***This is a new category. When I come upon a scripture; which no scripture is ever just added for filler; yet it clearly requires the Spirit to teach beyond it. I’ll post them. Please share what the Spirit of the Lord shares with you.***
The next day, as they came back from Beit-Anyah (Bethany), He felt hungry. Spotting in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He could find anything on it. When He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves; for it wasn’t fig season. He said to it, “May no one ever eat from you again!” And His talmidim (disciples) heard what He said.
That’s it, placed in the middle of the donkey fetching and His ride through Jerusalem, and His clean out of the temple, this seemingly odd thing is written. Notice, it wasn’t fig season. The fig tree was not supposed to have fruit. Did Yeshua (Jesus) throw some kind of fit? Of course, we know different. Name a fit that doesn’t involve sin.
We cannot throw what we think into this. The only way these little adds to the word gets filled in for context and meaning is by the Spirit of God alone. Hint: is there anywhere else in scripture where a tree is mentioned where the fruit or lack of it offended God? The Spirit most often takes us deeper into other parts of God’s Word to teach. This is an amazing little piece of gold dropped in Mark here. But wait! Lets look further.
In the morning, as the talmidim passed by, they saw the fig tree withered all the way to its roots. Kefa (Peter) remembered and said to Yeshua (Jesus), “Rabbi! Look! The fig tree that you have cursed is all withered up! He responded. “Have the kind of trust that comes from God!”
He goes on to say the famous: “your trust (faith) can move mountains”. All part of the teaching in this passage but not what it usually gets taught like in church. Fruit is highly important to God, all the symbolic/parabolic language is highly significant! Notice He cursed, it dried up. Where else in scripture does this happen by God? Very important when studying to go and see the “pattern”, if you will. In fact, everything God did prior to Yeshua coming, Yeshua did while He was here! This is one of the signs of Messiah! To prove Yeshua was sent by God and was God. To dive into the study of this will take a while but I promise the rewards are beyond treasure. Remember think function of all things, and dysfunction. What is each passage pointing to in regard to function and dysfunction? Good, in Hebrew is defined as functional, bad or evil is defined as dysfunctional. God made everything to function a certain way, if diverged from such way, it will be dysfunctional. Hence sin/evil, anything that doesn’t operate according to the Engineers plans. All fruit has a specific and designed function. What makes this passage so interesting is that it wasn’t “doing anything wrong”. It wasn’t fig season. Which begs the ultimate question: why did Yeshua curse it?
Time to treasure hunt! 🙂
2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it will be evident that such overwhelming power comes from God and not from us.
♡ Grace and peace 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 ♡
Thanksgiving as a sacrifice…what does this look like?
Sacrifice means it cost us something to give; whatever the thing may be. Something that is hard, to the point of rendering one destitute. Lets look at the widow Yeshua (Jesus) praises in Luke (21:1-4) as she was poor, she likely had no way to know how she would pay for food or her bills, but God moved her to give all that remained of her money. Look at the depth of this story.
The widow knew the church (the body of people in the temple and it’s leaders) was corrupt. She could see very well that the money given to it was hardly being used to help the poor such as she, and likely most the people she knew. Yet, she obeyed, trusting God, not the church, giving her money to God, not the church. The sacrificial give here? Her own perspectives, way of thinking – rationalizing, she instead thanked God for what she had to give and gave it all to Him.
Verse 4: “…but she, out of her poverty, has given all she had to live on.”
She could have fallen back on the hardship of her widowhood, made her circumstances the terms by which she negotiated her thinking and giving. I’m sure times we’re hard. Instead she thanked the God who gives and takes away. The sacrifice of praise, even in circumstances that feel hard – don’t initiate praise inside; she chose instead to see her standing as unchanged in His sight. The outward circumstance may look different but the reality of her standing in the Kingdom was what she chose to live by. The sacrifice of giving up our own perspectives and praising God instead of pleading for help and staying in the sorrow – this is the greatest and most costly sacrifice we will make to God. It is most precious in His sight.
So she gave up everything she “owned” both in the physical world and in the inner world where transformation is done. We often make the people in the stories of the Bible inhuman, meaning above those human responses, just because they did indeed rise above them in the stories. The widow thought and felt just like we do, rationalized as best she could, as we do, but her knowing God, changed her choices. Isn’t this what it says?
And eternal life is this: to know You, the One True God, and Him whom You sent, Yeshua the Messiah.
Most don’t sacrifice with thanksgiving, because they don’t know God. Knowing about Him is not the same as knowing Him.
