Lack of Knowledge is Destroying US

Ephesians 4:18-21 gives biblical insight into what we are seeing taking place in this hour:
…18being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus…”

Indeed, truth is found in Jesus Christ.. in fact, he himself IS the Word of God. He is the way…The truth…the life…and the only way to God. But are we, as a people, being destroyed for lack of knowledge? Knowledge of Him? His ways? His thoughts? He is himself The Christ, the Anointed One, who returns soon to reign over all the world. Why not obtain the knowledge of Him and His Ways now? 

Read the verse of warning in this graphic…

Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

Do we, the USA, a Christian Nation, dare follow the same pattern and lose our blessings from God?  Is this already happening? Have we rejected knowledge? Have we forgotten the laws of God? Has our glory now turned to shame? And Will He forget our children?

Surely, a house divided against itself cannot stand…and prayers are needed for this “divided” nation. Yet, not only our prayers, but the giving out of Truth. Lies are quickly dispelled when truth comes in, just as darkness leaves when a candle is lit. The more truth that is revealed, the more light we live in….the clearer we can “see” the truth for ourselves.

Many protestors, and I don’t just mean public ones…but ones on Facebook, or wagging their tongues in criticisms in the schools and workplaces, or even talking aloud to their own TVs in private, need to be given some of the Word of God in relation to what’s going on in our land. There is a need to be still now and listen. Some of you maturing believers realize knowing the Word really “simplifies”your life.. This doesn’t make you “simple” , as in simple-minded… On the contrary, it takes away confusions, and striving, and fears. It is wonderful to embrace the Will of God. It is true freedom, which everyone longs for, but is looking for in the wrong places. Confusion leaves! Doubts cease their intrusions! Fears lose their torment!  Peace comes! All…from knowledge of God…and embracing God’s ways and thoughts.

If you’re saying inside to yourself, ours is no longer a godly nation, it is a democracy, and the other people will tell us what’s what…let me tell you something: Christians FEAR NOT! Now is not the time to be timid in regard to “standing” in our faith…and also standing in our backing our government leaders as instructed in Romans 13:1-5. GOD MAKES HIS WILL VERY CLEAR…as you will see…and these verses apply to President Trump and all our elected officials:

Romans 13:1-5  All of you must obey those who rule over you. There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen. Those who now rule have been chosen by God. 2 So whoever opposes the authorities opposes leaders whom God has appointed. Those who do that will be judged. 3 If you do what is right, you won’t need to be afraid of your rulers. But watch out if you do what is wrong! You don’t want to be afraid of those in authority, do you? Then do what is right, and you will be praised. 4 The one in authority serves God for your good. But if you do wrong, watch out! Rulers don’t carry a sword for no reason at all. They serve God. And God is carrying out his anger through them. The ruler punishes anyone who does wrong. 5 You must obey the authorities. Then you will not be punished. You must also obey them because you know it is right.

There…is simplification…knowing God’s will in the matter, whether a Trump fan or not! …you trust God and obey your President. You don’t oppose him. You do right yourself, and you need not fear him or any decision he may or may not make.  Note, obey authorities, yes, policemen, and then you will not be punished…by man or directly by God’s discipline! Honor all your leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. Your vote was your choice. God saw it. Now leave it alone. There. Simplified. Whenever you want to judge or condemn or gossip about leadership, be silent, and pray. Prayer according to the Word activates the power of God, and He then steers the hearts of our leaders according to our pleadings. Or if you are particularly passionate about something, and it is in accordance with Gods word, then perhaps you are called to get personally involved in that area of politics, or your church, company, etc.  Protesting without a plan is not doing anything creative. It is very destructive.

Yes, this obedience requires faith in God. Yes, it requires knowing Jesus. And yes, you will need the Holy Spirit living within to instruct you in this hour. But all are available and ready to be received even this moment. Jesus is the gift that includes all others: wisdom, joy, peace, love, forgiveness, discernment, power, peace, freedom from addictions, healing of wounds, freedom to captives, etc.    Now, Just take him into your life as your Lord! It’s a wise choice. And you’ll never be the same again.

You see, the World, including the LGTB community with all its plans and protests and good-sounding words, doesn’t matter! The government, whether it makes a right or wrong choice, doesn’t matter!  Hollywood with all the “beautiful powerful people” doesn’t matter! All lives matter, not just black lives matter! And a women’s right is not more important than Gods right to his own creation! Evil always divides! Why do you think there are divorces, and church splits, and quarrels of many kinds? Believers, its us, and what we will do in this hour, that matters!! We rule and reign With Christ, even now, and it’s what WE DO that will dictate what God does with Our Country…because friends, the USA is His Country and He wants us to now stand up declaring IN GOD WE TRUST.

And isn’t this “standing up” to be done individually? As in letting people know in our words and deeds that we love Jesus and obey God? And in prayers? And in our own repentance? If God changes each one of us, then collectively we will become a greater light in this darkened country. Truth will be seen and heard. And love can break through the deceptions! Isn’t this better than fighting, bickering, protesting, etc? Let’s see what God says.

He declares in II Chronicles 7:14,  “If MY People, who are called by My Name (Christians that’s us! ), Will humble THEMSELVES, and PRAY, and SEEK My Face, and turn from THEIR wicked Ways, THEN will I hear from heaven, and WILL forgive their sins, and WILL HEAL their land.” BELIEVERS, NOT PROTESTORS, WILL DICTATE WHAT GOD WILL DO WITH THE USA! Believers, not unbelievers, will dictate what God will do As far as healing our land and its divisions.  And God’s power is great, and He is able to preserve the individuals who GIVE CHRIST THEIR LIVES, even if the lukewarm believers will be spewed out along with the evil ones who may be judged as that healing of our nation takes place. The word says not to fear if brought before magistrates on account of his name…he will give you the words and help that very hour!

Let’s just look at immigration for a moment…a very real divisive thing at present. There are way too many who are looking only at the surface of things…and if we look at portions of Europe and how Muslims have destroyed these countries’ culture and way of life, we will realize that prevention of troubles is a good thing. When immigrants are allowed in to USA, it is a choice for them, yet they must, before coming, embrace American law and American culture, and not carry out hidden agendas pressing upon us their sharia law and false religion.  There IS a spirit of anti-Christ loosed upon the world! It is pervasive and includes way more than just Muslims. Anyone who wants to be free of being told what to by God is part of this spirit that pervades societies worldwide. We must honor God and Christ who established the USA and gave us Our Land. It is NOT UNloving to keep immigrants out who pose a real threat.  We are not killing them! We are not destroying them. Wisdom and Love for our nation and its peoples simply dictates “protection!”. Those concerned about protection of the Muslim faith can make a choice to go over to the Muslim countries and love on them, embracing “their land’s rules and their faith”. And those immigrant applicants who desire to embrace the values and laws of our land can be properly vetted to do so. The Muslims here, who are your neighbors and friends, should be loved on in Jesus’ name, even while standing up for the Christian faith. The desire of God is that they be grafted into his family by faith in Jesus, and loving one another is essential for this to take place. They chose the USA, so they can live in a way as to embrace the law of the land, but if they can’t compromise with Americans because of “their faith” let them return to their own land.

Please pray, for the masses in our country are being deceived!! And the Bible declares that one thing that can destroy his people is Lack of Knowledge. It is absolutely LOVING what Trump desires to do! If you the head of a large family, and your wife and own children, natural or adopted, lived in your house, would you let a group of people into your own house, who desire to destroy you, and your women and children, raping or devaluing them if not killing them, and bent on destroying everything you worked for and your way of life? Destroying your right to serve the true God? Of course not! LOVE REQUIRES PROTECTION! Trump is being used in answer to Christian’s prayers across the land …the part of the Lord’s Prayer that Christ Jesus taught us to pray which declares, “Deliver us from Evil …for thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen!”

