Let No Man Take Your Crown

Crowns

As a father, my goal is to equip my children to be successful in life and to align them with a future that is fulfilling and sure. It is to make sure that they are in a place to enjoy all the true riches of life that have been freely given by their Heavenly Father. I don’t just desire this for my children but it is my wish for all of GOD’s children. GOD the Father sent us a savior who is Himself the road map, the Light, the Truth, the Word, the Way but we have to follow Him at all cost for success. He chooses us, but we also have to choose Him. The bride has to agree and surrender herself that she may become one with the bridegroom. There are others people and other things vying for our affections but we must stay true to our first Love, Yeshua the Christ.

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown..”   (Revelation 3:11 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

A warning to the children of GOD in regards to guarding their crowns. The crowns represent the spiritual authority they have as a result of being unified with Christ, in having taking up the sufferings of Christ through crucifying their flesh with its carnal affections, in walking in obedience to the spirit as children of GOD, and in putting on the mind of Christ. The crown goes on the head and it reflects the Glory of Christ through all of those who have made Christ their head by putting on the mindset of Christ; the mindset of being obedient, even unto to death.

 

We have an adversary trying to trick us out of our inheritance and rob us of our very life. The alarm system that alerts us when evil is present is judgment. Darkness pervades where there is no judgment, which is why the enemy promotes tolerance without judgment. Judgment with tolerance can save lives but tolerance without judgment is the real condemnation to death. Judgment will save all of those seeking the light but those that love darkness will detest the light that judgment brings. Tolerance without judgment is subtle and tricky, and comes as counterfeit love, but it proliferates evil and causes the destruction of life. We all have the same chance to make it in, but only the ones that lose their life will find it. Go through the pain of releasing that thing that the Word of GOD has judged as cursed and you will find life.

 

So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],  So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” (1 Peter 4:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

 

I have throughout my life encountered people who would discourage me from harshly regulating my carnal appetites, but I have ignored their carnal counsel understanding that some things look like liberty but the end is bondage. There are spiritual things that look very restricting to carnal people, but they bring great freedom. Don’t let the carnal counsel of the world cause you to lose your crown waiting in heaven.

 

Yeshua the Savior has always told us the truth. He is love and He is what love looks like. We don’t have to wonder what it means to love; we can just look at the testimony of Christ and His teachings and be in the know. Our heart may utter things just as the disciples did, “Yeshua, that is too harsh,” “Yeshua, that is offensive,” “Yeshua, who then can be saved.” We just have to humble ourselves for the rebuke that comes when we are out of line with the spirit. When Yeshua informed the disciples that he had to suffer great things and be put to death, Peter told Him that He was speaking non-sense. Yeshua rebuked the spirit speaking through Peter saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Yeshua went on to tell the disciples that if they were going to be in unity with Him, then they would have to take up there cross as well, and so it is with us. People will try and talk you out of it, you will try and talk yourself out of it, but there is no way around it if you want to keep your crown.

 

This is a long post but it is important. I have one more scripture I wanted to share.

Ephesians 5:1-7 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

“Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].  And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a [slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.  But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity [[of lustful, rich, wasteful living] or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God’s consecrated people).  Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].  For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life, or one who is covetous [who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain]—for he [in effect] is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience.  So do not associate or be sharers with them.”

Love is about what you need and what is best for you, not what pacifies you. Speaking the truth will bring conflict because there is so much falsehood in the world, but it is the way of salvation. It is better to walk in truth and be alienated from the world, than to compromise for carnal affection and be alienated from the true love and liberty in Christ and lose your crown. Don’t be lukewarm, be on fire for GOD and plan out your salvation in fear and trembling. The one with whom we have to do is very tolerant but with judgment. Read revelations chapter 2 and 3 for a sobering perspective of Love.

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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/)

The Cost of Living

busted (2)

It takes the same energy to run to life as it does to run from death. I say this because I have often heard people say, “It doesn’t take all of that,” in regards to living spiritually. On the other hand, I have seen the results of living carnally: baby mama drama, divorce, stress, poor health, financial duress, being bound to destructive cycles, and I have had the same thought…jeeez, it doesn’t take all of that! It is better to run to life without the stress of death snapping at your heels. The majority of people don’t develop a zeal for life until the reality of death cast a cloud on their horizon. Hardship is just a part of our sojourn here on earth. It can be hardships experienced in climbing against earth’s gravity toward new horizons or it can be hardships experienced in giving in to earth’s gravity and tumbling towards darkness. Living spiritually is the climb, while living carnally is the fall. Either way, it will involve some struggle and hardship. The rewards of climbing are eternal while the rewards giving in to the downward pull are temporal. In climbing, living spiritually, there is the tendency to lift others up as well. In falling, living carnally, there is the tendency to pull others down as well.

