I can’t make you love me

THE SECRET PLACE
Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty
PART 24
I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOVE ME
“And Jesus went out from there and came unto His own country; and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath day was come, He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, where has this man learned these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto Him that such mighty works are done by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Judah and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were OFFENDED at Him.
But Jesus said unto them, a prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house. And He could do there NO MIGHTY WORK, except that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching.” (MARK 6:1-6)
I cannot take credit for the title of this article because it belongs to a songwriter named Bonnie Raitt. It is a powerfully emotional song about two people in a relationship where one feels the other is not as excited about the romance as they are. Do you believe sometimes feels this way about us? To Him nothing is impossible – however, when it comes to our free-will responding to His love, this is an area that He waits patiently for us to “see” the light of His passion and our desperate need to willingly RETURN our love back to Him. It is not difficult to notice the world does not really love God even though it may be hard to comprehend. There is much interest and devotion to religion but that is not the same thing. When I think about the wide spiritual chasm that separates man from God, I wonder just what it would take for humankind to receive the revelation of His love. God not only created every person and gave them the opportunity to enjoy living, He intentionally sent His Son Jesus to be crucified so that anyone who believes in Him could enjoy the blessing of eternal life. In addition, if creating the entire universe including heaven and earth were not enough to prove He is filled with love and forgiveness, how much more could He do? I personally believe that each person must be drawn by the Holy Spirit and their eyes must be supernaturally opened in order to see how spiritually naked they are. At the same time, humans have an independent decision making mentality and this self-sufficient attitude has the deceived (yet determined) ability to survive without His intervention. The Lord would be thrilled if everyone would embrace Him in a personal and intimate relationship but if He had to force them – it would not be satisfying. The beauty of a love affair is the MUTUAL feelings of devotion and infatuation. The bond of marriage is a sincere commitment with the deepest part of the heart which causes the two to become as one. Spiritual passion is “one sided” until we are introduced to Christ – and hopefully through the power of His grace we can know what it is to fall in love. Does our heart reveal that we truly long to spend eternity with Him?

That I May Know Him

THE SECRET PLACE
“He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)

PART 7

THAT I MAY KNOW HIM

I was reading some commentary from the late David Wilkerson the other day and feel led to share his words. I was thinking about this year’s spiritual direction, and our highest priority must be about drawing closer to Jesus. Many of us are walking with God but none of us can say that we cannot go further into His presence. We can be as close to God as we dare. We are facing much temptation to indulge in pleasure, to relax, enjoy and generally take it easy. Listen as David shares his heart.

“If you can go about your daily life facing all sorts of chaos, interruptions and demands, and yet not spend ten minutes in God’s presence (the secret place), your love for Him is dying. Think about it: If you love someone exclusively above all others, you will make that person feel they are the most important being on earth. Everything else will pale in comparison to them. Is this not how you first loved your spouse when you were courting? If he or she called while you were busy, you dropped everything just to talk to them. If anyone intruded on your time alone together, you resented it. Everything else took second place in your efforts to develop the love between you. Many Christians today go for weeks, even months, without spending quality time with Jesus. How can they love Him with a whole heart when they neglect Him for days on end? In The Song of Solomon, the bride could not sleep because her beloved had left (Song of Solomon 5:6). This woman arose in the middle of the night, saying, “My soul failed . . . I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer” (same verse). So she quickly ran into the streets, looking everywhere for her lover, crying out, “Have you seen my beloved?” Why was this such a serious matter to her? Because, as she said, “This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (verse 16). “I am sick of love [faint with desire for him]” (verse 8). She could not be without her beloved for even a short amount of time. How does Jesus feel when He spreads the table and anxiously awaits our company, yet we never show up to fellowship? The Bible calls us His bride, His beloved, His one great love. He says we were created for fellowship with Him. Therefore, what rejection must He feel when we continually put other “lovers” before Him?”

