Love Prevails Over Leviathan

Bossmonster_Leviathan1

When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.
Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail;
Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.
He regards iron as straw,
And bronze as rotten wood.
The arrow cannot make him flee;
Slingstones become like stubble to him.
Darts are regarded as straw;
He laughs at the threat of javelins.
His undersides are like sharp potsherds;
He spreads pointed marks in the mire.
He makes the deep boil like a pot;
He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
He leaves a shining wake behind him;
One would think the deep had white hair.
On earth there is nothing like him,
Which is made without fear.

(Job 41:25-33)

As you read the description of this creature, you get the picture of a monster that is indestructible to man and indeed it is. The creature is Leviathan and there are more descriptions of him in Job 41, like his sharp teeth and impenetrable scales. Leviathan’s rule over man would be absolute without divine intervention. In the book of Job, Leviathan is called the king of all the children of pride. Leviathan rules like the pharaoh that contended with God to keep the Hebrews enslaved. Just as Yahweh sent Moses to deliver the Hebrew slaves from the tyranny of pharaoh, so has He sent Yeshua to deliver all of man from the tyranny of Leviathan. The Hebrew slaves, under the tyranny of pharaoh, were not free to worship God according to His will and had to be delivered. A person dominated by a spirit of pride and selfishness, under the rule Leviathan, also needs to be delivered in order to do God’s will.

Leviathan’s domination is evident in what is known as the first law of nature; Self-preservation. The focus on self is the signature of egotistical pride. Compare being ruled by the first law of carnal nature, to the two greatest laws in Yahweh’s kingdom, which also reflects His nature;

  1. Love the lord your God with all of your heart, mind and strength.

  2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

The only mention of self is in reference to how one cares for another. The nature of God’s kingdom is Love, versus the nature of those ruled by Leviathan, which is selfishness. You will be ruled by selfishness of pride until you are set free by Yeshua the Savior.

In order to be part of the body of Christ, you have to see and care for others as your self, you must have the ability to Love. You can never truly be unified with anyone else without Love. Marriage, families, and communities, fall apart without Love. This is why the Salvation of Christ begins with putting SELF on the cross; renouncing the law of self-preservation through entrusting the preserving of your life to Yeshua. Surrendering your life, by taking up the cross, makes way for divine Love to be birthed into your life. As Love delivers us from the oppressive phobias of selfishness, we are free to experience life as never before. He whom the son makes free, is free indeed!

Once you start to experience true freedom, you realize your were not free to even enjoy free things until you were freed your self. It’s true, only free people can really enjoy free things. People in bondage to selfishness through pride turn free things into more bondage. You see this manifested through hording, gluttony, and greed. Sometimes you can’t even give a selfish person a free gift, because they are to concerned about the hidden cost that the phobias of selfishness are projecting. This is why the free gift of Salvation through Christ is often left on the table, that is until we become broken and there is no more confidence in self. They that seek their life will lose it, and they that lose their life will find it. Through embracing the Cross of Christ you find true love, true freedom, and true Life.

(The image of Leviathan was found at BuddyJiang’s Portfolio: http://hokiboshi.net/portfolio/leviathan/)

