Jesus said; “learn of Me for my burden is light” - Matt. 11:28. Yet, the average Christian’s attitude, aptitude, and actions contradict the Son of God. We want all that is good of God’s Kingdom like health, prosperity, and peace but stop short of as stated; “to become the Righteousness of God” - 2 Cor. 5:21. Some say; man cannot become the Righteousness of God because of the inherited sin nature. That we are "but sinners saved by Grace". Yet; God will not tolerate half measures nor junk in His Kingdom much less His New Jerusalem on Earth. For as stated; "If they (the saved) shall fall away, to renew them (selves) again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh (repeatedly), and put Him to an open shame (failure)" - Heb. 6:6. Let's be clear! The Blood of Jesus paid the price for freedom once and for all Eternity including from the curse of sin and bondage of all trappings, and the Father’s Grace is poured out for our errors of growth as a child; as we journey into Righteousness as an adult as stated by Jesus; "Be perfect (matured, objective, impartial) as the Father is" - Matt. 5:48.
As the saying goes; many have “put the donkey before the cart”. We want the entire cake but are reluctant to bake! Now; as stated; “all have fallen short of the Glory” - Rm. 3:23; but as a father how can I expect my child to have vision, power, and a Righteous outlook in this life when I neither practice what I preach nor frankly is ignorant of what life is all about by continually making excuses for my status. Being helpless to sin is not an excuse! Especially, when we have been given the Spirit of Truth, Counsel, and Righteousness. We have been admonished to as stated; "look to Jesus; our author and finisher of our Faith" - Heb. 12:2"; so too the immature Christian needs the examples of mature Christians. Sooner or later if you sincerely “seek the Kingdom”; you will begin to see the world and its ways as anti-god which brings you to the crossroads as stated; “choose life or choose death” - Deut. 30:15. For the Christian, fresh or seasoned; there is only one choice because everything else really has no value as stated; “store up treasure that neither moth nor rot destroys” - Matt. 6:20. Ultimately; the Christian’s mind ought to be; “the world behind me, the Cross before me”.
Some say; “but there are issues like mortgages, debts, pleasures that affect our lives”. God knows this! Yet, He demands that His Kingdom come first and then, “all will be added to you” - Matt. 6:33. This is not because He is a selfish God but without His Kingdom’s full benefits; no Christian will be able to walk completely like Jesus in the required matured and fulfilled way. Jesus was not poor, destitute, or unsure of His purpose, peers, or pressures of this life. He was perfect because of the Father’s influence by the Holy Spirit. Have you ever noticed that only one or two gifts of the Spirit generally are revealed in a dedicated Christian? That's because there is more maturing required to have the other gifts manifested through them. Too many are still holding onto certain aspects of this world and not coming into full alignment with the Righteousness of God.
Sept. 15, 2020.
Wrestling with Jesus.
We are men in God’s image with Jesus’ life and mentorship by His perfect examples. Then why do many wrestle with Jesus ignoring the perfected LOVE of God in the perfected body, mind, and spirit? It is because we are embracing the ideology of man rather than that of Jesus. We see Jesus the man as unattainable and have kept and placed Him at the right hand of the Father. Yet, even this in itself should speak volumes to our conditions, positions, and benefits. Where Jesus is waiting for us to take action that Salvation requires for us and others.
A brother in Christ related a dream about his motorbike, interpreting it to mean God doesn't want him to have it which he confirmed when he almost had an accident that was like his dream. But his retelling of this possible accident would make one wonder if he was just being reckless as he rode the bike and God was only warning him. It is true that God sometimes asks us to relinquish a carnal pleasure because it may hinder our Christian walk. But it also inaccurate to think God does not want us to enjoy carnal pleasures. For we by His perfection gave us flesh and all its Righteous pleasures. This is the same for certain foods and drinks where many claim it is a sin, or are forbidden by God to partake of them because of health and Sanctification reasons. Yet; as stated; "For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but Righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" - Rm. 14:17. In other words; nothing Earthly can supersede right standing with God; our wellbeing; as long as we heed His Holy Spirit. It's rather ignorant not to drink wine when Jesus endorsed this as His first miracle. We have been given the Power in Christ to put all temptations into chains rather than being enslaving by them including and affirming as stated; "They shall take up (manage) serpents (evil things); and if they drink (consume) any deadly (satanic) thing, it shall not hurt (disturb) them" - Mk. 16:18. We must exercise Righteous objectivity and not be obsessed with anything of this world.
