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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : Thoughts: The Sanctity of the Mundane

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Joined: 2023/6/24
Posts: 313


"Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."

I'm beginning to realize more and more how narrow the narrow path actually is. As time marches on and the return of Jesus is draws nigh, it is incredibly important to be able to discern the signs of the times. Jesus would not have us ignorant of His truth, both in ourselves and in others, but we have to be very careful to stick solely to what Jesus teaches us, so as to avoid judging unrighteously. But discern we must, now more than ever.

It is no accident that Jesus attached the warning against false prophets to the sermon on the mount. The teaching of Jesus in these few chapters are more powerful than any other teaching in scripture, and they not only completely expose sin and hypocrisy, but give great hope and peace to those whom He has called to follow Him. Jesus promises us that these things shall be fulfilled in His disciples, simply by virtue of the fact the He is one who commanded them.

Jesus gives us a very clear vision of what we are to expect to see, and what constitutes this fruit. If many are heralding miracles, casting out devil's, even prophesying in Jesus name, as proof of their legitimacy even to the very Lord Himself, how much more will these men do the same to justify themselves before men. But Jesus makes it clear that these things can all be done without any actual knowledge of the Lord Himself, and without actually being known by Him. This doesn't mean that they are the works of the devil, as we run a fine line and are commanded of Jesus to not dabble in that area of judgment, but it will give us a clear picture of who to listen to, and who to trust in these last days.

As I said, the connection of this warning is not accidentally and coincidentally tied to this glorious sermon. So we can gather plainly that those who are in defiance to these teachings are in fact not known by God, no matter the grandiose works they do in His name. But beware brethren to not judge harshly, as even if they are not known of the Lord, they are still casting out devils, prophesying and healing, and we saw from the high priest of Jesus day that God will even use the unsaved as prophets, so long as they are not against us, we can rejoice. It falls on the church to make sure truth is preached and the truths of who Jesus is in purity are lifted up by our lives, and these men may seem to be doing harm, but they will be used in the greater purposes of God.

We can easily tell if we simply take the opposite of the teachings and examine what becomes plain.

Are the teachers storing up for themselves things on earth? Are they amassing wealth and things and looking to make their ministries, lives and the lives of those that hear them comfortable here in the world? Are they looking to fund million dollar buildings and heap to themselves money and influence?

Jesus uses money as an example because money is the driving force behind the world system. He doesn't accidentally say any of these things, where a mans treasure is, there is is heart also. And if his heart lies where his treasure is, that's a pretty plain thing to see. Jesus didn't spiritualize this teaching and make it about attachment, there is no context to make us think it was for a specific person or to be as an example as in the case of His telling the rich young ruler to sell all he had. Jesus said to the masses, if you lay up treasure on earth than your heart will be in earth, serving money, and you can't do that and serve God. You will either love the money and by extension the ways to get it and retain it, or you will love God.

When you see people amassing to themselves wealth, no matter what they say the motive is, no matter who they say it for, and no matter how noble they say the cause is, it's an automatic red flag. If a ministry cannot abide by the teachings of Jesus, than our Lord makes it clear what He thinks. These prophets will mind the things of the world and be constantly worried about tomorrow because if they aren't, than they can't appease the system that holds them up. They cannot serve two masters.

Jesus says after He warms us of the false prophets, and tell us what they claim to have done, that whoever hears these words of His and does them, they will be like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The key to discernment and knowledge is not intellectual pursuit or learning, but obedience to Jesus. To be wise, you have to obey Jesus so He can than make everything clear. It's astonishing how simple and clear everything becomes with a simple life of obedience to Jesus, no matter how fanatical it seems to everyone around you. The Father is faithful to provide daily bread, not help us amass wealth and money. He will be an ever present help for an ever present need, and will never place us in temptation to fall into the worlds ways of saving and worry, anxiety and looking to the future. He will hide us under the shadow of His wings and be a refuge to His people.

The warning against the false prophets and Jesus telling us to look to their fruits is Jesus telling us to compare these men, and ourselves with the teachings of the sermon on the mount. Simple and sincere obedience to Jesus is the dividing line between truth and lies, and the life of Jesus in His people is the only way for anyone to fulfill these commands, and when Christ is formed in a person, and he walks in single eyed obedience to Jesus, he shall therefore be perfect, as His heavenly Father is perfect. Not a man striving to be something, but a man indwelt by Jesus expressing someone. Not a human trying to be sinless or holy, but a human containing Jesus Himself.

