindly support with vigor. Have you considered Jesus when He says, “My kingdom is not of this world”?

9. And last but not least, is that of the Jesus Christ Way of salvation through His cross and resurrection, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not about tradition, habit, religion as entertainment, trendy spirituality, the unseen, Bible thumping, gossip, self righteousness, fear, guilt, positive thinking, politics, or even how to have a better shot at your fifteen minutes of fame. Christianity is where you come to be dismantled and put back together again – made whole from the inside out! It’s not a religion it’s The Way!

It is about the narrow Way! It is about the Jesus Christ Way of inner spiritual transformation! It’s your real reason for being! It’s about being “saved” – freed from sin, death, the world’s way of doing things, and the hooks of the evil one on your Soul. At some point you come to the place where you experience the life-transforming call of Jesus Christ the risen Son of God. You hear Him say within you, as He looks into your Soul, takes you by the hand, and says, “Follow me!”

You leave your ego stuff right there and walk away from it. As the Door opens, you walk into the transforming power of the Presence of the Living God, as He seals the promise on your Heart, “I will never leave you or forsake you!” And everything changes, especially your priorities. None of those other “reasons for religion” can hold a candle to this divine reality.

If you’re like me, and you’ve been in those other spaces or something close to them, the people who questioned you then may really criticize you now. They may always see you as they formerly perceived you, refusing to admit that a sea change has occurred, and this can be deeply disturbing. They also may not perceive you as a work in progress!

When St. Paul was still Saul of Tarsus, he was a Pharisee who had overseen the martyrdom of many Christians. But when Jesus introduced Himself to Paul in a blinding vision, it transformed him beyond his former identities. The old Saul was gone, whether anyone was for him or against him. He now labored on behalf of those he’d formerly persecuted, in order that Christ be formed in them. (See Galatians 4:19). In other words the change was so radical that his name was no longer Saul, but Paul.

Yet the best way to overcome this barrier to the acceptance of our Christ transformation is to keep shining the Christ Light! This will eventually dispel any doubts any may have, as they question, “Is this for real?”

 

Cross Purposes 29 / The Mystery Is My Story

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Were you there when they crucified my Lord, were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh… Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”

So asks the old spiritual. Profoundly simple. Simply profound! It asks us to look deeply into the mystery that is the cross. So, what do you say, dear reader, in answer to this question? Were you there? Do you know you were there?

Indeed, mysteriously, metaphysically, the cross is my story. It is everyone’s story, if we can only see it as such.

At first glance, we may only see the cross in historical and physical terms, first of all. It has always been seen as a device of torture and execution from the ancient world. There is conjecture on the matter as to whether or not it was a device invented by the Romans, or if crucifixion was also more broadly and anciently practiced in other cultures. People that see the cross this way often ask, why do you wear that crucifix? It’s a very “negative” symbol. But is it really just that? Is there something more?

The natural history of the cross is not really the issue. The supernatural history of the cross is the issue! The question really remains a spiritual one: was I there, were you there when they crucified our Lord? How do you see yourself in relationship to that cross?

Let’s briefly revisit the cross in its natural setting. Its uses included putting to death thieves, rebels, insurrectionists, criminals, and other political and social undesirables of all sorts, in the judgement of the government of the ancient Roman Empire.

The cross was a place where rebellion ended, in no uncertain terms, as far as the occupational forces of Rome were concerned in any land the empire conquered. These brutal executions were public events, and reminders to all about who ruled the roost and what would happen to trouble making dissenters.

Does that ring any bells, strictly from the perspective of the cross being the place where rebellion ends? Let’s explore further.

Even the cross’s natural and repugnant use ought to depict something to us concerning our ancient skeletons in the closet. In the beginning, we were the insurrectionists, complicit in a cosmic coup set against our Heavenly Father, His Kingdom, and His divine plan for our uninterrupted eternal Good.

