Being Strong in the Power of His Might

footstool 2

Isaiah 66:1
Thus saith the Lord, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool…”

I was asked by a brother recently for help understanding the Apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh, spoken of in 2 Corinthian’s 12:7-10. When looking at this block of scripture, I have found that conversation often looms around what the thorn was, however it is not as important as why the thorn was there. The “Why” is always more important than the “What”. We look at certain frailties as deficiencies but it is often those frailties that keep us safe. People often talk about the strength of trees like the oak but never mention the palm tree, however the palm tree can survive much stronger storms than the oak, because it bends and bows with the wind. Our frailties often cause us to bend and bow to GOD, who is the true source of our strength. Many people trusting in their own prowess have fallen because they wouldn’t bow to the principles of GOD.

GOD revealed to the Apostle Paul that His strength was perfected in weakness. Based on that revelation, we should reconsider how we view our weaknesses and what we consider perfect to be. Your Creator new what he was doing when he fashioned you, with your particular strengths and weaknesses. You are made perfectly for what you are called to do. In humility, we have to surrender both our strengths and weaknesses to GOD. GOD is greatest in our lives when we live surrendered to His ability through us, instead of leaning on our own limited abilities. We are in a better position to succeed when we stay in close proximity to Him, in acknowledgement of our weakness, than when we venture away from Him in self-confidence on account of our strengths.

If people had their way, they would all be like the fictional superman, but there is a reason GOD allows man’s thorns. The first reason is that learning to love one another and building godly character is more important than anything else, because NOTHING is sustainable without the principles of Love. We learn love best through understanding relationships. Virtuous interrelationship is the dynamic of life. Learning how to virtuously interact with one another through relationship teaches us the principles of Love. If it were not for frailties, pride in selfish ignorance would keep us divided and unfulfilled. This is why Yeshua taught that the rich seldom enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because they often believe their relationship to money is more important than any other.

The second reason is because GOD has to get all the glory, because He alone is the source of life. Our allegiance, devotion, focus has to remain with GOD, first and foremost. If we are to be of any real benefit to our loved ones or the world in general, it will come from our virtuous interrelation with GOD. If we put our trust in a person because we thought our lives hinged on them, the focus on them would hinder us from reflecting the light of GOD meant to lead others to Him. GOD commands us against idolatry for our own good, and everything exalted against GOD will be brought down.

When YAHWEH is your hero you don’t need your own super powers. Anytime you experience weakness in your life, embrace it as an opportunity to encounter the strength of your Creator in a new way. He wants to show you the strength derived from interrelation with Him, to establish greater intimacy with Him and greater fulfillment through Him. I believe this dynamic is what was behind the intrepid exploits of the Apostle Paul, and also the inspiration behind what he wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” So, do not shy away or be deterred when you find yourself faced with a situation which seems greater than you, see it as an opportunity to grow in your relationship with GOD, which will inevitably strengthen you and bring him glory.

 

A love more fervent than the sun.

Sun2

This feels a bit like kissing and telling, but I don’t think my Heavenly Father will mind. I noticed while lying in bed this morning that my furnace was struggling to come on. So, I got up, put on some clothes, and started working to resolve the issue. The furnace seemed totally unresponsive to the thermostat. After I had exhausted all I knew to do, I left it alone and started to adjust my thoughts from the frustration and gloom associated with having the furnace go out this holiday season, just a few days into winter.

I thanked GOD that the next few days were forecasted to be unseasonably warm, and sunny. Since the sun was already up and peeking through the blinds, I thought I might as well let a little sun light in to start warming the home. I opened the blinds, and while standing there with my face close to the window, I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my face. I began to praise my Father in heaven for the wonder of creation, that an object millions of miles away had enough warmth to pleasantly kiss my face. As I was still in that moment, with a grateful heart, enjoying the warmth and splendor of GOD, I heard a soft whoosh over my head. It was the vent over my head blowing warm air. The furnace had come on. It had been 10 or fifteen minutes since I had abandoned my efforts to start the furnace. In that quiet moment of praising and thanking GOD, I felt Him express to me that His love for me was more fervent than the sun, and could reach much further, and penetrate much deeper. As tears trickling down my face, I basked in the awareness that my Heavenly Father was mindful of me and my heart, and He appreciated my being grateful.

