Monday, November 30, 2020

The Problem Is Not the Left: It's the Lack of Righteousness -- BY FAITH!

  Dennis Prager loves to say "The Left ruins everything it touches."



I disagree.

The Left can touch anything it wants. People can choose to "touch back", to push back, to fight back.

And right now, we have seen too many people not do that.

Why? Cowardice, lack of boldness. Remember what Edmund Burke said:


And yet, telling people that they are cowardly does not help people. Shaming people does not get them to break free of the bondage of fear. What does?

God's perfect love:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

This perfect loves gives a perfected standing of righteousness in Christ Jesus!

"Herein is our love made perfect [lit. love perfected among us], that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

What do we believe about Jesus? That He is our RIGHTEOUSNESS:

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" (1 Corinthians 1:30)

and

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

This righteousness makes us BOLD:

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1)

and

"In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54:14)

Righteousness is not something that we do, but something that is done to us! Righteousness frees us fro oppression and fear, because we know that God is with us!

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17)



When you know that no weapon that people use against you will be successful, then you know that you can speak out, step up, speak up, and not fear what man may do to you (Hebrews 13:6)

That's the boldness that is needed, and it comes when we receive--and keep receiving--the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17)

And that is "the faith" that Paul writes about to the Corinthians:

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)

We need to get back to the Gospel:

"38Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38-39)

BAM!

When the revelation of righteousness by faith is restored in the Body of Christ, then the boldness to stand up to evil will be restored fully in the land. The Left is not the problem. The problem is the lack of righteousnesss, particularly the revelation of righteousness by faith in Christ!

YES!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

I Don't Have to Think or Feel Differently or Keep Feeling a Certain Way for Him to Be Present to Me

  This is really astonishing, but very powerful and wonderful.

I know that the LORD is with me! I understand fully that He is present to me, and that there is nothing that can separate Him from me.

For the longest time, I believed these hollow lies, that I had to feel or think a certain way so that I know that God would be with me, would be present to me. That sense of loneliness, that orphan spirit was strong with me, and I would just panic like crazy if I started struggling with negative, bitter, sad, or perverse thoughts.

It was absolute madness, and it was really painful.

Thank you Jesus, that now I understand that YOU ARE GOING NOWHERE.

You never disappeared from me. You have always been present to me, with me, through me, and for me!

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

This is a done deal! I do not have to do something, say something, keeping thinking or feeling something in order for Him to be with me, for me, through me.

Jesus, it's not about me. It's never been about me. You have always been ready, present, available, accountable, asking for me to reach out to You to ask You to help me.

All this time, You wanted me to reach out to you!

This incredible revelation reminds me of Gillian Shen and her testimony for TrueLove.Is:


Yes, He found me! He found us! We were lost, not Him! This is amazing!

All this time, I kept thinking that I had to have a certain posture. The truth is that You have always been here, You do not go away. I do not have to think or feel differently. You are not going anywhere, and I cannot get away from You! I LOVE YOU, LORD!

"8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

 9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." (Psalm 139:8-10)

I kept thinking that I had to do something. I know that I keep writing this revelation as if it means something new, but there it is. It IS something new, for me! This is a massive change for the better for me! I do not have to "come back to" Him when I sin, fall, or fail. I am not trying to keep my feelings or thoughts in check. I cannot be separated from Him!

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Beloved Savior, for being so patient with me! Indeed:

"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)

What is really cool for me, that I am really trying to appreciate, to put into words, I suppose, is that I do not have to use my mind to "hunt" for God, to feel His presence anymore. I know that He is here. I know that He is going nowhere. I know that wherever I go, He is already there. Amen!

Monday, November 9, 2020

More Internal Healing in My Mind

 The bad habit of mind that I had engaged in for so long, that habit is dwindling away.

I used to work so hard to catch myself, to catch bad thoughts, to try to make them go away before they would happen, appear in my mind, or worse yet take root.

For the longest time, I was convinced that there were hardships around me, and I had to work hard, do something, feel a certain way so that those bad feelings, those senses of fear and upset would go away.

I really believed that those upsetting elements in my mind had to go away so that I could know and believe that He was with me.

Today, I am learning to reason not from my circumstances to His certainties, but from His eternal certainties to my circumstances. It does not matter how I am feeling. I do not have to counter or argue with my feelings, my thoughts to know that He is taking care of me. I do not have to agitate in mind to make these things true. Not at all.



"4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

This is a great healing, one that reminds me of what Paul writes for all of us to undergo:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:1-2)


I don't have to "do anything" about bad thoughts. God does not go away, not does He get angry with me and leave me. It makes no difference. It's truly a life of rest!

No wonder Pastor Prince uses the following cover for his book "Spiritual Warfare":


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Set Free From Political Polarization, More Than Conquerors in Christ Jesus

  The 2020 Election results have been quite disappointing. I am not sure what to think.

At the same time, I recognize now that I have been following the up and down polarization of this race, and all the news, all the media, all the debates, the discussions, and it is making me very unhappy.

Why bother with all of this stuff?

For years, for decades, I was immersed in politics. I wanted to see "my side" win, and I would get such a buzz if my side won. If my candidates were successful, if the victory that I sought took place. Of course, down the line, I would find that winning elections is simply not enough. We see a generation of youth who think that socialism, communism, racialism is the answer to all our problems.

