I watched a Netflix special yesterday called, “The Social Dilemma.” This docudrama did a great job of presenting the conundrum we face today as a result of the devil’s work. The devil’s work is obscuring truth. In fact, toward the end of the film there is consensus amongst the experts interviewed that the problem we face today with the growing division is the difficulty civilization faces trying to ascertain truth. The hopelessness in their tone was palpable. Christ taught that if we meditate in His word to know His will unto obedience then we would know the truth and the truth would make us free. We live in a world where the wealth of most nation has been built on the bondage of people. This bondage has consisted of fetters on the body and the mind. This bondage is perpetuated through the suppression of truth. This suppression has taken the form of book burnings, censorship, deceit through omission of facts, and deceit through diluting of facts. The strength of deception is idolatry; a desire for something above the desire for truth. The only way to find true north and to stay on course in such a whirlwind of deception is to maintain a pure heart through the power of Love. True love that cares for all others as much as for one’s self. The establishment of this love in the hearts of men is the mission of the gospel. The Bible teaches us that love is the fulfillment of the law since love commits no evil against its neighbor. If we don’t have the power to love, then we are doomed.
The light of the Gospel allows us to see love and to differentiate it from selfish and destructive behavior. When we make a determination to deny the expression of selfishness from our lives, we make a way for love to be glorified in us. Love is more powerful than selfishness and truth is more powerful than deception. GOD is love and truth, and Christ is the expression of GOD. Salvation is the process of submitting to the rule of love and truth from your heart. It takes time for the spirit of GOD to walk us through the deceptions we have been contaminated with. The Lord walks us through our soul, liberating us by identifying and dispelling falsehoods and establishing truth. He is fully committed to this work in us and gives us grace and mercy throughout the process, but we must be committed as well. This is why we must daily take up the cross. In other words, this is why we must daily make a fresh commitment to yield to the work of salvation. Teaming up with GOD in this way will eradicate sin from our lives…permanently! If we continue in sin, it is due to ignorance, the lust of pride, or unbelief. This is a very simple view of salvation, but it is needed because evil has made it so complex. My sincere prayer for you is that you will have peace and joy through unity with GOD by embracing the full gospel of Christ.
I recently completed a study in the book of Ephesians with a small group and it was just rich with knowledge and insights applicable for today. So much so, that I was compelled to share it with the larger church family as well as with you here. It is my prayer that this teaching will help you to see more clearly your place in GOD’s heart, and that His place in your heart will grow even larger. I also hope that this teaching will grow your understanding of the operation and benefits of the work of salvation given in Christ unto newness of life, peace, and strength.
I have heard many who confess to follow Christ say that they are not in a religion but a relationship. In fact, I have said this in the past myself. However, as I have grown wiser and more knowledgeable through my relationship with GOD, I have come to a better understanding of the relationship between the two. Many of the negative ideas I originally held regarding the Christian religion came from its misappropriation by those being intentionally deceitful and those ignorantly following the blind which were leading them. Our heavenly Father never intended for Christian religion to operate separate from a relationship with Him. The influence of Satan, the great deceiver, is very evident in the many counterfeits being circulated today. Another example is the US has been accepted by many as a democracy however it falls short of the tenants of a pure democracy because many of the people born in the US have not been allowed to vote, and the electoral college dilutes the power of the vote represented by actual people. Tax paying people with black and brown skin, born in the US, are referred to as citizens however they have been historically denied the basic citizen right of equal protection under the law. So, this demographic has not actually been recognized as full citizens. Again, it is much like the many people condemning socialism and communism though we have never had a country on earth to operate in the pure ideals of them as expounded on by Marx and Engels. The names were misappropriated by countries like Russia and China though these countries have never employed all the key components.
These are just a few other current day examples of how people have been deceived and excepted counterfeits. Until you foster a love for truth which drives you to seek GOD’s face and study His word, Satan will continue to exploit your natural love for comfort and pleasure. The truth is disruptive to the false. Truth tears down the false to make way for a true and eternal foundation and structure to be built.
Religion is defined by Merriam Webster as a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices; a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. We can take from this definition, in relation to Christianity, that Christian religion would be a system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices held with ardor and faith. So, by definition, there is no separation between the practices required in a religion and the relationship by faith which empowers them. The problem again is that we have seen Christianity misrepresented, resulting in misunderstandings, confusion, and denunciation. As I mentioned earlier, the Father never intended for any actions to take place outside of a relationship with Him. When you read Christ reproving the pharisees and Sadducees, you see Him addressing religion without relationship.