This moment blessed me, and even though at times we may not be able to see GOD, and heaven seems trillions of miles away, our GOD is always close enough, and merciful enough, and tender enough, and considerate enough, and gracious enough, to hear the cry of our heart, to give us more than we deserve. I’m stirred by His love today and I pray you feel the warmth of His love. Peace and blessing!

 

Got Freedom?

Harriett

Coming out of the buzz surrounding the recently released Harriett Tubman movie is controversy over a quote being attributed to her. Harriet Tubman is quoted saying she would have freed more people had they known they were enslaved. Christ stated that His arrival on earth marked the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1, that He was the anointed one which had come to proclaim liberty to the captives. Now, over 2000 years ago for Christ and over 200 for Tubman, millions are still enslaved. Whether Harriet Tubman said it or not, the main cause is that people are deceived about what liberty is, and they are unaware that there is a greater life which they can live now.

The gospel of Christ is meant to liberate us. The scripture says, “He who the Son makes free is free indeed.” What does this mean? Here is a definition of free coming from Merriam Webster’s dictionary which says it well: 

[: Not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being; choosing or capable of choosing for itself.] 

The life of Christ, in those born of His spirit, makes them free to operate from their newly inherited divine nature unhindered. Though there are influences and forces from this world and even our own bodies, we are still capable of choosing for ourselves what actions we will take. Those who are born again are no longer oppressed by the nature of sin. This is the freedom which the Spirit of GOD provides us as spoken of in the bible. Though this is sound biblical teaching, it is uncommon to hear this taught in churches or professed as a belief by Christians. Satan has crippled the faith of many Christians through religious doctrines that don’t challenge their faith or the power of GOD in their lives. My book, “True Heritage: Recovering From Spiritual Identity Theft” offers a path of restoration from this condition, which has worsened in these times of greyness and tolerance. I believe “True Heritage” was inspired to ignite the fire of the spirit in the hearts of those who read it, and to reflect the true light of the gospel, through illuminating the tangible benefits won for us through the Salvation of Christ.

Here is an excerpt from “True Heritage”:

“The person you think you are could very easily be based on spiritual puppetry, where you are the puppet. Another way of looking at this is psychological, or mental manipulation, based on ideas and thought patterns ingrained through exterior suggestion. The majority of the people in the world have been subjected to this type of manipulation. What most people call “freedom” is, in effect, slavery, because they are being controlled by influences they are not aware of. When Yeshua read the prophecy of Isaiah, as recorded in the book of Luke, chapter 4:18 (KJV), He stated, “He was anointed…to preach deliverance to the captives.” People are captive, and don’t realize it.”

 

Back To Perfection

Adam

We can never obtain a thing that we don’t understand. I have heard many believers saying we will never reach perfection in this lifetime. All through the bible our Heavenly Father tells us to be perfect even as He is perfect. I heard someone say in a bible study recently, “God tells us to be perfect but He knows that we can’t.” That is not consistent with our Father’s character. If He says we can be perfect in this present world, then we can. We just need to understand what He means by perfect and stop leaning to our own understanding. In His eyes, we are perfect the way He created us, even with our perceived flaws. He made man from a lump of clay and shaped him into a man after His own image.

We were perfect until we decided to turn ourselves into a DIY project.

DYI MAN 2

Whatever is broken in us will remain broke until the Lord fixes us. We can’t fix ourselves, but we can make up our minds to sell out and surrender to His hands. When we surrender in the hands of GOD, through the Cross of Christ, we become that perfect lump of clay in the Potter’s hand. That lump of clay doesn’t look like much; in fact, it can look like a mess, however in the Potter’s eyes it is just what he is looking for. If you look at scripture, you will see that our GOD never chooses anyone perfect according to man’s definition. Look at the men GOD has chosen over the ages, from Abraham to Moses, to David, all the way to the Apostle Paul. All these men like a lump of clay, had messy beginnings, but they obtained one common trait that made them perfect, they surrendered to GOD. They were surrendered to GOD and their hearts were set on pleasing Him. This is what our Father expects of us. To be like Him, faithful, true, and single hearted; not uncommitted and double minded. Checkout these scriptures:

1 Kings 6:61

“Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”

1 Kings 11:4

“For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. ”

Here is an excerpt from my book “True Heritage” on the topic:

Let’s also look at Matthew 19:21 (KJV): “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Are we to believe that the rich young ruler was flawless in every way except for the need to sell off all of his belongings for the poor? No, that’s not it. He was not yet ready to be totally and singularly identified with Christ in his life. The Bible says that the rich young ruler went away grieved because he had great possessions. Matthew 6:20–22 (KJV) says, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” The rich young ruler was not ready to be filled with light, because his heart was divided. Every man has the potential to reach the point of total surrender where he realizes that all of life’s true riches are obtained through following God..https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47347692-true-heritage?from_search=true&qid=ivu4cNWAED&rank=1

 

 

Knowing the Right Direction Begins With Knowing Where You Are

U R Here

You cannot properly plan for your future or plot a correct course for your life, until you have your bearings on where you are. By “where you are,” I am referring to an understanding of your current strengths and weaknesses based on the standards of your Creator; Understanding your values in reference to the mandates of Love; and understanding what you can control and influence in the whole apparatus of your life. Without a grasp on these components of your life, you are ill-prepared to identify a destiny suitable for yourself. There is a plague of narcissism infecting society today which has people’s focus locked on what everyone else has done to impact them, with no sense of what they have done to impact others or themselves. This lack of self-awareness stunts personal growth for the individual, and blocks the development of empathy and unity in the community.

There is one missing element in a person’s life that makes them vulnerable to the state described above, the lack of an ongoing intimate exchange between a person’s soul and the Spirit of GOD. The Holy Spirit is the lamp of GOD in the soul, bringing true awareness to the conditions of the soul, and supplying the strength needed to commit to corrective actions by providing the soul direction, hope, and comfort.  What avails us this opportunity is the death blow to Leviathan by the cross. Leviathan is described in the bible as the King which rules over all of those held captive by pride.  Pride will not allow a person to surrender control of their life to anyone other than themselves. A person ruled by pride is  controlling and tormented by fears.

Only the perfect love of Christ is able dethrone Leviathan and break the power of pride. The love of Christ frees the heart of people from fears, enabling them to trust someone outside of themselves. They become open to accepting the rule of GOD in their lives. The rule of GOD establishes the standards which set a clear path for growth and fulfillment. Reliance on GOD is a firm foundation to building your view of yourself and the world as a whole. This is at the root of the proverb which says, “Commit your ways unto the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” It is also evident in the proverb which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding, and in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Through trusting the counsel of the Lord, you are able to make sound plans for your life which will bring deep fulfillment.

A Glimpse at Real Marriage

threefold

People live together, have sex, share finances, have monogamous relationships, and even have children together but do not consider themselves to be married. People go to work dutifully at corporations and places of employment for upwards of 40 and 50 years, but do not consider themselves married to their jobs. So being loyal to the work in a relationship doesn’t make you married. What then sets marriage apart from these other relationships? The terms of the covenant. In the first example, people enter relationships all the time with no real expressed covenant. It’s often understood, even if not spoken, that either of them can split or go their separate way at any time they feel the need. In the second example of employment, there is a covenant, but it is based on work and some form of compensation and normally doesn’t require ordination by a higher authority like GOD, clergy, or a justice of the peace.  Also, who has ever heard of someone taking a vacation from their marriage, or clocking out from being a spouse until the next day? We probably all have, but I would question if those relationships qualify as marriage at all.  Another important difference to recognize is that everyone needs to work, but everyone does not need to be married. People should only enter a marriage covenant as a result of desiring to be joined to another, not because they need food or shelter, or some other necessity of life.