They are overcome with envy, sorry, victimhood. They see themselves as weak and beggarly, with no chances or opportunities in this life. How sad, indeed. Yet that is what they see for themselves. It's a great sorrow to see this.

All of this sense of lack, of loss is obliterated at the Cross!

"5Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

"6Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

"7He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;

"8That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.

"9He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD." (Psalm 113:5-9)

The verse about raising the poor of the dust foreshadows what Jesus did for us:

"4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-6)

and

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Our life is about the Finish, or rather the Finished Line!

We are not supposed to reckon our lives from our hardships, and then apply God's Word, God's promises to our lives. We start with God, with everything that Christ Jesus has prepared for us, and then see all our problems melt away or face resolution.

I am not supposed to look at the evil going on in the world, and then ask "Lord, when are you going to do something about all of this?" He is already on the job, working on it! Yes!

We need to start with the promises that God has made to us, which He has enacted for us through the Work of His Son! That's our starting point. That needs to be MY starting point.

That's why Paul would write:

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8:37)

Consider what John writes, too:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

and

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)




and also

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4)

We have already won, and not just won, but we are more than conquerors through Him! Why do we pay attention to the fallout, the failures, and the failings of the world? Why do we pay any heed to the bad outcomes or the massive moral morass in our countries?

He has overcome the world! And we are more than conquerors in Him!

This is my starting point: Himself. YES!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

He Keeps Us, And He Keeps Us "Kept"

 "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called" (Jude 1)

For the longest time, I thought that it was up to me to stay in God. If I thought wrong, if I felt wrong, if I did or said something wrong, I was outside of God's loving embrace, feeling, good will, etc.

For the longest time, I believed that I had to hold onto God. It was dependent on me in some way to ensure that I never got nervous, angry, fearful or anything else. This was the life that I was leading.

Two days ago, I was meditating on a verse from Jude:

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." (Jude 21)



When I read this verse in the past, I often believed that there was this great strain, this great pressure on myself to keep myself in the love of God. The previous verse talks about praying in the Holy Spirit, so I would deduce that it is essential for me to keep praying in the Spirit in order to stay in the love of God.

Then God had me look up the original Greek word for "Keep" in verse 21:

téreó: to watch over, to guard

Original Word: τηρέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: téreó
Phonetic Spelling: (tay-reh'-o)
Definition: to watch over, to guard
Usage: I keep, guard, observe, watch over.

HELPS Word-studies

5083 tēréō (from tēros, "a guard") – properly, maintain (preserve); (figuratively) spiritually guard (watch), keep intact.

This word appears elsewhere in Jude's Epistle, too.

Check it out in verse one!

"]P]reserved in Jesus Christ."

We are already kept in Him. God is already keeping us!

And no one is going to take us out of His hands!

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28)

So, this notion of "keep yourselves in the love of God" speaks to respecting and remaining in your identity as "kept" in Christ!

It's not as though we suddenly fall out of God's love if we are not praying in the Spirit. It's a matter of maintaining and remaining in our new identity in Christ.

Paul writes to the Ephesians:

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

We already are accepted in Christ Jesus, but God the Father does not settle with calling His Son by name, but referring to Jesus as "The Beloved". Wow! We are in the Beloved, and God sees us as Beloved. Amen to that!

We do not have to strain to keep ourselves, lest we fall out or fall away in some fashion. He is already keeping us, and He has promised to keep us "kept". 


Friday, October 30, 2020

Righteousness is Not Diminished When We Are Angry

 Here's a powerful thought.

It's OK to be angry, and to be angry, or to get angry, does not diminish your rightoeusness or your right standing before God.

Jesus got angry:

"And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." (Mark 3:5)

This verse contains the one time where Jesus is described as angry. Not even when he was turning over the tables and chasing out the merchandise of animals in the Temple do we find a record of Jesus being angry. God gets angry when people put the law ahead of grace, when people are hard and reject grace.

Paul informs us that it is OK to get angry, too:

"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26)



Righteousness is a gift that we receive and keep receiving from the LORD (Romans 5:17). Because it is a gift, the reception of His righteousness into our lives does not depend on how we feel. We can be mad, sad, angry, enraged, full of wrath, full of sorrow, but every time we need to know that our righteousness is not removed from us.

This is a great revelation, and this revelation should grant great authority and opportunity to everyone who sees injustice and wants to do something about it.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Under Law You Pursue Righteousness, Under Grace You Receive Righteousness

 "That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (Deuteronony 16:20)

Under the Old Covenant, under law, man has to pursue righteousness. We need to get it, acquire it any way we can.

Under grace, God gives us righteousness as as gift, and in fact we are invited to keep receiving that gift (Romans 5:17)

Under law, righteousness is something that you have to attain, that you have to follow.

Under grace, righteousness is something that you become, because Jesus, who is our righteousness, imputes His righteousness to us:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)


"Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." (Romans 4:8)

Paul writes beforehand:

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Romans 4:5)

This is all too wonderful a revelation not to write about, and it's a very simple, straightforward revelation, too!

I have to write it this way:

Under law, you have to pursue righteousness. Under grace, righteousness pursues you! AMEN!

And that righteousness is a Person! His name is Jesus!

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Not Animals, But Ships: God Wants to Turn Us Completely

 I love Chang Tou Chen's testimony from TrueLove.Is. He shared so much of God's Word, and there is always so much revelation when you receive more of God's WORD!



