The Way of Escape
...he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. I Corinthians 10:13
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Abba shared with me tonight in my time of prayer. He reminded me of his kindness. He is a KIND God, our God is! We get ourselves in trouble....or trouble comes to us. But, Abba reminded me tonight of how He makes a way of escape for us. And some of us chose to go back into that thing or situation that had us in bondage. Tell the truth! You know He made a the way of escape! That is why provision was there! God took CARE of you. He took GOOD care of you. Oh, yes, HE made the way of escape. It was no good thing YOU did! It was not "luck", connections, talent, skill, relationships, or nepotism. It was a God thing! That is why you could see the FAVOR, the unmerited grace and mercy of God in THAT moment. The way everything just...fell into place. Abba had people, places and positions ordered so that he could , out of his goodness and kindness, take care of his child. Oh, how He loves us! You know you did not deserve that. That was not "the stars aligning". That is the One who made heaven and earth! He HUNG the stars! And you escaped that thing! Some of us were given a second chance...or more. You were and ARE free! God doesn't take us backwards. Old things are passed away. Don't "go back".
As I communed with the Lord, He noted how some actually want to go back. It is as though that mind blinding spirit would have them forget their captivity! Like the children of Israel, brought up and out of the fog of captivity and enslavement by God's right hand and yet, they hungered for the "fleshpots of Egypt". Isn't that just like us? Looking back through rose-colored glasses.
“If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” Numbers 15:5-6
"Though through my kindness, I gave and give them everything they NEED, yes, Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full. ( Ps. 78:25 ),
my people forget to remember, Abba dropped in my Spirit. Too many want to go back because of a selective memory. 'We remember', they say.They loose their appetite for me, my Word,( the TRUE Bread of Life!) , and my ways. Instead of hungering and thirsting after Me, they get a taste in their mouthes for the 'leekes, onions and garlic' flavor of the world. Lukewarm! Forgetting their lives were 'bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.' " Just beat down and feeling dead on the inside.Beloved, God delivered us from sin as surely as He delivered the weighty enslavement of the children of Israel! Are you seeing the parallels? Just as onions and garlic leaves one with a foul breath emanating from us, so a return to the sin that so easily besets us fouls our spirits. Instead of the Divine breath of Holy Spirit, the Ruach haKodesh, too many desire the garlic/onion "breath" of of carnality. Connect the dots! It is the trick of the enemy to send out the scent of enticement only to lead us back to enslavement. Don't go back, Beloved!
And I heard the Lord say, "I gave you, TOO, what you wanted, what you PRAYED for. And now like the children of Israel, you New Testament Christians groan, moan, and complain. You murmur against the Lord! THANKless! And in the face of my kindness and deliverance. I did make the way of escape and you do contemplate going back to Egypt. Back to the taskmaster of captivity. God forbid!
Some think they can dibble-dabble in "Egypt". It is self-deception says God. For I brought you out of darkness into my marvelous light. Still and all,
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19
It's a VERDICT! Even a judgement. I hope and pray I am not rambling. God is downloading into me even as type. " Who are YOU to judge?!?", you ask. To which I can only point you to the Word of God:
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
Beloved, the honourable thing to do would be to humble ourselves and ask God if there is anything in in this word for US. Do not be too prideful to do so! Because truly
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
What is the Lord saying in a nutshell? You are free in Jesus because He made the way of escape! Don't "go back" into the darkness of your old deeds, hangouts, hang ups all in some misguided attempt to add a little "flavor" to your life. You had better remember what God delivered you from! The "Egypt" of your past, whatever it was, that is between you and God, desires to destroy you. Don't "go back" I tell you, when one is TRULY sold out to God, where you taste and see that the Lord is GOOD, you cannot turn back! He is sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb! I believe the verdict is in! Abba seeks to prevent a "downfall". Take heed! I will close with the Apostle Paul's admonition to the people of God who have liberty through faith in Christ :
Warning Against Neglecting Salvation
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
Don't go back into captivity! STAY in The Way of escape. Stay in the Light!
In the Court
of the Garden
of the Palace
of the King
Intimacy. If one is intimate with another they are closely acquainted and familiar with one another. It speaks to being a very close friend and confidant. Such a relationship can be deep, personal, and inward. Hearts are definitely involved! Esther 1:5 metaphorically symbolizes such a relationship with the Lord to me. The verse is poetic!
In the Court
The antiquated meaning of the word court is "to be involved with romantically, typically with the intention of marrying". The Church is the Bride of Christ. She is to be a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27. But, beloved, The Church consist of we believers. You and I , like a bride, are to have a deep, heartfelt relationship with the Lord. This speaks to pursuing that relationship. I do not know about you, but in the three months or so before I came to a saving knowledge of Christ he courted me, I mean he just drew me to himself, wooing me into salvation. We are to have that same "courtship", if you will, in which we seek him as our vital necessity. K'ayal ta'arog...like a deer thirst the Sons of Korah sang in psalm 42, our souls are to thirst for the living God. Like all relationships we value, this relationship, too must be nourished. We can get so busy in our lives that we can sometimes be neglectful. Pay attention to him. Take care to stay in a Divine Romance with God! Our friend who sticks closer than a brother. Intimacy. Keep the courtship going. Chase after him!
