Misinterpretation Exchanged for Perspective

April 20, 2015 at 12:10 am (Devotionals, Thoughts to Ponder, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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We all know how many read so many scriptures but they get to a part where God says He’ll turn His hands against them and slam the book closed; feeling justified that they can validate their lack of belief in Him “because any God that turns against us must not be a “good” God.” But they fail to keep reading! Look! Look what His hand turning against us means.

1) cleansing
2) restoration

Inarguably painful and often difficult these processes, but then LOOK at the results.

1) righteousness
2) faithful (trusting)
3) redeemed

These are the new names we are given. It’s so often overlooked that the reason God’s hand is turned against us is because we first turn away from Him. Much as we often seem to “turn against” our children when they disobey, in order to correct, protect, teach, and guide them into the right way of living. So God, because He loves us makes sure we “go it alone” when we live inside our bodies and our hours and minutes of living doing things our own way instead of the way that brings life. God is the Author of Life. He uses death to His own Life purposes, but does not authorize such ways of living. One could aptly picture His hand swooping up to our behinds for a tap, as His hand turning against us. Or smacking a hand before it reaches a hot burner. In the latter, should the hand continue not to heed the warning, He steps back and let’s us learn the hard way. Ready to run cold water over the burn and apply grace as His salve to the wound. It’s stunning how often and quickly He knows when to let the hand be burned instead of constantly playing referee. Notice how He didn’t show up at that tree in the garden when the snake struck Eve. He didn’t get in her face and say “hey, remember what I said, don’t listen to him he’s a liar!” Nor did He get in Satan’s face and say, “Leave her alone, she’s mine, be gone!” It smacks up against our logic. Why didn’t He? “A good God would have intervened!” Right?

Ahhhh, such is the reality that His ways are not ours and His thoughts fall into a realm of Wisdom we are incapable of without Him. It’s like the difference between justice and fairness. God is just. Always, one hundred percent of the time. Yet, we equate justice with our idea of fairness. A huge mistake. I beg your time for an example. Let’s turn to a parable Yeshua (Jesus) gave. It’s found in Matthew 20, verses 1-16. He starts out by saying, “The Kingdom of heaven is like…” and proceeds to tell of a farmer who goes out to find workers for his field. He goes out at 9am, noon, and three, hiring workers at each time. Then goes out at an hour before quitting time and hires another. The workers come in to collect their pay and find that everyone got the same pay, no matter how long they had worked. Needless to say the first worker was feeling the weight of mankind’s version of fairness and pressed into the farmer to express his point of view. The farmer replies that its his land and his money and the worker agreed to work for the money that now laid in his hand, and to focus on his word being true in his hand and not the method in which he applied to everyone else. The last words Yeshua says in this story is, “thus the last shall be first and the first shall be last” Often these words further confuse the one without eyes to see beyond their idea of fairness.

But let’s look at a different point of view. Each worker has a family to feed. God’s perspective includes everything, everything we effect as well as our own hearts needing growth. God tends to the needs of all, not the pride of one. Each worker went home and was able to feed their families, not just take pride in a whole days work. The grace given to the last worker of the day, likely fed his family well beyond the hour of work in one single day, causing him to work harder. The grace given to the first worker, having been rejected and replaced with pride and puffiness, likely didn’t meet the needs of his family much beyond the day he was saying goodnight to. Ungratefulness is the symptom of pride. Pride loves to critisize authority. I love this parable because it shows how God keeps His Word to care for us, not depending on our interpretation of earning or deserving but on His Word alone. He meets the needs of countless people when He meets the needs of the one.

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Understanding what it means when God turns against and when He deals in justice verses our idea of what correction and fairness looks like is a flood of revelation to the soul. It makes it so easy to have our minds “changed” and draw near to Him who has all things well in hand. Just like He did in the garden, and every second since. Truly all glory and honor and praise belongs to Him and Him alone! Worthy is the One who is, was, and is to come!

Misinterpretation is also a symptom of pride. Pride is the ultimate blinder of all God is and all He does and His heart that is the only good heart in existence. Perspective is everything, give yours to God and the exchange will change your life, and likely countless lives you effect everyday as long as you draw breath.

