A WORD WE ALL NEED TO HEAR IN THE CHURCH TODAY

I am going through a class from Francis Frangapain’s school “In Christ Image Training” – It is INCREDIBLE and so relevant for me and the church today. This is one that needs to be read, studied by all believer’s. Enjoy it and by all means PASS IT ALONG!

To Delight In Hiddenness

The desire to be acknowledged and appreciated by others is basic to human nature. Jesus Himself seemed somewhat troubled that, after healing ten lepers, only one returned to give thanks (see Luke 17). Yet, while the need to be occasionally appreciated is not sin, it can become sin when we begin seeking recognition. We must determine that our service to mankind is guided by a higher, more focused obedience to God.

Jesus lived solely for the glory of God. We, however, too often seek the glory and praise of man. In spite of the fact that Jesus repeatedly affirmed that the Father, who sees in secret, will reward us openly (see Matt 6), we remain offended if we do not receive credit for our good deeds. This quest for recognition can become a source of wrong motives and failed endeavors; it can give a place to jealousy, pride and selfish ambition if we are not careful.

I wish I could say I have never walked in this type of human weakness, but that would be untrue. In fact, I experienced something a few years ago that, though quite painful at the time, ultimately unfolded into a wonderful revelation concerning the nature of the Holy Spirit. Yet, before I proceed, let me state that to share this publicly requires I make my own frailties visible before you. So, please grant me your grace.

The scene was the 1996 Promise Keeper’s Atlanta convocation for pastors. This event was the largest gathering of pastors in North American history—more than 40,000 ministers united from a great variety of backgrounds and cultures. It featured two themes in which I had been quite active: unity and reconciliation. Although I had been instrumental in bringing thousands of pastors and leaders together in hundreds of cities, I had not been asked to participate in this conference. Although I mentioned my dilemma to no one, the lack of recognition was producing an ever deepening disturbance in my thought life.

I decided that, even though I had not been asked to serve, I would go to the conference. However, I relegated my struggle to a secret chamber in my soul, a place where wounds are stored while I continue on in God. I thought that perhaps, once I reached the conference, the Lord would open a door and call me to contribute more visibly.

But no door opened. Pastors who were familiar with my work would ask, “So, why aren’t you speaking at this conference?” I’d smile and respond, “This must increase and I must decrease.”

While my answer was both humble and sincere, I was becoming much more humble than I planned. The fact was, I was asking myself the same question: Why wasn’t I speaking? Ghosts of past rejections began to manipulate my fears. So, while I attended the ministers’ conference and truly rejoiced in the unity, I felt detached from it. I watched a spiritual dream that I carried in my soul emerge and take form, only to find myself floating, dreamlike, outside of the fulfillment. I was simultaneously deeply blessed and thoroughly miserable.

Finally, I laid my soul bare to a couple of friends. “What should I do?” I asked. “If I promote myself, God stands against me; if I remain silent, I sacrifice my contribution to this historic event.” If nothing else, I knew the Lord was crucifying my pride and fleshly ambition. Indeed, beyond a legitimate desire to stir pastors and leaders toward greater unity, I must admit that there was another part of me that desired personal recognition.

The conference came and went, but my inner struggle stayed with me. After several months I successfully buried the conflict beneath my everyday thoughts. I was going on with my life. However, in May, the issue resurfaced, this time to be wonderfully resolved. I was at a Mission America meeting in Washington, D.C., listening as a friend shared over lunch how the Lord used other leaders to lay foundations in his life. As we talked, I began to see that I was not outside of what God was doing, but underneath it. My labors in Christ (and those of many others) were part of a divine substructure upon which this current work was unfolding.

The efforts of those who serve in high visibility today will likely become foundations for greater works by others tomorrow. I felt I was beginning to understand my role in the context of God’s unfolding kingdom. I was even able to look at my own life and see individuals whose teachings and spiritual examples had become foundations in me—-people whom I also had never thanked or acknowledged.