But someone was insanely jealous of that idea. Ultimately we were “tricked” through this very cunning, hateful, and jealous adversary into rebellion. We fell for the treachery and swallowed the idea. We were complicit in a crime against ourselves, odd as that may seem – the first crime against humanity. How sweet that first bite must have seemed, but how hard and fast the plunge into captivity to sin, death, and the spell of our adversary the devil, was the result.

We bit off more than we could chew!

You can laugh at this if you want to, but the rest, as they say, is history. This is the real reason things have gone the way they have, since the children of God were tricked into giving away their birthright and their world to fallen angels who coerced them into a rebellion against their Father and against themselves. Crazy, isn’t it? A story mirrored over and over again throughout history…

Yet our Heavenly Father’s unconditional and everlasting love is such that He could not let this stand. He could not bear to see His children kidnapped, taken captive, held prisoner, blinded, programmed, maimed, crippled, and enslaved by this arch fiend and his hordes!

There was then devised a divinely shrewd plan, that by faith when we behold ourselves crucified in and through our Elder Brother Jesus Christ on that cross, dead, but more importantly resurrected to new life in Him, and say yes to His gift, and commit ourselves and our will to Him, we are set free from sin, death, the world, the flesh, and our “captors” to resume the life in glory enjoyed before this rebellion in which we were complicit ever occurred!

Jesus Christ Himself, the perfect and spotless Lamb of God, would take upon Himself our sin and put it to death on the cross. Moreover His blood paid the ransom note on our heads whereby we could walk away from the stranglehold of darkness and into a whole new life!

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Restored to full sonship in other words!

In other words He, the One Who was sinless, took upon Himself our sin-full rebelliousness and its results, and crucified these in His own body on the cross.

We the human former insurrectionist component of that ancient coup can therefore say with a resounding yes, that we were there when they crucified our Lord!

We can then re-affirm every day,  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Thanks be to God! Jesus took upon Himself the burden of all the sin of humanity, from the beginning of time to the end of all things, put it to death in the cross, and offers His own new Life to us through the Holy Spirit.

So we revisit the question, were you there when they crucified my Lord? Do you see yourself by faith dead through that cross but made alive through His resurrection?

May our Heavenly Father open to us the inner eye of faith to perceive His remarkable gift, receive it, and live within its reality, now and throughout all eternity.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but that’s an offer I can’t refuse – Jesus has taken me from insurrection to resurrection! Thanks be to God for His unfathomable love for us all! May our eyes be open to perceive and receive it!

Let’s Get Real

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Why am I posting this? First of all it’s something to think about, maybe a sort of brain twister. Hopefully a wake up for a few folks who blindly follow along with “authority” in an unquestioning manner. I like making provocative remarks now and again, because it causes people to take notice, to question, and to think. The word “provoke” comes from the Latin root “provocare”, meaning to call forth a challenge.

The other word we can look at is “reprobate”, which simply means unregenerate, someone who has not undergone the experience of a genuine spiritual rebirth and regeneration, as evidenced by the fruit of the Holy Spirit in thought, word, deed, and modus operandi. Maybe not perfect, but with the sincere intention to become.

I didn’t always like challenges. However lately, I find that I’m being challenged a bit myself. I think that when we take a stand for something worth taking a stand for, such as our faith, truth, or simply what’s right across the board, we will be challenged. That provides an opportunity to clarify matters in question, both for ourselves and for our challengers.

Earlier today I was mildly challenged, taken to task, by another Christian concerning something I posted on Facebook. It was a photo of comedian George Carlin captioned with one of his quotes, “There are certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. Nothing. Zero.”

First my challenger threw down the gauntlet with the idea that such a post is “sub biblical”. A new term for me, but yes, certainly I suppose it’s true. He responds, “St. Paul urges a much deeper respect for the government, in spite of the fact they were non-Christian”.

