Dating The Law, Or Engaged In The Spirit

Dating The Law Or Engaged In Spirit

Here is the modern equivical :

In modern lingo, I suppose we could say when God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt it was almost in modern terms, he asked her out and entered into a dating relationship where he gave her His expectations if he was to be her God and she his people. Yet, we know that even those who knew what God’s Law required and the expectations of her were, if He was to stay with her, often violated the terms.

He led the people through the wilderness and many did not make into into the Land he promised because they rebelled and grumbled in the wilderness and refused to believe him. So only a few entered and the children of those who died in the desert entered into the Promised Land now known as the nation of Israel. For hundreds od years after they were in their promised land they fell into cycles of sin, idol worship, they would repent for a season when God sent hardships and let their enemies oppress them till finally they totally went so deep into idolatry and adoption of the practices of the other nations, God basically said, “We need to see other people since you have been in loving on other gods.” And he allowed the Assyrians and Babylonians to conquer and capture them- taking them into Exile in a foreign land. Yet God had made a promise that after 70 years of captivity he would bring back a remnant still loyal to him and resettle them in their land, while there were some that decided to date the Babylonian’s instead who were eventually wiped out by the uprising Persian Empire. This fulfilled in a promise God made years before that He would punish the nation who had taken them captive. Finally the Jews were able to go back and rebuild and after the book of Malachi, there was a time of 400 years of silence, no prophets but just seemingly God vanished-

Before Exile God disclosed that a time would come where He would circumcise the hearts of the descendents. After 400 years of silence, Jesus enters the scene and lives among these Jews and performs miracles and wonders just like God did in the time of Moses yet even then many still remain unchanged. He selects the 12 disciples and they are the ones he walks with closest for 3 years and then his time comes and is crucified and rises again after 3 days.

Yet he tells his disciples the gift that the Father promised would come to them after he rises again and that is the Holy Spirit.

So what now happens is when Jew or non Jew turns in faith to Christ, the Messiah and promised deliverer, they are filled by God’s Spirit who puts His law on their hearts not just on stone tablets. To be saved by faith is like those who God once dated with a list of expected requirements, the Law of Moses, becoming now engaged to be “married”

This is a human analogy for a deeper spiritual truth taught throughout Scripture and in Ephesians 5 the Bible gives directions how a believing man must love his wife as Christ loves the Church- those truly sealed by the Spirit in faith. Yet God broke up with those who stayed in unbelief. Because for example- a man longs for a woman he loves to trust him- and if he be a man that is decent this is not too much to ask for. Yet a woman will find herself very hard pressed to love or follow the lead of any man she has little trust in or confidence he cares enough about her or has a clue what he is doing, Women do not feel safe to be vulnerable with a man they cannot trust and the nature of a woman seems to suggest that her feelings for a man she is with and trust for him are nearly impossible to separate from her trust in his character or word or love. Why do women get upset when us well intentioned men do not do what we say? I assume it is tied to trust in reliability. Why will a woman disconnect in her emotions if her view of a man is worth her distrust or solely her perception? Because it is a matter of her faith in who he is and his intentions toward her.

Yet God is not able to lie or guilty of sin, so to distrust God as human beings is a problem nit with God’s character but our view of him. Those who do not trust God in some harder matters even if they are saved have a misconception based on missing truth that they have not fully absorbed in their heart. So when Christ saves a sinner as we all are by nature he earns our full trust and loyalty by giving His all for us and as a Jewish man in a Jewish wedding used to pay as large of a aum as he could afford in ancient culture for a wife, so when Christ pays with all He has and all the love God could offer us with his own life, it is foolish to doubt His love. In Jewish culture the grooms parents pay for the wedding yet Christ brought all heavens treasures and poured them out through sacrificing himself!

Yet under the Law the heart is bound in sin and unbelief until our eyes are truly open to see the Gospel. That is God entering into human likeness out of his great love to sacrifice himself in the form of his own Son to win the love, loyalty and trust of those who should have trusted him all along but could not do to our weakened sinful nature.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

(Romans 8:1-8)

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The Heavy Hand Of God, Plagues in the City and The Exile, The Restoration and Hope!

“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace. Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes, everyone will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace. ” A prophecy concerning the animals of the Negev: Through a land of hardship and distress, of lions and lionesses, of adders and darting snakes, the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’ backs, their treasures on the humps of camels, to that unprofitable nation, to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless. Therefore I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing. Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Isaiah 30:1-18 –

The people had been warned time and time by the prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah to turn from their ways and trust the Lord for their deliverance until finally God used even a sinful nation like Babylon to march out and defeat Israel, and God said they should surrender to the Babylonians because if they did it would go well with them, but if they did not, they would be forced to leave the city and surrender because he would afflict them with plagues and famine within the walls.

The Lord was angered by the ways of his people collectively from those prophesying false predictions of peace and prosperity when none of them wanted to do what God required to have that.

He was angered at the proud unrepentant attitudes of both men and women but in this passage we see that even the women were giving themselves over to corruption by seducing the people to sin and oppressing the poor. They were haughty as well and walked around in arrogance thinking they were untouchable and God would not do anything about it.

