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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Supernatural & Prophetic Watchman on Alert BLOG

Praying for your Spouse

Psalm 88

1 O Lord, God of my salvation,

I have cried out day and night before You.

2 Let my prayer come before You;

Incline Your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of troubles,

And my life draws near to the grave.

4 I am counted with those who go down to the pit;

I am like a man who has no strength,

5 Adrift among the dead,

Like the slain who lie in the grave,

Whom You remember no more,

And who are cut off from Your hand.

6 You have laid me in the lowest pit,

In darkness, in the depths.

7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,

And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah

8 You have put away my acquaintances far from me;

You have made me an abomination to them;

I am shut up, and I cannot get out;

9 My eye wastes away because of affliction.

Lord, I have called daily upon You;

I have stretched out my hands to You.

10 Will You work wonders for the dead?

Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah

11 Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?

Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?

12 Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?

And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But to You I have cried out, O Lord,

And in the morning my prayer comes before You.

14 Lord, why do You cast off my soul?

Why do You hide Your face from me?

15 I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;

I suffer Your terrors;

I am distraught.

16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me;

Your terrors have cut me off.

17 They came around me all day long like water;

They engulfed me altogether.

18 Loved one and friend You have put far from me,

And my acquaintances into darkness.

A wife’s prayer for her husband (or husband’s for a wife)

This morning as I continued my way through Psalms, I reached Psalm 88 and was struck at how apt it is to my personal storm (see Hold On).

My husband is in hospital at the moment. And this psalm as a prayer seemed apt for us both. Some lines echo for myself, others on his behalf.

Verses 1, 2 are my voice, telling GOD how I have felt through this time.

Verses 3 – 5 are a reflection of my husband’s position in hospital, vulnerable and very sick.

Verses 6-9a expands upon hubby’s position. He is unconscious – even his eyes cannot see.

Verses 9b – 13 echoes my cry to the LORD to be heard, for the situation to change, for GOD to act.

Verses 14-18 describe the faithfulness of my husband (15) but the consequences of GOD’s seeming silence.

After reading the Psalm in silence, and recognising the parallel to our lives at the moment, I read it again out loud. 

Then the LORD gave me the word: REVIVE. And that is the call and prayer for today: that my husband will revive now. 

“Now” does not mean immediately, although it can mean immediately. Now means it shall begin. Time is GOD’s by creation and mechanism. Yesterday, tomorrow and today are not restrictions for GOD. He manages all matters from His framework.

I know the LORD has heard me. Even the doctors testify of the repair in progress. I have given the time to the Father Yehovah GOD, and the time is in His hands.

Why I say this to you

I am not writing this to you for prayer support, although if the LORD prompts you to pray, that is wonderful. I am not writing this as a means of cathartic expression. I am writing this to you, who are married, so that you too might be led to apply a psalm to your situation. It may be Psalm 88 or another.

I am not restricting this to married people, for all of us have prayers for our loved ones. 

But I am also saying something specific about the prayers of married people. The two become one flesh is hugely significant; to overlook it is a lost miracle. For GOD has given us a way to pray for our spouses that, until recently, I overlooked. We can pray as one flesh: we can pray and take on the afflictions of our spouse in a supernatural way, if we have the GOD-given faith for it and the revelation. We do not become sick but we gain insight into the illness and ultimately, we can command it to go, In Jesus’ most wonderful name.

Blessings all as you meditate on Psalms and prayerfully consider this word I’ve shared.

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

America has fallen: doom but not gloom

America has fallen. It’s doom… but it’s not gloom.

At last, the beautiful and wonderful and Godly beacon of light to so many other nations, for truth and liberty, prosperity and democracy, and “in God we trust” is busted.

It has been falling for a long time. Some Believers have been steadfast for Jesus, but many, many Americans and the nature of American society has been turning, over a time span of decades, from purity and holiness intended by the founding fathers, to degradation, greed, lust and so much more evil.  Last night, as Americans stormed the Capital in Washington DC, as Senators and Governors debated inside about the fraudulent election and what — if anything — to do about it, America landed in muck! And it is unlikely ever to get out of it…. it is more like quicksand than dung or mud or any other filthy substance we can wash from.