Thing is, the cost of living spiritually is a lot less than the cost of living carnally when you look at the total cost in the end. Carnal living is like the deception of a deferred payment plan where the high interest starts immediately on what you owe. When the bill arrives later, the debt is more than you can pay, then more debt is created by an act to cover the debt at hand and eventually every thing becomes due with no more extensions. Spiritual living is about paying the cost up front, as more of an investment in your life, with dividends that start showing up before you expect it and a great return in the end.

Through the light of Yeshua, I am sharing some principles of life that I hope will motivate you either to begin or to continue a struggle towards Life. The beauty of the journey to life is that Life actually loves you. Life calls to us through the person of Yeshua the Messiah who himself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Yeshua has shortened the distance we need to travel because He ascended from Heaven to earth and brought Life within our reach. The distance we have remaining is the short distance to our knees where we surrender our efforts to sustain our own lives to the one who created life in the first place. Christ pays our debts and invites us to get rid of our struggles through exchanging our death for His life. That is a deal no one should pass up!

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.

Freedom without Liberty

I have found often what the world promotes as freedom tends to bondage. For instance, most people consider freedom the ability of an individual to do whatever he or she wants. If you take a closer look at that you will find that it is very limiting. An individual can only experience or realize what they know of or what they are aware of. That’s like someone giving you a pair of roller skates and telling you that you are free to explore the world. Another example is like giving you an airplane and telling you to go see the world with no manual or pilot training. Your freedom does not extend beyond your knowledge because you cannot enter, fully experience or partake of that which you are ignorant of and don’t understand. In order to become free you have to be educated and empowered. Our Heavenly Father has given us examples to consider for coming to a true understanding of life and the universe He has created. Consider raising a child. When are children able to be free by the world’s definition?…Not at birth, a new-born would die on its own…Not as a toddler nor for that matter as an adolescent. In fact if we equate freedom with independence then we are never really free because we are all dependent on each other. Only God is self-existent! Let that marinate. We are not even free to know what freedom is until we are taught. The devil, the great deceiver, is still up to his tricks.

The wicked forces of this world have deceived people into believing that they are free by empowering them to indulge the appetites of their flesh without restraint. Freedom is sold as having all the food you want, all the sex you want, all the libations you want, all the material things you can gather and so on. This does not lead to freedom; it leads to addiction which is essentially bondage. I know I am throwing lint on some lollipops but many of us have been suckers for too long. How free is the obese person to enjoy an active life style? How free is the sex addict to enjoy the benefits of a committed relationship? How free is the drug addict to enjoy a stable life? How free is the materialistic person to enjoy lasting contentment? In fact, the easiest person to control is the one given to their appetites? This definition of freedom is extremely visible in the mind-set of American citizens. Many Americans I encounter consider even the practice of healthy restraint an infraction of their freedom. Try talking to a smoker about quitting or smoke free public environments. Trying talking to an overweight person about their food selections or portion control. Try talking to a gay rights advocate about the sustainability of the human race. Every individual has to exercise some restraint or freedom deteriorates collectively as well as individually.

Everyone with a valid driver’s license can seem to understand the importance of traffic laws like speed limits, stop signs, yield signs, and traffic signals. All traffic laws are intended to keep us safe on the roads. What if when driving, in the name of freedom and individual rights, we all decided to disregard traffic laws along with every other person on the road and just did our own thing.  It would be catastrophic. It is easy to see the relationship between how we drive on the roads and its impact on others on the roads but it takes a little more consideration to understand the impact of how we live our lives in relation to others in our community and the world around us. You don’t live your life based on traffic law but you do live your life based on moral law that is unless you are an immoral person. We exercise restraint on ourselves through our own morality and values. Restraint is exercised on the general public through law enforcement. Any mature adult can see the importance of laws. The problem occurs when laws conflict with our appetites and desires. Who is qualified to tell us what we can and cannot have or what we need and do not need or what we can and cannot do? Governments all over the world have proven themselves to be unqualified to handle this task, including the USA. In America we have a history of employing the policy of ignorance for control and restricting empowerment to certain races and classes of people. As I said earlier, for freedom to be realized it has to be combined with education and empowerment. The governments of this world can support our freedom but they cannot secure our freedom.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

This is a reference to Lucifer and his hordes.

Ephesians 4:8 says, “Therefore He says: When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”

John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

John 8:31-32 says, “And Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Jesus has won our freedom by triumphing over the powers of spiritual wickedness. As I stated earlier, your freedom only extends as far as your knowledge, so Satan’s plan was to keep us in darkness, ignorant of the truth but Jesus came as a bright shining light and exposed the devil as well as opened our eyes to the truths that make us free. The life of Jesus is an example to follow.

1 Peter 4:1-3 says, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”

The only way we truly become free as a people or nation is by submitting our will to the Lord. I know this is counter-intuitive but it is written in Luke 9:23-25;

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”

The Lord is the only one qualified to govern our lives because He alone created our lives. I am not advocating an anti-government mentality. I am advocating that we do all we can to ensure first that our individual morality and values reflect those of the Lord and secondly that our governing bodies reflect the same. It is only then that every person will be in a position to experience true freedom.

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.