If we find then, that we see false prophets performing miracles, casting out devils, or doing great wonders, and are preaching a false message, just leave them to it and God will use them for His purposes and eventually they will get their just desert. It falls on His church to pick up the pieces of the disillusioned and broken people they leave in their wakes. Those who have devils cast out only to find 7 more in their place. Those who see this as a representation of the true Jesus and throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater when they inevitably find it to be false. Man in his own self effort will do no good. Those who walk in the spirit must be ready to, in God's perfect timing and will, be Christ to those broken souls.

 2023/9/20 17:49Profile

Joined: 2023/6/24
Posts: 313


"But when you pray"

Jesus often contrasts His disciples with the religious figures of His day. Contrasts that are blazing with accusation and that call His followers to the very cross. Jesus has absolutely nothing good to say about those that are part of the religious world system. He calls them hypocrites, vipers, white washed tombs. Jesus is not one to leave anyone comfortable in a religious state that is content to simply allow the status quo to abide.

Do you desire to be known as a praying man/woman? Than Jesus speaks of you when He says hypocrites pray on the street corner to be seen of men. A disciple is one that seeks His reward from God alone, even at the expense of seeming to be a prayerless religious person. Prayer that is seen of men, known of men, is fruitless and will never yield answer. Prayer, like fasting, isn't a religious performance, it's an exercise of faith, and if it is seen and known of men than that is it's reward.

Prayer isn't dependant on earnestness, tears, or working up anything at all. Prayer is dependant on the finished work of Jesus, and our childlike attitude of complete helplessness and dependance on the Father. Prayer that works up tears and emotion is prayer of the soul, and soul cannot carry anything to heaven but the stink of human flesh. This type of prayer is to be a spectacle to men just like the street corner, except this time the observer is ourselves. We love to sit back and say to ourselves that we had a wonderful time of prayer, and all that because we shed a tear or had some other soulish response to the act.

Prayer that prevails is prayer of faith, to the Father, in the Spirit predicated only on the redemptive work of Jesus. The second we add anything else, prayer falls to the death blow of self effort. Are tears wrong? Is earnestness wrong? Yes, if they are there for the sake of them. Jesus didn't work up His tears, He grieved. We men seek to work them up so we can say we weep for souls, and all the time Jesus weeps for you.

Man is so caught up in the show of it all that the God of it all is completely forgotten. Prayer is to be directed to God, and if we were to approach God in prayer I think our praying would be completely other than it is. So the question is begged, are you praying to yourself and for yourself and other men, or are you praying in obedience to Jesus and as He tells us to pray?

 2023/9/29 13:50Profile

Joined: 2023/6/24
Posts: 313


"God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day."

A God who feels...

In our day we have a God of influence, gasoline in the engine of our ministries and anointing for our preaching. The living God has been reduced to something that can be called down on gatherings of revelry and commanded to move when we tell it and where.

This day and age God is simply some ethereal force called "the presence of God" that makes us feel warm and fuzzy, peaceful or joyous, and like a Mormon missionary, burns in our bosom when we are looking for truth.

The deep irony is that the people who most heartily promote this fleshly charade are the same people that most heartily preach the personhood of the Holy Spirit. But to them He is an anointing to sell the book, a boon of blessings for a backslidden age of apostasy.

A God who feels...

Our God is a God that feels deeply and loves much. He is indignant because He loves. We often reduce our offenses to God as meaning our sinfulness, but we offend God in taking advantage of His mercy, grace, patience and love, and in using Him for our means and ends.

We have taken our loving Father for granted, and assumed His blessing and pleasure over whatever we do, simply because it is we that do it. The farther we stray in this path of self centered egotism, the harder our hearts will become. God is grieved deeply and sorrows for the state of His creation, and looks to those who should be heralding Him, but they have forgotten Him in entitlement and selfish religion.

The Father will allow Himself to be used, bear our reproach, and be patient in the giving because He desires all men to come to repentance. He seeks for His creation to look to Him and love Him, and love is patient. Our Father is a God who feels, deeply and passionately, and we in our pride take advantage of Him and seek to use Him as nothing more than a means to our end.

Sinfulness is manifest most profoundly in selfishness, and it's the subtleties that make the difference. The only place selfishness is ignored is the spiritual life, which is why it is so rampant there. Taking advantage of a loving Father for our own blessing, ends, goals, and to make us feel or be certain ways is detestable spiritual selfishness.

