A World Within a World II

THE SECRET PLACE
Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty
PART 44
A WORLD WITHIN A WORLD II

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For the things that I do – I do not approve of; and the things that I desire to do, I fail to do. Instead I end up doing the things I hate. For the good that I would like to do – I do not: but the evil which I am preaching against and trying to avoid – I do.” (Romans 7:14,15,19) We are a servant to whom we obey, whether of God or self.

We are continuing with the seven sins of Proverbs:

A Hand that Devises Wicked Schemes – When a person has committed murder, involuntary manslaughter is usually a lesser charge than premeditated murder. The definition of “premeditated” means the murderer planned and schemed well ahead of time before they committed the act. They predetermined to kill someone so a person (a hand) that devises (plans ahead of time) wicked (evil) schemes (predetermining) is a sin that God hates. King David was such a man and God used Nathan to point this evil out to David. David did repent, (Psalm 51) but the fact remains that David schemed ahead of time about how to get rid of Uriah so that he could marry Bathsheba who was already pregnant by David in an adulterous affair. Sadly, King David gives Uriah a message to give to his commander which turns out to be orders for his own death. David paid dearly for this, losing his son and his marriage along with more of his family that faced much turmoil, and eventually the death of his older son Absalom. This level of sin is not without consequences.

The hand that devises wicked schemes is not limited to murder but includes anyone that plans ahead of time to do evil. This would include burglarizing homes knowing when the occupant(s) leave, or a burglary after a store closes, sabotaging someone’s car with a bomb, waiting in a dark alley to rob someone, or stalking a woman in order to rape or kill her. Anyone that plans ahead of time to do harm or evil to someone is a person that God is personally opposed to and everyone someday will give an account for every evil deed they do in their lifetime (Mathew 12:36, Romans 2:6). Some may say, “well I have never robbed, killed or raped anyone” and that might be true, however Christians can still be guilty of this sin when they secretly devise ideas and imaginations to deceive others for the purpose of personal gain. This could include everything from cheating on our taxes to backstabbing a co-worker to make ourselves look good in front of our boss. What about befriending an older person or dating someone wealthy with the sole intention of getting their money? What about an automotive repair shop that lies about services completed that was never done or someone that manipulates (bribes, blackmails) others for evil purposes? There are thousands of examples of evil secret schemes but whatever the case we can agree that God knows all of them and will judge in this life and the next. Those who have not believed in Jesus Christ and trusted Him as their Lord and Savior will face the Great White Throne Judgment and give an account for all their lifetime deeds. (Revelation 20).

Feet that are Quick to Rush into Evil – This is a person that is always eager to take part in an evil deed with others or to make a quick decision to do something harmful to another person. If their feet are quick to run into evil, they are already predisposed and already have an open attitude to rob, murder, hurt, lie, humiliate, or cheat others. They do not even need to think about it. They instantly run to do something where they see an easy opportunity. It is as if they are excited and thrilled to take advantage of someone in a vulnerable position, like someone leaving their purse on a restaurant table or finding someone’s wallet on the floor and rushing to pick it up and quickly taking it for themselves. Have you ever known a person that had a “quick” mind and could think of insulting things to say to others for the purpose of embarrassing them just to get a laugh? We should guard our mind and our mouth even if we do have a “gift” of being able to think fast. Actually, I know several people that when in a large crowd, they do not hesitate to heckle or stab someone with rude embarrassing insults.

A person that doesn’t even have to think about doing something wrong is always quick to do it. They rush ahead, not even thinking of the consequences, so they are either not a Christian and are without conviction from the Holy Spirit about thinking twice about it – or a carnal Christian that has no self-discipline. Whatever the case, their only goal is to take advantage of someone else for personal gain. The human heart, without the Holy Spirit, is desperately wicked and thinks nothing of jumping at the chance to do something wrong (Jeremiah 17:9). A Christian has to battle their conscience because God’s Spirit is attempting to restrain their behavior by “convicting” them to think about the consequences. Jumping at the opportunity with the intent to do something we know is inherently wrong is SIN.