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. The Lord says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald. ” In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground.

(Isaiah 3:9-26 )

“Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own? You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live. “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives, therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord. ’”Ezekiel 13:17-23

Finally God’s time came to bring to pass his words that if these people, men and women, young and old alike, would not turn away from sinning and seek to do His will then he would bring the Babylonians against them. This he eventually did but he tried to dissuade them from their course time and time again through his messengers.

“The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.” But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath. I will strike down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague. After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’ “Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’ “Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says to you, house of David: “‘Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it. I am against you, Jerusalem, you who live above this valley on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord — you who say, “Who can come against us? Who can enter our refuge?” I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the Lord. I will kindle a fire in your forests that will consume everything around you.’” (Jeremiah 21:1-14 )

These people expected God to work a miraculous deliverance on their behalf yet had no desire to change their ways, for many a man or woman will call on God in distress yet like Pharaoh in the time of Moses, “When Pharoah saw there was relief from the plagues he hardened his heart”

The human heart is stubborn and so capable of being self deceived as the Word says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can understand it it? Who can cure it?”

Other passages show God used various nuisances that were listed in the Law as curses for disobedience, [See Deuteronomy 28]

“Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings — boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do,” declares the Sovereign Lord. “I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, destroying them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God.” He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth — the Lord God Almighty is his name.

Amos 4:4-13 –

These people did play religion and give to God bur neglected what he truly was after, obedience, faithfulness and the love of God.

Jesus quotes the prophets when he says, “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me, they honor me in vain with rules and teachings of men.” And so often people decide what God wants and then if what he truly wants is too hard then they try to throw lip service or religious acts at him. Yet as it is written, “We have become as those unclean, our acts of righteousness are as filthy rags.”

And in Hebrew this meant “Menstrual cloths” and to give God what we assume he wants while disobeying him we insult him more than honor him. In my personal life, when I am not obeying wholeheartedly even if I pray all day, something still does not sit right inside me!

These people who were captured by the Babylonians and lived in a land not their own for 70 years refused to heed God’s many warnings then fell under the heavy hand of God! Yet we all to can be this way unless we to submit daily to The Lord and seek to surrender our will’s to his greater plan- yet none of us has this power in our own self and from the perspective of someone who has learned the hard way many times I too have been in a place where my stubborness caused more pain than necessary!

“For God does speak —now one way, now another — though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword. “Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones, so that their body finds food repulsive and their soul loathes the choicest meal. Their flesh wastes away to nothing, and their bones, once hidden, now stick out. They draw near to the pit, and their life to the messengers of death. Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright, and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them — let their flesh be renewed like a child’s; let them be restored as in the days of their youth’ — then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being.”

Job 33:14-26 –

I am convinced God uses a variety of ways to still communicate, dreams and visions, circumstances, closed doors and even illness-

Sometimes God uses our own bodies as ways to warn us of bad health decisions we are making or in other cases may directly send illness to avert death that is the result of a sinful course we may stubbornly persist in and pain is the only thing that can get us to see our ways are not working!

In the early church of Corinth, a man in the assembly was engaged in immorality and was sleeping with his step mother. The believers there were in error and were not calling that man out and he was proud of what he had done, so when the Apostle Paul heard of this, he was outraged!

“For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:3-8 –

In Paul’s 2nd letter to this church he planted, we see the man did repent and feel sorrow over his wrong actions and was welcomed back in total forgiveness. Yet God will use circumstances and even allow people to grow sick as he did later in 1 Corinthians where there was abuse of the Lord’s Communion and people instead of seeing what it symbolized got drunk and were disruptive and irreverent, As a result Paul said many are “sick and have fallen asleep as a result” meaning God allowed them to die, and he said, “When we are disciplined of the Lord, he does so that we may not be condemned with the world.”

In the time of Jeremiah and Isaiah we see the same concept, God’s chosen people became steeped in idol worship and oppression of each other, they were violent and deceptive and flatterer each other for personal advantage and with pretense made a show of being good neighbors but secretly plotted against one another.

“Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. “They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me,” declares the Lord. “Beware of your friends; do not trust anyone in your clan. For every one of them is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors, but in their hearts they set traps for them. Should I not punish them for this?” declares the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?” I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands. They are desolate and untraveled, and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds have all fled and the animals are gone. “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; and I will lay waste the towns of Judah so no one can live there.” Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross? The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids. The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How ruined we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins.’” Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord; open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament. Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has removed the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares. Say, “This is what the Lord declares: “‘Dead bodies will lie like dung on the open field, like cut grain behind the reaper, with no one to gather them.’” This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord . “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh — Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart. ”

Jeremiah 9:1-26 –

God longed to be good to his people but would not bless them in their ways! He sent prophets to warn them and also they prophesied a day where God himself would “Circumcise the hearts of your descendents” back in Deuteronomy.