But I hear you say, but what of love for “them”? and I respond, what of love for “God”? Do we desire to hand over our nation to His Enemy? To be a friend with the world is to be an enemy of God.  Satan reigns over false religions and The World, and these anti-Christ systems desire license to do evil. Whether it be The LGTB communities, abortion-rights activists, Hollywood, or just a society who no longer fears the Lord… do they not realize that if Muslims take over the land it could mean their distruction too! None of them have God-given wisdom…so they side with each other? Makes no sense for a gay man to hold a love sign for a Muslim to come in, when Islam wants that gay man dead, does it? No wisdom. Women’s libers who want to abort, do they not know Muslims would kill them for that sin? Neither fears God or they would be honoring him with their lives. Yet, I think that deep down all of society knows lawlessness is not the answer. It is preserving love and respect, and truth, that is important. In fact the love chapter of I Corinthians 13:6 declares that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.” Somehow that part of loves definition does not get repeated amidst all the love talk out in the world. With this definition of love, are even believers aware of the simplicity that gives to our decision making? If something is not of of his righteousness or his truth it is not “real love“. Love is of God. God is love. So he has the right to define it. And by his definition, love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. And love does rejoice with truth. So can you be saddened and outraged by the sin around you, and still be in God’s love? Yes! Can you be without joy when you see people lost in deception? Yes! Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Cry out to God and beg him for the deliverance of the nation, your communities, your family, your self. The poor in spirit know their “need” for God’s loving interventions.

And Believers don’t be afraid to stand.  In the Bible we read often that God intervened and the evil armies/nations destroyed one another, while those trusting God were delivered. I myself am going to ask God to protect us as a nation, yet that might not mean that we won’t have internal wars going on. I only know that one day we all….individually, and as a nation, give account to God who reigns supreme. Many have access to bibles to give them God’s will ..they just don’t desire to follow it or to know him. So sad, too, for God gives everyone love, acceptance, and value, as they do embrace him. He empowers the believer to do His Will, and gives righteousness, peace, and joy though his Holy Spirit that comes to abide within any true believer in Christ. He is slow to anger and abounding in love. Warnings come nonstop, for grace has been restraining his anger at those who are living in defiance against him. He’d rather draw sinners and those deceived presently to him, to SAVE THEM from their sin and his wrath to come upon the nations in the end. Get into reading and studying God’s Word….read it…come to Jesus and learn of him…and your peace will come when you come to abide in Jesus.

As the verse in the graphic says, what CAN “destroy us” is the Lack of Knowledge…knowledge from the word of God, and not only factual carnal knowledge.

USA, Let’s Pray for our leaders… not wag our tongues in judgment or ridicule…

Pray for truth to be realized and that the darkness of ignorance dissipates…

And be at peace, while the world shakes around you, God is giving the USA opportunity to be saved, under Christ’s name. I am confident that God is in control and will hear the prayers of His People, no matter what the masses who act in ignorance and under media control do. The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This kind of fear refers to our respect, awe, and submission to God because he has the power to destroy both body and soul. He is so great, he laughs as the heathen nations rage in defiance against him! We must not fear man, who can only destroy the body. Let’s get our focus on trusting a sovereign God and aligning our own individual lives up with His Word and His Will. Amen?!

Friends and family…the safest place to be…is in intimacy with The Lord. Here are a few favorite verses in a favorite Psalm of mine:

Psalm 91:14-16

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

My Part: set my love upon the Lord (not only affections but obedience and attitudes); know his name (in other words, who He is!) , call upon him!

His Part: I will deliver you, I will set you in high, I will be with you in trouble, I will deliver you and honor you, I will satisfy you with a long life, and show you my salvation.

We have the EASY PART 😀…. And God? Well, His promised responses are way awesome! What a divine exchange!! Each one of those who can do the “My Part”, can go into an unknown future KNOWING God will do “His Part.” No Fear! Just Trust! Amen?!

Prodigals, it is time to return...to your Father who has opened arms. Please…hear me…Reread this scripture I began this blog with… and choose you this day whom you desire to be like… those of this darkened world? or those who desire to belong to Jesus, who will soon be the supreme ruler over all the whole world? In confusion?  The truth is IN JESUS! Run please to him, for your future depends on it, and he will forgive and receive you, and everything he has and is becomes yours. How wonderful!

Google the lyrics of Joy To The World if you have a moment. Yes, the one we sing at Christmas! It begins, “Joy to the world. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room!”  The Holy Spirit has prompted me to be singing that song at the piano recently, all the verses…even after Christmas. Could he be declaring aloud “He’s Coming Again Soon!?” “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love!” Perhaps I am only one of many who are declaring it so from my lips during worship.

To close…I pray,

“God, please hear the cries of all your people…see into their hearts…know their thoughts…”

and yet I hear you suddenly reply back to me… “Let the people hear My Cries, see into My Heart, and know My Thoughts!”  

And we reply humbly, yet excitedly…

“Yes Lord. We will come TO YOU And seek your face.”

 

 

 

Written by Beth Ann Smith, February 2, 2017

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PLUG IN …for it’s IN and THROUGH Christ IN You

 

A Believer’s Foundation for Power is Love.

PLUG IN to the revelation of Jesus’ love for you. We must work FROM God’s love, not FOR God’s Love.  John, the disciple of Jesus, is an example. He loved Jesus, because Jesus first loved him, and he had realized this.  We, today, are also told in I John 4:19 that “…we love Him, because He first loved us.” This…John’s personal revelation of Jesus’s love FOR him, as a friend closer than a brother, caused John to be the ONLY disciple who was able to go to the cross with Christ. He had the love within him to “involve himself” in that which concerned Jesus. Why was he there? Because he loved Jesus! The bond between them was LOVE, not duty, servitude, or expectation. Christ knew that John’s same love toward him would go outward toward others, and his mother was considered one of those others.  Christ, in fact, in turn, entrusted his own mother to John. John 19:26 says, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”  Interesting to note, that John is the one who is writing this narrative, so truly he had revelation that he was loved BY JESUS. This is why he LOVED Jesus. In John 13:34 Jesus, in fact, gives the command to all his followers: “…that you love one another, AS I have loved you, that you may also love one another.”  In looking at this verse another time, I realize he could have just said, love one another as I have loved you. But notice, added to this are the words, “that you may”.  The language of empowering. Then I perceived that this is indeed the secret of our “ability” TO Love. This ability to love outwardly comes from an awareness and experience of Jesus’s love for us individually first. He who knows me best, loves me… so I can then risk loving others, no matter what the cost. Do you think John thought of the risks associated with him being at the cross with Jesus? OR… Do you think he thought of Jesus’s need to have his friend’s support during his time of pain and suffering? I believe he saw both, but the latter, his desire to be there FOR Jesus, caused him to die to self-preservation. He wanted to LOVE Jesus back… Not only receive that which he needed FROM Christ. I believe this is the same motivation that will reside in martyrs during these end times. We will stand up WITH Christ! We will become desirous to be in defense of Christ’s honor, and fellowship in His sufferings, for we LOVE Him and believe in all He lived for. We understand that it is His Life which gives us eternal life, so we will not Deny Him.

I think of even small ways we may show our love for Christ. For instance, when I’ve heard a person swearing by using the Lords name in vain. It bothers me, not because I’m judging that person for using bad language. No! …it bothers me because I love Jesus so much!  I hate hearing His Name so dishonored. It’s a love FOR Jesus that activates my righteous indignation. Yet it’s also my love FOR Jesus, and knowing Jesus’ love FOR that person, that keeps me from losing my cool and being unkind to that one who speaks his name in vain ignorantly. Love for Jesus is demonstrated in both reactions…the internal and the external. My love for Jesus may cause me to be silent, or sometimes cause me to kindly say to that person: “Could you refrain from using Jesus’ name that way, for I love Him dearly. He is so worthy of us all giving honor toward His Name.”  When I’ve spoken that lovingly and respectfully to coworkers in the workplace, my coworkers in turn respected my love for the Lord, and did not speak his name in vain…at least in front of me. Love went full circle. They realized I wasn’t judging them, but I was LOVING Jesus.