A False Witness Who Pours Out Lies – Once again, we go back to the root of all sin: Pride. A prideful person is quick to lie about others in order to make themselves look better. Accusing others falsely shifts the blame from something they did or something that they should have done onto someone else. I have seen this happen many times in the workplace and even among family members. Some will constantly blame others for their own lack of responsibility and when things go wrong, they are always quick to point the finger. It is a common phrase in today’s world to hear how someone threw another person “under the bus.” This means the real victim was blamed for something that they did not do in order for the lying person to look like the one who was really trying to do what was right. They fail to shoulder the blame for something that they should have done or actually did do in order to accuse an innocent person who is not present to defend themselves. Even if no one was at fault, we should not look for someone to be the sacrificial lamb. This type of behavior is extremely harmful for the morale of any group and lowers the dignity of fellow human beings. As a Christian we should be strong and confident to speak the truth even if all fingers are pointing to us.

A false witness will lie in court, perhaps even at the risk of perjury, just to get out of a crime that they committed, or to steer away from the truth for some other reason while assessing the blame on an innocent party. A person who “pours out lies” loses all credibility in time and eventually, people will tend to not believe anything they say. Lies catch up with a person because they have to speak other lies to cover up the first one and many times they become so entrapped by their many lies that they become like a fly ensnared in a web. Their web gets so tangled up with their fabricated stories that they often become confused and it ends up backfiring on them and exposing them for who they are. We sometimes excuse an individual with saying they “exaggerate” which is a more socially acceptable way of saying they do not tell the truth. It is crucial to remember that our word represents the type of person we are. If our word has no character or integrity – then our heart cannot be trusted or be at peace in fellowship with God.

A Person that sows discord among brethren – This last but not least sin is one that has divided many churches. GOSSIP is one way to stir up conflict and divide even the closest of friends and family. A person who stirs up this type of conflict is like someone that throws gas on a fire that God is trying to put out. This “gas” comes from an evil heart filled with pride because it usually ends up being over how one side believes they are correct. Instigators love to bring up old issues that might have been resolved but are drawn to stir up the issue over and over again. When these people whisper their secrets it spreads like coals of a flame and becomes hotter and hotter until it eventually erupts into a devastating forest fire. The person who is continually stirring up division usually believes they are doing a great service by “warning” everyone of the potential danger. In their mind they are fighting for what is right but most of the time actually it is a rebellious mental and spiritual sickness and possibly a demonic influence to spread the seeds of discord. Like an infection our back-stabbing words of darkness can produce fear, doubt, anger, and a world of destruction.

Paul had many problems with the churches in this area and a person who stirred up conflicts would have at least been excommunicated because they were dividing the church – the Body of Christ – and this is a serious sin to Jesus who is the Head of the church. Paul taught against spreading rumors in his letter to the Corinthians as he comments, “That there should be NO schism (division) in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (I Corinthians 12:25). It is all about having “genuine” respect for each other and truly loving each other as Christ commands for us to do as genuine Christians. The problem is that sometimes the church members become so carnal with bad attitudes like envy and jealousy, they cannot embrace each other in the Spirit of the Lord. Listen to Paul as he continues, “And when one member suffers, all the members suffer with them; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with them”. (Verse 26) You know as well as I do that it takes “walking” in the Holy Spirit to genuinely live at this level. Carnality does not care when other people suffer and jealousy is envious when someone is blessed. Our level of love measures who we are. Those who love to criticize and are first to spread rumors do not feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit because they do not have God’s Spirit of LOVE. When there is division in the church as there was in the Corinthian church, the cause of Christ and His witness is hurt and God will most definitely discipline those who are responsible.

To what extent will He judge you might ask? There is a very interesting example of God’s discipline that happened in the ministry of Moses found in the book of numbers (Chapter 16) that pertains to those who sow discord among the brethren. The Lord had placed Moses and Aaron in charge of leading the children of Israel. They had endured many things together in their journey and were the anointed and called “pastors” and teachers of God’s law. There was a man named Korah that evidently was also a respected leader but he did not agree with how things were going. Korah gathered 250 other trusted men of renown and came before Moses and Aaron to complain and criticize. They said that Moses had lifted himself up above the people and had “assumed” too much authority. Moses responded by saying that God would make that decision and PROVE the next day whom He wanted to lead the people. They gathered the next day and the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron to “move away” as I am about to “consume” this entire congregation. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces and pleaded before God to spare the people. Moses told the people to move away from Korah and all those who side with him. The ground opened up and swallowed Korah and those who agreed with him including their tents and all their belongings, and then fire came out from the Lord and destroyed the 250 men of renown. The next day the people began to murmur again and accuse Moses and Aaron of having many good people of God killed. Again the presence of the Lord covered the tabernacle as a cloud and His Glory appeared and again He spoke to Moses to move away from the people as He was about to destroy all of them. And again Moses and Aaron fell on their faces to stand in the gap for the people. They took fire from the alter and burned incense and began to make atonement for the people. God instantly began to release His wrath in a deadly plague and before Moses and Aaron could come between the dead and the living, 14,700 people died. God in His great mercy stopped the plague when the atonement was made for their sin of rebellion.

