Are we willing?
What does your dream, goal and ambition mean to you? When the government tells you that you can’t be a teacher, lawyer, politician, doctor, and so on, unless you accept certain sins as no longer sin what will you do? Is dream worth so much that you will buckle and bow to the death system. Death system was a term that came up when I was a kid. In books, in TV (mostly anime) it means a system unacknowledgably careening toward destruction, sort of like Chaos Theory. Back then even the secular world could see it coming and what it would bring. Now even Christ followers bow to the death system. Not the death of the planet, though much of the shows that winked at the death system did cover the death of nature, but instead we should focus on the death of our souls and the rape of our minds. Do we even know what’s wrong anymore? Or are we taking a pen and crossing out the parts of our Faith that offend us? I was reminded recently of what Christians face in countries that don’t support the Christ belief. People with high IQs and great talent have demeaning jobs, can’t attend certain schools or social events and live in shamble, because they refuse to deny even a tiny part of Jesus, they embrace Him even though they are left in the street by the world. Do we? Are we willing to take the humble road rather than deny even a speck of our Lord? So often we see “christians” praised for taking a job in a secular setting because they can, “promote their witness” there. But do they? How much of Jesus did they have to deny to get that job? What sins did they accept so that they would be accepted? The devil sits back and gestures to a goblet, “drink this, accept the darkness and I will give you everything.” Jesus takes our hand and says, “don’t! It’s a trap.” We pull away from Christ, “if I drink what he offers then he will give me a place in society where I can promote you better, it’s just a little sip, I’ll be fine.” Our bold statement dies as we drink the whole glass and join the devil. If Jesus says something is wrong then it is wrong no matter our good intentions. Are we willing to live as ditch diggers and serve Jesus by denying the devil? Or have we already taken of the death drink, and now we serve the devil under the badge that used to say ‘Christian’, but now says ‘deceived’?
We are so lost in this death system that we have forgotten what life is. Go back to Jesus. Reach for Him. Don’t let the devil deceive you. Don’t let your heart become poisoned. Give yourself to Jesus. Whatever you end up doing, no matter how valueless it feels, remember- if you are doing it for Jesus, if you are sacrificing it for Jesus, if you are suffering it for Jesus, then what your doing is right. The easy road of compromise leads to death. Not death in this world, but death of your soul. Don’t give in. Fight back. Dare to take God at His word no matter the cost.
And what of your promise now? -Judah
All I can say is, I don’t understand, but He must have a reason for this.-Man of God
At the foot of the cross.
It’s so hard when the promise’s outcome isn’t how we envisioned. Imagine how the deciples must have felt when they saw Jesus lifted on the cross.
There must be a mistake.
Must have been their thought. How could everything they had seen and experienced and been told, have led to this?
If they had read the prophecies they would have had the answer. But in that moment of agony of spirit the last thing on your mind is a prophecy from so long ago. Just like our promises. We read promises from God that He proclaimed some 2000+ years ago, and we are expected to believe them and hold to them. When things get hard and nothing makes sense, and the promise leads to something you don’t understand it’s hard to not feel like there must be a mistake- and what of your star and your promise now? Yet God has a reason, for all of it. What Isaiah foretold about Jesus coming, probably never crossed the minds of the weary shepherds when the star appeared. What had been fortold about Jesus’s death was no where in the minds of the deciples in the Garden, or at the tomb, maybe not even in The Upper Room. But God fulfilled His promise in every occasion. Just as He will fulfill His promise to you and me.
He’s coming back, just as He promised. Are you ready?
A hearthorse is that one horse who loves you more than himself. He will do anything you ask, even when the other horses give up and walk away. Why? Training for one thing. And he has a heart for you. He loves you so much he would walk through fire for you. Most horses would dump you on your tush and bolt if they even smelled a big fire. Not your heart horse. He will carry you through and trust that you know what you’re doing. Do we have a heart for God like that? A heart that says “you lead. I’ll follow. Because I trust in you.”
