Reuben and Achim (A-keem) were walking home from a late morning trek out to fish at the small lake about 3 miles from the family farm. Reuben took his chosen path to swing wide around the Zac Farm to come home at the far end of their own homestead. There was a giant tree there, Achim’s favorite. The tree was said to be two hundred years old, though none could know for sure without cutting it down to count the rings. Reuben’s father, Abe, had carefully constructed a swing on the tree. Unlike most, who usually attached a rope to a sturdy high up limb, Abe had opted to do an addition to the tree. It was a grafted in limb of his making, attached to the main trunk of the tree; a brilliant set of pulleys, chains and ropes gave the swing it’s life. Abe had said to attach the usual way would wound the tree and weaken the whole thing, eventually the limb would fall off threatening to harm the precious child (or adult) who sat upon it to share it’s joy. Achim knew the story well as he had asked for Reuben and his wife to tell him nearly every year. It had become the father and sons special spot recently. Reuben was in the special forces of the military. Whenever he was about to be “shipped out” He found a way to make their way to the tree to tell Achim. He would part with his son, having given him a gift and a nice long swing session the day before he shipped out. Achim was now ten years old, hardly a child anymore. Yet still small enough at heart to carry the tenderness of years before manhood would begin to shape him. Achim was prattling on about the huge fish his friend Danny had caught just before they left the lake. Reuben smiled, ahhh…the freedom of youth with excitement filling all things. Well, most things.
Finally the big tree came into view and Achim exclaimed his joy, dropping his pole and running straight for the swing.
Reuben stooped to pick up the pole.
“I’ll set up the blanket and food”, he hollered.
Achim was fast and already swinging with gusto!
So many memories here, Lord God, keep them ingrained upon my heart in the days ahead.
The meal laid out, Reuben enjoyed watching Achim and began to nibble on a carrot. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was till then.
“Come on, Keem, I’m starved, let’s eat!” He called.
Achim flew off the swing in midair, making a perfect ten landing at a run for the food. He came to a stop and plopped down. Reuben pulled out the chicken and salad, chips and veggies and they began to feast. The two o’clock sun was veiled by the giant protector they sat beneath. The day was perfect, blue skies and whispy clouds with a slight breeze to cool them down in the 85° Idaho sun. Father and son exchanged hungry looks and giggles as they consumed their lunch.
“Did ye have a good time, Keem?” He asked. Prepping the soil for words to sew the next segment of time.
Achim shook his head vigorously, bright eyes gleaming…”Mmmhuummm!” He munched.
They continued to eat until they were satisfied. Reuben allowed the silence to water the soil.
“You’re going away again, huh, Papa.” It was a statement, not a question.
“Indeed, I am, Achim. How did you know?” Reuben pretended to be curious.
The boy shrugged his shoulders. “Just knew…” came the reply.
Again quiet breezes filled the air between them for a time.
“So what will you be giving me this time?” Again it was more like a statement than a question. No bitterness colored his tone. Reuben thanked the Lord.
Reuben reached into his pocket and pulled out a small seed. Achim arched his posture toward his hands with curious aplomb. Reuben opened his hands and pulled the boys hand to him, placing the seed in his sons hand.
“It’s a tree.” He said, with a smile, a knowing thought, synchronized with his sons head, as it cocked to one side, unconvinced.
“It’s a seed Papa, not a tree!” Achim said with youthful authority.
“Nope, a whole tree is inside that seed, it just needs to grow, son.” He added, with renewed enthusiasm.
It was comically predictable when Achim’s head zoomed into the seed in his hand with a look of epiphany.
“Wow, I never thought of it like that! A…whole…tree…well, of course it’s all got to be there in some way, huh?” Achim was an endless learner and open to big thoughts. He always had been.
“But – well it can’t all be in there, it needs the stuff from the ground and water and sunshine and stuff to be a tree, though.” Ten year old deduction flowed out of his mouth.
“Let’s think about that a minute. Look around, there’s one tree here. All around for quite some distance, no other trees. But soil and water and sunshine abound. So why do you suppose there are not more trees?” Reuben primed the pump.
Achim scanned the scene around them, looked up and down and back at the tree. Then his gaze fell in new wonder to the seed in his hand.
“Thank you, Papa, for my tree!” Achim wrapped his arms around Reuben’s neck. “You always give the neatest gifts! When can we plant it? Can we plant it out here next to Grandpa Abe’s tree?” The boy released his snuggle and looked into Reuben’s eyes.
Ach, Adonai, what have I done to deserve this son?
“Well…I don’t see why not.” He smiled.
“When?! When?!” Achim’s excitement was better than the meal they had just consumed. And Laura knew how to satisfy not just the hunger, but the palette!