My need for recognition had diminished greatly, yet the Holy Spirit had something vital to add to me. That evening, as I sought God, I confessed my sin of seeking recognition. Immediately the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart a simple question concerning Himself. He asked, “Do you know My name?”

This was a God-moment, where one small introductory thought floods the soul with a river of revelation. I knew the primary revelation of the Father’s name was Yahweh and the name of the Son, of course, is Jesus. I recalled all the “compound names” of God in the Bible, but again could not identify the actual name of the Holy Spirit. It struck me as profound that, in a lifetime of ministry, I could not remember once reading or hearing a teaching about the name of the Holy Spirit. I saw that every good work, every miracle of grace, every spiritual advancement I obtained, even those that came in spite of myself, had occurred through the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet, He never drew attention to Himself, choosing instead to direct my praise toward the Father or the Son. Amazingly, for all His work, I did not know His name or think to ask Him!

Then the revelation gloriously expanded. Suddenly, I realized that everything that was accomplished worldwide was the result of the Holy Spirit. Not one genuine virtue emerged in anyone apart from His working, whether it was concerning the prayer movement, reconciliation between denominations and races, the renewal, various revivals that had sprung forth throughout the world, or the increasing harvest of the nations—all was the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet, no one knew His name!

Still He was not done with me. I was even more astonished when I quickly searched my memory of the Scriptures and, to my knowledge, could recall no prophet, priest or king whom the Holy Spirit inspired to reveal His name! Did I know His name? No! Throughout history, from brooding over the pre-creation universe to strengthening the Son of God at the cross, He had accomplished all the work of the Godhead, yet He never revealed His name.

This truth hit me as a burning revelation. The nature of the Holy Spirit is in stark contrast to our human desires to be seen, praised and recognized. I saw how the Holy Spirit truly, passionately delights in hiddenness.

Then I saw the most wonderful unveiling of all: the passions of the Holy Spirit’s heart. Two blazing fires consume His every thought: to see Jesus glorified and the Father’s will accomplished on earth. Here, before my eyes, I saw perfect humility and complete obedience—-the God-pattern that would lead me to spiritual rest and maturity.

Beloved, if we would truly be filled with the Spirit, we too must abandon the quest for recognition. God sees and knows our works. Whether or not a promotion comes in this world, the reward we must seek is that which comes from heaven. Until then, let us seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit, whose glorious delight is to work in hiddenness.

Let’s pray: Lord, forgive me for seeking recognition from man. Help me, blessed Holy Spirit, to be filled with Your substance—-Your thoughts and motives, Your contentment and power. Live Your marvelous life of hiddenness through me, that Jesus may truly be glorified and the Father’s will be fully accomplished.

Quote:

“I saw the most wonderful unveiling of all: the passions of the Holy Spirit’s heart. Two blazing fires consume His every thought: to see Jesus glorified and the Father’s will accomplished on earth. Here, before my eyes, I saw perfect humility and complete obedience—the God-pattern that would lead me to spiritual rest and maturity.”

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Mark 1:29-45 — moving along in Mark…end of Chapter 1

29 After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. 31 So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them.

32 That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. 33 The whole town gathered at the door to watch. 34 So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak.

Jesus is now in FULL MINISTRY MODE – His time has come and it’s time to move!! This is NO small thing, Jesus preaching a “new” thing, bringing healing, miracles and words they have not heard before, In the past this was first only for the Jews and secondly only through the religious leaders! Jesus comes along and preaches FREEDOM, HEALING, SALVATION for all……the crowds grew quickly has he travels through the area.,

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.

Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy

40 A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.

41 Moved with compassion,[i] Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” 42 Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. 43 Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: 44 “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy.[j] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

This always perplexes me……why? Why does Jesus tell people NOT to tell what has happened to them? Well from the very beginning of my writing this new blog I have committed to only asking the Holy Spirit and allowing him to direct me. I am not using any study notes, sermons, teachings, book etc…..so with this in mind I will stop here for today and go to prayer…..seeking the answer then pick this back up. Today is 11-19 Tuesday. ……to be continued.

