Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017 - 2018

Law, Grace, and

Relationship - 1

“Beware that no one distracts you or

intimidates you in their attempt to lead

you away from Christ’s fullness by

pretending to be full of wisdom when

they’re filled with endless arguments of

human logic. For they operate with

humanistic and clouded judgments based

on the mindset of this world system, and

not the anointed truths of the Anointed

One. ”

(Colossians 2:8-10 TPT)

 

A Testimony

I don't know how many times this blog entry has been written and discarded, sometimes even getting to the point of publishing it, but just knowing I had to start over again. I did not yet have the testimony. These blogs are not meant to be just more Bible teaching. There are many academically qualified people doing that already, and I have no formal theological qualifications from any Bible School. The purpose of these blogs is more as a journal from the experience of my own search into the heart of God, for the purpose of encouraging and interacting with others on this path. As such, I can only write out of my journey. Though I may explain the meanings of words, or quote from what more theologically qualified people say, these are still part of my journey; they are part of the transforming of my understanding. Proverbs 9:6 says that "…the knowledge of God is understanding". As we get to know God experientially, the way we perceive and understand His word and the events of our lives, must change. This is the renewing of our mind that brings trasformation - the changing of frames as we continually get to know God experientially, in new and deeper ways. This transformation is a journey, a process. Just getting to know an aspect of God in a deeper way, does not mean that all your frames are instantly adjusted and your behaviour is suddenly transformed. Most often as the knowledge drops from your head to your heart, a new journey begins; a new journey with new battles. Our new journey of transformation will always involve battles of varying intensity as we encounter the strongholds that have been erected on the lies we have believed. The longer the stronghold has been in existence, and the deeper th lie, the more intense the battle. A stronghold is not just a bad habit, but a demonically empowered bad habit. These strongholds do not go without a fight, but your victory is assured in Jesus, so do not give up! The freedom, peace, and joy, that comes with the victory, is so worth the effort. These past weeks, since my last blog, have been such a battle. It all started with a simple, uncomplicated event which, within a few days, began to escalate into a most complex situation of pressure, darkness, and confusion, until I reached a point of not even being capable of performing the routine tasks of my day-job. So, what happened? As we grow from being a child, through teens, and on into adulthood, we develop a code of beliefs, laws, rules, principles, and guidelines by which we live and make decisions. Effectively, these form our ‘Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’. There are some plants that multiply through their root system; new shoots appear, some distance from the parent plant, having sprouted from a root of the parent. The Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil is such a plant, and each one of us has a root passing through us. From this root, a new tree grows within us as we form our laws and regulations around how to navigate life. Though these laws may include the teaching and laws of the Bible, they are all rooted in our belief system - a system that is formed as we interpret the experiences and events of our life. Though they feel like solid beliefs, they are not all based on truth, and even when they are, these beliefs may be formed upon a skewed understanding of that truth; the skewed understanding coming from lack of experiential knowledge of God in some areas of our lives. It is through this personal ‘Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’, that Satan gains entry into our minds, wreaking havoc as he brings fear, shame, confusion, torment, and inner conflict. Often the cords of our bondage are the very laws and principles by which we live; not that they are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but oftentimes they conflict with one another, or just restrict us to the place where we cannot move, or even breathe. With this bondage there may be a dark, thick, and/or heavy oppression, bringing all sorts of other issues like relationship conflicts, depression of varying degrees, feelings of hopelessness, uselessness, despondency, etc. Do you relate? This is a classic stronghold tactic. What are our weapons? Our weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. But this is not the written word, for in the wrong frame the written word is just another form of law. Satan himself, used the written word to tempt the Son of God to sin. The Sword of the Spirit is the Rhema Word of God. The God-breathed word in a given situation. It frequently may be from the