To which I replied, “I certainly don’t see, for example, John the Baptist not calling a spade a spade as far as the court of King Herod was concerned. Or this – ” And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (See Ephesians 5). Works of darkness must be exposed. There are simply times and epochs when governments cannot be trusted due to their utter corruption. Am I going to believe the lies that come out of this corruption? No. That’s insane. There is also much corruption and covering up in every world hierarchical system, including the church. No, I do not believe every dictate that “comes down from on high”. All I can say to these institutions is, Clean up your act and repent, so that you can become believable and respectable. For starters, I cannot believe a government that legalizes the murder of unborn babies. That in itself should make people question its veracity and reliability. The fact that so many do not question that the unconscionable goes on without too many batting an eyelash, and without the church calling them out for it, makes me wonder even just who’s really running the church these days. Questioning everything does not mean necessarily disrespect. It is less respectful not to bring things into the light, so they can at least have a crack at cleaning up their act, which clearly so far they choose to ignore.”

The response: “Yes but, all governments are staffed by sinners, as Paul well knew, still he demanded respect for the authorities. A blanket condemnation that all governing officials lie seems to me a demonic exaggeration.”

OK, so we’re going from sub-biblical to demonic? Hmmm.

So I reply,” I think that you may perhaps be putting words in my mouth. My history is that I’m an Air Force Veteran, so I deeply love the United States of America, but I cannot close my eyes and look the other way while unsavory characters are installed at every level. Certainly there are some good people who are attempting to bring some sensibility to these conundrums and to turn the situation around. Certainly we pray for government officials, while we also surrender ourselves to God’s HOLY Spirit in a daily baptism of repentance. Part of the Holy Spirit’s work is to help us see through deception of all sorts, to have our ears opened to His voice of discernment.”

So the challenger replies – and this I think was the crux of it – that this person did not approve of my posting a remark by someone they did not approve of: “I am referring to the quote from George Carlin, which you seemed to approve.”

“Well, here’s my thing on that: If God can get a message across through Balaam’s donkey, he can certainly get one across from any source. I’m not really into debate; there’s enough of that going on. But certainly these things help us clarify where we stand on specific issues.”

Truth does not always come from “the top brass” as we ideally would like to assume that it does.

Many people, will never pick up a Bible, lest it challenge them to repent, will not consider a Scripture passage, but they may stop to consider a quote from George Carlin. They won’t consider Christianity at all, frankly, because there are too many bad actors who may talk the talk but not walk the walk. That goes for the pew sitters all the way “up” to the officials who will not address the pedophilia and other corruption in the church, and then pay off the victim’s families to shut up about it, who have control of the minds of over one billion people on this planet. It goes for the mega church razzle dazzle show biz preachers who peddle New Age “wealth and success” doctrines, and the only ones who have anything to show for it are these charlatans themselves.

I don’t necessarily approve of George Carlin’s comedy style, but I do agree with the idea that we need to do our own thinking in these deceptive times and allow that truth will make its appearance as it pleases… I guess every squirrel finds a nut now and again, eh?

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 12

The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.” (Proverbs 12:7)

Of all the points there are to consider in this chapter, this one kept announcing its presence more than any other of the Wisdom saying included in this writing.

Somehow this passage reminded me of a lot of other “house” scriptures, not the least of which was Jesus as He overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the temple. It had become a den of thieves instead of the house of prayer that our Heavenly Father intended it to be. Consequently it was “overthrown”, effectively and symbolically, as it was completely out of alignment with God’s purpose for it.

In reference to His body as the temple, He promised that if it were to be destroyed, He would rebuild it in three days, for His body was a temple of God’s unconditional love and righteousness. Thus it was a house that would stand, no matter what.

Fast forward to 1 Corinthians 6:19, where the Apostle Paul reminds the Christians,  “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” We are reminded that our bodies are not, contrary to popular opinion, our own to do with as we please, but that they are designed and intended to be the temple housing the Holy Spirit – the dwelling place of God’s Presence!

It’s well worth a little time invested to read 1 Corinthians 6 in its entirety. It’s pretty clear as to what uses the body-house-temple of the Holy Spirit is to be put. And it is also very clear concerning the uses to which it is not to be put.

These passages encouraging holy “houses” are offensive to many in today’s politically correct climate, not only to non-believers, but to Christians informed by political correctness, who might do better to open their Bible and let it influence their minds and hearts – especially where it concerns these clear and straightforward admonitions as to what the “house of the righteous” is all about. In its simplest, most up close and personal form, it’s the body we have been blessed with to inhabit in health, godliness, and wholeness from birth until death.

