Adoption, Disciple, Enlistment – A Call to War – 6

August 20, 2014 at 11:59 pm (Devotionals, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , )

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The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall – pages 33-36

3. An Admonition to ‘Be strong in the Lord.

Having exhorted all followers to an iron resolution and flinty courage in their warfare, the apostle now leads us out of ourselves for the source of our strength, and to the Lord: ‘Be strong in the Lord.’

The strength of an earthly general lies in his troops – he flies upon their wings. If their feathers get clipped or their necks broken, he is helpless. *But in the army of Christ’s followers, the strength of the whole host lies in the Lord of host. God can overcome His enemies without help from anyone, but His followers cannot so much as defend the smallest outpost without His strong arm.

One of God’s names is ‘Strength of Israel’ (1 Sam. 15:29). He was the strength of Davids heart. With Him, this shepherd boy could defy the giant who defied a whole army; without God’s strength, David trembled at a word or two dropped from the Philistines mouth. He wrote, ‘Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight‘ (Ps. 144:1). The Lord is likewise your strength in your war against sin and Satan.

Some wonder whether a sin is ever committed without Satan having a part. But if the question were whether any holy action is ever performed without involving special assistance of God, that is settled: ‘Without Me ye can do nothing’ (John 15:5). Paul put it this way: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God’ (2 Cor. 3:5). We who follow have a reservoir of grace, yet it lies like water at the bottom of a well and will not ascend with all our pumping. First God must prime it with His awakening grace. Then it will gush forth.

*Paul says, ‘ To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not’ (Rom.7:18). ‘it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:14). God is at the bottom of the ladder, and at the top also, the Author and Finisher, assisting the soul at every rung in its ascent to any holy action. And once we have begun a work, how long will we stick to it? Only as long as we are held up by the same hand that empowered us at first. We quickly deplete the strength He gives us. So to maintain the permanence of a Holy course, we must have a renewing strength from heaven every moment.

The Follower, like a chalice without a base, cannot stand on his own; and cannot hold what he had received any longer than God holds him in His strong hands. Knowing this, Christ, when bound for heaven and ready to leave His children, asked *the Father to care for them in His absence: ‘Father, keep. .. those whom Thou hast given Me’ (John 17:11). It’s as if He had said, ‘They must not be left alone. They are poor, shifty children and cannot take care of themselves. Unless You hold on to them tightly and keep them constantly in Your sight, they will lose the grace I have given them and wander into temptation; therefore, Father, keep them.’

Even in acts of worship our strength is in the Lord. Consider prayer. Would we pray? Where will we find topics for our prayers? Alas, ‘ We know not what we should pray for as we ought’ (Rom.8:26). *Let us alone, and we will soon pray ourselves into some temptation or other, and beg for the very thing God knows we should not have. To protect us, then, God puts words in our mouths. (Hos. 14:2). But without some heart-heating affections to thaw the tap, the words will freeze on our lips. We may search in vain the corridors of our own hearts and the drafty corners of our souls. We will not find a spark upon our own hearth, unless it is some strange fire of natural desires, which will not do. No, the fire that thaws the iciness of the heart must come from heaven – a gift from God, who is ‘a consuming fire’ (Heb.12:29).

First the Spirit stretches Himself upon the soul, as the prophet on the child; then the soul will begin to kindle and put forth some heavenly heat in its affections. At last the Spirit melts the heart, and prayer flows from the lips of the believer as naturally as tears from the eyes. And though the child of God is the speaker, the Author of the prayer is God. So we see that both the strength to pray and the prayer itself are from God.

*The same is true in hearing the Word. We have been instructed to hear the Word preached *(or read it ourselves), but what will it profit unless God opens the ears of our understanding? For six months David listened to lectures on the law and sat unmoved. Then, God, through Nathan, stirred the embers of his heart; the Word came alive and he repented. All that was said before God intervened may have been good and true, but David remained cold and unresponsive until the Spirit stirred the ashes of his understanding and kindled a Holy Fire. Then Davids heart burned within while God spoke. The same is true in our own experience. First the Spirit of God moves upon our spirit; then we know for a surety that our strength is in the Lord. The following explanation will help you see the truth of this point. *(God willing)

- to be continued. ..
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☆ Questions for further digestion ☆

♡ How often would you, in honest reflection, say you are actually aware that God is the ONLY  One who gets the credit for ANY  good, anything that can be named as worthy; either coming from you or coming to you?