“Let’s plan it for the weekend after I return, eh? Sound good?”
Achim’s excitement faded and turned introspective. Silence hung and swung in the air like the swing on the tree. Reuben let it gestate.
“What if you don’t come home this time?” ‘The question’ wrapped a breeze around them both, cold and foreboding.
Reuben pulled his Keem into his lap and wrapped his arms around him. Placing his hands over the seed-filled hand of his son.
“We have talked about that possibility my dear boy, it’s true, Adonai could make that decision. But He tells us not to anticipate death, but hold on to life, dear Keem. So that we must do!”
Achim’s small head rubbed in the affirmative against his chest. Reuben sensed the tears before he saw one drop down into the now open palm with the seed. His heart broke. The tears of a child are a precious gift, but hard to want to receive.
“Do you know what your name means, Achim Kaleb Seth?” Reuben hardly realized the words were in his mind before his heart held them out to his voice. He smiled, and looked up to acknowledge His Makers mind.
“Yes.” sniff. “It’s God made me, or something like that.”
“Well…close. Achim means; constructed by God. Kaleb means; to be faithful. And our shared last name means, Appointed One. So, in truth, your whole name means; constructed by God to be faithful to the Appointed One. Do you know what that means?” Reuben again primed the pump.
“Yes, it means God made me to be faithful to Him.” Came the half hearted answer.
Reuben turned his son around and sat him in front of him to see face to face.
“Not just faithful to God, but His Appointed One, Yeshua the Mashiach, God’s Son! You must understand fully, my son, that your name is your character. We chose it very carefully, eight days after you were born, we prayed to Adonai for the direction of the nature He shaped in you while you lived in your Mama’s tummy. You see we didn’t know all He was doing as you grew, like that seed, inside the womb of His construction. We prayed, asked Him for a healthy child, for a child with much heart, but we didn’t know until that eighth day what He wanted us to say to you everyday. ‘Constructed by Yahweh, let’s go fishing; constructed by Yahweh, have you learned your aleph-bet, I love you, constructed by Yahweh, faithful one to the Son of God, my son!’ These words continue to shape you everyday in agreement with Yahweh from the Beginning. It’s no small thing your name, Achim Kaleb Seth, you are constructed by the very words and breath of God. He will care for you with the same detail in every moment of your life. So don’t fear what may come. Only keep your eyes on this One, the One who made you, and all will be well. Do you believe this, my son?” Reuben held his face very close to Achim’s and waited.
Light was dawning in the mind of Achim as he let his father’s gaze penetrate his heart.
“Yes, Papa, I will remember what you say, and I will try to only think of you alive and just gone for a trip.” Came the world of enormous answer from the lips of this babe!
Reuben’s eyes swelled with tears. Again he embraced his child.
“We’ll all think the same with you, Achim, well constructed by God! As we all think of our Salvation, remember what He said and think only of Him as on a trip, coming soon, to take us all home! Yes, of course yes!” He laughed. Achim joined him.
“What does your name mean, Papa?” Achim pulled out of the embrace and curiosity regained it’s status in his spirit.
“Reuben means; see my son. Yashir means; God will answer and our shared last name means; Appointed One. So my name means; See! My son! God will answer His Appointed One! It’s an awesome name, it protects me, guides me, holds me, and shields me!” It had been a while since Reuben had pondered his name. He smiled as big as the tree next to them in renewed wonder. He would keep it in mind as he was away.
“It’s an awesome name Papa! I like it!. He will protect you while you are away! Mama says that Adonai hears His Sons prayers all the time and Yeshua always prays for our protection! She showed me the Scripture! I am happy grandpa Abe named you like you named me!” Achim smiled in wonder.
“Indeed! And listen! Our names together show us the way. See! My Son! God will answer! And constructed by God will be faithful to the Appointed Ones prayer! What joy we have to be named by Him and put together, eh?”
“Yes, Papa! I love that! I will write it down and put it by my bed so I can read it every time I see it and put my prayers with God’s! Thank you for my seed-gift, and fishing today. I love you, Papa!”
The squeeze that embraced Reuben with those words joined it’s voice with praise to the tree that they sat under and the tree in the palm of Achim’s hand. They sat there for a while together, watching the sun shift it’s path around the veil of the tree until they felt the veil fall away and the sun full upon their faces.
🔯 May the grace and peace of Yeshua the Messiah be with you in full measure 🔯
Matthew 24:3; 13; 42-46
When He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His talmidim (disciples) came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that You are coming, and that the ‘olam hazeh (this age) is ending?”
But whoever holds out till the end will be delivered.
So stay alert, because you don’t know the hour your Lord will come. But you do know this: had the owner of the house known a thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you’re not expecting Him. Who is the faithful and sensible servant whose master puts him in charge of the household staff, to give them their food at the proper time? It will go well with that servant if he is found doing his job when his master comes.
