Dian I know you are likely to think that my opening statement is a thoughtless cliché but
I know EXACTLY what you mean. I have been down this road more than once and I hope that my errors are not yours, but if they are you may find this post some tough pills to swallow. I say so often that the grace of God is not limited in the ways it finds souls and so I am writing a how-to post but giving a testimony of the problems I faced and the truths that were revealed to me by the grace of God. Nevertheless, truth without revelation from God is merely head-knowledge, so that even if you do realize the problem through this or some other post, book or even the bible, it is God that opens our spiritual eyes to the realities of JESUS. Let me begin by saying, faith is a funny thing. You know that, it (faith) is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. What does this really mean? The writer (of Hebrews in Hebrews 11) attempts to show us by many examples (given to him by the Spirit) what he means by the statement (faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen). Faith is active, that is, there is always activity associated with indwelling faith. For example, you have put a post on the forum, confident that God will speak to you through the body of Christ. I cannot see your faith, but this act is evidence of that faith. The works of God in our lives are only limited only by our faith in him; for instance, God could not have spoken t you through the forum if you had not enough faith to write this post.You clearly have faith but I did not have to read this post to know that (Romans 12:3For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed A MEASURE OF FAITH TO EACH ONE). Through faith, you forsook your old life, esteeming the kingdom of God to be a greater treasure than anything you could work for. Through faith you have continued through uncertainty this past year, not knowing where you are going, you must now look forward to a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God.No one has ever done God any favors; it is God who works his grace through his children and servants. Dr Tozer gave an illustration in his sermon On fashioning ourselves as Christians, of a person who says, I will go out and get a sun-tan and he removes his clothes and goes into the sun and he tans his skin. The main point here was, it was not really he who tanned the skin on his body but it was the work of the sun. The sun will skin weather we want it to or not, it is only limited with how much skin we expose and for how long we will expose ourselves. Still it is not we who tan but the sun. In the same way, the tanning of the Spirit, which transforms us into the image of His dear Son is limited by our faith in him. You have, through faith posted on the forum and the responses you get will give occasion for the Spirit to tan you. This is an allegory because it is truly not you that is changing you own attitude but had you not faith your outlook would remain unchanged. Faith gives occasion for Gods favors, and the biggest favor of God is the kingdom of God. You must now look forward to a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Although Heaven will be wonderful, this is not what I speak of when I speak of the kingdom of God.Our Lord describes the Kingdom of God in the Gospel: Luke 13:18-19 18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. The parable gives an illustration of man playing no role in the greatness of the tree, and the greatness of the tree being separate from the man, but it was still his. If he had not, by faith, cast the seed in his garden there would be no great tree in his life. In the same way, we play no role in the greatness of Spirit of Christ in us and we ourselves have no glory but that of Christ. What then is the kingdom of God? Luke17: 20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. You are not the kingdom of God, nor are you commanded to be the kingdom of God. Your job is to accept the truths of the kingdom and let the kingdom establish itself in you. The Kingdom of God is in Jesus Christ and all things are to him, through him, and in him. Christ is the sum of ALL spiritual things, be they miracles or prophesies or prayers or love Christ is at the very center of all things that are of God. He is the right hand of God through whom all the works of God pass. He is the tree of life, which Adam rejected the one whom all major prophecy in the bible revolves around and the world could not take much more than 2 or 3 years of light and the world rejected him. As it is written:Isaiah 53:1-3 1 Who hath believed our report and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. The wisdom of the world sees nothing desirable in Christ, and will not plant the seeds of Christ in itself. Howbeit the kingdom of God is a peace that surpasses all understanding, and yet we seek peace from things which are concrete, things which are seen. What does our Lord say? Matthew 6:25-34 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.I write these things to my own shame
Are we going to plant the seeds of what Christ has said to us by faith Dian? Our prayers need to be more Christ centered, more Kingdom centered. We should not loose sight of what our religion entails:2Corinthians: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.This is how we water and plant seeds. To end of let me just say this, any watering or planting without Christ is dead work:1 Corinthians 3:5-10 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereuponJames
_________________James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
James, bless your sweet heart! That was good encouragement. I loved this part:
No one has ever done God any favors