I wanted to focus on this part of his testimony next:

So I started to realize that this same-sex desire was the desire of my flesh, and I was under addiction to this desire of the flesh. And I started to realize that my spirit born of God has the same desire of God. But because the flesh and the spirit are contrary to each other, there’s a war.

There were decisive moments, when I trashed all the gay porn videos, and all the baggage that reminded me of my previous self. But I was still struggling, clicking on the same gay porn sites, reactivating my cancelled subscriptions, seeking new sources of junk to look at.

I asked God, “Why?”

And God showed me in James 3: “Look at the horses. You turn the bit, and the horse will turn. But look also at the ships. Though they are large ships driven by fierce winds, it is steered by a small rudder. And God revealed to me, for some of us, breaking from of this condition is the experience of a horse. For a horse, when you turn, the horse will turn immediately, and a horse will turn completely.

For the very large ship that’s driven by winds, resisted by fierce winds, when you turn the rudder on the ship, it is turning and it will turn, and it will turn completely, but it won’t turn immediately.

Here's the whole passage that he refers to from James' Epistle:

"3Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" (James 3:3-5)



This was a telling revelation from God's Word, and I am so grateful to Tou Chen for sharing this revelation with the public.

What I believe, however, is that the experience for every person is that of the ship. God does not want us to be like the horse turned with a bit:

"Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee." (Psalm 32:9)

God wants us to receive understanding from Him! The previous verse declares God's heart for us:

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalm 32:8)

God wants us to guide us personally, intimately.

He does not wantus to be driven around with a bit. He wants the change that occurs in us to be complete and consummate. 

Consider what the Psalmist shares here:

"22So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

"23Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

"24Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." (Psalm 73: 22-24)

So, the proper example or comparison for us is to the ship. That makes sense.

The bit in the mouth of a horse is separate, foreign, distinct from the horse. Sure, the rider of the horse can make the horse change directly quickly, but it's not lasting change, nor a contribution to character development. In contrast, the rudder of a ship is an integral part of the ship, like the soul of the vessel, if you will. It's an essential aspect within the ship that guides the ship on the course to go.

In the same way, God wants to guide us from within. In fact, when we believe on Christ Jesus, He comes to live in us (Colossians 1:27).

His Holy Spirit lives in us:

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:13)

And

"But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." (1 John 2:20)

and then

"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27)

God wants to turn us completely. He does not want us to be turned on the outside, but on the inside we still insist on going the wrong way. 

God wants our hearts enlightened, not just our actions changed:

"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints," (Ephesians 1:18)

God is interested in mind renovation, not behavior modification:

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)

The good news? The Spirit of God does that work of tranforming us!

"17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

The more that we see Jesus in the Word, the more that the Spirit of God transforms us. Yes!

And, God showed me something else that we can do, that can assist and help hasten the turning of our "ship", so to speak.

In James 3, the rudder and the bit are compared to our tongue:

"5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." (James 3:5-6)

Now, James talks about the tongue in a bad light, as an unreal evil.

However, for those of us who are saved, who are in the Body of Christ, our tongue can accomplish great good. In fact, we can pray in the Spirit, i.e. pray in tongues!

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (Ephesians 6:18)

and

"He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church" (1 Corinthians 14:4)

And

"26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-28)

So, if we want to expedite the turning of our ship, let's start praying in tongues, praying in the Spirit!

Final Reflection

Tou Chen's revelation about how our lives, our walk before the LORD changes, turns is very compelling. Indeed, all of us are like the ship, in that the changes that God wants to make in our lives will take longer, but those changes will be lasting changes. We can pray in the Spirit, and allow the Spirit of God to transform us, heart, mind, and body, so that we grow in grace and reflect more of His glory in our lives. Amen!

The Power of Tou Chen's Testimony: The Righteousness of God

 TrueLove.Is is a growing ministry which is making quite an impact on the Body of Christ. The video segments are very well done, and they showcase very effectively the transformation which God has wrought in the lives of many people who were in bondage to homosexuality.

Their videos get much more traffic on Facebook, it seems, compared to YouTube, although the algorithms have probably been engineered in such a way to suppress their views.

But one video received a massive number of views compared to other videos on the TrueLove.Is channel: Chang Tou Chen's testimony.


In three months, his video has received  5,100 views. That's pretty fast, considering that two of their earlier videos from 2018 have received a similar number--but after over two years.

What is it about Tou Chen's testimony that stands out? Why has his video received more views and shares?

I submit that it has to do with what he shared in his video, clearly. But what specifically?

Here's the key point of his testimony that I want to focus on:

One day in 2014, a friend of mine said that he was going to church. And I told him that I was so dirty that I was not qualified to go to church. But this friend told me that I was wrong, that I was righteous before God. And I told him, “That’s nonsense. How could I be righteous before God? Look at all the things that I was doing.”

He said, no, his pastor told him that we are righteous before God.

I thought, “What a strange pastor, that would tell you or me that we are righteous before God!” So I followed him to church.



It's all about righteousness, the rightousness that we receive from God as a gift:

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

Righteousness, right standing before God as s gift that we receive by grace through faith, this is the Gospel!