LOVE is the foundation for all God and Christ did, and continue to do in our lives

Laying his life down and enduring the CROSS was Jesus’s “demonstration” of his love for you and me… and God’s demonstration of love was to give His only son for us all. So too, our love for God and Christ comes from the true revelation of the Cross. Thus making the cross the centrality of Christianity. There is no being a Christian without the cross. The blood spilt by Jesus was necessary to buy us back from the Kingdom of Darkness and place us into the Kingdom of Light…an act of pure love and great grace. Once IN the Kingdom of Light through acceptance of Christ into our lives, we abide there in the intimacy of relationship…the relationship of love, which motivates our lifestyle and responses and focuses in life. We experience LOVE everyday as the Lord answers our prayers, gives us knowledge of Himself, and fills our lives with blessings and goodness.

A Believer’s Knowledge of God and Christ Activates Faith and Power

Jesus REVEALS God’s “good” nature. Col 1:15 states that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God”. He is “the radiance of the God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature”. Hebrews 1:3. Jesus showed us all that God wants to heal us, not afflict us. Jesus’s main ministry of love was to heal people and to deliver people, destroying the works of the enemy in operation. If God has the ability to create us, Jesus revealed He also delights to recreate…or to make us whole. A man BORN blind was healed and his sight restored. Why? To bring glory to God. So why didn’t God just make him with good eyes to start with, we question. And I wonder…Was the demonstration to show us that Jesus can change, and re-create, for he is God too, that which God has already formed? He who was born blind could now see. Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. A storm was allowed by God, the disciples becoming fearful, but Jesus could command and calm the storm. He could change what God did already. Those born a certain way could be reborn? physically and spiritually? People could be made whole if they call on the Name of Jesus? This is the mighty power of our Jesus, a power given to him by His Father, God. Do we realize Christ is not the suffering man on the cross still, but that he is ALIVE, and intercedes at Father’s right hand for you and I, for he has been in bodily form and knows man’s weaknesses and sufferings?… thus bringing change to what God may have already allowed to take place in our lives? We believers have the love and discipline of a Father AND the love and the grace of a brother? And we must not forget the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, and the one who dwells WITHIN the believer. He takes what is of the Father and the Son and gives that TO US. Without HIM there would be no power or ability to be Christians. The Godhead operates in complete ONEness…in agreement…in unity…yet are distinct in their operation. The Son surrenders to God the Father, and we surrender to the Son, and the Father exalts the Son, and the Son exalts us. And the Holy Spirit empowers all this operation and plan, and He is himself God!

We, as believers, must allow the Spirit of Christ, within us, to operate… Then we ARE empowered…and the Kingdom of God comes within and advances outward.  The Holy Spirit is all about the principle of “in and through Christ.”  Believers who focus on their own ability or inability will always fall short of a supernatural lifestyle. It’s not about us… it’s about Him, Christ in and through us, via The Spirit…referred to as the Spirit of God… the Spirit of Christ. We must be baptized in the Spirit… in other words, totally surrendered and immersed in His power, realizing he is a person, and God himself, dwelling within our spirit. He is Spirit, and speaks to our individual spirit, thus making the intimacy of relationship within possible.  We must invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. We ask for Him. We surrender to Him. He takes what is of God and Christ and reveals it unto us in REALTIME. It is not history.. it is in the present. It is a relationship taking place on the inside and walked out on the outside. Yet the Spirit doesn’t speak of himself, he speaks as Christ. Christ is alive in us through His Spirit…the HOLY Spirit. This is how we distinguish him from other spirits. He IS holy. He will speak in alignment with the Word of God. He will never contradict Christ, for he is Christ’s spirit. Why did Jesus have to ascend into heaven before his Spirit could come to man? Because a man’s spirit resides in his body until he has died. Jesus’ spirit resided in him when he walked the earth. Now his spirit can live in us. Jesus had to become fully spirit to then have us, who are IN HIM, to be ONE WITH HIM in spirit. Believers we are spirit, and we worship HIM, our Lord, in spirit and in truth. The reason we lose sight of problems when we are truly worshipping, is that we become as one in spirit with Christ. Our flesh gets out of the way. And God inhabits the praises of his people. It is truly glorious. The Spirit of God takes the word of God and gives it meaning and interpretation. Just as lovers exchanging a love letter; …it’s the man and woman involved who understand the language of their letter…with its nuances and innuendo…not a stranger reading it.  A particular sentence could mean many things, but because one person loves the other person and knows their heart when they say the sentence, they will have the true meaning of what is meant. So too, it is this way with the Spirit interpreting the word of God for Christ’s lovers.

PLUG IN

Now, very important, we ourselves must experience relationship with the Godhead, to be used to bless others, do good deeds, heal and deliver, and do the works of the Kingdom.  Jesus must be abided in, and He in us, to be walking the walk and talking the talk.

  • It has nothing to do with my works, it has everything to do with HIS Work through me.
  • If I focus on my ability or inability, nothing will take place. I will fall short, because without Him I can do nothing.
  • I participate with Jesus and he gives me the honor and privilege of working WITH Him.
  • My job is to believe that God is really good at his job! This gives faith. We all have been given a measure of faith.
  • I must PLUG IN. As a branch adheres to a vine…nothing in itself giving it life, or power, or ability to produce fruit. Jesus said, “I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever lives in me, and I in him, bears much fruit… however apart from me (cut off from vital union with me) you can do nothing.” (I John 15:5) 
  • The Lord showed me personally today that a more modern way to think of this is to think of ourselves, as believers, as a USB plug-in, for most of us know how those work. Like a USB plug-in, we have no power in ourselves, yet put into a power source, it is usb driveable to receive from its source, and transmit that power, or information, to another. Interesting about a USB drive… it can plug into all that’s inside the computer and have full access to it. That vital information can then be copied down into the drive, and then that USB plugged in elsewhere to convey that information. (Perhaps this is what my article is doing for you…taking what I have received, by plugging in, and now conveying it to you! ) I have a fan platform that my usblaptop sits upon. It is run by USB plug alone.  When plugged in, the fan runs…but only if the computer is on, for its my source of the power. If it doesn’t stay plugged in, it will not run, for there is no other power available for that fan to run on.
  • Do I need power myself, or to give to others?… as with the USB plug?
  • Or do I need Wisdom and Revelation for myself, or to give to others?…as the USB drive?
  • Which USB plug should I activate?…and for what purpose?
  • May we realize we have BOTH available to us as believers. We can choose to receive. We can choose to give out.
  • In fact, we even have USB charging stations now, don’t we? Where we can power up more than one of us USBs at a time… Maybe this is what “fellowship” and “church” is all about.

I hope you can see with your mind’s eye what I am trying to share. It is the principle of IN and THROUGH Christ. We must be IN Christ so that he may work through us. That which he activates in us then is able to be activated toward others. Let me just share a quick little writing that I did as I was meditating on this:

  • Jesus’s peace IN me, allows his peace to be given out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus joy IN me, enables his joy to shine out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s character IN me, allows his nature to flow out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s love IN me, allows his love to work THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s healing in me, allows his healing to flow through me, that others may be healed.
  • Jesus’s faith activated in me, allows his faith to flow out through me to perform miracles.

In other words I must ALLOW his work IN me….so that He can work outward, through me, toward others.

It starts with me, myself, plugging in. Ideally, I will ABIDE in Him…not unplugging and then plugging in, etc… But remaining in him.

If I unplug to plug in to others, as a USB would do, it is temporary, and then I must be careful to plug back in, so I can receive power or wisdom myself. If we keep plugged in, however, we can keep the power flowing onward.

Now for a final spiritual picture…using technology as an analogy…becoming more like a Bluetooth than a USB! (*this will make little sense unless you’ve read this article up to this point)

bluetoothnetwork

I believe this should be the goal of every believer: our reaching maturity in Christ…i.e. we stay linked up and plugged in, all the time!  Let me explain. For those who may or may not know…a Bluetooth is a device that is paired to another device. The two become as one. They access the same controls and do the same things. It’s direct. It’s real time. For example, my cell phone here at the house, is paired to my home phone system via Bluetooth, enabling me to get cell calls throughout the house, from where various phone handsets ARE PLUGGED IN.  So, with a louder ring, I can hear the incoming call and not miss a call, and so that I can grab a handset in various parts of the house too, so that I don’t miss a call. All phones are plugged in and paired up.  Well friends… if we are paired to God and Christ via the Holy Spirit ….at all times abiding…we are become as a Bluetooth device.  Our listening to God and our reaching out to others will be at the same exact time…real time.  We don’t have to wait to act. We don’t have to pray about the will of God for days…we will instantly know His mind and heart on a matter. We will hear His Voice and know his Will right here and now…linking people together in purpose…and in power.  We aren’t plugged in sometimes and unplugged at other times, as with a USB. Modern day has given us this “picture parallel” of Jesus’s prayer of John 17…”that they may be one, just as we are one… I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity… so that the world may know that you sent me…and loved them even as you have loved me.”  

