Servants Under Scrutiny

December 28, 2015 at 2:48 am (Mile Stones, Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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James 4:4-5

You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God; Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! Or do you suppose the Scripture speaks in vain when it says that there is a spirit in us which longs to envy?

The above quote in the picture has weighed heavy on my heart. You see, we are in the middle of buying a house. We were supposed to be closed and “over the threshold” by now. Delays that can only be understood by God, as He is the One who moved our chess pieces into the game in the first place, have abounded the last couple weeks. Then just before the holiday, ureeka the appraisal went thru! Yet closing on the 28th was not to be (that was supposed to be the closing date). I looked around my tiny one bedroom apartment, mostly packed, and wondered “What in the world?”

You see, I really could care less about a house, the things that go with it, I really don’t have my heart hinged on it! I learned a while ago, home by its definition has very little to do with earthly structure. So when the Lord points His finger and says “Go, there, now!” We went, and the doors flew open, then the Lord held up a stop sign, like a cross walk attendant at a school. We sat there and watched the flow of events roll thru our line of sight and scratched our heads. “Were we really hearing from God?” Next came the huge task of waiting. One minute I’m saying; “Hey slow down, Lord!” the next I’m taping my fingers in the “ark” full of boxes and ready to go. But no rain.

The tight rope I began to traverse was all about revealing the fine line between demand and devotion, true contentment and spiritual imagery, praise and popular pump ups. After all the there's a difference between waiting for God to move you, all moved in to a place and ready to stay or leave, but. ..unpacked – and ready to leave or stay – packed up. Everything feels competely inaccessible in the latter, but tolerable in the former. Comfort to this flesh I'm in was still handy in the former, not now. I'm not a neat freak, but this is unnerving. I'm tripping over boxes with stuff in it I need but can't undo because at a moments notice I just know, just KNOW the word is coming. .."it's time to go!" And I'll regret taking a step back in obedience to cater to a wavering faith. At one point I told those around me (with a laugh in my voice) "I’m not sure I’m packing out of denial or faith, at this point!” We all giggled, but I meant it. And this is hard. They say buying a house ranks up there in the top three most stressful things you can do. Not sure the order, but getting married is among them and losing a spouse. I’ve been married, not so much stress there. Even bought a house before, that was a cake walk compared to this time around. I haven’t lost my spouse, I don’t have to think long about that to know its definitely worthy of being among the top three.

Yet as a Follower of Yeshua, this whole house thing uurks me. It’s a thing, and temporary and distracting if you ask me. I praise God the house was located in another state, so my attachment to it was very small and grew dimmer by the day. Saying “easy come easy go” at this point especially – no problem! Yet deep inside, way down in there, I want the house, I want the heck out of this city, and I’m ready for a change. The house, I could leave or take but now my estimated time of departure hinges on the darned thing! Incompatible, oh yeah, I get that! The One I Follow never had a house. I require shelter, but I dont need to own a house. I can live in what most call pretty undesirable circumstances. The apartment I currently dwell in is far from nice, except that it’s what God has provided, it functions, and I can (barely) pay for it. The amount of money we throw at it would shock you, but it’s ‘the cheap’ here. You get what you pay for? Not in this case, I am staring at alot less dough for that house than this apartment. The house appeals! But the stress to get it so far? I’ll keep the apartment, thank you! Why would the Lord catch me between two winds of such opposing nature’s? My eyes are dry, hair is a mess, and skin is the kind of chapped that can only come from long periods of time exposed to ferocious winds.

Tonight, it hits me. The calm begins. ..He’s reminding me what satisfies. It’s not this apartment, a house, the stuff in those boxes, or out of those boxes, order, none of it. It is Him. My flesh argues on many levels while my soul takes its position and digs in.

It seemed competely ridiculous to me as so many around me that I love can’t see a time where they will ever “buy a house” much less rent one any time in the future. I was hard pressed to complain, but held back at the same time. This was/is a hard balancing act on so many levels. (The wind not withstanding)

Then Yeshua’s (Jesus) words in Matthew 6:24-25 came to softly shield me in the windswept terrain.

“No one can be a slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money. Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life -…”

He goes on to say the many ways we worry about our lives and the incompatibility of worry and worth in His eyes. The days of Christmas have just passed, full of money money money, things things things. Though we don’t celebrate this holiday, we watch most of our loved ones do so. Or try to. Broke in December always brings new meaning to the word Christmas. Tears flow due to the lack of ability to “give”. The illusion of love wrapped in a shiny package is strong this time of year. It makes one dread the up and coming “new year”. How completely futile! The Lord wasn’t even born in December! And He would certainly never have endorsed a material giving and wanting to get in children on His birthday! It’s completely against everything He ever did or said! Yet, here is the crave Wayne Stiles is speaking of. The best this world has to offer is its comforts and toys. The best His world has to offer is sacrifice and giving of things far more valuable – time! Time full of grace and mercy. Time full of hope for a future that doesn’t include anything you can fit under a tree. Or wrap in a bow. Time spending currency that can’t be earned on earth, only in heaven. Where the only One that can be praised is God!

What a strange turn of events these days have uncovered. What can sumerize them best. The quote above and the lens of God’s Word to understand them. We crave. We surrender. We serve. We Follow. We suffer. We obey. We learn. Or we crave, indulge, expect, invade, enjoy temporary comforts at the cost of eternal gain, disobey, and repeat the same mistakes over and over, never learning. Almost everyone does this every December. Almost everyone does this when the opportunity comes to buy a new car or house or anything. What do our opposing cravings teach us? What story will they tell on judgment day? Who’s birth do we celebrate in joining a world in a pagan holiday that originally celebrates the idols born from the beginning of time? No matter what, just like Yeshua said, these thing reveal who our Master will be. The one we love or the one we hate. Both dwelling inside our hearts and mind only create chaos. One must go.