DianI thank God Dian that you saw encouragement in the post. If you have received anything from that, bless God and his Holy name. You are right to say that it is not you who came up with the idea to lay your life down (Romans8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.)If then you have the grace to see that you are the called of God, you have also the grace to see that ALL things work together for good towards you. Not some things or not most things, but ALL things work together for your good. How do we define what is good? Is an increase of Jesus on the top of the list? One of the main things that used to de-motivate me was loosing sight of the eternal purpose of God and focusing on the here and now. In addition, loosing sight of the spiritual realm and taking hold of the natural realm. In the natural realm, I am lord, master of my destiny and everything is according my will. In the spiritual realm, Jesus is LORD, master of my destiny and EVERYTHING is according to the will of the Father. We must become acquainted not only with our spirit but the Spirit of God, otherwise Christianity is nothing more than Philosophy and a collection of proverbs and sayings, tips and hints on how to be moral. We however, serve a mighty God, who fainteth not, neither growth weary. In him is life, we have access to that life through Jesus and Jesus alone. No amount of self-sacrifice will bring us to the heart of God but, Jesus is our sacrifice our redemption and our salvation. We need not our own purity but the purity which is of Christ, so that when we stand we do not stand in our works but the works of Christ for it is Christ that works in us. If we take upon ourselves the burden to be Holy, we are no different that the Jews under the law. Moreover, if the Jews under the law proved anything, it is that no flesh can please God. The only thing that can please God is Jesus Christ:Romans 8:1-9 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.We achieve the righteousness of the law of God by improving our relationship with Jesus, that his Spirit may work in us and that no flesh may have anything be proud about:Galatians2: 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; YET NOT I BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.I will just say one more thing which I have learnt that has brought may walk to greater heights. When we pray we stand not on our own ground our holiness but the holiness of Christ. In Christ we are totally, totally blameless before God. We need not estimate the value of Christ to God but God has declared there is NO CONDEMNATION to them, which are in Christ Jesus. God is bound by his own word and he has said that in Christ we stand before him as his Children. The same Spirit, which was in Jesus, is in us. Do not try to be good, it is impossible, instead in EVERYTHING try and realize the truth (Jesus) and the truth will set you free. The more your faith grows and you see Jesus, the more you will find yourself saying like Paul,
yet not I, but Christ in me.James
Dear Sis, I've been where you are and Am where you are and I'm sure will be there again in the future.Let me explain.My wife and I have chosen to walk by faith in trusting the Lord fully.I have more trouble with this than she does, however I can say with the psalmist I have been young and now am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread. One winter after I had a buisness collapse with no income at all and I remained deligent to pursue providing for my household ,however it seemed I couldnot make enough.I did all the commonsense things we do like check my spending, examine my giving and look at all my daily spending habits(like the coffee in the morning things at the coffee shop, luches out ect...).Once I was sure I did all I could do we both just stood still and waited on the Lord.Having done all to stand,just stand.I have to admit that the Lord has given me a very Godly wife and that helps alot----Proverbs---two are better than one,ect... Anyway that winter we had 6 different times where the Lord sent people by to give us groceries or monies needed for bills, each time it was different and only once did it come through our local church. We didn't broadcast our need but when asked we was always truthful,we didn't go into detail with people because most folks don't really want to know details, but most folks will help if they know the need.Here's my suggestions : 1)I've read enough of your posts to trust that you're sincerely striving toward Christ---So check your spending. 2)Credit card debt, get help if your in alot of that kinda debt ---msg me and I'll give you some agencies that will help,if you need 3)work on a budget if you husband will allow for one -- often times they won't 4)watch you daily loose change spending---I call this my coffee and dounut spending, lol>>>who need s thoughs extra calories anyway 5)THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT GOD'S WORD .... HE really can be trusted just simply go to him with your needs and He'll be there for you. the lord said , Iwill never leave thee nor forsake thee. I have more but this is enough . God Bless, I'll be praying for you and yours,Brother Daryl
My thanks to you all for your encouragement. Thanks Daryl. Rahman, don't feel bad. I love that you care for me enough to offer leads from things that have helped you. Hey, I've been helped by some of the most godless things. It's amazing. I watched the most horrible movie several years ago, An American Beauty. It won several academy awards and I thought it would be good. It was horrifyingly ungodly, but after I watched it, I cried bitter tears of repentance for my own sin. It brought me to my knees in an area I had been hiding over for years. Said all that to say, I love you, Brother. Dian.