My dream is to have us all mature, communicating as being linked Bluetooth devices… paired to the Lord.. AND to one another, that indeed WE may be ONE. Never a missed opportunity, never missing the voice of God trying to get in touch with us.  Our intention and aspiration, so that the world will see Christ Jesus in operation, giving us power and wisdom and authority in His Name …and that He would be given the glory due him as such an awesome Lord and Savior!  Christ IN us, the Hope of Glory…the mystery hidden until now!  And that all would see God, as all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, and as Love… His power holding us all together in his wonderful and amazing purpose and plan: the plan of redemption and grace, and restored fellowship with our Creator!

SO, to summarize in one sentence:

Let is all be alert…and allow Christ to operate IN and THROUGH us!  That Jesus’s own prayer of John 17 may be answered!

It takes us, in cooperation with The Holy Spirit, to make this answer come about, staying PLUGGED IN to Christ! That He can do His Works THROUGH us….

IN and THROUGH !

Written by Beth Ann Smith, October 31, 2015 (Colossians 1:25-29) http://www.theimageofchrist.com

Please check out Beth Ann Smith’s other articles under the “Archived Articles” menu tab at the top of the blog page.

Please bookmark http://www.theimageofchrist.com to revisit often!  

Please pass this article along to your email list, or repost it on your facebook, if it has been a blessing to you, so that others too, may glean from these truths shared. Thank you.

To be ministered to via Beth’s music recordings, please visit the navigation tab at http://www.bethannsmith.com to access her peaceful instrumentals and Christian discipleship CDs. A lyrics tab is available for each song, to follow along. 

In Jesus Name

in my name

Recently, in my quiet time, I wrote down this instruction of the Holy Spirit to myself. Because it has indeed impacted me, personally, I desire to share it with you now, in Jesus Name.  I believe it will help you in your own understanding.

————— The Word of the Lord to Me, Elizabeth ————————————

What you do in my name must be from me, or it’s in your name!

Let me explain —

If I asked you to do something – then you do it – then it’s in MY name.

If I don’t ask you to do something – and you do it – then, it’s in YOUR name.

This is NOT the SAME!

Most of my kids are not doing what I asknot OBEYING …they are doing what they want to do for me – but not in my name

And what I see and what I breathe on – is done – in MY name… in obedience to something I have asked of you!

—————————

As I received this word from the Holy Spirit recently, I personally envisioned and related this instruction to my being an Executive Assistant for many years…wherein, in my position, I would contact people or arrange events in the President’s or Vice President’s name of the company I worked for.

I had no authority to accomplish anything in my own name, but when I did something my boss asked of me, and name-dropped his name as the name it was being done in, then things got done!

Let me give you an fictitious example:

My boss, Kurt Christianson, the President of American Health and Safety, says to me, “Contact President Ken Andrews, of First Aid Solutions, and tell him I’d like a meeting Thursday afternoon. Request him to bring any of his staff he would desire to, for I’d like to discuss enclosure of their new bandaging product line in our new fall catalog.”

Well, if I, as his assistant, would then call that company and ask to speak to the President, I’d get someone saying: “May I ask who is calling?” and if I said my name I would get the response, “Sorry, he cannot be disturbed. May I please take a message.”  (i.e. I’d get no where, using my own name and authority! Nothing would be graced, met with favor, or accomplished of any value!)  BUT, if I would, as his assistant, call that company and say “I am calling in behalf of President Kurt Christianson of American Health and Safety who needs me to speak directly to the President Ken Andrews with an important message about enclosure of your bandaging product in our upcoming catalog” then I would get right through, and announced to the President there as “President Kurt Christianson of American Health and Safety is calling.” I would then be given full authority IN HIS NAME to give the message I was to give out.

—————————–

It is the same, brothers and sisters, when we are walking in Christ’s authority.  When He asks of us to do something, and we obey, we have HIS NAME granting the AUTHORITY to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN that He wants to make happen!  We abide in Him, the vine, to bear any fruit, for he does it! Without him we can do nothing. We are not to ask if our agenda is his, but rather is His agenda ours. Are we listening to him giving us instruction? or are we going about doing our own thing, powerless, and wondering why so?

So anyway, a short sweet conversation and lesson, but if followed will keep you from needless and draining religious activity, for his yoke is easy and burden is light.  I encourage you, rather, to be “listening” and “obeying”, and then your joy will become full as He lives out his life and plan through you.

And when He does ask something of you, and you are clear on it, you can proceed with great confidence that, that which you do IN HIS NAME will indeed be met with His authority. He sees it and will breathe on it.  And you will accomplish the task He has given you to do in His name as He empowers you to do so.  There is Power available in doing what He asks of you… and this is doing it in Jesus Name.

 

Covetousness – Rampant!

As a songwriter with a mandate to create songs which present godly truths, I was in wonder by the ominous assignment God gave me.  His words?  “I want you to warn the Body of Christ of a Gross Sin in My Eyes that is NOT being warned about from church pulpits, and is NOT being considered SERIOUSLY by my people…but that is RAMPANT in My Church.  This sin is COVETOUSNESS!”

Rampant means, “in full sway; prevailing or unchecked“!

Listeners, If God says it’s so, it is so! I felt an urgency in my spirit at the time of receiving this mandate…as if He was awaiting Our Response!

covet intro

I did my part to research The Word…And observed and pondered covetousness’ effect upon society (and in my own life too, bringing about a repentant heart)… YET was most surprised of what the Spirit revealed of how the The Kingdom of God was experiencing a devastating blow “to its advancement” due to this sin being rampant among ignorant or deceived Believers! God, for sure, needs to discipline us and turn us!  I truly believe it is due to the unrelenting onslaught of The Enemy, in this area, that many of us have fallen prey to this particular sin. (I’ll talk more of this later…) 

I want you, my readers, to know that the Holy Spirit personally revealed the scripture immediately below to me, as I was preparing to release the song “Covetousness”…and it is certain that God looks on our hearts:

Ezekiel 33:30b-33  “…and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 So my people come to you, as people do, and they sit before you as my people, to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy and in pursuit of their own gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings a lovely song, with a pleasant voice, and plays an instrument well; for they hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. 33 When all this comes to pass–and it surely will–then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

Frankly, I believe He was further communicating to me, that THIS is indeed the present condition of The Church! The stronghold, covetousness, now evidently so rampant that He is grouping us together, saying: “my people” are “greedy and in pursuit of their own gain” (covetousness) and “it has come to pass”! Actually Phil 2:21 says similar: “For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” Revealing that I shouldn’t expect to observe much response to what He is giving me to share publicly on the subject.(You know your own heart, before you read the Ezekiel verse…if you were just being “entertained” by the video or were responding to the message in a serious manner.)

YET, I pray that my labors are NOT in vain, and that many WILL TURN, as I myself have chosen to do….resulting in God being made joyous by our newly-surrendered lives! I am praying for you, even as I release this blog!

Therefore, I exhort: EACH must question his or her OWN RESPONSE to the message He is giving His Church, of which we are a part.

Will you please be the One who puts what He is reveals into practice”?

Will you turn toward Contentment and away from Covetousness?

Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain! …More gain than covetousness could ever bring us!