written word, but even if it is not a direct passage of Scripture, it will never contradict Scripture. Will you always be able to find the principle in Scripture? No. The Rhema word of God for you in a particular situation, may be a unique strategy that will only be used at this time and never again. David was once told to wait until he heard the sound of marching in the tops of the trees (See 2 Samuel 5:24) ... There is no scriptural principle for this, but neither does it contradict Scripture. It was a unique battle strategy that required faith. So how do you know if it is God's word for you? This has been an area of struggle for me, for many years. It is not an easy thing to do, and it is not something that is determined intellectually. Discernment is based on relationship - an intimate relationship with God. But we are all on a journey into intimacy; no one is at the ultimate destination, and I don't think we will ever get there, for even after a billion years, we will find we have but scuffed the surface of knowing God. So, the discerning of God's voice may at times require the support of an objective, Spirit-filled, counsellor; someone who is able to listen alongside of you, someone who can listen and cut through the distortions of your thinking. Part of the confusion in my own situation was a word I received in a dream, telling me to take a certain course of action. If this was a word from God, I knew I needed to obey, but was it Him? Jesus said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.”  (Matthew 7:15-16 NASB)  I believe this can be applied to most forms of discernment - what is the fruit? As the days passed, the word in my dream became a source of torment and there was no peace. Not every word of God is easy to do; oftentimes it requires a cost which we need to take into account. However, God gives us the opportunity to align our will with His, and during this time there is an undercurrent of peace, a deep knowing that it is God's voice, and a faith that rises up. This was not my experience. Instead there was a fear of disobedience, and confusion that arose as I felt this was not a good course of action, but also knowing that God's ways are not our ways and are often contrary to our logic. In my wrestling to know God’s will in this situation, the turmoil became as a tornado ripping through my I mind. As I sat with my counsellor, the Holy Spirit bought the light of a clear, objective, perspective and it became apparent that obedience to that word in my dream, would be a devastating trap for the other person involved in this situation. Living according to law or Knowledge of Good and Evil, is a quagmire of turmoil and bondage. What do you do when you have two laws or principles that contradict each other? James tells us that our 'Yes' must be yes and our 'No', no (James 5.12) . But Biblical wisdom also teaches us that if we have foolishly ensnared ourselves with the words of our mouth, we are to humble ourselves, and urgently, and persistently, insist that you be set free from the agreement (Proverbs 6:2-5) . So here we have two Biblical principles that can stand in opposition to one another. What do you do now? What we usually do, is to make a choice based on our belief system, or the advice of someone with whom we speak. Every decision we make brings consequences, either good or bad. So when we make a decision on a course of action and we are confronted with difficult, unpleasant consequences, we then just assume it is 'the cross we must carry' for 'doing what is right.' But is that always truth? Jesus tells us that we are to come to Him when we are burdened and heavy-laden, and He will give us rest. He said that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30) , but is this our experience? Walking according to the laws, rules, and principles of our lives, is living under law. Paul tells us that walking according to these laws has an appearance of being good, but it is powerless for transformation. “If, along with the Messiah, you died to the elemental spirits of the world, then why, as if you still belonged to the world, are you letting yourselves be bothered by its rules? — ‘Don’t touch this!’ ‘Don’t eat that!’ ‘Don’t handle the other!’ Such prohibitions … are based on man-made rules and teachings. They do indeed have the outward appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed religious observances, false humility and asceticism; but they have no value at all in restraining people from indulging their old nature.” (Colossians 2:20-23 Complete Jewish Bible) Transformation comes as we look to God for the wisdom that flows from His nature (See Colossians 3:1-2)  and this is discerned most clearly in community with those whose hearts are wholly after Him.   However, these inner laws, rules, and principles are not all wrong. They help to form the fabric of our lives; they form the structure by which we make a myriad daily decisions. But they need to be transformed and infused with Kingdom Life. To Be Continued…
Prev
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017 - 2018  