It seems that people fixate on the day of the rapture today like they fixated on signs in the days of Yeshua.
I’m sure there are and were then those who truly desired to serve and know the Lord within these fixations. But for most, it’s a form of escapism.
How can we avoid…we don’t want to suffer…show us how to become immune…what can we look for to know our time is up…I’m tired of being here…
The Scripture above shows a rather stark picture for escape artist. To escape from something indicates that one must be imprisoned or trapped. Hence the need at this point to ask oneself, “Have I been freed?” If we read Psalms 34 in its entirety we see a totally different picture of one who is called by God and waiting for His return. All the signs depended on, are already given, our relational progression and walk with Him, right where we’re at, at the present time. The hope held onto for a time we don’t know (exactly, though the timing we do) but have been promised.
In fact the only form of escape that comes close to being freed from a trap in scripture; is from the enemy. (Save one, though it’s misinterpreted, I’ll get to that one later)
1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:26; Ezekiel 7:16; 2 Peter 2:20;
And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the evil one. For Kingship, power, and glory are Yours forever. Amen.
The above scripture is the closest Yeshua (Jesus) ever comes to such a line of thought. Not exactly escape as some have in mind but it runs more parallel with the idea. He doesn’t say, “let us never have testing, and never face the evil one.” So here, is not find such an endorsement to escapism.
The testing of our trust is how it grows, we’ll all deal with this or we won’t grow. As for the evil one, no one, including Yeshua Himself, escapes encounters with him. To be protected is far different than to be written a pass to get out of it. How do we discern evil from good if we never encounter evil? How does one know what they are saved from if they don’t feel the effects of evil? Escape is not an alternative.
Going back up to the first scriptures, fellow-sheep, notice the last sentence? We have work to do, work that we are to have as a natural response to our unity with the Lord, to be passionate and full of zeal to accomplish. Not this tapping of fingers type illusion of waiting. Looking around at all that evil out there and wondering when God’s going to smash the smithereens outta those evil people. No, instead we are quick to thank the Lord for His patience as we are still in no clean condition to meet Him for the Bridal supper He has prepared for those who endure to the end. Our else we’d be there, right now!
Let’s look at some more scripture.
2 Peter 3:11-15
Since everything is going to be destroyed like this, what kind of people should you be? You should live holy and godly lives, as you wait for the Day of God and WORK TO HASTEN IT’S COMING. That Day will bring on the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt from the heat; but we, following along with His Promise, WAIT for new heavens and a new Earth, in which righteousness will be at home. Therefore, dear friends, as you look for these things, do everything you can to be found by Him without spot or defect and AT PEACE. And think of our Lord’s patience as deliverance, just as our dear brother Sha’ul (Paul) wrote you, following the wisdom God gave him.
So, we see here, that instead of being the kind that keep looking at the clock in order to “clock out”. We are instead to be looking at the clock as if those minutes are going too fast for there are more souls that need to be served in honor of Him, whose mission at His heart was to save the lost! And all of us have not exhausted the clock in search of Him to know Him more!
Besides all this, you know at what point of history we stand, so it is high time for you to rouse yourselves from sleep: for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust. The night is almost over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and arm ourselves with the weapons of light.
This scripture says get ready, war is upon us! Not pack your bags, it’s about to get tuff, we’re outta here! If this indeed be our heart, then we can have no part in the One who knelt down to wash the feet of those He sends, as an example of how we are to see our time here.
2 Timothy 2:3
Accept your share in suffering disgrace as a good soldier of the Messiah Yeshua.
Hebrews 10:35-39; 12:25
So don’t throw away that courage of yours, which carries with it such a great reward. For you need to hold out; so that, by having done what God wills, you may receive what He has promised. For,
There is so little time! The One coming will indeed come, He will not delay. But the person who is righteous will live his life by trusting, and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. (Habakkuk 2:3-4)
However, we are not the kind who shrink back and are destroyed; on the contrary we keep trusting, and thus preserve our lives!
See that you don’t reject the One speaking! For if those did not escape who rejected Him when He gave divine warning on earth, think how much less we will escape if we turn away from Him when He warns from Heaven.
Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice! Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near! Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your request known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Then God’s shalom (peace) passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and mind safe in union with Messiah Yeshua. In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, loveable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praise worthy. Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.
1 Corinthians 1:8
He will enable you to hold out until the end and thus be blameless on the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
Revelation 2:10; 12:11
Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the adversary is going to have some of you thrown in prison, in order to put you to the test; and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful, even to the point of death; and I will give you life as your crown.
They defeated him because of the Lambs blood and because of the measure of their witness. Even when facing death they did not cling to life.
