Tag Archive | repentance

Wicked Ways Or The Way Everlasting?

Psalm 139:23,24. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

There are ways and then there are ways. Then there is The Way. Some examples of the Way of Righteousness may be considered through the careful contemplation of, for example, Proverbs 12:28, Psalm 23:3, 1 Corinthians 1:30, and John 14:6. These should be explored by readers who are inwardly compelled enough to do so, and to connect the dots between them and what is shared here.

The Way of Righteousness – brought from Christ to us by the Holy Spirit – is the everlasting way of life. It is the way where there is no death, the way of our soul’s restoration. This is how it is connected to the “abundant life” which, Jesus Christ tells us, is the reason He took on human flesh and dwelt among us. This is the Way whereby He calls us from servitude to the evil one who would rob, kill, and destroy every good that our loving Heavenly Father has in mind for us.

Thus the psalmist wisely prays that God will examine him – search him, know his heart, try him, and know his thoughts. He is asking the Great Physician for an in depth spiritual examination for the detection of wicked ways. These are the hidden ways, lurking in the bushes of our interior landscape that, when undetected can lure us off the Way of Righteousness onto paths which at best are dead ends and at worst lead to eternal separation from God and to destruction. Without careful lives of “walking circumspectly” and perpetually prayerfully asking, seeking, and knocking for the Holy Spirit to ferret out these wicked ways, any disciple of Christ runs the risk of wandering off onto these paths leading to destruction.

On this Memorial Day we wonder how things have gotten to this point in this topsy turvy sin infested world, especially in our presumed “Christian” USA. We find ourselves in a world where good – according to God’s Word – is called evil by the darkness which has gained ascendency over not only the world but all too many churches. Therefore it is imperative to take a good hard look at these two little verses at the end of Psalm 139.

Many today join in the mantra “Pray for America”. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is often the go to verse for this. Certainly this is needed. However, let us remind ourselves that God’s directive includes three others in addition to prayer: to humble ourselves, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways.

Yet since the “sin within” – the wicked ways the Psalmist prays about here – is often hidden and subtle, undetectable by human sensitivity, does it not stand to reason that we will need some divine help to identify it? Only then can we confess what we could not perceive with our own senses, which the Holy Spirit reveals, so that it may be repented of, renounced, and removed by the power of the Holy Spirit? How can He show us where repentance is needed, unless we take a page out of the psalmist’s book and very honestly ask Him to show us “if there be any wicked way in me”? Psalm 19:12 – “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” There it is again!

It is puzzling, especially on these military holidays, how the majority buy into the narrative that the fallen have “died to keep us free.” Yet all the while our moral fabric is in tatters, our Constitution is largely ignored as the law of the land, and the freedoms we have taken for granted dry up and dissolve right before our very eyes! The creeping, gnawing, devouring locusts are not only at our borders, but have more than crossed them. They infest every system we supposedly rely on (such as government, education, corporations, and the like). Sadly this includes especially the churches which are supposed to be the very body of Christ on the earth, the city set on a hill! Intruder alert! Our freedoms have become an illusion, as well as the humanistic means (war and bloodshed) we have been told will “secure” them!

God has His answers, however, but are we asking for them, seeking them, knocking to be let into that place where He reveals them, as if our life depends on it? Or are we sending up the prayers of personal will worship? This goes far, far deeper than a one time “asking Jesus into your heart”, but then going your merry way, not living in fusion with the Cross nor infused with its precious work!

Where’s the outcry for the Holy Spirit to “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Might we be assuming that we have a standing with Him that we do not actually possess? Does not Scripture admonish us to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5. (Ouch!) And this examination needs to be in the light of God’s Holy Word and the relentless searchlight of the Holy Spirit! No “blessed assumptions”, things taken for granted, about ourselves! May it never be! Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!

God’s grace is not bestowed so we can take it for granted as a one shot deal. The process of destroying the works of the devil is ongoing, and it begins with His searchlight in the innermost being! If we are to walk the Way Everlasting, then the little “come hithers” – most often within our impure hearts and the gods of our belly – that draw us onto the ways of wickedness must be rooted out by divine intervention.

Thus Paul’s admonition in Galatians 5:1. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” It was on that cross that the Way Everlasting was opened to us, and we were set free from sin, death, and the power of the evil one.

Without this we can never be truly free, without prayerfully “working out our salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. Nothing changes until the very core of the heart of man is daily surrendered to Christ and to His cross.

Dr. Martin Luther says concerning the practical outworking of our baptism (Small Catechism, under The Sacrament of Holy Baptism), “It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.”

Let us pray to be so inspired, enlightened, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

The Fast I Have Chosen Part 1

How goes it with you this time of year, dear reader? Are you ready to make room for Jesus, for Emmanuel  – God With Us? In the scheme of things, are there “stable” conditions for this? Or is there “no room at the inn”?     Curious?    Read more:

http://www.at-the-crossroad.com/430350889/4351863/posting/the-fast-i-have-chosen-part-1

If you wish to join us in fasting and prayer, read more here: https://withintheholyspirit.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/fasting-through-the-frenzy/

Or here for discussion at Fellowship at the Crossroad:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1391871107491524/?ref=bookmarks

Awaken!