Paul preached in Antioch:

"38Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38-39)

Through this man Jesus we receive the forgiveness of sins, and we are justified--made righteous--from all things. It is not the law of Moses that makes us righteousness, but the grace of God which we receive by faith:

"8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

It's all about righteousess! We receive the gift of righteousness because of what Jesus accomplished at the Cross. In fact, to be fully accurate, we become righteous. Nope, that is not good enough. Consider what Paul writes to the Corinthians:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

We are indeed righteous before God. In fact, we are the righteousness of God, the most righteous one could ever be, and we are the righteousness of God in Christ!

WOW!

This righteousness causes His favor to flow in our lives, in our walk on this earth. And when we are under grace, sin shall not have any dominion over you (Romans 6:14).

In Tou Chen's testimony, the fact that he talks about righteous as something apart from works, that is amazing. That revelation is precisely what causes people to break free from sin! Yes!

No wonder this video has gotten considerable traction in such a short period of time. When people hear that God offers them the gift of righteousness apart from their works, but through faith in Christ Jesus, people want to hear more!

Consider the reception Paul received when he began preaching the Gospel of Grace:

"42And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." (Acts 13:42-44)

Notice again in Acts 13:43 that when Paul was preaching out how we receive righteousness as a gift, that is the grace of God. And this message is so wonderful, that on the next Sabbath, almost the entire city came to hear Paul preach! Wow!

Again, because Tou Chen spoke about the righteous standing we have, that we are before God, I submit that that is why his video received so many views so quickly compared to the other testimonials.

Let's get busy telling people that in Chris Jesus, all their sins have been put away. Let's tell people that by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, they can be made the righteousness of God in Him, and in Christ, sin will not reign over them, but they will instead reign in life!

The Answer to "They Will Say Mean Things About Me": Righteousness

 I get that people are afraid of being put to shame. I understand that people do not want other people maligning them on social media or saying bad things about them so that they lose their jobs.

I get all that.

However, at some point we need to start trusting the grace of God, and we need to start taking God at His promises rather than running away from the premises of the truth.

Consider this glorious promise which God gives to His righteous saints:

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17)



The question I have to pose to many people in the Body of Christ, and activists around the country, around the world: Do you believe this promise? Do you believe that the LORD will ensure that every evil word people raise against you will fall flat, will come to nothing? Do you believe that you will stand firm while the hateful whiles of the Enemy and his minions fall to nothing?

Sadly, I have encountered so many activists who remain quite scared of being maligned, of people saying meaning things about them om social media or in private places. It's really quite a shame.

Then again, it's not good enough for me to shame people for ... being ashamed and fearing the reproach of men. What is needed is more of the ministry of righteousness!

"9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth." (2 Corinthians 3:9-10)


When we are established in righteousness, God's righteousness, the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17), the new and glorious identity of righteousness in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). we reign in life and we overcome the wiles, hatred, and abject reproach of evil men. This is the way to overcome, this is the way to live life, and this is the way to fight back against evil in all sorts of places.

Consider the victorious disregard of the Apostles when they were first arrested for preaching the Good News:

"And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." (Acts 5:41)

They actually celebrated that they could suffer for the name of Jesus!

Paul adds in his Second Letter to the Corinthians:

"Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

The Body of Christ, men and women of faith need a growing revelation of God's love, grace, and protection in their lives. To receive this, they need to understand their perfect standing of righteousness in Christ before God the Father. When we know that we have the favor of our Heavenly Father, then we stop carring whether people will say mean things about us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

It's Not About Me--It's About Him, and He's Thinking About Me

  When I was in middle school, and I was trying to get a better handle on this "Christian Life" thing, I asked my mother: "Should I be thinking about God? How often should I be thinking about Him? What is supposed to be my main focus?"

This seemed like a really big demand for me.

My mother did not give a great answer, but the larger issue is that I was looking to her for answers, instead of resting and receiving comfort and power in God's Word.

Today, I realize that He is thinking about me! He is thinking about each of us!

My goodness, He was thinking of all of us, even when we did not care about Him one bit!

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

God loved you and me, even when we did not know that He existed, or we did not care that He cared for us.

What makes anyone of us think that He stops caring about us, thinking about us, watching out for us just because we are saved? It's completely madness to think that He cares for us less, or that He starts demanding certain things from us now, when He gave His best, His Only begotten Son, when we were at our worst:

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?: (Romans 8:32)

We are called to live by faith, receiving from Him. God does not come or go in my life because of what I am thinking of feeling. The fulness of His life is something that I am invited to receive--and keep receiving!

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

He is thinking about me all the time! He is watchinng out for us, and He is caring for us! It's not about me thinking about Him:

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" (Psalm 139:17)



All this time, I was under such strain. I was so desperate to be a "good boy" in my mind, my thoughts, y actions. I simply had no idea how independently alive and active the LORD is. What was I thinking, that I had to create these ridiculous rules, demands, hardships for myself. Unreal!

Thank you, Jesus for setting me free. In this Year of Time and Space, you have accelerated my restoration and revelation of You, and I am freer now than I had ever been before. Thank you, JESUS!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Don't Do It Afraid--Let His Perfect Love Cast Out All Fear

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

I love Joyce Meyer. She was the first person to teach me about the gift of righteousness, and that I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

However, she has come out with a new book "Do It Afraid", and I find that this is a little troubling.

