Archives

Liberation of Repentance, and the Presence of God

A lot of people look at repentance as a bad thing, and of course it is better not to have to repent, but because we are all fallen we need to be able to go to God and say, “Daddy, I know I was wrong, will you please forgive me?  Help me not to do it again.”  When Adam and Eve were in the Garden  and they sinned, they hid from the Presence of God.

Genesis 3:8 –  8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the [c]cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”  Now don’t go running around naked please.

But the wonderful thing now through the Precious Blood of Jesus, is that we can run to Him and say, “I know I was wrong, please forgive me.”  God is merciful and just to forgive.

One time I was at a prayer meeting and I had a heaviness because I felt guilty about something and I couldn’t experience the release of the Presence of God, but through the unction of the Holy Spirit led by the worship leader, who repented on behalf of the Church, there was a tremendous release from all the burdens.  It was coming again to the point of the Cross and saying, “Lord, I surrender, I surrender all my burdens, griefs, pains, and sorrows, down at your feet.  You take them away.”

In the Tabernacle example there is a model – there is the Outer Court, Inner Court, and the Holy of Holies.

When you are in the Outer court, which is the first part after the gate to the worship, you have the bronze altar.  Before that is that the gate and that’s where you enter.  You enter with praise and thanksgiving.  Then the second stage is the Cleansing or self examining at the bronze altar. I am not going to go in to the details of the tabernacle just yet, but maybe in the future post I will share.

When we sin, God doesn’t want us to run away from Him, but to run to Him, but somehow because we have been believing lies, the devil tries to  make us believe that God won’t accept us or love us if we do sin.  That doesn’t mean that we keep on sinning.

 

Romans 9:16 says – 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

That brings me to my second point –

1) Liberation in the Word of God

Even though there is liberation in repentance,  or turning your heart towards God, and away from the sin, there is even more liberation in knowing that the Word of God has all the answers for the troubles you are facing.  I once listened to a sermon called, “The only way out is the Word of God”, and the person said the Word of God brings in the Presence of God as well.  It is better to be obedient to God and not have to repent, because Romans 3:6 says that the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.  But in context it is talking about Christians who are earthly minded –

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

One thing that God hates the most is idolatry – putting something whether that be a molded image, like the hindus and buddhists use, or anything that keeps us from the presence of God, and the people that participate in idolatry, will be stored up for God’s wrath because in idolatry it leads to many sins.  God is a Jealous God because He wants us to love Him completely and not lift up anything before Him including ourselves.

Ephesians 5:1-13 says –

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved[a]you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God [b]as a fragrant aroma.

3 But immorality [c]or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among[d]saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no [e]immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 [f]trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even [g]expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are [h]exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

What is the opposite of empty words(words that are void of truth):  The Living Word, which is the Word of God, and He gives you the Grace to reveal the Word to you in that time of need.  That is if you set apart time to study and to pursue His presence or to dedicate your life to Him.  Lately I have been finding that I just open the Bible and God leads me to a verse that immediately applies to my situation and sometimes gives me a rebuke, or something I need to repent for, or gives me a sense of encouragement knowing that He has equipped me for whatever battle I need to face.  Part of the armor of God is the loin belt of Truth – without the loin belt of Truth you cannot have intimacy with God, because it protects your intimate organs from being attacked.  That is to be used in the Soldier analogy.  I think there is more teaching on the Armor of God on one of my posts.    I know some of us are busy with work and don’t have the time to really get in the Word of God so much, and I know I have said it does not need to be out of obligation, but God has a remarkable way of rescuing you with His Word, and sometimes it is as much as flipping a page and then find just what you need.  I was told once not to play Bible roulette, where you just open up the Bible, and the first verse that pops out at you, apply it to yourself.  But the amazing thing is that the Word of God has so much power because it can become a rhema or revelation and not just a letter or logos even if you just open the one page.  Discipline in studying the Bible is important characteristic trait to develop, not because of obligation but because of getting to know Jesus more and more.  So studying the Bible can bring revelation and that revelation can bring liberation.  After all isn’t life all about revelation knowledge of Jesus and who He is?  Whether you get it by youtube songs, or by a worship service, or by the Word of God- the whole point is to get to the presence of Jesus.