Now I’ll bring up that scripture I spoke of earlier.
But keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and the Day will be sprung upon you suddenly like trap! For it will close in on everyone, no matter where they live, throughout the whole world. Stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
This scripture is endlessly used as a defense for the whole trapped/ escape mentality. But let’s look closely at what it really says. Those who say they are saved but are still practicing the unsaved life will be trapped, not those who are working with God to hasten the Day of the Lord! And the word escape in verse 36 is not used in the context of “stop the world Lord I want off!” Look closely, it starts by saying…STAY ALERT, this same feeling is behind Yeshua when in the garden before His arrest, He kept going back to His disciples, asking them to wake and pray. The escape being taught here is the deception that we are and will be subjected to in the last days. Also the apathy and lethargy that will come from running out of patience, thinking it is time for God to do His thing! Why would we need to pray for strength if the escape here meant the rapture? God in His strength will do that, no strength on our part will hasten or help Him gather His people at the appointed time of His coming. Every time we are told to stay alert/pray for strength it’s to endure, persevere, hold out, keep going.
We do know that there are things Adonai intends to keep His Bride from experiencing, but the severity of all of this time period is not in keeping with His history from Genesis to Revelation. Our testing, refining by fire, come through great oppression. Never has God kept us from learning the lessons of depravity. Then applying those lessons to perseverance then to character that leads to letting go of selfish wants to escape and instead changing our hearts to reach out and enter into the service of snatching those that are lost and witnessing and tending the wounds as we wait, trust and believe…in the darkest hour…He will come! Just ask any survivor of the Holocaust. Ask those who stood as Titus wrecked the 2nd temple, trapping and starving those in the city to the point that they ate their own children! (70 AD, after Yeshua had died and ascended).
The hour, dear brothers and sisters will be very dark this time as well, we will rend our garments and our knees will be bloody from the posture of prayer and kneeling of service to His sheep. But we will know to be looking “up”, we will know that His coming is nigh, and with our hearts fully turned upon Him we will wait patiently that all may know Him! The signs are already neon and blinking all around us, we don’t need more, nor do we need to fixate on the day He will come. This day won’t take us by surprise, only those who don’t know what it means to tend His estate, feed His sheep, keep our lamps full of His oil…(these will not be trapped and looking for a way of escape.) Those who do not will. Until then we are to teach and encourage these things He’s so graciously given us as directions to guide us through some very hard times. Sticking to His plan not trying to get Him to see the wisdom of ours!
Don’t be an escape artist! Be the artist of His shalom! HIS LIGHT! Encourage! Lift up and help each other prepare for the times ahead, praying unceasingly and holding out the hope that is real – He’s coming! Coming soon! May we be found working, and holding tight to the fringes of His tallith until then!
Go with God!
🕎 Grace and peace be yours in abundance in union with our Messiah Yeshua 🔯 King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Amen 🕯
The following link (at the bottom) inspired this blog. Actually it and many other documentaries I’ve been watching for a while now. Honestly I was unsure what was driving me to watch these real life stories. Some were very inspiring and dealt more with acts of nature and the hardships people over-came to move on, most were, sadly, the moving forward after another human being caused harm and suffering to them and those they loved. These are called crimes. It took some time but Adonai has finally began to speak into His pulling me into this documentary marathon I seemed to have been running.
The documentary below is graphic in many ways, more in depth than most and longer. If you choose to watch it, please be aware of children who may happen upon you as you do. This film is the best film to put all the points I’m about to make into perspective. It’s raw nature has a stunning balance that is rare in documentaries and, of course, as I’m drawn to…God gets an amazing glory in the end. All the points here are capable of standing on their own without viewing it however.
I realize these question have been asked before; in multitudes of ways. The concept isn’t new, the answers…well no less complex…sort of. Perhaps sometimes God puts us in front of these questions in more intimate settings and has us write out the process to solidify it for our own walk in this life. I lean in this direction. Though He often asks us to share for the purpose of someone else, yes, even just one other person, His work in you will be used in His work in them. I pray these writings only do what He intended.
What would a society be like if:
☆ The “old sexual code” of proper conduct was the norm and the only accepted method – legally, morally, ethically?
Definition: No sex before marriage. Sex is viewed as sacred and private between adult men and women (plural in context not in number of persons at one event). Sex is only sacred between those two individuals of commitment before God and man on their wedding day. Sex with a child, animal, same sex person, or family member is a CRIME, punishable by death. Why? Simply put, sex ANY other way kills something extremely valuable to God.
☆ God’s rules of justice was adopted by society
Definition: Don’t murder, don’t lie, don’t covet, don’t take lightly His Name – meaning His character, don’t dishonor parents, don’t commit adultery – unfaithfulness in marriage – this being considered a value BEFORE marriage; that faithfulness to one’s spouse begins the day they are born for the one God has set aside for them. Thus rendering experimental, recreational, better put, premarital Sex – WRONG.