The Lord knew that if He stayed in heaven and left us on the earth by ourselves, we would drift away from His presence. This is why He came to live inside of us, so that we could live in constant communion. Is it preaching to the choir to ask, “Is Jesus the center of your universe?” (When Christ is our Lord, He sits on the throne of our heart and rules our thoughts and actions). Do you discuss everything with Him? “Of course, Brother Billy, I said I was a Christian. I go to church when I can and I was baptized”. I realize that many seem to be interested in religion, but I believe there are people who call themselves a child of God, yet do not live IN Him, WITH Him or FOR Him. It is mentioned in God’s Word that in the end there will be many who will try to explain all of the good deeds they have done. Evidently, they were actually involved with spiritual works, gifts and miracles as an outreach of “Christian” ministry. Yet, we see God responding that He does not even recognize them. “Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he – (led by God’s Spirit – filled with His nature) that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto Me (Jesus) in that day (judgment), Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in Your name have cast out demons? and in Your name have done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” (Mathew 7:21-23)

I understand this is a difficult passage, because it would appear these ministers were at least out there “trying” to do a service for God. I understand the human view and the emotional justification of the individual’s intentions; however, if we believe that ministry is a religious “free-for-all” we are drifting away from the truth of how perfect God is. He is so perfect that He does not (cannot) bend His Word to fit our ideas or someone’s unique circumstance and does not compromise with “special” situations. A spiritual principal that must become a personal revelation is called “divine order”. This is a very precious pillar of absolute truth. If we look deeper into divine order, we notice that our spiritual development is based on a foundation, and then our life (or house) is built “upon” the solid rock of who He is – LOVE. So, what is the meaning behind this scripture? These people may have had good intentions; however, many times “good intentions” do not count for anything. It is ALL about obedience! I personally believe these people were trying to build their house on the sand. They were more concerned with taking pride in their accomplishments than walking in Agape love. The foundation of our existence on this planet is to be filled with God’s LOVE! Everything we think, say and do must be constructed upon this “rock”. I believe these laborers thought more of their religious performance, than God Himself or the ones they were trying to help. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of “prophecy”, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have ALL FAITH, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I AM NOTHING. And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me NOTHING.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3)

There are different “levels” of knowing someone. We can learn about a historical figure, but we do not know them “personally”. The same thing can happen when people read “about” God in the Bible, yet they may never encounter or have an intimate relationship with Him. It is common for people to add and include the knowledge of God into their lives instead of surrendering their heart so that He can transform them. Notice in the Corinthian passage, that someone could actually be a “scholar” of God’s Word, yet without knowing the Lord, it would just be information. Jesus was saying in the Mathew passage that these religious leaders were being led with an emotional connection. Trying to walk in the Spirit, while in the “flesh” is like trying to plug a 110 cord into a 220 outlet. It is not “what” we do – it is “why” we do it. It is the same spirit of Pharisee that attempts to be a follower of God, but have never had their spiritual eyes opened. “But all their works they do, are for to be seen by men: they broadcast their knowledge of the Law of Moses, and enlarge the borders of their garments.” (Mathew 23:5) Unless our works are built on love and the obedience of His voice, they will be burned to ashes.

This lesson today is for me. I am convicted by the Holy Spirit that my life is not in the correct order as it should be. Of course, I may say that I love everyone and have a desire to reach out to everyone in need, but I am not sure this is true. I believe many times, we have waited for God to intervene in our lives and answer our prayers, but since we have been out of “order”, He could not do it. It is not that He does not want to – He cannot override the perfect integrity of His system that gives us the freewill to disobey. Selah. Last year we had neighbors move in next door, and they were definitely struggling financially. The mother came over one day and said the house was in need of much repair and they had little furniture and no money. At first, I was compassionate with their situation as they also had children, but I began to notice they hardly ever went to work. They would not clean the outside of their house or pick up their trash that was all over their yard. They would not even mow their lawn. I am sorry to say, but I lost my respect and patience for them because I started thinking that it is difficult to help someone who will not try to help himself or herself. This attitude began to hinder my sympathy for them as I started looking at them with anger. I admit, I made some negative comments about them and I do not believe this is the right thing to do. This is just an example, but as I have thought about it, I must have a deep-seeded “love” problem. If we only love those who live life as we think they should, what are we doing? This truth of not having the “fullness” of Agape love operating in our lives is a “crack” in our armor. Within this “unlocked” entrance to our conscience, the enemy can focus his attack on our already weakened and unstable thought patterns. It is the RENEWED MIND, which has absorbed God’s nature and character, and with obedience has given top priority to doing what HE SAYS and not our opinions or judgments. If we embrace the worldview that everyone must live according to our “standards” and only reserve our concern for those who pull themselves up with their own bootstraps, then we have missed the mark of God’s idea of love. “As you would that men should do to you, do also to them likewise. For if you love them which love you, what benefit do you have? For sinners (the lost) also love them love those that love them. And if you do good to them, which do good to you, what blessing do, you have? For the lost also do the same. And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what do you have? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.” (Luke 6:31-34)