So what is the Presence of God –

The Holy Spirit can hover upon, rest upon, and reside within a believer.  When a believer is born again the Holy Spirit resides within the person.  When God created the Heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God hovered upon the waters – Gen. 1:2- The Spirit of God can rest upon a believer where the person can actually experience a sense of “abiding under the shadow of the Almighty” – that is the resting upon.  In Luke it says that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her.  When you are dwelling in the Presence of Almighty, that is when the Holy Spirit is resting upon you.

The key thing about Christianity is that it is not a religion filled with rituals that you must do this and you must do that.  It is about a journey full of mountains and valleys, and there are lessons to be learned, tests to take, and relationships to build with God and with other people.  Sometimes the devil comes in tries to beat you up and make you feel like you are condemned, but you don’t have to listen to it.  The more we feel condemned it means that God has not completed the restoration of our souls and He is waiting for you to come to Him.  He is reaching out to you to turn to Him, to change your mind against idolatry and disobedience, to take up your cross, or whatever is keeping you to fully worship and enjoy Him.  When we work, we can still keep Him in our thoughts – if we work in retail, we can think, “How can I be a light today?”, if we work for an electric company, we can focus on “the Light of this world”, if we work for an insurance company, we can focus on, “What is the best insurance policy?”; if we work with manufacturing, we can focus on “God created the heavens and the earth.”, if we work with computer programming, we can focus on, “God gave a marvelous code of instructions on how this world should work”, if we work with filing, we can focus on, “How wonderfully organized God is”, if we work in media we can thank God for how the media has been used to share the Gospel, etc.

Jesus said, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” so the more we focus on the Cross of Christ, the easier it will be for Jesus to lay down the burdens that so easily ensnare us and to break all the chains.

Here is a prayer for protection for inviting the presence of God into your life,

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for revealing to me more about Yourself everyday in the way You see fit.  Thank You for taking complete and total charge over my life and having the mercy upon me that despite the times I disobey in little things, you are always quick to forgive.  Thank you for being the loving arms that hold me and embrace me when times are hard or difficult.  Thank You for letting me know that You are always there for me.  Please remove from my life any area where I am displeasing to you, or anything that gets in the way of sharing our love together.  Thank You for the abundant mercy, grace, and love You have showered over my life.  Thank You for picking up the pieces.  Thank You for giving me the strength to get through anything.  You are precious to me, and I love you.

In Jesus Name I pray,

In the same Spirit, I pray for the people in America who have been devestated by tornadoes.  Please help the victims recover from their damages, and I repent on behalf of the nation for anything that they are doing to displease You LORD God, for You are holy and righteous, and you cannot tolerate sin, please show them Your mercy, and Your love so that they can see that You are not a God of anger, but a God of mercy and that You are willing to forgive America for anyway that it has missed the mark or caused an abomination or a lie.  You rule over the nations in the world and anyone that needs Your help right now, please protect them and put Your hedges of protection around them, and I apply the Blood of Jesus over this nation.  Let us all come back to the Cross of Surrender,

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

Advertisements

Fighting tools

I’ve been recently been thinking upon and chewing upon the verses and even claiming some of the verses and Scriptures that have to do with the Armor of God.  In Ephesians 6, it mentions the Armor of God,

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

This is one of the most profound passages of Scriptures found in the Bible.  While Paul was in prison, he got inspiration while looking at a Roman Soldier.  You can take some time and research some sermons about that.  But what I want to talk about actually is the connection between this passage and Psalm 91.

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
  And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

In vs. 2, the Bible talks about the refuge and fortress.  The refuge is a shelter and fortress and is a strongtower, and in God, not just God, but our own personal relationship we have with God, we are to trust. A snare can even mean a trap, and in some cases it means calamity.    In vs. 4 it talks about wings and feathers, and I’ve heard it mentioned that this refers to the Talit, or Prayer Shawl, that Jesus used when He was walking around and the woman just touched the hem of His garment.

Psalm 91 talks about those that dwell particularly in the Secret Place, under the shadow of the Almighty.  The Almighty is actually the name El Shaddai, for God.  God Almighty, means the many breasted, or One who provides nourishment to our souls.  This is the same God Almighty mentioned in Revelation 1:8-

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”says the Lord,“who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Imagine a mother Eagle, who protects her children under the shadow of her wings.  This is the same way God Almighty protects us under the shadow of His wings.  Under that shadow is safety.