“If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the Lord. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ then the nations will invoke blessings by him and in him they will boast. ” This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it. (Jeremiah 4:1-4)

What is this? Our hearts from the day of birth are self centered and given to sin, yet God made the way that the Law of Moses could not- the Law says,

“Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Deuteronomy 27:26 –

For example

“‘Do not steal. “‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another. “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord. “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight. “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord. “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt. “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:11-18 –

Yet in our day most do not live consistently in these ways. We have people lie all the time and deceive, and our culture too takes advantage of those it can. When we by nature if one is like me, it is easy to hold a grudge if indeed I let anger go unaddressed in my heart but we see God is interested not only in our actions but motives and attitude of our hearts also! Otherwise malice concealed would not declare us guilty or a haughty estimation would not condemn us of sin.

So if God sets such high standards yet knows we are so given to do the opposite as a result of our inherited sinful dispositions, he created the way to for once and all forgive our sin and renew the attitude of our heart by putting His Spirit in us who have believed in Christ’s work to die for our sins and then by God’s very own power resurrect from the dead, this is God’s means receive by faith that cleanses our inward falleness and covers all our outward sins. Because promises in Scripture that he will “Write my laws on their hearts” yet when someone believes the Gospel and truly receives it as God’s greatest rescue plan to save a race condemned to die by nature and inclination, this should create a overflow of great gratitude that God in his mercy makes a way for us to be totally forgiven and He empowers us to live different, not sinless and perfect but faithful. “Through love and faithfulness sin are atoned for” Proverbs says, and “This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John says, And when a person truly realizes how badly they owe God yet he pays a debt they could not, for a true convert of faith that is one facet that makes our hearts inclined to love God and faithfully follow. Jesus also promised the Holy Spirit to those who have believed, God’s power and Spirit working in them to strengthen them to make it possible to no longer live only for sin and self but for God!

Yet God makes the first move toward us, he came taking on human frailty and transcended to the level of those he came to save, born in poverty and willingly rejected by those he spoke his message to, suffered from temptation that comes on human beings without yielding in sin so he may experientially taste what human beings go through yet he overcame! For God who is totally removed from sin, entered into human skin to know from an experiential degree what temptation felt like!

So when we too understand the length God gave himself up we should if this truly sinks in be moved to no longer want to live for sin but the one who bore our weight of guilt and sin. As a kind king who under no obligation came down to the level of his subjects and peasants because in his royal authority and splendor he still valued those lives of his subjects- to the extent he leaves his palace and riches to sojourn to live among the ranks of common man.

Real repentance requires more then simple sorry and no change but the actual turning from sin that starts in the heart and then moves us to turn to the Lord acknowledging we were wrong and need to live different. Sorrow over sin itself is not enough but can only result in guilt, shame, despair or denial. People who know they are sinners often times may sit and a soak in guilt like a man who pukes from a hangover- if that man says “I did not puke on myself and crap my drawers” he is in denial when everyone else knows he smells. If he says, “Woe is me because I am a puky and poop stained individual, woe, woe, woe is me!” Then he still stinks and his problems not fixed- yet if he decides to take off the old clothes, shower, put on the new, then he is clean! So in the Just Judgement of God- we smell, and we finally get tired of our sins and then we turn to Christ, he washes them away as “Far as the east is from the west” and yet by God’s enablement we all must choose daily to put on new clothes of “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control” and “Clothe yourselves with compassion and humility since you have taken off the old self and its practices”

When a Christian even chooses to put on those old clothes, he or she won’t feel too good inside and others will smell the stench!

Using Jesus’s Name In Vain

There are many ways people use the Lord’s name in vain, some use it as a curse word and others live in a way that deny they know Christ at all even though they call themselves Christians, but others do the third:

Some people use the name of Jesus as a magic word. Yet if they do not personally follow Jesus or have faith in him, they also do not personally have the power of Jesus living in them by faith. They are not realizing it that saying that name without knowing him personally is as silly as an unarmed civilian who plays policeman and tries to arrest a drug dealer- without having powers vested in him by the state.

Police have authority and firepower, and yes even then they must follow the laws. A Christ follower should let themselves be fully governed by the Law of Christ and the Word of God. To act carelessly with the forces of darkness is yes indeed as silly as a vigilante civilian trying to fight criminals when all he has on is a Spiderman outfit.

Guilt: Conviction of God vs Condemnation of Self and Satan.

Discern The Voices


For me there are times where it is almost a feeling of being able to see myself with another’s eyes, some eyes that see the worst, and this for me has been what condemnation has felt like. Ever have a general ambiguous sense of feeling lousy, like a failure or seeing yourself as a total mess or even feeling like your seeing yourself with a pair of eyes that makes you feel like your terrible!

Our sin should cause us guilt and make us want to change- but not, whip ourselves or drive us to despair. For a non Christian, when the Holy Spirit is at work to convict and draw them to Christ he allows them to see their sin and empowers them to trust Christ to wash away their sinful ways- yet if the Devil is at work he would want to drive people to despair, self loathing, or even end their lives if he could get them to. Yet God does not tempt, and God’s Spirit would never tempt a person to self destruct or commit suicide.