I’m sorry. I have good news but that comes at the end of the article.

Jeremiah 14-16

I have been reading Jeremiah, chapters 14-16. Some dear sisters in the LORD have pointed this to me today, and I’ve picked up on it. 

The verses in Jeremiah which jump out at me this day are, 

14:11-12: Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Bu tI will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”

To my view, this are a direct warning from God

14:21b: Remember, do not break Your covenant with us.

To my view, this a demonstration of the cries (or manipulations) of the Jewish prayers

15:19b: You shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them.

To my view, here is an example of the directness of Yehovah and Jeremiah in discussion

16:10b-11: Why has the LORD pronounces all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?

My response: ‘Oh, the vanity of the Jewish response to God’s warning’

As you have a look at these three chapters in Jeremiah, I wonder if you’ll spot a pattern within these chapters which shows a bleak though relevant outcome in the Word. I did.

Back to America

America is in chaos. At this opportunity, I’m not going to preach sides. That’s not what this post is about. There was a president in office who was pro-life and pro-Israel. This gave huge encouragement to those in or supportive of those “camps” and tremendous consternation to those with opposing views. At the heart of the matter, many and most Christians thought of Donald Trump as a modern-day Cyrus, and one who certainly was beneficial to the causes of and perspective of Christians. It is primarily to you that I am writing…

How Trump “lost”

This doesn’t boil down to one issue. At best, it is complicated. And I even put “lost” in parenthesis to account for the debate over whether he won a huge majority and was cheated or he lost the vote. 

God is sovereign. Trump leaving office is not something God didn’t know about or expect; it isn’t something that the enemy slide by the Father. The loss also doesn’t mean that Trump was all the things the media and his opponents said he was: a liar, a cheat, disreputable, crooked. Nor does it mean Trump was not God’s choice in 2016. The loss also doesn’t mean that the American Constitution failed. If the result of the election is fraudulent, it isn’t something the Constitution couldn’t have handled. No, my thought is that Trump lost for one key reason…

Moses strikes the rock in anger

In Numbers 20:10-11 it states, And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock? Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.”

But the LORD was not pleased with Moses and Aaron. Verse 12 continues, Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe me, to hallow me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 21:12)

At the end of Deuteronomy, nearing the time of Moses’ death, the LORD leads Moses up Mount Nebo and shows him all the land and says, “…This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, “I will give it to your descendants.” I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” (Deuteronomy 34:4).

Moses died in Moab, without entering the Promised Land.


Hold this truth and draw it into what I shall say about the end of President Trump’s time in office.

Why Trump lost

You will know, those who follow what I write about or what makes me “tick”, that my hubby and I have been building a ministry called Sabbath Rest Ministries. Now before you wonder at the strange digression from Trump v Biden, and the United States and its democratic structure, read on. Sabbath is totally relevant to GOD. Anyone who follows Yehovah and His son Yeshua/Jesus will be familiar with the 10 Commandments and the fulfilment of those by Jesus. Do you also know what is the Sabbath which Jesus upheld?

God’s Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. The Hebrews knew when the Sabbath was and historically, so do we. It is what we in English call Saturday. Sunday became “the Lord’s Day” by papal decree some time after Constantine declared Christianity to be the state religion of Rome. The Sunday worship originated from the Roman Catholics.

If you study scripture (another time I might highlight certain scriptural references), you will learn that the Sabbath is of critical importance to our God. It is the seal which He places upon His children. It is the day of rest which He created and stipulated. It is made for man, not man for it. It is the most detailed commandment which the LORD defines in scripture.

Exodus 20:8-11 says, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your email servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that sin them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

God has never changed the Sabbath, though man changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday — thereby separating Christianity from Jewish tradition. As it was done by what is the Roman Catholic Church, it is, perhaps, the last reform we must make before we have completely returned to the roots of Jesus and the early church.