Of the Garden
Deeper still in this intimacy is this garden...this fence of protection in which we are hedged in with and by the lover of our souls. When I think of a garden, I think of flowers...roses. The Rose of Sharon is a protective hedge around about us, our lives, our spirits, our souls. Jesus! His very name, Yeshua, "Salvation" has protection as an aspect of what belongs to we who place our confidence in him. Child of God, when we are in the garden of the King, he defends us! The psalmist speaks of Jehovah-Magenenu, "God our defence" and so He is!
For the Lord is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
Out of our intimacy with the Lord may our souls be like a watered garden and like a spring of water "whose waters fail not". Isaiah 58:11 Living waters! The Spirit of God within! It does not get any more intimate than this:
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one
Of the Palace
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Abide in Him! We have to train ourselves to recognize that his Presence is ALWAYS with us, prompting us, guiding us , directing us. Acknowledge Him! " Father, I know you are here!" Enjoy Him! The "palace" of his presence by his Spirit is a sanctuary for us.. We can enter into his rest! In day to day routine and grind of life, that "dry and thirsty land " God is our refreshing oasis. Drink deeply and be refreshed in the palace of the King! Not only are we to abide in the Lord, but we are to abide in the haven of his Word:
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7
We stay anchored and moored in that secret place as we sup with him and feast on the bread of the Word of God. We must have God as our refuge more than ever! But, not us only. The King desires we compel others to sup, too!
Of the King
Beloved, we know that Jesus is the King of Kings! How absolutely awesome to think of the fact that he desires intimacy with us. Deep calls unto deep...our love relationship is to grow more and more profound. When we see it as an intimate act relationship, "prayer' in the stereotypical sense, vanishes! There are no "thees" and "thous". It is a genuine dialogue, a pleasurable, friendship with Melekh hakkavod, the King of glory. Believe! Come to him knowing that He is, and that He takes pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. Our sense of security and well-being because of to Whom we belong, is a great gift. Life has its challenges to be sure, but our King is on the throne...including the throne of our hearts! In order to be in sync with the very heartbeat of God we should respond to the the call of the deep. Our King, who never leaves us nor forsakes us, awaits!
Remember "The Great Commission":
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28: 19-20
Beloved, it just seems to me that we are being dispatched from the court of the garden of the palace of the King. We know that apart from him we can do nothing. All truly effective "fruit that remains" level of ministry comes out of a robust and intimate relationship with the Lord. That is if one is to minister under the "smearing" of the oil of the yoke destroying power of God. The anointing!
"...the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing."
Make your relationship with the Lord your priority. let me say again nurture and value that relationship. Purpose to spend time in the garden. I can hear an old Christian hymn my sweet grandmother used to sing:
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
God will disclose to you what that days assignment. He will give you next steps in the "garden". The prophetic! Expect a rhema word from the King!
I’d stay in the garden with HimThough the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
Come to the garden of the King!. Let us respond to the call and then "Go".
And this is what he says to all humanity:
"The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding." Job 28:28
What a powerful passage of Scripture! It is a word of direction. Who does not want to be wise? MORE wise! And the thing is, Father God spoke not only to and through Job, but he spoke to "all humanity". As we approach a fresh new year we can't go wrong if we walk in more wisdom. What does that look like? Well, Beloved, scripture confirms, defines, explains scripture. It is not complicated! Look at how wisdom is defined in the Book of Wisdom: Proverbs 4:7
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence],..."
1) Simply worship God in all his awesomeness! That's the first and main thing we are called to do. It's not about running around "working ministry". If we don't have a love walk with God, no effective ministry happens anyway. Reverent worship is the most important and precious thing we can offer our God! Worship is the heart of our relationship with God And it is the starting point, the beginning of godly wisdom. The rest of the same passage noted above is "...And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight." If we are to know God, know his voice, his promptings, his guiding and leading, and have spiritual insight, then dear ones, it comes out of worship! It's that intimacy. No, I don't always understand what God is doing, but the Bible tells me if I WANT to understand, then worship God! He'll reveal it in the worship, He'll bring peace during the worship, He'll enable me to wait...through the worship. Understand?!?
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
2) Now, Job 28:28 [under the title above] reads that forsaking evil is understanding. It is not enough to have just wisdom. Even skillful and godly wisdom. Understanding works hand in hand with applying that wisdom and forsaking evil. Understand that! Let's break that down. To avoid evil means to avoid unrighteousness, dishonesty, wrongdoing, injustice, deception, falsehood, being worldly, SIN. I did not say it, that is the Word of God. Wise up! The Amplified Bible of that same passage says that getting understanding means to "actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation." Beloved, we haveour active part to play, do we not? We had better have discerning of spirits, and we had better know the Word of God if we are to "forsake evil". Walking out one's life aligned with and obeying the Word of God matures the child of God. It is not always easy. In fact, it will cost all you have and a death to self. We would be wise to understand that. Now, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
3) If we search it out the answers we need are in the Word of God. In the Book of Job Abba Father speaks to all humanity and "The Preacher", in one of my favorite passages of Scripture, tells us "the whole duty of man" in Ecclesiastes 12:13
When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person.
Know that He is Almighty God! This passage, too, admonishes us to worship God and to "keep his Commandments", but it is built upon acknowledging that He is the true and only living God of heaven and earth! SHADDAI’ EL HAI. Point 3 is a phrase, but it all "applies to every person". I recently posted on face book to "stop trying to psychoanalyze Jesus!" We try so hard to understand things so profoundly. His ways and thought are higher than ours. The Lord's yoke is easy and his burden is light: Love and worship him, obey his Word out of that love, and come to know more and more that He is God! Let us strive to walk out 2017 in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that blesses God! How? Let's get back to heartfelt worship! Adore him! Extol him! Reverence him!