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Holy Contrast

March 20, 2015 at 2:18 am (Remodeling the Mind) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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“What is the difference between God and man? In Hosea, God said He’d stop loving and no longer forgive. This seems contradictory to me” asked Toby to a friend.

“That’s a good question, Tobe. I almost forgot God said that through Hosea to Israel. The best I know is that God is God. There is no sin in Him, even when He “stops loving and forgiving”. But, man cannot stop loving without sinning. And I’ve never seen a man refuse to forgive without becoming bitter or resentful. It’s hard to understand I ‘spose. But the thing is, there are things we just don’t “get”, aren’t meant to “get” that God does and doesn’t do. He often seems to give breaks and leniency to some, and as far as I can see – it does them no good. Yet I’ve seen Him press down on some that I see as needing some kind of break, some of that leniency I see Him give another, yet He seems to be unrelenting. It makes no sense to me. He often tells me “It’s not meant to make sense to you.” Yet the Truth is, God can do or not do anything without a shred of sin or its effects – man can not. God is God, man is His creation. I’m not sure God truly stopped loving as we think of loving, or stopped forgiving as we think of forgiving Israel. Truly though I just don’t know. If He wanted me to know, I would. And so would you. God is God and can not sin, ever. Man is man and can not do anything good without Him – ever. So we are then called to just trust, and not always understand. I admit it’s really difficult to do. Yet when I do, I have peace.” The friend looked up at a flock of geese honking as they flew over head; he smiled.

Toby watched his friend, saw the words his friend speak came from some deep place of serenity Toby had never really experienced. All his life he asked questions and expected answers, answers that made sense to him. If they didn’t or no answer was forth coming he felt his spirit pout and would brood. He wanted what his friend had but had no idea where to begin. He had been reading the book Hosea as a result of a series his church was doing on God’s love verses man’s love. It kept poking at the question center of his mind.

Could I love someone who would not love me back? Could I continue to hold and cherish a woman if she always went to other lovers?

God’s love seemed impossible. But then there were those seeming contradictions. As he mentioned earlier about God saying he would cease to love and forgive. It confused him. Yet the words his friend spoke were true. Man can’t stop loving without sinning, and if God is all He says He is perhaps He could. Perhaps the “ceasing of love” mentioned in Hosea was different than what he could understand. Another passage came to mind. From the 1st chapter.

“So what about where God told Hosea to tell them that they were no longer His people and He was no longer their God? But then not long after that He then says He’d no longer consider then ‘not His people’ but change the name to His people and change again their name from ‘not loved’ to loved. Does God always contradict Himself?” Asked Toby.

The friend was quiet for a length of minutes that made Toby wonder if he’d heard him. Yet the way he looked at him in stillness left little doubt he’d been heard.

“Toby, the same thing seems to apply here. Only God can disown without abandoning. Only God can withdraw His person, His character without withdrawing His presence. It’s so hard to understand to us because we are incapable of disowning without sinning a.k.a. ceasing to love. We cannot withdraw our person without cutting someone off from our presence. Read Romans 12, it talks about how God corrects or disciplines those He loves. Then go to Isaiah chapter 53, in verse 5 it says “the disciplining that makes us whole fell on Him” meaning Jesus. Whenever you read about God passing judgement and causing things to happen that seem “unloving and rejecting” to our mind to His people we must keep this in mind. Love is discipline. And only God can discipline perfectly, fairly and lovingly. Hosea is a love story of God’s undying love and commitment to us as people who constantly betray and turn away from Him. How He is not like us and will never turn away from us.
When we discipline our children, it’s love that causes it and fuels it. It seems unfair to them, and at the time of correction we can come across to them as though we have ceased to love them. But they will learn in time that perspective. Not right away. It takes time. Correction, plus time soaked in consistent love teaches this. Not words, not “understanding” as we think but as Love teaches with time, correction, and faithfulness.
Love does not make us comfortable to be unloving, unfaithful, selfish, abusive, self-centered, revengful, and so on. Love makes us uncomfortable doing that, too our benefit, our good. But that brushes up against us as unloving and unkind much of the time. Hence why we must not lean on our understanding to follow God. The passages in Hosea you’ve been referring to are loving discipline passages. You must ask a question every time you read God’s Word. It’s not a question that seeks to make your understanding feel good. It is a question that asks the opposite. It is this:

Lord, would You give me eyes to see, ears to hear,and a heart to understand what YOU are saying here. Give me, YOUR perspective, Your understanding?”