old couple

People are often praised and esteemed highly if they have been in marriage for many years. Many years of marriage used to be 20 or more years, but due to the pervasion of selfishness in recent times, this has been reduced to ten or more. The principle of quality over quantity has never had a more necessary application than that of marriage. One of my early mentors once said, “Marriage can be the closest thing you experience to either heaven or hell, while still on earth.” How many people have lived unhappily, unfulfilled, or miserably in a marriage relationship for many years, but stayed because divorce was considered a worse option? I have found that many people considering divorce really need to be considering remarriage, because the divorce has actually already taken place; it just has not been formalized. True marriage involves pursuing an intimate knowing of one another, but there are people who consider themselves to be married but are actually strangers, because they never share their true heart with one another. True marriage involves unity or becoming one, but there are couples who consider themselves to be married and they can’t agree or unite on hardly anything. True marriage involves sharing an expression of love for one another, which means each seeks to joyfully fulfill the other at the expense of self, but there are those who consider themselves to be married yet perform the necessities of marriage life grudgingly and painstakingly, only because they feel they have too.

bible 2

I am speaking here about basic biblical marriage. If you are either unfamiliar with biblical teaching or do not believe the holy bible has authority, then your idea of marriage can be what ever you imagine. On the other hand, if you want your marriage to have the life-giving blessings of The Creator, The Most High, YAHWEH (the self-existent one), then there are some specific criteria that must be part of the covenant. For the body of Christ, the Church, one of the main misunderstandings leading to missing the mark and unfulfillment, is not understanding their own heart and coming to terms with what they really value. A drug addict looking to remain drug free, focuses on not doing drugs. They are still in bondage to drugs because it is still their main focus. A person not wanting to be a sinner, focuses on not committing sin. They are still in bondage to sin because sin remains their main focus. A person looking to remain married, focuses on avoiding problems and disagreements, to avoid divorce. They are not free to journey into the joyful depths of real marriage because they are focused on the minimums to avoid divorce. This is also bondage. The Apostle Paul talks about being a bondservant to Christ. This means every day, he lives his life thinking, “How can I get closer to Christ? How can I know Christ more? How can I please and be more of a blessing to Christ? How can I love Christ more? This form of bondage leads to indescribable freedom!

So, what is the key to entering real marriage? It is the same key to a fulfilling life with GOD.

SURRENDER, as a result of experiencing TRUE LOVE.

To be clear, I am not speaking of true love with your spouse, I am speaking of true love between a person and GOD. I am also not speaking of surrendering to your spouse but surrendering to GOD. There is a certain amount of mutual submission required between married couples to find harmony, but it will not happen joyfully if surrender to GOD does not come first. GOD is love, so you need union with Him before you can love anyone, including yourself. GOD must be your FIRST love. That is my desire for every human, whether you are considering true marriage or not. It is from the spring of love that flows from GOD that we have the hope, strength, desire, and knowledge to fulfill the covenant of the joyful marriage He has ordained. Only GOD is good. If you want to be a good husband or a good wife, and have a good marriage, don’t focus on your spouse, focus on GOD, and His goodness will permeate your life. It is this same spring that feeds a true civilized society. So then, what is true marriage? It is individuals expressing their relationship with GOD through physical and social intimacy, bound by a covenant, which He has authorized.

Consciously Addressing the Unconscious

turning on the light

I recently took a course on “Unconscious Bias “. I was impressed with the many scientific studies performed which validate this mental phenomenon. The key word being “unconscious”. Somethings are truly too close to see. It is why you are better off sometimes getting someone else to proof your writing. I’m sure we have all looked at an email we sent and realized we left out that missing from the sentence (that was intentional “word”). In humility, we must be opened to having our lives proofed by outside entities, like having our positions fact checked by research, or excepting that our view of something can be improved by receiving information from someone that has a different vantage. Realizing that our world view, as well as our view of ourselves, can me distorted unconsciously by misinformation or a lack of information, we have a moral obligation to consciously seek knowledge to be as truthful as we can be. To say that truth is relative is just an excuse to be immoral. Opinions and feelings are relative, but truth is like math concepts, it is universal and can be applied anywhere to find solutions.

In my book, “True Heritage: Recovering from Spiritual Identity Theft”, I look at some of the consequences suffered by society resulting from not knowing or by ignoring the truth from the Creator. To save civilization, GOD has sent Truth and Light to destroy the darkness which has held humanity captive by deception and the intentional oppression of truth. I appeal to your determination to be the best that you can be, for yourself and your loved ones, and for the community abroad, through an invitation to read this book. You will find a viewpoint that is as ancient as time itself, yet as fresh as this mornings dew.