When Innocence Asks…

November 26, 2014 at 2:33 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , )

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Daddy, what is pride?” Seven year old Daniel looked up at his Dad as they walked towards the front door of their house.

“Huuummm, what a question. Pride. Let me find words to answer, Danny.” Daniels father answered while unlocking the door and opening it. He ushered the boy inside and flipped the light on. They began to remove their shoes and coats in the foyer.
Daniels Dad, Walter began trying to find words to fit a description of pride in his mind. Trying to fit the words of a thirty eight year old into a seven year old response. Not succeeding well.

“Why don’t you go get ready for bed and I’ll be in to answer your question and tuck you in shortly, son. Looks like your Mama is already asleep, I will kiss her for you tonight okay?” Walter bent down in front of Daniel and took the end of his coat sleeve and helped him pull it off and reached up to hang it on the hook.

Daniel nodded and turned to go obey his daddy.

Walter walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water. Still struggling to know how to frame an answer to his sons question.
Clareese would know what to say. Why do I get such a loaded question and she’s in bed? Thought Walter as he drank. What is pride? He repeated. So large a scope and such a simple question. He began to try to think of ways to put Danny off with an answer. He felt the weight of giving the correct answer to such a tempest of a concept. It was important Danny know, but how much could he truly understand at such a young age? Walter began trying to remember what ‘pride looks like at the tender age of seven’. This made it easier. Yes, that’s what he would do, talk about seven year old pride. Yet the more he began to formulate his thoughts around the plan he made the less he felt it gave a complete answer. Frustrated he placed his glass in the sink and went to check on Sadey, his four year old daughter. She had been home sick today and required Clareese’s full attention. Strep throat was making rounds early this year, Sadey had a bad case of it. High fevers, aches and unable to eat much she cried and spent a good deal of the day in a warm bath which helped the aches but did little for the fever. Even ice cream didn’t sooth her throat. Clareese had told him and had went to bed with a sore throat herself before he and Daniel had left for Tuesday night service at Solid Rock Church where they attended for five years now.

He slipped quietly into Sadey’s bedroom and was overwhelmed by the smell of vicks coming from the humidifier by her bed. He bend down to touch her forehead and felt the radiance of her fever before he touched it. Walter sighed and said a quick prayer for his daughter and kissed her softly. He left and made his way towards his bedroom. Passing Danny’s room he peaked in to see him pulling on his pajama bottoms. He smiled, Danny was a good boy.

As he entered his bedroom he let his eyes adjust to the darkness so as not to wake Clareese as he undressed and donned his own pj’s. Clareese stirred slightly but didn’t awaken. He repeated the action of reaching for her forehead as he had Sadey. Again he felt the fever before he connected to her skin.
Oh, Lord, you know I don’t do nurse well and Clareese is needed to tend with a mother’s touch our Sadey right now. Please don’t let her get too sick to be able to care for her.
Immediately Walter felt a pang of guilt. His wife was sick and he was praying, not for her health and healing but for… huh. .. oh dear… his pride?
Forgive me Lord, help me to trust You’ll provide. I can call my mom if needed. I truly just want my family to be healthy again.
He pulled the covers up over Clareese’s shoulder and turned to go say goodnight to Danny.
I’m too tired to go into this pride thing tonight. I’ll tell him we’ll talk about it tomorrow. Mommy’s sick and we may need to be extra helpful. Yes, this is what he’d say. Then he would talk to Clareese and she would help him know what to say.

Daniel was sitting up in his bed playing with his transformer action figure, Bee, when he entered the room. Danny smiled at his dad and placed the toy on his nightstand and sat up straighter as if he was ready to hear his answer to his question. Guilt again took a stab at Walter’s heart.
How can I disappoint him so? Lord what in Heaven’s name do I say?

“So… pride huh? What makes you ask about that Danny?” Walter asked.