America Godly.png

Offered here are simply a few thoughts directly from Scripture which might give us pause for reflection, concerning the events on many minds today in particular, prior to the “great debates” here in the States. The question is, what is the state of the state? And how might it be addressed by those who love God?

Thoughts for consideration and contemplation:

1 Peter 4:17

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Matthew 5:13-15

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

James 4:9-10

Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Lamentations 3:40-41

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

Isaiah 55:6-7

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Proverbs 28:13

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Proverbs 2:21,22

For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Matthew 6:31-33

Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Monday Rant

 

It’s been a surprising day, one of those days where truth becomes more important than ever – not opinions, obfuscations, games, agendas, lies, and self deception. Especially the last one. Lots of that going around.

Some honest self awareness along the line of, “Oh gosh. I really did do that & I won’t do it anymore,” would go along way. You want so called “self realization”? Well, that’s it, baby. Realize that your self is messing up and stop it. Self is the problem, not the answer! Take responsibility for your wrongs and fess up!!! Cooperate where it’s morally right and just to do so. Do the right thing. Stop lying to yourself and stop being a bur under everyone else’s saddle. God gave you a conscience. Listen to it!!!

This goes on from the personal to international level and everything in between. Makes me think this world really is some sort of cosmic detention facility. Grrrr… No it’s not all someone else’s fault!

For example, people still think this is a “Christians” only country, that the Constitution only defends the Christian religion. Problem is, when you find those same people on another convo thread, they’re busy condemning those of other Christian traditions & slamming each other and saying stuff like, “Those Catholics are not Christian… those Methodists aren’t Chritian” & so forth. Good grief! No wonder there are over 30,000 “Christian” denominations! Just which of the “Christians”, in your opinion (since that’s all it is) is meant in the 1st Amendment?

Unfortunately when no one can get along, this is why we have crooked lawyers, to “interpret” the laws for us – while we bash and litigate against one another (usually there are vast sums of money involved). Or demolish the laws entirely. And remember, most politicians were once crooked, self serving lawyers.

Shall I go on? No probably not. Had it with the lack of thinking and integrity.

I will shut up now.

Simple Fix

There’s a lot of “knee work” to be done, yes. More of that and less “elbow grease”. The solutions will not come from a politician or any one man, or someone we want to make into a super hero – the go to guy who claims he can. He may be well intentioned, yes. But what our world faces is going to take something and Someone much more powerful than all our human efforts to “make America great again.” No need for anymore of “Follywood’s” super heroes.

I think God has a bigger idea. The “greatness” will come from doing things His way. Unless we repent, surrender ourselves to His Grace, and align with His Mind over the matter, none of our efforts are going to matter. Some will say this is simplistic. You’re entitled to your opinion. God says, “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!”

Father still knows best. So…

Simple Fix.png

“If my people, who 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.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

It must begin with the Body of Christ!

Want Transformation?

 

Be Ye Transformed .png

Guess what, “We The People”? This is what it will take to “make America great again” – each and every one being transformed from the inside out by the Holy Spirit. Each one of us receiving the redemption which has been provided for us in Christ Jesus. Each one of us getting before God in fervent prayer, to ask for His Wisdom to be “re-created” to harmonize with heaven, instead of resonating with the ways of hell… And that begins with the churches! If you’re sensing His call to you, then come to Him!

It doesn’t matter what you gave up for Lent. It won’t matter how many “religious works” or “spiritual practices” you engage in. It won’t matter how many rifles or handguns you have in your collection. It won’t matter which crooked psychopath or closet Communist politician you vote for – left or right. It doesn’t matter what brick and mortar “church” you belong to – that won’t change your heart any more than standing in a garage is going to transform you from a jalopy into a brand new Mercedes.

No, none of that will be worth a hill of beans at the end of the day. And the end of the day is here, people.

In fact after 40 plus years of the bloodshed of the innocent, in a world where people care more about stray dogs and cats than they do that the human children of God are being sacrificed on the altars of convenience, where do you think that will go in the name of a “woman’s rights”? That in itself is America’s death knell – let alone all the other wickedness being spewed out and made legal by the crooked supreme court pack of crows.

For the blood of innocents cries out for justice! It is probably too late for this nation, for the whole world. You cannot execute 1 billion babies worldwide over 40 years and expect not to reap what you’ve sown. This makes Hitler’s holocaust look like a Sunday School picnic.

You think this is too “negative”? You haven’t seen anything yet – if you’re not noticing the freight train coming down the tracks at you. America, you’ve sewn the wind. You are going to reap the whirlwind along with the rest of this world.