——————————————-

Now.. If you would like more information and truth, insight and practical application, about Covetousness, then read on:

Quite simply, Covetousness IS IDOLATRY.  It is your seeking contentment in “other things” apart from God… a “keeping up with the Jones”… a going after status, possessions, and power out of envy of our neighbor. It is taking your eyes off GOD and unto SELF.  It is taking your focus and resources away from the KINGDOM and God’s Purposes…and putting them on temporary things and fleeting pleasures, using them for your Own purposes. 

possessionsWe can covet many things: status, money, goods, houses, lands, and even people! Anything that someone else has that we desire to have for ourselves is covetousness. Anything we hang onto tightly, and are unwilling to give to God or others represents covetousness. Anything we zealously “want” so much that we take on needless debt or get involved in improper conduct (such as adultery) to satisfy “our craving” for that thing or person, is covetousness. Anytime, instead of asking God and waiting for his goodness of provision, that we covet and take, we exercise covetousness. Simply speaking, it is Love of Self rather than Love for God. Satisfying ourselves and our lusts, rather than honoring God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 

Let there be no mistake.  No covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.  In fact, it says in Ephesians 5:5-7 that the wrath of God will come upon the children of disobedience in this area, and that we are not to be partakers with them in Covetousness. (the verse can be found in the scriptures area below)

Lust is “longing for” and “going after” So the question is: Are you “longing for” things of this world, more than you are “longing for” God? 

I John 2:15-16  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Friendship with something, means we have a closer alliance with it than we have to God. James 4:4 says “…know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 

Do you buy and sell (the world’s system) more than you give and receive by faith (the Kingdom’s economy)? Do we “chase after” ? …more than we “ask of God” ?

thou shall not

covet-nothing

It is only when we believe the promises of God and trust in Him alone as OUR SOURCE, that we will find ourselves moving from covetousness to true contentment.

  • We must realize the goodness and generosity of our Father, and how he does delight in giving good things to his kids, if we but ask… And he gives to us, mostly, that we may give of our resources to meet others’ needs, and to the advance the Kingdom.  Friends…even if all we have left someday is God, He is enough.
  • Do not be afraid to give…to enjoy contentment… to stop the frenzy of this sin, for I assure you, that He WILL GIVE to you in answer to YOUR ASKING.  “Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be open” ! Our God loves giving us GOOD GIFTS when we ASK!
  • It is alright to enjoy his contentment - already haveblessings, Saints.  And He does prosper His Servants.. and prosperity IS of God… But it is so we can be conduits of his divine resources too!… Giving and Receiving is the way of the Kingdom! His provision coming in and being sown outwardly …all the while holding very loosely all that He has given us to enjoy.    In reality, all we enjoy belongs to Him, and we are just stewards of what He has entrusted to us.

money-root-of-evilCovetousness “clogs” up the flow of God’s Provision toward US and toward OTHERS. This is why it is a serious sin to The Church as a whole at this time. Do we realize how many churches are closing due to this sin? For supply is being closed off…just as Satan desires. Monies are being allocated to satisfy our Covetousness instead of Advancing the Kingdom! And some people don’t go to church at all, because covetousness has reached maturity, to the point that they no longer want to part with their own money for offerings? They fail to realize that they are supporting the work of God in their giving, and that tithing is simply giving back that which God has given them. But can churches be covetous too? You bet they can.  Many small church pastors are covetous of mega church pastors, for they have larger budgets, they get more kudos, they have more prestige or power. Bigger paychecks! Frustrations and bitterness comes…discontentment with their small church, etc. AND yet we then look at some mega churches, who have pastors coveting each other’s roles within their own organizations!…and each others’ pay grades!

Covetousness has invaded every single area of society, this is why it is on the heart of God TO WARN, for he says “because of these things his wrath will come onto the children of disobedience.” Covetousness grows as a virus, spreading into other areas of our lives: individuals… schools….churches… businesses… internet… nations… the World!

desire creedWe have more gadgets,  thingamajigs, and whatchamacallits then we can keep track of…our malls and supermarkets full of enticing merchandise that we don’t think we can live without. Advertising seductively speaks that we will find happiness, and all will be peachy, if we just get “that”, whatever it may be. Status is measured in name brands and company logos.

An example of what I mean? Brand Name labels used to be hidden in the inside of our pants or shirts, and now they are viewed as being the important thing! Why…If you don’t wear a certain “brand”, you’re just not “cool”.  Friends, this breeds covetousness in children at school, in workers at work, and between companies as they “covet” for their brand renown. It has gone so much to the extreme in the US, that we actually export “non-brand name clothing” to third world countries, for we and our own children would not be seen wearing such “cheap clothes”. (i.e. not brand name!) This is a single example of a widespread issue. Do you know that brand-name athletic shoes are among the most stolen items at high schools and colleges? It is because of “covetousness”!!

  • covet-definitionAnd we’ve been assaulted with covetousness online!
  • I personally receive dozens of emails daily, from people trying to get me to BUY SOMETHING.  They do it by presenting a picture, a great price, and putting a thought in my head that “I just can’t live without this!”  Groupon, Amazon Local Deals, eCost, Yipit, and others come daily attempt to feed our lusts… and most websites, when you do buy something, put you on “their list”. UNSUBSCRIBE if you are daily tempted! and STOP BUYING! The more you are caught up in shopping and spending, the more you will be “enticed”.  It is a vicious cycle, unless it is “taken in hand”!  Instead, Start Giving what you have in surplus to others, as God would prompt you. (I’m not telling you to give everything you have away. Just listen to the Spirit if he prompts you to give something to someone! What goes around comes around…God will replenish you through someone else) 
  • By the way. those in poverty may have the biggest struggle in the area of covetousness, for they “desire MORE” for themselves, and may experience envy of their neighbors, coveting what “they” have.
  • Poverty is to be met by ASKING of GOD! He is no respecter of persons. In fact, Christ became poor, that you might give you his riches!
  • Poverty sometimes causes hoarding, for a person may FEAR LACK. Hoarders LOVE THEIR THINGS.. so much they can’t part with them… until they are lost under piles of stuff they have already, that is!) Instead, their family members part with them, in relationship! Covetousness, manifested as hoarding, has really become a serious issue! Choosing things over love from family! Wow! (But, I guess you don’t have to be a hoarder to do that kind of choosing though. Covetousness has a serious consequence: We can lose relationships!)

Now, understand, covetousness is not only in regard to things and possessions.  It has to do with “competing” and “grasping for more” …you covet that person’s job for yourself… lust after your neighbor’s wife… covet that woman’s beauty so you just must have that plastic surgery…or “I need a lawn care company too!” Covetousness takes many forms, and can lead to financial ruin, destroyed relationships, and sorrows of many kinds.

  • Even Eve, sinned the sin of forbidden-fruitcovetousness… she wanted more than what God had given her… she wanted what was out of her reach… she coveted the fact that she could become like God. Contentment was NOT her heart, even when the whole of the garden was hers to enjoy.  Covetousness today is exactly the same.  We have plenty and then some, but we want more! We want what “that person” has!

looking at neighbors ice cream

  • As part of our sinful nature, carried down from that first sin in the garden, covetousness will show up in children almost immediately. Parents, this is your opportunity to teach them about coveting what is their brother’s or sister’s or friend’s things, and to have them learn contentment.  Lovingly train them early about how God looks on covetousness, and you will prevent a stronghold in their life. Praise them as they ARE content, and lovingly correct them when they aren’t.
  • Women beware of coveting other women’s shopping ability if you go to the mall and have little resources to spend, while your friend pulls out her credit card and racks it up. It’s not a competition to see who can go home with the most goodies! Better to have a contest of who can “spend the least” on a shopping trip, and getting the better deals on the things your household needs!looking at others shopping
  • And for heaven’s sake, if you have a husband or boyfriend, do not be covetous of your friends and their household situations, putting strain on him or your marriage…to keep you in your “luxuries”, due to covetousness.  This is grievous and burdensome to him if finances are tight! God is your source, not him! Ask God. Don’t let your covetousness destroy your marriage, by piling up debt, never being satisfied with his gifts, having to have a certain expensive brand at the grocery store, etc. Let him enjoy your attitude of “contentment” and “pleasure in Him” instead of complaining! 

fish menMEN, don’t be envious of the income, resources, haul, or catch of another man in your life or vantage point. Proverbs 12:12 says, “The wicked covet the catch of evil men, But the root of righteousness yields fruit.” 