God is indeed God, no other God will be tolerated, not because of rules but because any other thing given His place will lead to the utter heartbreaking corruption of the person God created. All other instructions will be broken without fail if these two are not the focus – the beginning and end of all moral judgement.
Remember to give God one day. (Remember the Sabbath) Just to Him – rest for that day; the needs and cares of the whole world will be cared for by Him and only Him on this day. How can He prove it if we’re constantly in control? This builds our trust and proves further…God is in control. And for good reason!
☆ Questions and ponderings
Who was the first to introduce the death penalty?
How does Yeshua (Jesus) without nullifing God’s previous dictates fulfill them all with justice?
What is the true sign of repentance?
God knew that child abuses and societal influence of all kinds would be a factor in any crime committed in all those instructions from Genesis to Leviticus for balance and justice. What does this say about His methods of instruction?
Trust and obey – God is the only One worthy of such from anyone. Only He knows the balance point between good and evil, right and wrong, lies and deceit and ignorance and naivety, innocence and willfulness, cause and effect.
Did God make/create murders, rapest, adulterers, cheats, etc?
Haven’t we all murdered in our thoughts? (This is where all physical acts begin) He created me and you. We have all lied, cheated, adulterated. In our thoughts, when we lie, we steal from someone. Everyone is owed the truth as a standard of conduct in the Kingdom of God. And rape? Again starting in the thoughts, none sees and most will never show they existed. Rape is non-consentual sex. Has everyone consented to all our imaginings? Sound extreme or over-the-top? Again the questions are pointed at the possibilities of society if such things were viewed this way and acted on accordingly. Would porn have ever been born? Would any inappropriate sexual act or deed be subject to leniency or acceptibility which has indeed led to the corruption of society?
☆ Questions everyone should find the answers to. (Yes, the word “should” got used…without apology)
What is the difference between God’s true ways and the many ways the church has distorted them? Ie: exorcism, branding, legalism, judgement.
Why did Yeshua accept death on the cross? Keeping in mind, yes, He was innocent, but on that cross He took every sin ever committed and that would ever be committed on Himself!
How do all these things, these questions, these answers impact a life? Yours, mine, the neighbor, the community, society?
☆ Truths Indisputable
God alone makes, creates, shapes. Man gets ahold of these and as soon as they try to change it, even ever so slightly, these things become dysfunctional. In other words, they can no longer be cherished and enjoyed as He designed them.
God made: man, woman, earth, space, marriage, Sex, relationships/family, balance, Justice, life, death, forgiveness, mercy, truth, grace, compassion, kindness, patience, long suffering, giving/generosity, hope, peace, love.
When anything He made gets altered they become the twisted polar opposite, they act against instead of for.
Only God can be troubled or sort out the details of something so complex as a human being, created in His image, so hated by His enemy. A human justice system? How can one expect perfection within it? There are more things we need not know than we need to know. So many things we need to simply be able to trust and obey, for there is no other way! Too many opinions, to many postings and publications of things we need not concern ourselves with. I wonder how much medication people would stop needing for anxiety if they just didn’t hear, see, and know so darned much these days. I know the jurors of the case below will never ever be able to remove the images and details of that case from their minds. It could be argued that it may be for good reasons, it could also be argued against all good reasoning! That is: if humans keep thinking of those things. God isn’t Teviah from Fiddler on the Roof, He’s not up there saying… “On the other hand…but on the other hand…” He is capable, and by that it means, completely perfect and split-second fast, at knowing every second, every instant, every occasion, every event, of everyone involved in everything, taking all things into consideration and doing the right thing. Period. Only God. So what? if we just can’t let go of controlling things trying to “understand” everything…what if…what if we just did it God’s Way?
We can. I can, I will by the grace given by Yeshua, the Holy Spirit. It begins with just one day, all those little choices, God’s Way, not mine. Society as we read in the Truth called the Word of God will not operate according to Gods ways, not right now. But…our homes can. These will effect other homes…which will effect our community…which may effect revival in some small section of society. BUT! The impact on our true Home, with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, where they have come to make their home in you and me…eternity ripples, souls praise, heaven is singing that tune as we speak (errr…or read 😉). As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
Grace and peace be with you in Yeshua the Messiah
1 Timothy 6:11-12
But you, as a man of God, flee from these things; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you testified so well to your faith before many witnesses.