♡ If you truly believe this. Then is there any encounter, any activity, any thought, any thing at all; that you can say you must not be lax in saying ‘God, open my ears to hear, and cause my mouth and my actions to obey what they hear from You’ ?

♡ When it comes to your prayers; how much of them do you think come from ‘the strange fire of natural desires’?

♡ When was the last time you read the Word and felt the fire of its consuming burning within you?

♡ How often do you ask the Spirit to quicken your mind to see the Word as God speaking directly to you?

♡ Do you see how God uses both our deafness and blindness and our times of openness and joyful learning to display His grace and purify His flock?

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Child of Grace

August 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm (Poems) (, , , )

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Romans 5: 15-17

But the free gift is not like the offense. For if, because of one man’s offense, many died, then how much more has God’s grace, that is, the gracious gift of one man,Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), overflowed to many! No, the free gift is not like what resulted from one man’s sinning; for from one sinner came judgement that brought condemnation; but the free gift came after many offenses and brought acquittal. For if, because of the offense of one man, death ruled through that one man; how much more will those receiving the overflow of grace, that is the gift of being considered righteous, rule in life through the One Man Yeshua the Messiah.

Child of Grace
Conceived inside
As blood and water flowed
From the Life-givers side

Gracious in love
That holds you so
That when you wander
There’s nothing to show
Empty and broken is a road so sure
That assures us He’s watching
The Gaze of Grace procured

Child of Grace
Once a graceless child
With rooted weeds entwined inside
Neglect not, the Gardener
Nor His honor
He kills weeds with ‘grace-acide’

Child of Correction
Or child of thy own
A Child of Grace
Takes no pride to home
Its guest are not welcomed
Its family disowned
A Child of Grace
Finds humility a home

Child of Grace
Arm up! And trust!
His lead is impenetrable!
His Voice secure
Child of Grace
Courage! Endure!

Strap these protections
With both graces fast
And stand firm while heaven
Proves its mettle in hell’s faces, at last!

Child of Grace
Hope runs to you!
But, unopened eyes
Will run you through
Reach up, though blind
And anchor your soul
Yeshua, alive!
And making you whole!

Child of Grace
You are timeless as such
Grace holds the hours, minutes
Relentlessly trust
Keep being born into His hands
Time never fails to obey His commands!

Child of Grace
Child of Peace
Child of Love
You shall increase!
So it is written!
So it is done!
Child of Grace
United, we’ve won!

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Adoption, Disciple, Enlistment – A Call to War – 5

August 20, 2014 at 2:22 am (Devotionals, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall. Pages 29-33

2. The Follower’s Call to Service

Directives issued:
The soldier is summoned to a life of active duty, and so is a Follower. The very nature of the calling precludes a life of ease. If you had thought to be a summer soldier, consider your commission carefully. Your spiritual orders are rigorous. Like the apostle, I would not have you be ignorant on this point and will, therefore, list a few of your directives.

I. Renouce Your Bosom Sins
Those sins which have lain nearest your heart must now be trampled under your feet. And what courage and resolution this requires! You think Abraham was tested to the limit when called upon to take Isaac, ‘His only son. .. whom thou lovest,’ (Gen. 22:2), and offer him up with his hands. Yet what was that to this: ‘Soul, take the lust which is the child to your heart, your Isaac, the sin from which you intend to gain the greatest pleasure. Lay hands on it and offer it up, pour out its blood before Me; run the sacrificing knife into the very heart of it – and do it joyfully!’
This is more than the human spirit can bear to hear. Our lust will not lie so patiently on the alter as Isaac, nor the Lamb brought dumb to the slaughter (isa. 53:7). Our flesh will roar and kick and shriek, rending the heart with its hideous cries. Indeed, who can express the conduct, the wrestling, the convulsions of spirit we endure before we can put our heart into such a command? Or who can fully recount the cleverness with which such lusts will plead for itself?
When the Spirit convicts you of sin, Satan will try to convince you, ‘It’s such a little one – spare it.’ Or he will bribe the soul with a vow of secrecy: ‘You can keep me and your good reputation, too. I will not be seen in your company to shame you among your neighbors. You may shut me up in the attic of your heart, out of sight, if only you will let me now and then have the wild embraces of your thoughts and affections in secret.’
If that not be granted, then Satan asks for a stay of execution, well knowing that such reprieved lusts at last obtain their full pardon. *The longer we procrastinate, the harder it becomes too break through the clever coaxing of this silver-tongued defender of sin and death, and actually carry out the execution. Here histories bravest men have shown themselves putty in the enemy’s hands. They return from the field with victory banners flying, and then live and die slaves to a base lust at home. They are like the great Roman who, as he rode triumphantly through the city, never took his eye off a prostitute walking along the street:a man who conquered empires, captured by the glance of a single woman!