Wednesday 6:00 am — Jesus had a purpose for His time here on this earth. He knew it was short and He knew how big it was. It was not about Him although it was about Him, he did not want to draw all that attention to the work he was doing. IF it got out of hand too quickly his death probably would have come a lot quicker. How many did He heal? How many did He say the same thing to? In this story He wanted the “religious leaders” to see that GOD did it and it was in a way they would understand. I think Jesus needed to keep some type of control of these crowds.

Another thought I had on this was that when the King of Kings enters into our lives, touches us it changes us forever!! When you are touched by God there is NO way you can just keep quiet…….. there is no way you can say “the Dr’s healed me” There is no way to do things like you’ve always done them………Have you experienced this?

45 But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.

The Word is out and there is NO stopping it now!!!! Jesus is God and the World is be awakened to it. Can you imagine what it was like? The excitement? The KING OF KINGS here on earth????? Miracles?????? Healings????? People finding TRUTH?????

Well, that same Spirit that was within Jesus resides in you and me!!! We are His hands and Feet…….Jesus said we will do even greater things. Why don’t we see this in our world? Why isn’t the church or body of Christ moving in this same power and Spirit? Is it really available? What do we do to “be” like this? How? Does the body of Christ look like JESUS or like MAN?

Well the answers are coming as we go through this book.

Mark 1:21-28 — moving along in this book…

21 Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law.

23 Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil[h] spirit began shouting, 24 “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

25 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. 26 At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.

27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.

Jesus goes into the Synagogue and began teaching…..for me I always asked the question “how can this be?” How can a man walk in off the street and start teaching? A Synagogue was set up in neighborhoods, they had no full time pastor, teacher, elders etc…. the teaching would come from local men. The one purpose of the Synagogue was for “instruction or teaching” of the Law. If a man passed through town and they knew the Law, the Tora they would be invited to teach. So with this Jesus goes in and start teaching. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it’s talked about.

“The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with REAL authority – quite unlike the teachers of religious law”

Man has taken the Word of God and made it “man-like” – brought it to a level that man can understand and throughout history has turned the word of God into a book or “rules” to follow that in the end would make you HOLY…….the religious leaders took God’s word and reduced it to man-words just so we could wrap our heads around it. In a very real sense they took the “breath of God” out of His Word. And now here comes the Living Word to teach…….a new heart, a new Spirit…..a new way! Instantly they saw something different….it says they were amazed and that they knew he didn’t teach like any other teacher they have ever heard!!! The demons HATED it, they recognized that He was JESUS and they knew everything was about to change!! Another thing that gets me in these scriptures is that the people knew  about this “spirit” and sat helpless.

“The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee” 

Jesus IS the Word of God!! When He taught it was the heart of the Word………a new message or the reality is “the message” exactly how it was intended to be. The very heart of God. Ok, so how about today’s world? How about me? You? The body of Christ (the church)?

I have been part of churches that grew, churches that died, churches that were alive and churches that were boring and going through the motions. I have been part of churches where miracles were taking place and churches that were divided with gossip flying through it like a fire. I have been part of churches with NO new people, no young people, no youth, and part of churches where we ran out of room in all area’s of the church. I have been part of churches that the lost came in to see if God is real and churches where the lost swore they would never step foot into……why? What makes the difference?

Well, nothing has changed since this scene in the 1st chapter of Mark……..JESUS makes the difference……the spirit in Jesus is the SAME SPIRIT the dwells within us………When a pastor preaches, teaches and loves through the Spirit of the Living God people will stand amazed and perplexed, people will come from miles to be a part of it….. when a worship leader leads us into DEEP worship through the Spirit of the living God people will enter into a place of worship they have never been, seen or even imagined…….when the body is “Christlike” and moves in the Spirit in LOVE and COMPASSION the lost will flock to this body……I believe with all I have that the majority of the world is LOOKING for a REAL GOD that REALLY LOVES, CHANGES THEM, DWELLS WITHIN THEM and makes a difference in the world that most would spend all they had if they thought they really found it!!!