Jesus was not the only true and mature man, made in God’s image. He was the only one whose walk was closest to God. Jesus was holistic in His spirit, mind, and body as He dwelled among those who did not have a clue of what it meant to be a matured Righteous heir of God. Jesus was not averted to enjoying acceptable Earthly pleasures as long as it did not affect His Spiritual walk with God for which we also can have the same life and measure as stated; “Above all prosper in all as your soul prospers” - 3 Jn. 1:2. When your spirit and mind are Righteous by the Spirit then the body follows in obedience. Although not recorded, I believe Jesus drank wine at the Cana wedding as it would be an insult to the wedding party not to. He would have partaken in all Jewish celebrations including dancing. He allowed very expensive perfume to be put on His body including being caressed by the prostitute with her hair. Jesus was not self-righteous but displayed the Righteousness of God who alone judges what is right before His Throne as stated; "I (Jesus) do and say only what the Father wants Me to do" - Jn. 5:17, Jn. 12:49, Jn. 14:10.
There are five major events in the life of Jesus as ordained and declared by God. And if declared then they are significant not only for Jesus but for us. First, His birth as stated; “the Spirit will come upon you (Mary) and overshadow you” - Lk. 1:35. He was not conceived of a fallen man but by a perfect God. Second, His coming of age, not just physically but foremost spiritually as a stated; “And all (Rabbis) that heard Him (Jesus) were astonished at His understanding and answers (of the Torah)” - Lk. 2:47. He declared Himself of God to challenge man’s blindness regarding the Law; the Spirit, and the call of a man in God’s image.
The third is His first miracle to man as stated; “turned water into wine” - Jn. 2:1-10. The wine and wedding are both Spiritually significant including Jesus giving the new and best wine of the wedding banquet; as a celebration of love, commitment, and sacrifice just as God gave His Son to renew man's flesh and spirit. Doesn't this sound like as stated; “a New Heaven and New Earth” - Rev. 21:1; where the spirit and the flesh are one in the context of Shalom meaning; whole and nothing missing affirming as stated; "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins" - Mk. 2:22. Old wineskins would retain its fermented flavor affecting the new wine just like we must remove, cleanse and purify our old ways so that the new wine of Christ is not tainted by culture, traditions, and religion. This is true repentance!
The fourth significant event is Jesus’ baptism and Anointing as stated; “do this to fulfill all Righteousness and the Spirit came on Him” - Matt. 3:15. Without this demonstration of repentance, forgiveness, and commission; no other man could hope for Salvation and its completed discourse. Notice, it is Jesus who takes the Sanctification step towards the Great Commission compared to those of priestly heritage who by birth are called and dedicated into it. The fifth event is the cross as stated “cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” - Gal. 3:13. Jesus culminates His entire life in one fell swoop with His Righteous obedience, service, and sacrifice to God for the everlasting defeat of satan and his cohorts. Jesus did all of this as a man in the image and direction of God. He started and completed with a sword physically, and then Spiritually as stated; "I (Jesus) come with a sword (with the Righteous Truth)"; and "it was not possible (because of Righteous Truth)"; that He (Jesus) should be held by it (death) - Matt. 10:34, and Acts 2:24; respectively. The Righteous Truth being as stated; "nothing is impossible with God (Glory)" - Matt. 19:26.
Faith works when we work it! Yet, it is surprisingly elusive in many Christian lives and even some churches. Christian groups who are not judged for their sins but are evaluated for their fruit affirming; “know them by their fruit” - Matt. 7:16. Not by quantity but by quality! The Grace given by God is not to be abused for not working towards Righteousness and doing God’s work as Jesus did as we are called to. Don’t be like a criminal who does not change after rehabilitation; where eventually their rebellious nature will catch up on them resulting in their rights being taken from them as stated; “And cast him the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; (where) there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” - Matt. 25:14. Grace does have its limits!