A lot of Christians even have trouble with discerning God’s voice from self condemnation or the Devil at times im regards to when we blow it. As Christ followers we want to know The Lord’s voice and it takes time and practice to develop greater discernment.

Spiritual warfare indeed can be hard to distinguish at times! At least for me, but I think it’s safe to say that whether condemnation or real conviction, it is always a winning choice to turn to Christ. I would say as a general rule of thumb, condemnation is that feeling that makes us look at self in a negative way, leaves us feeling worthless or condemned, like a failure and does not produce hope— often can leave us in despair- like Judas who was remorseful but hung himself instead of truly repenting. God has a goal in mind though when he shows us our sins, as believers it is to help us repent, grow, learn and pusue Christ more. Conviction does not have a morbid focus on self but will uncover sin so we can deal with it properly. Condemnation makes it more abour us in a negative sense then about Christ’s Sacrifice! Conviction should turn us from sin to the Lord yet Condemnation would make us run from the Lord.

Friends identify these impressions and even if you have sinned, do not hide like Adam and his wife Eve did, – shame is only as good as the effect, in the body, inflamation should cause us to see there is a problem to properly address it, yet if the body stays that way it is not good. Likewise guilt is good if it turns us from sin back to Christ but if we just wallow im it, it is not doing any good!

Here are a few Scriptural points we can examine to see where an impression or feeling is coming from.

(God’s Conviction Should Inspire Positive Change- Repentence!)

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

2 Corinthians 7:8-11

Biblical Example: Adam and Eve hiding from the Lord, they hid and then shifted blame instead of acknowleging disobedience!

(Feelings of hopeless despair over sin that would tempt self harm are most certainly not coming from God. )

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James 1:13-15 –

Biblical Example- Judas Iscariot——

 

God Made Us In His Own Image- God’s Conviction will identify namely behaviors and not attack our self worth. Jesus Commanded that We Are Not To Lose Our Composure When Angry And Call Names- [“If anyones says to his brother, you fool, will be endanger of the fire of hell.”] So Why Would God Slander Someone He Created, In Effect He Would Be Saying He Made A Mistake– God condemns sin, yes, and we are all by nature sinful, however God calls us to love and “be merciful even as your Heavenly Father is merciful”

It is one thing for God to warn those who live unrepentent and reject His Atoning Sacrifice for sins, His Son, that he will judge their sin – and it is totally different if God said, “You are garbage and you piece of trash!” God does not insult the part of us made in his likeness but works to turn people from sin back to Him so they can live their fullest potential with their unique wiring as individuals. Yet God slanders no man, he rebukes and gives opportunity to repent, he has a standard and warns of the consequences for sin, but he does not say, “Your worthless and I was wrong that I ever made you! What a mistake I made!”

The only thing that renders us corrupt is the sinful nature but he would remove that from them that turn to Christ by faith so they no longer have to live out of that rotten nature of selfishness, pride and sinful acts!

“Many Called, Few Chosen”- Church Remnant

Church Remnant

Our modern Christian collection of churches has a mass of people who profess to believe in Christ, yet there is less people faithfully following then those who claim affiliation. This was true also in the time of the people of Judah and Israel coming back from exile in Babylon. There was also a remnant of Jews that entered the Promised Land as well. Of all that claim to know God and pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ there is a trace of true and faithful that have been sealed through saving faith and in contrast those who John Wesley would say were “Almost Christians.”

“But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.

Ezra 9:8-9 –

When the time finally came for the Lord God to bring back his captives from Babylon- there were a large part of people that chose to stay settled in Babylon.

Yet those who knew God and remembered how God promised to one day resettle them in their native land came home.

This was mentioned in Scripture as a type of metaphore for those chosen in Faith vs those who never truly make it into God’s rest, peace with God through real faith in Christ Jesus.

The author of Hebrews in the New Testament quotes from Psalm 94 about how God was angry at many who came out of Egypt and perished in the wilderness! Yet He said in Numbers 14,——“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall —every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.

(Numbers 14:26-31)

Yet OT Israel was an object lesson that a literal historical event also represents a Spiritual remnant of faith.

“Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:6-11)

Those who perished in the desert refused to believe God and put their faith in Him, and he said “I will send my angel to lead these people into the land but I will not go with them lest my anger be aroused and I destroy them on the way.”

Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”

Exodus 33:3 –

The Angel of The Lord, The Son of God Jesus Christ leads us into eternity also so God’s wrath toward our sins can be atoned for and he would not wipe any of us out for our sins! We by faith and gratitude follow!

Why God Get’s Jealous!

When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But whoever takes refuge in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.”

Isaiah 57:13 –

Here God seems a bit fed up, like a woman or man who’s lover always runs off to other men or women – he might as well be saying, “Oh you need me now? Go to your lovers you are cheating on me with and let them deliver you? You will see they cannot and will not. You want me now that your in a jam? Where are your love affairs now that you are calling on me?!”