What is the good fight of faith? This question is the foundation of our walk with God. Everyday I wake up to a fight. One that the promise of God to me is that He has provided the victorious walk of Yeshua (Jesus), in exchange for mine. He gave His Son so that I may live. In the general sense, that death may never have the victory, no final breath for me! But in the broadest of terms, everyday a life-giving replacement of thoughts and deeds has been given in exchange for what my flesh shall resume in death at the rise of my consciousness from sleeping to waking, the dawn of a new day in the good fight of faith.
One of the greatest gifts God has given me is the wisdom and discernment of what that good fight “looks like”. It’s practical application to every minute of my walk and testimony of faith. Repentence is an exchange. I give my evil deeds in exchange He gives me deeds to produce life. Repentance is a life long exchange. It always starts in the mind, where evil deeds begin as lies, and root words, if you will, that produce the weeds of the actions. Not all the lies are persay untrue. Example: my thoughts of complaint about this or that may be valid (based on a truthful assessment) ie: “Life is so hard, that person is so difficult, this pain is so bad,” etc. These thoughts are not persay untrue. People can be difficult, life is hard, pain is hard to ignore. What developed from these thoughts is the need to express them in the form of complaint for me. The attitude of complaint turns true things into lies by saying that they are worthy of complaint, God is no longer in control, good can not be had in this or that or them, etc. What we give voice to states what we believe is true. We as a people are professional complainers! Almost everything we complain about has truth to it. How then do we fight the good fight with the tendency to complain (groan, mumble)? We must exchange at the thought level complaint for praise. It’s being transformed by the renewing of the mind that Paul talks about in Romans 12:2. So the thought begins with “that person is so difficult” and the great exchange is: I give that thought to God and ask Him to replace it with praise, in turn I take the outward and inward action of thanking God for that person and His work in them instead. It literally is the power of the Holy Spirit we are given to do such an exchange. If one is tempted to take something from someone, the exchange is to give something to them instead. We can take all sorts of things from people and not realize it. Their time, their resources, their energy, their hope, their encouragement, their courage, their trust, and the list can go on. To complain out loud to someone can take many of these all at once. It’s essentially how we bring one down rather than lift one up. Often the good fight in these cases ends and begins only in the mind. Where complaint gets exchanged for the praise of God in every situation. Often its there where the deeds or actions of evil are reverted or avoided. No one sees this place but God, the hidden fight is within. Sometimes this is why we don’t do it. We like to be seen, even if we need to repent. It’s a mystery for sure, but not mysterious. Hence why we so often do the things we don’t want to do and don’t do the things we want. All sin has its source at self display; the need for us to be seen, acknowledged, praised, felt sorry for, even encouraged in a not so encouraging way. This is why the Scripture repeatedly from beginning to end says to “give thanks to God for everything at all times. For if God is the pursuit of display, our goal for WHO gets seen, then our-selves are exchanged for Him.
So we exchange every untrue, unworthy, unholy, unwise thing for His truth, His holiness, His wisdom, His worthiness. It starts first in the mind, but without taking action on the exchange it becomes fruitless. I stayed stuck at the exchange in my mind for years and wondered why I never seemed to change outwardly. It’s a wonderful thing to go from complaint in the mind to praise to God, no doubt. But the fruit must be produced. When I have a judgemental thought towards someone I know, in my mind, I praise God for them and His work in them that I can’t see at the moment (faith), but the Spirit gives fruit, and this is when I send that person an encouraging text (action) as a result of the exchange in my mind. (Now many will wonder how many times their text messages of encouragement was a result of a judgemental thought!) But, so what? The fruit of my good-fight walk with Almighty God is the point of praise, I never deserved praise in the first place!
The same especially applies to truth, if I’m tempted to lie, I act on truth. If I’m tempted to be unforgiving, I act on grace and mercy. If I’m tempted to be impatient and unkind, I act on kindness and perseverance. When I’m tempted to react with frustration and anger, I act on the steadfast love of God for me. All of these things start with the good fight inside my head, where I exchange my thoughts for His. The experience of victory is found in the action that I take as a result of the battle that gets won in my mind. Every time I have a thought of complaint, it’s my goal (and first and foremost God’s goal for me) to exchange the complaint for praise of Him, then for the proof of its existence I act on the praises of my God. I watch myself transform into a doer of the Word, not just a mere hearer.
Often complaint is towards circumstances, so the action is then to move into them with praise and thanksgiving, steadfast effort into the hope that God is working good in them, faithfulness to His efforts, His results, not mine. I take action on these instead of complain. Again, no one sees this process, but God. Hence the Scripture that says “the God who sees what you do in secret will reward you, in secret. Not hush hush, secret, but inside where peace is formed into formidable action and rest of soul. Where we cease our striving, and can be still and know that He is God – really know, faith becomes reality.