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A Time For The Ordinary

black leaders

I help lead a non-profit called National Builders Guild aka NBG. One of the missions of the organization is mentoring and training young black men to be leaders in their community from a base of high ethics.  As part of my responsibilities, I interview candidates that aspire to join and check their character references. A few weeks back, I was given a list of references for a young man by the name of Elijah Shuler. He was 22 years old and had done some time in prison but had been recently released and was looking to make a change. While in process of checking his references, he came up missing. His mother said he left for work one evening and after a couple of days he had not returned home and there had been no communication. She contacted the authorities, hoping that they would assist her in finding her son.
After week two, and hearing no word from the authorities, friends and family began to pass out flyers in the surrounding neighborhood. A lead came in from the flyers on an abandoned car that fit the description of the one Elijah drove. The mother and a close friend of the family went to the site to check it out. Upon confirming that it was Elijah’s car, they notified the police. In the meantime, the mother and friend inquired with the residents near where the car was found as to how long it had been there. The car had been there for two weeks. Near the house where the car was parked, there was an extremely foul order coming from the woods. The friend helping Elijah’s mother asked the home owner if he could go investigate the smell. An hour had passed since the initial call for police and no authorities had arrived on the scene. As you have probably assumed, the foul odor was Elijah’s decaying body that had been dumped in the woods. Considering his pass and the company he used to keep, it is suspected that his past caught up to him in a horrible way. All this reeks of yet another scene of a black on black crime. Upon finding the body of Elijah Shuler, the residents began calling the police themselves. By accounts of people present, it took an additional two hours before the authorities finally arrived.
Black lives first have to matter to black people. There needs to be more gathering at the dinner table than gathering at the court house. There needs to be more rallying in the living room than in the streets. The black race does not need another “Great one” to lead them. Instead, the ordinary black man needs to love himself.  He needs to love himself in the black people around him. He needs to love his sister, cherish his wife and daughter, and honor his mother. He needs to love his brother, reverence his father, and raise his sons. He needs to focus his energy on casting down the enemies within, the self-hate, the low self-esteem, the ignorance and the false identity given to him from his oppressors. He needs to embrace the wisdom and counsel left by the “Great ones” that have already passed through. He needs to return to the universal laws of the Creator and become identified again with his divine roots as an offspring of God the Father through Yeshua the Messiah. Then the enemy outside will be of no consequence, then and only then will he be Free At Last.

Embracing Truth Leads to Freedom

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Part of the strategy of the enemy is to deceive people into believing that the things we can see are more real than the things we cannot see. Until the microscope was invented, we could not see bacteria or other molecules but we have always experienced their effects. Likewise, there are spiritual things that we cannot see that have an influence on us, however we cannot see them. It is time out for dismissing spiritual things because they are not completely evident to carnal senses. Spiritual things matter most and should be the most compelling influence in our lives. Things that please us carnally can often have a strong influence over us, even to the level of swaying good judgment. That is why those that desire to follow Christ have to take up the cross and mortify their flesh. Christ, the good shepherd, as he leads us on the path to life will inevitably take us through terrains that afflict the flesh. If we have not already made the decision to die to the flesh, we will turn back or go to the wayside when the narrow paths of life starts to restrict the flesh. It is only through taking up the cross that we become eligible to really hear the words of Truth and except spiritual principles. That is what is meant by 2 Corinthians 2:14,

 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

It is by design that certain things bring us pleasure. The Creator Yahweh made all things good and when they are enjoyed in adherence to His instruction they bring life. When we partake of creation in perversion, outside of His  commands, it tends toward death. 2nd Corinthians 4:16-18:

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Spiritual things that have eternal repercussions and should always take precedence over temporal things. Pleasures enjoyed outside of an eternal perspective is the substance of regret. Be wise, be temperate, and be patient, to enjoy lasting fulfillment.

We have to cultivate a love for Truth to the degree that we despise anything that would obscure our view of it. This will put us on the path to freedom from self-deception, as well as strengthen us against deception from the wicked one. The Holy Spirit given by God the Father is a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. A sound mind is a mind that operates from the perspective of Truth. Truth is the word of God. If you are free enough to hear the virtue in what I am saying then take it and run with it!

Hate: The Power Given to the Enemy.

When you hate someone it is an acknowledgement that they have influence and power into your life. This power and influence is one that you own because it is generated from your own thoughts and beliefs. In this present day there is always stimuli from outside sources aimed at generating hate as well as fear. The wicked one desires  to use hate and fear to gain sway in your life and to sabotage your inner peace and joy, so that you might become yet another hateful person alienated from the Creator who is Love.