There are many reasons why the LORD might have allowed Trump to lose power

My most pronounced thought as to why the LORD allowed Trump to be trumped in the election is that Trump endorsed the Pope’s bid for Sunday to be the day of rest for man. 

In 2019, the Pope visited the White House and President Trump was pleased to endorse a move to mandate Sunday as the day for family and rest in Texas.

Many will find other reasons, likely all from man’s point of view. I can think of several, all from my own thinking. But I reckon actually, that it is the importance of God’s Sabbath to God as expressed by His Forth Commandment which He wants hallowed, which caused GOD to remove favour from the President.

Selah Blessings and Shalom as you ponder this “food for thought”.

Jesus’ Return – 2 stages: Doom and Light

The Doom 

With a change in party and leadership in the White House from relative conservatism to liberalism, significant change including a continuance of moral decay is likely. Abortion will rise, rather than fall as it did during the Trump presidency. If it is accurate to say that the election was fraudulent and it remains unchecked, then democracy in America is likely to be contaminated forever. And as it has been said many times, where America goes, the world goes. So, if America is lost, then so too is the world.

These statements are debatable but I only mention them as a consequence of the change toward social democracy (as the Democrats claim to be) or cultural communism (as the Republicans suggest their opponents to be). This is not my main two-fold point, which is that the endorsement of Sunday lost Trump his leadership… and that the loss of the Sabbath must be restored.

The Light

Finally, although there is doom, there is no gloom, not when you let go of the world and everything in it, as we who purport to follow Jesus must do. If the world falls far enough, the Lord Jesus will catch his children, and the earth will be transformed: lost yet found, by the Prince of Peace, the Light of the World.

For it is said in Revelations 21:1-2a Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Sabbath Rest and the 23rd Psalm

The concept of the Sabbath Rest and the 23rd Psalm have a lot in common. The following phrases refer to both:

Abide in Him.

He shall enter My rest.

On the seventh day He rested.

Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

These are Biblical phrases we are familiar with. But all together, what do they mean?

Today I examined the 23rd Psalm and my recent considerations about the Sabbath jumped out at me as I read it…

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake….”

We lack nothing when we abide with the Father: we shall not want.

We rest — in green pastures. In the resting, we are restored to full capacity.

All this leads us to the righteous path, and that is for the sake of His name (not ours).

Ah rest. When we abide, when we receive, when we STOP, we are in the rest for which He created us. For He created us for fellowship with Him (and for each other), so that we would be together in rest.

The curse of work came after the Fall and labour came as a result of sin. (Genesis 3) GOD created the world in six days, but not even that was work. Creativity is not work. Work interrupted rest, and continues to do so. But that was not GOD’s original intent. 

The Sabbath rest was made for man to escape from labour, from work. 

The Father blesses the Sabbath and those who receive it are blessed. 

The consequence of disobedience or walking our own way is to miss the rest GOD offers.

On the seventh day, He rested. He offers the Sabbath for man to rest likewise, because otherwise man’s labour would continue and he would miss the fullness of life which is offered to him by GOD.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; 

For You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me…”

Even though we may face tough challenges, disappointments, tragedy and even physical death, we remain in rest when we remain in Him. He is our shield and our guide; in times of trouble He is our protector.

Sabbath rest is not just a day of the week to rest (though it is that). And it is not just the seventh day which GOD ordained. It is a state of mind and a state of being — in the company of and abiding with Father GOD.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

The LORD provides. While we must carry out our labours, for ‘he who does not work, does not eat’, and sound work is good for a sound mind, He does provide for those in need, and for those whom He has called according to His purposes.

As we rest in Him, we can know that He holds us in the palm of His hand. He cares for us, nurtures us, comforts us and keeps us in His perfect peace when our eyes are fixed on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)

And so, let us abide in His word, abide in His rest, and abide in the hope set before us. 

To be in fellowship with Him — that is the reason for our being. And He promises that, through the rest He provides, when we come unto Him, He indeed is present for us, as our shepherd, our protector and our provider.

