Learning to Bask In the Light

basking in light

In my office I have a Christian sister that shared a testimony with me recently. She had been praying that GOD would bring healing to a lot of people she knows. The answer to her prayer came in the form of a river of knowledge dealing with how to get healthy. She was exposed to a lot of knowledge dealing with good nutrition, natural supplements, and other cures for a host of ailments, from diabetes to cancer and has been sharing this information with those she feels compelled too. The information wasn’t mystical, just good information shared from sources like YouTube and websites.

From her testimony and my own experience, I have come to see a pattern in how Yahweh often chooses to answer prayers. It is line with Hosea chapter 4 where it is written, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Often when people pray, they are looking for a full manifestation of what they requested. Our Heavenly Father, as a good parent, takes advantage of every opportunity to help us reach fulfillment. So often when we pray, He gives us the knowledge and power to acquire what is needed. The process of acquisition will in some way stretch us beyond our comfort zones and challenge us to grow in our knowledge of ourselves and the Father. The journey is equally as important as the destination. The journey is what prepares us to get the most out of the destination.

Don’t forsake or resent knowledge when it comes and nudges you from your comfort zone. It is often answered prayer coming to provide passage to your blessing. Salvation for the world came as the Word manifest in the flesh. I have come to understand that true maturity is living your knowledge. The scripture tells us not to be merely hearers of the Word but doers also. In the season that knowledge comes to you, have the faith that your Heavenly Father has given you the power to perform it as well. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 2:12-14:

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

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Good Things Promised

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 Psalm 84:11

“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.”

Yahweh wants to teach us to walk uprightly so that we can enjoy and not stumble over all the good things He has created for us to enjoy. Walking upright refers to doing things in order and correctly. Being upright puts us in the correct posture to handle the gifts of GOD. We have to remain hopeful and patient through the process of being made upright. When we submit to Yahweh’s order, we are assured that we will have things for enjoyment and fulfillment and they won’t have us. We live in a society where the appetite for things is made stronger and then exploited for profit. There is a constant influx of stimulants for appetites and very little esteem toward patience, moderation, and discipline.  As a result, lives are out of order and perverted. People don’t possess material things, material things possess people. People don’t consume food, food consumes people. People don’t have sex, sex has people. The understanding of needs and wants has also suffered distortion.

 

Yeshua taught that they that seek their life will lose it and they that lose their life will find it. Many people have lost their lives in pursuit of things that are accompaniments to life, when they should have been pursuing the giver of life.  Through our relationship with our Heavenly Father, we gain the right perspective and order in which to enjoy things to their fullest, without bondage. Understanding and discipline is required before we can fully enjoy the blessings of this life. The WORD of GOD is the instruction and power to live life to the fullest. We can’t allow our appetites to convince us that the WORD, GOD’s instructions for living, isn’t crucial to getting the most out of life. It is like the disregard of the instructions that come with a new gadget due to the eagerness to start experiencing it. In the same way the teachings of the Creator are often thrown aside for the lust to experience the blessings of life

“No good thing will be withheld from those who walk uprightly.” You will not miss out on the good things in life by waiting on GOD’s timing. The reality of the scripture at the beginning of this writing needs to take root in the heart. The tone of this word from GOD speaks to the human nature. People generally live in fear and rejection, thinking that they will be overlooked or disregarded, so they strive for their piece of the pie. The Creator is saying here, “I will not with hold anything from you, just let me show you how to enjoy it in the right way.” If you happen to be a parent, then you know what the Father is up against in dealing with His children. Read the whole chapter of Ephesians 1 but it begins, “Be ye followers of Christ as DEAR children.” They were being admonished to not forsake the instructions in rebellion which leads to ruin. Hebrews 10:35-36, is such a sweet scripture to simmer in your heart, “Cast not away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that after you have done the will of GOD, you might receive the promise.”

 

The Gospel of Christ, the testimony of Yeshua, the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of GOD is meant to win our confidence, towards faith, patience, and endurance, that we might have life to the full.