“But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Luke 11:42 KJV)
Christ is saying true religion is doing both. Look at this parable taught by Christ.
“10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:10-14 KJV)
Again, both are required by Christ the King. This guest was clearly called a friend, however He failed to comply with the prescribed system or practice of preparation. We are also taught by the apostles James and Paul that it takes both to be complete. James says faith without works is dead, and a man isn’t justified by works alone or faith alone (see James chapter 2). Paul says without love, the essence of the relationship, he is nothing and none of his religious acts mean anything (See 1 Corinthians chapter 13).
At issue in the separation of faith and works is the practice of sacrifice on both sides. On the side of works oriented devotion, there is the sacrifice of effort and busyness being offered for justification and validation. On the side of faith only oriented devotion, there is the sacrificial love of GOD being used as justification without the reciprocal sacrificial love unto the laying down of personal will in obedience.
GOD is clear, He desires obedience over sacrifice. Christ did not give himself to become a common sacrifice for sins, like the old testament practice of yearly sacrificing bulls, rams, and doves. He gave Himself once to fulfill the requirements of the old testament law forever, which was ruled under the law of sin and death. He has now ushered in a new covenant which is ruled by the law of life and spirit. The resurrection life we inherit from Christ is the life of a dear and obedient son of GOD.
You man of faith, are you going before GOD reminding Him of the sins He has already remitted because you are not exercising true overcoming faith; the faith which David used to defeat Goliath, the faith Joshua used to take the promised land. Doesn’t your faith tell you that the very life of Christ is in you to do His works; to live righteously, to fill the hungry, to free the oppressed, to counsel the fatherless, to give shelter to the homeless, to please the Father. When did you go beyond yourself to demonstrate that you trusted Him? Just something to consider.
You who are busy in works, have you ever just sat with someone broken and not tried to fix them? Just sat with them and listened and only gave a solution if they asked for one, or do you feel pressed to say something or do something? Have you ever just sat and cried tears of joy because you knew in that moment, GOD’s love was perfect for you and you felt His arms around you? Have you ever sacrificed for someone and told nobody, but just praised GOD for allowing yourself to be used?
These are the manifestations of confidence in GOD’s love for you and belief in His promises. These examples are glimpses at the works of faith, the fruit of true religion.
If a sheet of paper is sold but is never printed upon to be seen or read, how much did it really matter. If that paper is used to relay a message of hate or death, did it ever become something of value. I know these are somewhat relative questions, but I want you to ponder the message of your life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper produced to deliver a message to all who encounter you. What is the message you were created to deliver? What is the impact of the message you display and how well do you know the author? The late Dr. Myles Munroe once said, “Where purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable.” If you haven’t pondered the questions above regarding your life, then by definition you have not made your life “matter.” Matter is defined as the subject under consideration. There are many others with considerations for your life, but what is most important is the message the Creator has given you to share. Purpose can only be discovered in the mind of the Creator because He holds the reason why you matter. Matter is also defined as the substance a physical thing is composed of, however without the first definition I gave, the second one really doesn’t matter. As sign can be composed of wood, metal, or plastic, but what really makes it matter is the message it signifies like, Stop, Entrance, Exit, or Dead End.
Before you dismiss your existence as a mere accident, irrelevant, or without purpose, consider these facts. For you to be reading this the following occurrences had to take place precisely. You had to be selected from 6,000,000 eggs to make a group of 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 by 40 weeks; From that 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 you had to be selected from a group of around 300,000 within the next 12 or so years; then of that 300,000 or so you had to avoid being apart of the 1,000 eggs eliminated every month for the next 144 months (if your mother gave birth to you around the age of 24). Each month, while trying to avoid elimination, of the remaining hundreds of thousands of eggs, only 1 egg will be selected for a chance to be fertilized. When you were chosen to be that egg, there still had to be coordination between two people who had undergone the same selection process, and they had to meet at the right moment in all of time, and at the right place in all of space and then come together during an opportune moment which lasted about 10 to 24 hours. Why that egg, union, and earth day was chosen for you is revealed through a relationship between you and your Heavenly Father, the Creator. The key words in all that I have shared are “chosen” and “selected.” These words infer purpose because the coordination of your life took a mastermind, not chance.