It’s not wrong to buy a house. If God tells you to. It’s not wrong to buy anything, if God leads you to. If He does, we don’t have to put off bills or rack more up to do so. He pays for it too! Our jobs are His way of doing so. If He says full spreed ahead, we go. Yet then if He puts the brakes on, we wait. Or we lose Him in the midst of the travel. A far more costly endeavor. How to discern deep in the craving of two incompatible worlds? Wait on Him, then obey, follow, and trust Him. Our flesh will run us amuck. It is a master deciever, telling us we only want good things while those things scratch out the eyes of truth. We are warned, not to be ruled, but in love. His love is the only thing that puts things of this world in union with His. Compatibility.

Thank Abba for this lesson, on going as it is, and carve out in me, only what is solid in You! May You get the glory!

♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Destination – Holiness

September 2, 2015 at 11:51 am (Devotionals, Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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We are not called to be “good people”. We are not created to be the most successful, educated, prosperous we can be in our means for income; nor the raising of our children; nor anything that promotes us or illuminates us in this world. All these may come, but they are not the first and foremost focus of our lives. As Yeshua (Jesus) said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of heaven, and (then) all these things shall be added into you.” Our call, or goal our first and most passionate pursuit must be holiness! What is holiness? Sounds like a legalistic religious word these days, eh? It depends on Who’s eyes you are looking for the definition for through.

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The key words are what we are to hate and what we are to cling to or love.

Within the community these days there is a back tracking with the word – hate. “Christians don’t hate, they love.” – as the mantra goes. Really? That’s not what I read in the heart of my Father. Hate what is evil. If we are going to be Holy, the exact opposite of love must be held as a lifelong steady discipline in regards to anything anything evil.

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It helps to become like children. They have no hesitancy in rejecting what they hate. They resist it without giving up. Foods, chores, discipline, mostly – they are learning what their flesh bends like. We teach them to love those good things. But just focus on their single minded devotion to reject that plate of broccoli (or whatever each one may abhore). I remember working on a plate of broccoli for three days, until I ate it all. I didn’t eat much those three days. I was miserable, but I didn’t care, I hated broccoli. I was determined in my mind it was not good, would not be good and therefore it wasn’t good. (I love broccoli now, thanks mom!) I also remember avoiding it like the plague. If I knew mom was fixing it, I found ways to be at a friends for dinner instead of home, or I’d play sick. I rejected what I hated. I did it well. We all did. So why can’t we do that with evil? We celebrate Halloween and apply the scripture backwards. Attempting to glean some good out of a practice that has no root of good in it. The candy, and the tears of our children “feeling left out” entice us with compromise for sweets and new inventions to go along with it. Holiness, sees Halloween as just another calender day, it simply rejects the whole thing. If a donut had arsenic in it, mixed into the dough, do we eat just a little thinking the arsenic won’t effect us? The Word of God, says a little leaven, a little slip, a little compromise and the whole batch is ruined. We are called to hate, that which holds any degree of evil, to abhore and avoid it like we avoid pain. With everything in us. It starts by making up our minds.

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See where it says, “and become convinced of…”. I think this is where we go wrong. We are not fully convinced that a little joining in with evil practices will truly harm us. Many are not so in union with the Spirit that they can discern where evil lurks inside candy-coated, seemingly innocent things. It is impossible to cling to what is good and compromise with a little evil. You cannot say, “I love you”, to someone and have resentment, or bitterness towards them in your heart. So we see that the holiness always starts from within, to begin the process of convincing. We never convince ourselves, the Spirit of the Living God first convicts and teaches/instructs, then He shows us how to give up our way of rationalizing, to die to ourselves, and with nothing but blind trust move forward with the way laid out for us in scripture. Hating what’s evil is not coincidently the first part of the instructing. That is first. Then we can can begin to cling to what is good.

I hate. ..unkindness. So I am kind. – Holiness
It doesn’t matter if my feelings feel like being kind, I choose the kindness in trust in my Savior.

I hate. ..deception. So, no matter what it may cost me, I am honest. – Holiness

I hate. ..trying to get something for nothing also known as laziness. Which can come in disguise of entitlement. So I think nothing is owed to me, and look for where it will cost me something to obtain anything. – Holiness

I hate. ..resentment. Which comes in many forms, all of which centers on selfishness. Expecting others to do or be something for me. Unable to rejoice when someone gets something good. Choosing to be hurt and put distance between myself and another instead of choosing grace. So I choose grace every time, in all things, with all people. – Holiness

Do we begin to see? Ninety percent of Holiness is done from within. And without continued exposure to the mind and heart of God – His Word – there can be no transformation. No hating evil and clinging to what is God aka: good.

Our destination is holiness. Ninety percent of all our energy is to be focused on obtaining it. When we think that sending our energy into this more than others, will keep us from doing well in our jobs, our family’s, our missions, we get all backwards.

seek ye first. ..and then. ..

We test it and see. Pulling all our resources into this pursuit, only gives us all we need to do more than well with everything else.

As followers of Yeshua, we hate, abhore and reject any form of evil. Theres a time to hate, and a time to love. Not people, but often the things they choose, or the practices they invent. First inside our own hearts, then where we find it as a result of being in others. Evil is sly, sneaky, complicated, and disguised in anything but it’s own face. We can not discern it without the Spirit. We cannot be led by the Spirit without the Savior. We cannot know the Savior without knowing The Word; which He is. We cannot serve two masters. We will either hate the one and love the other or vise versa.

The first stop on the road of Destination Holiness, is hating what is evil. Rejecting, avoiding and turning away from it like a child throwing a tantrum about a plate of food they have determined in their mind is no good for them.
May we all reach this destination!

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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