“Mrs. Cramer gave us a scripture to memorize tonight. And I already know it by heart!” Danny beamed. “Pride goeth before a fall. Proverbs 16:18” Danny said carefully with his eyes closed. Then his face scrunched up and he opened his eyes. “What is pride Daddy? How does it go before someone falls? Is it like tripping someone with your leg and then they fall?”

The innocence of his sons mind struck Walter with a wave of relief and gladness. Ahhhh, to think so simply and with physical example! He gave a chuckle and sat on the bed facing Danny.
“Well, son is kind of like that. But pride isn’t like a person with legs.” He said.

“Well I got confused because Mama is always telling me she’s proud of me. What if she falls because of that?” Danny’s genuine concern for his mama showed clearly in is eyes.

Oh Lord from out of the frying pan into the fire! The answer is both yes and no! How am I going to do this?!
Walter took a deep breath.

“Well Danny when mommy says she’s proud of you she’s really saying she’s happy because you make her happy. It’s a grown up way of saying ‘you’re great stuff!’ Sometimes we adults forget that lots of words can mean different things. So don’t worry about mommy falling, k?” It was an indirect answer to the point but it was all Walter had. He wanted first to relieve Danny’s fear of making his mom fall.

Danny sat waiting for his Dad to go on. Relief registering on his little face so far.

“The pride that the Word of God is talking about is like a reaction to stuff. Like when someone hurts your feelings and inside,” Walter placed his hand over Danny’s heart, “inside here and here”,Walter touched Danny’s head. “We react sometimes in different ways, do you understand what I mean?” Walter sent up a prayer that Danny was following along.

“Yes. It’s like having mean thoughts because someone said a mean thing first, right?” Danny looked at his Dad searching for affirmation.

“Yes! Yes exactly like that son. When we react like that inside we have a choice to act on the mean thoughts and say them or do them or not to. Jesus promised us we would always have a choice. It’s hard not to be mean when someone is mean to us, huh?” Walter began to feel as though this wasn’t going to be as hard as he thought.

“Yeah, Paul is mean and makes me want to be mean back. But I remember what mama says, ‘Do good to those who are mean to you. This is what Jesus helps you do.’ She has to help me think of good things though cause my mean thoughts talk loud Daddy. Does that mean I have the pride that makes me fall?” Tears began to form in Danny’s brown eyes and it broke Walter’s heart.

Walker reached for his son and pulled him into his lap. Folding him in his arms as if he could protect him from pride.

“We all have that pride dear boy. All of us. That is why we remember that scripture… like a warning that helps us choose what Jesus promised He would give. Cause when we are mean back to meanness usually it just makes more meanness, huh?” Walter said as he held Danny close. He looked down into Danny’s face to wait for him to respond.
Danny shook his head ‘yes’, but remained quiet.

“Well see the fall that the Bible is talking about is that meanness. Because now meanness is in control, it has made you do mean things and the other person do mean things and it just keeps meanness going back and forth. When we sin, we fall short of what God wants for us and for those we effect. So that’s the fall that happens when we choose our pride. Pride being our way of reacting and thinking and doing things. If we choose while we are first reacting inside our hearts and in our thinking, to be good to meanness then we don’t fall or cause others to fall into more meanness too. Does that make sense Danny?” Walter again sent up a prayer that God would help his little boy understand what he was saying.

“Yes, Daddy, I understand. It’s really hard though. Is it hard for you too?” Danny pulled back to look at Walter’s face.

“Yes, yes my boy is very hard for me too. In fact is not easy for anyone. We always have to work hard at that because pride never really goes away. Jesus gives us a way to not fall over it but until He comes back and we live with Him forever we will have to work really hard at keeping pride from making us fall. It’s like brushing your teeth. They may always seem fine and white but if we don’t brush everyday we’ll get cavities. So brushing your teeth is like keeping pride from decaying them. It’s easy to just say ‘one night won’t hurt if I skip’ but pride lies to us and if we let one night go then the next one will be easier.” Walter wasn’t sure the comparison was all that great but it’s what came to mind.