Hi Dian,I understand where you're at and am in a very similar place. There's an old hymn that says "I'm learning to lean on Jesus." Oh so how true it is. There's so many things in my life that if God doesn't intervene, nothing of any consequence will happen.The story I have read numerous times that parallels your situation in the Scriptures is 2 Chronicles 20. Can you imagine the President going on national TV and making the same pronouncement that Jehoshaphat made and leading the nation in fasting and prayer? God we're not going to make it if you don't intervene!There's a more modern song I like to sing and it's entitled "My Deliverer is Coming." I'm reminded of 2Ch 20:17 "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you."Frankly, I'm still learning what it means to be sold out to Jesus but am convinced that's the only way to live. Jesus I don't know what's going to happen but regardless I'm going to trust you and leave everything in your hand.To paraphrase Pastor Reidhead, I'm going to stay in the trunk and let Jesus drive the car. I don't know about you but I'm tired of being the driver (and the back seat driver). For me, I have no choice other than the trunk but I can't tell what's going on back there so it's difficult at times.All I know Dian is that Jesus is enough. He is sufficient to meet every need, to deal with every adverse circumstance, to remove any stain of sin in my heart and to accomplish whatever he wishes in my life. He is the vine, I'm only a branch and I'm learning to abide in Him.Your deliverer is coming!!!
Thanks for your comments, Brother James. I was really blessed by them! I struggle so much, like Dian said, with the feeling of "it's my fault I'm in this mess, why should God help me?" But, I guess ALL of us are "in this mess" (of sin) through our own actions and there is nothing we can do to help ourselves, so we have to let God help us. Sometimes that is the very hardest thing to do.God is really helping me with this in the last few months. I had all of these dreams and ideas of what God wanted me to do with my life and everything I was going to do for Him. Then when I got the chance to do it, I felt that I let God down. Now I am as far as I've ever been from "doing something with my life" or doing "great things for God" and I agonized over that for so long. Then God showed me a little verse in the Bible in John 6:28-29 "Then they asked Him (Jesus), 'What must we do to do the works God requires?' Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.'"I read that and thought,"Wow! That's it?!" Of course I believe in salvation by grace, etc., but it hit me really hard that all Christ requires of me is belief in Him and a surrender to let Him do the rest. He was really quite uninterested in all the great stuff I wanted to do for Him. He wants me to know Him. Period.Remember Jesus washing the disciples' feet? Peter said to Jesus, "You will never wash my feet". It was like he thought, "Jesus, haven't You done enough already? Why would you want the degradation of washing my feet?" But Jesus told him, "Unless I wash your feet you have no part with me." In other words, "You must let Me in, you must let Me love you. You must let Me do it all."Please know that I am praying for you. Thank you for being so honest. It helps all of us know that we are not alone in our problems.Sister Phebe
Just finished reading everyones comments and scriptures--just wanted you all to know how much of a blessing you guys are to me, God Bless.Bro.Daryl
To paraphrase Pastor Reidhead, I'm going to stay in the trunk and let Jesus drive the car. I don't know about you but I'm tired of being the driver (and the back seat driver). For me, I have no choice other than the trunk but I can't tell what's going on back there so it's difficult at times.
Sister Di,i was determined not to touch this again, but you posted to me, and since you don't have any other way for me to answer you other than here, i thought it would be rude of me not to answer ...Sister Di you wrote;"Rahman, don't feel bad. I love that you care for me enough to offer leads from things that have helped you. Sister Di, i don't feel bad (for myself) for all this year (as God bid me come) i've been walking on water with all my senses focused solely on Him ... Actually if anything i feel sorry for so many saints who are either boat sitters, or even worse land lubbers in Christ ... i'm already out of the boat, and my own personal history from His moving me from being asleep in the very bottom of the ship (as like Jonah), to out on the water with Him (as like Peter), is one that i can see in others, and you are such a one sis ... He has water walking plans for you, if not He would not have given you this extra measure of faith that keeps you holding onto him for dear life in your struggle ... You like Jacob, and myself once, at this point in your life haven't yet realized that God has been, is right now, and will be present in every situation, high or lo, in your life ... You are called from before the womb with a purpose for your life, His purpose, and since the day you were born He's been there manipulating, extrapilating, disciplining thru all the muck and mire we take on in this life till that glorious day when He speaks to us, and we hear and come, as did Jacob the first time he encountered Jehovah at Bethel (surely God is in this place!) ... But if you notice, it took quite a while before God could make the "if You/then i" Jacob ripe for his emptying experience at the Jabbok, and subsequently Peniel, where Jacob finally saw God face to face, and