Arrogance is at the heart of rebellion and is opposite of the reverential fear of God. We should have a fear of God’s anger for coming against God’s people. If we believe the leadership of God is not discerning correctly we should be quiet to others and instead make our concerns known to the Lord in private. It takes just as much energy to pray for others to see God’s truth, than it does to call over town and rail against their decisions. Satan encourages church people to confide in others and voice their opinions (disguised as worries). These judgments always appear innocent but are blatant disagreements that reveal just how highly we think of ourselves. The more pride we gather within our heart – the less respect we have for what others are doing and leads to our disregard for what God desires. To oppose something that is genuinely evil is one thing – but many times our rebellion falls under the category of doing great damage within God’s agenda. Jesus is the Head of His Kingdom and He will not allow the leaven of sin to permeate through His body and infect His people without consequences. Genuine holiness, humility and sanctification cannot co-exist with haughtiness or the spirit of riot and mutiny.

As we close this two part series about the seven deadly sins and the serious danger of becoming unintentionally entangled in their deception, I would like to share just a moment about some things I am experiencing. Lately I have been writing privately about the struggles of trying to raise the bar of Christian living. I say privately because even though I have been releasing a strong line of articles about sanctification, I have also been writing a booklet titled, “The Possible You”. It includes the joy of realizing that we can become the fulfillment of God’s “perfect will” along with the sobering reality of the war we will encounter if we so choose this direction. What I have been struggling with and I am sure you have also, is the unbelievable resistance of our mind to “change”. It seems the more I am determined to do what I need to do, the more I find myself not doing it – just like Romans seven explains. Dear Lord, please help us to be strong and at the same time completely reliant on you. We desperately need you. In Jesus Name, amen.

A World Within a World I

THE SECRET PLACE
Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty
PART 43
A WORLD WITHIN A WORLD I

“Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Corinthians 7:1) Lord, convict us to be holy – from the inside out. Amen.
Is God saying to sell everything we have and go sit on a mountain top and wait for His return? Is He saying to become an isolationist and close all communication between us and the world? Well, of course I believe every child of God needs to know exactly what God is telling them to do, but the point is that we must live at the feet of Jesus while functioning in the natural realm. As we abide in this world within a world, we can remain pure and allow holiness to influence our thinking as the discernment of our convictions, but we must not allow our heart to become calloused and numb to the sights and sounds of compassion. The world of today is becoming the introductory class for tomorrow’s eternity of darkness, but we are not of this world – we are citizens of heaven. We were born of flesh but have now become reborn in the Spirit of God. The shelter of His presence is our home and author of our salvation. “The Name of the Lord is a strong and mighty tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) He is refuge for our soul and the “green pastures” of our thoughts. If we are restless in our mind, discouraged and heavy in our conscience – He is not the one that has moved away. Somewhere in the everyday distractions of life we have drifted away and sin has brought its deception and depression into our life. When we become lukewarm, our new spirit cries out to restore fellowship with Father but in our rebellion and pride we fight against it and will continue falling away until we make the decision to stop. Selah.
Everyone sins and there has never been a human who has never sinned, with the exception of Jesus Christ. All sins are an offense to God Almighty Who is Holy, but some sins are specifically mentioned as an abomination to God. Allow me to say here that the key to being filled with joy is staying on our knees in repentance. The cleaner we are the happier we are! When we are dirty, we are miserable and difficult to be around. Our mind tells our heart that we can “carry” our load of sins and that we really do not actually have that many. The truth is that sin piles up and becomes heavy if not dealt with. One way to know we have fallen away is to measure how passionate we are to pray and worship God! If we go to church and stand there and look out the window – something is wrong. Either God is not there or we have turned our attention away from Him. Many times we create a distance between us and Jesus and this “barrier” prevents us from being like a little innocent child that wants to run into their Fathers arms. Another indicator is how diligent our prayer life is. If we do not have a burning passion for the lost or for the needs of others – something is wrong. There is a strong chance that focusing on our own problems and needs has become a higher priority than anything or anyone else. With selfishness taking charge of our energy and “king carnality” sitting on the throne of our heart, our flesh has now become the master and lord of our life.