For something to have matter, it is only because it first mattered. Purpose proceeds creation. Love is what nurtures and reveals that purpose. GOD is love. Fulfill your purpose by seeking GOD through studying and applying the principles of love which are revealed through holy scripture and creation.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV)
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse… (Romans 1:19-20 KJV)
Our lives matter more than we or others tend to know. By walking in the discipline of Love, we ensure the time we have is leveraged for the best outcomes.
We live in the times where lies and all manner of deception abound. At the root of this darkness is widespread pride. Pride which declares its own truth despite the word of GOD and the light of the Spirit. The only way man can be reconciled to GOD is to come to Him in total surrender, but this pride keeps man from bowing. You can confess a sinner’s prayer, be baptized, get circumcised, shave your head, or perform any other sacrament, but if you are not ready to surrender control of your life to GOD then you are just going through religious motions. Taking up your cross in surrender is the beginning of the Christian walk and if you haven’t taken that step you haven’t begun to follow Christ. If your spiritual leader, pastor, bishop, or elder didn’t explain it to you this way, then you were not fully informed. Here is what Christ says,
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:24-25 KJV)
It is written that GOD resist the proud but a contrite heart He will not despise. A contrite heart is a heart that has bowed to GOD. A heart bowed to GOD is ready for the work of regeneration. A contrite heart is a heart ready to have its values redefined. A contrite heart is a heart ready to be filled with light because it is ready to have a single focus on GOD. It is this condition that qualifies a person as ready to be born again by the spirit of GOD. This is what John 1:12-13 (KJV) is referring to:
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
This is different than deciding to be a better person and trying to do the right thing. That is just the will of man. When a person’s heart is bowed before GOD, they give GOD authority in their life to define what “better” is and what “right” looks like, and there is the acknowledgement that they are insufficient of themselves to be what they need to be and they are ready to allow “The Potter” to shape them.
The first stronghold in a man’s life which must be broken before the true work of the Lord can begin is the spirit of pride. Holy Scriptures calls this spirit the stronghold of Leviathan. Leviathan is described as a serpent like creature with impenetrable scales. It is written that Leviathan is king over all those ruled by pride. Pride is the self-reliance and ego which drives and serves to protect all those not surrendered to GOD. This spirit of pride in the self-reliant heart decides independently of GOD what qualifies as truth and what is false. I have shared scriptures with people before which didn’t require interpretation because it was already in their language and was straight forward, yet they still denied its meaning as written. Their heart wasn’t ready to bow to the word. Here is an example. Look at Galatians 5:19-24 (NKJV):
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
The scripture cited above doesn’t require interpretation. It is clearly stated. If you have not crucified your flesh through denying it these manifestations, you have not given yourself to Christ. If this feels like condemnation it is because life in the flesh has been condemned and you still identify with it. Those who are Christ identify with living after the spirit. Repent now or you will not be found worthy to enter the Kingdom of GOD. None of the works of the flesh mentioned above are necessary or vital for your life. All these things in one way or another contributes to the decay of society. The contrite heart doesn’t require lengthy explanations because it has already surrendered. Don’t be deceived by others and don’t deceive yourself. GOD gives us the ability through His spirit to walk upright and pleasing before Him. We must learn to take our heart aches and pains to Him and stop self-medicating. Look what GOD says about enjoyment and good things:
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11 KJV)
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 KJV)
GOD is not calling us to live a boring or dull life, He is calling us to order and decency, and to enjoying things in constructive ways instead of in destructive ways.
The Lord has fitted us perfectly with garments of righteousness, but we have to put them on. We must strip ourselves of the old garments of sin and wash in His forgiveness and put on our wedding garments. Our Savior has provided white raiment, fitted us exactly, and put the garments within our reach. If we deceive ourselves or listen to the vain deceit of others and fail to dress ourselves properly, we are in for a rude awakening. This parable, spoken by YESHUA, sums up all I have been writing about. The reason parables are given is to aid with understanding, it is put in terms easy to understand. Heed the warning given in this parable. Just because YESHUA washes our feet doesn’t mean He will allow us to walk all over him.
Matthew 22: 1-14 (KJV)
22 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
GOD is not a respecter of persons, though He called the guest a Friend, He still had him castaway because he failed to humble himself and make proper preparations. The serpent is telling the same lie he told Adam and Eve in the garden, and people are still believing it. People still believe they can willingly disobey GOD and not face dire consequences. There is a shaking going on in the earth right now to get our attention. Humble yourself and repent of the things you know are not right and surrender your life to the savior to allow Him to establish you in spirit and truth, which is real life. Put on your raiment of righteousness given to you in Christ so that you can be received into the wedding feast that has been prepared for those who humbled themselves to the truth of GOD. Study Hebrews chapter 10 .