I like to think that I do. Then I have a day like today. It was a great and fun day, but I failed God badly. There was a woman with a painful and injured hand. I knew I should pray for her but I was afraid, I was afraid of being laughed at and afraid that maybe God would choose not to heal her and then she might doubt God. I feared a lot of dumb stuff, so I did nothing and left. Praise Jesus for my friend who was there too. She took the time to look around, see a large line up behind her of people waiting to go through the check out and said, “I see you are in pain. I promise I will pray for you.” Then we left. And she did. She prayed whole heartedly for that woman. I don’t know if the woman was healed or not because we didn’t see her again, but I do know that my friend pleased God by making a faith statement in public. And I know that I dissapointed Him because I said nothing. Do we have a heart for God? Do we love Him enough to walk through fire for Him? If not, how do we change ourselves to love Him more? I’m not an expert, but I would say from what I read of the Bible, that reading the Bible and praying is the way to draw closer to God. A great way to be fired up for Him is studying Him and remembering how Holy and powerful He truly is.
I don’t want to fail God. But I do everyday. I want a heart for Him, but I know that fear often holds me back. I am just so glad that God understands how limited I am and helps me and guides me and gives me another chance 10, 000 times a day. Praise God for His mercy, power and love.
Before we get started I want to make it clear that yes, I do know that a blood fuller has been proved to have nothing to do with the channeling of blood through the sword’s channel to cause the removal of the blade to be easier or for the target to die quicker. Instead the Fuller is meant to strenghthen and lighten the long blade so it doesn’t wobble like a plastic child’s sword, this was arguably first used in Japan’s Katana swords.
Now that we have covered the facts, I want to use the old myths for my imagery instead. The blood channel full and ready to strike. Weilding with passion and quickly removed to continue it’s defense.
The sword of the warrior, coated in blood and ready to strike again.
The blood channel, as a grizzly image of destruction and strength. Destruction of the enemy. Strength of the defender.
The Holy Spirit is misrepresented in many places these days. He is seen as a fluttering White butterfly, harmless, gentle, powerless. This is not accurate. Yes the Holy Spirit is gentle and unassuming -but- he is still the spirit of the Living God. When God sent his sword through Egypt did you see him as weak, harmless, or powerless? Of course not. He is the spirit of God. He is powerful. He is Ageless. And he is a warrior, and we forget that. We like to think of the Spirit as someone who encourages us and helps us with our gifts and helps us not do naughty things, which is true in part, but He is also bloodstained and ready for battle. He isn’t a pixie flying around causing magic to happen, He IS the powerhouse inside of us battling our demons with us. He isn’t floating around with a harp, he is walking boldly with his sword drawn, ready for battle. The devil is constantly attacking us, even in ways we don’t see, it’s the Holy Spirit in us who is battling for us. God called the sword of the Spirit a sword for a reason.
Going into battle in the days before guns and bombs your greatest weapon was usually your sword. Swords also had a certain claim that came with them, a claim to authority and power, not just anybody had a sword, usually only people a heritage whose background and bloodline gave them a title and a power. Sure some of your average people had swords too, but not high quality swords. Some swords even had a reputation of their own, one that the wielder inherited with the weapon. Our sword. Our Spirit, comes with His own reputation, the reputation of God and all He has done in the past long before the book of Acts. God mentions His Spirit and His Sword often. He has a reputation, but we don’t read the old Testament so we forget. Our sword also comes with a claim to Authority and power; the authority and Power of the Living God. And we have earned this sword not through our own works but through our heritage as children of God. Our bloodline has nothing to do with our DNA or our ancestry, our bloodline that grants us this power and authority in this earth is the bloodline flowing Down the Cross at Calvary and washing our feet in its Crimson Tide. Our sword is a weapon of power and authority. The spirit of God lives inside of us. Whom can harm us? And of whom shall we be afraid?