Jesus speaks of this over and over again, I’ve seen it take place in third world countries, I have read stories about it, watched movies about it………..If a statue of Jesus sheds a tear people fly in from all over the world to be a part of it……..hoping it is real, a miracle, a sign,….they will spend a life saving to get to it…….what does that show you? Are people just stupid? NO!!! They are ALL hungry, they all have a hole in their heart to fill.

The world is fed up with “church” — using all the tricks to get them into the church, using the latest advertising tricks, preaching the latest fad, TV show or movies…..have the most high-tech church, the funniest preacher, the most important guest speaker, be on TV, blah blah blah — I have a feeling sometimes that God wants to spit the church out, you know throw up over it!!!

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the church, I believe that Jesus died for the church and is coming back for the church…………BUT NOT THE CHURCH MAN HAS CREATED!!!

Take a look at some of the largest churches in the world………take a look at some of the movement in other places in this world in the Body of Christ!!

The key? “The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with REAL authority – quite unlike the teachers of religious law”

BE CHRISTLIKE!!!!! Teach, worship, and preach in the SPIRIT about the SPIRIT – we are not a social club, we are not counselors to fix homes, marriages ect….. we are born again, Spirit filled men and women who are to TEACH the WORD OF GOD!!!!

Whew…….ok I’ll stop here.

 

The Unshrunk Cloth – by Francis Frangipane – (excellent teaching for the body of Christ)

The Unshrunk Cloth

Just as our failures can break us, so God allows other situations to reduce us. I know, we think of ministry in terms of wholeness and expansion, but much of what is seen outwardly is attached to the work of God inwardly. In fact, one way we expand is to be willing to shrink. What do I mean? Listen to what Jesus taught:

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results.” —Mark 2:21

The Lord says that you cannot mend an old garment with a new patch because once the garment is washed the patch will begin to shrink. As a result, it will pull away from the garment and a worse tear occurs. I have seen it happen in many churches: someone is brought in to fix a situation, but they understand “ministry” as being an opportunity to display what they can do; they have yet to be cut to size. As a result, when they see the little hole God wants them to fill, as they reluctantly shrink, they pull away from the old garment, causing a worse tear than at first.

So, a wise seamstress will soak a new patch in hot water before sewing it onto the older garment. This gives time for the patch to shrink to the size that is needed. After it is shrunk, she then sews it permanently into the old garment.

The Lord must also shrink us before He can use us. When we come to a church or join a ministry team, we cannot help but be aware of the dozens of things we feel qualified to accomplish. In fact, we look at others and think, “I could do better than that.” If you are looking at the assignment someone else has and feel you could do better, it is because you are still, to some degree, unshrunk. God hasn’t brought you into the body to do someone else’s task; He wants you to focus upon your own, even if it is seemingly insignificant.

We argue, “But how will I advance unless someone sees my talents?” The Lord said, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10). We must simply do the thing God tells us and not envy others and their tasks. We seek to do some great thing for God; but God wants us to do little things as though they were great. The entire ministry does not need repair, just the hole we are called to fill. Each ministry has an exact size requirement.

How does the Lord reduce you so you can be useful? Like the seamstress, He puts you in hot water. God must shrink us from our exaggerated opinion of ourselves before He can use us in greater projects. We must simply fill the size of the need before us without envying the tasks of others. If you find yourself, for a time, in hot water, it might be because you took on tasks that were beyond the Lord’s assignment for you. He is shrinking you to the size of your calling.

The end of it all is this: the Lord takes seriously His plan for our lives. He has one goal with us: create us in the image of Christ. In His wonderful, all-powerful hands, He can use our failures, “tare-able” people, and our time in hot water to work for both our good and His glory in our lives.

Let’s pray: Lord, shrink me to the right size for the task at hand. May I cover the need without ambition to be seen. Uproot hidden jealousies within me, lest I find myself striving to take the place of others. Amen.

Mark 1:16-20 continued…..