Idolatry not only robs God his glory and love we owe him but also makes God feel used I am sure! When we run to him when we are in distress just to get out of a jam? Yet the real motive that honors God is not running to Him out of wanting a fix for our problems that we trusted our idols to save us from but turning to Him in sincere repentence, which He will forgive, but insincere “Get me out of this jam Lord Jesus, now I need you.” Is seemingly more insulting then anything.

What is an idol? Really anything we give more time, attention or trust to then God! We all have them and I will own I have some ideals I desire that can be Idols. Yet we can only truly trust, hope in and value God as a god in life because he can live up to the name there of- yes, and God is jealous of our hearts, unlike human jealousy, God’s jealousy is pure and sinless because his jealousy is rooted in His worth that can match it’s demands! It is also at the same time selfless jealousy because we were created to love and be in relationship with God! Nothing short of this satisfies our hungering souls! So God’s jealous wrath over us placing things that cannot save us truly is both for His honor and our greatest good! We though can trust things and people who fail us miserably! What frees us from craving human love to an unwholesome degree? God’s love! What frees us to not pile up wealth in fear of seasons of scarcity? Trusting God to be good and meet our every need, not every selfish wish [-Materialism also a form of idol worship]

Relational idol worship is one of my struggles as a fallen human, and for others it is money, and yet others how people see them or their reputation. Who knows, each person struggles with different inclinations to different gods of our day but none is like God who is truly worth all our trust, devotion, praise and love. Humans fail to meet our hopes and expectations and job security is not truly as secure as we might hope, money flies away or is devoured by bills with razor teeth and mighry appetites! Trust the Lord!

Managing My Aspergers Diagnoses, A Biblical World View

My whole intention in writing this is to impart helpful information that has benefited me in my own life. I was diagnosed at the age of 6 with mild highfunctioning Autism but it has not slowed me down too much. As a matter of fact, people who have high functioning Autism have unique talents, and have a lot to offer when they can fine tune their skills and unique perspective to their advantage and the good of others! I like who I am as an individual and want others to possibly find some helpful tools they can use themselves or understand better those they love who have it, or suspect may have it.

Though alot of people struggle with these, at least from my experience these are predominant struggles of the Autistic mind, that I have seen and as an individual deal with most.

1.) Anxiety/Worry

2.) Exaggerating and magnifying relatively minor problems or hard issues into unwholesome proportions!

3.) Overthinking, Overanalyzing or overcomplicating things that are not warranting it

4) Agitation/Irritability- largely contributed by overstimulated mental processes or sensory input.
Other times, feeling misunderstood

5.) Tendency to dominate conversations

6.) Tendency and natural inclination to obsess on specific interest or worry, the mind gets divided and all focus is drained toward the current mental preoccupied thoughts at given moment.

7.) Disorganized- due to lack of mental focus, simple tasks such as sorting and organizing become a much more daunting task. Mental focus and cognitive ability to process tedious task become so taxing due to such compromised concentration difficulties.

8.) Hyper- critical of word selection and many have a vast vocabulary of words to use that many people may not know- [Do to fears of articulating my thoughts and feelings in a way that did not best capture or convey my feelings or thoughts- many I feel have misunderstood me and gotten to think I mean something that does not totally capture the weight of what I am trying to communicate.

These are some of mine I personally am aquainted with!

First off, let’s go through each and see what God’s Word has to say. For any of my friends who are not Christians who may read it, I believe you will still see very practical truth in my excerpt, and see it is not just some sermon, but these are things that have worked for me personally as someone diagnosed with Aspergers.

We will start with 1.) Anxiety/Worry- These are things all human beings struggle with to a varying degree, and what makes people on the Autism spectrum especially suseptable to these is the way their minds seem to gravitate and latch onto a train of thought, especially a specific interest or fear. OCD seems to be pervasive as a trait and most if not all people with Aspergers and high functioning Autism have OCD as a trait but not separate diagnosis. The DSM recent diagnosing criteria do not allow ASD and OCD or ADD/ADHD to exist together as separate additional diagnoses, which means ASD is the full package deal with happy meal included.

Part of what creates an anxiety disorder can be neurochemical related but let’s not undervalue the importance of mental disciplines. We must choose what we allow our minds to dwell on and for me the only real thing the helped me stop being a pessimist or a chronic worrier was learning how to as scripture says think on “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” As Philippians chapter four speaks on.

Example: Intrusive thoughts- These thoughts can be a number of different thoughts that pop into our minds and they could be disturbing, unsettling, invoke fear, anxiety or anger. What should we choose to do as people who know the Word of God?

Refuse to invite the thought to dinner and dessert in our minds.

Seems simple enough but not that easy. We must refuse it entry into our minds as an unwelcome house guest and not dwell on it but just go about our business.

2.) Do something positive instead, whether pray for someone in need or serve, praise God and thank him, bless someone. We must replace bad thoughts and behaviors with healthy constructive ones,

Throwing out ideas but hear are a few of mine that I do, I say “Lord your word says to take every thought captive to obedience to Christ and this thought is unwholesome and not of you so here it is, govern my mind with your truth and word.”