I was running late for my check-up at the dentist the other day and as I sped down the freeway, I thought, "Well, they'll give me a 10-minute grace period. Grace period! I knew I needed to examine further as it pertains to the kingdom! My Webster's defines a grace period as, "A period after a due date or deadline during which an obligation may still be fulfilled without penalty or suspension of benefits. In other words a person has missed the deadline, but the one obligated to fulfill the benefits STILL does so without applying some sort of penalty, default, cancellation, or fee, . Some businesses will grant a grace period as a courtesy and for customer relations. But, after the period is over, you are out of luck. You missed it! Well now, "grace" חֵן (hen) in the Old Testament of the Bible, describes that which is gracious, especially the favorable disposition of one person toward another. It is to show mercy. Most uses of hen is used in the figurative language of the phrase, "to find favor in in someone's eyes." Moses found favor in the eyes of the Lord. It is from the basis of having found favor in God's eyes that Moses intercedes for the people (Gen. 34:9). Favor in the eyes of the Lord points out the notion that favor is expressed on one's countenance. Even the word face ( panim ) is sometimes translated "favor" (Psalm 119:58). We can better understand the metaphor of God turning his face toward his people ( Psalm 25;16 ) as well as hiding his face from those who refuse to turn from their sin (Deut. 32:20). Ah, but in his abundant mercy, JEHOVAH
EL RACHUM remains faithful to his promises! He is faithful, Beloved! He sends his Spirit to renew, refresh, and restore the wayward people and to bring them back within his favor. Ha
Rachaman ~ "The
Merciful One". Thank God for a grace period!
We are new Testament Christians, and as in the Old Testament, "finding favor in the presence of God" means God has an attitude of kindness toward someone desiring to prosper them. Charis is grace in the sense of "unmerited favor" It is no good thing we do! We've all heard someone declare they are "blessed and highly favored". Such a position in God highlights God's decision to bless and that person for his good purpose. It is not us, it is God. In Romans 15:15, Paul acknowledges that God's "grace" has called and equipped him to be an Apostle of Christ's Gospel. Beloved, we, too, must be graced to do whatever we do in building the Body of Christ! A Sunday school teacher, usher, driver, choir member pastor, evangelist, etc., is equipped by God to be effective in ministry. It's that equipment which makes and gives one a passion to work ministry. In that sense, a "grace period' is that space of time when God is preparing such an one. The Bible warns against putting a novice to work with the people of God (I Tim. 3:6) Folk need to sit under the uncompromising Word of God, get their hearts and minds transformed and allow God to do a work in them. Salvation is "by grace through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Just because there is a need in the house does not mean just anyone can fill it. That can actually do more harm than good. The graciousness which comes from the favor of God on one's life is mandatory. Notice we speak not of houses, cars, money in the bank. Who would not much rather have God's kindness toward them? We have to be careful not to hastily get ahead of God outside of the "grace period". In the natural such a period is usually a short 10 minutes. I don't know what a spiritual 10 minutes is, but I know one has to be in route to their destination. If I had re-routed to McDonald's or something I would have missed my appointment. Well there are divine appointments, a moed, too! Stay in his grace! Stay the course! Stay in the Word for the Epistle of James says, "And receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Our souls, the seat of our emotions, feelings, desires and intellect need that "grace period". The Apostle Paul did not begin his missionary trips to the Gentiles right after his Road to Damascus experience. He was graced, prepared and trained over a number of years. Surely, he preached in the intervening years.
There is significance to numbers in scripture: He telleth the number of the stars" Psalm 147:4. He "bringeth out their host by number" ( Is. 40:26) The number "5" is God's number of grace. We have to know there is a period of preparation and training for the call of God on one's life. There comes a trying and a testing, a "dark night of the soul". Sometimes it can seem like God is far away, can't it? But, oh here the Word of the Lord:
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,But with great compassion and mercy I will gather you to Myself again. “In an outburst of wrath I hid My face from you for a moment,But with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,”Says the Lord your Redeemer. Isaiah 54
You have not labored in vain! Know that the Lord is faithful who has chosen you. When you are tempted to think " The Lord has abandoned me, And my Lord has forgotten me,", remind yourself that indeed, He has inscribed a picture of you on the palms of his hands. Both hands! Be encouraged! The grace period is just that: "A brief moment" in the eyes of God. In a "favorable time " which follows, He promises to answer, help, restore, and keep watch over you. Believe God! The grace of God, your Redeemer, firmly establishes you in righteousness. It's HIS work, HIS doing! Enter in to his rest and know that this peace, righteousness, security, and even triumph over opposition is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. Receive it! Break forth into joyful shouting and rejoice!
Recently, I came across a term, “neither
confirm nor deny…” There are variations of it, but it is what is called a
Glomar response (AKA Glomarization or Glomar denial). In United States law the term “neither
confirm nor deny" is a response used to a Freedom of information Act. It’s a way to dissemble, isn’t it? It’s
neither “Yea" or “Nay”. Technically, one has answered...yet they have not
Not so for
the Christian. In the Apostle Paul’s Second Epistle to Timothy
( chapter 2, verse 10) he reminds his spiritual son:
Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also
obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
child of God, it is not about wriggling out of a situation by being "neutral”.