Recently, in a group for prayer, I heard the Spirit say to pray for not only a renewed Spirit but for the Spirit’s manifestation in their church. Surprising one of the people involved in prayer immediately remarked with controversy implying that the Spirit may not be welcomed. Welcomed? Do some of us really know our Faith? The Faith of Jesus Christ! It’s amazing how often church people reinterpret Jesus, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit based on their feelings, politics, and finances. God isn’t withholding but cannot give unless we receive, accept, and even demand what is our given birthright in Him and as heirs to His everlasting Kingdom. Why? God must and has no choice to keep His integrity in all things under His purview. Otherwise; He would not be Righteous!
I often irk whenever someone in the Body quotes a Christian writer for interpreting the Word, Jesus, and God. Now, do accurate authentic books help? Of course, as long as it reflects the Truth of the Word. My bookshelf is stacked with them. I haven't read a book in years and the Word, Jesus, and God have become more clarified by standing in Faith of the promise of His Spirit's guidance for revelations. It is always best to verify and go directly to the source of Truth even when the writer is correct as stated; “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" - Heb. 4:12. Why study books that do nothing more than regurgitate the Bible are colorful language just as some sermons do; but as stated; "Be diligent to present (reveal) yourself approved (like-minded) to God, a worker (partaker) who does not need to be ashamed (childish), rightly (Righteously) dividing (breakdown, simplify) the Word of Truth (God's Kingdom)" - 2 Tim. 2:15. It's like being an immigrant to your new country of life and new beginnings fulfilling as stated; "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners (aliens), but fellow citizens (naturalized) with the saints and members (citizens) of the Household (Kingdom) of God" - Eph. 2:19.
"Woman it is not my hour” - Jn. 2:4. Jesus did not just live for the moment or reminisce. His entire life focused on the issues and purpose that He was called into. To demonstrate God’s agape LOVE and to correct Adam’s failure by taking complete dominion from and over the devil. When we do not prepare and seize these opportunities in our personal and other lives we indulge the lie of mediocrity and begin down a road of slow death, doubts, and regrets. For God will is creation! And as stated; “without vision, the people perish” - Prov. 29:18. If your life is mundane it is missing the vision God set forth; “to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion” - Gen. 1:28. What is the vision that drives your day?
“Make you fishers of men” - Matt. 4:19. Jesus did not select the first Apostles! The Holy Spirit did! He got baptized then Anointed and led by the Spirit. If we were in Jesus’ shoes we probably would have asked John the Baptist to be the first Apostle. After all, he was already doing what Jesus was about to start and would be less argumentative compared to the twelve. Because we do not really know the spirit of a person we have to rely on the infallibility of the Spirit to guide us rather than our impressions of an individual. We have to see the potential of everyone and not their current inabilities. Whenever we stop being a true and Righteous mentor despite the disappointments we in effect extinguish the flame that may be just the one thing that is keeping that individual from attaining their fullness as stated; “Be ready in and out of season” - 2 Tim. 4:2. Just like any fruit, they ripen at different times and require diligence to be harvested; we have to be diligent by the Spirit to minister Righteously. What revelation from the Word, Jesus, and especially the Holy Spirit have you received to share with others?
“Brood of Vipers” - Matt. 23:33. Jesus had no concern about status or the established authority but only the Truth according to God. I often hear Christians and Christian books talk about that the Truth is best given with sensitivity so as not to create strife, offense, and disputes claiming that this the LOVE walk. Yet, it is recorded as the Truth of God’s and Jesus’ anger when the Truth is not acknowledged as stated, “A stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright (mature), and whose spirit was not steadfast (Righteous) with God” - Ps. 78:8. Truth is Truth whether spoken softly or harshly. It remains the Truth! Do you compromise the Truth just to be a friend to the man or you willing sacrifice your friendship for God’s Righteousness?
