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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Are you following Jesus?

A Meaty Word

God does not change. His Word does not change. But God moves. Are we following?

In the desert 4000 years ago, God gave the Hebrews a sign to follow. Today, like the pillar of light at night, and the pillar of smoke by day, we need to follow God, undeterred by fear, distraction, assumption or the fulfilment of our worldly interests.

When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, they told him to go to the mountain and talk to God. They didn’t want to speak to Him directly.

When Samuel was prophet to the Hebrews, they told him they wanted a King. They didn’t want to follow God’s priests and prophets, but wanted to be like other nations.

Just as the Hebrews needed fresh manna every day while they were in the desert, in order to survive, so we need fresh manna daily to survive spiritually. Are you receiving your manna every day, or are you living on the stale bread that was yesterday’s revelation?

We are a chosen priesthood. We are salt and light. But salt that has lost its savour is not good for anything.

This is not a message for Unbelievers, although anyone seeking to discover who the Creator is — whom we call our heavenly father — and how Jesus, His son, made intimacy with the Father possible and forgiveness attainable, is welcome to read and is invited to receive God’s Spirit through faith in Jesus. But this message primarily is for those of us who proclaim Jesus as Lord and Saviour. I’m asking: are you truly following him daily, surrendered to the Father’s will, allowing the Son to point to the Father and lead you in Truth, Rightness with God, and total surrender to His Spirit?

When Moses led the people to the Promised Land, they did not go in. For forty years they were held back because of lack of faith. I don’t want to be held back. I don’t want to miss God’s blessing because I think I know best what His Word means and what His ways are. I don’t want to assume my understanding of His Word, the Bible, is as infinite as is my God. I don’t want to be afraid of the New Wine Skin and stick to the old, safe understanding of my faith. What about you?

Throughout church history, when a Godly man made a discovery in the Word, he preached his new revelation and was lamb-basted for it. Once it was accepted as truly divine revelation, a denomination was formed. People clung onto the new leader and felt assured they had The Truth. But a new wall surrounded this new clan, who — like others before them — listened to their leader and allowed the leader to fellowship with God on their behalf. But God wants us each to fellowship with Him. It’s great and important to seek new revelation; it’s important to mentor and to be mentored by a spiritual head. But actually, any revelation of A Truth from the LORD comes to express one aspect or another that He wishes people to know at a given time. He does not reveal the whole truth. In fact, even Jesus did not know when his time would be to return. Even Jesus did not know all of the Father’s heart and will.

As it was with John Knox in Scotland, as it was with the Baptists late in the 1800’s, so it is even now amongst Evangelicals and Charismatics: God keeps revealing, keeps doing a new thing, but only a remnant follow. And the remnant are mistrusted by the rest. Each time God carries only a remnant into new understanding of the Truth and they battle against the reviling of the larger body of Believers. I pray no Believer will miss out on Jesus’ return, but am seriously concerned many will, because of this attitude that what is New is not to be trusted.

Following Jesus

What an arrogant title I’ve chosen for this message. Who am I to question who is following Jesus? But this message is important to anyone who subscribes to the idea that, to be a Christian, we are to follow the Lord Jesus: follow his example, take his word seriously, and love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and (then*) love our neighbour as ourself. (Matthew 22:37)

What I’m concerned about is that not only has humanity fallen down since the beginning of time, in its following of the Creator of the universe, but it is still falling down, taking for granted the cross, but most of us who are steadfastly walking are walking our own walk. Father God sent his son, a loving person of great wisdom and sacrifice, so that we could best see the Father through the eyes of the Son, and discover for ourselves who God is. Yet even those who are dedicated, committed, born again, fall. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) but what does that verse go on to say, “for those who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

Is the Holy Spirit active in your life? He is totally accessible, completely available, and wholly dedicated to enabling you to live a life of surrender. Are you willing to live that life? He is refreshing and will quench your thirst for God. Are you thirsty for God? I am.

Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). And works is not only feeding the poor, preaching the gospel, taking care of prisoners. Works includes our walk with the Lord. We are called and committed followers.

We all fall. But when we fall are we repentant? The core of our faith is at stake as we consider this question. Do we take for granted our walk with God, our salvation, our place in His presence in Heaven? Or to we value Him and our relationship with Him above everything else? Do we walk a surrendered life or is our life, after our surrender, our own?

This is the question for today: Are we living a truly surrendered life?

As time is short, and I believe Jesus is returning very soon, I am urging every reader to:

  1. get into his Bible, use a search engine such s Bible Gateway to look up scriptures, find what the Word says about the Holy Spirit, and learn
  2. study under a pastoral leader by all means, but don’t take for granted his understanding of the Word, but dig into it yourself, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you into God’s truth for today
  3. pray for God’s divine revelation to come to you, and for His Holy Spirit to fill you
  4. ask for protection against false teaching, wrong understanding, and for discernment of Truth
  5. trust God hears and answers your prayers

We who have become born again have made a commitment to follow Jesus. He has made a way for us to draw close, through intimacy with the Holy Spirit who hovered over the earth at creation and is the power and presence of God who dwells within us now. He convicts us of Truth… and we need to be listening.

This word is a bit tougher than what I usually write. But the imperative is clear: we need to be surrendered, not taking for granted our relationship and salvation, but striving to draw closer to Father God every step of our way. Jesus points us in the right direction. Let’s continue to run our race to completion. Jesus is coming soon… we do not know the day or the hour… but like the virgins with their lamps, we need to have ours full of the oil of the Holy Spirit, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom who is Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)

In coming weeks, I’ll be downloading some revelation I’ve had over the last several months. I hope you’ll test it rather than dismiss it. I hope you’ll share your discoveries with others. I hope it will make you draw closer to God as He draws closer to you.

 

*brackets are my own for I have inserted “then” because I believe to love our neighbour first is not of the Lord, but is Humanism and human effort rather than an act of surrender to God.

Categories
Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

America On the Brink

I don’t write regularly because while I do enjoy it, I am attempting to write only what the LORD leads me to write, when He leads me.

I send out Soaring Post sparingly because, as there is so much that all of our email in-boxes are bombarded with, I aim to be read when I post, and not overlooked.

Today I’m posting and sending about the upcoming federal election in the United States of America. The presidency is at stake. Some say the leader of America is the leader of the free world. Certainly, the country is extremely influential globally in many spheres, namely: morally, financially, culturally. When America has preached righteousness, it has touched the world. When it has preached carnality, likewise it has influenced the world.

The current series I am writing for Larus Press is Preparing You for GOD’s Call.

So, how is the US federal election tied to readers, most of whom are probably not American and therefore, not eligible to vote in an American federal election? There is a vital connection, so I ask you to please bear with me as I explain my thinking…

Sometimes we are called to learn and to grow, while at other times we are called to application. Today, and over the next few days, we as a Nation of Believers in Jesus are called to pray; the days are short. In preparing you for God’s Call today, I am encouraging you to grow in your prayer life, and in particular, your intercessory prayer life. To pray for American and the voters there is the Call.

UNESCO – the world organisation that “encourages international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations” (see: UNESCO) has just voted that The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is only an historic site for Muslims, not for Jews, nor for Christians. Perhaps their thinking is that if they grant Arab supremacy, the Muslims will be appeased.

But what does this UNESCO vote signify in the Spirit?

Time is short. Zechariah 12 speaks about the attempt that will come to sever Jerusalem from the Jews; it prophecies the rage and battles that will ensue as a result. We are called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122). The war over Jerusalem is inevitable. I say time is short, because the signs that this war is coming sooner rather than later, are increasing.