BE CONTENT with what God has given you for position or income.  Be faithful where you are…ASK OF GOD, and He will promote you for your hard work and honoring of Him. The scriptures teach that promotion comes from The Lord: Psalm 75:6-7 “For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another.” You don’t have to “take” power  or “abuse” your authority or “compromise” your integrity in order to get ahead.

If the other man has more “man toys” then you, he probably also has more headaches and expense to “maintain” them!  And this could include “their wives!”

And EVERYONE:  “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side!”  (this is covetousness in a sentence!)

Exhortation: HOLD EVERYTHING LOOSELY…meaning Do not attach your heart to it!

I Cor 7:29-31 implies our time is short here… and we are to hold everything “loosely”. This passage instructs: “…and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away.”

This is basically saying, we need to have a certain amount of contact with the world, and yes, you need the world’s goods… but Use It – Not Abuse It! Do not “love the world”. Love God! Only the Kingdom will go on… the World will pass away.

Proverbs 28:16b says “…But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.” Sounds like a great promise to hang onto as you are decision making in the days ahead!

in god we trust

  • WHO and WHAT you “trust” matters!
  • Is it GOD? or SELF?
  • Are you going to ASK and BELIEVE? RECEIVE and GIVE and RECEIVE?
  • OR, are you going to covet and take? holding on and not letting go!

IF WE WILL BECOME ALERT, THE SPIRIT OF GOD WILL DO A ONE-ON-ONE RESCUE OF EACH OF US – SO WE, HIS CHURCH, MAY COME  “OUT” FROM THIS STRONGHOLD!

CHOICES WILL BE MADE…EACH AND EVERY DAY:

  • TOWARD CONTENTMENT or TOWARD COVETOUSNESS…
  • TOWARD GIVING or TOWARD TAKING…
  • TOWARD HOLDING or TOWARD RELEASING.

We have free will. And it’s God’s great grace that will empower us to overcome. I know I have some things, myself, to bless others with, stored away in my garage… so, I’ll appreciate the one-on-one getting out from under my own covetousness, by being more of a giver too!

idolatry 2Now… here are some related scriptures to help us. Let us no longer remain ignorant of this gross sin in God’s eyes, that we might please Him, AS Lord:

Ephesians 5:5-7 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

I John 2:15-16  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

James 4:1-3 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight.You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

James 4:4 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses*, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY of God.  (*infers “being unfaithful” to God in this passage)

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’

Luke 12:15-21 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.  And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  Worthy to Note: It’s the storing up of our many treasures that can be of covetousness, even if God’s blessings gave them in the first place. If we desire them for “self” and “status”, disregarding God’s need for them to be distributed that our plenty will satisfy someone else in their scarcity, then we are not rich toward God. If a person is rich toward God, he or she will be using their given resources to bless others and to advance the Kingdom. They better be prepared for increased resources.. for God loves a flowing-in and a flowing-out GIVER!  Our “always having all sufficiency in all things” is so that we may “abound unto every good work”! (smile)

hebrews 13 5

Timothy 6:7-12 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.e of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

James 5:1-6 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.  Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.  Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.  Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

Matthew 6:19-24 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

I Cor 7:29-32 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.  (Use it-Not abuse it!)

Jeremiah 8:10 says within it:  “Because from the least even to the greatest, everyone is given to covetousness.”

Proverbs 28:16b says “...But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.”

CLOSING REMARKS:

I know this is a very serious topic, and very sobering in presentation.  The verses reveal the seriousness of the sin to God.  And the seriousness of the result to us, if we live a lifestyle of covetousness.

Although the Lord is expecting more our obedience than our words… Still, a good way to begin surrender in this area, is with a prayer of repentance. His blood is powerful and will wipe away your sin, as you ask forgiveness, so there no need for condemnation. Just turn from covetousness, toward contentment, in response to the sweet conviction that is within your heart.

Dear Lord,  

I come To You, acknowledging that, yes, I, myself,  have walked in a certain degree of covetousness. I choose to turn away from Covetousness in my life…but I need you to help me!  Make me alert to temptations, and please reveal those times I am “falling into it” unknowingly deceived.  I will trust you, and ASK for that which I need to satisfy me.  And I will GIVE as you instruct, to the work of the Kingdom and to my neighbors in need, knowing that I will RECEIVE from your hand as I myself sow.  I will be content with what all you have given me, and I thank you for all the many blessings that are mine, Lord.  Reveal to me what to do with what I do have. Enable me to enjoy the things you give ME richly to enjoy, whilst holding it all loosely, able to release it anytime to your purposes. God, I know I have become entangled in this sin.  I know it has been rampant in my own life, as it is The Church, so please forgive me now… Cleanse now my conscience from my acts of selfishness, and I will “reckon myself dead to this sin!”. Being no longer ignorant, but aware, of how you look on this sin, enable me to have GREAT GRACE to DAILY OVERCOME – choosing contentment over covetousness – and using that which I am given to store up treasures in heaven and not hoard it here on earth.

In Jesus name, AMEN   

And here also is a word from the wise, that you may go on into victory:

Contentment makes poor men rich; and Discontent makes rich men poor! (Benjamin Franklin)

Written by Elizabeth Norland, August 10, 2013

Please check out the archived articles – MENU TAB at top of blog – for many more articles to aid you in your spiritual growth.

Spiritual Ministry – What Are You Resonating?

resonating

Spiritual Ministry – What Are You Resonating?

  The Word says:  “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.”  I want to add this:  A man resonates what is in his heart to those around him.  A person may not realize that his spirit resonates and the people may not be aware of the resonance consciously, but spiritually they perceive what is being resonated and will respond to it.  Spiritually we react to another’s spirit. I believe that we have all experienced an attraction to or a caution of an unknown person we have come in contact with.   This awareness comes from our spirit without any prior communication or physical connection with that particular person.  Jesus gives us another example of this awareness when He rebuked Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan!”  He was aware of the spirit of the adversary that was motivating Peter to speak.  When we minister to another we must understand that we will communicate spirit to spirit.  We may be loving and positive in motivation towards another, but the very fact that we see him as needing our help is what he perceives in his heart.  He may rationally respond to your ministry, but in his heart he knows that you’re viewing him as lacking.  Your perception of him motivates your actions but you are communicating judgment not encouragement.   An example would be of parents “seeing” their child as deficient in sports or a bit slower in learning than other children.  They are motivated to aid and enhance the development of the child’s abilities, but too often the message the child perceives is that he is deficient.  It is not wrong to help our child develop, but our motivation should not be his deficiencies.  Our perception must be the uniqueness that God has placed in every human being.  We need to accept them for who they are and support what they desire to be.   It is not for us to measure a person by standards that we have set for ourselves or that the world has declared as normal.  The world sets standards of normalcy because it cannot receive the Word of God, therefore lacks the wisdom to minister to the spirit of a man.  We set ourselves up as judges and our judgment is what is spiritually transmitted to others.  Our hearts may be pure in motivation but we are doing harm in ignorance.  Throughout history you will find that those who are held as visionaries today, men of great genius, were often persecuted in their day because they did not fit the normalcy standards of their time.  It is the uniqueness of every human being that bears witness to God as creator.  Those that set standards for others are blinded by their own sense of self worth.  Like the Pharisees of old we can become blinded to the extent that we cannot recognize the Lord or His leading through His Spirit.  “Judge not lest you be judged.” is self fulfilling to those who are trying to conform the world around them to their perceptions of what should be.  In direct contrast the Word declares that “Love conquers all.”  This love “believes all things…”  The “all things” are those things which are good and possible through God in another’s life.

I realize that everyone falls short of his full potential, but they do not need our help to fall short.  One of the names of the Devil is “accuser”.

This spirit of accusation can work through us because we are spiritually unwise; ignorant.  Wisdom is the knowing the end result of our actions prior to us putting them into effect.  Our lack of wisdom combined with good intentions can easily be manipulated by the accuser to install negative feelings and beliefs in others.  Stop and think how much of our relations with others are based on their conforming to our standards, our desires and our needs.  Those that perform well by our standards are acceptable as equals and friends.  Those that do not conform receive less than our best.  The judgment of others places us in a position from which we have difficulty in hearing from God.  We become blinded by the very standards that we placed on others.

