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

When Words Get

in the Way

“If thought corrupts language, language

can also corrupt thought.”

George Orwell

Getting Rid of the Corruption

These past few weeks have been like a whirlwind ripping through my life! It began during the course of the normal work pressures of month-end,  and intensified into a spiritual battle with stongholds in my mind. What I felt Holy Spirit show me, was that the environmental conditions that caused the spiritual part of the whirlwind, were deep lies.  These lies were believed as a young girl, and were so deeply buried in my heart that I was not even remotely aware of them until they were uncovered. Some of those lies attached themselves to words, so that each time I read that word, despite intellectually knowing the correct meaning of the word, I struggled to make a heart connection because of the connotations spoken by the lie. One of those words was ‘faith’, and another was ‘grace’. Somehow these words carried strong religious connotations, and after being long imprisoned by cold religion, my heart rejects anything that has religiosity attached to it. Sneaky little trick by the Deceiver! Grace and faith are central to a walk in the Spirit, so these lies have been a huge obstacle in my path. Do you relate? Are there words that get in your way? How were these lies uncovered? The Lord put a different Bible translation into my hand - a Messianic translation of the whole Bible (i.e. both Old and New Testaments), and then He drew me to start reading from Romans 1. In the beginning of Romans 1, Paul puts the Gospel in a nutshell, and then he states: “Through Him [Jesus] we received grace and were given the work of being an emissary on His behalf promoting trust-grounded obedience among all the Gentiles …” (Romans 1:4-5 Complete Jewish Bible) ‘Trust-grounded obedience…’ The NASB states it as "the obedience of faith...” Are you also impacted by reading the different words? Do you experience the Holy Spirit bypassing old associations and speaking straight into your heart? Trust-grounded obedience - right here is the difference between walking in grace versus legalistic obedience to Law. Walking in grace is based on trust. But what is grace? 'God's Riches At Christ's Expense?’ Yes. ‘God's unmerited favour?’ Yes. Yes, grace is God's favour; a favour I don't deserve. But what happens inside your heart as you read these definitions? For me, they are locked in religious intellectualism, and my heart does not relate. When I first heard the acrostic, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense,” I thought it was very clever - and that is what it remained, a clever statement. Now a coldness from my past has become attached to these definitions. Having just experienced the power of changing the words ‘obedience of faith’ to ‘trust-grounded obedience’, I went off to the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon to see what it said about the Greek word translated as ‘grace’ in Romans 1:4. According to Thayer, the meaning of the Greek word for grace is as follows: “1. properly, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness 2. good-will, lovingkindness, favor”  (Thayer's Greek lexicon). The Complete Jewish Bible translates the Old Testament word 'lovingkindness’ as 'grace’. Though archaic, 'lovingkindness’ is a word which to me, is saturated with meaning - kindness that flows from God's heart of love. So, if ‘lovingkindness’ can be translated as ‘grace’, then the New Testament word ‘grace,’ can be translated as ‘lovingkindness’, not so? Paul also tells us that this kindness “is intended to lead you to turn from your sins.” (Romans 2:4 Complete Jewish Bible) It’s not the fear of God’s anger or wrath that leads to repentance, but God’s kindness that nurtures trust, and leads to trust-grounded obedience. So what Paul is saying is that through Jesus, he received God's kindness which flowed out of His heart of perfect, warm, love for Paul; a kindness that naturally and inevitably brings joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness. Do you see these characteristics in the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Through Jesus (Who is the embodiment of God’s kindness), Paul was given the work of an emissary, or ambassador. An ambassador of what? An ambassador of the Kingdom of God, not so? What is an ambassador? A representative, not so? How does an ambassador of the Kingdom of God promote trust-grounded obedience? By being weighed down by the troubles of the world? Or by demonstrating the joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness, that flows from abiding in Jesus, through trust-grounded obedience? Abiding… This is another religious word for me. What does it mean to abide? Acording to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, It means to remain stable or fixed, or to continue. How do we abide in Jesus? How do we remain stable and fixed in Him? Jesus told us in John 15. It is through trust-grounded obedience. But this trust is not a worked-up, grit-your-teeth, take-a-deep-breath type trust, it is a trust that is birthed in God's overwhelming kindness that flows from His heart of never-ending warm, rich, love. This love-drenched kindness was demonstrated by God's sending His Son to pay the price required to buy us out of our slavery to the Deceiver, who kept us locked up in death-row, in a prison of deception. As God’s love-drenched kindness penetrates our hearts, it feeds and nurtures our trust, and brings with it joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness. This works within us, and expresses itself outwardly as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I think many of us need to just stop. Go back to the beginning of your walk. Get lost in the wonder of God's lovingkindness - His overwhelming kindness that flows from His deep, warm, love for you. Remain in this place of wonder until trust rises up, fear is crowded out, obedience blossoms, and His grace flows out of you as an expression of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Then go - go and be a representative of the Kingdom of this God and the God whose Kingdom it is.
Prev
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017 - 2018  