How is the election in America hinged on the events in Jerusalem? They may or may not be directly connected… What is significant in this US election is that, because the days are short, the state of the nation now, perhaps more than ever before, is critical for its fate. Like the vote over Brexit* – which has touched the hearts of many of my readers as a significant number are British – I think this particular election in America is pivotal to the way GOD sees it: Will America, in these Last Days, be seen by GOD as a sheep nation or a goat nation? (Does this mean that Jesus will only look at the immediate and not at the history of a nation? I do not know. Witness the virgins and their lamps… Matthew 25)

As recorded in Matthew 25, in the Last Days, upon Jesus’ return to earth (to Jerusalem), he will judge the nations and separate those of his (sheep nations) from those who will go eternal punishment (goat nations). I believe the American election is significant to the judgment it will incur as a nation in GOD’s eyes.

So, it is important that we pray for those who must vote. And for those with the right to vote, I say it is important to vote, to vote the way the LORD leads you.

Now this election is very unusual, because both candidates are so appallingly unpopular. Neither is particularly moral, trustworthy or righteous; they do not seem to me even to be “nice people”.

Imagine standing in the polling booth and gazing at your ballot, marking the person you dislike the least. With the bizarre way the candidacies have developed, this is the situation many in the United States face on Tuesday 8th November.

To say the situation surrounding the main candidates in the upcoming US election is bizarre is an understatement. There are several candidates, although only the two main party candidates get national and international press and television coverage. Of the two candidates, one is bombastic, rude to the degree of almost lewd, a creator of a casino empire with multiple sins, yet who defends the rights of the unborn and stands for Christianity in a bold, unapologetic manner. The other is deceptive, sly, cunning – like a fox or snake, she is untrustworthy and is currently under FBI investigation – yet, she is an experienced politician, is cool under pressure, and extremely intelligent. Neither Hilary Clinton nor Donald Trump are particularly moral, though their weaknesses are different. It is almost unfathomable to think these are the choices out of 300 million people. And yet, doesn’t a nation get the government it deserves (French lawyer Joseph de Maistre, 1789, who opposed the bloody French Revolution)? Perhaps it is the American people, more that these two candidates, who are to be scrutinised for how the nation got to this point of amorality.

Now, while American voters must choose the path of their least resistance, the rest of the world awaits.

Perhaps it will be as a Believing American I spoke to recently said… that after the election, the winner will drop dead, or will step aside and a capable american-flagVice President will step in. Nothing is impossible with GOD, and in these times in America, with this particular election, anything could happen!

The Brexit result came as a shock; even those who wanted to leave thought they’d lost before the ballot boxes closed. The election predictions for the US also are “too close to call” at this stage. We don’t know if there will be an acceleration of the liberalisation that Hilary Clinton heralds. Or, if Donald Trump wins, perhaps there will be a turn back to old standards, including both good and bad.

I believe, whichever the result, the LORD knows and has the result in the palm of His hand. But just as He wants that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), He wants us all to stand in the gap and call for His will to be done upon this once GOD-fearing nation, itself born to give liberty and freedom to all who come to its shores or are born into it.

We don’t know whom the LORD would choose to win this election. One might think to have a leader who wished to abolish abortion would be GOD’s choice (Trump). But perhaps this is not the mind of GOD. Perhaps he wishes Christianity to be persecuted, so that more would come to Christ. What I do believe is that a vote toward morality and truth, a vote that stands for the truth of Jesus, a vote away from selfish ambition and personal gain, could herald this nation as a “sheep nation” and so be saved at the coming of Jesus.

So, as I write to prepare you for GOD’s call, I encourage you to be as one who stands in the gap for the nations and the world. Let us pray for this nation of the United States, with its rich history of defending Christianity and God’s truth. Let us pray that the nation does not get “the government that it may deserve”, but a Godly government that will lead people back to Him. As the world stands on the brink of change, let us draw near to GOD, that He might rescue the nation of the United States from itself, and lead it – and all the nations – back to Himself.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. And everyone says…. Amen.

