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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Be Free

It’s important to remember, amidst the desire to do God’s will, that Jesus died to set us free… not only from sin and death that we would join him in Heaven after our physical death, but also to walk freely now, knowing we are saved by grace and Father God will not let our footsteps err (Psalm 121)

I have a pastor friend who encourages us all, at every service, to be free… free to contribute, free to worship as Yehova leads, free to express and to share. It is not chaotic in the service, it is fresh and Spirit-led, and wonderful.

In our lives too, we must — I must — practice my freedom. When we love God absolutely, embrace our neighbour totally, we are free.

Decision-making can be done in freedom too. For me, that’s sometimes tough. My emotions like to be heard and can get in the way. Oh, Jesus invites our emotions: joy, love; but unrighteous anger, frustration and bitterness are not the things of God. No, some emotions are to be celebrated while others are destructive. Navigating these very human, natural parts of ourselves isn’t easy.

The better we know the Word of God and the more we sense the presence of the Holy Spirit, the easier it is to live free: free to be and to do as He leads, without second-guessing, without self-condemnation.

And of course as I’ve mentioned previously, we are seeking to walk in the New Man, not the Old Man. Our flesh loves to control and dictate our thoughts, actions, emotions. But surrendered to God, we have the equipment to walk in the New Man. That is our aim.

Freedom is knowing and loving our Creator, walking in His will, and living to fulfil our purposes. As we strive to “get it right” we will certainly fail (Romans 7:15-20), but as we trust in Him, confident and full of faith in His perfect will, we will succeed in living a life free from distress.

Be Free: Free to live, free to love, free to walk in holiness as children of God, and people after His own heart.

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-24)

And, when you’re a pinch, remember,

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

God bless you in your walk this day and every day to eternity!

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

Living under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit

It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Snow may have covered the ground until recently, but beneath the snow lay seeds, waiting to germinate, to release new life that will grow toward the sun. Likewise, we who are in Christ have new life which offers freshness, excitement and challenge with the opportunity to grow closer to the Son.

As spring approaches, I reflect on something I’ve experienced which I long to share as I discover how to apply it to my everyday life.

I’ve experienced the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I aspire to live under that anointing, walking as the New Man. I want that anointing so that I can “live and move and have my being” in the LORD.

“… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24)

The Anointing

It was a deep experience I’ll never forget. For four days, I was living under a sense of Shalom (God’s deep peace which passes all understanding), and moved as though I was living in a warm vat of olive oil. My voice was calmer, my movements slower, my heart full of love, with my mind clear and untroubled.

Have you experienced the presence of God like this? Or like a soft breeze or a hint of oil on your face? His anointing is delicate, sweet, real, and perhaps fleeting, but it tells me I am nearer to God than usual. His anointing draws me into surrender, peace, intimacy and quiet.

Particular scriptures pop into my thoughts as I linger with the Lord. I identify a new significance to their meaning. For example, being “in the world and not of it” means more than choosing God’s morality and closeness with brothers and sisters in the Lord. The scripture also means living in a completely different realm, where a totally different mindset reigns: Grace and the knowledge of Gods’s superior understanding and, perhaps, His revelation supersede logic and methodology. “Living by faith” means more than not taking a salary; it means trusting God for every need, without asking others to fulfil them.

Under the anointing, I am cloaked in God’s presence. I long to remain beneath “the shadow of His wings.” The intangible presence of God is thick enough to cut with a knife and I don’t want to treat it lightly. While I’ve been aware and unaware of the anointing before, this time I understand better and value it more and I pray that I remain under the anointing forever. I want every decision, every bite of food, every song or activity to be an act of intimacy, of grace and of adoration to Him.

How do I know it’s God? I know because the fruit of the Spirit is revealed through me with much more peace, love and joy of Christ.

Have you ever experienced the presence of God like that? Oh Lord, give all of us a taste of your presence, and fill us to the brim that we might draw near to you, perfectly and permanently. Is this madness? Is it eccentric or prophetic? I think Jesus, and after him His disciples, lived in a different realm to where we live. Even we who are in Christ need to put off this earthly existence, where “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, NIV) takes on a new meaning. Living under the influence of the Holy Spirit is where I want to be all the time

The Challenge

I yearn for more of God: A deeper connection with Him and a greater understanding of what it means to have my life surrendered to Him. “Oh, Lord, teach me more about praying Your prayers (rather than my own) and make me more like you, full of Your love, joy and peace” (Galatians 5:22-23) so that I can do all things through you and not on my own.

And with this blessing of anointing and the awareness that life is meant to be lived under it, how do I apply this practically in my life? How will I allow this discovery to change my day-to-day existence?

I plan to step out further in business. As a creative, to focus on business is like walking on water for me—new, flimsy, uncomfortable—but to take God’s lead on business decisions is a leap of faith. If God is for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31)?

This is a way out of my comfort zone, I’ll have to rely on Him.

What will be your new challenge?

Have you prayed? Have you heard God’s call? My prayer for all of us is this: “May we be surrendered, fully inspired and led by God, to grow in our endeavours and to have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Pursuit of Holiness

“Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11) AND “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14)

To pursue holiness is to become like Jesus.