The shield and buckler, is composed of two things – there is a shield of faith, which is actually the size of a door and then there’s the buckler, which is a smaller shield, and is used for victory, or for decoration.  This shield helps quench the fiery darts of the wicked one, but that takes take daily preparation and the renewing of your mind with the Word of God.  You have to know what the Word of God says to be able to use it because it is a great weapon.  Sometimes if you cannot pray anything at all, I would suggest memorizing and/or reading Psalm 91.

Ephesians 6 talks about the loin belt of truth and that is the Word of God.  Jesus is the Word and Truth.  As one preacher put it, He is the Word that came down and wrapped flesh around it.  That doesn’t mean that there was a Bible in heaven.  But there was a Person, who was the Word, and He is revealed through logos and rhema. He is your loin belt, so that mean He’s holding you up so you won’t fall.  He’s got His arms around your waist and the most intimate parts, because that is where you seek intimacy through the loin belt of truth.  It’s like He’s hugging you around your waist and He’s protecting you.

You must trust God, because He is trustworthy, to the extreme exponential power, and there are times where the enemy tries to put doubts in your head, like “Can God really be for real?”  or “I don’t understand what’s going on.”  That’s the best time to put your faith and trust in God.  When you have the Holy Spirit in you, He will lead you to trust God, but that also takes time with Him.  Sometimes it is just getting to know who this Person is living inside of you when you become born again, and you must be careful not to grieve Him.  One thing I have to say, that I have learned recently, is that the Holy Spirit is not about emotion, and is not defined by emotion.  You don’t have to have a feeling to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit.  He is still inside you and unless you blaspheme Him, then He will stay with you because He promised to never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6)

There are two ways primarily the enemy attacks us, it’s either physically, or in our thought life.  There’s financial as well, and if we sow and reap properly, and believe God for just what we need as our provider, then He is gracious enough to supply.  I can’t really comment on the financial aspect of it from my own experience, so I can’t go much into detail about that.  When it’s physically, if we have the proper thought life, through the daily renewing of the mind with the Word of God, and have the faith to believe God for healing and rejoice through the sufferings, then that fiery dart is quenched.

If that doesn’t work, then the enemy will try the mind.  He will start to put thoughts in your mind, which can be based on doubt, or fear, or unbelief, and then the enemy starts to see how you will be able to unravel, and how he can tear you to pieces.  So you have to be prepared with tools and the right armor.  I want to mention something first about praying in the Spirit.  We know that there is praying in tongues, and there is praying the Word of God.  When you want to fight effectively, it is better to use the Word of God because you know exactly what you are standing on and it builds faith, but when you want to develop intimacy, or intercede for others, then some people may prefer to pray in tongues because then you are building up what is on the inside and praying the will of the Father.   In both cases you are praying the will of the Father.   So when you are in this position and you don’t know what to do and you are struggling to find a way out of this battle, get to your secret place, and start looking through Scripture.  Psalm 91 is a good place to start, the whole Bible is full of them.

When you are under full attack, and you feel like you’re about to lose your helmet, your shoes, your belt, your shield, your loin belt, your sword, your breastplate, you can’t seem to pray, just go back to the Cross, and remember one thing about Jesus-

15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Heavenly Father I pray,

For all the people undergoing oppression right now, that they may experience release from that oppression in their bodies and over their minds, and I call to them a peace and a steadfast faith that helps them endure during these times.  Let them live on the promises of Psalm 91 and get to know the Holy Spirit more and more and get to a deeper more intimate walk with You Lord God.  Help us to protect and guard our minds with Your Word which is sent forth like a two-edged Sword, to defeat the enemy, and we know that the battle is already won, and that the victory is just around the corner.  Help them to know that there is no where they can go or nothing that they can think that can tear them from the love of God, that His love surpassess all understanding.  Help them to know the width, the breadth, the depth and the height of love so that they can adequately be obedient to Your Word, and not sin against You Lord God. Enhance our prayer lives, and Help us to see more and more of Your Presence Lord God.  Be with us as we walk everyday.  I thank You Lord God, for blessing Your people and making Yourself known among them.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray.

Amen.