Amen and Amen, thank you LORD.

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Holiness: Church needs to Change (Part 8)

Holiness is

The more dead to myself I am, the more filled I am with the Holy Spirit; the more surrendered I am, the more room there is for GOD to live in me; when the holiness of GOD is moving in and through me, the more holy is my life. Holiness is less of me and more of GOD.

1 Corinthians 3:17 says, “… the temple of GOD is holy, which temple you are.”

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The temple is holy. But what is holy other than GOD Himself?

As we walk near to GOD, through the Holy Spirit, with Jesus as our shepherd guide, we walk in holiness. But other than GOD-speak, what does that mean?

Holiness is Godliness, meaning GOD-likeness: purity, peace, power…. simply put, all that is GOD. We discover it, not through striving but through surrender.

In the context of Jesus’ Church

No opinion. No gossip, back-biting or envy. A stroll through Paul’s letters to Timothy shows us what the church must not be: not gossips (1 Timothy 5:13), not slanderers or lovers of self (2 Timothy 3:1-3), to site two examples.

Rather, we are to look in the mirror much more than we are to judge one another. Love is at the centre of all of our relationships and we celebrate for one another and mourn with each other. True intimacy is at the heart of Jesus’ church. Today, there are snapshots of this church but we have to mature a great deal to capture it entirely. We mature through surrender.

Back in March of this year, I posted about Holiness (https://laruspress.com/holiness/). At its heart is love, because at GOD’s heart is love. GOD is love. And perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). When we love perfectly, GOD is working in us perfectly, and we are perfectly Holy.

Jesus said, “… be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Perfection then is possible… through our surrender. Jesus did nothing other than what the Father asked him to do, said nothing other than what the Father led him to say. Jesus was perfect: a perfect servant, perfectly loving and perfectly holy. For those of us who take our walk with Jesus seriously, we too can become perfect: perfectly loving, perfectly holy, through our surrender to GOD.

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19)

When we walk in the holiness of GOD, and meet together as the Body of Yeshua/Jesus as his church, then the church will be holy and fruitful. Hallelujah. GOD has made a way.

All to the glory of GOD

We who are in Christ Jesus are saved from sin, and therefore we have access to the purity of Jesus, as we surrender as he did, to the Father. All things are lawful now, however, not all things are helpful or edifying (1 Corinthians 10:23). And so our behaviour is dependent not upon law but upon love.

I’d like to encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 10 with the view to relating it back to holiness of the church. By the grace of GOD and through the sacrifice of Jesus, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in us, we are free.

But in that freedom, our action will not cause others to fall; will not act for self. Holiness points to Yehovah — our Father GOD. We are free and it is all for the glory of our Father, Creator of the Universe and Lover of Mankind. Our freedom points to GOD. Our holiness points to GOD. Our existence, our life, our church — everything now points to GOD.

This is all possible — not through our effort but by our surrender.

This is how Jesus’ church lives and breaths and ministers to a fallen world.

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Torah Portion Examined

Genesis Creation Story: Richness of the Truth offered by Creation Scripture

Genesis Creation Story

Genesis 1:1 to 6:8

In the Genesis Creation Story we find a richness, a wealth of power and truth, and through this an added empowerment to our everyday walk of faith.

“In the beginning GOD.”

I was reading this morning the first Torah Portion* for this Hebrew year which has just begun. Reading the Torah Portion puts the entire Pentateuch** to our eyes and mind in the space of a year. Gentiles reading alongside the Jewish people can gain much in re-reading the Book of the Law over and over again.