I want us to agree on something and like I was saying a few weeks ago, I realize that most people do not want to face the reality of who they really are or what they do. The truth is that humans are depraved. If we were not so bad – Jesus would not have needed to be tortured and killed for us to be redeemed. All people are born in sin and most live their entire lives filled with darkness. Jesus is the only deliverer that can rescue someone from sin and forgive them, however, that does not necessarily mean they will not have a problem with sin or temptation. Christians can not only be sinners but can be alarmingly “infected” with “problems”. How long can they continue in this state? Only God knows, but I want us to look closely at the seven deadly sins of Proverbs to see if we are guilty of committing these crimes against the Lord and to know we can lay them on the alter to be consumed with God’s forgiveness. We can be set free from the agony of a double life.

“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.“ Proverbs 6:16-19)

The number seven is special to God. It took seven days to create the world. A week has seven days in it and God rested on the seventh day. In ancient Israel, they were to rest on the Sabbath and the seventh day was a commanded day of reflection and assembly to worship God and was the fourth commandment given. The root word for the number seven in Hebrew means “to be full” or “to be complete.” Being full and complete, means that nothing could be added to it or taken away from it. It is a number of completion and perfection. So if anyone has these particular seven sins, they are in a sense, in a complete state of sin as far as God is concerned. To not have an interest in this topic, or to be ready to close this page, is a sure sign that we are avoiding the truth and actually do have a problem with these trespasses. What are these seven deadly sins that Solomon warned us about in the Book of Proverbs? Let us look closer with the honest eyes of our heart.

Haughty Eyes (Pride) People who have haughty eyes look down on others and they are full of the first sin ever recorded. Before mankind was even created, pride was the cause of Lucifer’s fall whose name was later changed to Satan or the Devil as recorded in Ezekiel 28:17: “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth.” Lucifer meant “light-bearer” because he was the most beautiful of all the angels God created, but in deception he became prideful and believed he was worthy to overtake the throne of God. He was cast down and became known as Satan, which in Hebrew means adversary and the accuser. The Devil’s name literally means “slanderer” in Greek. Today, Satan in Revelation 12:10, is said to accuse the brethren (the church) before the throne of God day and night.

Haughty eyes are filled with arrogance and are actually at the root of all sin. That is why it is listed first because pride is first and foremost inherent in all sin. Haughty eyes look condescendingly on people. They perceive others as inferior in a pompous way and see themselves as superior to everyone else. This is why God hates it. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”. This is exactly what happened to Satan and what still happens to humans who boast, brag, and are arrogant. Pride and evil are tied together in God’s mind as it is written, “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate” (Proverbs 8:13). The Lord actually considers the proud as the enemy and is absolutely against them. It is very difficult to minister or reach out to the arrogant because they are so strongly deceived. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

A Lying Tongue – God detests a lying tongue and in fact, all liars are destined to be cast into the lake of fire in the Second Death (Rev. 21:8). This is the final place for the Devil and all his fallen angels (demons). This place is an eternal torment filled with regret and the agony of hopelessness. Again, we go back to the first and foremost detestable thing that God hates as pride is the root cause of all sin, and when we lie, we want to make ourselves look good, and everyone else lower than us. It is deceiving to make excuses for our not doing the right thing and we often accuse others of something that they did not do – all in order to make us look better. We believe we are deceiving others but we do NOT deceive God who searches the heart and knows our evil intent (1 Kings 8:39, 1 Chronicles 28:9).

We think that little “white lies” are harmless, but a lie is a lie! It’s like someone saying that they are a little pregnant or a little dead. They are either lying or not. Lying hurts the person who is telling the lie but it also hurts others as Proverbs 25:18 says, “Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.” That doesn’t sound harmless at all. James recognizes the destructive force of the tongue, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” He continues, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be”. (James 3:5-10)