We have a wonderful promise, an affirmation of how powerful God's love is in our lives. God's love is so powerful, that when we allow His love to perfect us, it casts out fear, throws it out of doors, so that it is not allowed with us.

Consider Paul's prayer to the Ephesian Christians:

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love ... " (Ephesians 3:17

We need to let Christ Jesus be at home within us. We should not think that we need to keep doing something so that He will stay within us, nor should we entertain toil and strife. Such self-effort makes Jesus not feel at home.

If Christ lives in us, if God is for us, who indeed can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Why should we have any trace of sense of fear in our lives?

Consider what Paul wrote to the Philippians (and he wrote this while sitting in a jail cell):

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

We should not have fears, tremors, tumults, upsets be any part of our lives. There is no reason we should tolerate fear in our lives at all.

Instead of telling people "Do it afraid", we need to deal with the deeper issue. Why are people afraid?

1. They do not know their identity in Christ. In 1 John 4:18, John writes that those who fear have not been made perfect in love. However, what does perfect us in His love?

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)



"As He is, so are we in this world." God the Father sees us in Christ. We are no longer in ourselves, we are stuck in our dying fleshly ways, nor are we to fall victim to the dead, fallen thoughts of the world. As Christ is, so are we in this world!

Consider also God's exhortation to us through the prophet Isaiah:

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)

We need to know that the LORD is upholding us, He is holding onto us, and He is doing so with His right hand of ... righteousness!

There's that wonderful word, that wonderful status that I have been writing about for the last few days. Because of all that Christ Jesus has done, we are not just righteous, we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). Recall that Christ is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). This is truly amazing. When we understand that before God, we are justified from all things, and that because of this supernatural, eternal gift of righteousness (Daniel 9:24)

Let's not settle for living life afraid. Let's rest in God's love for us, and Let His love cast out all fear!



Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Worst Abomination: Trying to Earn Rather Than Receive God's Favor

 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)

In the last post, I wrote about how Christ Jesus became sin, an abomination, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In that post, I wrote how the first mention of "abomination" in the Bible refers to what the Egyptians felt is an abomination. 

I shared that the Egyptians worshipped sheep, and they saw the Israelites as an abomination because they herded sheep and sacrificed them.

In this post, I want to revisit this stark difference, how the Egyptians related to lambs, and how the Israelites related to lambs, and how that plays into what is a greater abomination to God, beyond merely sexual perversion.

First, let me reprint the verses which use "abomination" in the Old Testament the first few times:

"And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians." (Genesis 43:32)

The Egyptians find the Israelites to be an abomination. Why?

"That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians." (Genesis 46:34)

The Egyptians found the Israelites to be an abomination because they were shepherds. Rather than worshipping sheep, they herded them. They domesticated them, they ate them.

And why else did the Egyptians find the Israelites to be an abomination?

"And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?" (Exodus 8:26)

Not once but twice "abomination" is listed in the passage above. The Egyptians could not abide the idea of the Israelites sacrificing lambs to the LORD!

So, we have a window into the word "abomination", in that the Egyptians saw animals as something to be worshipped, whereas the Israelites used these animals to feed themselves and to atone for their sins before the LORD.

There is deeper revelation here, I believe, that I want to draw out for everyone.

God does not want us to come to Him in our efforts, serving Him in our own ways.

Consider what happened when Cain brought fruits from the ground, while Abel brought a lamb to atone for his sins:

"3And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect." (Genesis 4:3-5)

They both offered sacrifices, but Abel sought forgiveness of sins the right way: through the blood of the lamb. Cain did it the wrong way, taking cursed produce from the ground--and not even the firstfruits!

Blood is needed to atone for our sins, not self-effort.

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22)



In contrast:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:20)

and

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)

Let's also draw further revelation on what is an abomination:

"Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen." (Deuteronomy 27:15)

We already know that the Egyptians worshipped the rams, lambs, sheeps, etc., while we in the Body of Christ we worship the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29)

The Egyptians worshipped lambs, in their self-effort, hoping to earn forgiveness. In Christ, we receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17), because Jesus, the Lamb of God, died on the Cross, taking all our sins, and granting us redemption through His Blood.

There is no greater abomination than to think that we can earn God's favor. Grace is undeserved, unearned, unmerited. We receive all things from God our loving Father through His Son Jesus Christ.

Let us worship the Lord, because He is Good! We do not, cannot, and should not think that we can bargain or buy God's favor. Such actions are indeed an abomination. Let's rest in the perfect gift of salvation which He has given to us. Amen!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

In Christ, You Are No Longer an Abomination

 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)

The topic of homosexuality (and transgenderism) is becoming more contentious in the world and particularly in the Body of Christ.

No doubt, this is an issue, because of the many sins against which God warns His people Israel, and which God calls us to abandon in our new life in Christ, there is no sin which receives such opposing praise and celebration in the world than homosexuality.

This discussion came up in the latest episode of "Ask Me Anything" from the TrueLove.Is ministry based in Singapore. (Click here)

For today, I am not going to look specifically at the sinful act, but the word "abomination", and the revelation which we can receive about our Lord Jesus Christ, and everything that He has accomplished for us at the Cross.