On the contrary, we are to endure all things! How, though? In the Word
of God, the Apostle Paul continues on in verse 11:
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live
it is! We must die. Die to self. Apostle Paul admonishes us to DENY
self and there is nothing "iffy” about it. It’s about crucifying the flesh and
being dead WITH him. That is a bold
statement of our union with the Lord because it is not in our OWN strength. There is a
“Yes, Lord!” In the being of one in Christ yet risen to newness of life! Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done. The only denyig to be done is of self: The flesh and its passions. It is part of the cost of discipleship Christ Jesus tells
us to take up our cross of crucifixion and follow him Matt 16:24 Paul wrote, “I
die daily”! How much more for us? We cannot forget that! II Timothy 2:12 reads:
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will
"Suffer" means... suffer. Denying self does not always feel good. The world
may Glomarize, “We can neither confirm nor deny that "x" person was an undercover
officer”. The Christian on the other
hand, declares, “Jesus is Lord!” No undercover Christians. Nope! Shine on! "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." We CAN'T be lukewarm. God hates that! (
Revelation 3:16) Not only are we boldly
declare Christ and him crucified, we have liberty to do so. Parrhesia! In verse 12 Apostle Paul tells Timothy:
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
denial has a verisimilitude, “truthy“
feel. “The most beneficial response is to neither confirm nor deny the
allegations, but to….” It leaves one
wondering! God’s Word is Truth. There
are no murky gray areas in Christ Jesus! He is the Word made flesh come from
God. He IS the TRUTH.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth,
and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.
The very essence
of The Gospel of Christ …Kerygma! When we believe with our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is
Lord, we are saved to the uttermost. II Timothy 3: 13 says He is faithful.
Whether one believes or not, it is still the Truth: He CANNOT deny
himself! No such thing as a Glomar
response! EVERY word in him is yea and Amen! With "Eish shahor al gabei eish lavan~
"Black fire on white fire”, He responds as the King of the universe that He is:
EHYEH I AM THAT I AM
HaOlam Light of the World/universe
El Gibbor The Mighty
ha-Kol Master/Owner of all
Tzeva-ot Eternal One of Hosts
El Nosay The forgiving God ~ “The
God who bears the
burden of sin.”
Rachaman The Merciful One
come to the end of all the facets of his Being! He is our soon coming King! Beloved,
Holy Scripture tells us in Matthew 10:33 But
whosoever shall deny me before men, him will Ialso deny before my Father which is in heaven. Remember to Whom you
belong and that you are living epistles read of all Men. Let us live our daily
lives in a God-honoring way that does not deny him, but CONFIRMS just Who He is
not only to us, but to souls hungering and thirsting, (sometimes unbeknownst even to themselves), for God!
It's All Relative
I've been thinking a lot about not being stagnant in the things of God. Heaven forbid that one should think he or she is somewhere in the Lord, making progress, maturing in Him because in relation to others with whom one associates or fellowships, it seems like there is a grace in operation. It's all relative and who wants to be a relative Christian? I am a middle school educator and I tell my students all the time, an 'A" student in one school or even classroom is not necessarily an "A" student in another. "But, children of God are not to compare themselves to one another", you are thinking and you are correct!
2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
Still in all, we must remember that "Iron sharpens iron". It is important that we fellowship with those who compel us to do and be better. These are usually folk who are pursuing Him! God, I need to be around folk who have not lowered their expectations of what we are called to do as Believers. We are to be imitators of Christ, actually doing the works that He did under the unction and direction of Holy Spirit. (John 14:12) I do NOT want to be mediocre or worse yet, complacent. Jesus is our exemplar and we are striving to be like Him, not people. "It's all relative" to Jesus! I say all of that because we do tend to compare ourselves with others. It is just human nature. We are comfortable with a ministry if it looks and sounds familiar. It's got to come a certain way, be a certain gender, age, denomination or we have not been in church service, we will not receive it and we will even reject it. That implies that God is not moving, even blowing like the wind, by his Spirit. Such a stance is from one who is stagnant. And frankly, because God is boxed off and limited the "ministry" is boring. The God of all creation is not boring. This walk is a great adventure! God is fathomless and multifaceted! The predictable, "same old,same old" is the death knell of a ministry. Now, understand me, I do not mean entertainment "MAKE me worship", cheer leader ministry. But, we should expect God to do a new thing! Newness of life! HIS life with all of its variety of colors and scents and shapes and sounds and seasons. And so is the authenticity of being "me" in Christ Jesus. Because, "By the grace of God I am what I am". Just today as the closing credits of a movie I was watching scrolled down my television screen, I recognized the singer as John Legend. He has a unique voice. It is different to the degree that when I first became aware of him I thought he could not sing. Why? He did not sound like other popular singers! "He is singing as HE sings", I thought. That is HIS authentic voice just like God made him. And he is effective in his little niche of that industry. Well, we have a "voice", too! To squelch it, package it, present it in a way that makes it "acceptable" and palatable to some in a state of stagnancy or limited expectations is just wrong. I do not mean ministry unaligned with the Word of God, but I DO mean that when we say "God, I know there is MORE!", then expect MORE! And stop telling God how it is SUPPOSED to come. Over the years I have encountered some in church who based on THEIR experiences with God actually call a genuine move of God witchcraft. Just as the Pharisees accused Christ of working for the devil. (Matthew 12:24) Still others try to control a true God-called servant of God. Like some personal Holy Ghost! The devil is a liar! Beloved, God's servant must not be weary in well doing, but be led of the Spirit!