It’s more a request, a plea than a question as we understand questioning. But it is the best question anyone can ever ask of Him.”

The friend again, looked up into the sky. No birds were flying and honking, but the cloud that had been shielding the Sun from its full brightness was moving off to the west. The full light and heat of the Sun became a physical thing to the eyes and the body. Again his friend smiled. The smile seemed to say “thank you God”.

Again Toby was drawn to his friends words but also how he seemed to be part of them, it wasn’t just head knowledge, it was where he was moved and had his being.

“God, I want that! I want to know You like that. I want to be part of YOUR understanding, and not my own! I want to know how to receive YOUR love and so be able to love like that. I will continue to read Hosea, and ask or plead the question this friend has shown me. Thank you for bending down in this moment to teach me the Holy contrast of man verses You.”

The two friends continued to sit in silence, but having very real and intimate conversations with the God of Hosea. And it was good.

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Considering Job

February 28, 2015 at 1:33 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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I’ve been reading Job, again. I can’t count how many times I’ve read this book of wonders. It tends to be dubbed “the book of suffering”. True enough, if one wants to read about someone who suffered for righteousness sake (other than Yeshua-Jesus); this book will do splendidly!

This time, however, I’m struck by a different theme altogether. It’s message is not so hidden, but not ‘right in your face’ either. It’s been brushed upon, but from a different point of view. The message of “the motive more than words”. I’m struck by how much truth could be found in the words of Jobs friends. In fact, aside from their outright attempts to fixate on what they think Job did to deserve such a lot, most everything they said about God was true. What made it as though they never should have spoke at all was that their motive for speaking truth voided any relevance to the hearer – Job. (And perhaps others who listened from a distance)

This happens when I think I know so much…and my aim is to bring the “work of God” into plain sight. I quote-fingered that because I don’t bring the work of God when I think I’m the one who knows better and tromp in with my Holier-than-thou halo hanging from my brow. Trust me, my husband, friends, and family could tell you all about it! It’s often so full of truth that it seems that’s all I’m full of! Hmphft! Not even close! What sends the message crashing to the abyss is the fact that, like Jobs friends;
A) I wasn’t sent by God, I took it upon myself to speak, go, correct, “save”.

B) I ran out ahead on my perception of their “lot” and spoke into it like…well…like it was Gods!

Believe me, Gods response to Job in chapters 38, 39, 40, and 41 have a familiar “ring” that my spine has intimately become attuned to in such cases! It seeks out every single nerve ending of my pride and gives them a good “talking to”. The dust doesn’t settle for quite some time when Adonai puts me in my “place”. (It’s ends up on His lap but with a firm and sturdy grip that means to subdue!)

The following is a bunch of pictures with various “shots” of the book of Job. Notice the trend in the words. I kept the names of the “friends” out, they ring like the Accuser – famous for cloaking discouragement with truth.

You see, it rarely gets mentioned but the enemy not only attacked Job physically, emotionally, mentally, and his family and all he owned. He attacked Job through his friends and neighbors – even his own wife! Often when in such situations we need discernment for knowing the real enemy is not the human body doing the talking/accusing/”correcting”. Just like God uses us, we can be used by the enemy. When we sin, doubt it not who is pulling your strings! We virtually take them out of God’s hands and hand them over to the enemy – not just His enemy, but ours too! This is why Yeshua says to “pray for, do good to” those who seem very much at the time like an enemy.

I enjoy doing these pictures, they help me assimilate, digest, and remember the Word. I pray they do you too.