Continuing on in the book of Mark. I am taking scripture by scripture with no study notes, no sermons, no other books….just me and the Holy Spirit, asking for fresh eyes and a new Spirit while reading. Where the Lord leads who knows! I have taught, preached most of these scriptures over the last 20 years and now I’m looking for new revelations of Jesus through them………new revelations of MY life today and yesterday.

16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon[g] and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.

This is after Jesus went through the temptations in the dessert, after his baptism…..how long? I don’t know but the Word here says “one day…..” He calls out to these two fishermen and it appears they hear him and just drop what they are doing and leave with him. I don’t know about you but to me this seems very strange and not in the character of any man I know.

Did they hear John the Baptist? Was they at the river when Jesus was baptized? Did they know who He was already? When they saw him heading towards them did they get excited, hearts skip a beat? What makes a man do such a thing? Just drop everything in his life and go………leave family, friends, work, everything!!

In today’s world I think most people take this as it is meant for men and women he calls into full-time ministry…..it’s not for the average Joe. When Jesus calls a man to preach, or be a missionary, or…….well then it’s expected of them to “drop” everything and follow Him. But for the rest, for the most part and usually at best we fit him into our lives as it is…….we create another box and neatly put him in it. We go to church on Sunday and do all the “churchy” things to follow him. BUT……..is that what it means?

If your husband, wife, son, daughter, grandson, or even best friend came to you and said God asked me to follow him………I saw JESUS and I’m going to give up everything I have to follow Him and see where it takes me! Most people would tell them that they are NUTS?

I have been in both places in my life when it comes to the Lord. I believe that when Jesus calls us to follow Him that we should follow Him at any cost. It’s about OUR hearts more than our physical being, but if it takes losing all in the physical before our hearts can really see him, hear him, and fall IN LOVE with Him………then that is the cost and I will say it is worth it.

A few years back I was part of a service in a newly planted church, I was there as a guest and helped this young pastor get this ministry going. It was an Hispanic ministry in the church I pastored. On the opening day of this new church as after months of preparation, prayer and money it was “Grand Opening” day and the excitement was high for all of us. I was on the front pew with the pastor during worship and man the worship was awesome!! All in Spanish but I worshipped hard and deep that day. The pastor of the new church leaned over to me and says “I have a guest speaker for today” I thought WHAT???????????? This is YOUR MOMENT why in the world did you bring in a guest speaker? Inside I was angry at him, all the work and prayers and the place was PACKED full of people…….I am assuming to hear this new pastor preach.

Well the time comes and he gets up and welcomes everyone, and then introduces the speaker………I assumed he was up front somewhere and I’m looking every where for him……. from the back of the church walking down the center isle is a little boy dressed in a suit………I mean maybe 10 or 11 years of age……..he steps up on the stage and before I knew it he was preaching his heart out….. all over the place, reading the Word, pacing around and the crowd is responding big time……I couldn’t understand a Word he was saying but I knew that it was powerful, my SPIRIT WAS JUMPING inside and I was “amazed and perplexed” as he preached. He probably preached for an hour that seemed like 20 minutes and before I knew it the altars filled up with people weeping, broken and praying out loud for help, forgiveness, healing….he laid his hands on each one and prayed powerful prayers over them, one by one they stood and wept, laughed, danced, ran the church, and give Jesus all the GLORY!!! IT was by far the most amazing service I’ve ever been in.

After service I met the boys father and sat with him for a long time talking to him about his son. I said you must be so proud of him……He tells me “I don’t know what to do with him……..” says, that since a little boy of 4 years old all he does is read the Bible and preach. WILL NOT GO TO SCHOOL, study, anything………the school districts are on them, the state of California is all over him…..but his son locks himself in his room with the bible and spends HOURS reading, studying, worshipping, praying etc. It turns out he has preached all through Mexico, S. America and most of California……..and he is ONLY TEN YEARS OF AGE. How do you force a boy like this to learn history? Math?

Thousands of men and women have accepted Jesus under his preaching, thousands healed, and the list goes on and on.