I must admit I have been praying my concerns, as should we all. One thing that has come out of it is that I am at a place of surrender in a different way. It's not UP to me! God orders our steps and He is well able to prevent us from stagnating. So now I am looking at the picture of the row of light bulbs above not so much as shining relative to others even as there is a realization that this is not IT. Truly there is more! I am reminded, instead, that,
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
YOU be reminded, too! It is not too late, there IS more, and what God showed you and I SHALL come to pass. GOD IS going to do it! God's plans and purposes for our lives are going to manifest in a more profound way and no devil in hell can do a thing about it. All we have to do, is stay the course believe God, and nurture our relationship with Him! All real and effective ministry flows out of that intimate divine relationship. Remember that! Oh, I am seeing it now! He's going to have us in the right place at the right time, with the right people of like same faith! You will be able to be YOU in Christ Jesus, You will flow in the grace upon you by his Spirit! And know this: It's all worth it! You know, just posting this after having been absent from the ARNION MINISTRIES blog for months has encouraged me. Yes, "David encouraged himself". If even one person is encouraged, though it may be only myself, my work is done! Stagnancy be gone! Let us look up and see the face of God!
In His service,
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the veil,
that is to say, his flesh; Hebrews 10:19-20
I ran across this 1928 painting, The Lovers by artist Renee Magritte and it caught my eye not so much because of the obvious beauty of the colors or because of the sensuality of the painting. It was the two subjects. They are trying to be intimate, but something prevents it. The posture and position are correct, they have been described as "lovers", but they don't even see one another. Yes, it looks genuine...sort of, but it is all an act. The Shir HaShrim: The Song of
Songs, is one of my favorite books of the Holy Bible. I was reminded of chapter one, verse one:
The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth:
for thy love is better than wine.
This, to me, was always symbolic of the intimate and passionate love between Our Lord, Jesus Christ and his bride, The body of Christ, for whom He is returning. A bride who is to be without spot or wrinkle! She is to know His voice! And WHY does she know His voice and his very heartbeat? Because of the intimate relationship she is to have had with Him! Individually and corporately. It occurred to me that, much like Magritte's painting, many confessing Christians would declare themselves lovers of God, intimate with God, the friend of God, when actually there is a separation of which the are they are unaware. The posture and position are right, but... Beloved, this is called a form of godliness, with a resulting denial of and lack of power. Like the painting there is a veil, if you will, between such an one and Abba Father which prevents them from tapping to a depth of love they never dreamed existed! What is that veil? The veil of the flesh with all of it's works. If we are to enter into deep intimacy with God, that "new and living way", then like Jesus our flesh MUST be crucified. Carnality and fleshy living hinders our intimacy with the Lord. The
veil of the flesh inhibits us from entering the Holy of Holies. There is not a clear conscience toward God to come boldly before him with the availing prayer of a righteous man/woman. It is like trying to kiss the loved one through a veil as pictured above. The flesh is in the way! Let me emphasis: Just
as Christ submitted to the cruxifiction of his flesh, How
much MORE must we we?
The times are perilous and we, too, must go beyond the veil of the flesh and its works which the Apostle Paul describes here:
2 Timothy 3:1
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Lovers of pleasures, ( the "pleasures" of the world, condoned by the world ), more than lovers of God. Lord, help us! There is a consecration involved in deep intimacy and fellowship with God! Holiness is STILL right! Be ye holy! A kiss on the mouth implies close proximity between the kisser and the kissee: God is near to us! Imago dei ~ "This God with us". Emmanuel! Yes, God is with us! Jehovah-Shammah! But, we need to draw near to Him with a pure heart! A heart yearning for true intimacy with our Father in heaven. And there there is more to phrase "kisses of his mouth" for the mouth is symbolic of one's testimony. Glory!
for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
One would have to be suffering with a mind-blinding spirit much like the 'lovers" in the painting above to not be able to discern just why the adversary does not want us to be kissed with 'the kisses of his mouth". There is no way he wants a living word of prophecy which those kisses symbolize, to be in operation in our lives, our churches, our ministries OR the Body of Christ. Why do you think there is such a rejection of true God-called prophets? It is strategic! Many do not even recognize a prophet of God, blaspheming Holy Spirit, when they attribute His ministry through his prophets, to satan. Just like in Jesus' day. There is nothing new under the sun: It is the same thing. Blind! Sometimes that prophetic voice is answered prayer. The veil of the flesh has much more far reaching ramifications then we would like to admit:
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Amen, A foundational building of God's household with Christ as the "chief cornerstone" is negatively impacted when the testimony of Jesus, the prophetic, is quenched. Veiled "ministry" going forth based on natural charisma, talent, and personality. We've seen the results played out time and again. There IS a solution: The testimony of Jesus! His "kiss"! A "living word of prophecy" that is on fire and effective. The Lord desires that level of intimacy in which He speaks to his child and into his or her life directly, one-on-one! When Abba Father "kisses" us by His Spirit, that touch ignites a fire in us and we are equipped and empowered to live an overcoming life and win souls! It is not just for pulpit ministry. We ALL need to pursue God with that hunger. His love is "better than wine"! Crucify the flesh and throw off, once and for all, the veil of the flesh, Beloved! Know that He (God), is and that He exists. Come to a knowledge of the Holy beyond intellect and as the Lover of our souls!! Know his "kisses", his voice, his leading! I told you of my fondness for the Shir haSharim. Let me close with a prayer for you and for a renewed passion toward God from that book. A mutual love in which nothing separates you from Him. Be "fastened" to Him, yoked up with Him! All of that is in the kiss' [ Strong's 5401]. I bind aside the veil of the flesh! This is my charge:
“Set me as a seal on your heart, Like a seal on your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe and cruel as Sheol. Its flashes are flashes of fire, A most vehement flame: the very flame of the Lord!