Father Really Does Know Best

Truth here, taken right from Scripture, that can save individuals, our nation, and yes, even our world. Scripture records the ancient knowledge of what works and what doesn’t! Time tested. It won’t be the politicians, programs, plans, propaganda, and especially not political correctness where the answers are found for today’s challenges. It will have to be massive, global scale repentance – a turning toward God and a forsaking of evil, in a world where people do not even any longer acknowledge obvious differences between right and wrong. It will have to be a spiritual transformation by the Holy Spirit within the inner being, at the heart of every man woman and child.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.”
(Proverbs 14:34)

This is the basic truth in a nutshell. Sin – that old fashioned term for thumbing your nose at God – is at the heart of all of the world’s ills. The degree of difficulty and distress is usually the indicator of how much hearts are ruled by sin, not by the Holy Spirit.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

No one can fool God. It’s about Universal Law – the Law of sowing and reaping. When an entire nation for the most part is “sowing to the flesh” (self will, self interest, selfishness, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…), shaking its fist in the Face of the Almighty, and has done so for several generations, it is going to reap corruption and destruction and loss of freedom. This is just how things work. It does not matter how sophisticated, cool, or trendy you think you are. The question really is, am I aligned with God’s will, ways, and plan – seeking His will, not just looking out for number one?

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:16-24)

It’s time to stop kidding ourself and trying to make God’s Word say something other than it says. Sexual immorality? You’re outside of God’s protection when you practice this (included is fornication or homosexual lifestyles among other things). This is just a little rundown on some of the “deeds of the flesh”. How about the psychic consultation, fortune telling, or those Tarot cards? Consider what’s said here. Is it worth it? God’s not making threats. This is a promise. It is based on how things work, not how you think they should work. Only a loving Father would say, “Don’t walk over there – that’s a bad neighborhood; it’s so dangerous that you may lose your life, and your eternal life at Home.” Yes, Father has rules. Father has principles. Father knows best. Dabbling with these ways attracts the dark side, and they only come to rob, kill, and destroy. Our Father’s intention for us is Life abundant. He shows us how we can either walk away from it or have it. It’s that simple.

“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:7,8)

This is not fear porn. A lot of people say that Christians just want to control people with fear. Nothing could be further from the truth. What kind of friend would withhold water from someone dying of thirst? What kind of friend would just tell a kid he’ll be safe by playing in the middle of the freeway? Warnings likewise are given from the ancient ways and wisdom recorded in Holy Scripture so that we do not choose the path that leads us into destruction. And those admonitions are found not only in the Old Testament but the New Testament as well. So if somebody makes the excuse, “that’s just Old Testament; it no longer applies; I can live as I please,” then that person does not come from the perspective of the whole counsel of God! He does not understand the power of Grace.

Jesus Himself warns, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19) The New Testament does not void the moral law; it provides the revelation of the One by Whose Spirit we keep it!

“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations. You shall say, Thus says the Lord GOD, A city shedding blood in her midst, so that her time will come, and that makes idols, contrary to her interest, for defilement! You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations and a mocking to all the lands. Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you of ill repute, full of turmoil.” (Ezekiel 22:1-8)

This could be spoken to America today, for example. God raises up prophets in every generation who are called upon to call a spade a spade – just as He called Ezekiel in his day. We have also become “a city shedding blood in her midst”. 3000 plus abortions on demand per day? More bloodshed than most can imagine. You bet this nation has idols contrary to our own interests! The idols of pleasure, convenience, and self will.

Our Heavenly Father has our best interests, our eternal interests and treasures at heart. The King of kings and Lord of lords wishes for us to have the highest and best, especially in heavenly places, as His beloved sons and daughters. He has given us The Way – through the redemptive work of His Son Jesus the Christ, His teaching, and the example of His life – to turn around and to come home to Him. He has sent His Holy Spirit upon all flesh! He has provided everything to bring us back home.

How does the turn around happen? Here’s the beginning answer.

“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This great turn around – some call it “revival”, better called repentance and regeneration through the Holy Spirit – must begin with those who have been born of Him and called by His name, whose hearts burn to see His name honored and His blessing again enjoyed by all who so honor Him.

This is a call to all who know Him to be humbly surrendered to the Mind of Christ, relentless in prayer and honest self examination, seeking the Lord’s will and surrendering all self will to the Holy Spirit. As He shows us whatever is standing in the way of His blessing, let there be a turning away from anything that is getting in the way of the only Power that can set us free from all sin… It is only in this manner of actually being the spiritually dynamic Body of Christ that our land (and the world!) will be healed and set free for the glory and good God intends for all humankind to enjoy.

There is so much here to be gleaned and understood and bestowed upon us! Let us take seriously and apply the understanding of Psalm 1. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.”

It’s time for all who are led by the Spirit of God to lead humankind in a movement to put away the childish things of being rebellious adolescents who want to make Dad’s Word say something other than what it does. Father speaks by His prophets. He speaks by His Son. He speaks by the Scriptures. He speaks by anyone who hears His call to carry the message.

Father knows best!

Are we listening? Will we heed Him and thus live and thrive?

Eternally.