In the original Hebrew, "abomination" is "toevah":

תּוֹעֵבַה

The first mention of abomination in the Old Testament has nothing to do with sexual sins, but rather how the fallen world, the Gentile world, viewed abominations in contrast with the Isrsaelites. The scene from the verse below arises from Joseph (at the time, disguised as the viceroy of Egypt) dining with his brothers:

"And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians." (Genesis 43:32)

The Egyptians refused to eat with the Israelites. Egypt and Egyptians are types of the world, types of the fallen world specifically. In Hebrew, Egypt is called "Mizraim", which means "double straitness" or anguish. Egypt also speaks of a man-centered, flesh-centered life, as opposed to the life of grace which God called His people to receive in the Promised Land of Canaan.

I sought greater revelation from the Lord about this passage. Why did the Egyptians find the Israelites to be an abomination, such that they did not want to dine with them?

The next mention of "abomination" in the Old Testament may give us a clue:

"That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians." (Genesis 46:34)

So, the Israelites are an abomination to the Egyptians because they are shepherds. Still, it's not clear to me. The third mention of abomination in the Old Testament will shed still further light on the matter:

"25And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. 26And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?" (Exodus 8:25-26)

The Israelites are an abomination because they are shepherds and because of the sacrifices they are going to sacrifice. What's the full explanation here?

The Egyptians worshipped sheep. One of their gods, Khnum, was a sheep!


What's the deeper revelation we can draw out of this, and what can God show us about the term "abomination" and its deepest meaning to God? What does He find essentially to be an abomination to Him?

The Egyptians worshipped sheep. One of their gods was a sheep. But wait a second ... we worship " a sheep", right: the Lamb of God, Jesus, do we not?

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)



and

"Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." (Revelation 5:12)

In a much broader, holier sense, we worship a "Lamb", too. But there is a telling difference between Egyptians' worship and our worship today.

The Egyptians worshipped a lamb, and they had to serve him.

We worship the Lamb of God, because He first served us, He first loved us (1 John 4:19). In fact, He deliberately came down to our level and died on the Cross for all our sins! Such a notion, that God would become man and die for us, is indeed an abomination to the world, and the world despises us for believing in Jesus:

"Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day." (1 Corinthians 4:13)

The Egyptians performed rituals for their god. Our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, performed great miracles and completed a perfect work for us at the Cross!

So, "abomination" in the Old Testament can give us a window into learning more about Jesus.

Consider the word toevah in the original Hebrew:

תּוֹעֵבַה

It has five letters, the number of grace. It starts with the letter Tav, which represents the Cross. It ends with Heh, which represents grace.

Jesus became an abomination, became SIN for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). He took on all the wrath of God for our sins (Romans 3:24-26). He took all the penalties for our sins, and by His stripes, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)

If we are honest, we were all abominable, full of pride (Proverbs 16:5), making self-serving sacrifices just to please ourselves (Proverbs 15:8), engaging in corrupt dealings (Proverbs 11:1), or living in anger (Proverbs 3:32)

But Jesus became sin, because the greatest abomination, that we might be made not just righteous, but attaining, becoming the righteousness of God in Him! We are no longer rejected, by accepted, highly favored in our Beloved Savior (Ephesians 1:3-6).

In fact, even in the Old Testament, we have a picture of God's grace already at work. Notice that God does not say that the individuals who engage in same-sex behaviors are an abomination. He calls the behaviors themselves an abomination. 

Today, if you believe in Jesus, you are no longer an abomination, but a cherished child of God, one with Christ Jesus.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Can't Stop Writing About the Freedom in Righteousness

  This the Year of Time and Space.

It may have seemed that for many people, this year has been wasted.

For my part, I can tell you that all has worked for good. For my good! (Romans 8:28)

This year has allowed me to see more of Jesus, to understand how real He is.

This year, I walked out of a church that refused to stand up to the Governor's abusive, unlawful orders, and I ended up in a church which refused to be bullied, kowtowed by the lawlessness.

I am running for State Assembly, and the election season is kicking off into full swing.

Because the year pretty much grinded everything to a halt, there was so much evil the world that had to stop, as well. The natural cycles and themes of God's natural world were restored once again.

This was a time that forced people to walk by faith, in that we had to go forward one step at a time, not having the full knowledge of what could happen.

The Year of Time and Space is a year in which God brought many people in the Body of Christ to new heights, to greater revelation, to broader spaces.

This time of slow-down forced me to look into God's Word more than ever before. There were compulsive behaviors that God was able to remove from my life during this so-called pandemic. Because of the slowdown and shutdown of public gatherings, many pastors and church leaders brought their ministries online, and now they are reaching untold millions around the world with the Good News, the Gospel of Grace!

AMEN!

One of my points of greatest struggle was that I would get angry, I would get embittered very easily. I used to think that all the wrongs which people had perpetrated against me, would mean  that those harsh memories would be able to bother me any time. It was such a strain for me, and I spent so much time trying to stem and tame this struggle inside my head.

Now I understand that His righteousness rests within me, a golden offering that will never leave me, never be shaken out of me:

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Corinthians 4:7)



And this righteousness cannot be taken away from me, even if I sin:

"For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief." (Proverbs 24:16)

The rightoeus man does sin from time to time, but he is established.

As we keep receiving the gift of righteousness, the abundance of grace, and as we keep seeing the LORD in the Word, we are transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). We grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, and His grace is all the more manifested to us (2 Peter 3:18).