Be sealed in the fiery kisses of his love! "Jesus Christ, the Hope of glory! "Which hope", Paul wrote, " we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;..."
In Jesus' Name,
They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Romans 1:30
There was a popular
expression a few years ago, “Haters gonna’ hate” which was and still is used to
express apathy towards another's disapproval. It is a phrase that represents
ones complete and total disregard of another's negative comment towards the
original person. When I read the term “God-haters”
in the passage noted above, the Lord gave me some insights as I studied. Abba
inspired scripture about “ haters” thousands of years ago! But, it makes sense
that HE has a different take on it! Read on! All 66 books of the
Holy Bible are full of Scripture which demonstrates God’s love for us. From
Genesis to Exodus, God is love! But there are also scriptures in which the verb
usually translated “to hate” denotes having malicious feelings toward things or
people. Many times, “hatred” in
Scripture means the ill will felt by a human being and there is a wide range of
meaning in expressing this hatred. It can mean anything from abhorrence to
aversion, to avoidance and even the varying levels of ”perfect” or complete
hatred toward the enemies of God.
Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And am I not
grieved and do I not
loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them
with perfect hatred; they have become my enemies.
We don't like to
think of God as "hating” anything. But He does! In the Old
Testament “To hate” refers to varying levels of dislike toward someone or
something. The verb is commonly used
with God to denote his “hate” against actions and ideas. For example, God hates divorce (Mal.
2:16). God hates sin:
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush
witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up
conflict in the community.
God also directs
his hatred toward people: “I have loved
Jacob, but Esau I have hated.” (Mal. 1:2 – 3). In context, the prophet is
stressing the sovereign choice of God.
It has nothing to do with the emotional feelings toward the two
historical individuals. God is speaking
of two nations: Israel (Jacob) and Edom (Esau).
Roman 1 speaks of “God-haters”. What does a God-hater look like? We need to
know because there is a connection to idolatrous disobedience and its
consequences and receiving the mercy of God through loving obedience (Deut. 5:
9-2). God-haters are described as:
as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave
them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They
have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.
They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of
doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding [no discernment],
no fidelity, no love [unforgiving], no mercy. Although they know God’s
righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only
continue to do these very things but also approve [applaud] of those who
In context: these
"God-haters" are people who once knew God. They are among the “people of God”, not atheists! They allowed their mind to become darkened. It was a choice! How? By
not glorifying Him, by being thankless. That is how one fails to "retain”
him in their knowledge. Thankfulness helps to one practice His Presence
to keep one's mind “stayed on Him", instead of getting caught up in
one's own vain imaginations. That leads to a "darkened and foolish heart. Though such an one thinks he is wise, they are actually
quite foolish Rom 1:22). God-haters!
The fool says there IS no God! There ARE no consequences for sin. Next is the
reprobate mind of the true haters of the Lord. What does THAT look like? About
what you'd think! Because they have NO DISCERNMENT, God haters don't know where
they are in the Spirit. Psalm 81:15 in Holman
Bible says "Those who hate the
Lord would pretend
submission to Him." The
Amplified version of Romans 1:30 describes such people as “"hateful to and
hating God". God-haters actions are hateful, “deserving of or arousing
hate” by God NOT in the sense of intense emotion of dislike as we humans do,
but in the sovereign choice of God in the plan of Salvation. We asked "What do God-haters LOOK like?" Well, we can recognize
"God-haters" by their actions! Certainly God can
be the recipient of hatred (opposition, abhorrence or avoidance) by God-haters.
To deem such people one
haters of the Lord is a strong saying. But my Bible says:
4For it is impossible
to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have
experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the
goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6and who then turn
away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by
rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once
again and holding him up to public shame.
They know God's "righteous decree" they
have "tasted the goodness of the Word of God"! , yet the turn away from it, and
so from God because in the beginning was the Word, the word was WITH God, and
the Word WAS God. God-haters "have no understanding or discernment" because
they have no Word:
For the word of God
is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even
to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and
is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
If one turns away from the Word of God, he or she “hates” God in the
sense of avoiding or having an aversion to Him. The God-hater is in a dangerous
position in having “no Word” because when individuals or groups of people turn
away from the principles of the Gospel, they are in a state of apostasy. Apostasy
means to fall away from the truth. Therefore, an apostate is someone who has once believed and then rejected the
truth of God. Apostasy is a rebellion against God because it is a
rebellion against truth. God’s Word
is truth! We must know the profile of the "haters of God" because we tend to think the apostates will come from the ranks of those who deny Christ outright. But, the "falling away" may well be in the chambers of the heart of the one who is a "God-hater". It is important to not be deceived nor self-deceived. Do you not know that
there are people in “church” who think they are rapture ready and heaven bound though
they are living their lives on their own terms? Holiness is still right! The
Bible speaks of a great apostasy in the last days:
2 Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come
except the apostasy comes first unless the predicted great falling
away of those who have professed to be Christians has come.