Stop thinking on it- refuse to dwell on it or let it lead me to focusing on like hanging up the phone on a obnoxious scammer.

Pray over the fear; concern or speak to the Lord about it “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

When we follow thoughts that are unhealthy or we know won’t really help us go anywhere positive, they only lead down trails to negative emotions and frustrated thinking. The Cynic is the kind of person who has worn trails in their mind by constantly focusing on the negative – that is why Romans 12 tells us “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds”

Our brains have the ability to rewire how we think but with The Lord’s help we have to make an effort to discipline our minds to think His thoughts not bad ones.

Number 2 and 3 Is also a similar issue,

2.) Exaggerating and magnifying relatively minor problems or hard issues into unwholesome proportions!
3.) Overthinking, Overanalyzing or overcomplicating things that are not warranting it

If something bad does happen, what good does it do to compound an already present issue? Unless decisive action can be taken to overt an even greater problem. It only helps to worry if you can take proper measures to prevent some problem or further problem- but focusing on what is beyond the scope of our control is not health, the what if’s often get no one anywhere and that’s why Jesus Warned about worrying.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:22-34)

God promises to provide what we are truly in need of when we truly need it when we put his agenda ahead of our own.

Number 4 is for me largely a manifold issue, pertains to me having trouble staying organized, losing things, accumulation of small minor things creating a stressed state, as well as feeling pressured. Also, it pertains to neurological chemistry and for some people medication is needed to give the brain a more even keel and balance the chemistry of the brain. One thing though is also not over focusing on what is irritating, and I drop something or something gets lost, if I start to think about how often things get lost, broken or misplaced or whatever counter productive thought trail that could be traveled on, I get irritated.

Number 5, Tendency to dominate conversations

Well cannot say this is easy either, or was not at first to practice. Yet the more I work on it the better it gets and for the most part feel as though engaging in fair dialog is easier yet can alway improve.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4

It is not as though some people with ASD do not know better or cannot see how counterproductive this makes us in social situations, but rather we have an “itch” toward certain tendencies that seem so ingrained that giving them up to be more sociable takes a great deal of effort to curb. That is why this tendency does not merely go away with someone saying something to indicate they feel we totally took captain’s seat in a convo or made them feel we had no interest in them. Sometimes it is needful to gently remind one when they are doing it so they can learn.

Alot of men and women with ASD do feel like outcasts and take on an eclectic excentric social sphere do to how our society can be cruel and unkind toward those who are not the “status quo, same cookie cutter shape as everyone else.” Yet there is no shame in being unique as God designs all of us. The key is learning to be one’s unique self while appropriating healthy social boundaries and manners while doing so.

Christ did not himself let society mold him or determine his calling and neither should we. Yet there are times that we may need to adapt slightly just to be aware of what certain people are ok with as to not make them feel uncomfortable or hurt their feelings.

Some Aspies are very friendly extraverted peoppe, like myself I once was overly comfortable sharing way too much with random strangers and learned over time that not everybody is comfortable, wants to hear or is safe to share some matters with. I do now days get a general feel though after a few moments of talking with someone as to what level of freedom I have but even then caution cannot be thrown to the wind. A lot of people who are neurologically diverse have been too open and trusting of the wrong people, as a result they have gotten burned, and then if we are not carefuly we can be resentful and feel no one accepts us for the unique people we are. After time we can get in a bad spot and not want to be close to too many people since we feel it results only in getting hurt.

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 12:26

One temptation I have had is to not be careful enough as to how close I let people. It is Biblical to love everyone and treat them with kindness and show respect, but it’s a whole different ball game inviting them in to dinner and stay as your house guest, both literally and metaphorically. Why? Because not all people are as safe as others and we know this because that is why prisons exist, but even on a lesser scale there are some people who you cannot trust to keep your business private or not try to take advantage of your trust.

John 2:24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people”

Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

We are told in scripture to, “ Be wise as serpents but innocent as doves” and “Do not throw your pearls before swine lest they turn on you and trample you.”

As a result some have given us reason to be warry, but this should not keep us from opening up to or finding safe supportive friends. Isolating never does us any good either.

Proverbs 18:1 – An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

There are unfriendly people for many reasons, however, there is especially often a fear of getting burned or reinforced feelings of rejection for many of those who have ASD because of past rejection or being misunderstood. [Valid concern, yet isolating is not the cure] or some people on the spectrum may be easily irritated by things people do that annoy them, per peeves, sensory overloads, overly self conscious or just some flat out, Aspergers or not, are just nasty toward people, but we cannot judge what a person’s heart is truly reasoning, and if you were like me when I went through a personal trial on my own life, one may just be hurt and using pride as their wall to hide behind. I know now thats clearly what held me back so long. Yet, we know biblically pride wont truly help us but as Uzziah’s pride led to his isolation after the Lord struck him with leprosy by entering the temple to offer the burnt offering, so also our pride can drive us into isolation too. No we won’t probably become literal lepers but we will drive others away, may come off as hostile, or easily offended, irritable and look as though we are full of ourselves. These behaviors often in some cases mask deeper wounds that we do not want to face.