 

*Brexit is the nickname given by the British media and its citizens regarding the referendum held last June to determine whether the UK leaves or remains as a part of the European Union. The vote was in favour of leaving; therefore, steps have begun in the process for Britain the leave the EU. Personally, I believe the result of the vote also speaks spiritually, declaring that Britain is a sovereign nation. To make a long discussion short, for me, the result of the vote signifies (knowingly or unknowingly by the voters) a rejection of the worldly principles encapsulated in the EU, and that Britain now stands as a Godly nation – a “sheep” nation – before GOD.

 

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Take Nothing for Granted

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV)

Our faith is strong, our commitment true, so why read, study, pray and praise daily?

We need our lay our dependence totally upon him. As we journey, and go deeper into the purposes God has for us, the way is uphill… not only invigorating, challenging, awesome, but also debilitating, full of the unexpected, and – at times – painful.

We read the Word to discover Jesus and our way to walk; we’ve become committed and know Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, so what is the need for daily refreshing?

We study the Word to show ourselves approved; so once we know the Bible, why do we continue to review it?

We know and trust God’s sovereignty; so why refresh His mind with our prayers? Why are we called to pray without ceasing? (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Because sometimes the Way is stormy and hard, to be full of the Spirit and the Word of God is not only the best way forward, but even the only way forward.

God is all-knowing; he knows we are thankful. So, is it really necessary to praise Him and thank Him frequently?

The answer is a clear and resounding “Yes!” because of the battle between the flesh and the spirit. When I pause from the habit of reading, studying, praying and praising, my flesh rises up and all-so-quickly, my frame of mind shifts from hope, faith and love to worry, despair and fear.

In the battle between flesh and spirit, the weapons of the Word and prayer guard my heart and mind. To walk in His Spirit is freedom, and to do so requires repeated and continual surrender. Yes, I have been saved and am born again (John 3:7), but the process of sanctification – of becoming purer and more holy and loving – will continue for the rest of my life.

As a follower of Jesus, my life’s work is to grow deeper in love with him and to share that love. The flesh cannot do this. So, to pray and praise, to read and study enables His Spirit to fill me. More of you, Lord, and less of me is the heart’s desire of Believers.

So we to study and live, surrendering our flesh; we draw closer and closer to the person God has created us to be: in His image. That’s why taking nothing for granted, we read, study, pray and praise.

Come Holy Spirit, fill us to be more like you. Prepare us for all you have for us, so that we may overcome every obstacle and rejoice in all circumstances.

 

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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

From My Will to Holy Spirit Will

My strength or Holy Spirit Strength

“…I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 20:17)

We have surrendered our life and our will to God. We want to utter His prayers and do His works, based on His will and not our own. Jesus said we can move mountains if we have faith. Bathed in prayer, we can walk in the Spirit and not in the Flesh.

But how can we be certain we are praying the prayers of the Holy Spirit? How do we pray God’s prayers and not our own? Is there a ‘ceiling’ above which our prayers do not rise, unless they are prayers inspired by the will of the Father?

I’d like to suggest a strategy that works for me, to help me be ‘less of me and more of God’ in my day-to-day walk.

1) ‘He who waits upon the LORD shall renew his strength’ (Isaiah 40:11)

As I wait in a quiet place I find God joins me. As I make room for Him, he shows up to inspire and to lead me ‘beside still waters’.

2) ‘All scripture is God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

As I sit, reading and re-reading a passage of scripture, those words become alive, guiding me and inspiring me. Through the Word of God I hear the Will of God on a daily basis.

3) ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength’ (Philippians 4:13)

Expecting God to speak or to move through my prayers and my actions creates in me humility and hope. I can’t make Him do as I please but I can expect Him to respond to the prayers and intercession He has anointed me and inspired me to pray.