The biggest change that has happened for me, though, is that I see how real, relevant, prevalent God is. I am no longer wondering if He is on my side. I know that He is for me, because I have been made the righteousess of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The stumbling block for me was that I struggled to understand that righteousness is a gift, and that is not dependent on my actions or my feelings. I confused that issue, and then combine that with the lie that the LORD comes and goes depending on how you feel or what you think, and well, there you have the perfect recipe for confusion, pain, anguish, torture, and loss.

Thank you, Jesus, that I am free from all of this. This is indeed the Year of Time and Space. I am set free from all the wrong believing, the wrong ideas, that wrong things that I had learned. I am so grateful for the extended shutdown period which occured, because I have now learned so much more about what it means to reign in life, in Your Life!

Righteousness Has Nothing to Do With Feelings

 Wow! Just plain wow!

I cannot believe this revelation has taken me this long to understand.

But hey, it just goes to show how important it is for us to believe the truth, and to be set free.

I have been the righteousness of God in Christ since the moment that I believed on Him. That was in 1994.

It was not until 2008 that I started to learn that I was made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). This revelation came to me through Joyce Meyer and her ministry. At that time, I was facing so many dark conflicts and problems in my life. I was trying to find full-time employment as a teacher, but I had walked off of two different jobs. It seemed that all was lost, and I had no idea how I was going to pay the rent, to get through the month, etc.

Then I started to learn that I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

With righteousness came all these other blessings. Wow!

I started claiming these blessings fully in my life. "You know what my needs are, Lord," I would often say when I was facing difficulties, or when I was worried about how I was going to get through the day.

It was really something that year, that I saw the LORD taking care of every need in my life. I had a new job, I was gainfully employed. I was well-received and favored by my coworkers, colleagues, etc.

But then a sense of strain, of condemnation overtook me. I felt that I had to take care of life on my own afterwards. The question began to nag me: "What happens after this? What is next?"

There was the growing sense about me that life was all about me, and that everything was all up to me. I did not understand that Christ Jesus is my life, and that He is providing all things for me.

It's the abundance of grace with the gift of righteousness that we reign in life (Romans 5:17). God wants us to receive and keep receiving. God was not present in my life if my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors were properly aligned. It's hard to reconcile this, but I had no idea that God was actively alive in my life. It;s crazy, but it seemed to me that I was rolling the dice every day, wondering whether God was for me or not.

This bondage brought me into such despair and fatigue. I was so tired, so empty, and I ended up walking off the job. That was the third full-time teaching job that I had been working ... and I quit. I had no idea what the future held for me. I had no idea where God was taking me, or what I would have to do or say or think to be in the right place at the right time.

It was really hard for me to trust the Lord at the time. I had had no training in the grace of God, in His unmerited favor workin in my life, and more importantly that He is my life (Colossians 3:4).

Because I did not have a strong enough knowledge of God's Word, and because I did not understand how alive, vibrant, and real God is, I ended up trusting in my feelings. I ended up falling into this notion that I had to think and feel a certain way to ensure that God's presence was ... present.

This, of course, created unprecendented problems. The fiery darts of the Enemy were firing away at me, and I would get caught up in these arguments all the time. Yet what does Paul counsel to the Corinthians?

"4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

"5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

"Imaginations" can also be rendered "arguments." God's Word answers every argument, Yet for years, I would argue with my head constantly, convinced that I had to get all the negative thoughts and feelings out of my head so that I could hear God clearly. What madness, but it was true.

That was the life that I was living.

TODAY, I am learning that this precious gift of righteousness is a rugged, rigid, right and ready standing that is not going away.

Now I understand what the prophet Isaiah shared:

"In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54:14)



TODAY, I am established in His righteousness. I know that nothing I am thinking, feeling, wondering, or worrying about is going to change that. I understand that I am not living this life in my own efforts anymore. Because of this perfect gift of righteousness, Christ is able to live in me and guide me. I do not have to wonder or guess whether He will be there for me or not. This life is no longer about second-guessing God, but knowing and believing in His love for me. 

This is just wonderful. This is peace. This righteousness, from Christ, to me, and it has nothing to do with my feelings.

Why He's Not Telling Me Where He Is Taking Me (Part Two)

In the previous post, I shared that God often does not tell us where we are going, because He is more--in fact, MOST--interested in our trusting Him more.

I drew this revelation from a passage I have often studied, quoted, and shared with others: Mark 4: 35-41.

The disciples are on the sea, heading to the Gadarenes. Jesus has told them: "Let's cross over the other side." While they are rowing over, a great storm overtakes the ship, and the ship begins to take on water. The disciples, fearing the worse and fearing for their lives, wake up Jesus, was sound asleep in the bottom of the ship. He comes out and stills the storm with one word. Then shares the following:

"And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:40)

Then:

"And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:41)

I have often found that phrase "they feared exceedingly" quite startling. They were afraid because of the boisterous storm and winds, plus the water pouring into the ship. But when Jesus answered, in fact OVER-answered their prayers, they were MORE afraid! How unfortunate! God always points out that passage to me, and shows that the disciples' biggest problem was not the storm, but their lack of faith.

Jesus told them where they were going! Jesus even stilled the storm for them, and yet instead of being calm, they were even more afraid. How terrible is that! God wants us know that we can trust Him, and trust Him fully. We have no reason to fear Him.

