May 19, 2016.
10 and Counting.
You know, God is precise when it comes to His plans. He does not do fluff! So when He created this Earth, He did it with specific intent and thought of what He wanted to achieve. He commanded and the Word obeyed. He believed that when He spoke, it would be done. Just like every person in a position of leadership, they cast the vision; command and instruct, expecting not only followers but especially their leaders to respect and put in place what has been decreed. This is what a command or an instruction is. It is a decree! A decree has nothing to be added or taken from it. Here lies the challenge; free will.
Of course, there is always the question; why not just make us as robots. Even as mankind, this approach yields no true fruit or joy from anything we want to nurture and see blossom. Jesus took every opportunity for a relationship and spoke and issued decrees, commandments, and instructions meant to keep us in Victory, Blessed and connected to God and His Kingdom.
Consider these keystones decrees by Jesus.
1) John 2:16, “make not my Father’s house a den of thieves (of merchandise)”. He is not just talking about honoring God but more so keeping reverence and a correct standard for an established place where God is revealed not only by the Word but by His presence also.
2) John 3:5, Acts 1:5, “unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God”. Many take the water baptism but not the Spirit. The former is symbolic and the latter the new life in Christ. Jesus is telling us to get clean and then start renewing the spirit (mind) to the Kingdom’s ways. To be clear, receiving the Spirit is not automatic operating in the Spirit. It is a process which becomes a habit. This is also alluding to gifts and fruit of the Spirit such as speaking in tongues and love respectively, as, after His resurrection, Jesus instructs the apostles to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, resulting in Pentecost.
3) John 6:43, “murmur not among yourselves”. This will affect the promises of God. Complaining (murmuring) causes confusion, fear and death and that’s why the Exodus Jews died in the wilderness. Only Caleb and Joshua entered the promiseland because they believed God’s vision and decree to believe in Him and Jesus, the author, and finisher of our Faith.
4) Matt. 7:1-5, Jn. 7:24, “judge not and you will not be judged”. This is one of the most abused and misunderstood verses of the bible. When we read the full context in both chapters, Jesus is saying, don’t have hypocritical thinking but judge (evaluate) yourself, others and things from a righteous perspective (God’s view). With the Spirit, this is really discernment as we have to be constantly aware and prepared for satan’s deceptions.
5)James 5:12, Matt. 5:34, “swear not at all, neither by God, Heaven, Earth, or person or anything for that matter, just say yes or no”. Jesus is commanding just be truthful, respectful and clear in your answers so that there is no confusion or deception because both of these are from satan.
6) Mark 13:33, Luke 21:36, “be watchful and on guard”. Jesus is instructing us not to be complacent because before you know it He has returned and the Kingdom is established. He knew as time gets closer to revelations, many deceptions would surface including convenience of things, life, and philosophy. All these can sway our Faith from abiding in Him. He is empowering us to stay on point, our purposes, and God’s vision.
7) Mark 12:17, 1 Peter 2:13, “render to Ceasar what is his”. Through the gospels, Jesus constantly instructs those around Him to respect the law of the land, but He also admonishes them to give to God what is His. He says this because by Faith all authority is put in place by God for His purposes. Now this does not mean God endorses evil men, but as a master chess player, He is manoeuvring His strategic will. Submission does not negate opinions. It is when we by our force, seek to upsurge the physical but in reality we are against the move of the Spirit and God. If anything, because God’s ways are higher than ours, we ought to more pray for His will to be done as part-takers and not as riotous demonstrators for civil unrest.
“Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust (by obedience). O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness (blessing) extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten (are commanded) after (by) another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer (recognize), nor take up their names (idols) into my lips. The LORD is the portion (security) of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot (life). The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage (inheritance). I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel (decrees, instructions, commandments): my reins (restrictions, guidelines) also instruct me in the night seasons (where no light but evil is). I have set the LORD always before me (as my leader): because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved (because of His wisdom in all things). Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope (and peace). For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption (because God promises are true). Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is the fulness of joy; at thy right hand, there are pleasures for evermore” (the Kingdom).
Just think as mankind, we naturally put in place rules, regulations and laws that form the frame for a society that is meant to be productive and secure. When we don’t follow these, then the risks increase and may result in loss of property, rights and even death. Under God’s Kingdom decrees, we have available to us everything Jesus’ has and even more, including Angels. God’s decrees are not restricted by the physical or the spiritual, only by our own ignorance of trusting Him in all He commands of us. This is part of being the sons and daughters of the Kingdom, setting us apart for God to show Himself strong in our life and as a beacon of light for others.
Flush it Out! - Obedience gives God free will in my life.
God in His wisdom gave free will to mankind. This is not to be compared to when other creatures make decisions based on trial and error, using an instinctive behaviour. What God wanted was for mankind to accept, respect and put into practise His decrees. We call them, “The Ten Commandments”. The thing about these ten commandments is consequences for not observing them. Sure, today all can be broken and there is no immediate physical punishment, but there is an immediate spiritual effect. One of death. The commandments are mainly for our spiritual and subsequent physical protection. For most people, including Christians even as a new creation; are more readily out of fear and tradition to accept what a general practising doctor or authority tells them to do. With their family doctor, they take different pills and do different tests without questioning. Not realizing the doctor is using a trial and error method to see what is working, so they can prescribe a treatment. They follow the doctor’s decree and instructions. Surely, God’s decrees trump any man’s.
In the New Testament, Jesus not only clarified the original ten commandments under the two main and great commandments to love God and your neighbor, and in that order respectively; but decreed others. These are recorded by the main gospels and in the book of Acts. Now, it's not like they are decreed under the same scenario as in the days of Moses when God put His foot down and said, “enough is enough” and was actively setting up His people and future Nation of Israel. With the New Testament; God was again reestablishing one of His decrees and also clarifying the intent for commandments. Men turned these decrees into law where the original intent was for the Blessing and a Divine relationship with the Father. Whenever, God’s ways are perverted into the lowest form; a law, the decree for a relationship with God is loss and the Kingdom does not function as it wants to in the Christian life. Jesus stated, “of myself, I can do nothing” - Jn. 5:30; meaning God is the coach having an advantageous perspective and is giving plays on the field of life to win.
Jesus is God, and it is this symbiotic relationship that Christian’s need to establish. This does not mean there is no independent will and we are "the borg" ( a 'hive' character in star trek) or robotic individuals. When God gave free will, He was essentially saying He takes full responsibility for what comes next. He is still doing whatever a true leader does and that is to maintain the vision and purpose of His followers. God does not reinvent but refreshes what is established to meet the ever changing landscape of our domain, mankind, and the earth. He started with a relationship with Adam and Eve and continue it through Jesus. As we “walk” with Jesus from conception to resurrection, we see God seeking our free will compliance to His will.
As we read the bible for revelation, many things Jesus did and said take on new life. And in His life, we find decrees of new commandments which continue with the letters of Paul and others after Jesus went to the Father. All these are for our benefit to guide, secure and Bless. We are in a war zone, especially spiritually as well as physically, and with proper adherence to the protocols (instructions, commandments) given by the overwatch (God), we are able to move through for provision, purpose, and pleasure knowing that obedience is key to the success He has for us as in our inheritance. Psalms 16 sums it up.
ChristnMe @ 2013