Abba sees one who
lives life on his or her own terms, rejecting the truth of God’s Word as “hating”
him. Professing Christians! Caught up in the works of the flesh sitting in the
church building, but not in the Body of Christ. “Depart from me
I never knew you” are words none of us want to hear on that Great Day, but
rather, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. The rejection of the
Lord is evident in the fruit born in the "God-haters" lives as listed in Romans
1: The insolence, arrogance, mercilessness, and disloyalty. The thing is, because the Lord dwells in the born again Believer by His Spirit, the Believer is "hated”, too. In the fifteenth chapter of the
Gospel of John, Jesus tells us, his disciples, "If the world hate you, ye
know that it hated me before it hated you." He then goes on to say,
"If they hate me, they hate my Father." Haters of the Lord! The
spirit in a God-hater does not like the Spirit in YOU! They don't even
know why! Unable to discern even their own heart. There is something ABOUT
you...,” they think. All the child of God can do is walk in love toward
them, keep them on the altar of prayer, and apply the double-edged Word of God.
Though some sit IN the church, pretenders in the pews, they are "God-haters". Deeply disobedient! Jesus taught, "If you love me, you will obey me." Period. Still,
anything is possible to God! Because all the souls belong to him. It is not our
place to decide who is or is not heaven-bound. Holy Scripture says those who do such works of the flesh shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal. 5:21). To turn back after having known Him is to crucify the Lord afresh. God preserve us from the
subtle and slippery slope of being a hater of the Lord! A little gossip here, a
tad of slander there. A titch of arrogance and braggadocio...a soupcon of
disobedience and unforgiveness. It is imperative that the one who belongs to God examine themselves and consider their ways in the light of the Word of God. The works of a God-hater according to Romans
1:28, has no place in a Spirit-filled Christian! Remember a little leaven leavens the whole lump! The "lump"
could be an individual or a whole faith community. It is why haters of the Lord
must be dealt with in the Body of Christ. The pretenders! The imposters! Such leaven/yeast
rises and expands, causing damage. There is an impact in homes, families, congregations, churches.
It is long past time to take authority.
Love should compel "those who are spiritual" to shut down the gossip,
not partake of the slander, to show mercy in judgment, and to be obedient to the Word of
God. Call it out, because we are accountable! In Psalm 81, the Bible speaks of the urgency
of the need for His people to listen and follow His ways that He might subdue
the "haters of the Lord". He fights for us! Our part to play is to
submit to God, not leaning to our own understanding. The polar opposite
of the God hater. Christ commands us not to hate our enemies, but rather to
love them (Matt. 5: 43 -44). This is a
sure sign of discipleship. Such an empowering love flows from the Spirit of God! And it is because one is a God lover!!
One man of you shall put to flight a thousand,
for it is the Lord your God Who fights for you, as He promised you. Be very watchful of yourselves, therefore, to love
the Lord your God.
for watchfulness of ourselves! Shalomn!
If You Would Hear His Voice
Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them]. Hebrews 3:15
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Everything challenging to us is not the adversary. Rebellion, in which one is simply not obeying what you know you heard God tell you to do, loose, stop, release,...whatever it was. Stop that! Those behaviors provoke God. Who wants God "irritated and embittered" toward them? I bind aside selective hearing. There is an ear and heart connection... or disconnect. If we would hear God, we must be tender-hearted. " Harden not your heart" implies we have a choice. We are the one's who harden our own hearts. In much the same way the Israelites did in "the provocation" of God: Through murmuring, idolatry, rebellion. We hear God with our heart by faith, for faith comes by hearing. What I have been seeing is folk don't want to hear. Because, then one is accountable to walk in the light received. A preacher comes with a word, and they are not always soft or tickling to the ear and people shut DOWN to the sound of the trumpet. That is nothing new:
Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hear and obey the sound of the trumpet!
But they said, We will not listen or obey. Jeremiah 6:17
Big mistake! There is a rest for the people of God and there is a way to enter into it. It is God's way. We have to stop trying to do things our own way. We cannot DO whatever we want to do! Harden not your heart! Let us learn from the Children of Israel, who replied thus to the prophet's exhortation:
Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it!
The provocation of rebellion was and is a dry, desert place. Maybe...just maybe there is a dryness in the spirit due to a hard heart toward the things of God and so one cannot HEAR God. Spiritually deaf! He wants to bring such out of a desert place "Follow the sound of the trumpet, ask for the eternal paths, the good, old way. Walk in it, my child! Understand me, there are desert seasons in our Christian walks. Even Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit of God before his public ministry was displayed. But that is just it, He was LED into and walked through that desert place by the Spirit of God. That implies hearing his voice and walking in the light! How much more for we "little Christs", we Christians?
Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
And so I was provoked (displeased and sorely grieved) with that generation, and said, They always err and are led astray in their hearts, and they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.
Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, They shall not enter into My rest.
Hebrews 3:10 AMP
Verse 12 of that same passage reads: Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
A hardened heart is "an evil heart of unbelief". God had been doing the miraculous for years and yet the Israelites did not perceive and recognize His ways. They tried God's patience. Now, It is not my place to speak on this: that is, the state of another's heart. It is a personal thing between the child of God and our Father in heaven.
You know; for You, You only, know men’s hearts 2 Chron 6:30
Like the children of Israel from whom we are to take a lesson, we don't know our own hearts. They did not see themselves as rebellious even as they declared, "We will NOT listen!"
The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?
All one can do is pray and ask God to show him or her their heart. And when He does, get it right through the washing of the water of the Word of God.