The devil is still telling the same lie he told in the Garden of Eden, “GOD is with holding something from you, don’t follow his instruction.”

I leave you with an excerpt from Proverbs 8, but I encourage you to read the whole chapter. It is the wisdom and understand of the upright speaking in first person:

“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord; but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.”

To hate judgment, instruction, reproof, correction, wise counsel, advice of godly elders, the laws of GOD, the counsel of the bible, TRUTH, is the same as loving death. Embrace instruction and enjoy life in abundance.

 

 

Embracing the Path

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Jesus taught that we enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation, so the portal to the kingdom of God is suffering and hardship. Upon hearing this, the fleshly nature goes right into survival mode and starts searching for ways to disqualify the statement. However, someone with a great deal more knowledge, wisdom,…Hold on,correction…He that IS knowledge, wisdom, and understanding has designed it this way. If you have ever seen a butterfly struggle to get out of a cocoon, or a hatchling struggle from a shell, or a plant pushing through earth to reach the light, then you have a reference for what it takes for godliness to come out of the flesh. You have a reference for the birth process of the spiritual person you were created to be, getting delivered from the bondage of the rebellious, prideful, and selfish orientation of carnal life. To the human, there are times when God seems inhumane, but the scale of humanity is insufficient to begin to weigh the body of God’s work for the eternity of man.
You will never understand the things of the spirit as long as you hold life in the flesh more dear. Paths that require suffering in the flesh will always seem unreasonable to the carnal mind. In the journey of life, trusting God will require you to accept somethings beyond your reasoning, which makes perfect sense because man does not understand half of what God has created in the physical, so to approach the spiritual is going to take faith. After you learn to value spiritual things higher than physical things, like the Apostles Paul you will count all things but loss for the more excellent things of the spirit. We can become the enemy of salvation by disqualifying suffering as a path to deliverance.
Mark chapter 8:31-38
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
1 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.
To walk with Jesus, we have to crucify the flesh, which is to mortify carnal reasoning and to stand against the dominance of sensual compulsion. So the next time you or someone else is going through a rough place in life, stop and prayerfully consider it; maybe that rough place is putting a finish on you as sandpaper does, maybe that pressurized situation is correcting your form, maybe that fiery trial is purifying your heart, maybe you are in the hands of a great potter and you are being made into a masterpiece  and he is using all of these circumstances as his tools. Look for instruction, counsel, and truth in every circumstance in life and when they are to hard find, ask God to reveal his hand at work. I hope you are able to find peace in just knowing his hand is at work, whether you can see it or not, this again takes faith.

The Fear of The Lord

Proverbs 1:7 says,

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Psalm 110:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”

Proverbs 2:4-6 says,

 “If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

The fear of the Lord is the frame that holds the picture of God. You cannot begin to understand the first things of God until you have a frame of reference from which to approach His Gloriousness. Without the framing of the fear of the Lord you will lack the proper perspective to prioritize even the most miniscule things of God. It is easy for someone not understanding the fear of the Lord to forsake some detail of God as trivial not realizing it will tip the scale on the balance of their life. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says,

“The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

The fear of the Lord teaches you your place in respect to the one by which all things are sustained. The whole of creation is the product of His brilliance and all things have purpose according to His design. This is why it is of vital importance to understand the correct order of things, to avoid vanity, perversion, and destruction. The Lord Jesus explains in John 14:6,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

God is reality. Anything outside of God is mere deception and not real at all. To seek God is to seek life. When you are seeking God, you are seeking all things because He is the beginning and conclusion of all things that are real. When you have the right perspective from the fear of the Lord, you understand that the knowledge and wisdom of God is the key to enjoying creation to the fullest. Those unlearned in the fear of the Lord seek creation more than the creator and squander the intended blessings of creation. God made creation so good that even its misuse brings a small level of enjoyment. I say a small level because the shallow enjoyment experienced through unenlightened experimentation is nothing compared to the deep fulfillment experienced by those instructed in the fear of the Lord, who have humbled themselves to live according to the creators design. When true purpose is fulfilled the experience is optimized. The fulfillment of the soul is made possible by the enlightenment of the spirit. In order to save the world Jesus came to restore that light. The Book of John begins with a teaching on the fear of the Lord saying,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