All faith must be exercised in action or it becomes a system of our own perceptions of God instead of who God really is. It’s not about works, it’s about The Worker, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. The One who provided this Great Exchange-Market of our flesh for His heart. Without Yeshua we have no access to this “market place”. The currency of the Kingdom is the Spirit that changes us from within and makes it evident outwardly as a testimony of God’s goodness to the world around us. We are witnesses to God’s transforming power in us as well as those He directs their attention to us as we learn and grow in Him. We are never to display the work of God, that’s not our job, that’s His. We are to fight this good fight and allow the process of our transformation to become a beacon of light in a dark world. He directs the light as He wills, but His direction for our attention is ever upward. For us to become aware of the light He makes us is and can be a sign that we have lost the place of exchange. For we are never light without His goodness replacing our garbage first.
It’s a Great Exchange to walk with a Holy God, whose thoughts and ways are so different than ours. The process of this invades every little part of our living, breathing, waking moments in this life. There is no place where the good fight does not take place in us. No where we can relax and say “I’ve got this.”. We never had it in the first place, we’ll never gain it to take ownership of it ourselves. The only thing that comes close, is that God gave it to us in the first place. We take hold of it, as a piece of armor, but never does it originate from us, ownership is His and His alone, always.
Now, to the One who can keep you from falling and set you without defect and full of joy in the presence of His glory – to God alone, or Deliverer, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord – be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May the God of shalom (peace) make you completely holy – may your entire spirit, soul and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. The One calling you is faithful, and He will do it.
Be of good courage, take heart, the transformation of your whole being is assured and completely possible, thanks be to God. The good fight is where we are given eyes to see, a heart to understand, and turn to God. Every single battle is glowing with victory because He who is within you is greater! He can give us, in exchange for our inglorious thoughts and ways, a glorious mind and spirit and body. We are not doomed to failure, but to faithfulness! Enter the Great Exchange, and see the Kingdom of God within you!
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
The Truth is our inheritance, that which we here, invest for the sake of the Kingdom. It belongs to all. It’s the thing God gave to all to invest or to bury. It’s the ultimate revelation of Yeshua’s (Jesus) parable of talents. (Matt.25:14-30) Truth is a constant steady valuable always being given to every single human on earth. We either bury it or invest it. We often mistake investing though for giving it away. When God gives Truth, it’s first intended target is our own “bank”. Our hearts and minds, that it may multiply within us and do its work there. The various levels of investment could be seen as such:
■ We see a truth, invest it a bit, but preach it far more than we ourselves submitted to it. It has made the entry of acknowledgement and agreement, but it translates only to certain areas we act on it. This isn’t completely profitless, and equates to a small invest with small return.
■ Or we see a truth, and it is taken in, as far as its potential can reach by the will of its Maker in that time and for that moment. It goes into the soil of our own hearts and minds and effects every single avenue of our being; every thought is different, every action. It’s spoken from our mouth, but more loudly preached from our lives as a whole, every action, every decision, every single aspect of our being reflects it. This is the invest, that yields thousands and thousands beyond. This takes the sacrifice of ultimate accounting – dying to ourselves.
So how does it get buried? For one, out right rejection. Truth hits the ears, the mind and heart and one returns it like a batter hitting a ball out of the park. It’s instant. Or, the worst kind, actually is. ..the acknowledgement of it with the mind, agreeing with it but applying it to everything and everyone else but ones self. There’s a reason Yeshua was so harsh with the hipocrites. Because of our great a capacity to selfishly invest a good thing and influence others to do so. Make it look good, but deep down the truth in such cases rots the very bones that it tries to heal but isn’t allowed to due to our own resistance for it to change who we are, what we look like deep inside, where no one can see but the Truth (God).
Let’s consider what Yeshua said, (John 14:6) “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, noone comes to the Father except through Me.”
Now let’s go to Matthew 26:24, where He addresses one such individual who represents the ‘buried truth’ worst case senario. Judas.
“The Son of Man will die just as the Tanakh (old testament) says He will; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him had he never been born!”
We see that Yeshua is the Way, to the Truth, that leads to Life. Many are they that acknowledge Yeshua, but with the Truth He is, gives and becomes in them, they stop there. No interest in Life, no interest in His Life. The illusion of life, as we often see it for ourselves, becomes the primary motivation. When we get to the Truth, we must submit to it, every time. We must change, not life or circumstances or others -us. Life is breathed into submissive soils, not clay like hard soils. They remain cracked, parched and devoid. The truth ignored and rejected creates a desert. The Truth applied like make up instead, makes a desert look like an oasis. Yeshua is severe because it’s that serious. When God is harsh, it’s the harshness like that of a parent who scolds a child for running in front of a moving truck without looking. Without the fear. We parents fear in that moment. God does not. So when we pick up the child and say, “Never ever run out without looking!” We apply a pressure into their little souls with the seriousness of the situation, knowing the consequences that they are not yet aware of that we wish for them to learn prior to the lessons fullest and most severe potential to teach. It’s love and protection. Not a rule monger, joy killer, party pooper. Not a harsh God whose bent on being obeyed for ego sake. When God gets harsh, it’s because Life hangs in the balance. We are comfort creatures, this is why the Truth so often hurts (or at the very least makes us wiggle). We must ask God to give us hearts to begin to take truth in as comfort, which is contrary to our nature’s. Submission.