If we cannot love the people on our street, then how can we minister to people around the world? “But whoever has this world’s good, and sees his brother have need, and closes his bowels of compassion from him, how does the love of God dwell in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (I John 3:17-18) The hotter the fire, the more the dross is consumed, and as we allow Him to refine us, the more pure we will become. “Father, help us this day to be emptied of our old nature, and fill us with our holy, compassionate love. May we learn that when we reach out in love to others, we are reaching out in love to you”. Amen.

THE WALK OF DISCIPLINE II

THE WALK
PART 24

THE WALK OF DISCIPLINE II

I must be honest – I have not fasted a whole lot in my life. I am guilty of loving to eat and have my own problems trying to deal with it. I also struggle with spending time in prayer. I pray and talk with God on the way to work and going home. I talk with Him while I am at work and try to go to bed early so that I can be quiet in His presence and listen to Him but I do not have a two or three hour specific time each day. For those who do – I am inspired to rise to this level of commitment. I personally believe that we are to STAY in constant communion as we WALK in prayer consciousness. Whatever the quantity of time we choose to surrender to Him, our prayers must become a personal discipline that we place at the top of our priority list or our fast-paced life will cause us to forget the needs of others. Last year I felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to go on a seven-day denial of meat, bread, potatoes and sweets. For this particular week, I only ate fruit, vegetables and drank water and fruit juice. I am not boasting of my sacrifice but rather just testifying to you the spiritual encouragement and refreshing this time of seeking God gave me. This may not seem like much of a sacrifice to some but you must understand the amount of rich foods I consume regularly. Fasting done with the right intention and with the humble desire to draw closer to His presence will always be spiritually rewarding and a true blessing to clear our mind and rest our body. Of course, this is not the only kind of discipline we can choose to do because actually the Christian WALK is an entire LIFE of discipline! Fasting is just an example of how we are to live in a “state” of order and control. We are not to be extremist that is strict one minute and let our hair down the next because it exposes the instability of our heart with an imbalance and immaturity of our mind. So, how do we abide in His discipline? We can buy all the books and listen to the video programs telling us how to incorporate Godly principals into our schedule but what we need is more of God Himself! We must be careful that we do not become like the Pharisees who took discipline to a completely insane level of legalism. They became more absorbed in the “science” of living according to the law than trying to connect and know God spiritually. I read an anonymous statement the other day that said the Christian life is not for everyone. It did sound strange at first but the more I thought about it the more I began to grasp its meaning. Salvation is for “whosoever will” but most people will NEVER accept Him. There is such a huge difference between being religious and being a disciple that it is obvious that many church attendees have never had or never will have a burning desire to be a “true” Christian. It is because the followers of Christ must ALLOW themselves to be stripped completely, broken into pieces, melted with fervent heat, molded into God’s image and polished to the brightness of His glory. The masses are completely confused because when they heard the invitation for salvation they were told to accept Christ as their Savior and He would make everything wonderful. They were not informed intentionally about what their requirements and accountabilities would be. They may not admit it publicly but deep within their conscience, their rebellion secretly professes to have never “signed up” to be a living sacrifice or live a life of strict discipline. This lack of holiness is why many churches do lot’s of “activities” but have very little anointing.