May we see that God is a God who feels, and may we love that God to the utter exclusion of ourselves, especially spiritually. May we Love God for the sake of Him, and How He feels, and forget totally about self in the process.

Our God is a God who feels indignation every day, and the time will soon come when judgment will fall and the false prophets, false religion they have set up, and the selfishness they have heralded as holiness will be rolled over and shaken from the earth.

Come quickly Lord Jesus and vindicate your bride.

 2023/11/8 9:43Profile

Joined: 2023/6/24
Posts: 313


"But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matt. 6:33)

This text has been used for hundreds of years to express the faithfulness of God in Christ. And that it is. Our Father will, and does indeed add to us every necessity of life as we walk with Him. His mercy, faithfulness and provision is beyond our comprehension. But what this generation fails to understand is the depths to which this promise calls us.

Our Father (I write to the born again believers, for only they can call God their Father) is patient, not desiring any to perish, but that all should come to repentance. His patience has been extended far more to this generation of humanity than possibly any other in the history of the world. I include in this the generation of professing christians we see living today. I say "professing" completely on purpose, because Jesus said explicitly that not all who profess His name, nor do works for His cause, whether miraculous or not, will enter that final kingdom of heaven. He will turn them around with the seering and painful declaration, "I never knew you". Jesus takes vanity and the pride of man personally, because it is this that causes men to walk with a trust in their own self sufficiency.

Seek first is a declaration of priority. But this declaration of priority can to easily become a legalistic religious dogma that does more harm than good.

The fallacy of time spent is the favorite condemnation of believers, and has been throughout the years. It is somehow accepted to teach that the amount of time one spends doing "holy" things like prayer, Bible reading, etc. somehow is a metric to determine a persons inner spiritual health.

With that in mind, what of sleeping than? Shall we cry idolatry if a man spends more time sleeping than he does in active, kneeling prayer? Or for most of us that live the real Christian life, and not the ivory tower kind, what are we to say of employment? Many, or most of us are, in God's will and ordered circumstances, enabled and led to work with our hands to provide for our families or to avoid taking money from others, as Paul did. Are those dear children of God who walk with Him daily, working a job, idolaters simply because they spend more time in that employment than what carnal man deems "the employment of the Lord"?

Perhaps you see the line of reasoning here already, and no more illustration is necessary. It's a sad day when the Jesus who spent 30 years as a carpenter is heralded to men as the same Jesus that will condemn someone for spending more time working in their employment than in a prayer closet.

First is a statement of priority, not a statement of time spent. When reading biographical accounts of Christians who God used mightily in a public way, it's easy to overlook they were in prayer while working in coal mines, standing in lines within Nazi concentration camps, and many other and varied forms of life that don't fit the religious mans views of what Christianity should look like. If your Jesus doesn't live within you, and animate your every breath and your entire life, than you are reduced to the religious cliche of "take time to be holy", and you will find you only find God's presence in religious forms (certain forms of prayer, Bible reading, religious services, etc). There is no time to be holy, because holiness is a separation of everything to God, not certain times and forms, days of the week or gatherings. The lack of power and spiritual influence in our day is possibly rooted in this one thing. So few people know God, and therefore they do not walk with Him, in His conscious presence and living every moment in communion with Him, and consequently they are forced to reduce the Christian life to fit their meager experience, rather than admit they might have it wrong, and repent in sack cloth and ashes.

This Christianity that finds it's life in a succession of Sunday services and prayer meetings is nothing new, it's ancient, dating clear back to Israel seeking to be like the world around them. God gave them what they desired, Tabernacles, kings, judges, laws, rules, so they could realize they were incapable of "taking time to be holy". In the fullness of time God revealed Himself and His way of living so completely in Jesus that all we need to look to is Him and His life to see what is possible for every believer. Jesus said as much, in fact said we would do "greater" works. We are dust and saved sinners who are empowered to live and walk as Jesus did, in daily communion with his Father. This is a greater work indeed.

Seeking 'first' is, in the mind of Jesus, seeking 'only'. It's only when we realize that their is no priorities in the kingdom of God, that we begin to see the depths and truly revolutionary truth of Jesus and His kingdom. It is all or nothing, every moment or none, all things belonging to Jesus or we don't belong to Jesus. Total dependance on the Father, consciously walking in His presence moment by moment in full communion with Him, truly prayer without ceasing.

