Archive for the 'Admonishment' Category

Liberty

March 25, 2010

In our current political climate in the U.S., it’s very easy to get caught up in intense discussions related to liberty vs. tyranny. I’ve done so recently myself, in propounding upon the Founding Fathers’ intent in penning the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. All of that changed for me this morning.

Jesus spoke at length regarding liberty when He was on earth. Not once, did He discuss it in a political or physical context. His message was clear, pursue and lay hold of spiritual liberty, and the cares of this world will no longer have power over you.

As citizens of another Kingdom, we Christians have a choice to make. Will we be about the King’s business in furtherance of spiritual liberty, or will we be entangled in the affairs of this world? I believe it is impossible to serve two masters. For myself, the choice is clear – only Jesus offers me a liberty that no man can take from me.

Does It Pass?

February 24, 2010

I’m a firm believer in the power of God. According to the scriptures, it is the hallmark that follows the proclamation in the true Gospel of Jesus. The proof of God’s love, demonstrated by signs and wonders. Apart from such affirmation by the Lord himself, the message and/or the messenger are suspect and could be proclaiming “another” gospel. Such are accursed. The Lord’s words, not mine.

Knowing that God chooses to make himself known to His children in a visibly manifest way, our enemy seeks to discredit Him through imitation. All for the purpose of leading the elect astray and into heretical practices. He has been fairly successful of late, it would seem.

We’re told that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth. When He lives within us, He makes known to us the real from the fake. It’s called discernment. We’re admonished to employ it, by “Do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22.

It’s past time that we became doers of the word here, and ceased allowing any and everything that claims to be of God to flourish in our midst. If it doesn’t meet the test, kick it to the curb. We’d better, else we be found cohabiting with serpents.

Clarification: The apostle Paul knew one Gospel, that of the cross of Jesus and His grace to save, the proclamation of which always being affirmed by the manifest power of God in signs and wonders. To him, proclamation and manifestations were inseparable, and together comprised what he knew as the Gospel of Jesus. They still are when the true Gospel is presented in the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t let man or lying spirits tell you otherwise. Read the Bible and see what God says to you about it.

Reprising It

September 5, 2009

Have you ever noticed how deceptive our flesh is? Take for instance, how we think we have this great spiritual insight, only to have the Lord strip away the scales from our blinded eyes and give us an “Isaiah tours Heaven” experience. That happened to me today.

My life with my mother was not a pleasant one. Due to her upbringing, she developed a very unhealthy way of relating – that of constant criticism. It found its zenith in our relationship and deeply wounded me as a child. I still am, it would seem.

The Lord had me move in with she and dad to care for them about a year ago. (He told me to a year prior, but I didn’t want to believe He’d do that to me.) Dad passed away in March (read about that here). Well, she has not changed for the better and today, I lost it with her. After she refused to cease a critical attack upon my asking her to do so, I found myself delivering a very stern, “The Lord rebuke you! May the Lord rebuke you!” Being that it came from deep within, I was convinced that the Holy Spirit had just spoken.

In speaking about it with a close friend a little later, he was used of the Lord to open my eyes. It would seem that our wounds can express themselves. The scripture that comes to mind is, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;” Heb 12:15  By the time our conversation was finished, I’d had one of those holy moments where the Lord lovingly scourges us. So at church in the morning, I hope to get prayer for my all too human condition.

Jesus Is Our Refuge

September 1, 2009

There is great value in being aware of the enemy’s tactics and schemes. Especially from a prophetic perspective, when they pertain to the days in which we live. As there are many machinations afoot at all levels of society, most notably governments, we don’t want to be blind-sided. However, it is vitally important to realize that there is a danger in staring into the abyss. A dark fascination if you will, that can be mesmerizing. If given the chance, it will suck you right over the edge.

Jesus is our refuge. It is in Him that our safety lies, as does all wisdom and knowledge. We need to understand that He wants us to keep ourselves hidden in Him at all times. He will then direct our attention to the particular issues with which He desires us to be concerned. And as long as we stay sheltered, those issues will not overwhelm us or steal our joy.

So the next time you’re tempted to go traipsing off down the trail to gaze over the edge at a fascinating display of Satan’s dark ploys, stop and ask yourself, “Did the Lord send me on this mission?” If “No”, then please, turn around and head for home. Your very life may depend on it.

True Sight

August 30, 2009

Paul wrote by the Holy Spirit, that he “no longer recognized any man after the flesh”.  He wasn’t speaking of having bad eyes. To the contrary, he was speaking of a very acute sight, just not the physical kind. He had matured in Christ to the point where he understood that a man’s earthly credentials accounted for very, very little, if anything at all, in the Body of Christ. He now knew that it was what God revealed about an individual that was the determinant factor in knowing who the person truly was and just where they were at in life.

In my Christian life, I’ve seen great, great harm done to the Body of Christ by the failure of leadership to exercise this principle. I’ve seen people with a calling from God, placed in positions of authority, way before their time. Way before their “stuff” had been dealt with and their learning to walk in love. In certain cases, I’ve witnessed what could only be described as “self-validation” by ministries in jumping at the opportunity to have someone with “credentials” associated with them. I know of one case in point, where an individual is very learned, but has very little revelatory understanding of the grace of God, mainly having an intellectual one.

The Lord is calling His Body to get back to its roots in the selection of leadership and ordination. This life in Christ that we subscribe to, is first and foremost a spiritual journey. Not an intellectual one. For that, spiritually mature leaders are needed. They can only be recognized through the eyes of the Spirit. May we have the sight needed to see them.

Financial Freedom

August 27, 2009

In these times of economic travail, the temptation comes strong to “take the bull by the horns” and “make it happen”. It can be a sure route to nowhere, if not to disaster. Jesus said, “There’s a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is death”. He was speaking of self effort.

The primary key to God’s blessings then, isn’t in our laboring with everything we’ve got. You can look around you and see people who are doing that very thing, only to have their lives crumbling in on them.

No, the primary key is this: A yielded and compliant heart before God – a heart that is willing to follow after Jesus, wherever He leads. Take a look at Isaiah 58. Read it, meditate on it, get it into your heart. It’s God’s plan for our success.

Really?

January 9, 2009

Listen to some teaching in the American church, and you could end up believing that God is primarily concerned with our temporal happiness and comfort, if not our bank accounts. He’s not. What He’s about is of far greater import – that we be conformed to the image of Christ. And getting there hurts. Death usually does.

Make no mistake, there is great pain involved in following Jesus. The pain of the crucified life. The death of self. The cross of Christ. But the reward is beyond measure – unspeakable joy.

So, the next time you hear someone telling you how you can have it all by “exercising your faith”, stop and ask yourself if it’s a message that’s helping you to get a better grip on the cross you’re to carry. If it isn’t, it’s deception. No matter how sweet the taste.