In our personal relationships we sow success or we sow distress.  If we will accept people for whom and what they are, without condemnation, without judgment, God is able to shed abroad His love for them through our heart.  We can be aware of their faults and short comings but we do not condemn them even as God shows us mercy and gives us grace despite our short comings.  We may be limited in our fellowship with them just as we were limited in our fellowship with God when we were pursuing sin, yet the door is always opened for God to minister love through us.  There is a vast difference between God ministering through us and us trying to minister for the Lord to please Him.  If God is not ministering through you, you have no ministry.  You are ministering through your own precepts of what the person needs and are ministering judgment with good intentions.  Jesus will tell those who ministered in their own power that He never knew them and cast them out.  History records crusades and inquisitions and persecutions not to mention indoctrination with false gospels by ministers that ministered according to their own understanding.  They were manipulated by Satan to damage the Body of Christ rather that to build it up.  Too many of us are being manipulated by Satan in our relationships with others.  There is only one way to avoid this pit fall.  Walk in Love.  If we will first acknowledge that we have set standards for others to conform to and remove those standards, then the fruit of the Spirit called love will take the place of judgment.  The love nature that is imparted to us at the “new birth” will fill the void in our relationships with others.  It will open new relationships with others that you never would have considered.  According to the measure that God is able to flow through us God is able to increase within us.  We can experience the love that God gives to others as it flows through us.  Setting aside standards and walking in love removes the veils from our eyes giving us clarity of vision.  We can see the world through God’s eyes and minister as He leads us.  Knowing this love increases our ability to let down barriers which have kept us from developing a more intimate relationship with the Lord.  It becomes an ever increasing cycle of going from glory to glory until we know His Glory; Christ In Us…the Hope of Glory.

Elizabeth Norland  03/03/13  www.theimageofchrist.com

Quicken Me, Lord

I was reading from Psalm 119 this week, and the cry of the heart: “Quicken Me” WAS HEARD as I read throughout this single chapter, with these particular words being “illuminated” by the Spirit of God.  It was a cry within my own heart, true… and yet, it was as if I could hear believers everywhere, across the land, crying out, maybe unspoken or even unidentified, these same “personal” words: “Quicken Me!”

So before we look at the scripture, let’s take a peek at the definition of Quicken:

  • Make or become faster or quicker: “she quickened her pace, desperate to escape”; “I felt my pulse quicken”.
  • Spring to life; become animated: “her interest quickened”; “he looked with quickening curiosity through the smoke”.
  • Spiritual meaning: Make me with living energy to pursue the way marked out by Thee. Revive me from the death of spiritual helplessness!

Being “worn down by the enemy”…an onslaught of fears, apathy, lethargy, despair, anxiety, and a wondering of “what’s the use?” seem to paralyze even the most committed Believers in Christ in this hour. Perhaps we have our focus on our own woeful situations, or that of others around us…be it  disasters, unrest of nations, weather’s destruction, financial hardships, relationship issues, the state of the church, or the crisis in one’s own country, the antichrist spirit pervading all, or the perceived advancement of the Kingdom of Darkness on every front.  We feel a bit helpless. Maybe even believe we are in a state of helplessness, corporately, where nothing we do matters at this point… YET deep inside we know, by the Holy Spirit, that with the Lord, the situations and circumstances are NOT hopeless!

I am here to declare: We are sometimes Helpless, but never Hopeless! Hopeless means “without hope” and it can also mean, “beyond ability to change”. We are neither!

As believers, we simply need to cry out to the Lord. He is the Almighty! Nothing is impossible! Even us, personally, to change!  To be quickened. To come “to life”! Hopeful – full of faith and power, energy and drive – Able to advance!

And what do we then cry?

“QUICKEN ME!”

When I think of this cry of heart, I also think of the dry bones, and Ezekiel going to the valley full of them. (Ezekiel 37).  “Can these dry bones live?” asked God.  “Only you know, Lord.” replied Ezekiel.  Yet then God said “Speak to the dry bones!” As Ezekiel then did this, and obeyed the voice of the Almighty, he used the words (vs 4-6): Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!”“Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.  I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” The Almighty had the ability to bring from lifelessness, a QUICKENING, and life came…bones, the sinews, muscles, tissue, skin, and this great army came TO LIFE.  Hmm… this is not a fairy tale.  This actually took place.  God brought back that which was completely lifeless. Verse 10 says, “breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.” So, too, HE IS ABLE to quicken you and I.  Isn’t He?

I venture to say, just as the bones came to life one man at a time, yet corporately the whole army stood on their feet together, so too, will be the QUICKENING that we Believers in Christ cry out for in this hour.

What is our part? And what is God’s part? to BE QUICKENED in our spirit, soul, and body?

Let’s talk about that.  All I speak of will come from David, the Psalmist, recorded in Psalm 119. Feel free to grab your own bible to mark these verses, as we go along. I used the KJV.

First let’s look at Psalm 119: 25, 86-88

25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust:

Quicken thou me according to thy word.

86 All thy commandments are faithful:

they persecute me wrongfully;

Help thou me.

87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness;

so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

89 Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

From the underlined phrases, you will note that David, in this psalm, was declaring WHY he, himself, needed to be quickened.  It appears he was being persecuted, for some reason… a wrongful reason, and his soul (mind-will-emotions) were exhausted, and that this oppression from all that was going on had almost consumed him.  In short, his mental and physical health, his vitality, was almost exhausted to the state of dying! His suffering is leading him to feeling quite helpless. Yet he is knowing within himself that he has not parted from the Lord, nor deserved this treatment, though there has been persecution and torment of his soul.

No wonder he prayed QUICKEN ME!

Along with his prayer to be quickened, he is declaring a few things.  First he says that all God’s commands are faithful…meaning they can be depended upon.  Then he says that, though persecuted and nearly consumed, He KEPT the precepts of God. In other words, he was obedient to all he knew to be God’s will.  He goes on to say that WHEN he IS “quickened” (Indeed, he was praying in faith), he will keep the testimony of God’s mouth.  In other words, he will continue to follow hard after the Lord when he is energized.  And his final declaration is: FOREVER the Lord’s Word is settled in heaven… implying that it is his only remaining “constant”, his firm foundation, and that forever he will follow it, no matter what!

So, when he pleads with God, QUICKEN ME… he acknowledges HIS WORD, and its ability to indeed quicken him. Verse 25’s “according to thy word” indicates this is his understanding.

Again, he pleads with God, QUICKEN ME, and we notice in verse 88…he acknowledges the Lord’s LOVING KINDNESS.

I believe this indeed a key to being quickened, because it is necessary to BELIEVE IN our Lord’s LOVING KINDNESS, in order to not be discouraged or downtrodden ourselves, as His Judgments come upon the wicked; or we view the reapings of unrepentant sinners; see the enemy about us robbing, killing, and destroying; or even deal with our own sin-consciousness due to our own erring from The Truth.  Remember David also spoke the words of Psalm 27:13, which read: I would have fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” 

David knew that God was full of goodness and loving kindness… or else he would have fainted—GIVEN UP! But he didn’t! and neither should we!  Our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He remains a good and loving and kind God, and WILL RESPOND to our cry: Quicken Me!

From this set of verses alone we can see that our part is to believe and adhere to THE WORD, and to believe in God’s goodness and loving kindness.  So what can we then KNOW is God’s Part: THE QUICKENING!  ASK and RECEIVE BY FAITH – YOUR OWN QUICKENING!

Sometimes we have to realize we are either asleep, or nearly dead, without energy, or drive (I’m talking spiritually here) before we can even realize we need to ask to be quickened. Right?   And, as a rule, almost always to GET HELP, first one must recognize their need for it, and then ask for it.  So be thinking of your own personal self, as you continue to read, for it may be God is meeting a need you don’t even know yet, that you have (smile).  The need to be quickened, yourself…

SO, NOW, while still in Psalm 119… let’s look at other scriptures that cry out: QUICKEN ME!

Psalm 119:40 says,

“Behold, I have longed after your precepts: Quicken me in your righteousness.”

Here we see again, that David longs after God’s ways… and this time he pleads the Lord’s righteousness.