There is a veil which separates us from the reality and truth of GOD, it is the carnal mind. The carnal mind holds us captive to our five senses and our experiences in this natural world. However, we can transcend the limitations of the natural world to experience the things of the spirit if we allow the truth of GOD to influence our awareness. I am not speaking here about hallucinations or having a vivid imagination. I am referring to experiencing the eternal things of GOD which this physical world is just a shadow of. It really doesn’t have to be this deep metaphysical concept. Just think of the things which are invisible to the natural eye with out the use of a microscope, telescope, or light manipulation. There are things in the air around us all the time which are beyond the threshold of natural perception.
I have not had a vision like John on the isle of Patmos when he was given the book of Revelations. I have not seen a spectacle like the three disciples did when YESHUA was transfigured before them, as He was described in Matthew 17:2, “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” What I have experienced is answered prayer which was to specific and timely to be called a coincidence. I have experienced enlightenment of the Spirit, understanding and wisdom gained without being taught by another man. I have experienced newness of life and deliverance from sin by the resurrection life of Christ springing up inside me. I know I have been made free indeed. I have had servants of GOD give me a word of knowledge relating to specific things in my life of which they had no way of being aware of without the intervention of GOD. I have experienced the presence of GOD in a tangible way that I can only describe as my soul being held in a peace and joy which brought a stillness which gave me rest, rejuvenation, and strength like cool water, shade, and a nice breeze on a scorching desert journey. I have had that presence accompany me as I journey through life in a much more personal way than the glory cloud which accompanied the children of Israel in the wilderness. In my experience, as well as the children of Israel’s, the accompanying body was the presence of GOD. The difference is that I have embraced the truth of GOD’s love in the manifestation of His presence which allows me to hold the experience in a more intimate way, even though the pillar of fire and the glory cloud which accompanied them was actually visible to the eye.
The love of GOD opens the heart to His enduring reality. Often, if you are not looking for something, you will not see it even though it is present. Your lack of focus on something can obscure it from your sight. The truth of GOD, when held with a focus on His love, brings a lot of things into focus which have always been present though seemingly invisible. I cannot tell you how many testimonies I have heard from those now awakened to GOD’s love now able to see His hand working in their past. The reality of GOD’s love frees you from the rapid pace of this world, which is driven by burning lust and winds of distraction, to a rhythm slow enough to appreciate the abundance of GOD’s presence in every moment. This is the reality behind these statements of YESHUA;
“28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 KJV)
“9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:9-10 KJV)
Don’t be deceived. If you have not surrendered to the obedience of GOD’s word, you have not truly accepted the reality of His love. Your disobedience testifies that you don’t fully trust Him. You are still trying to live by your own methods instead of surrendering to the fact that you didn’t give yourself life, so you alone can’t sustain your life. How can you trust what you do not know? How can you know what you are not seeking? How can you seek what you do not desire? This is where the deception of the devil is revealed. The great deceiver convinces us that our desire is for natural things, which yields fleeting pleasures which keeps us chasing. This misdirected focus and chasing becomes the source of blindness and bondage. There are moments when the deception fades and people see they are lost due to a broken heart, emptiness found in something pursued, or tragedy, causing them to pause from their busyness and contemplate their life. Times like now.
If you have not already, it is time to turn your focus to GOD. Time to stop and ask GOD to reveal His love to you. Time to ask Him to help you process your pain and disappointments with life. Time to ask Him to rescue your heart. Time to surrender control of your life to the one who created you for His love. If GOD didn’t allow us to see the kind of mess we make outside of His guidance, we would never turn to Him. The turmoil we see in the world today is the result of men loving darkness more than light and following lies rather than truth. It would be even worse if not for the mercies of GOD. There is a refuge for our souls in GOD. In the turmoil of today there is still a peace and rest available in His presence. Begin each day by asking GOD to reveal Himself in the moments around you and allow the truth of His love to create expectation and hope. Never doubt that GOD loves you and gave Himself in the person of Christ to win your heart and your trust. GOD’s love for you is always present and real whether you sense it or not. Know that whenever you inhale, His love is present in that breath. Let your inhale be a “Thank You” and your exhale an “Amen.” As we grow in the awareness of GOD’s abiding presence, our lives become a continuous ceremony of worship.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:6-17 KJV)
If you confess to be a child of GOD in Christ, the scripture cited above reminds you that the light of the life of Christ in you should be reproving the darkness that is around you. This word “reprove” was translated from a Greek word “elegeho” which means to convict, admonish, and rebuke by convincing of error and sin. Here is a look at what these words mean:
Admonish=> to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement in a gentle way.
