LEARNED OBEDIENCE - we call it "discipleship". But is it? Even if we get really good at it. Are we not yet exercising "our will" and not HIS WILL ?
Most of you know, that I have been a staunch advocate and preacher/writer of discipline in obedience. I have used scripture over and over again to PROVE what I support, and strongly suggest to others, that they should also. But I'm beginning to finally see that there is a way of living that is above religious conformity.
Almost all of man's pursuits, with few exceptions, have been religious pursuits. Rules, commandments of men, zillions of direction points, most labors in vain. We teach that if we do this or that enough, then YEHOVAH will be pleased with us. Our intentions, are so loving. Our labors quite tiring. Our lives all but futile pursuits of man's way of serving YEHOVAH, rather than being in a personal relationship with HIM.
What we are really saying is that "what I do, or you do, is more important than what HE has already done. As evidenced by EMPTY church buildings across the street and around the world, what we are doing and have been doing, has not accomplished what only the HOLY SPIRIT can do.
Most of us know that the Apostles were not well educated. Yet the LORD used them to work MIRACLES and win THOUSANDS in a single day. How did they do that? They had YESHUA!!!! They had the HOLY SPIRIT!!!!! Their will was surrendered to follow HIS will. HE said, "follow ME". And they did. Isn't this the meat of the Gospel? "Follow HIM"?
Countless hours, lives, have been consumed in the pursuit of attempting to teach man how to be a "christian", rather than bringing them to CHRIST and HE change them forever and ever. This vain pursuit has gotten so pathetic, that we have the blind leading the blind. Well educated. Certified. Paul was one of "these". Was he not? What was HIS evaluation of these things?
Rom 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Rom 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
LOOK AROUND YOU. Look WITHIN. People are not "scoffers" of GOD. They are scoffers of men who claim to be one thing, but do not live according to their claim. Can't you see that the "christian life" today, is like a house of cards? Men relying on their flesh and their will to attempt to be "holy" before HAYAH, when they are doomed to failure themselves. THIS IS NOT SALVATION. It is ANTI-CHRIST. Unregenerate men, teaching unregenerate men how to be unregenerate "christians", and make that appear to be the real deal. NOT!!!! They possess the credentials of men, but not the ANOINTING of YEHOVAH. Blind, leading the blind. Screeching about the "anti-christ", but failing to see the anti-christ every time they look in the mirror.
Oh beloved, I've been around this mountain so many times, I've worn a trench in the desert that I cannot see out of. I know every rock and pebble by name! Some pretentious success puffs up my PRIDE and gets me to believing that "I am somebody" after all. Let me TESTIFY if I may, that YEHOVAH is faithful. Every time I have thought I was finally gaining ground, HE has allowed me to fall headlong into sin, over, and over again. Swallowed up by condemnation, which is the fruit of RELIGION!
I am totally convinced and confess, that I have been a Romans 7 "believer".
Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Therein is our problem. My will and determination has been my life. Because we have not faced DEATH by FAITH as we should, we have been miserable FAILURES under the dominion of the LAW. Oh how subtle we are, how clever our words, to bring others under the dominion of "the law" rather than the LORDship of our REDEEMER. ICABOD. Deep inside we have that gut wrenching gnawing that we are "not all that". Huh? Come on. Be honest. You know this is TRUE.
Our "faith" is in our WORKS. Our "salvation" is not secure because our faith is in our will INSTEAD OF the PERFECT WILL OF YEHOVAH!!!!!!! HE can never empower our will. So it must be put to DEATH by faith, with the MESSIAH.
Salvation is of YESHUA HA'MACHIACH (JESUS CHRIST) and in HIM alone. When HE died for me, HE died for all of my life, not part of it. If I am dead "in HIM", then I died 2000 years ago, when HE died.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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.
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
FATHER please forgive me, for frustrating YOUR FAVOR, FAVOR that was lavished on me, long before I was ever born. In love, I have misrepresented YOUR WORD, YOUR TRUTH, YOUR SALVATION. May my error be forgiven and CRUCIFIED this day, that I may live by FAITH of YOUR SON who gave HIS life for me. My life matters not, HIS life in me, is my all in all. HE is my all sufficient SAVIOR. Oh rest me in YOUR great love. Help me show others, your love and your mercy. LIVE IN ME I pray, that others may see YOU in me, and believe. Deliver us from dead religion, and faith in our own choices, good or bad. Elevate our hearts above the religion that can only bring forth DEATH. RESURRECT us into the new birth and the new creation life. By the POWER of YOUR HOLY SPIRIT, lead me and guide me out of the bondage of religious men, into the SPIRIT led life that has no concept of "condemnation". Only VICTORY in YESHUA. YOUR life within. HOLY because YOU ARE HOLY. Glorify YOUR SON in my life I pray. Thank YOU for your PATIENCE and LONG SUFFERING. I know this day has been a long time coming. LEAD me by THY POWER, and let me not be led by my will. Place within me, both the will, and the desire to DO YOUR GOOD PLEASURE and not my own. Empower me to say NO to ME, and yes to YOUR leading and guiding, into all TRUTH. AMEN! - Lahry Sibley