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Here’s where Adonai Elohim steps in. I love that even He sometimes drips sarcasm down with His correction. Though I’ll admit I never have heard anyone but Him do it justly, perfectly and total authority to do so being 100% His right. Usually when we drip with sarcasm, God is quick to “pluck on our pride strings”.

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Are you familiar with this tone in Adonai’s dealings with you? If so, I rejoice with you! If not, I pray you will become a friend of this beloved part of God voice, intimately correcting, moving motives into His will. It’s one of the greatest blessings I have. It’s the Work of God, intimate, precious and loving beyond all words. It’s why I call Him Abba.

I believe that one of the greatest reasons why God grafted this book into His Word is not only because it prophecies the suffering of the Messiah, but it’s also one of the most detailed responses by God to man about everything under the Sun. There is nothing left out in His speaking about who and what and how He makes things. Got questions, read Job chapters 38-41, the answers are in there! Oh! Not to our complete satisfaction! But then, He left the conversation open, all we need do is ask. 🙂 He has always meant to continue teaching and leading and guiding us. Each period after each sentence in His Word can be turned into a comma.

♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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The Saint’s Fortification ~ Part 3

July 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm (Remodeling the Mind) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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***Taken from The Christian in Complete Armor by William Gurnall.***

3. Avoid Entrapment

Be sure also, Child of God, to keep to the plains. That is, do not let Satan lure you into doctrinal traps where you can neither fight nor flee. One of his tactics is to lead you through a maze of impertinent questions intended to retard your progress toward heaven. Sometimes he asks a soul which it embraces? – free will or predestination? And whichever answer it gives, he confounds it with his crafty reply. Another time, he will demand to know the exact day and hour of your salvation, and if you cannot answer, he will challenge your right to claim kinship to Christ.

When Satan badgers you with trivial inquiries, do not try to reason with him. Answer him with your present position in Christ and His sure work of grace in your soul. Never forget that the simple truth of the Word reduces all the intricacies of Satan to a worthless heap of lies.

Now suppose you escape the trap of pointless questions; what will you do when Satan leads your trust down a trail of obscure scriptures? I am talking about those difficult passages which rush past the understanding as a mountain stream past the eye, until dizzy and disoriented, one drops in despair of their own condition. The wine of the gospel is heady stuff! Too much study in difficult places can confuse your soul and weaken your trust. Once again, keep to the plains. Combat Satan’s attack with simple scriptures – those most likely to nourish your trust and cheer your spirit. When you meet such straightforward scriptures as speak to your own walk, use them to ford the flood of temptation, and do not venture beyond your depth.

Satan will try to draw you off your steadfast course to heaven in still another way – by the presence of circumstances you cannot understand. With them, Satan argues against God’s steadfast love, and for your soul. First (by God’s permission) he pillaged Job’s earthly possessions, and then fell to work on his spiritual estate. He used every circumstance and everybody at his disposal. He had Job’s wife blame God; he had Job’s friends condemn the man himself. Satan convinced them all – except Job – that an afflicted condition and state of grace could not live together in the same house.

Here’s a timely warning when you find your soul adrift in a heavy fog of tribulation: neither accuse God foolishly of your enemies mischief, nor charge yourself with belonging to the enemy. God can chart a straight course in the worst storm. He can be righteous when He uses wicked instruments, and gracious when He dispenses harsh providences. Do not over-react to changes in your temporal estate. Christ told us to expect some rough sailing before we reach heaven’s shore.

Your perspective should be very different from that of the unregenerate. Like naive children, they think everyone loves them who gives them plums (or candy now). They do not realize that prosperity can be a curse to bind them in a deeper sleep of false security. Remember how Jael served Sisera (Judges 5:25-26). She gave him milk though he asked for water, that she might more surely nail him to the ground – milk having the property, it is said, to incline sleep. But the Child of God in an afflicted state has a key to decipher God’s providence. The Spirit, through the Word, teaches you to read the shorthand of His dispensations: every son whom He loves, He corrects. Behind the travail of every affliction is a blessing waiting to be born.

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ❤

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