“Oh.” Said Danny. Shifting in his lap. “I guess that means I should go brush my teeth. I’m sorry I tried to skip it Dad.”

Danny got up to go into the restroom and began to brush his teeth. Walter sat there wondering if he should say more. And amazed how God had him covered in so many ways. Danny came back and crawled into bed and laid down to go to sleep.
“I will try really hard not to let pride rot my teeth or my heart for Jesus Dad. I’m glad He gave us a way not to fall. I’m tired. Goodnight Daddy. I love you.” Danny sat up to wrap his arms around Walter’s shoulders, hugging him tight. “Thank you for talking to me tonight Daddy, I know you get tired at night real bad. Mommy says so. I’m glad not too be confused about pride so much. It helps me know why I memorize the Bible. God’s words brush my heart like the tooth brush does my teeth, huh?” Danny said in Walter’s ear before he laid down on his pillow.

Walter smiled. What an amazing gift his boy was! “Yes, son. God’s word is just exactly like that! Thank you for reminding me! Good night. Sleep well. Love you son.” Walter kissed Danny on the forehead and walked out to go to bed.

God, thank you for teaching me about pride tonight. Through my little boy Danny.

Grace and peace 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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Purpose and Provision ~ Part One

March 5, 2013 at 12:47 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

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***For Linda, I promised this series awhile ago; knowing Abba was stirring my “pot” about it. As usual my timing was not His, indeed, I wondered if He was going to have me blog about this at all! Yet here it is. To God be the glory!***

Matthew 6:9-13 – Yeshua (Jesus) speaking…

You, therefore, pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven!
May Your Name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us the food we need today.
Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us.
And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.
For Your Kingship, Power, and Glory are Yours forever.  Amen’

Luke 11:2 – Yeshua speaking…

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father
May Your Name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come.
Give us each day the food we need.
Forgive us our sins, for we too forgive everyone who has wronged us.
And do not lead us to hard testing.‘”

There is not a more controversial subject in all of those who follow Yeshua (Jesus) than the highlighted words above. First one must ask the Father to send His Spirit on a mission to open our ears to the meaning and intention that formed these words at the heart of Christ as He taught them.

We are addressing God, the Father.
Asking for His will, stating with agreement that His will is our desire. The words ‘do not lead us into hard testing’ suggest that perhaps He does. Why ask for Him not to do something He would never do? Unless…unless He does, indeed. Yeshua said many things that seemed contadictive, but only to those who stay focused on what the flesh reads on the surface. All of Gods words need the Spirit to interpret and lead us to the language of God’s heart. Which holds deeper meaning and more clarity than any human being could possibly come up with.

It can NOT be over-stated that any language other than the original stands to lose something in translation. Here’s where I may “rub up” against so many scholars sensibilities. HEBREW is THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE, first spoken by GOD to man, back in Genesis in the Garden. This is one reason why Yeshua (Jesus) was sent to the Hebrew culture, to learn His first words in Hebrew. Any other language stands the risk of misinterpretation. Greek is no exception, for from it many other languages have flowed including English. Paul, a HEBREW and Hebrew speaker, learned Greek as a second language, and labored hard to translate Hebrew to Greek; often expressing the hardship of doing so. What does this have to do with the above verses?? Because the famously misinterpreted scripture in James and in Matthew, has unpacked the Power of the Father as spoken of by Yeshua in what we call the Lords Prayer.

James 1:13
No one tempted should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and God Himself tempts no one.

Mind you, the word tempt in James is accurate. So is the word test in Matthew and Luke above. Yet, many a translation has put temptation in where testing is the more accurate word in the Lords Prayer.

Tempting is translated in Hebrew not by one word but a concept conveyed by many words. The best definition would be baiting or inciting.

Testing likewise is not simply translated in Hebrew. God does test, but does not tempt. He does instigate, motivate, train. The very heart of using evil for good. Always saying like in Job to the devil “Do your best.” All the while knowing his (the devil) “best” can’t, won’t and never shall ever subdue HIS (God’s).