Hands that Shed Innocent Blood – One great example was the blood that was shed of Jesus Christ. The spotless, sinless, perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was slain by guilty hands. He was completely innocent but those who shed His blood were completely guilty and sinful. To me, abortion is the shedding of innocent blood. A child is inside the womb of a woman and defenseless – completely innocent, yet 42 million abortions are performed every year in this world and 1.37 million per year in the U.S. This is nothing short of genocide since God knew us before we were born and knew us by name in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5-10). Today shedding innocent blood can involve burglaries gone bad, murders, inducing others to buy and get hooked on drugs, influencing others to drink (and then to drive), drunk drivers killing innocent victims, spousal and child abuse, and the list goes on. Jesus said that we even commit murder in our heart even if we hate someone (Mathew 5:21-26). No human is innocent before God but by Him saying that He abhors those who shed innocent blood, He means that criminals and everyday people have killed those who did not deserve to die. God alone is the author and giver of life and only He has the right to take a life. Here again, pride is a root cause of murder. Anger and rage involve someone else doing something we don’t like or to steal from others who have something we want. James equates murder’s motives quite well in saying, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). We may say that we are not guilty of shedding innocent blood, but we must realize that if we support the legal system to enforce laws that enables others to sin, are we not participating? How can we approve the freedom and rights of others to sin and yet preach against the horrors of offending God? Let us not be double-minded concerning the will of God. Selah.

THE WALK OF TRUSTING GOD

THE WALK
PART 43

THE WALK OF TRUSTING GOD

As much as we would love to include in our world view that faith is a magic lamp that contains a Genie who waits to grant our wishes – our maturity brings us back to the wisdom of obedience, patience and spiritual responsibility. It is crucial in our theological understanding of practicing our faith here on earth, to face the holy truth that we are to live in a “heavenly” enviroment. This “heaven on earth”, divine reality is based on eternal principals and spiritual laws that are set into perfect motion and cannot change. There are no limitations to God’s power but there are spiritual reasons why many dreams and missions are not manifested. God’s character and nature is Divine order and He has given specific instructions on how we can receive answers to our request. They are based on the “conditions” of following His Word and believing in what we cannot see with our eyes. It is easy to learn about God’s Word and yet live exactly how we desire. This is called “religion” because it is based on knowledge without the personal abandonment of the will. Many who confess they are a Christian, will never know what it means to trust Him. Selah.

Our Father’s instructions are laced with the constant reminder that we are not to lean on our own understanding but strictly submit and abide to His way of thinking. It is NOT our creation, we did NOT redeem ourselves, plan our destiny or anyone elses for that matter. The world is NOT our vision and neither were we consulted on all the reasons why or why not. However, I do personally believe that we as “agents of change” can grasp the basics of God’s wisdom about faith in our lifetime and will be rewarded for the investment we have spent trying to comprehend His will and OBEY His voice. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9) Many times, teachers will stop at this verse as they try to use this passage to prove that we cannot know the deep, hidden secrets and mysteries of God’s revelations. Let us go on, “But God HAS revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches ALL THINGS, yea, the DEEP things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that WE MIGHT KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST”. (I Corinthians 2: 9-16) I believe Father wants to open our spiritual eyes so that we can know His wisdom and comprehend His prophecies and mysteries. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him who knocks it shall be opened”. (Mathew 7:7-8)

Whenever faith is being discussed many of us are reminded that we have been waiting on miracles for years and have not received them. With positive confessions along with our visions and dreams, it is not that God or His Word is being a “teaser” but rather as He is Omniscient, He shines His Holy light into our souls and knows the motives of our heart. Based on our faith levels of understanding and His perfect timing which is directly related to His foreknowledge, He responds when the time is right – His time. Most of the time we are trying to see through a “glass darkly” and all we can see is our one puzzle piece, but we must remember – He is looking at the other 999 pieces. This explains why and how He can cause “all things” to work together for the good. Father is in the miracle buisness (His super-natural power has never faded away) but this usually does not include us trying to come up with new plans or ideas to help Him. He does not need us trying to think of new ways to help Him – He is perfectly capable of planning everything out on His own. In fact, our Christian life has nothing to do with how “busy” we are performing labor that seems right or that sounds good to us – it is simply LISTENING and TRUSTING Him in the things HE HAS “TOLD” US TO DO! Walking in the Spirit is all about the sheep hearing His voice and them “following” Him – not the sheep running around doing everything they can think of, then asking Him to bless their endeavers. He would be delighted if we would just stop all that we are doing and just focus on His voice. Selah.