In holiness we find peace. In holiness we find perfection. In holiness we find that we are a new person.

But the pursuit of holiness is not a striving. Holiness is not a goal but a state of being… a state of being the New Man.

Two natures:

We who are In Christ – living the life under the Messiah’s salvation – have two natures. The old nature, the Old Man, is our nature without Jesus. Our new nature, the New Man, is who we become when we receive by faith the Spirit of GOD the Father, Creator of the Universe, through the sacrifice of Yeshua – Jesus – God’s son.

We inherit the new nature, become the New Man through our faith. We can walk in this New Man, when we recognise our old nature is dead. We can stop resurrecting the Old Man when, by faith and only by faith, we remember and live listening to the New Man and ignoring the old triggers, the old nature, the old sinful, imperfect person we are without Jesus.

Holiness comes both from a download into our spirit of God’s Spirit, and a faith walk  taken by the New Man. It is not gained through a pursuit but from a desire and a trust that who we have become is New, Holy, Perfect – just as Jesus is Holy and Perfect.

The path is a surrender and a journey of faith. The path is a surrender of our lives to  follow Jesus. Then it is a surrender of our will to the will of the Father. Then it is a surrender of our old nature to that of the new. Finally, it is a surrender into a new life that ignores the old and instead trusts in the new.

We can’t kill the flesh with our flesh; we can’t kill the flesh with our efforts or our acts of sacrifice or devotions. We can’t kill the flesh in any way, because the flesh is already dead!

Alive in Christ means we are alive only by the saving grace of Yeshua – the Messiah  – Jesus.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Now by faith, we can walk in this New Man. Jesus did it. He shows us the way. But it takes humility, a total recognition of our uselessness as human beings, a brokenness and willingness to forfeit ourselves entirely.

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:12)

But put on these tender mercies, not as the Old Man trying to improve, but as the New Man, already perfect.

Oh, sometimes it is a war. Paul said of himself, he hadn’t attained it. But we can do this, in these times, as Jesus’ return draws near. We can be the bride ready for his coming. We can deny ourselves – the Old Man which is dead anyway – and live in God’s peace – His shalom – by living in Holiness, living as the New Man.

Prayer:

May the God of grace enlighten your eyes to the possibilities of His perfect love within you on a deeper and deeper level. May we deny the flesh of our old nature, not by punishing or rebuking ourselves (or one another), but by stepping into the new nature, spirit-filled and walking in the holiness ordained by Father GOD, that began when we cried “Abba, Father, save me!” and “Yes Jesus, I choose to believe and follow you.” The moment we were born again (John 3:3) we received the life of the New Man. Now, by faith, we choose to live in that New Man and in that choice, we find peace, holiness, pure joy and freedom from sin, shame, guilt, fear and condemnation.

When we walk in the New Man, we walk in the same Holiness of Jesus, and that is the pursuit of holiness God asks us and equips us to take.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

How to live: As though “Tomorrow is another day” vs “It’s now or never”

During December 2016 I had a prompt from deep within me: “Focus in 2017 because if you don’t do it now you won’t do it ever.”

So, what drives me is this sense of urgency to do all I’ve been called to do, now. To give all to God:

  1. following His lead obediently and passionately, as I surrender to the New Man within me, who is free from angst, self-will, frustration and impatience (which otherwise so often leads me into a state of emotional distraction that prevents me from living the joyful life Father has for me).2.
  2. publishing the documents – books and blogs – which have been on the shelf or in my heart and need to see the light of day, so that others can gain from the insights our Creator has given to me.
  3. supporting my family as wife and mother, so that my husband and son can be all they have been created to be, and express their love for Father in their unique and special ways.

I think storms lie ahead. In fact, we are in the storm even now, perhaps even in the eye of the storm.

Matthew 24 describes the latter days, the End Times before Jesus will return in glory, to judge the earth and to receive his Bride, also known as the Church of Believers….

So many of the earthquakes, rumours of wars, persecutions…. are in full swing already.

How do I cope? I focus on His call, and the responsibilities He’s given me to fulfil, now.

As I dig into God, I will overcome the trials and see His purposes fulfilled in my life.

Hebrews 6:19 reads, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”

And there’s an old song based on this scripture:

First of five verses:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,

When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

Refrain:

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

I feel as though I’m on a stream train. At the start of 2017 it left the station, and I’m riding, not driving but nevertheless moving forward, gaining momentum. I’m moving from Calling into Ministry, gaining clarity, gaining speed, gaining momentum.

The fulfilment of God’s promises are imminent. He is intentional, and I join Him, carrying this sense that what I do now is imperative to His purposes.

This is the End of the Age.

Jesus will return.

There is already an almighty battle in the heavens which is manifesting on the earth.

Is the Battle of Armageddon imminent? Who knows when such things will come to pass?

My Call has been and is to inspire, encourage, equip, and empower Believers. Like Peter, who ministered to the Jews and who was convicted of His call to righteousness, my first call is to reach to those already following Jesus, and to compel them to complete their course, to fulfil their Call.

Never have I felt so compelled to be ordered, focused, alert, ready… never have I felt the promises of God so close to fulfilment. And so I choose to live as though “It’s now or never” because I think it is! And I encourage each of you to do the same.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,

When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.