So, the first reason that God is not interested in telling us exactly where we are going? He wants us to trust Him, and telling us where we are going will not foster that trust.

There are other reasons why God does not tell us where we are going.

He wants us to depend on Him completely, not our own efforts, to get there.

Consider this wonderful type in Deuteronomy:

"When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

"When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn." (Deuteronomy 23:24-25)

In this judgment, God invites the Israelites to eat as much of the grapes or the corn that they can eat there in the vineyard. They are not permitted, however, to harvest and save more for later. What's going on?

Jesus encouraged the Israelites during His earthly ministry to pray this prayer:

"Give us this day our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11)

Jesus did not say "this monthly bread" or "this yearly bread". What's going on here? Jesus needs us to see that He is our Bread, the Bread of Life (John 6:35)

God does not want us relying on our efforts. He wants us completely dependent on Himself. This has nothing to do with God being on some kind of ego trip, by the way. We were created from Him, and in Him alone we can live, move, and have our being (Acts 17:28)

Jesus is our life (Colossians 3:4), and therefore He wants us to rest in Him and receive from Him at all times. With this in mind, God does not necessarily tell us where we are going, because He wants us to let Him take us there.

Here's another example of His favor at work in our lives, if we allow Him to:

"19So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went." (John 6:19-21)


Again, the disciples were rowing on the sea, and they were trying to get to a specific destination. The winds were contrary to them, and for all the efforts, they were not able to get where they wanted to go. Then Jesus arrived on the sea, on the scene. He almost passed them by, but the disciples reacted to Him. He told them: "I am. Be not afraid."

Here, their response is quite different. They welcomed Him into their ship. They clearly saw Him above the winds, water, and waves, and yet He invited them to let Him into their ship.

Then check out the miracle that followed: "When they willingly received Him into their ship, they immediately got where they were going."

This is a miracle of time and space, too, and most readers miss it. They welcomed Jesus into their ship, and they right way, straightaway, no holding back got to where they were trying to get in their own efforts. In this year of Time and Space, we see that God is making up for lost time, and taking us over greater spaces in spite of outside limitations.



God showed me yet another reason why He does not necessarily tell us where He is taking us: it will take longer. If we let Him guide us, we will get where He wants us to go much quicker than if He told us where He was taking us, and we in turn relied on our efforts to get there.

And that's a tendency we have, isn't it? We know where the end point, the goal is, and we spend all of our time and energy getting to that place, arriving at that station in our lives. Yet all the while, we end up missing what, or rather Who life is about: Jesus.

And Jesus does not want us to miss out on Him:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

Jesus is our Life, as well as the Way and the Truth (John 14:6)

We don't need to focus on knowing where exactly He is taking us. He is most importantly in our knowing Him intimately and trusting Him fully to get us to a good place, no matter what the obstacles and difficulties which meet us along the way.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Why He's Not Telling Me Where He Is Taking Me

 I just received this answer, this specific revelation this evening while eating dinner.

I was praying "Lord, where are we going? Where are you taking me?"

I heard Him respond: "You need to stop asking me that question. You are called to walk by faith, and that means that you are not going to get a specific answer as to the next specific location or vocation that I am guiding you to."

This calm rebuke was well-received from me ... finally.


Pastor Prince has shared that this year, Year 2020, is "The Year of Time and Space", and it's the year in which we allow God to take us to new heights in record time, but He will only allows us to see what is happening before us one step at a time.

He drew this direction from the LORD via the description of the side quarters next to Solomon's Temple:

"The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third." (1 Kings 6:8)



A winding staircase allows individuals to reach the maximum height of a building in the shortest amount of time, relying on the last amount of space. However, anyone traveling up a winding staircase can only see one step ahead of himself at a time. He is not going to have the complete, long view in front of him as he ascends the staircase.

So too, God is showing me that the next step of my life, of my walk with the LORD is not going to be clearly outlined for me in the long term. Besides, He has shown me that God is not interested in us knowing where we are going, but trusting Him who has pledged to get us there safely, in peace and prosperity. This revelation had become manifest to me when I was meditating on Mark 4. Jesus told His disciples that they were going to cross over to the other side of the sea. Then the winds grew strong and boisterous, and a great storm overtook the sea, enough that their ship started taking on water. The disciples panicked, shouted at Jesus, who was sound asleep at the time: "Master, don't you care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4: 38)

Jesus woke up, stilled the storm with one word, then rebuked His disciples. Instead of resting in calm gratitude, they were more afraid. 

God showed me that we need to know more than where we are going. We need to know, believe, trust in Him who is guiding us. In fact, knowing where we are headed is incidental, not essential, to our walk on this earth.

Consider Micah's exhortation:

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)

Consider also Abraham's example, as recorded for us in the Book of Hebrews:

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." (Hebrews 11:8)

Most importantly, consider the question posed by the apostle Thomas , and how Jesus answered him:

"5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:5-6)

Wherever we are headed, whatever may happen along the way, Jesus is the Way. We need to know Him. We need to know that He has us covered, from beginning to end, and that at the end of the journey, He will bring us to great blessing:

"4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23:4-5)

and

"He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me." (Psalm 18:19)

I thank you, Jesus, that You have helped me to grow to trust You, to know that I do not have to know where I am headed, since where You are taking me, I know that it will be a grand and glorious place, in which I will prosper and be in health (3 John 2).