Do we teach our children how to do this? How young are they when they are exposed to the concept? When they scrape their knees and we tend to them with love, do we then pray with them saying,
“God we praise you for scraped knees, we don’t need to know exactly why they are given, but we trust You. May You open our eyes to look for You the most in painful circumstances. We welcome all opportunities for You to show Your love, healing and power as greater than anything on earth we experience and see. Thank You, Father, for scraped knees and the opportunity to praise You. Amen”
This contradiction to all our senses to think and act on such sacrifice is profound. Some may call it extreme, crazy and taking things “too far”. Some may, some do, always have, always will…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Yeshua praised the Father for what He was doing when Lazarus died. He waited to go, I bet He didn’t want to, but He waited till The Father told Him to go. Sacrifice is always what we give up of ourselves for another. We trade our desires, wants, needs, thoughts, perspectives, feelings etc…for God’s instead of our own. And we know that they will be strikingly different, as Isaiah was faithful to write it down – “My ways are not your ways, nor My thoughts your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8)
So read the first part of the Psalms above again.
“Whoever offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors Me…”
Then the next part comes into focus.
“…and to him who goes the right way, I will show the Salvation of God.”
The sacrifice of praise in all ways that seem contradictory, hard, and awkward…this sacrifices our view, our opinions, our perspective (which we know is always but a speck of the whole picture) and our lean or bent; this is what this Psalms is speaking of. Without the first, the second is impossible.
Show us our Father, open our eyes, for great is the need for this lesson to be applied to us, cemented in our hearts. We depend on You to teach us, as we know this action takes You, Your Holy Spirit, Your Word to enable us in action. Our lean is to complain, fall back on excuses, run towards a “help me” prayer (though we know that we need help, and this is not wrong) instead of trusting that You are working as hard for us when the hits come as when all is well. To say, “Praise You God” for the broke down car, loss of a loved one, hurt and pain of those who misuse, abuse and mistreat us – this is not our first response, and without You it shall never be. We want to be like Your Son, our Master, and be able to turn our cheeks to those who smack them, to give without looking and calculating whether we have it “in our opinion” or not. To simply obey, without hesitation, praising You the whole way, knowing nothing will happen that You can not provide for. ..this is what we pray.
It’s easy to think of sacrifice horizontally (with people). But vertically? What is sacrifice for God? How could it be anything other than our ways, and our thoughts? It’s easy to praise Him, when things are well, or even in the “norm”, but in hard times? To actually say “thank You.” when we are in a tough spot, experiencing great pain, hurt and anger? What else could it be but the sacrifice being spoken of so often in the Word. Is this not what we watched our Lord do, to our own perplexity? That even, steady, consistent example of His inner world (very human) completely sold out to trusting the Father. Oh how all who watched Him, walked with Him, knew Him, we’re touched by Him wanted this that He had. Peace.
Those who walk with, watch, know, and are touched by Him still do. They bare the hallmarks of it as well, as it begins to change them from the inside out. It’s more than a simple “I trust You, Lord”, it goes way down deep and pulls up a “Hallelujah, glory glory glory to the Most High”. Joining the constant refrain of Heaven (read all the refrains in Revelation) at times when doubt, fear, frustration, anger, and resentment lurk around looking for the opportunity to steal from this joining in with heavenly discourse. Do we remember how our enemy is described? A thief, searching for someone to devour, rob joy, pull down and snuff out the light? It’s not his delight to do this because it brings us down. No! It’s because it steals from the glory of God, which resides in the praises of His people. Not just the kind of praise of a thousand voices ringing in song to Him, but most importantly the praise that comes from a child whose tendency is to become self absorbed focusing with earthly eyes; instead – those eyes track with the eyes of the Savior and begin to lift up with heart, mind and soul a “thank You” and chorus of “glory” that heaven itself turns towards and joins. Sacrificial praise, points us to the Way, and we can not help but see the Salvation of God. He has and always will ‘out-sacrifice’ us! Glory to God, in the highest! And Shalom – peace to His people on earth!
Selah – Amen!
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
It’s amazing how we gravitate towards externals. Isn’t it so much easier to paint the fingernails that show signs of malnutrition but we just “see” how marred (different/not perfect) they are. So we cover it up. We invent miraculous ways to sharpen the outter image. God made the human body so able to withstand such poison and punishment, truly its a wonder that the last three generations have reproduced at all much less lived past the age of 25. I’ve been to a number conferences, they were not at all medical in nature. Most were spiritual, for some ministry or topic related as a retreat. At one in particular, a medical doctor took the podium and began to speak about the incredible work God did in every cell, every system in our bodies. The room pulsated with awe, hushed, most of us barely dared breathe, yet all the sudden we couldn’t help but pay close attention to the sound of our breath, the rhythm of our hearts, the blinking of our eyes and the wonder that we were able to zero in on at least a dozen functions of our bodies at once without any problem at all. The best computer in the world still has light years to come close to what God made our bodies and minds capable of. (I do not believe He will ever allow computers,or anything man makes, to come close, either)
The number of the things capable of killing the human body instantly – is small. The number of things that will slowly but surely kill it over time…well its never been calculated. Let’s just say, it’s beyond the number of people alive on the earth today. It’s likely you who are reading this right now have put more poison in your body than pure and simple nutrients. There’s no blame involved here, 90% of people don’t really know it. Of those that do, about 2% of those really discipline themselves to the degree nesassary to begin the process of letting the mechanisms God created to literally cure and heal itself, just like our skin does with a minor cut. Yet everybody must be blind not to see the internal effects of the external shell we live in. Bones with no nerves ache, cartlage and ligaments waste away, memories completely shut down. The number of children alone in the last decade that read 3 as an E, is mind boggling. These things are NOT “normal” as God designed them. Normal to our culture, yes, but only due to the dullness that comes from ignoring the signs of internal malfunction by cutting off the warning signal (pain) with poisonous over the counter pain killers or worse chemical “circuit-cutters” called pharmaceuticals. There’s a pill for every ill. The “easy” generation is here.