Do we seek devotional time alone with God? Of course. Do we base our spiritual life on it? Some do, and preach that. But to these carnal men the devotional time, not Christ, is their life. The Christian life is better said to be the life of Jesus in His people. Prayer is better said to be allowing the Son of God within you to commune with His Father. Devotion is a life lived, not a time set aside. If Christ is in you, let Him express Himself however He desires, because that is rest, that is holiness, and that is to seek first the kingdom of God.

 2023/11/24 10:45Profile

Joined: 2023/6/24
Posts: 313


"...because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12)

It's no surprise that the shallowest generation in the history of mankind has taken even the holiest things and trampled them under their feet. It's true there are pigs in the pasture, and it's equally true that the pearls of God's truth are in this day and age, pearls before pigs. But just as God can fit a camel through a needles eye, He too can make pigs appreciate the depths of His riches, I am proof of this.

Intercession has been lowered to nothing more than soulish prayer that works up a few tears, prayer that is said a little more loudly or fervently, and somehow gains insight or answer based on some gift of intercessory prayer. Prayer in these days is not the sacred act of faith it once was, it's no longer secret devotion to the Father that gets obvious answers. Prayer is a public piety that boasts in gifts before men, gets online and meets together to publicly share it's burdens. Thousands of self proclaimed "intercessors" gather on the street corners of social media and seek to bolster each other's egos and solidify the religious practices as devotion to God.

But I question this entire charade. I question this definition of intercession; and I propose to you that this religious movement desecrates the Holy office best exemplified by our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Intercession is not prayer, although it does include it. But like most things in this generation, words have been redefined to make them more palatable and easy. Intercession has been reduced to something you can do in a prayer meeting, and completely lost it's meaning and power. Once again, Satan has snuck in a good thing and professing church has eaten it up and completely forsaken God's perfect will. Once again, the good is the enemy of the perfect.

Jesus is the pattern of intercession. The proponents of this new form of intercession will boysterously shout Amen and point to Gethsemane. True, that was intercession... but that only part of it. That agony of prayer was born out of intercession, it wasn't the intercession itself. Jesus never made an intercessory prayer, He made intercession.

I've searched the scriptures for this new form of intercession and have come up empty handed. I have found intercession in scripture that pours out it's life, even unto death, in obedience to the Father. I have found Moses putting himself between a rebellious Israel and it's God, who was ready to pour out His wrath upon them, and emphatically stating his desire to himself be blotted from the book of life, if God would only stay His hand. I have found the apostolic messenger to the Gentiles wishing himself accursed from Christ for his brethren according to the flesh, Israel. I have found Jesus, seeking only His Fathers glory, crucified and bleeding on a cross in obedience.

Jesus gained the place of intercession He now stands in through the obedience of being numbered with the transgressors, and bearing their sin.

An intercessor is a man who will bear upon himself the reproach of the subject of his prayer. He will bear the burdens the one he prays for bears; he will sacrifice comfort and health to obey the Holy Spirit and make sure that the immediate will of God is carried out, and through that out poured life of obeying, intercession is made, and the intercessor has power in prayer for that person or thing.

Intercession is made, not prayed.

God seeks for a people that are not interested in ease and comfort, or taking the holiest things in scripture and rendering them completely void of meaning and power. God seeks for a man to himself take the load, under the power of Christ in him, and deny himself as Jesus did, even unto death. Bearing the burdens and numbering himself among those for whom he prays, practically in daily experience.

This generation is all about the big thing. Self proclaimed intercessors today pray for world sweeping revival, and have never even born the reproach of being numbered among the sinners in their very own city. They look for a move of God across the world, and yet the hungry in their town are not fed, the fatherless know nothing of familial love, the widows are forsaken, and their neighbors have no point of reference for the power of the Holy Spirit. They want God to move somewhere else, because if the Holy Spirit were to move in their city or family, they might have to sacrifice more than they are comfortable with, and we can't have that.

If God wanted you to intercede for Africa, He would have put you in Africa.

Intercession starts where we are, in the circumstances God has ordained and orchestrated for each of us. The problem is, living for God is hardest in our hometown, because man wants honor from other men, and a prophet is without honor in his own country. It's easy when no one sees you unless you want them to, much harder when you are seen daily, even hourly, of those you intercede on behalf of.

The Holy Spirit seeks a church that will humble themselves under His mighty power right where they are, and intercede for those they have been placed in the midst of. Because intercession is a life of bearing the load of others in practical obedience to the Father, so that Jesus might reconcile the world to Himself through us.

Intercession is a life, not a prayer.

 2023/11/24 17:16Profile

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