Law, Grace, and

Relationship - 1

“Beware that no one distracts you or

intimidates you in their attempt to

lead you away from Christ’s fullness

by pretending to be full of wisdom

when they’re filled with endless

arguments of human logic. For they

operate with humanistic and clouded

judgments based on the mindset of

this world system, and not the

anointed truths of the Anointed One.

(Colossians 2:8-10 TPT)

 

A Testimony

I don't know how many times this blog entry has been written and discarded, sometimes even getting to the point of publishing it, but just knowing I had to start over again. I did not yet have the testimony. These blogs are not meant to be just more Bible teaching. There are many academically qualified people doing that already, and I have no formal theological qualifications from any Bible School. The purpose of these blogs is more as a journal from the experience of my own search into the heart of God, for the purpose of encouraging and interacting with others on this path. As such, I can only write out of my journey. Though I may explain the meanings of words, or quote from what more theologically qualified people say, these are still part of my journey; they are part of the transforming of my understanding. Proverbs 9:6 says that "…the knowledge of God is understanding". As we get to know God experientially, the way we perceive and understand His word and the events of our lives, must change. This is the renewing of our mind that brings trasformation - the changing of frames as we continually get to know God experientially, in new and deeper ways. This transformation is a journey, a process. Just getting to know an aspect of God in a deeper way, does not mean that all your frames are instantly adjusted and your behaviour is suddenly transformed. Most often as the knowledge drops from your head to your heart, a new journey begins; a new journey with new battles. Our new journey of transformation will always involve battles of varying intensity as we encounter the strongholds that have been erected on the lies we have believed. The longer the stronghold has been in existence, and the deeper th lie, the more intense the battle. A stronghold is not just a bad habit, but a demonically empowered bad habit. These strongholds do not go without a fight, but your victory is assured in Jesus, so do not give up! The freedom, peace, and joy, that comes with the victory, is so worth the effort. These past weeks, since my last blog, have been such a battle. It all started with a simple, uncomplicated event which, within a few days, began to escalate into a most complex situation of pressure, darkness, and confusion, until I reached a point of not even being capable of performing the routine tasks of my day-job. So, what happened? As we grow from being a child, through teens, and on into adulthood, we develop a code of beliefs, laws, rules, principles, and guidelines by which we live and make decisions. Effectively, these form our ‘Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’. There are some plants that multiply through their root system; new shoots appear, some distance from the parent plant, having sprouted from a root of the parent. The Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil is such a plant, and each one of us has a root passing through us. From this root, a new tree grows within us as we form our laws and regulations around how to navigate life. Though these laws may include the teaching and laws of the Bible, they are all rooted in our belief system - a system that is formed as we interpret the experiences and events of our life. Though they feel like solid beliefs, they are not all based on truth, and even when they are, these beliefs may be formed upon a skewed understanding of that truth; the skewed understanding coming from lack of experiential knowledge of God in some areas of our lives. It is through this personal ‘Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’, that Satan gains entry into our minds, wreaking havoc as he brings fear, shame, confusion, torment, and inner conflict. Often the cords of our bondage are the very laws and principles by which we live; not that they are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but oftentimes they conflict with one another, or just restrict us to the place where we cannot move, or even breathe. With this bondage there may be a dark, thick, and/or heavy oppression, bringing all sorts of other issues like relationship conflicts, depression of varying degrees, feelings of hopelessness, uselessness, despondency, etc. Do you relate? This is a classic stronghold tactic. What are our weapons? Our weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. But this is not the written word, for in the wrong frame the written word is just another form of law. Satan himself, used the written word to tempt the Son of God to sin. The Sword of the Spirit is the Rhema Word of God. The God-breathed word in a given situation. It frequently may be from the written word, but even if it is not a direct passage of Scripture, it will never contradict Scripture. Will you always be able to find the principle in Scripture? No. The Rhema word of God for you in a particular situation, may be a unique strategy that will only be used at this time and never again. David was once told to wait until he heard the sound of marching in the tops of the trees (See 2 Samuel 5:24) ... There is no scriptural principle for this, but neither does it contradict Scripture. It was a unique battle strategy that required faith. So how do you know if it is God's word for you? This has been an area of struggle for me, for many years. It is not an easy thing to do, and it is not something that is determined intellectually. Discernment is based on relationship - an intimate relationship with God. But we are all on a journey into intimacy; no one is at the ultimate destination, and I don't think we will ever get there, for even after a billion years, we will find we have but scuffed the surface of knowing God. So, the discerning of God's voice may at times require the support of an objective, Spirit-filled, counsellor; someone who is able to listen alongside of you, someone who can listen and cut through the distortions of your thinking. Part of the confusion in my own situation was a word I received in a dream, telling me to take a certain course of action. If this was a word from God, I knew I needed to obey, but was it Him? Jesus said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.”  (Matthew 7:15-16 NASB)  I believe this can be applied to most forms of discernment - what is the fruit? As the days passed, the word in my dream became a source of torment and there was no peace. Not every word of God is easy to do; oftentimes it requires a cost which we need to take into account. However, God gives us the opportunity to align our will with His, and during this time there is an undercurrent of peace, a deep knowing that it is God's voice, and a faith that rises up. This was not my experience. Instead there was a fear of disobedience, and confusion that arose as I felt this was not a good course of action, but also knowing that God's ways are not our ways and are often contrary to our logic. In my wrestling to know God’s will in this situation, the turmoil became as a tornado ripping through my I mind. As I sat with my counsellor, the Holy Spirit bought the light of a clear, objective, perspective and it became apparent that obedience to that word in my dream, would be a devastating trap for the other person involved in this situation. Living according to law or Knowledge of Good and Evil, is a quagmire of turmoil and bondage. What do you do when you have two laws or principles that contradict each other? James tells us that our 'Yes' must be yes and our 'No', no (James 5.12) . But Biblical wisdom also teaches us that if we have foolishly ensnared ourselves with the words of our mouth, we are to humble ourselves, and urgently, and persistently, insist that you be set free from the agreement (Proverbs 6:2-5) . So here we have two Biblical principles that can stand in opposition to one another. What do you do now? What we usually do, is to make a choice based on our belief system, or the advice of someone with whom we speak. Every decision we make brings consequences, either good or bad. So when we make a decision on a course of action and we are confronted with difficult, unpleasant consequences, we then just assume it is 'the cross we must carry' for 'doing what is right.' But is that always truth? Jesus tells us that we are to come to Him when we are burdened and heavy-laden, and He will give us rest. He said that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30) , but is this our experience? Walking according to the laws, rules, and principles of our lives, is living under law. Paul tells us that walking according to these laws has an appearance of being good, but it is powerless for transformation. “If, along with the Messiah, you died to the elemental spirits of the world, then why, as if you still belonged to the world, are you letting yourselves be bothered by its rules? — ‘Don’t touch this!’ ‘Don’t eat that!’ ‘Don’t handle the other!’ Such prohibitions … are based on man-made rules and teachings. They do indeed have the outward appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed religious observances, false humility and asceticism; but they have no value at all in restraining people from indulging their old nature.” (Colossians 2:20-23 Complete Jewish Bible) Transformation comes as we look to God for the wisdom that flows from His nature (See Colossians 3:1-2)   and this is discerned most clearly in community with those whose hearts are wholly after Him.   However, these inner laws, rules, and principles are not all wrong. They help to form the fabric of our lives; they form the structure by which we make a myriad daily decisions. But they need to be transformed and infused with Kingdom Life. To Be Continued…
Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
Prev