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord;and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
Let the Word of God burn off the dross of hard-heartedness: Let it break the things which hinder a Spirit-led life. God speaks through his Word and it can and does minister to matters of the heart. Truly it is sharper than a two-edged sword!
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
I think God quickened this to me because there comes a time when He gives to us according to our ways. Selah! Now exactly what that means is between you and God. It is between God and I. It is an individual, personal thing. But, we cannot say Abba Father did not warn us. "Harden not your heart". Listen and strive to obey. Be quick to hear! Are you seeking rest for your soul? Eschew the Israelite's response to God's mouthpiece: Not only did they not listen, they purposed flat to deliberately not walk out their lives the way God wanted. It was a declaration they came to regret. One is self-deceived if they think you can be a child of God on your OWN terms. If you would hear his voice, be led of his Spirit, and enter into his rest. Allow God to give you a heart of flesh! Surrender that he might do a work in you and bless you with an undivided that only He can. Draw NEAR to God and learn his voice!
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: Ezekiel 11:19
He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. Genesis 4:3
Mom used to say, "Lord! Time sure does bring about a change", as she pondered and looked back on life. We SHOULD see change, and hopefully growth over the years. That is as true in the natural as it is spiritually. In process of time, there should be "going forward", the historical meaning of the word "process". It is important, though, that we remember that the human understanding of time is not the same as it is to He to whom a thousand years is as yesterday. To we mortals time is a duration of seconds, minutes days, years, decades, centuries, etc. The continuum of time to God is such that he knows the beginning from the end. Our life spans are but a breath to He who is outside of time, to Adonai
"Eternal One of Hosts". Truly, God IS the "Ancient of Days"! (Daniel 7:9)
2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
In process of time, Beloved, the people of God should be producing something! There should be a development of fruit, one of which is patience. Why? Because, according to James 1:4, it does a work in us:
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Let me remind you that the "perfecting of the saints" charge to the the five-fold ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. God has work for us to do and we have need of patience in order to do it! To be made "perfect" simply means to mature. Learning patience matures us. In your patience possess your souls the Jesus told his disciples in the Gospel of Luke. ( 21:19) Grow up! Our minds, our wills, our emotions need to be mature as concerns the things of God. Sometimes we must will ourselves to be obedient to God, bringing our flesh subject to his ordinances. We are to have the mind of Christ! ( That is a process in and of itself). We cannot let our emotions rule us. Maturity! In process of time we are perfected via patience to be "fit for the kingdom". To work ministry on that level requires maturity! A novice would find him or herself shipwreck. The Bible is rife with scriptures about patience. James 1:3 reads that "the trial and proving of your faith produces endurance, steadfastness, and patience". Endurance implies that time is a factor...it's in process of time, Beloved. The Apostle Paul knew something about the "trying of faith". In his second epistle to the Corinthians he wrote of his OWN trials which he endured with patience:
But we commend ourselves in every way as true servants of God: through great patience, in tribulation and suffering, in hardships and privations, in sore straits and calamities, in beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless watching, hunger... (6:4)
Paul learned to glory in such tribulations because he understood that they work patience, experience and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul endured by the Holy Ghost, just as we Believers are called to do, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. We may not be called to trials of the degree that Apostle Paul and the early Church suffered, but what I want you to see is that the "experience" he wrote about is key and that it implies maturity. One cannot know God and maturely say He is a healer except they have been healed by him in some way. One cannot know him as provider unless there has been lack and God met the need. Spiritual maturity goes beyond "talking the talk". There is a yoke-destroying anointing on a testimony because such an one has "walked the walk"...with God THROUGH difficult situations. They know from whence thy speak! And difficult situations happen as you, no doubt, know. We live in a fallen, imperfect world. But even in that, good can come from it. Patience and maturity, developed in process of time, is the outcome IF we let patience have her perfect work. The testimony of an over comer is powerful! We have need of patience because it is about more than the Lord walking us through, it is about mature servants of God bringing souls INTO the kingdom of God. In process of time and as we acquire patience we grow in grace. Though we go through our versions of "tribulations", we find ourselves ministering to others with that same God-given grace that brings healing, deliverance, and restoration. Like the Master, we, too, are touched with the infirmities of others. I do not mean human sympathy or even empathy: They, too, must be covered in the blood of Jesus! No, those souls do not need sympathy, they need salvation and the wholeness that comes with it. I am talking about seasoned, mature, empowered people of God walking in God-given authority. Workers together with God doing exploits to the glory of God, the Father. But, there is that process of time from the immature "babe'" in the Lord to the mature/"perfected" one. Cooperate with God in the journey of perfecting. We all know of some in the Body of Christ 10, 15, 20 years who are still immature as concerns God. I hear the Lord saying grow up! "No more milk". It is time for strong meat, solid food. It builds up the Body of Christ. Like Cain in Genesis 4:3, New Testament Christians are to bring fruit as an offering: Our very lives! Lives lived as servant-leaders. Servant-leaders empowered to serve and empower others, who, in turn, empower still others. It is exponential! Let me encourage you to stay in the process. Be not weary in well doing! For in process of time, the Lord who is not slack concerning his promise, will complete the work He began in you. HE will perform it! In process of time, and in the acquisition of much needed patience and maturity, time surely brings about a change. It is a change for the better, and which glorifies God! He "knows what we have need of" and we have need of patience. Selah!
God bless you,