As toddlers do not drive vehicles or fight in combat, Father evaluates the faith of His children in the valley of patience as well as our intentions in order to monitor the entire spectrum of everyday life. I do believe the Lord has high expectations for each person and is ready to assist them in any way for their success but there must be an investment of time to become prepared for the responsibilities that come with higher levels of thinking and stronger spiritual authority. When we refer to success, we must realize that we are being used for His success – not that we are using Him for our success. Selah. Furthermore, there is a principal truth that being in “position” to receive has everything to do with the final result. We live in a “drive through” culture of instant gratification but in the spirit realm we must follow the divine order of building line upon line, precept upon precept. Natural growth is a type and shadow of spiritual growth and this type of maturity is not based on age but rather the “understanding” of holy revelation knowledge. In all spiritual truth there are layers of discernment and we must have a desire for deeper enlightenment and a determination to sacrifice our flesh in order to obtain it. If we really want to be more sensitive to His Spirit then we must agree to the lifestyle of disciplining our flesh, to even begin learning from Him. If our wisdom does not come directly from Him, we will never learn the absolute truth. If we do not listen to His voice only we will always have just enough bits and pieces of knowledge to build a “homemade” patchwork of interpretation. If we do not have a burning passion for His Holy revelation we will not receive His divine illumination that will enable us to detect error or open doors of opportunity. Instruction that comes from another teacher is very helpful to inspire us and plant seeds of God’s Word in our heart, but we are to take our studies into a personal, indepth research so that we can receive Fathers confirmation. We must know why we believe or we will not be divinely “informed” about how to trust God’s Word in this last hour of “glittering gold” fraud.

Large structures take much preliminary work in order to prepare and make sure the foundation is worthy to hold the building. Our life is the structure and the time spent learning about wisdom, trust, obedience and character must be resting on the solid bed-rock of God’s Word because these absolute truths are the strength of our life. It takes more than a general belief system to become an effective minister for the Kingdom of light because the intensity of the enemy is increasing. The demons and Satan himself believe that God is the Almighty God and they fear and tremble in His presence, so we must realize that just believing in biblical “facts” does not automatically make us who we should be. The most wicked people in the world know about God and would agree that He is who He says He is, but this “aknowledgement” does not necessarily take anyone to a higher spiritual plateau or is it credited to a person as righteousness. Trusting the Father is more than believing – it is knowing Him personally as Lord.

Is faith a principal that can be used by anyone to unlock the doors of power? I am persuaded that anyone who is mentally stable can learn the secrets associated with higher thinking. To produce a vision from the invisible world all the way to a literal reality is a mystery because the kingdom of darkness has worked very hard to keep it that way. It is kept by God and He does not to withold the power of truth from His children but rather keeps it for them until they develop the desire and maturity to receive. There is a difference between spiritual faith and the natural understanding of the power to make things happen. In Acts chapter eight, we find a sorcerer trying to “purchase” the super-natual power of God from Peter, but was rebuked for thinking such a thing could be controlled by humans. It is true that many seekers of the hidden secrets of super-natural power and energy have learned and used spiritual laws that will produce fruit. But the most pure hearted and effective avenue is the submission to God, the obedience of His Word and the development of a personal relationship with Him. “Perfect” faith is produced when a person is completely submitted to God’s perfect will. Selah. The Lord is not mocked or unaware of the motives and intentions of a human heart. No one is getting anything over on God. I believe there are different varieties of trust. Many people accomplish great acheivements with a vision, a burning desire, hard work and a huge amount of trust or faith in themselves. Let us say this particular group does not know God neither are they concerned with the spirit realm, so allow me to ask. Did God intervene with their life or was their life built completely on human ability? Well, the answer would have to be that obviously God allowed them to achieve an earthly increase as the gift of free-will, while being monitored in the process. Each situation is unique pertaining to the will and intentions of the plan of God. Many are accomplishing God’s plans and do not even realize they are actually a piece of the puzzle in someone else’s picture. For example, if a person accumulates great wealth, they may be filled with pride in their accomplishment, but God in His ability to know all things may see that in their death many charitable organizations will receive much help. So in this particular case the wealth was not just for one person but for thousands of people whose lives would be changed including future generations. Does God bless a person with material success without them being born- again? This has been proven over and over. We see wealthy powerful kings in the Old Testament, (Pharaoh for example) or in modern times, (Sadaam Hussein) that have been very wealthy but did not know God. The human brain is amazing and many people are very intelligent when it comes to creating wealth. It seems that some are even gifted with creating wealth and it is noticable with those who are called entreprenures, for them to invent ways of creating wealth. I believe it would have to be considered a blessing from God since He is ultimately in control. He is incorporating their ability to create wealth with the hope they will see His truth and give their heart to Him. However if they never abandon their will to Him all is not lost. He will still use their substance in His ultimate perfect plan to bless many others that were never directly involved with the situation. In some particular cases it would seem that a lost person that believes very strongly in the vision of wealth is producing a type of faith based on the principals of what faith is. Is this a different kind of faith than what is mentioned in the Bible? I believe that spiritual principals can be used by non-christians as a “power” to produce results the same way a gifted, annointed singer can use their spiritual gift by singing for the kingdom of darkness and becoming worldly wealthy. Is faith more than believing? Does man possess faith or is it a gift from heaven? If all faith is a spiritual gift then we may be judged according to how we used our faith. Selah. Evidently every person has faith or they would not be able to trust Jesus for salvation. Romans 12:3, say’s that God has dealt to EVERY man a measure of faith. It is a strong possibility that our judgment may hinge on whether we concentrated our trust toward the advancement of God’s kingdom – or our own selfish desires? Abusing our faith or mis-using this holy gift could be another example of USING God to accomplish our personal agenda of accomplishment. Does this mean that prayers of “faith” that do not line up with God’s sovereign “specific” plan for our individual life will not be honored? The final judgement may consist of a much closer examination than we presume.