Many houses are being overthrown in today’s if-it-feels-good-do-it world. That dis-ease is a consequence of not being at ease with God’s presence in His house / one’s body and God’s will for that body temple has become obvious. The sign over the front entrance more often would read “this house is my house”, not “this house is God’s house”. This is the place where self and self will are worshipped, and God is not welcome here.

How can His blessing reside with such a house?

How can we pray for the peace of God to fill our lives and our world while defiling the most precious of His dwelling places – the human body? That is a house divided against itself!

The peace that passes all understanding begins with the surrender of our ego will to His will unconditionally. It begins when we see ourselves co-crucified, dead, and buried in Jesus Christ. More importantly the mind hostile to God is silenced and peace begins when we have the eyes to see that we are also raised in Him, to new life! He sends the Holy Spirit to awaken us to these truths, since He desires the best for us.

Let us ask for these eyes to see!

As His temple was raised in three days, so were we raised with Him spiritually to new life, and a new and holy purpose while we are still inhabiting our bodies. The former body of sin is dead and gone! In Jesus Passion, our temple is cleansed. We are redeemed, restored, forgiven and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be both a temple and a palace where the righteousness of God, King of kings and Lord of lords, is housed forevermore.

Let us worship and honor our Lord Jesus Christ with our bodies by regarding them as holy unto the Lord alone, laying aside defiling, profane, and unworthy purposes for which our body temples (including our mind!) were never intended.

With the Holy Spirit’s help and council, let us be the house of the righteous that stands – in health, honor, and holy purpose until we are called Home!

 

 

Spiritual Snipers and Atheists

A fresh perspective from the Still Small Voice:

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

This may seem like a point of worry for you, but seriously, stop worrying about atheists! I need warriors, not worriers. It is actually not possible to not believe in God, for God is Love, and everyone believes in Love – to one degree or another.

So let us begin with a different strategy. Spiritual Warriors know where they stand. They know in Whom they stand! They understand the Mission. They understand the Divine Strategy. Warriors are always ready. They await the word of the Commander.

So here are a few points to consider well.

These unbelieving creatures are stuck with the greater reality that God is Love, whether they acknowledge it or not with their minds which have been bound up in darkness.

What are you to do about it? You must aim the flaming arrows of Divine Love at their hearts in prayer until this Divine Love burns away all the spiritual blindness from them. Do not stop doing this until this work is complete. This is largely spiritual work, the work of My Love. This is not a prayer of begging; it is the prayer of knowing in Whom you stand, who you are, and what you are to be about! It could be called a “prayer of sending”.

Even death cannot stop you with this mission! It will commence now and persist far into the future. Never forget that you are a “spiritual sniper”, for I have set you in high places with a good vantage point – through the death, resurrection, and ascension in and through My Son. Reckon it so and act accordingly in Love!

It is from this vantage point that together as one in the Holy Spirit we take deadly aim with our arrows of flaming Divine Love, which consume everything they target that is set in opposition to the Good that I wish for all to have, which is their birthright as My children – by persistent, gentle, fiery radiance! This prayer is felt within and sent forth from the innermost being, the “heart”.

This work of Love is not accomplished by reasoning with anyone in a state of unreasonableness. Divine unconditional Love alone dismantles unreasonableness, so that a Soul locked up in darkness may begin to be set free to comprehend its Greater Reality – that it abides in Divine Love which is God! Divine unconditional Love alone is equal to the task. No fear. No condemnation. No judging. No arguing or debating. Love alone is the catalyst for this kind of dynamic change!

Therefore be still, know that I Am God, that you are in Me and I am in you through the Holy Spirit. Take aim with the arrows of Love, with fervent intention, all the while remembering this: “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5)

Let go of old strategies that no longer work. (And perhaps they never did?) Learn well to wield and aim the arrows of My Love!

Come now, let us be about our Father’s business…

Ready, aim, fire!!!