 

 

God raises the dead and dry bones

Ezekiel 37 says:

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of theLord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”

Many of our lives are in grave conditions and they are so dead.  There are so many dead Christians walking around that are dead inside.  They think they are walking right with God, but on the inside there is something that that is missing.  What is missing is the power and Presence of the Holy Spirit operating in their lives.  They are just walking around with no life and they are caught up in the sins of this world.  When the enemy comes upon them, they don’t know how to fight because they are so caught up in themselves and their own lives.  They are caught up in their own burdens, but they don’t know what God’s burden is.  I was listening to some of the praise and worship songs, that I have selected on youtube, and I find that the ones that bring me into the presence are all about me, and today the Lord was speaking to me, that there is something wrong with this picture.  We know it’s all about Him, but how can we can realize the implication of that statement.  It takes the Holy Spirit.  It’s not just the Holy Spirit hovering upon you, but we have to abide in the Presence of God Almighty through the Holy Spirit.  That is what will get us to what is missing in our lives.  Sometimes we are so concerned with finances, jobs, getting fit, and other distractions, that we refuse to take time to pray and really seek God and His presence so that His presence is made among us.  I mean, this is the God who is more immense than the universe, and He wants to spend time with us.  So in this passage of Scripture, it says, that the Lord will bring the people of Israel out of their graves, and He will put His Spirit in them, and He will place them in their own land.  All throughout the Book of Ezekiel, you see the Lord emphasizing, “Then they will know that I am the Lord.”  All He wanted was for them to realize that He was the Lord.  We know that Jesus is Lord, and that was the same thing that He experienced when He came and He was in the town of Bethany, when He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.

Jesus speaks to Martha:

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)

And then again to Mary:

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

Then there is the miracle:

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.[d] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

Both times in Ezekiel and the Book of John, God was trying to in essence prove that He was God, but they were stubborn to believe.  God has actually been proven so many times in the Bible and even in the world today, but people refuse to belief.  They have to an act of faith and it is something that you cannot comprehend with the mind or with logic, but it is something beyond that.  It is something that the Spirit of God has to remind you.

Doubt is a very dangerous thing.  Skepticism is a very dangerous thing.  We don’t want to be like Thomas who saw then believed, but we want to be the ones like Abraham, when all things seemed impossible, He still be believed.  Jesus said that if we believed we would see the glory of God.  We like to get into the presence of God and then we follow the tabernacle example to get into the presence of God, but if we simply don’t believe, if we don’t act out in simple faith and trust God, then the Presence or glory of God, will not be upon our lives. The Bible has warnings for us in the last days, that says that many people will fall away.  Even in books like Ezekiel and Isaiah, they say that only a remnant, or a chosen few will be left, so few that a child can count them.  It is a warning for us all.  If I’m not preaching to anyone else, I’m preaching to myself, that we need to not let anything stop us from believing that Jesus is God, despite what our emotions say, or what our circumstances are.  We have to be led by the Holy Spirit, and we must seek Him, until we find Him because we don’t want to be cast away from the One who loves us beyond measure.  We have to endure to the end and overcome all the trials and tribulations, because if we don’t there is a threat lingering for us.  Sometimes we have become so casual with God, that we lose the awe and reverence of our King.  One of the things that God hates the most is pride.  It is pride and idolatry, so if we have anything in our hearts that is exalting ourselves or anyone else before God then we need to come to the place of surrendering that idol or that self-exaltation and laying it down before the feet of our King.

Heavenly Father,

We trust and know that You are our King, and that You are exalted above the throne and that no one else is like You Lord God.  Let Your Spirit be upon us and take us to that next level of Your holiness, and repentance, and a closer walk of faith and believe that You are the very one who can raise the very dead souls who are in the graves, and let them come forth like Lazarus did, and that You have put Your breath and Your Spirit in us and upon us.  Restore us to what we were created for and not to the bondage of curses that have been applied to our lives because of sin.  Help us to glorify You in all that we do and not to seek our own fame.  Help us to surrender our lives to You each and everyday, and help us to have the God kind of faith that pleases You.  Help us to strengthen the feeble knees and the hands that hang down, but help us to walk upright and boldly to conquer every obstacle in our way that keeps us from fulfulling Your plan and purpose of our lives.  Help us to be walking breathing living testimonies of Your living power in our lives.  Touch our lives right now Lord God, and let Your presence be known among us Lord God.  Please protect those that are going under persecution and the Body of Christ in these last days that we are in.  I apply this prayer with the precious blood of Jesus.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

Being used in the Kingdom of God

 

This sermon had a powerful punch to it.  It leaves me with somethings that need to be dealt with in my own life.  It talks about the protocol to enter into the presence of God, and how our own strength keeps God from being able to use us.  We are called to be priests and kings, and this video points out the prospects of being a priest for God, which is the duty of those that are believers.  It is about the process of sanctification.  I pray that this video will cause you to look at some areas in your own life that you might need to change, but as for me I will be sharing what I have learned sometime later, if God wills.