How many people in this world just ignore the Voice of Jesus? Or never even hear it? I sometimes say “well this is an extreme case…” Is it really? Heck most churches do not even encourage a deep love relationship with Jesus………church has become all about “fellowship and blah blah blah” When the NUMBER ONE CALLING IN OUR LIFE is to be CHRISTLIKE!!! This is the will of the Father in each persons life……and that my beloved friends takes a DEATH.

Well that is my thoughts on these few short Scriptures – don’t just read over them and think “oh that’s cool, if Jesus walked up to me and said “follow me I would do the same thing”

Part 2 — Pondering some things….

Well I guess the bottom line on all of this is what is it I believe? Let me go back to my dream…..Dr. D is sitting on my bed weeping telling me “no, no this is not how it works….” This next thought is out of my life but I also think it’s part of the make up of the church and one of the MAJOR downfalls of the church…..and it’s such a HUGE thing that it will be shocking to many when the Lord returns.

When I became a Christian it was an amazing experience….I knew that I knew many things had changed with me……..deep inside me……my heart….my Spirit was awoke. I did not know Scriptures at all, the only thing I knew was what people would tell me, point me to in the Word. I was taught about deliverance, the new man, being set free. These are the things that I was told happens to a new believer!! I KNEW that something happened, no doubt about it….so I claimed each one in my life I WAS NOW A BORN AGAIN BELIEVER!!!

I got plugged into church quickly and started my journey. I screamed out that I was SET FREE……..I was DELIVERED to everyone I met and started learning about God. So in my head, I submitted to God, He responded, I was NOW free and a changed man. So when things in my life would pop up, old ways, old habits, old thoughts……..I would bury them saying that is NOT ME any longer………after awhile I would have to hide them from the world, my friends, family, church because it would make God a liar or me a liar. I loved HIM…….I trusted Him… I wanted this life I heard about. There were even times when I thought it just wasn’t for me….I was not chosen to be saved etc…..in this thought process I would explain it away because of the “doctrine” I was taught to believe in…..it was the opposite of what I was feeling or thinking.

I have to believe that there are millions more just like me…..the other day in a class I’m taking I read this and thought man oh man this is such truth in the church today and we don’t even realize it…..

You can be certain that God wants us to have right doctrines, but we must never content ourselves with merely the accumulation of correct information. For some, Bible study may seem like nothing more than religious facts, where the Word of God is viewed more as a museum than a power plant.

When we halt our spiritual ascent toward God at the plateau of doctrinal knowledge, we become people who never really change. Instead, our old nature simply pretends to be new. The longer we settle for just head knowledge, the more our Christianity begins to degenerate into a religious spirit.

It takes God to change our stubborn, rebellious natures. And our mighty God does not want us to fake our Christianity. He wants us to be real, where the knowledge of our head becomes the reality of our heart. You see, truth, in God’s view, is more than doctrines. It is reality”

There is NOTHING I can add to this….

So, here is one of the ways I can explain it today. All of my “pastoral” career I spoke negative about AA and NA….I had many friends and people that went through my church attending AA or NA — we held meetings at our church but my thought was this: IF God sets you free, you are FREE!!! AA and NA say that you are always an addict or alcoholic, I said if you are set free you are NO LONGER an addict or alcoholic, that is the “OLD YOU” and there is truth in that statement but ……..

I am a sinner, I cannot be trusted with my life, my thoughts, my marriage, my career, I NEED HIM every minute of every day!! When the “old me” creeps in the Holy Spirit will call me out on it……..I can no longer bury and deny that I am a BROKEN MAN in need of HIM in my life. Any other way of living is denying that I’m broken………and when that happens I / You have to hid things from the world, family, friends, church. We set ourselves up to lie and deceive people. Just as an addict hides when he falls……..I am DONE living that way. I rest in HIM today.

My way of thinking has been wrong! This is why the world see’s Christians like hypocrites – we say one thing and live another……all these dirty little secrets that always come to light sooner or later……….I believe that the world wants to know that there is a REAL God, that REALLY Loves and REALLY makes a difference in a life. My reality will be lived out in the light for the rest of my life………and I will teach this to anyone I get a chance to teach it to. 