We also tend to throw out the truth because we don’t like the way it came in. Either who said it, or how they said it. Be warned, if the truth comes to us, in any fashion, God is able to make us see it and apply. So when we say things like “what they said was true, but they were so mean I don’t have to apply it” or “that’s true but they don’t do what they are telling me to do.” These forms of human reasoning are not God. We are to be looking for Him everywhere, in all things. So when someone tells us something hard but it is surrounded by human weakness, if we are only looking for God in all things, the truth that may be shining within such circumstances is able to be seen and applied. We are accountable to the Truth no matter how God chooses to deliver it. And let’s face it, if He chooses to deliver it from the mouth of another human being, it will always be wrapped in some form of weakness as we are all fallen creatures. The truth can’t be disregarded at any time. There is no excuse for us this way.
How often have you spoke a truth to someone and they rejected it by picking apart your “style”. Remember at such times, you are sharing in God’s suffering. For it is in this way that so many of His beloved children reject Him. They don’t like His style, pick at the way its said, or what it requires of them. From the beginning of time, God has endured this kind of rejection, none on earth will ever know the depths of such repeated experience on that level like God. But He promised, if we seek Him first, we’ll be able to find Him and Life will continue to be wrought within us. Hence, our “worst enemy” could come in with a truth, and we can acknowledge it and let it do is work in us. Indeed, our worst enemy does. The accuser, he can’t use anything but the truth to start with, he can however try to twist it in our mind. But even then, the truth within the accusation can give life.
Say he comes and says, “your are being so selfish (truth), you should be ashamed (truth), God will be able to do nothing with you now (lie).”
Now if we are looking for God even in this, we see the truths and feel acutely the desire to believe the lie. But instead, the Spirit of God, as He promised, can make us able to respond like so:
“Dear God, I am a selfish human being, and I thank you that I feel shame in it, it is Your warning light that I’m grieving You. I reject that it feels like You can’t use me, nothing is impossible with You. So use me now, Father, even here in my selfishness, as only You can. I thank You that You love me, and Your grace covers me in all my deeds. See now, Your Son, my Shepherd and Savior as I follow Him to Your presence, Him whose faithful work and death and resurrection has bought and paid these, my debts to bring me to this Home You’ve made in me, I stand covered in His blood, nothing else have I to offer, but You say it’s enough. I believe! Forgive my selfishness and make me clean.”
Its never wrong to acknowledge the truthful parts of an accusation whether it’s the devil or another person. In fact it’s the first step to overcoming. I often say, “your right satan, I am xyz (all the things God is not), weak beyond accounting, but God is xyz (all the things I am not)…and it is in Him I will find my refuge!” I don’t engage with banter between the enemy on the whole, he is definitely worth ignoring in most cases, and simply saying “the Lord rebuke you!” (He’s the only One who can) The devil is not a hostage negotiator, he’s the perpetrator. Reason, especially our own kind rarely works. We can’t be understood by him, and when he is the one behind a loved one or another person bringing truth but with harshness or accusation, we can expect that we won’t be understood by them either. So we take the truth and run with it and leave the rest to God.
The circumstances surrounding the Truth, will never negate the Truth itself. We must determine to let it have its way with us, if we do, then Life is the promise, God’s presence is the promise, God’s character is the promise. It will flow out from us without reservation, and it will change for better or worse everyone it influences around us. But that’s God’s business, not ours. We are only accountable for what the Truth does in us. Only God will see the true investment of our submission to it. He only promises that we’ll see Him, and that is the glory of God!
Transformation at the feet of truth, is our life long pursuit in this fallen world. It’s the hardest work we’ll ever do. It’s the good fight that the Word refers to. (1 Tim. 6:12)
In these times, we’ve been told the truth will become less and less accepted, less and less. ..so now is the time for those of us who have The Truth as our chosen path we follow, to determine in our own hearts to never miss the opportunity to let it move in and invest us into the Kingdom from which we came and for which we are bound and most especially we serve.
May the Truth be a pleasant salve to our souls, Oh God, may we lean into its transforming power and may You continue to shape us into Your likeness, give us eyes to see, and hearts to perceive and make us able to turn away from all that isn’t of You and face You full on with confidence that, You who began the Good work in us, will complete it! Amen!
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