In my re-reading today I realised several keys:

  1. “Let the earth bring forth grass…” By about 1:11 I realised afresh: Oh, what a creative Creator He is. From out of nothing, sprang the earth: beginning with light, the heavens and eventually bio forms, life forms of grass, living creatures… and finally Mankind. He created life forms in order that they may beget life. Wow! Let us never take that for granted. Though the planets and solar systems existed before the earth itself, in some sense, life as we call it, did not. No bio life existed before GOD called it into being.
  2. Then along the way of reading chapter 1 of Genesis, I realised what a disaster we have made of the beauty of the world. I won’t dwell on that here.
  3. “And Adam said… She shall be called Woman” in Genesis 2:23 and I realised as he called all the animals so he called Woman. Does that mean he has superiority over her? Ouch!
  4. Eve probably didn’t hear GOD say not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but only that Adam had told her GOD had said that, which would explain why she over-stated saying, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” (3:3)
  5. The interminable struggle between good and evil, man and the devil, is synthesised in these words, “He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (3:15)
  6. Genesis does not share all the children borne of Eve, because there were many alive by the time Cain married (4:17), and this was easily accomplished since they all lived nearly 1000 years.
  7. Through Seth, men began to call upon the name of the LORD. This is important: i. Through Seth’s line came Noah. ii. the name of the LORD is important. This latter point will be made in future posts, just as I have referred to it before.
  8. GOD called human beings “Mankind” (5:2)… isn’t it remarkable how today, even this is being assaulted by those who wish to call us “humankind” or “people-kind” so as not to seem anti-feminine.
  9. Noah was the great grandson of Enoch, who never died but “walked with GOD; and he was not for GOD took him.” (5:23)
  10. “Sons of GOD” aka fallen angels (6:2) had sex with daughters of men and from these intercourses were mighty men descended. And there were “giants on the earth” (6:4). These offspring could well be the “gods” of ancient belief systems such as held in Greece, Rome for the West and others (I’m less familiar with) from the history of the East.

Contemplating Genesis Creation does not conflict with other religions or scientific belief. In fact, it enhances, explains from a Judea-Christian heritage how the earth and everything in it began, developed.

May I encourage you to read through the beginning of time to Noah. May I also encourage you to get a copy of the Torah Portions (free at: www.torahportions.org) and consider the Word of GOD deeply, richly and fully as you continue on your journey to knowing GOD more intimately.

Shalom and GOD Bless.

*Torah Portion: that part of the first five books of the Bible allocated per Sabbath Saturday. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible as written by Moses from GOD’s “dictation”.

** Pentateuch: the first five books of the Bible

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Empty Vessels: The Church needs to Change (Part 7)

We are empty vessels — or we are meant to be

Paul likens the Church of Jesus to a human body (1 Corinthians 12:17), and to each of us as pot or jug (2 Timothy 2:21). We are meant to be empty vessels, ready to be filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, with no personal agenda, desires, or ambitions.

How are we doing?

I’m am surrendering everything. But at times the flesh does rise up; I do have preferences and sometimes strong emotions. But I’m wanting to lay down my life, every moment of every day, to be available to GOD for His purposes.

It isn’t easy for me. It’s splendid when it happens. I feel His presence surrounding, covering, filling me with energy and peace. But though I want to be filled daily, sometimes I get distracted…

How are you doing?

Church in the Community vs GOD

We are meant to be available to the LORD. Often times we can find opportunities to help in our communities, to help in our churches. Is that the same thing?

I’m working that one out. Good works are not necessarily GOD works. And yet, there is such need to hear the Good News, the true Gospel of Yeshua Jesus, and to see an outpouring of His Holy Spirit, as Jesus and then the disciples did. I wish He would simply give me a clear mandate, a vision for my own life, a way to minister to those in need. I am committed to being available, undistracted, patient and expectant, though I do see opportunities in my community pass me by. I’m torn.

More of Him, less of me

As I trust in His leadership, His guidance, His roadmap, I ask Him to keep me small, keep me empty, keep me available. Then, when He’s ready, I ask Him to use me, fill me, aid me to be the person, the presence in others’ lives, that will reveal Jesus to them.

Amen.

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Wisdom of GOD — Church needs to Change (Part 6)

Making the best of the Lockdown

All over the world, churches, like so many other institutions, have had to close down and/or alter their way of working.