We are deciples, not Christs. Christ in the Greek means annointed one, or used to define the word messiah. the title, also treated as a name, given to Jesus.
synonyms: Jesus, Jesus Christ, Our Lord, the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Good Shepherd, the Redeemer, the Prince of Peace, the Nazarene, the Galilean
We live in a world where the focus has turned from God’s salvation and miracles to our saving ourselves and us making things happen without a moving of God. I saw book. A book written by theologians of all people. That said that we must not aim to emulate Christ, but to instead become Christs ourselves. My lineage comes from pastors and theologians, when I questioned them on this expecting some sort of answer that showed this statement to belong to one odd writer, instead I was informed of the movement to become Christ, not Christ like. Now. Any true doctorate wielding theologian will tell you how wrong that idea is and that this move comes from people who believe that Jesus was equal to us not above us, or was simply a prophet, which is not true in any sense. Moving along because we could get stuck here for a long time, we should take a good look at Christians these days. What do we see? We see some good Christians who live according to the Bible. But we also see a fair amount of people who act (though not claim to be) as if they were Christ themselves. We hear a lot of, “we must” not a lot of “pray for”.
We must do _______ to save these people. We must do ______ to save the world. We must change ______ or else all will be lost.
I have a question as you all are questing to save the world on your own power, where’s God? “Oh. But we’re doing it for Him.” Are you? If you leave God out of your plans and even out of the final discision to so called ‘save this generation,’ or ‘save the world’ or ‘save the Church’ then are you doing it for Him? If you move the Bible around so that the words fit what you want instead of what God declares then is what you are doing for you or Him?
We claim we want to serve God by saving people. But we leave God and the Bible out of what we are doing. Then when something amazing happens we take the credit for ot ourselves instead of giving the praise back to God. We are not Christ, we can never become Christ, all we can do is try to be like Christ. We can want to save people, but we must do it through God’s power. We can want to save the world, but we must do it through God’s power. We can want to even save this generation, but we must do it through God’s power. We can not do these things on our own or else we just use God as an excuse to promote ourselves. Even Jesus, the one true Christ, while on this earth prayed for God’s blessing before moving forward, and Jesus is God Himself. He did this to show us what we must do.
If we are trying to be Christs instead of trying to reflect Christ, then we are missing the whole point of being like Jesus. We are supposed to reflect Him not try to replace Him.
As my mom once said: we are in the boat with Jesus. Our muscles are straining as we pull on the nets, we’re working hard and He’s there, and He’s calm. Our lives are in that boat with Him as we are called to follow Him, we are given nets to catch the fish with and we get tired and stressed because we are working hard with no resault. We repair the nets, we weave new nets, somedays we may even need to build the boat, but it all has purpose. Then when God’s time is right our nets fill to overflowing. So if you feel discouraged, don’t. Don’t get discouraged because God is in the boat with you.
In C.S Lewis’s book ‘mere Christianity’ (which is a must read if you have questions about the Christian walk and life- but do remember that nothing you read can replace the Bible itself) he talks about love and asks us not to turn off the radio because we don’t want to go there. If you’re wondering, the book is made up of four of his radio talks, that’s why he doesn’t want the radio turned off. But it is so true. The second someone gets onto a platform and starts in on loving one another we often tend to tune them out, hang on before you tune me out as I go into this. I have the same problem. I turn off the radio too when it’s talks about loving thy neighbor. Not because I hate my neighbor, I’m actually very close with many of my physical neighbors, but let’s not get into all that- I tune them out because I find what we are preached is a little too… floating orbs and fluffy lamas if you get what I mean. As Christians we are not trying to get to a higher plane, we are not opening our chakras, we are not engaging our inner eye, and walking softly and only saying nice things is not the way to love one another. But I have heard pastors speak such things before. Love hurts, love is hard and love is an action. Remeber the old song ‘love is a battlefield’? It’s true. All love is. That’s why what CS Lewis said not only felt like something all people could connect to, but it was very solid and truly Christian, not something we’ve adopted for some reason from a cult group. He says, ‘if it’s hard to love someone don’t feel it, do it. It’s not a feeling of particular liking for that person, in fact you may dislike them very much and for a very good reason, but if your actions are love then any hate you have toward them will start to deminish.’ I’m paraphrasing because the chapter on love was long and the whole thing won’t fit here. Why does he speak so boldly about people you could easily hate being shown love through your actions? Because when he first did his talk on loving even your enemies he was verbally attacked by people for saying such things, why? Because the war had just ended and people felt great hate that was very justified, hate toward Hitler. They wanted to know how they could be asked to feel love for this man. So after Biblical study and discussion with many of the great Christian minds Lewis answered. You can’t. There is no way to feel love for someone so evil. But. If there was a chance for him to change and try and make up for the wrongs he caused (though he never could. My grandparents suffered through the war, my nana had minor PTSD because of being a child in the bomb shelters, and in those horrible moments she didn’t make it to the shelters and was simlpy saved by the grace of God from the falling explosions around her. Trust me. I have no pity for this man so don’t think that I’m saying he should have been given another chance or that we misjudged him or anything rediculous like that.) would you want him to change and become a better person? Or do you hate them so bad that you hope they are the evil of evil no matter what and burn for it? That’s a hard question. You see, the soft, love everyone in a cuddly do no harm sort of way could never face this. That kind of love that says we should all hold hands and say we’re sorry and then it’s all better couldn’t fix this. Pain is deep. And evil cannot be loved. And ‘sorry’ doesn’t erase all wrong. You cannot love a man like that. Not in the feeling sense. But can you pray that a man like Hitler would change? Can you ask God to fix his mind and make him a new person? Do you see him doing something good for a change and go ‘thank God he isn’t completely evil’? Yes? That’s love. If instead you hope he never changes, never realizes the horrors he’s caused and when he does something else horrible you go ‘good. He’s still evil. I can still hate him.’ That’s obviously not love.
And you know what? That’s hard too. Because there are some people who are so evil that you hope they stay evil so that they receive God’s judgement. I know there are because I have heard people say as much, I have felt this way at times too. Love is a battlefield, and most of the time you are battling yourself. Love also means calling people out when they are wrong. Reminding them of what sin is and that what they are doing is wrong. Not because it makes you feel good about yourself, and it should never be said in a condescending way, but if you love someone then you want them to do right because you want them to please God and you want them to go to heaven. If you don’t care about them, if you don’t love them, then when they sin it won’t bother you because you don’t care if they go to heaven or not. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, or you don’t actually know them personally, then pray for them. And hope that they pray for you too. Because we all sin and mess up. And we all need someone who loves us enough to tell us when we have messed up. Love isn’t a fluffy, easy, cuddly thing, love is suiting up and doing what is hard.
I hope people love me enough to pray for me when they notice a sin in my life that maybe I haven’t spotted. Or just in general. None of us are Christs. We are all people striving toward the cross and hoping for Heaven.
Um…no thanks Jesus, I’m good.
Recently I was in church with my cousin. The preacher mentioned the healing of the blind man. You recall that healing? Jesus spat in the dirt and then rubbed it on the man’s eyes. It makes me cringe a little thinking of it, seeing as I’m a bit of a germaphobe. My cousin laughed at me when I rubbed my arms in horror at the thought of having spit rubbed on me. “Ya.” She said, “It’s like. Thanks but no thanks Jesus, I’ll just stay blind.”
She was joking, but it made me think, how often do we turn away Miracles that Jesus wants us to have because we don’t like the way that Christ is going to make the miracle happen? How many times does Jesus spit in the dirt and we draw back because we don’t like it? The miracle that’s coming doesn’t outweigh what we have to go through to recieve it, in our minds it doesn’t at least, if we waited and had the miracle happen despite the spit and mud, we would realize the value and gift of that blessing. How many times has Jesus said, “let me take you through this and I will give you this blessing.”
Or, “if you give up this, I will give you this instead.”?
And so on and so on. But we don’t want to go through the pain, the illness, the fear, the move, the new job, the outreach, [fill in the blank]. What came to mind when you were given the chance to put down your own draw away reason? I know what came to my mind. But as John Wayne once said, “courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways.” The cause before the effect of the miracle may not cause suffering or pain, but there is always a little fear. It would be strange if there wasn’t, because we are dealing with the ultimate power. God. And His love, grace and blessings. And when dealing with God there is a lot of unknowing. We run headlong on Faith and that can be really scary. But perfect peace comes from knowing that you are trusting what you don’t know to the all knowing, one true, God.