I heard an interview with a pastor the other day on Christian radio. The host was asking him about his church and he went on to tell about his programs, the size of the church, and he tried to describe his “style” of ministry and so on. After it was over I realized that he had not mentioned anything about the anointing, the Holy Spirit, changed lives, miracles, healings, visions, the power and glory of God, casting out devils, discipleship, weeping, fasting or even reaching out to the community. It seemed the church was focusing on itself and how hard they were laboring to be a success. Sadly, this is the typical, average, “normal” condition of modern lukewarm religion. The reason why the presence of God is not manifested is obvious: the people have not invested their personal time in prayer and intimate worship. If the members have been calloused by the sins of the world, they will not desire the holy of holies but rather are more comfortable with a light, pleasant, religious service. If the atmospheres in churches like these are no different from going to the grocery store, then something is terribly wrong! If God’s power and anointing has been exchanged for entertainment and if Holy Ghost preaching has been traded for politically correct lectures and socially acceptable stories – then where is God? What part does the Lord have in a church where man leads it, designs it and controls it? God is looking for men and women who desire to know what spiritual discipline really means and who has the faith to step forward and say – I will do it! Not because they are trying to impress anyone but because they love Jesus with ALL their heart, their mind and their strength. In the Christian world there are popular subjects to talk about that can stimulate a crowd to stand on their feet and shout the house down. And, on the other hand there are topics that pastors will keep on the shelf because the majority would be offended and not be able to receive it. I believe that fasting is one of such examples because in general most people are not interested in anything that causes a disruption in their daily routine or that could cause suffering. That is why many churches avoid the deeper spiritual “walk” and settle for potluck dinners every week. It is no secret that people love to eat and sadly in many assemblies instead of being built around God’s Word and the desire to grow spiritually the church is built around fellowship where the only “gain” is found on the bathroom scales. Our lives have become so spoiled with the luxury of eating, that food has evolved from the category of “survival” to the plateau of exciting entertainment. For many, food has become one of our favorite pastimes and is the high point of the day. There is so much sadness and depression in the world that some, (even Christians) have adopted food as a way to drown their anxieties and depression, similar to the alcoholic and drug addict lifestyle.

We understand the general meaning of “fasting” to be the deliberate abstaining of food (and) or drink for spiritual purposes. I also believe that we can declare abstinence from other things that we love and enjoy for the purpose of sacrificing our flesh to enhance our relationship with God. The first part of the New Year is a good time to establish our commitment to Christ and start the calendar with a strong statement of dedication and loyalty to His Name and His Word. But fasting can be exercised anytime of the year and is an awesome way to generate power into our prayers of faith. Also it is a form of discipline to train our heart to be more of a giver and compassionate to those in need. Let us begin in Mathew chapter six and verse one, where Christ gives His instructions on several specific aspects of the disciplined life we have been talking about. “Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to a beggar, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do – blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity. I tell you in all earnestness, they have received all the reward they will ever get.” (verses 1- 2 TLB) Verse 9, “But when you pray, go away to yourself, all alone and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly and your Father who knows your secrets will reward you.” Verses 32, “So, don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But, your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and He will give them to you if you give Him FIRST PLACE in your life and live as He wants you to.”

It is very common for those who think about being disciplined to believe that when the New Year comes around that it is a magical time to instantly become strict and organized to get everything in their life on track. What sort of New Year’s Resolution should a Christian make? The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make? Common New Year’s resolutions are commitments to quit smoking, to stop drinking, to manage money more wisely, and to spend more time with family. By far, the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating more healthily. These are all good goals to set. However, first Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The vast majority of New Year’s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation to material things. This is not the central focus of what God’s visions are about. The Lord does want to bless us but usually our benefits and pleasures are the side item while HIS plans and destiny for us are the main spiritual meaning and focus. Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these New Year’s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Year’s resolution. Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has a chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution. So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make? Here are some suggestions: (1) pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make; (2) pray for wisdom with HOW to fulfill the goals God gives you; (3) rely on God’s strength to help you; (4) find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you; (5) don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further; (6) don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Yes and Amen!

There have been many brave soldiers since the beginning of time to walk out on a battlefield and declare to heaven and earth, that they are willing to die for what they know to be true. Unfortunately God does not give credit for those who believe in a lie. Having faith in a false god or a false belief system does not earn favor with THE GOD of the heaven and earth. Sincerity does not earn special credit because there is an absolute truth and many who are “sincerely” wrong. Sincerity also does not TAKE THE PLACE of discipline. The Lord does not move just because we ask Him to. He cannot turn against His own perfection because that would be compromising and confusing. We must listen to HIS voice and pray according to HIS destiny for the miracle to be performed in His perfect way and at the perfect time. He usually moves when He sees us taking the initiative to help ourselves. In other words, He is more inclined to help those who are working hard toward the vision instead of those lying on the couch waiting for Him to do it all. We must start somewhere and believe that along with our effort that God is going to empower us with His spiritual discipline and open doors of favor and blessing to help us accomplish HIS will.