One must only read on in James 1 to see the difference.

James 1:14-16
Rather, each person is being tempted whenever he is being dragged off and enticed by the bait of his OWN DESIRE. Then, having conceived, the desire gives birth to sin; and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. Don’t delude yourselves, my dear brothers.

Temptation is far into the stages of conception, where our will is desirous of something not Gods will. Of which, having been given into, leads to a “death”, but not an unprofitable death! For anything that leads to the death of our seeing benefit to our will over Gods, has Kingdom potential to bring Life. Remember God is the expert at bringing Life out of death! Indeed one could say this is His M.O.! (Method of Operation)

Lets look at the complete confirmation of this important truth in Yeshua’s own human walk.

Matthew 4:1
Then the Spirit led Yeshua up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Adversary.

The correct word should read tested not tempted. The Spirit led Yeshua to be tested. Just like Yeshua suggested the Father does in the Lords Prayer. Tested not tempted. Hence why I am so pressed to be clear, that if you want to know God and His meanings, His heart, behind the words, you must find the Hebrew interpretation of the words. The Evil One tempts, God tests. The Evil One tries to use our weakness for evil, the Father knows He will be our strength, whether we give into temptation or “pass the test”. His glory alone, will be the glory. His Will, alone is being done, always. Yeshua is saying we must trust this, agree with it, and give glory where its due, not to us, but our Father, who keeps His Name holy.

Pay attention to how careful James was to distinguish tempt from test in this verse. And see how he, in the Spirit, pulls the entire prayer Yeshua taught into it.

James 1:2-6
Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations; for you know that the testing of your trust produces perseverance. But let perseverance do its work; so that you may be complete and whole, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him. But let him ask in trust, doubting nothing; for the doubter is like a wave in the sea being tossed and driven by the wind.

Yes, the Father aids and abbeds our coming to “death”, but His testing produces LIFE. His will hardened Pharaoh’s heart, blinded many an eye, deafens many an ear…but ALWAYS His will is being done for the best. God is not some imp sitting around watching evil wills subdue His will. This is utter blasphemy! If God created everything, then who created the Evil One?? You can’t “get around” this point. Too many people simply cannot understand that God, Himself made Satan, and He so made him to be evil perfected, that we may know the pure goodness of God. It makes no sense to us as humans, but it is not important that so many things “make sense” to us, just that we trust the only One capable of making sense of evil. We are never asked to do this, just to trust the One who does.
Trust what He said, that He will make all things right and good; we just need to believe Him.

There is one very long and detailed prayer Yeshua prayed in John, chapter 17. The entire chapter was His prayer for all man-kind just prior to His walk into the ultimate Will of His Father…His death and resurrection. Listen to one part…

John 17:15
I don’t ask You (the Father) to take them (the Chosen) out of the world (full of temptation), but to protect them from the Evil One.

Sound familiar? but keep us safe from the Evil One.
We to often think safety is being kept out of “harms way”. This is a human concept, not God’s. Obviously, because we are most definitely here, in “harms way” in a matter of speaking. Then safety must mean something other than we naturally tend to make sense of it. For from our perspective God should never have put Adam and Eve in a garden with the Evil One; thereby “keeping them out of harms way”. Yet there He put them, there He put the Evil One and there His will was done. The safety being spoken of in John and Matthew is that we are being kept in His Will! And we always are, even when our own will’s yield to temptation. God provides the sacrifice, solution, and protection to His entire creation. He made it, and He IS protecting and perfecting it. The testing is part of His purpose. We are encouraged to ask that we not be put to hard testing, but not no testing. Growth does not happen without resistance.

There is so much to see and learn about God, the Father in this prayer. I am unsure how many “parts” to this series there will be. That they could go on to infinity, there’s no doubt, for the Father is infinity beyond this prayer and the words I am capable of. He is the subject of Life, we will never graduate from. Likely why eternal Life is crucial to any who desire to know Him :-).

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ❤

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