It is natural to resent and have animosity toward something that poses a threat. Hate can grow from belief in a threat to one’s well being. In this regard hate can be good like hating stress, hating carcinogens, hating recklessness and other genuinely unhealthy things. On the other hand, if you believe someone is negatively affecting your well being then the potential to hate that person is possible and that is not good. Whether the threat they pose is imagined or real, the hate that can potentially grow in your immortal soul toward them will have negative consequences. The scripture tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood therefore people are not the problem. It is the principles and beliefs that people have behind the scene causing the issues.This is why we have to learn to hate the evil and love the person.

It is inevitable that unwanted physical circumstances will breach our spiritual life but we have to own and minimize the impact. We have to minimize the effects of any negative stimuli to the degree it does not reciprocate in us. Another way to say this is we can not internalize negative things to the degree they are able to germinate and produce fruit after their own kind. We internalize things through accepting them as truth or thinking on them to long. We truly have to guard our hearts. To arm ourselves against the influences of hate and fear we have to entrust our lives in the hands of Yeshua, the Messiah.

The greatest defense against hate and fear producing contaminants is by never yielding any ground in your heart to any thoughts that challenge the reality that Yeshua is able to keep and preserve your immortal soul in well being. If Yeshua permits anyone to harm my body, I still have His guarantee that my soul and eternal well being are secured. My eternal well being has to be the center of my joy and peace or else my life will be miserable. Not everyone is willing to make that shift to being eternally focused rather than focused on the temporal. This is why the scripture says, “the just will live by faith.” It takes faith in the hereafter to keep one from being turned into what this world is today; a breeding ground for hate and fear. It is only by faith in the eternal works of Yeshua that we are able to love our enemies. That does not mean we are fun of our enemies. It means that we do not transgress Yeshua’s commands in our interactions with our enemy.

In the book of Isaiah Chapter 8:12-13 it says, “Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” Never put anyone or anything on the level of God as having control over your life or well being. That is actually idolatry. Yahweh is saying He alone has the power of life and death and our lives are in His hands alone. Keep your focus on the Almighty and channel your energy toward holding on to the truth of His Word in obedience and you will find your strength, joy, and peace renewed day by day.

Free Yourself

I find that people in general spend far too much time in consideration of what others think of them and what can be done to influence that perception. One of the most frustrating but liberating things you can understand is that people see you based on their own internal needs. I say frustrating because we all want to be seen as we are and not according to stereotypes or generalities. I say liberating because all the effort spent to influence another’s opinion of you can be redirected more constructively. Early pioneers needed to see all Native Americans as savages because it justified their robbing, pillaging, and killing of them. Around the founding of our country the majority of white Americans needed to see blacks as inferior because it justified the oppression and exploitation that made their own lives more comfortable. Just like these examples but on a far less diabolical scale people often see you in everything other than the light of truth. A more important concern for the individual is how one sees them self and how one arrives at that opinion of them self. See, it is not others that have us bound, it is our own view of our selves. If we derive an opinion of ourselves based primarily on social feedback then we are guaranteed to have self-esteem issues and a host of other complexes.  Social feedback can be important when it comes from the right sources. Unfortunately society at large has the tendency to be swayed by popular opinion which is manipulated through propaganda from those that would make merchandise of all people. The right sources would be those people or groups that have their values based on the universal needs of all people instead of merely self or a select few. The right source is those that walk in love, to be more specific, those who live in unity with God for He is Love. Ultimately we should derive our sense of self from God; after all, we are created in His image.  God is neither white nor black nor yellow nor brown nor red. God is spirit and we have to learn to see ourselves as spiritual beings though we have physical bodies. We can’t allow the carnal and temporal things of this physical realm to dictate who we are or how we live. We have to transcend through the door of Jesus Christ to inherit the life we were meant to live and to become the people we were meant to be.  Once you learn to see yourself in the true light of God’s spirit you will know real freedom.

Roman 12:1-3,

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.