Resting in Him  

Pondering some things…..

A couple weeks ago I posted on my facebook this message….;

I am coming to some conclusions in my life with the Lord…..I have been wrong about so many things…..wrong idea’s………wrong thoughts…..wrong perceptions…….wrong beliefs…..I am thinking that the little verse that says “come to Jesus as a child” is much huger and much more important than we can even imagine. “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ~Luke 18:17  ~ Bottom line most of us make Christianity fit our belief system rather than what it is….this creates hypocrites, hidden things in our lives, deception and manipulation…….
I will probably write a blog on this….keep your eyes open — feeling sorry.

What brought this on was a dream I had……..I’ve been praying and pondering over this dream and can’t seem to get a “full” picture of it again. Man, I sure wish we had a record button in our minds when we have dreams that have MEANING to our lives. I know that most dreams are just crazy, some are scary, some are funny and some make NO sense at all. I ALSO KNOW that God speaks to us in our dreams. I am not one to make more out of a dream than is intended……you know every detail and thing that happens in a dream has to have meaning…..BUT with that said I know that I know when a dream is from the Lord. So I pray and think about it hoping to catch what He wants me to hear. This dream has meaning for ME……….but it’s in pieces and not totally clear. Here is what the dream was….

Diane and I were in a room and I think we were fighting over something…..well maybe more like she saw something in me that she didn’t like, she said “it’s the OLD you……what happened? I thought God changed you….I thought that you were delivered from this…..” I do not remember what it was about though…..maybe it really doesn’t matter. In the next scene my counselor, Dr. D was sitting on the edge of my bed weeping……..I mean weeping very deeply. And through his sobbing he was saying “no, no, no it’s not like this….this is NOT how it works….” and then I woke up. That is about all I can remember. But I woke with a feeling of I’ve had it all wrong all my life. (spiritually speaking)

One of the questions that Diane has always had and I have and I’m sure many others have is this: If God delivered you, changed you 33 years ago……….what happened? How did you do the same thing again……..how could you be so deceitful?

These are good questions that really deserved an answer. The problem is I have not had any answers to them. GOD did do a great work in my life so many years ago…..I was delivered……I was freed up in so many area’s. And yet all this happened again years later. How can this be?

I was brought up “spiritually” in a denomination that is of “Wesleyan” persuasion. I love where I was, I loved the teaching and always thought it to be RIGHT ON!! I believe that the intent of the doctrines are much different than the teaching of the doctrines. I hope that makes sense……I read this the other day…

According to the Scriptures, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). So, if we are divided in our hearts from other churches, if we instinctively look down on other Christians or if we are at all self-promoting in attitude, we are walking in pride. As such, the Spirit that stands to resist our endeavors is not demonic; it’s God.

The Lord will not excuse our pride just because we sing three hymns on Sunday and consider ourselves “saved.” God resisted Lucifer’s pride in heaven and He will oppose our pride on earth. What is most sad is, religious pride has been so homogenized into our Christian experience that we don’t even perceive it as being wrong. Yet it is without doubt the most offensive blight upon God’s people.

In denominations we become proud……..our way of thinking is the “correct” way of thinking….if you think any other way we are WRONG…….and in danger. It’s not spoken but it is always implied in sermons, teachings, school etc…. I was taught about “Entire Sanctification” —  a GREAT MESSAGE, a GREAT doctrine but sure has been mis-used over the years. Made to believe that God eradicates our sin nature. Once we are SET FREE through the Holy Spirit we are FREE forever.

I sat on a board in our district that I LOVED …. the purpose of this board was to test men and women as they go through school to become full time ministers within our denomination. The “KEY” to passing the test was being able to explain “entire sanctification” to our satisfaction. Memorize what has been written about it, what has been taught about it, what our belief is and you pass. With this said, I must say that my last District Superintendent was wanting to move past this mentality and find the place where it was a reality in the lives of the men and women coming through.

The Lord does not want the lost added to churches where they must assimilate the poison of pride at the same table as salvation.

Part 2 in the next few days….