Jesus is rebuilding His church. Covid has given Believers the opportunity to take notice, heed His presence, and pray. The direction we take will determine the substance and style of the new church as it emerges from the compulsory pause it has experienced world wide in recent months.

We, the body of believers, need to be unified in heart and mind, resting in His presence. We developed this insight in previous posts, Church needs to Change: parts 4 and 5.

We also need GOD’s wisdom to move forward, so that through His blessed Holy Spirit guidance — not our assumptions, impatience, or presumption — the church of Jesus will prosper.

From 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 we read,

“But GOD has revealed them [the things which GOD has prepared for those who love Him] to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of GOD. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is within him? Even so, no one knows the things of GOD except the Spirit of GOD. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from GOD, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by GOD. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

Jesus said he would build this church. Through the Spirit whom he sent to us, he shares with those who will receive, all those things GOD has prepared for us. Wisdom would suggest not to get ahead of Jesus’ lead.

In order to receive, we need to abide (John 14), rest in the presence of GOD through the His Spirit, and listen before we act.

In this way, we receive guidance, wisdom, strategy — all things needed to serve in a way that will create the Church of Jesus: not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit! (Zechariah 4)

He who waits upon the LORD will renew his strength (Isaiah 40). And not only strength, but also wisdom, direction and the plans of GOD can be given to us when we wait upon Him.

Why follow the Spirit?

Jesus said, “it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

In order for the church to be re-built, we need to do so under the direction of Jesus. It is his church, and through the Holy Spirit who came after him, he will equip us.

How do we follow the Spirit?

How do we learn the wisdom of the Holy Spirit? Through dreams, visions, promptings, words and scriptures. But if we do experience dreams or see visions, how can we discern they are of GOD? How can we depend upon the Holy Spirit to speak to us?

GOD promises to will speak to us when we wait upon Him. He spoke to Abraham. He spoke to Joseph. He spoke to Jesus and He will speak to us… And if we listen, trust and obey, we will be the vessels who advance the Kingdom of GOD, not through man’s church, but through the church of Jesus.

When we wait upon GOD, He will speak to us. He says He will and is not a liar. We test what we receive, by looking at the Word (nothing of the Spirit of GOD will contradict His Word), through sharing with others (it is known that GOD may share the same dream with more than oe person, for example), through stepping out in faith (with care, put into practise what you hear and watch what unfolds), for GOD will not ‘give us a serpent’ when we ask for a blessing (Luke 11:11).

The church needs to be given fresh vision and new life. This will come from Jesus. It doesn’t mean all that has gone before is wrong, but it does mean we’ve lost our way and spending time with the LORD will allow us to recalibrate and allow Jesus to initiate the way forward.

 

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

In His Presence examined — The Church needs to Change (Part 5)

When I wait upon the LORD He renews my strength (Isaiah 40:31) . Hallelujah!

What about everything else that needs doing in life?

Following on in the Series “Church needs to Change”, I address the second point on the list, that of engaging with GOD’s presence.

I Corinthians 1:29 says, “that no flesh should glory in His presence”.

Basking in GOD’s presence is a glorious experience: a spirit to Spirit encounter as ours meets with His.

But is it for its own sake? As we spend time with the LORD and when He chooses to anoint us by His Holy Spirit, is it only to draw closer to Him? Is it not also to walk under His direction, to offer solace to others, or healing, or words of wisdom… as and when He may direct us?

In Psalm 119, the Psalmist asks, “Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.” Amen.

Our Walk is Revelation

Jesus loved both Mary and Martha, but it was Mary who sat at his feet, whom Jesus defended against Martha’s criticism that her sister did not help with the practical household duties (Luke 10:38-42).

I have been “sitting at Jesus’ feet” of late — or to say more accurately, I have been spending a lot of time reaching out for GOD’s presence, and receiving. But it has meant I’ve had little else on my agenda. Indeed, I didn’t even post a newsletter last week (as those who usually receive it will be aware). Am I being distracted? Or perhaps it is simply that the LORD has my full attention, at last.