“Keep them in the world but from evil” - Jn. 17:15. Jesus is not focused on our circumstances but like all generals in war; He pushes for Victories over His adversary by equipping us. The Bible doesn't tell us to "take it to Jesus" but tells us to use Him, His Blood, and spirit to defeat satan. When we don't arm and fight Righteously; we only serve to confuse, weaken, and defeat our Faith. We can't avoid satan or his evil spirits who "roams about to devour someone" but only face him to do battle with as stated; "the whole armor of God" - Eph. 6:10. What battles of Victory against satan have been given as a testimony of Faith to each other or the church?
“How be it the Spirit comes to teach all Truths” - Jn. 16:13. The Father of Heaven has not left us or abandoned us to this world much less our self inflicted quagmire of doubts and inhumanity. He does not do things halfway but with the perspective of Eternity; as stated; “all things work for those who LOVE Him” - Rm. 8:28. That very expression and finality of His LOVE are as stated; “For God so LOVED (self sacrificed for) the world, He gave His only begotten (of Himself, treasured) Son” - Jn. 3:16. Jesus was not only sent to champion the Father’s cause but to be the one for Salvation as stated; “so that we may be co-heirs of God's Kingdom” - Rm. 8:16.
“How be it the Spirit comes to teach all Truths” - Jn. 16:13. God will not reveal His Spirit unless you want Him to. This should not be confused when He reveals His compassion and mercy. We just like Elisha's servant have to remove what prevents us from receiving and welcoming God's Holy Spirit. This servant needed the prophet's intervention but by the Blood of Jesus we no longer need a prophet, priest, or pastor's prayer because the veil of separation is torn down, removed, and replaced by Grace as stated; "Come Bolding to (God and) the Throne of Grace" - Heb. 4:16. We have to walk in the Sanctification God has given to us by the Blood. Where is the move of the Spirit in utterances, revelations, and Truths!
What we do in this world matters to God! Not because we all will be great men and women of God but because is as stated; "Good (fair) and upright (just) is the LORD: therefore will He teach sinners in the way (of His Kingdom) " - Ps. 25:8. God is Faithful not only in promising but Righteous in demonstrating by giving in words, deeds, and ultimately His Son. When we remain ignorant and unappreciative of this; we literally throwback in disrespect all God has done and is doing for us to as stated; "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed (surrounded) about with so great a cloud of (above) witnesses (in evaluations), let us lay aside every weight (inconsequences), and the sin (curse) which does to (tries) easily beset (irritates) us, and let us run (determined to) with patience (discipline) the race (path) that is set before us, (and) looking unto (examine) Jesus; the author and finisher (director) of our Faith; who for the joy (great pleasure) that was set before Him endured (tolerated) the cross, despising the shame (mockery), and (afterward) is set down (established) at the right hand of the Throne of God" - Heb. 12:1-2.
Flush it Out! - Work not wrestle with Jesus.
A king remains on the throne instructing and declaring expecting the desired results. This is Jesus who is sitting waiting for our Victories because He declared; “it is finished” - Jn. 19:30; ending His work on the cross, and declaring our mandate to; “Go out and make disciples of the world” - Matt. 28:19; for ridding this world of unrighteousness by convicting and converting the world of sin into the Eden, God started. Our Salvation did not end at the cross but really started at Pentecost; when men of the Body forgot about their limitations and with zeal proclaimed the Good News of forgiveness, repentance, and redemption by receiving the Holy Spirit's Anointing. And did not “tap out” despite the weight of hardship, rejection, and in some cases, death. They as stated; “fight (fought) the good fight, standing in Faith and after doing all (within their power); stand (by God's Power in Christ in Faith to affect, alter, remove satan's deceptions)!” - Eph. 6:13.
It is when we wrestle with Jesus’ examples and directions that we succumb to the world because we give more credence to the flesh’s fears rather than the spirit’s Faith to overcome. Last year, it became more real to me to start a warfare ministry. To truly take the fight directly into the enemy’s backyard. Immediately, after starting the ministry both my wife and I experienced for the next two months symptoms health-related. Where we were both challenged spiritually, mentally, and physically. During this time; we focused on removing these symptoms with the Word by our confessions and it was not until in hindsight I said to my wife of the suspicion timing related to the start of the ministry; which included the two vultures appearing perched on a tree just sitting there; even though nothing was dead in the yard. I have never seen vultures in all the years of living in this area. Is that coincidence or spiritual warfare?