4) ‘Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness’ (1 Chronicles 16:29)

When I pray in tongues, when I sing or dance as led by God’s encouragement and freedom, I begin to lose myself in worship and adoration. When that happens I am beginning to enter into a private place with the LORD where He draws me close, speaks to me and leads me in His way everlastingly.

5) ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ (Matthew 7:7-8)

Breakthrough comes when we wait, spend time with God’s Word, expect Him to come, and worship Him. This is not a formula but a promise.

If we want to ‘live and move and have our being’ in Him, we need to commit our way to Him and He will give us the desires of our heart. Meditating with Him will draw our desires toward Him and His will can be done on earth in and through us, His surrendered servants.

Ready: Decide to spend quality (and quantity) time daily with the LORD

Set: Choose a time and space that will ensure freedom from distraction

Go: Start tomorrow: Commit your way onto the LORD and He will direct your path

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

Why make Jesus your Lord as well as saviour

What is the difference between Jesus as Lord and as saviour?

Life is a journey of decisions and experiences, achievements and mistakes, victories and defeats. When we choose to live a life surrendered to the creator of the universe, we have peace with God, man and ourselves. We have the assurance that every outcome is within His purposes and for our ultimate good. There is a difference between Jesus as Lord and as saviour.

Ready:  If you have become born again, you are saved by God’s grace,  and you have received eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8) Jesus is your saviour. But have you surrendered your life to his Lordship?

Set: When we allow Jesus to be our Lord it means we follow him, we surrender our lives to his will and direction. Jesus as Saviour means our spirit is reborn; Jesus as Lord means we allow him to lead us, even into the valley of the shadow of death; yet will fear no ill.

To receive all God has for us, surrender is the key. While salvation leads us in to eternal life in Heaven, surrender ensures life on earth is within the Father’s will. When we know we are within the sovereign will of God we have peace – peace that passes all understanding.

If you have hard decisions, are stressed or confused, suffer persecution or prejudice, you can rest assured that the LORD God, in His sovereignty, is aware of it. He has allowed you to be in your current situation for your ultimate benefit. He does not will that any perish. When you surrender to Him, you can be certain that the creator of the universe, with ultimate authority and power, has things in hand. There is nothing that passes His gaze or awareness.

1. Choose to place your life into His hands, surrendering your will to His.

2. Trust God. He loves you; he knows you intimately, and has placed the deepest desires and passions within you and wants them to be fulfilled.

3. Search even the nooks and crannies of your will and yield them to the Father. In this you will find peace.

Go: Surrender! God has the best plans and purposes for us. His protection is complete. He even watches our backs! So, we surrender, knowing ‘not your will but mine Lord’ is the safest place we can be.

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:8 NKJV)

 

 

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

How to Be Super Spiritually Fit

How to Become Super Spiritually Fit

Ready:  How can you find and sustain intimacy with God so your mind is renewed and your spirit is toned to lead you? There is no formula to use to become more intimate with God, but it is intimacy with God that will keep you super spiritually fit. You will never deepen your relationship with Christ by filling your brain with my words. So, I’ll keep it short to give you the time to go away and apply – that is spend time with God – so He’ll renew your mind and transform you with His Spirit, so you become more like God. Psalms

Set:  Start with God’s Word. Choose a scripture and spend time with it… Try Psalm 23 or Philippians 4:13 to start with.

1. read it 2. roll it around in your mind

3. focus on whatever part of it jumps out at you asking, ‘what does this mean for me today?’

4. chew it – memorize a phrase or listen to your inner heartbeat: that part of you that knows that you know that Jesus Christ is the most real part of your life.

5. Ask God to reveal Himself to you… and wait.

6. Thank Him – just thank Him for being who He is and for anything else that is bubbling up inside of you.

7. Stay as long as you like – or go if you must – but go knowing the God of Heaven, Creator of the universe is filling you with His Holy Spirit to make you strong.

Go:  Now go! Choose a peaceful physical space and go into the Word of God. From this moment forward, settle for nothing less than intimacy with your Heavenly Father.