It is difficult to navigate the matter of seeking GOD’s presence. Society is busy and offers plenty of duties and distractions. Covid-19 Lockdown across the world has offered GOD’s children time to spend with him. How have we spent that opportunity, or what, in this regard, can we do going forward?

Day Jobs, Family Ties, Responsibilities and Choices

Paul of Tarsus built tents for a living. He did receive some payment for his preaching and teaching, but by and large, he supported himself — he had a day job. He encourages all who can to work, to be self-respecting and self-sufficient, and in turn to support those who cannot work.

He has also written to us about family ties being a blessing, though singleness he sees as better, being without the distractions of spousal obligations (1 Corinthians 7:34-38).

We all have our responsibilities, yes, and we can make our own choices. There is, after all, “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1)

But…..

Luxury of the presence of the Holy Spirit

But my current thinking is, we cannot afford to ignore the opportunity of GOD’s presence in our lives. Spending time with the LORD and resting in His presence is a luxury; it is a luxury we must take. How else can we grow and walk continually “according to the Spirit”? How else can we become more like our shepherd, Jesus?

When I rest in His presence, I find my experience sometimes daunting, sometimes sleepy, sometimes like a wave (or waves) of His glory pouring over me. Sometimes I sense peace, other times I gain wisdom. Always it is a bit scary yet totally lovely. I do it for the sake of intimacy with Him, and then I seek to encourage others.

Baptism of Holy Spirit

We all must work out our own salvation “with fear and trembling,” as Paul writes (Philippians 2:12). But our journey needs to have encounters with GOD personally, sometimes through His word, but also through the intimacy of His Spirit.

Jesus prayed. He did nothing His Father did not direct him to do. He is our model.

Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26) And he said, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me.” (John 15:26)

Jesus departed so that the Spirit might come to us. He told his disciples, “…if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

We need the active presence of the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day lives

Let us no longer engage in our journey without the Spirit of GOD… not only as He resides in us through the act of our salvation when we made our commitment to Him, but also through His repeated anointing, infilling and indwelling, to lead and guide us.

Questions remain

I am aware I’ve not answered my own question about how we use the anointing He brings. I believe it is all dependent upon Him. As He engages with us, He’ll let us know where we walk and when, how we proceed with others. Nothing is meant to be in our flesh, not by our will but by His.

I think we are to wait as long as we can, listening, abiding, allowing Him to fill us.

As for me, as I manage to live in His presence, then my next steps will be directed by Him. That too will no doubt be daunting, exciting, peaceful and enriching. For in His presence “is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).

May we all drink deeply of Him, abide with Him, and grow in Him, Amen.

 

 

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

I will build my Church — Church needs to Change (Part 4)

“I will build my church”

Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18)

The whole scripture includes reference to Peter, the rock. Peter and the other apostles faithfully did follow Jesus’ call to make disciples. But from the third century onward, the development of the Christian church was taken over. Constantine made Christianity the official religion under Rome. Putting the church into Man’s hands has ensured the building of brick and mortar churches, where the people inside have become reliant upon what a priest or pastor ministers, rather than those followers of Jesus all becoming ministers as he intended, all reaching beyond the walls of the buildings to those who do not know the Gospel.

Elements of Jesus’ Church

I’d like to look one-by-one at the fourteen points I devised in a recent post ( https://laruspress.com/the-look-of-the-new-church-church-needs-to-change-part-3/ ) to discuss what Jesus’ Church is meant to look like and how we might give him room now to build it. Today I shall look at the first quality, that of Unity.

Unity

From 1 Corinthians 1:9-10 “… that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from great death, and does deliver us…” As we trust Him, He works in us — not only person by individual person, but also in us collectively. Oh let us capture the value of being a part of a whole, not only an individual saved by His grace.

Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity”. There is no room for argument in that clear statement. But I want to define Unity, to take this a step beyond the obvious. In doing so, I draw attention to Jesus’ words and prayers as testified in the Gospel of John.