Surely you can advise and encourage one of your family members in Christ to live better if you see them straying from the path of love and righteousness.
Convict=> to convince of error or sinfulness by presenting sound biblical principles.
Have you been in GOD’s presence and His word enough to rightly divide darkness from light by the sword of the spirit? As children of light our responsibility is to liberate those taken captive by darkness through giving the light of Truth.
Reprove=> To reprimand sharply from a place of authority.
Have you given your friends and family authority to call you out when you are behaving contrary to who and what you profess to be, because you care so deeply about the testimony of Christ, which you represent, or do you get angry in pride and retaliate? By confessing that Christ is your Lord, you acknowledge that the WORD of GOD is the final authority in your life regardless of the vessel presenting Him.
When our merciful GOD says enough is enough and pours out His wrath on those who have their hearts set on doing evil, will you be a partaker with them? People often think of taking the Lord’s name in vain as saying His name in an irreverent way. While that is offensive, it is far worse to call yourself a Christian yet not be truly dedicated to living as He lived. YESHUA admonished, convicted, and reproved people demonstrating that it is a requisite of love. The motive is not to put people down or to glory in their faults, so that you can feel better about yourself. The motive is born out of a desire to see people realize their true potential and live their best life possible and to safeguard them from condemnation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 KJV)
The correct understanding of the verse above is that you will avoid condemnation if you are not walking in the flesh, but after the spirit. Don’t be deceived by words with no root in truth coming from those who just want to make merchandise of you. Embrace those who love you enough to tell you the truth and love others enough to be an example of Light. Cultivate a love for TRUTH which illuminates the path to LIFE.
The devil is always trying to deceive and distract and to lure us away from the call of GOD. Right now, there is a call to choose sides and align yourself, but not along political, national, or racial lines. Our GOD is calling all people to choose Him and to align themselves with His word and His spirit. That is the real choice before us all. Only allegiance to GOD can deliver us from this present evil. The answer is not trying to unify with each other, the answer is everyone unifying with GOD who alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Unifying with GOD will automatically bring all those who answer His call together. Let no man deceive you with vain words. As many of you contemplate casting your ballot in November, don’t go another day without casting your cares on YESHUA the Christ. Put your hope in Him alone for your life and your future. As He represents you in heaven, make a determination to represent Him in the earth. Who are you promoting and campaigning for? If it is not Christ, you have chosen the wrong side.
Men primarily remember King David for two acts in his life. One, for slaying the giant Goliath, whom everyone else was afraid of. Two, for his adulterous relationship with the beautiful Bathsheba. Though these two events are often recalled in men’s ministries and are often highlighted in recounts of King David’s life, Christ isn’t recorded mentioning either of these two events, nor are they mentioned in any of the letters of the New Testament. Why do men glory in those aspects of David? It is because most men struggle to understand the calling of manhood, and as a result of this, they adopt the consensus view. The popular view, often adopted for the safety of the crowd, has been authored by the devil. In order to steal the glory of GOD from men, the devil offers them a counterfeit. Understand, the devil is a counterfeit dealer. This is how people get destroyed for a lack of knowledge; because they lack knowledge of what is genuine and true.
In this case, men lack knowledge of the true image of GOD. This is relevant because men were created to live in GOD’s image. A lack of knowledge is also why religious men are perplexed at the idea of King David being a man after GOD’s own heart. After all, King David committed murder and adultery. Too often, religious men don’t know the heart of GOD. This is a result of men seeking GOD’s benefits more than His laws and precepts; just like the multitudes sought the loaves of YEHSUA more than His words. GOD’s word’s, laws, and precepts reveal His heart and mind. Due to men having accepted the counterfeit manhood offered by the devil, we find ourselves in a world filled with a lust for power and external beauty. This post is not about “The Godfather” as much as it is a look at why so many men embrace what he embodied. There is also significant admiration for the character Tony Montana in the movie “Scarface”.