THE WALK OF DISCERNMENT

THE WALK
PART 14

THE WALK OF DISCERNMENT

This week I received the sad news of our former pastor Denny Strickland going to be with the Lord. He was so gentle, kind and filled with love and compassion. He drew everyone around him like a magnet because he was such a spiritually wise “Grandfatherly” figure. As a mentor he demonstrated how to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and I will never forget the times with him and all that I learned through watching him WALK the life of a disciple. One example of his discernment is how he could sense the corporate environment when he as the leader needed to make a decision of “direction” for the meeting. When he did not have clarity with the Lord leading in a specific way, instead of trying to force an agenda or panicking with the need to do “something”, he would gently and confidently say, “Let’s just wait on the Lord”. In that time of seeking, praying and worship there would always be a move of God that was so powerful and profound. I learned that as we allow God to do what HE wants to do, it is always wonderful and exactly what we need.

I have a mental image of our heart or “conscience” having a door, with Christ many times desiring deeper access to our will.
Everything that wants our attention stands on the outside and knocks because it wants our attention. It is a simple picture of how the most intimate recesses of our inner being is aware and vulnerable to outside influence. We choose each day whom we “invite” into our secret chambers. “Our heart is a garden, our thoughts are the seeds – we can grow flowers, or we can grow weeds”. The handle to the door is always on the inside which reveals that it is our responsibility to WHOM and WHAT we entertain. One area of discernment is recognizing this constant spiritual reality as the Christian learns the only way to WALK in the awareness of God’s holiness is to keep the door locked to sin and only open it to Christ. There is a large crowd of shady characters that hang around outside our door for the purpose of corrupting our innocence and bringing negative influence. Our eyes and ears are portals to our soul and the devil works overtime to poison our conscience. It is very difficult to avoid being dragged down into a negative state of mind when we willingly allow our heart to be pounded with the corruption of this world. This repeated exposure to negativity, perversion, strife, chaos, violence and foolishness can callous the mind and bring apathy to our state of being. Satan’s strategy is to infect us with depression, anxiety, discouragement, anger, envy, arrogance and many other negative character traits. These bad attitudes pull us down into lukewarmness because they remove us from God’s presence. These symptoms conclude with the heart-breaking diagnosis of the early stages of spiritual “heart disease”. To WALK in God with a pure conscience is to not only be aware – but to obey with joy and peace. We are like a child playing on a sunny day as we are so secure and our outlook is so happy. But the opposite is true when we allow our heart to become dirty with sin and the heaviness that brings sadness and guilt. Those who have the Holy Spirit within them know when they are in God’s presence and when they are taking a wrong exit from the “holy” highway. This built-in alarm system was intended to help us stay on the right track and to warn us of danger. But most of the time, even God’s merciful influence and loving persuasion will not stop us from making wicked decisions. Our freewill can shut off the alarms and ignore His still small voice. It is dangerous to intentionally sin after we have been convicted over and over because it can separate us from His protection. Our tenderness to hear Him and our sincere willingness to respond to Him reveals our level of love for Him.

As we mentioned in the walk of effectiveness, our motives and availability is what Father is searching for and that includes not only our listening but being in the sanctified “position” to be used. He mentions the word “weights” when referring to being hindered or bogged down while trying to run. We realize that we cannot run fast or be free with the heaviness of sin strapped to our ankles. Sin can grow and accumulate if we do not make it a point to (seriously) repent on a regular basis. Actually, it is possible for our sin to become so oppressive and severe that we do not even feel like doing anything for God. If left unchecked we can become so cold and dull that we slide into a dangerous state of needing to be chastised for our rebellion. It is true our new spirit is very sensitive to everything that is connected to God but our carnality can drown out it’s pleading to repent. Do you remember when you were born again? We only desired to be in God’s presence and everything that was offensive to His holiness was extremely noticeable. It would be awesome if we could stay in that bubble of His glory but our flesh is weak to temptation as we hear our favorite sin ringing our doorbell. Those who do not have the reverential fear of God are definitely not concerned with developing their spiritual discernment!

