Tag Archive | truth

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.

Behold!

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This weekend is not about the Easter bunny, egg hunting, or any of the other earthbound trivia and hype ordinarily associated with this holiday. It’s about – if you choose to observe it as such, or if you don’t choose to do so – the startling reality of a new creation forged in the fires of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. But it doesn’t end there… It’s not even “all about me” or the stuff I think I can do for God out of my own self importance. It’s not even about being “churchy”. Instead, it’s about a deep truth which has gotten overlooked and lost for the most part: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

The question is, how seriously do we take this? Ponder that for awhile, and see where it takes you… It’s not just “about me” or “for me”; it’s “in Him.”

And it doesn’t end here either. See Colossians 2:20-23 and Colossians 3:1-10 for where it goes from here.

Lord, Lord

There are implications to the Gospel… grace is not simply “fire insurance” because you make a mental assent to Jesus Christ…

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Phenomenation

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Hear ye, hear ye!

Oh, for goodness sake, America, wake up! Especially the religious component looking to Trump to be the savior of the USA, the Lone Ranger who comes riding in and single-handedly cleans up the nest of vipers!  Certainly that cleanup is something that needs to happen on an unbelievably large scale. However…

What amazes me about this phenomenon is that – in a nation that is supposed to be comprised of Constitutionally minded, thinking individuals – how so many simply are looking for a “king” or some  leader- figure to save the union, that nation which is to be of, by, and for the people. Didn’t we give up fawning over royalty right around 1776? Or did we?

Well, of course. That’s the easy way out. The king will make it all better. So, let’s go back to having a king, or even a queen this time around.

I cannot believe the foolish direction this has gone, especially with the arrival on the scene of “prophets” and “seers” (Seers and roebucks? Sorry, I could not resist. Oh deer!) claiming to have visions and prophecies about Donald Trump being God’s man of the hour.

Who knows that this isn’t some sort of mass mind control? I’m more inclined to believe that than to believe in the idea that The Donald is going to make America great again just because he says he will. Who would not like to believe that? I’d like to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too, but…

I also don’t think I need to go into the obvious facts of her history that make Ms Clinton an undesirable choice in this election. Clearly a moot point. However, will Mr. Trump be the go to guy that single-handedly does the hokey pokey and turns it all around?

This mindset simply reveals that the Trump phenomenon may be the buy in of masses of people who, although they have access to all the information the Internet contains, simply swallow what the press feeds them without question. It is no different than what happened with Obama eight years ago, where most simply were voting against two terms of George Bush, and a smooth talking Mr. Slick comes out of nowhere at the opportune moment – where he tells people exactly what they want to hear.

I have the feeling that we’re about to be duped again. Why?

It is because, from the Christian perspective, “righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) Prayer, repentance, a return to morality, seeking the Lord with the whole heart, humility and surrender to the mind of Christ… This is what it is going to take! We reap what we sow. Integrity of the Judeo-Christian ethic was basically the glue that held us together and was essentially taken for granted up until a relatively short time ago. Perhaps that was the fatal mistake – that we assumed that our fearless leaders would always be a cast of characters like Andy, Barney, and Aunt Bea – who had our best interests at heart and could be trusted in every and any circumstance.

But one morning we woke up and realized that Mayberry was a deserted ghost town.

The kingdom of God (where God reigns in the heart as the only King worthy of our devotion and trust) is righteousness (1st in the lineup), peace, and joy! How much of that do we see these days? To bear this fruit of the Spirit, there must be an absolutely fool proof connection between the Vine and His branches.

This is what the “prophets” ought to be proclaiming – repentance! Not promoting a mortal man who happens to be rich beyond the imagination of most of us who is going to be the savior of the USA.

Who knows? He may be well intentioned. He also may be our best shot at this point where our backs are up against the wall. From that perspective, Mr. Trump could be God’s offer to us. I won’t marginalize that possibility. Yet neither will I endorse either candidate.

Might God also be telling us, “OK, people. Here it is. I’m giving you one last chance to make your course corrections by giving you a leader who can stand in the gap for awhile. You must understand, however, that it is not all up to him, but you are going to have to do the rest of the work, seeking first My kingdom and My righteousness, and by walking in that uprightness in the fellowship and power of the Holy Spirit! Otherwise your country is going to go the way of other nations and empires from time immemorial who did not heed My will or walk in My ways – nations which left behind the power and protection of My Grace and fell in with thieves and robbers. They left Me out of all their thinking and doing. They made many gods for themselves, including the god of self indulgence and self will. Is this going to be your choice?”

Before America is made great again, she is going to have to become godly again. It must begin in the house of God, among those who are called by His Name. And there’s a big difference between being the people of God and playing church, along with adding a little “prophetic” woo woo. We must – perhaps for the first time – understand what it means to be “one nation under God”, instead of a “phenomenation” swayed to and fro by forces we have yet to acknowledge, let alone comprehend or combat skillfully with spiritual weapons of warfare on those levels.

Praying in Christ’s Victory

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When it comes to the very real dangers in our world today, it involves more than “keeping on the sunny side” with a positive attitude or a stiff upper lip. Christians have become the target of entrenched diabolical forces which know that their strangle hold over this world is being divinely pried from their clutches. This is very much like a confrontation with a cornered animal; it may get out its strongest most cunning survival tactics as a last effort. We need to realize first of all that the “animal” is supernaturally cornered, although it would have us perceive that it grows stronger with every snap of the jaw and swipe of the claw!