In this season of life, I could easily just put on the metaphorical boxing gloves over something someone said that was not even intended to be hurtful or offensive.

If you know someone like this, do not be angry, or too frustrated with them, but show them that you love them regardless, but be careful, depending on who they are and when necessary keep a healthy distance yet do not neglect them of love. Do not take it too personally, because when I was this way I could easily go off on the closest people because of my own hurt inside, but also I could wall off inside my prideful fortress that finally I asked God to take away. That is when I really started healing. I remember sobbing, and in my heart I wanted to stay angry and stubborn, but my friend Scott said, “You need to let go of you pride and submit to God, man.” So the best I knew how to at the time I said, “Lord as an act of my will I surrender my pride and I feel angry at you but I submit” and I felt peace! Cannot say it all went away overnight night but the more I surrendered my pride that I was medication with the more healing took place and now I feel whole and more emotionally stable!

I ever since then am so blessed the Lord used a negative and brought so much good out of it and want everyone to also benefit from my painful life experiences so good can possibly come to ther lives, hearts and they may also have the hope also that God truly does “Work all things together for the good of those who loved him and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

As an Aspie male, I love to fix things, impart knowledge, and inspire. I want to hand my knowledge I have to others so they can too benefit. Which is how I am wired yet I remind myself that people are not projects but relational interchange can be just as important if not more. Sometimes we cannot give a person what they need, words are not sufficient, and sometimes they just appreciate our friendship and care for them.

That is how I met Brian, he was my best friend but im 2015 died of cancer, but he challenged the way I approached relational situations. I at first went into the friendship to see how I could inspire, edify and benefit him, but on the contrary, he did more of that for me then I could him! He was just so happy to have a friend and he encouraged me so much during that dark season of my life. Over years of being his friend I saw how much of a blessing I could still be to just give my time and friendship to someone. He helped my faith grow and saw God provide for him and his wife when things were tight. Brian would always encourage “Just trust the Lord” and he did so too himself exceptionally!

I do miss the ole fart but he is having a better time then us in heaven.

7.) Losing things and organization-

Well this one is one of my biggest mountain of clutter to climb. Used to be even worse but since I am always losing important papers I upload copies of these to my onedrive or google drive which means less sorting for me. Aspies do not like sorting, or doing circus jumps to accomplish stupid everyday tasks. As a result their time consuming efforts to get a few minor things done leaves them feeling overwhelmed. For me, for example, filling out a proof of income verification, I used to procrastinate like a sloth who was on trazidone- I want to throttle some of these folks that came up with the not so genuis idea for automated phone systems and those anal retentive people who create systems that are supposed to make things smoother but only make things difficult on everyone else.

Cannot say unfortunately things change in tech society but I have gotten better at doing seemingly idiotic mundane tasks that I used to dread: For me developing a system I can use that I am comfortable with has helped as well as just doing it as dull as the responsibilty is. I used to need to find some incentive or something to flavor bland tasks just to get them done, and no I dont like filling out forms but one way to add a little fun in something so tasteless for me is using my special pens that make writing a joy! No some tasks in and of themselves are just boring but Aspies are generally creative and great at coming up with ideas..

If I have to do chores or some project there is nothing like my own tools for a job!

Lastly, hyper selective wording, one reason I think Aspies often have a exquisite word usage is, I for one do not like slang, unless I am joking and find some of the ways people speak as less then spicy and these people are not unintelligent but there are so many words and the same ones get overused to the point of dull and insipid conversing, as vocabulary is concerned. Also content, if you want to be understood then using words to best articulate what you want to convey is helpful. Word use is like car parts or appliance parts, there high quality brake pads and then there is the bare minimum. There is is regular gas and premium. There is ideal never used quality parts then after market. This is just an analogy but I speak for myself, yet some people whether they are right for doing so or not, opinions may vary and I am convinced that character is far weightier then appearances, but people will judge merely by how sophisticated one speaks. Not all people but know your audience and be prepared to create a proper resume of self to present depending on who you’re dealing with.

Hope & Wait -Be Strong!

Psalm 31 tells us “Be strong and take heart you who hope in the Lord” then Psalm 27 concludes “Be strong and tale heart you who wait on the Lord.”

Hope and Wait on the Lord, these are essential ingredients! We must both trust God and patiently wait on him to act as we faithfully endure hardship without giving way to cowardice, grumbling or reverting into ungodly ways of responding to our situation. David knew this very well and wrote the bulk of these Psalms and he had been hunted by King Saul who wanted to have him killed and he had times he could have killed Saul yet said, “Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless”- David knew that God would deal with his enemies in His Way and Time and would eventually fulfill His promise to him [David] that he would be the next king but he wouldn’t take matters into his own hands to avenge himself. David had many enemies, and he was strengthened by hoping and trusting God to preserve his life and deal with those who did him unjustly.

As Christians we to can rely on God to deliver us from our troubles and we often times need only trust, obey the best we know how to and then faithfully keep doing so until God’s time is ready to bring deliverance.