Our trials and tribulations are refining pots for our lives and with the triumphant of overcoming we receive badges of honor but more significantly we reveal to the devil the Christ in us and as commanded to be living testimonies for the crucifixion, grave, and resurrection of not only Jesus Christ but ourselves having the Spirit of God coursing through us for this dying world’s reparation back to the Kingdom of God. For as stated; “in our weakness God is revealed” - 2 Cor. 12:9. We are not to be weak by the world’s standard but by Faith’s seed with expectations, we release control so God who is Faithful will deliver us. Even if it means suffering for a moment so that the testimony will be fulfilled as saying; “the greater the adversity, the equal or greater benefit”. Too often, rather than carrying our cross; we seek relief before the Blessing can fulfill its mandate. And if we oppose these trials and tribulations with a carnal mind; we unknowingly aid and abet satan to kill, destroy, and steal what is rightfully ours by the Blood of Jesus. We need to know and recognize the potential blessings and favor that the stress of life imposes. Only by remaining Faithful!
Jesus said; “I have come to set the captives free” - Lk. 4:18. Well, you can’t have that promise if it's not in your mind; led by the spirit and followed through by the body. This is why you find many regular church-going believers sing their hearts out on a Sunday and cry the loudest during the week often with the most common statement of despair; “Why me”! Well, why not you? Did not Jesus say as stated; “because you are for Me, don't to be surprised that they will hate and persecute you” - Jn. 15:19. You see the world teaches to look out for number one but the Word says; “we are our brother's keeper” - Gal. 6:2. Not to be inward but outward with our perspectives. Well, you can't have empathy and effectively accomplish that if you are unable to relate and bear; and overcome your burdens. It would be like the blind leading the blind. Jesus gave us as stated; "remove your plank before attempting to see other people's speck" - Matt. 7:5. His point being by maturing in the lifestyle of Christ then we will be able to LOVE others and help them overcome their challenges. It's easy to be compassionate; even evil men do this, but its Righteous to admonish each other to act in Faith for the promises of God to manifest in our lives so that God receives the Glory. No coach pampers because they remain objective to the potential of their charges. We are one Body in Christ. So when one body part is not functioning as it should; we don't ignore it but do all to make it functional as it was designed to. That what brothers and sisters in Christ do for each other. Stop wrestling with Jesus' prescription for a proper healthy body, mind, and spirit.
Some say; “But Jesus is the Son of God and we are fallen, men”. Yet, Paul is reprimanded by Jesus as stated; “why are you persecuting Me” - Acts 9:4; and becomes the best example of Jesus’ presence and works with revelations, healings, and miracles. He was immature to God’s type of Kingdom for this world, and then grew into the Righteousness of God. Peter the Rock who was given the Keys of the Kingdom does not demonstrate the level of Christ’s ministry as Paul. Why? The key is as stated to Thomas by Jesus; “Blessed are those who believe yet do not see” - Jn. 20:29. The key to all of God’s promises is as stated; “Faith of a mustard seed” - Matt. 17:20. And by its practice and maturity, it produces stronger Faith to the point as stated; “become a tree with large branches that shelters many” - Matt. 13:32.
Wrestling with Jesus is not rejecting Him! But it is resisting His life and ministry with if's and but's, that only work towards disobedience and ultimately rejecting Him. Like someone who told me years ago; “they have a deal with God”. Today, that person is living in sin with no regard for the Faith and the Blood of Jesus. Ultimately, the reason for Jesus is not only about Salvation but empowerment, and when we struggle, ignore and disobey the Spirit’s reflection of Jesus’ attitudes, aptitudes, and actions we often hurt ourselves and others by not complying with the Spirit's direction and counsel. It is God who we ultimately wrestle with! Hence why we look to Jesus; and the Word for the example to follow. The Bible demonstrates this with many examples including:
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