II. Conform Your Life to Christ
We are commanded not to be conformed to this world – that is, not to compromise ourselves with the corrupt customs of our day. *The Follower must not be such a compliant tailor as to cut the coat of his profession according to popular fashion. Instead, he must stand fixed to his principles, openly showing he is a citizen of Heaven by clothing himself in the garments of Truth. It takes great courage to disregard the abasement you will surely meet for your nonconformity.  Sadly, there are many who cannot stand the strain. Too often we have seen a self-tailored cloak of pride tossed hurriedly over the heavenly garment of imputed righteousness by one who fears the derision of men if he dares ‘confess Christ openly’, either with their mouth or their life (John 7:13). How many lose heaven because they are ashamed to go there in a “fool’s coat”!
While some will mock, others will persecute to death the Follower who will not conform in principle or practice. This was the trap laid for the the Hebrew children. They must dance to the tune of Nebuchadnezzar’s pipe, or burn (Dan.3:15). Such, too, was the plot laid to ensnare Daniel, who walked so faultlessly that the only charge his enemies could bring against him was his *singlemindedness in his walk with God (Dan.6:5). Now in such a case as this, when the choice means life or death, when a follower must renounce his Lord or become prey to the cruel teeth of bloody men, how many retreats and self-preserving escapes will a cowardly heart invent? *It is a great honor to a Follower when all his enemies can say is, ‘ He will not do as we do.’ The Follower who faces such great opposition must be well locked into the saddle of his profession, or else he will soon be dismounted.

III. Sidestep Stumbling Blocks
There have always been those in the church who, by serious mistakes in judgement and conduct, have laid a stumbling block in the path of professing followers. You will need a Holy resolution to bear up against such discouragements. Strive to be like Joshua. When most of the Israeites revolted and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, Joshua maintained his integrity. He declared that, though not another man would join him, yet he would serve the Lord.

IV. Trust God in Every Circumstance
*There are times when a follower is called to trust in a withdrawing God. ‘Let him that walketh in darkness and hath no light. .. trust in the name of the Lord’ (Isa. 50:10). This requires a bold step of faith (trust) – to venture into Gods presence with the same temerity as Esther into Ahasuerus’s. Even when no smile lights His face, when no golden scepter is extended to summon is to come near, we must press forward with this noble resolution; ‘If I perish, I perish’ (Esther 4:6).
Which leads our faith (trust) one step further: We must trust also in a “killing God”. We must declare with Job, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him’ (Job 13:15). It takes a submissive faith (trust) for a soul to march steadily forward while God seems to fire upon that soul and shoot His frowns like poisoned arrows into it. This is hard work, and will test the Followers mettle. Yet such a spirit we find in the poor woman of Canaan, who caught the bullets Christ shot at her, and with a humble boldness sent them back again in her prayer (Matt.15:22-28).

V. Stay on Course to The End of Your Life
Your work and your life must go off stage together. Persisting to the end will be the burr under your saddle – the torn in your flesh – when the road ahead seems endless and your soul begs an early discharge. It weighs down every other difficultly of your calling. We have known many who have joined the army of Christ and liked being a soldier for a battle or two, but have soon had enough and ended up deserting. The impulsively enlist for Christ’s duties, and are just as easily persuaded to take up a professed religion, and are just as easily persuaded to lay it down. Like the new moon, they shine a little in the first part of the evening, but go down before the night is over.
This persevering is a hard word! Taking up the cross daily, praying always, watching night and day and never laying aside our Armour to indulge ourselves, sends many sorrowful away from Christ. Yet, this is your calling:to make the Followers faith (trust) your daily work, without any vacation from one end of the year to the other. These few examples are enough to show how much courage and determination you need. How to obtain such courage is our next order of business.