If you look across the spectrum of men, to include the religious and non-religious, you will find that the majority of men view success as the accumulation of wealth, power, and external beauty. In the non-religious sector, you will see the picture of success being the billionaire maverick with his power and trappings. In the religious sector you will find the picture of success attributed to the pastor with the mega-church and large campus. Some in the religious arena have gone as far as to conform the testimony of Christ, saying He was rich with the goods of this world, and had many wives. The lies of the devil are so infused into this world that it is like a strong current sweeping all away. This is no doubt why YAHWEH sent salvation as an anchor of truth, a rock, and a firm foundation, on which we have been called to build our identities, our values, and our lives.
“Let us look at the first example of the man whose identity is tied to his money. What happens to this man when his business fails due to a change in the market? He becomes laden with insecurity as a man. A man afflicted with insecurity will often project those feeling on others by assuming that others think less of him. What will this man do to maintain his financial prowess? Almost anything! Many men have had their consciences seared in the pursuit of financial riches, or trying to maintain financial wealth. Whatever controls your identity has mastery over you.
If you derive your sense of self-worth and identity from temporal things, you will never be a sound, stable person. For a man to make a good husband or father, he must be a stable person; this means his identity and values must have a firm foundation.”
The quotation above was taken from chapter 7 of my book, “True Heritage: Recovering From Spiritual Identity Theft ” There is a chapter entitled, “The Firm Foundation.” In this chapter I write about the problems men and women face when their identities aren’t anchored in the Truth of GOD, and the benefits reaped from a life securely resting in GOD’s hands.
To obtain this salvation we must be willing to release all the false things we have come to be identified with. This step toward salvation is the one which causes so many to draw back. Some have deceived themselves into thinking they have taken this necessary step; however, it is obvious they are still adrift in the currents of the world by their fears and lust and conversation.
Men often extol King David however Christ says there has been none born of flesh greater than John the Baptist. Men do not have much affection toward living in the wilderness dressed in camel’s hair with a diet of locust and honey. The carnal mind will cause you to see those components of John’s life instead of the anointing, the holiness, and favor from GOD. Much in the same way the carnal mind misses King’s David abandon to GOD, and his soul wrenching transparency, and his burning thirst for truth. David wanted to be GOD’s man, nothing more or nothing less.
If we are ever to be fulfilled, mature, and the people we were ordained to be, we must learn to take our hunger, thirst, and questions to GOD in humility. We must be ready to center ourselves in the truth of GOD and put our faith in Him, no matter the calculated cost. No matter how we see the cost, we must also understand we do not have the mathematics or expressions to fully quantify the rewards of trusting GOD. The things of creation were never meant to totally satisfy you because they were given as trinkets to draw us unto the Creator. Creation gives moments of satisfaction however communion with the Creator Himself is everlasting peace and joy.
When the things of this world are folded up and put away, like a completed game of monopoly, only those willing to become as bankrupt to the world, living in spirit and truth to gain Christ, will be considered the true winners.
You cannot change by holding on to the past in a way that doesn’t promote newness. The Creator has given us the process of time to accept what already is. Though we live in time, there are universal laws that are eternal and exist outside of time. I am referring to the truth of GOD and the life sustaining order He has established. YESHUA proclaims, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV) The preponderance of truth teaches us that the knowledge of the Father is eternal life. My point, there is truth that spans beyond time and creation as we know it. When we choose to believe the report or testimony of Christ regarding eternal truth, the influence of that belief causes us to experience new life. I say new life because He is new to us though He has been around eternally.
So, what on earth does that have to do with your new day. You have been given the power of belief. What YOU choose to believe has a direct influence on the life YOU live. I emphasized “you” because unfortunately many people empower outside influences to dictate the life they live. I am not talking about actual oppression here; I am talking about blame. When you blame others for the quality of your life instead of analyzing what you have chosen to believe and how your belief has influenced your life, you break your ability to usher in new days by making them subject to others. When unfortunate things happen, own what is yours and release what you have no power over. Trust GOD with things you cannot control but pray for the virtue and integrity to change your beliefs if it is reasonable that they were the primary cause.
We cannot and shouldn’t try to change people around us. If that sounds anti-evangelical to you, it is because you don’t understand how redemption works. Just because you change someone’s behavior doesn’t mean their heart has changed. Laws conform people’s behavior, but they don’t change people’s heart. The redemption of Christ involves changing people’s heart, the core of who they are, only the power of GOD can do that as each individual submits to Him of their own free will. Our obligation or duty, as a mandate of love, is to express the truth of GOD in word and in deed.