LEARNING HOW TO WALK II

THE WALK
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
WALK not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:4)

PART 5

LEARNING HOW TO WALK II

THE WALK OF HONESTY: “But that (seed which fell) on the good ground are they, which in an HONEST and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15) Have you ever heard the saying that a man is only as good as his word? It does make sense that if we cannot trust someone to tell the truth that maybe there is an even deeper problem of deception lurking within their character. As Christians in today’s world where everything is analyzed under the microscope of “intelligent fact finding” it is crucial that we not only tell the truth – but that we WALK it! Our word is our “witness” because every eye is watching and every ear is listening! Our life is on constant display as a “mission” that is based on producing the good news of the gospel. Those who commit to living in honesty, realize their actions ARE their testimony and will give Christ a reliable “golden” vessel to work through. If we talk it but choose NOT to WALK it out, then we are living in hypocrisy and in danger of chastisement. If we just “act” out our knowledge in front of others but “secretly” disobey what we know is true, we have betrayed our own conscience and are living in deception. Those who choose to play religious “games” are actually a stumbling block to the ones who desperately need to see that Jesus is real. No one is standing in line waiting to watch a sanctimonious parade.

The Lord is not just talking about stealing supplies from work or exaggerating on tax returns, He is talking about hiding behind an outward “facade” that is not genuinely who we are. This fraudulent lifestyle is preventing us from maintaining our intimacy with God and could be exactly what is holding back the powerful anointing that Father is waiting to pour into us so that we can accomplish His mission. Wearing a mask is NOT being HONEST whether it is with our spouse, our parents, our children, our family, our job, our church or even ourselves and especially with God! It is miserable to live a double life and to always be on guard with what we say in fear of exposing our true identity. Now wait a minute brother, what people don’t know about my privacy won’t hurt them, besides I do not like being transparent. Well, it is one thing to keep your thoughts to your self but many people tend to share their feelings about others to everyone except the person they are talking about. If we want to be truly honest we can wait until God tells us to deliver a message to someone and not confide with anyone else. The best policy is to NOT criticize others in secret because we hate it when people do this to us. Honesty is closely connected to DISCIPLINE which is directly linked to SPIRITUAL MATURITY. Selah. We must embrace a plan of action that begins with repentance to God, then we can ask Him for a brand new mind to WALK in His truth and finally on to being genuine with others under the influence of God’s grace and wisdom. No wonder anxiety is a modern day plague – because the conscience is filled with strife. The normal church is filled with those who think they are Bible scholars and will fight over their legalistic creeds but are actually spiritually blind in their understanding of what it means to know God! Many in today’s religious society look good and sound good but are hurting, wounded, confused and lost. Sadly, most are so stubborn about their doctrines and so busy arguing like a court appointed attorney, they ignore the awareness of WALKING in God’s presence. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is WITHIN the cup and of the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like unto white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and sin.” (Mathew 23: 25-28) Be someone you would want to be friends with. Selah.