 

 

The Grasshopper Season

I don’t know how many of you guys have ever heard the story of the ant and the grasshopper, but here’s how it goes-well at least my adaption of it.  An ant was preparing for the winter floods in the summer by gathering food and preparing it’s home so that it wouldn’t get destroyed by the floods.  The grasshopper was lazy and did not prepare and kept procrastinating and saying, “It’ll be ok when the floods come.”  I think the ant might have even told him to prepare for the flood, but he just didn’t listen.  He just had better things to do than to prepare for the floods.  Then one day the floods came and it came and the grasshopper came knocking on the door of the ant’s home, but the ant only prepared enough for his family.  The floods came and destroyed the grasshopper.

Proverbs 30:25 says this about ants:

25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;

Proverbs 6:6 has this to say about ants:

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!

 

Then there is the parable of the foolish virgins and the wise virgins –

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming.

I’ve been also looking at these few verses and just trying to comprehend the depth of these statements:

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ [Matthew 7:21-23]

I’ve taken apart as many ways as I can and still all I can come up with is?  Do I really know the LORD?  Or better yet does the LORD know me?  We need to be sure of this.

When the Bible talks about ants and even in the story I gave in the beginning sheds light on certain seasons of testing that we have in our spiritual lives.  Some people go through a season of testing based on how much they prepared in the previous season they will reap when that harvest cycle comes into completion.  There are four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  Whatever is gathered together in the Spring is harvested in the Fall and whatever is gathered together in the Summer is harvested in the Winter.  Sometimes if we are not attacked physically, we can get attacked emotionally, or mentally, or financially, or even spiritually depending on how much time and effort we have sown into the kingdom during the harvest cycles.  The Bible says that we are to grow from glory to glory so that means that we are supposed to increase in growth, maturity, and fruit from season to season.  But when happens when God draws away from us, or it just seems to get harder to be in the Presence of God, or to gather anything from your daily Bible readings?  What then?  Are we just supposed to give up?  Are we supposed to spend all that time buying and listening to cd’s from other preachers,  when we cannot seem to have clarity of thought and seemed to be pulled apart in every direction?

Jesus talks about the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.  In that Parable He says that both the foolish and the wise were sleeping, but the wise virgins had oil in their lamp, and they actually told the foolish virgins to buy from someone else lest, they would run out of oil.  Oil is the anointing and the presence of the Holy Spirit.  He is encouraging people to pursue their own relationship with God, and not draw from other people, because in the end the other people will let them down in the end, but the ones who had been prepared and had done their work before hand in keeping their oil in their lamps fresh would get to meet the bridegroom when He comes.

So then you look at Matthew 7:21-23 – and that really hits you right between the eyes, and in the middle of the heart.  These people that had the “anointing”, they were doing things like prophesying, casting out demons, performing miracles, or they could have even been blogging, and preaching the gospel, but Jesus said that He will say, “I never knew you…depart from me you workers of iniquity (lawlessness)”  I guess I am just a Christian that tries to love by seeing the best in other people, but that statement was like, “Whoa God, What can I do so that you don’t cast me out?  What can I do so that you will accept me?”

That brings us to the will of the Father.  What is the will of the Father?  There is only two that I can think of:

John 6:40 – 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

And the other one- I don’t know where it says it, but the other one is to give thanks or to be appreciative or grateful of all that God has done.

Can these people who are going to be cast out of heaven be thankful, appreciative, see and believe in Him, and still be cast out of heaven?  The Bible says that anointing is without repentance, so how come anointed people are being rejected by God?  How is repentance achieved when we are supposed to be saved by grace, once and for all?