The fear of the Lord is the first illumination. Once you begin to understand creation after the fear of the Lord, then instruction can begin. There is no randomness about creation. Everything fits together according to specific design and function. There is definite order and relationship in creation. Creation tells us many things about the Creator because creation is an expression of the Creator. Creation is even reflective of the Creator. One could no more dismiss the relationship between a piece of art and the mind of an artist than creation from the mind of the Creator. Unfortunately, people who don’t understand the fear of the Lord make this mistake every day. Though creation is specific, ordered, and intentional many unenlightened people speak of the Almighty God as if He is actually many different things to many different people instead of someone specific, with an order, and distinctive. The problem here is that people define God as they see fit instead of humbling themselves to accept God’s definition of himself. The hidden motive of the rebellious and prideful is to allow room to define themselves instead of humbling themselves to conform to God’s definition of them. This is at the root of why people use anamorphic names like “the man upstairs” and “my higher power” to refer to their deity. I say their deity because in actuality they aren’t referring to the Almighty at all. They are referring to the deity in their mind that they have concocted that fits their way of living. People may not actively seek out forgers of metal and carvers of wood to custom design their deities any longer but people very much still form images in their mind of a God they are comfortable with and make that imagined image their deity. You can easily have in the same room a Mormon, a Klu Klux Klan,  a Homosexual, a Jehovah Witnesses, a Seventh day Adventist, a Catholic Priest, and a transvestite who all confess that they know God and serve him. This conundrum is due to an overall lack in understanding the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord teaches that you must be completely willing to humbly conform to the one true and living God instead of defaming the character, nature, and image of God to fit the needs of any one person or group. This is what Jesus spoke of when he said, “If any man will follow me, let him take up his cross.” It is also what Jesus is referring to when he says, “They that seek their life will lose it, and he that loses his life will find it.” He is trying to instruct them in the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord teaches that God is life and that we should seek our existence in Him for outside of God there is only death. Anything that opposes God opposes life and should be considered evil. Proverbs 8:13 says,

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”

Pride and arrogance should be hated because those characteristics support and strengthen self reliance instead of reliance on God.

Many people object to the view that we should fear a loving God and say that the bible is only referring to a reverential fear and not a since of terror. Rejecting the concept that we should actually fear God based on the idea that the word fear in the phrase the fear of the Lord was mistranslated is evil in root. Evil because it refuses to surrender its humanistic ideas of God even though God himself says we should dread opposing Him and scripture strongly supports that there is virtue in actually fearing God. It is very true that God is a loving God but it is also true that God will recompense evil. God hates evil and regularly destroys it. The Almighty God is terrible and fearful and not one to be played with or provoked. The Apostle Paul says in Hebrew 10:31,

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

In Hebrews chapter 10 Paul is trying to make sure that we do not forsake the fear of the Lord in this dispensation of amazing grace after the sacrifice of Christ. Paul is warning us not to take God for granted as if God is going to remit the sins we commit willingly after we know better. Jesus taught in Matthew 10,

“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

This is New Testament teaching on the Fear of the Lord by God himself. Proverbs 16:6 says,

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”

Through the mercies of God truth is revealed. There is a lot of preparing of the heart that takes place by the hand of God before the truth is sown, much like a farmer prepares the earth for a crop he wants to harvest. The fear of the Lord restrains men from evil which keeps them alive while the truth takes root and the iniquity is purged. It is the fear of the Lord that makes man teachable. It is my hope that the teachings of this book would build upon your foundation of the fear of the Lord toward a deeper revelation of God and your life in Him.