- To be continued. .
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
– Questions for further digestion

♡ Is lust referred here only related to sexual sin?

♡ How often have I experienced the “feeling” that I don’t belong coming from others because my “coat” would not be tailored to the fashion of the times?

♡ Where do I see my Armor is being repaired or stitched back up by the Spirit after reading this?

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Planting Seeds

August 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm (Recommended Reading)

Planting Seeds.

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Battle Tactics from Yeshua

August 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm (Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , )

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Mark 1:23-28

In their synagogue just then was a man with an unclean spirit in him, who shouted, “What do You want with us, Yeshua from Natzeret (Jesus from Nazareth)? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!” But Yeshua rebuked the unclean spirit, “Be quiet and come out of him!” Throwing the man into a convulsion, it gave a loud shriek and came out of him. They were all so astounded that they began asking each other, “What is this? A new teaching, one with authority behind it! He gives orders even to the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” And the news about Him spread quickly through the whole region of the Galil (Galilee).

See here we can see a tactic of God and the enemy. What God wants for a time to remain quiet or secret the enemy’s tactic is to reveal and shout at the top of his lungs -even if it’s God’s very name! Likewise what God would have revealed, the enemy then seeks to submerge and distort! In this particular time. .. it was the Fathers will that Yeshua come in quietly and keep the focus on the work with His people before the “powers that be” took notice. So the enemy sought to reveal in advanced. Also notice, the enemy obeyed Yeshua, but fought all the way. Our enemy will not relent. .. but must at last yield… but he will go attempting to tear apart the room as he goes. This is a war. .. and the enemy is determined not to leave any “spoils” in his wake. Yeshua took this seriously. We must learn from Him. .. and all we need to do so is right in these four gosples… within each and every line of Yeshua’s works and words.

So how do we apply this to today, now, in our times. It’s quite simple. The enemy now seeks only to submerge. .. depress… distort that Yeshua is here, alive and King. So we are to shout like John the Baptist, given just a few short sentences prior to the Scripture above; shout. .. “turn to God from your sins! Be made clean by Yeshua’s blood!”  Our “tactic” is to make way to allow God to do His work. So. ..our shouting, speaking, proclaiming in effect “makes a way” for Adonai to enter in. How different that perspective can make us when we see that sharing Yeshua in all things with everyone we know makes such an impact on the front lines of Yeshua/God’s invasion across enemy lines!

Also note: an unclean spirit often gets defined as ‘demon possessed’. Caution. .. any spirit which is considered unclean is simply a spirit that has not been cleaned, washed, renewed by God. When I become argumentative and defensive. .. My spirit is unclean. When sarcasm and cynicism invade my thoughts first and then my speech. .. My spirit is in need of cleansing. We often make the works of the enemy far more powerful than they are and paint a picture of the worst debasement when in fact it’s far less complex and a simple need to turn from those things unclean to God is the ointment needed to heal the spirit within. David was never demon possessed yet he asked the Lord to renew a right or clean spirit within him. (Psalm 51:10)

So here is our basic training ground: our minds, our spirits within. Discerning, with the help of the Holy Spirit, where our unclean spirits need to be told to turn to God and claim Yeshua’s forgiveness and then we take action to do the opposite of what we were doing in the power of that unclean spirit. We take note of it and ask Adonai (the Lord) to renew a correct spirit within us. In essence we turn from our sins to God. Simple…yes. Easy…no. We have an enemy who will stop at nothing to dull our minds and spirits to the need for inner correction! If he can stop us there. .. then we can not shout to others in pointing to Yeshua. Know thy God and He will teach you how to deal with the enemy! For that enemy is first and last God’s enemy… this is why he is ours. Satan is no enemy but a friend to those who have no “turn signals” towards heaven!

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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