Life is never easy or constantly happy but that does not mean there is nothing good that can come out of the pressing seasons! In fact we grow more when our faith and patience is tested then when all goes fair and dandy, yes life is not all cotton candy clouds and enchanted colorful bunnies friends! No it’s more like Tolkens Lord of the Rings, Orks and the dark rings that lure us away from our quest yet God is faithful and will preserve us!

Wild Flower That Ran From Him

Wild Flower Of The Countryside

———————————————-

It came to pass a man traveled to the country side in search for the perfect flower. He had grown bored with the conventional selection in the market to choose from and he especially loved wild lilies and sunflowers.

In his journey he stumbled upon the most beautiful wild flower he saw and went to pick it, so he could let it be planted in his garden to nurture and watch grow.

The towns people said, “This one is enchanted and much to wild for you good sir, she has a mind and will of her own but do take this one at your own risk.”

So he grew to love his wild blossom and put it in his garden and she grew majestically. One day however, in her boredom she said, “Oh my gardener friend, your garden is not my native land and find it dull these passing days. I want to depart and bloom somewhere else.”

So he said to her, “fair enough my little flower, yet I love you and you are a delight to me. Have I not taken good care of you and made sure you have had consistently? Have I not put fetilizer in your soil? Do I not make sure you get proper sunlight and moisture in your soil?”

She said unto him, “Yes sir, but see here I am a wild flower at heart and want to see the world, the country side and other wild flowers. I want to return to what I know for these other flowers are to tame and the roses I just do not get along with, I cannot get over their thorns they have.”

So he said, “My wild Lilly I love you still and will miss you.”

So she uprooted herself and left his garden and traveled to the wild countryside.

She had the times she always dreamed of, or so it was at first. Field parties and she would get wasted from the strongest of nectors. Every night she partied her petals clean off till the drought hit. For a long time there came no rain on the towns, coun tryside or surrounding villages. Soon came the pests to devour crops and caterpillars came to feed on her beautiful petals and leaves.

Finally, in sadness she cried alas, I miss my gardener who fed me his care and watered me daily.

One day she tried to make her way back to the garden yet collapsed along the way, she thought she was done for in the hot sun. The Gardener also went out in hopes to find her again and see how she faired, he asked around until he finally found her shriveled on the ground, taking her in his arms he said, “There there wild flower, you are going to be ok and I still have a place for you in my garden. So he took her home and she bloomed once more, her radiant fragrance and beauty once more bloomed forth.”

Test It, (Part 1.)

Discerning spirits- 1 John 4 tells us to “test the spirits to see whether they be from God,” and Jesus told his disciples to test the fruit in the lives of those who claimed to know God, “by their fruit you will recognize them” —over the years I have gotten many ideas, heard lots of advice, and felt many impressions to take this course or that in life and feel as though over the past 2 years it has become easier to see what God’s voice sounds like.

God leads more often then not away from self, not to say God does not ever tell us to take a particular course of action that involves self interest to a small degree yet in the Christian life he primarily wants to develop Christlikeness in all of us. I will use self interest vs selfishness as two separate things- There are times where the right choice will benefit our own selves such as getting out of a harmful situation or a number of other things. Yet selfishness is not from God, he in Ephesians 2:9 created us “to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do so we may walk in them.” Also, “It is more blessed to give then to receive.” (Acts 20:35) and Jesus taught us to “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) and the scripture clearly shows us God’s view on pride.

So if a choice, action or idea involves some element of ego- test it to see “whether it be from God,” it may indeed be from the flesh (sinful nature) or even the Tempter.

Does this choice or thought align with Philippians 4 in the list of “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy” that it tells us to think on?

Does it align or contradict James 4’s list of “Wisdom from above” that is “first of all pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”?

(James 3:17-18) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Does it point you toward the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 or acts of the flesh?

(Galatians 5:19-26) The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Most of all we know that any voice or impression from an origin not of God’s Holy Spirit whether temptation or feelings of condemnation won’t make us want to draw closer to God in prayer but rather make us shrink away and hide—the voice of the Spirit points people to Christ, His Sacrifice and Resurection, Power, Authority and Glory, His Love and Worth, yet a voice that undermines his power, his love or goodness is that old serpant “Did God really say?”

“If you are the Son of God” he said to Jesus- and he will also whisper condemning words to us too, “If you really were a child of God you would have never blown it there!” And the key distinction is that The Holy Spirit will show us our sins yet not to drive us to despair nor will he tempt us into sin. God’s Spirit speaks life and freedom from guilt and lifestyles or habits of sin yet the sinful nature and devil would try to trap us further in sin and lies, half truths with half lies and whole lies are from Saran not God. “God cannot lie” as Scripture says.

When you sin, the voice that prompts you to pray and humble own your fault and seek to live better with the help of God is the voice of God’s Spirit. Yet the voice that prompts us to over focus on self and our own shortcomings is not. When did God ever tell us to hyper focus on ourselves? Rather “Set your mind on the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” Colossians 3 tells us. The Spirit of God points us to The Son of God!