Premeditated sin is a severe type of dishonesty and causes a distance in our relationship with Father as He knows we are fraudulent, unfaithful, corrupt and two-faced. “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, I know Him and keeps not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.” (I John 2:3-4) When we make a mistake and slip-up in sin, it is still a serious offense toward God but if we repent and try not to do it again we can learn and continue the process of advancing in our sanctification. Sin is sin and all sin should make us sorrowful. Our new spirit and our new nature should grieve because we have turned against the One who died to set us free from sin. But when we intentionally sin, this means we take the time to plan it and meditate on it. We know all about it and are perfectly awake and aware of what we are doing. This type of sin is very serious and is in direct contrast to way we should be thinking and living. If we say we are sorry but commit the same sin over and over everyday, it would seem something is very wrong. Only the Lord knows how many times He will forgive but it appears the deciding factor would be the sincerity of our repentance and just how serious we are to STOP! The mercy of the Father endures forever but He is also not mocked. In John chapter 8, we see a young woman who was brought to Jesus. She is accused of committing adultery and in the Law of Moses this trespass was to a sin unto death. Jesus bends down and writes something in the dirt with his finger and makes the comment, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (Verse 7) Her accusers become convicted in their conscience, dropped their stones and walked away leaving only the woman and Jesus. He say’s in verse 10 and 11, “Woman, where are your accusers? Hath no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more.” He is not saying that we will all live perfect without ever making a mistake but if we are determined to live HONESTLY in our personal relationship with Him, it will include inviting Him to purge out our desires that are enmity against Him. Turning away from whatever we lust after is a 180 degree turn. The idea is that we are going full speed ahead in one direction and by the grace of God we turn around and go completely away from it in the opposite way!

We have been called to the highest responsibility in the universe – to be the mouth, hands and feet of Jesus which is a reflection of the Fathers image. If no one trusts us or believes that we are telling the truth then we do not have much left to offer anyone. Being rich, famous, educated or successful does not really say anything about how HONEST we are. Would you take advice from someone that does live what they say? Why not? Do you admire and respect those who blatantly live in sin? No, because we cannot trust DECEPTION. The lost world might be impressed with human achievements but God is more concerned about the spiritual “state of the heart”! “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us WALK honestly, as in the day; not in rioting (reveling, carousing) and drunkenness, not in chambering (rebellion against authority) and wantonness (morally unrestrained, debauchery), not in strife and envying. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:12-14) We have all seen what dishonesty looks like and it is always dark and hideous. I work for a large corporation and have seen things that would stagger the imagination. There are so many dirty deeds that are done “under the table” everyday that always make room for “exceptions” to the rules. Those that have traded their integrity for money, favor and authority are very dangerous and ruthless when it comes to playing social politics and can cause much damage because they do not care who it negatively affects. We as Christians are faced with having to function in a world where the majority is usually non-Christian and in this regard, operate without a conscience that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Without the presence of Jesus dwelling in the heart, there cannot be spiritual love, wisdom or the concern to live honestly. When carnal nature rules the conscience, there will be deception, dishonesty, backbiting, envy, strife, jealousy, hatred, and every other opposition to what is right, especially toward those who in the family of God. Birds of a feather flock together and the spirits of darkness and light do not agree on anything. What we need to remember is that we are not to battle in our flesh against our enemies but to work hard, do a good job, stay pure and take ALL our problems to Father in the secret place of prayer. Even when our trials are breaking our heart, making us angry and tempting us to be offended, we must stand firm in our faith that KNOWS God has a plan. Dishonesty is a branch on the liar tree and is always unfair, unjust, deceptive and hurtful. Our ACTIONS against this dark spirit is not what can make things right – but God through our REACTION will settle the issue His “perfect” way.

Honesty is one of our spiritual identifications! Let us be a peculiar people who are known for being reliable, trustworthy, credible, fair, wise, pure, respected, dependable, and who cannot be persuaded to compromise their integrity – no matter the pressure. “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is MISCHEIF and their right hand is full of BRIBES. But as for me, I will walk in mine INTEGRITY: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.” (Psalm 26:9-11) If we have lived a Godly life and gained the respect from those who know us, we will not need to push our opinions or chase people with our bibles. They will come to us for advice and direction because they TRUST us and believe we will be HONEST in God. We can work around the clock but unless our character is built on the complete surrender to Christ, our labor is in vain. Selah.