The point here is this: we cannot put external “fixes” on and expect the internal to go along. God will not change the rules of function. The sun must come up from the east and set in the west, no matter how convenient we may think it would be to reverse it; or if you will, how inconvenient the eastern rise may be to us on any given day. God cannot change who He is, and what He has made IS who He is. If we want the skin He created us to have we must feed the body that which it requires, but most importantly, we must stop putting the skin damaging stuff INSIDE the body first. The skin is the bodies last filtration system. If you see a breakdown in it somewhere, the problem within has likely been going on for years and by now has corrupted every system. The same goes with our spiritual skin. If sin is unable to be overcome, it’s likely the internal system has been grossly overlooked (I’m not talking strickly psychology, but physiology and most importantly – mentality). We are TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of our minds. Is your mind made up? How changeable is it? And how willing are you to simply act on its Creators blueprint for its health? (In other words, act on trust alone and do what He says without hesitation) Do the statistics above begin to make sense? Does His Word? FEW are they who travel down the road of internal correction and realignment to its Creators design. There’s no easy button this way. Sleep will be lost. The very concept of comfort and convenience will fade away from the motivation center of our being. The concept of free, meaning you pay nothing and get something, will find itself an endangered species of the mind. The very thought that one can pick and choose what things they believe in God about, will begin to cause actual physical pain, due to the nature of it dysfunctional motion to our souls. The correct order of believing is… Who is God?, what does He say?, what does He believe? – “now, self, go along with Him whether you feel like it or not“, the basic muscle group is now – trust. It’s the brains of our faith – trust. The heartbeat is action. Everybody knows without brain activity and a heartbeat no body is alive. The mind must be in constant transformation (internal) or the heartbeat will be irregular. Hense, the body will be in dysfunction (external). Getting your stomach reduced to stop eating, will in effect only make you eat more with less of what God gave you to process the food. Saying “I believe in Jesus” while your actions say you do not is a lie. Like saying, “I ate yesterday” when in fact you consumed no food. No one may know that you lied, but God did. Gods ears reach to the furthest reaches of silence and sound. He made us, we cannot lie to Him, only to ourselves and others.
My granddaughter is reading an interesting book. It’s called Dumb Bunny. I’ve no interest in who the author is, save I know where they got their theme. (Satan). She asked to read it to me today. Delighted, ipulled up a chair. It starts out in diary form of a child. They called a classmate, dumb bunny, and their teacher said to stop. So, the child concludes, that they will just say it in the mind, because the mind is silent. My six year old granddaughter is being indoctrinated by illusions! So, I say to her, as she reads (she is giggling at the sneaky nature of the text) “Ahhh, but God hears the mind, huh Izzy?” My eyes fill with tears even now, as my precious granddaughter, already six years old, looked at me with defiance and said, “Sooo?” Shrugging her shoulders as if there was not one merit in thinking of God. But let me show you where there is hope. She then felt so uncomfortable reading this book after that, that she quickly lost interest. I could SEE the conscience God gave her making her squirm. I praised God for it! She’s not broken, just illiterate. Uneducated to the God who created her, but she is only six and God in that moment woke her up just a little. I pray He will invade her world! Passion for the truth to invade her external need to externally “treat” what can only be internally healed. God beamed His Light into her mind with my words, and she was uncomfortable with herself! Glory to God!
There is no silent mind to God, the sounds of our internal world are sonically booming in heaven. Our internal is the key. Actions only speak louder than words because the shouting from the mind will vibrate the whole body. The word – heart – in Hebrew means the mind, thoughts, that which makes up the substance of our actions.
Create in me, a clean heart, O God, and RENEW a right spirit within me.
This Psalms speaks a thousand words, it focuses correctly; on the e-ternal and in-ternal, for the key to the ex-ternal and temporal. Physically we will represent what spiritually is the center of all things. We can start taking vitamins, but if we don’t eliminate the poison from our diet, the vitamins will do us very little good.
In this day and age, how can this message not be relevant? How can we possibly not begin to stop treating this topic like a Sunday school lesson and start treating it like the very substance of our living? Join me, dear fellowsheep, in dropping to our internal knees and repeatedly asking for God to teach us the vital importance of the internal. For the courage to be an internal Light in an external world, yes, to its discomfort!
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