John 14: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?” Just as we know through the Spirit of GOD, that Jesus is in us who believe, so too is the Father in us.  And since we all have the Spirit of Christ, are we all then through the Spirit, not also with one another? How important is it then, and valuable and critically beneficial for the Gospel, when we who abide in Christ, are also in unity with one another. Just as in the physical world, working in unity is superior to our individual endeavours in our witness and effectiveness, so too in the Spiritual realm, unity must be hugely important to the Father. Remember, this whole journey of salvation is about the glory of GOD; it is not about us. Once we are saved at the cross, we need also to move through the cross who leads us to deep intimacy with Jesus our Saviour, but also with the Father of Creation. GOD made us and put us in the Garden of Eden to be in relationship with Him.

We are not to be like the Hebrews who told Moses, ‘You go talk to God and report back to us’. Rather, we collectively and individually are meant to seek relationship with the Father. How important then to be in unity: being gracious with one another, reflecting GOD’s goodness, love and purity, which extends in and through one another.

Unity then is not copying one another; it is not being the same or thinking the same as each another. It is discovering and abiding together with GOD: It is allowing the Holy Spirit to indwell us and fill us — individually and corporately. This brings glory to GOD. And further, as we become entwined spiritually with Jesus, our intimacy with him as a body of believers exposes the love of the Son and the Father to the world.

This is my prayer: that the body of believers in Yeshua Jesus will grow together in intimacy and love, that our understanding and relationship with the Father will grow and deepen, and that — at last — mankind’s purpose for GOD’s creation of us will be fulfilled.

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The look of the New Church (Church needs to change Part 3)

A friendly reader asked me what I thought the church would look like as we allow Jesus to develop his church. I didn’t know…

So I prayed.

First, the LORD showed me a blueprint in the Spirit, which I didn’t understand. I said, “I don’t want a blueprint for ME but for You, LORD!” As I stared at the spiritual blueprint, various aspects grew as part of a potential 3D model of towers in the LORD. It became clear to me that the blueprint in the picture was Jesus’ Church.

As I prayed about this, the LORD led me to 1 Corinthians, which I began to read with Jesus’ Church in mind. Several elements were revealed…elements of Jesus’ church. All of these elements are supported by Biblical references, primarily from 1 Corinthians. These are the towers that could rise up as we allow Jesus to build his Church.

So, get your Bible…

  1. 1 Corinthians 1:10 UNITY
  2. 1 Corinthians 1:29 HIS PRESENCE
  3. 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 WISDOM OF GOD
  4. 1 Corinthians 3:9 VESSELS (empty building)
  5. Matthew 25:19 DISCIPLESHIP (verses the oak trees which are taking existing nutrients = existing church)
  6. 1 Corinthians 3:17 HOLINESS (also supported in 1 Corinthians 10)
  7. 1 Corinthians 4:2 FAITHFULNESS
  8. 1 Corinthians 4:8-16 HUMILITY
  9. 1 Corinthians 6 INTEGRITY
  10. 1 Corinthians 9:4, 7, 11, 14 SELF SUSTAINING
  11. 1 Corinthians 13:10 LOVE/PERFECT LOVE (the aim)
  12. 1 Corinthians 14:3, 5, 12, 25, 26 EDIFICATION (and CONVICTION)
  13. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 GOSPEL
  14. 1 Corinthians 16:2 on COLLECTION (none as Paul represents)

Products which will result from the establishment of Jesus’ Church

  1. INTIMACY (family; in Matthew 12:50 Jesus says, “For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”)
  2. FEARLESSLESS (fear of GOD, not man; Proverbs 1:7 & Psalm 118:6)
  3. OBEDIENCE and HEALTH (Deuteronomy 11:22)

I could break this down into more detail, but I encourage us all to mediate on scripture for ourselves. Please challenge me if you do not agree or see something else in the scriptures I’ve presented that contradict what I’m suggesting. And certainly, let us pray that the church of Jesus becomes manifest as we pray, seek GOD, surrender fully, and wait to do as He leads us.

Shalom, dear friends.