There are many different thoughts that come to mind when people hear the term “discernment” in the world of religious jargon. The dictionary say’s, “to recognize, to perceive, make out clearly, keenly perceptive, shrewd, astute, keen judgment and insight”. We think of being sensitive to hear God’s voice and that is at the heart of the issue, but there is more. Being under the control of God’s influence is the focal point of being a disciple and to WALKING in the Holy Spirit. This is not just in areas we feel comfortable with because “selective hearing” is a trait of being religious without being spiritual. Selah. Along with listening for God’s direction we have the responsibility (the command actually) of being “aware” of our thoughts, words and actions as well. The weaknesses we struggle with are the very places that need the most discernment but are usually the first to be avoided. It is easy to put on a show in front of our peers but discernment is the love of God to help us SENSE what is happening around us and how we deal with situations when no one is watching. The problem with trying to understand about what God is trying to do IN US is that usually most of our problems are “protected” by the will of our flesh. If we enjoy our sin and have no intention of letting it go, then Father will go to the drawing board and begin working on a plan to get our attention (and it will not be pretty). Just because we do not desire for Him to intervene does not mean that He will oblige. If we are truly born again, He WILL bring discipline because He loves us enough to rescue us. As far as making us study, read, write, love, give and live as a shining light of purity, He can only do with what we give Him to work with. Selah. In order for discernment to become activated we must first have a desire to lay down our life to Jesus. Then we must go to the next step of desiring to be filled with His presence so that we can WALK in His Word. This will generate an enthusiasm about allowing His purging fire to cleanse our mind and heart, which will enable us to be willing to walk away from our sin and NOT return! These faith decisions are not done easily but He is more than ready to help us when we take an earnest “baby step” in His direction. Deliverance is the spiritual rescue for those who sincerely call out for freedom and discernment and are only developed in those who really want to be a sold-out follower of Jesus Christ.

So we see that discernment is a spiritual sensitivity to be aware of God’s presence and to help us resist our carnality. Let us stretch our perception to include the negative spiritual forces that are constantly trying to influence our flesh. Advertisement is based on the fact that our ears and eyes are receptors to the brain and are the stimulation and motivation to our thoughts. The devil is not ignorant and his strategies always include the enticement of our emotions. Our old dark nature has “built-in” radar when it comes to things like envy, lust, pride, jealousy, strife, greed and when these “attractions” are dangled in front of us, we naturally reach out to fulfill our desire whatever it may be. Christians who have not realized the reality of how this works are unlearned which is why spiritual discernment is a learned truth that is developed in serious PRAYER. If we have sincerely sought the Lord and allowed Him to do an extensive work in our heart – we will have the opportunity to be tested to see if we are MATURE to obey His will. It is easy to brag about faith and our knowledge when everything is going good but the enemy is always planning a surprise attack and discernment will be a shield of protection and a battle plan for success. How important would it be for the soldiers on a battlefield to be able to hear their orders? In this light we can see clearly just how crucial discernment is for those who desire to WALK with God.
“Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first BIND the strong man? And then he will spoil (rob) his house. He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad.” (Mathew 12:29-30) The idea behind the attempt to enter into someone’s home while they are there and steal from them is to either do it without them knowing or to over-power them. In this particular scripture we read that Jesus is using the scenario of a thief being able to tie-up the owner while he takes what he wants and leaves without being chased. A security system is for the purpose of warning us when someone is trying to break-in and steal or harm. It is fine to use them on our homes and vehicles but we have spiritual protection that has been provided for us. We have been given angels to watch over us wherever we go and to keep an eye on our possessions. The Lord Himself also guards our life and has given us His blood covenant of protection and His promises connected with our obedience that are constantly saving us from harm. And we have been given a brand new spirit that is in perfect tune with God’s voice and along with The Holy Spirit, we can discern His truth which is our total salvation. This revelation knowledge is very crucial in our decision making abilities because if the enemy CANNOT get in – we can rest in safety. Discernment is the awareness of right and wrong and our will always chooses to obey what we desire. Lord, give us the desire to love you more. The closer we are to you – the more sensitive we will be.