When we are able to accept that our belief is the power used by GOD to usher in our newness every day, we have to stop blaming others for the ruts we are stuck in. We must stop blaming others for our lack of joy, our lack of peace, our lack of growth, our lack of newness every day. GOD Himself has made the knowledge of Life and eternal truth available to us but it is our decision or not to learn of Him and heed the wisdom of His Life-giving WORD. While it is true that there is a great many things around us which needs to change, how you hold this present reality is based upon your belief, and that belief of yours will be reflected in the present state of your soul. Is your soul at peace? Is your soul at rest? Is your soul filled with joy? Is your soul depressed? Is your soul bitter? Is your soul anxious? You have to take the time to be introspective and examine yourself because therein lies the mechanism to change YOU and the quality of your life. How can you influence change in the world if you have not taken the time to understand how the world has influenced your belief, and the condition of your own soul? We must look inward to clear the path for a new outlook. This is why YESHUA emphasizes forgiveness. You have to give yourself and others space for new life ahead of the change unseen. You will never see the new growth in a person when it buds if you confine them to who they were yesterday. I’m not saying you shouldn’t distance yourself safely away from hurtful people, but you should pray for them and believe in GOD’s ability to change them just as He has changed you. That belief sustains positive hope and keeps the ground fertile for budding new life.
“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4 KJV) This is just one verse from Psalm 37 affirming that receiving the desires of your heart is between you and the Lord. If you believe obtaining the desires of your heart has anything to do with you and anyone else, that belief could be the cause of a lot of anguish in your life. That is just one example of how your belief determines the forecast of your day. You will have good conditions or bad conditions based on your belief. Psalms 37 is packed with truths to keep your life new and fresh. Stoke your belief with the truths of GOD’s word and your days will begin with newness and joyful expectation.
I saw this quote being circulated on Facebook. It is deception and just another form of fear mongering. Deception blocks you from seeing truth and fear hardens the heart and makes your love go cold.
Genesis Chapter 3 describes the devil as cunning and subtile. These elusive characteristics were used to deceive our forebearers in the Garden of Eden. This quote slithers in the same way. This is the kind of fear mongering and deception which has led to a history of voter suppression in America. If you look closely at American democracy, you will see that it isn’t a true democracy. Historically, all American citizens have not been allowed to participate in the selection of its officers or the formation of its laws. In fact, many of you reading this, or at least your parents, were alive when the rights of Black people finally became protected under Federal Law in the United States. I am speaking of the Voter’s Rights act of 1965. This legislation made it illegal to block people of color from voting at the polls with the use of literacy test, grandfather clauses and poll taxes. Even today, voter suppression is a reality in many southern states. Also, today the electoral college is unnecessary. The advancements of technology have long remedied the problem with communications across the country, which supposedly necessitated the electoral college.
The cited information above really doesn’t apply to the American experience, even though we currently have a leader resembling a fascist to many. America is missing the precedent stages which lead to fascism. America has no marked seasons for any of the following: Spiritual Faith, Great Courage, or Liberty. Instead of spiritual faith we have seen carnal ambition too build wealth. Instead of great courage we have seen policy after policy founded upon fear and xenophobia. Instead of liberty we have seen a continuation of oppressive practices whereby America remains among the top nations for inequality and human imprisonment. However, the cited information does support the elitist mentality which supports these immoral practices by reinforcing the idea that the masses aren’t worthy of certain civil rights. The real concern of the wealthy and powerful is that if power were held by the people then they may bring about true equality. A concern that systems will be established which will prevent the exploitation of those less fortunate. The type of exploitation which the wealth of America has been built upon.
If you broaden the definition of Fascism to include a class of people instead of a singular person, it could be argued that America has been fascist from its inception. Christians must stop being manipulated due to ignorance powered by complacency. I am speaking to those who confess faith in the gospel of Christ. Those who are supposed to be the lights of the word. Those He commissioned to fight for the oppressed, broken, and less fortunate. Guard your heart and mind from the venomous lies of the serpent which disrupts good sense.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36 NKJV)
It was penned in a famous American document that “All men are created equal.” If this is held as truth, then it would make sense to ensure that the opportunities and resources which produce the greatest of us were made accessible to the all of us. This practice could serve to make America great for the first time in her history.