That’s the “bad news” in a nutshell. Eschatologically, however, this view gives us a higher perspective of events in progress, which is something greatly needed first of all, appearances to the contrary. So, what’s the “good news”?

What’s clear is that we need to know how to move through the bad news in a transcendent way, to learn to navigate through this tempest. Who am I? Where am I? How do I get though this? These answers are available for the continual asking, seeking, and knocking – within the context of the full counsel of Scripture.

Once understanding is given, we then need to learn to pray within it. Understanding comes from an enlightened consideration of scriptural truth, not vague begging, but knowing who and where we are in Christ, as well as why we are now here. Affirming and proclaiming what is becomes our testimony whereby the adversary is overcome. “What is” in Jesus is truth! Not what I will, but as Thou will, Lord.

The following (bold italicized) is an example which may be helpful. Emotions can trip us up when we feel down. So we pray by scriptural fact and faith! Feelings often change following the exercise of faithfully affirming our truth in Christ! It is good to pray like this thoughtfully and frequently.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You that You have given me all pardon and peace
through Jesus Christ.
You have granted to me all Your power and protection
over the evil one and the world;
You provide for all my need,
in the midst of all circumstances.

You grant me
full and unrestrained access
to Your infinite love and goodness at all times,
within You – omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient-
so that I may lead a godly life
full of Your joy unspeakable,
abundance, graciousness, and glory.

Please let ever increasing measures
of all blessings within this immeasurable greatness
be revealed, released, and restored to me.
Lord it is so, according to Your word,
that the triumph of Jesus Christ
over sin, death, and the devil
is Your desire
for all who believe in You.

Please let every blessing
with which You bless us in heavenly places
be manifest now,
according to Your promises,
and according to the working of Your great might,
Heavenly Father, which You worked
in Christ Jesus
when You raised Him from the dead
and seated Him at Your right hand, and us with Him!
(Ephesians 1:19,20; 2:6,7)

Come, Holy Spirit;
Please work within me and in my life
all that the Father has for me,
through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
in Whom I live, move, and have my being,
now and forever. Amen.

When we have access to divine power over all evil to this degree – for Christ has given us direct access to the Father – what shall we fear? If the Lord truly is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27). Simple. In Christ

I fear nothing and no one!
And it is this I proclaim,
for the Blood of the Lamb has made it so.

The weapons of our warfare are not of mortal thought or design, nor are they of this world, but rather are mighty in God to the tearing down of adversarial strongholds, and casting down the vain imaginations of everything exalting itself against the Most High. (2 Corinthians 10:4,5)

Psalm 27 in itself is mighty prayer, especially when prayed aloud, contemplatively, and personally! This way we can acknowledge and invoke the protection and power of God.

Praying the Psalms aloud each night before going to sleep (5 at a time, allowing for one complete “Psalm cycle” per month, give or take a few) can be very efficacious. Many of these (but not all) were written and probably sung by King David, who was also a gifted musician.

Through these, David shows us how to pray and praise, never allowing defeat or depression to set in or overtake one’s mind. As a king, he reveals to us – through the powerful praying found in the Psalms – the divine dynamo behind the life he lived. His example reveals to us how we can reign, within the power of God, in the life He sent us here to live and to enjoy in His strength.

David may have had his setbacks, but he never settled for defeat. There is never anything short of victory, joy unspeakable, and full of glory written in this mighty collection of hymns and prayers. They are full of proclamations about how God’s love can be abundantly powerful in life!

Jesus also encourages us with His promise (John 16:33), saying, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

If ever we’ve needed the understanding of the truth about who we are and where we are “positioned” spiritually in Christ, that time is now. Praying the psalms and also reflecting on the life of King David can keep us mindful of what we need to understand and embrace: that we can be people of victory who “reign over giants” in life, even reducing them to nothing, by first being people who walk by truth and faith.

Time And Truth

Time marches on, so they say.
Do we march simply in lockstep with the times,
or to the beat of the truthful drummer?
Say you, what has truth to do with creativity?
Oh, mercy me! Can’t you see?
Without His Truth
We can never be free!
If we are not free,
then in His image we cannot be.

Creativity requires above all
merging with and merging into Truth,
but not just any truth,
not “my” truth, nor “your” truth –
which is no truth at all
For it was this that caused our fall –
that we chose whatever was right in our eyes,
spurred on by the adversary of our souls, the father of lies!

Tumbling from perfection
dis-aligned with God,
into fragmentation, dis-ease, dismemberment, and sin:
that state of without-ness within!
Without His protection,
Without His Love,
Cut off from expanding and exploring the fullness
of what we once were –
the perfect coming forth from Creator Father God!
No mere ascending apes rising from slime and sod.

And one thing’s sure –
that only to abide in His word,
within and without,
by His Holy Spirit inwardly heard,
shall we be restored and be set free
To bear the image and likeness of His full on creativity!
By Truth we are set free from strife,
for His Truth alone is Spirit and Life!

Published on my website:
http://www.yvonneblasycreativeinnovations.com/412370756/2400511/posting/time-and-truth