Miracles aren’t always easy. Sometimes they are hard. Sometimes they take sacrifice. Sometimes you have to have spit rubbed in your eye before you can see. But know this. God always, always, always, has your best in mind as He works His plan for your life.
Even when things are complicated, God is not. Jesus loves you. He always has and always will. He hates sin. To accept sin and to delight in it is a slap in Jesus face, like Petra once said, “just like another thorn stuck in your brow”. However. Though sin separates us from God it does not separate us from His love. He is always ready for us to repent and to share in fellowship with Him. Even if you claim the label ‘Christian’ you might have accepted sin into your life that is seperating you from Jesus, but He loves you and is waiting for you to seek forgiveness and change. The thing that we forget is that Jesus loves every person who is going to hell just as much as He loves every person who is going to Heaven, and when a sinner who hasn’t given themselves to Jesus, even a sinner who claims to be a ‘Christian’ but refuses to believe and follow God’s word- all of it, not just the fun parts- dies, Jesus has to condem them, and it breaks His hearts. He isn’t happy to watch the sinner, or the false Christian go to hell, it makes His heart break, He wanted those people with Him, but God can have no part in sin.
God’s law isn’t complicated. He always loves you. He wants you with Him. He cannot accept your sin. But because of Jesus we can repent of our sins and try, truly try to change, and then we can be saved.
I know I have sins that I struggle with, but I know that I hate my sins and am working to correct them and pray against them and asking Jesus for help, I will not embrace these sins and make the enemy happy, he wants that and I won’t stand for it, he wants you to embrace your sins and to claim that Jesus will accept you the way you are, but that isn’t true. Jesus will love you the way you are, but He cannot accept you into Heaven unless you are a new person. Does that mean that because I hate my enemy or that I complain a lot or that I am a mean person sometimes, that I won’t go to Heaven even though I have accepted Jesus?
Let me ask a question that comes up often when discussing such things. Are you trying to do better? Are you sorry for the way you are being and you want to change? Yes? Then from what I know about Jesus’ teachings you will still go to Heaven. But if you claim that you were born that way, or that that is just who are, or that Jesus is just going to have to take what He gets and love you anyways, Then from what I know of Jesus’ teachings you are at risk of losing your soul, because God can have no part in sin.
This post is not going to popular and many may argue and disagree, but I have said what the Holy Spirit has placed on my heart. Everyone can be saved, but they have to be willing to change.
This is not me being lofty and judging. Trust me, I have many sins that Jesus and I are working against, but I know they are sins and I want to change. Some days my greatest hope and comfort is that Jesus sees my effort and to Him that is Christian. Because we will all be sinners until we die, but do we love Jesus enough to work against our sin and to try to change? even though we may fail He will always give us another chance to do better.
When things get hard it’s easy to forget, or worse, let go, of who Jesus is and what He can, will and has done for you. When the sickness comes, the depression sets in, the pain overwhelms and fear is a constant companion it is so easy for the human mind to say ‘that’s enough! If there is a God then why is this happening?’
This is going to make you sick and cause you to roll your eyes -I know it is because not only have I seen this response before but I have felt it- God has a purpose.
Don’t groan. I know that’s the easy response. But the truth is that God does have a purpose, trusting that He has a purpose is so hard some times that when people tell you that it is all within His plan it can make you angry, or sad, or simply can feel like it’s adding to your brokeness, but He does have a plan. Then you wonder how your pain could fit in His plan? Good question. I wonder that about my own pain, and I’m sure that theology egg heads could give you a great response that is filled with scripture refrences and quotes from great scholars and pastors, but for me, all I can say is that it’s not about understanding the how or why, it’s about understanding that not knowing those things is where faith comes in. He is the same Jesus who loved me on the cross and before time itself, He hasn’t changed, He isn’t suddenly trying to hurt me, He loves me, His plan has always been best and it has always been ready for this, whatever the ‘this’ is at the moment, in the end He works it all together for good, I don’t know how, I can’t know how, all I can know is that He promised to take care of me and that He is doing that right now.
I can’t promise a sudden or easy answer, all I can promise is that there is one.