totally understood that He'd been with Him all his days, even when he didn't know it, even when he was trying to help God ... Trying to help God is what causes us subsequent unnecessary pain ... As with Abraham with Ishmael, by trying to help God we birth things into our lives that eventually God will require that we painfully let go ...If you are in fact at the darkest night of your spiritual life, and you think you're in a locked battle with your greatest fear (your Esau), i can tell you from personal experience that when your dawn begins to break it will be revealed to you that all along you thought you were wrestling with your Esau, grappling for your natural life, when in fact it's been God wrestling with you to hold your attention thru your fear, grappling with you for your supernatural life, till that first glimmer of spiritual awakening reveals to you that it's been God all the time, thru all the times! ... This is a point that the Holy Ghost pointed out to me when i was watching a movie (on "can anything good ever come out of" TBN) about the life of Joseph ... It was at the point where Joseph's brothers were surely about to kill him, and then as if by accident the Midianite slave traders showed up ... The Spirit said to me, "I sent the Midianites" ... WOW!!! ... The point being that any of us called according to Gods purpose very seldom realize that in the worse time of our lives, God may send something that to us may seem even worse, to get us out of the first situation ... In the pit satan intended to end Joseph's life, but in being sold into slavery God rescued Joseph's life, although at the time i'm sure Joseph didn't see it as such ... But no matter what, Joseph's faith in Jehovah never wavered ... Joseph dreamed the dreams of being lord over his family, but he had no idea the hell he'd have to go thru to fulfill God's dream for his life ... Same with us, which is why once brought to that maturity a saint, like Paul, can praise Him in no matter what situation God may place us, for His is the plan for our life, and our life is His to do with as He pleases, and ALL THINGS, even others ridicule of you, trials, tribulation, being exhalted or even martyrdom if He so decrees, work together for the good of them that love the Lord, and are called according to HIS PURPOSE ... Once you realize that it's God whose contending with you that's the point where your past fear turns into a present even more doggedly determined faith ... You get renewed strength in the fact that you suddenly realize you've got hold of the Divine, and it's at this point that the Divine says, "You can let go of Me now" ... But like Jacob, and myself at that point, you say, "No way am i gonna let You go until You bless me" ... But God takes you one step further, and cripples you by completely eliminating your own "self" power, that same "self" power that you've been operating on to get all that you've attained thus far, that same "self" power that has caused a major problem between you and Him all these years ... But you hold onto Him even harder with an even firmer grip of faith, hopping on one leg, realizing that not only are you holding onto Him now for that blessing, but also because you know that if you let go of Him now you'll fall flat on your face ... Your Crippler of your "self", has now become your only means of support, and power to remain upright, and once God cripples you in that struggle, He'll never ever have to worry about you attempting to stand on your own again, because you will have fully realized that He is now your only Power, and you will from now on rely solely on Him for everything ... These are the lessons God brought home to me via the unmentionable book i suggested, and i've been ministering to saints from it's message since ... Sister Di there are so many saints struggling without the slightest clue as to why ... And there are so many saints who know that they want to get out of the boat, but are hindered not so much because of the howling satanic wind and the waves of self doubt, but because of other well meaning, but faithless, saints who are screaming to the top of their lungs at them, "Are you crazy! ... You'd better keep your butt in this boat where it's safe ... If that's Jesus you think you see out there walking the deep, then let Him come to you" ... Reacting out of frustration to these types is where i have to be careful, but thank God the Holy Ghost convicts me to repentance ...God's wrestling with you sister Di ... Keep on grappling with Him till your dawn, prevail, and you'll recieve the blessing of His power in trade for your own ... Trust me from one whose had the pain and pleasure of wrestling with God, and prevailed ... His power is far better ...Sister Di you said;"I am so tired of being the driver and of trying to advise God from the backseat". Good! ... You're ripe for a blessing! ... i love you too sis, and am praying mightily for your victory at your first dawns light ... AmenPS - Sister Di,You might also find these helpful ...CHANGED INTO HIS LIKNESS - LESSONS ON ABRAHAM, ISAAC & JACOB ... BY: WATCHMAN NEE:http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/nee/changedlikeness/chalikcont.htm(I truly love brother Ravenhill, but nobody gives me spiritual chills like brother Nee, the above link will blow your mind)Sermon links to;LESSONS VIA ABRAHAM:LESSONS VIA ISAAC:LESSON VIA JACOB:can be found at the original post:Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, Which are You Most Like?http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2559&forum=35#16603