All these questions started entering my mind and in this season of testing, where the enemy knows you are weakest, he will try to attack you any way he can.  So if he can’t attack you physically, he will go after your mind and heart.  Which is why we need that time with the Holy Spirit, and to actually cultivate a relationship with Jesus.  These are the times when we  have to seek Him more.  In essence so that we know without a doubt who He is.  It is a time for us to know without a doubt who we are in Christ.  It is a time to change from victim mentality to victor mentality.  So if you know your season of testing is coming up it is wise to prepare and keep your oil lamp lit so that when that time comes you can be full equipped to engage in spiritual warfare, and at the same time draw closer to the LORD and to guard your hearts and mind.

Let us be like ants preparing bit by bit, line by line, precept by precept, preparing the way of the LORD, and leading people to repentance, without giving them a feeling of condemnation because that’s when they will know that they don’t have be grasshoppers in a grasshopper season, but they are like ants in a grasshopper season.

 

 

 

 

Fearing the presence of God

After writing the post yesterday about being the righteousness of God in Christ, I was settled in my heart and mind that I was where I needed to be in my relationship with God.  Then about 4:10 AM CST, I was woken up by thunder that was so loud and lightning that followed, that it felt that the heavens were opening up and I had a reminder of the power of His presence.  I was going to write about this fear of His presence, and I opened up my Bible to find the notes, and the first verse I opened up to was, “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You are holy.  For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been made manifested.”  Revelation 15:4

This word for fear in the Greek is phobeo, which we get the word, phobia from, but in this verse it means to revere, or to regard with awe.  But I think this meaning to revere and to regard with awe, actually cannot accurately describe the way that God should be feared.  He is so holy, and majestic, and powerful, that no one can stand in His presence.

When John had the vision of Jesus in Revelation in vs. 1:17, he could not stand in His presence. “And when I saw Him,” he says, “I fell at His feet as dead.  But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.”  This word afraid, is the same word phobeo, but with a different meaning, and it means to be “seized with alarm”.

God was and is so holy, that in Exodus, God told Moses, that the children of Israel could not see Him face to face because they would not be able to stand in His presence.

Exodus 19:10-13 examines this –

10 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.” 

Then the third day it happened (it was a three day journey to get from one side of Israel to the other, and when people went on a journey it always took three days) –

16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain[a] quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. 20 Then the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 
21 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the LORD, and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out against them.” 
23 But Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 
24 Then the LORD said to him, “Away! Get down and then come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest He break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.

When God was speaking the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 people were still afraid of God’s presence:

The People Afraid of God’s Presence (biblegateway NKJV)

18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” 
20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” 21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.

So even Moses was telling them not to be afraid.  The Presence of God is so holy, that the only way He could directly communicate and to have that relationship with the people was to send Jesus down and tear down that veil of separation between God and man that was stolen in the Garden of Eden.  Before Adam and Eve sinned, we can figure that the LORD God was in the habit of walking in the Garden with them in the cool of the day.  It’s very interesting that I just noticed, but in Genesis 2, it says that on the seventh day God rested and sanctified it and blessed it, and in the very next chapter Adam and Eve sinned.  You may ask, “Where was God when Adam and Eve sinned?”  This is just my opinion, but I think that God was resting when Adam and Eve sinned, but He was completely aware of what they were doing.  He was leaving them alone to test them.  So after they sinned, they hid from His Presence, and the LORD God, actually said, “Who told you, you were naked?”  That’s when the fear of God actually came into the picture.  Before that they were in communion with God, and all was good.

We know from the Bible that before the foundation of the world, that Jesus was already slain, in His Father’s heart, and that He had to humble Himself, as it says in Hebrews, so that He could be in the presence of men.  So how are we, as fellow men, supposed to fear the Lord, knowing that He is holy?  It is because Jesus shed His blood that we can enter into His Presence because He has torn the veil of separation.  Before that only the high priest could enter the temple once every year and that was on Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement.

So reflecting on my reaction to the thunder and the lightning it was very similar to the Israelites, but it was different in one regard, that I realized the power, awe, majesty of His Presence, but I was thankful that I still have a relationship with Him and that I know Him and that His blood makes it so that I don’t have to be afraid.  In Exodus when the Angel of Death passed by the homes, the Angel say the blood on the door posts of the homes and did not go and kill the people who had the blood on the door posts.  When we have the Blood of Jesus on our hearts, the LORD sees the blood, and remembers our sins no more.

If it seems that the message changed from beginning to the end it is because I know that even though God is holy and a God to be feared, because He loves me, I fear Him for His awesomeness, and I desire not to sin because who would ever want to be in a place of the wrath of a Holy God?