We therefore, know, that David is acknowledging that it is not something he is going to earn or deserve.  Just as our salvation was a gift – and the Lord’s righteousness given to us at time of conversion… any “quickening” that will take place, will also be because of the Lord’s righteousness, and not our own.

Well, so far we are in! (smile)  We can ask, Quicken Me! …whilst believing in God’s loving kindness and in his righteousness. Let’s focus on our Lord, as we pray.  Not on our need, but on his ability.  We must acknowledge both, actually… but faith IS FAITH when who God is, becomes BIGGER in the eyes of our heart than the thing we are praying about.

Now let’s look at yet another verse in Psalm 119, which cries out: QUICKEN ME!

Psalm 119:37

“Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.”

We definitely have an “our part” mentioned in this verse: turn our eyes away from beholding vanity!

The words “in thy way” make it perfectly clear that it is NOT God’s way for our eyes to be beholding vanity.  Now what does this mean for you and I?

Barnes Notes on the Bible describes vanity as:

Vain things are wicked things; things which would be likely to lead you and I astray from what is real and true. Make my eyes to pass rapidly from such objects, that I may not look at them, may not contemplate them, may not dwell upon them. There is danger in looking on sin steadily; in surveying its features; in returning to contemplate it. An ugly object loses much of its deformity when we look often upon it; and this is a benevolent law, lest we should be miserable when we are under a necessity of looking on it. Sin follows this general law, and is to be avoided altogether, even in its contemplation, if we would be safe. A man should be thankful in this world that he has eyelids; and as he can close his eyes, so he should often do it. 

When I personally read this, conviction comes by the Spirit, that vanity includes all other things I trust in other than God: pleasures, riches, idols, human power, jobs, even people. And certainly this includes anything that activates covetousness in me: a wanting after something I do not have.  When our wants rob our haves from being enjoyed, we are beholding vanity.

Thus far we can conclude, then, that a way to be quickened spiritually is to turn our eyes away from vanity… and instead, focus anew upon our Lord: his word, his loving kindness, his righteousness, and his way.

Now we see another cry to Quicken Me, in Psalm 119:107

“I am afflicted very much: Quicken me, O LORD, according to your word.”

Once again, why the need to be quickened is addressed. David is suffering! He is in acknowledging his need. He IS afflicted. It does not infer this is physical as much as emotional suffering.  A tormenting is going on within him due to his feeling spiritually helpless amidst others oppressing him! Just because a torment is not in the physical realm, as in sickness or disease, does not mean it is not intense suffering!  I personally was afflicted during a time in my life with spiritual verbal abuse, and it affected my physical health. I was indeed to the point of despair. I remember well that I would  cry within, with “unspoken” words, what the Psalmist David speaks out loud in expression.

I am here to speak it to you, my brother or sister. GOD KNOWS YOU NEED TO BE QUICKENED…and yes, right now!  SO ASK HIM!  CRY OUT “QUICKEN ME”!!!  He will hear you, and He will answer.

You can be just like David, who, in Psalm 119:149, cried:

“Hear my voice according to your loving kindness: O LORD, quicken me according to your judgment.”

David appeals first to God’s loving kindness, right? Yet he goes on to plead, according to His judgment, as well.

David is essentially saying to God, “Revive my heart according to those principles of justice, founded on your own nature, and revealed in your law, which specially sets forth that mercy is to given to the humble, as well as, justice given to the wicked.”

David acknowledges that God is just – he sees and hears all – he knows hearts, hears tongues, weighs motives, and His judgments are pure and right. He is fully aware of those who are turning toward him, versus those who are turning away from him.  As long as you are in the posture of turning toward God, you can cry out QUICKEN ME!  That’s our simple part.  Then God does the doing of the quickening….bringing us to life! (smile)

We know this is how David is thinking, because once again, he appeals to God’s ability to show mercies to those who come toward Him, and to bring judgments against those whose posture is away from Him. This is his judgment. He sees all sides. Before he brings then his judgments.

Let’s now look at Psalm 119:156

Great are your tender mercies, O LORD: Quicken me according to your judgments.

Here, he appeals to tender mercies…not just the loving kindness.  What is the difference? This appeal for tender mercies is revealing that David walks in the reverential fear of the Lord.  Mercies are extended toward “the undeserved”. Mercy is, after all, defined as: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. David adds this, for within he may hear The Accuser tell him he is really not deserving of God quickening him, so in light of this, still humble before God, he is pleading “mercy”…saying “Quicken me… even if it is purest mercy…which I know it is, deep down.”  An awareness of our deserving punishment is simply humility, i.e. agreeing with God and how he might look at our sin. Yet still “according to your judgments” infers that God is also aware of David’s good heart toward him, and desire to please, and the keeping of His Commands that he does do, according to the love of God that is within him.

Okay, my friend… I think us looking at the couple verses prior to that mercies plea, may help us all fully see, that we can cry out: QUICKEN ME!

Psalm 119:154-155

Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.

If we are crying out TO GOD, can we not reason together that God will plead our cause and bring us deliverance?  Clearly as The Word says, Salvation is far from the wicked, but listen… you wouldn’t be crying out to God, or desiring to live according to His Word, if you were “the wicked”.  You may have stumbled, surely… but then Jesus, your advocate, will plead your case, and rest assured God will quicken you, in response to your asking.

David’s last plea for quickening comes in Verse 159:

“Consider how I love your precepts: Quicken me, O LORD, according to your loving kindness.”

Let’s pause a moment. This “quickening” prayer occurs here in this same chapter now for the ninth time, showing a deep sense of frailty on David’s part. He is longing for God, pleading with him to step in and strengthen him.

This time he is pleading: “Please, consider how I love your precepts.”

I looked up the word “precept” and it means “a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.”  So, in modern words, David is saying to the Lord:  “I love for you to tell me how I am to act and what I am to think!  I am not rebellious toward your ruling and reigning over me!  I want you to give me sovereign rule.  I love your precepts! Please don’t categorize me with those who are in rebellion toward you. I am not!”

Conclusion:

In one chapter, Psalm 119, we discover David’s crying out “QUICKEN ME”.

And you, as a believer, are invited to cry out right now, today, this same prayer to the Lord: “QUICKEN ME!”

God wants you to, so He may answer.

He is ready to have all of us, in his army, have our “dry bones LIVE”.  He is desiring for us to TURN TOWARD HIM with a cry in our heart… even though exhausted and afflicted, discouraged, or feeling pretty helpless… Just a cry! (some of you may not even have enough life in yourself to express anything but an unspoken cry).  It is enough…just plead within then: QUICKEN ME, LORD.

HE WILL HEAR.

Just as the psalmist begs for God’s reviving, quickening grace…. Let us!  We need it Church! If you don’t need quickening, personally… then cry out for your brothers and sisters, His Church, that THEY BE QUICKENED!

I am personally crying out. I admit it. I am crying out for the Church too, to be quickened. This is why I write this, as a scribe… for the Lord. He is telling me what to speak in writing, with these articles of late. He is wanting those in His Army to activate, everywhere, who have a desire to…whatever your gift or calling, or job or talent, or circumstance or bondage. GOD CAN QUICKEN YOU!

But He wants you to cry out and ask!

QUICKEN ME!

Not sure how to ask?  I cut/paste…so let’s just pray the words of David, together, shall we?  Then we know that we are praying in the will of God, right?

Quicken thou me according to thy word. Quicken me after thy loving kindness.  Quicken me in your righteousness. Quicken thou me in thy way. Quicken me, O LORD, according to your word. Quicken me, O LORD, according to your loving kindness. O LORD, Quicken me according to your judgment. Quicken me according to thy word. Quicken me according to your judgments. Quicken me, O LORD, according to your loving kindness.

–          I will continue in the longing for and loving your precepts, keeping them…

–          I will turn away my eyes from beholding vanity, renewing my focus on you!

–          Plead my cause, and deliver me, for great are your tender mercies.

 Your loving kindness is toward me

I BELIEVE YOU HEAR – AS I MAKE MY PLEA:  

QUICKEN ME!

 

 

 

Written by Elizabeth Norland, November 1, 2012