When Words Get

in the Way

“If thought corrupts language,

language can also corrupt thought.”

George Orwell

Getting Rid of the Corruption

These past few weeks have been like a whirlwind ripping through my life! It began during the course of the normal work pressures of month-end,  and intensified into a spiritual battle with stongholds in my mind. What I felt Holy Spirit show me, was that the environmental conditions that caused the spiritual part of the whirlwind, were deep lies.  These lies were believed as a young girl, and were so deeply buried in my heart that I was not even remotely aware of them until they were uncovered. Some of those lies attached themselves to words, so that each time I read that word, despite intellectually knowing the correct meaning of the word, I struggled to make a heart connection because of the connotations spoken by the lie. One of those words was ‘faith’, and another was ‘grace’. Somehow these words carried strong religious connotations, and after being long imprisoned by cold religion, my heart rejects anything that has religiosity attached to it. Sneaky little trick by the Deceiver! Grace and faith are central to a walk in the Spirit, so these lies have been a huge obstacle in my path. Do you relate? Are there words that get in your way? How were these lies uncovered? The Lord put a different Bible translation into my hand - a Messianic translation of the whole Bible (i.e. both Old and New Testaments), and then He drew me to start reading from Romans 1. In the beginning of Romans 1, Paul puts the Gospel in a nutshell, and then he states: “Through Him [Jesus] we received grace and were given the work of being an emissary on His behalf promoting trust- grounded obedience among all the Gentiles …” (Romans 1:4-5 Complete Jewish Bible) ‘Trust-grounded obedience…’ The NASB states it as "the obedience of faith...” Are you also impacted by reading the different words? Do you experience the Holy Spirit bypassing old associations and speaking straight into your heart? Trust-grounded obedience - right here is the difference between walking in grace versus legalistic obedience to Law. Walking in grace is based on trust. But what is grace? 'God's Riches At Christ's Expense?’ Yes. ‘God's unmerited favour?’ Yes. Yes, grace is God's favour; a favour I don't deserve. But what happens inside your heart as you read these definitions? For me, they are locked in religious intellectualism, and my heart does not relate. When I first heard the acrostic, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense,” I thought it was very clever - and that is what it remained, a clever statement. Now a coldness from my past has become attached to these definitions. Having just experienced the power of changing the words ‘obedience of faith’ to ‘trust-grounded obedience’, I went off to the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon to see what it said about the Greek word translated as ‘grace’ in Romans 1:4. According to Thayer, the meaning of the Greek word for grace is as follows: “1. properly, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness 2. good-will, lovingkindness, favor”  (Thayer's Greek lexicon). The Complete Jewish Bible translates the Old Testament word 'lovingkindness’ as 'grace’. Though archaic, 'lovingkindness’ is a word which to me, is saturated with meaning - kindness that flows from God's heart of love. So, if ‘lovingkindness’ can be translated as ‘grace’, then the New Testament word ‘grace,’ can be translated as ‘lovingkindness’, not so? Paul also tells us that this kindness “is intended to lead you to turn from your sins.” (Romans 2:4 Complete Jewish Bible) It’s not the fear of God’s anger or wrath that leads to repentance, but God’s kindness that nurtures trust, and leads to trust-grounded obedience. So what Paul is saying is that through Jesus, he received God's kindness which flowed out of His heart of perfect, warm, love for Paul; a kindness that naturally and inevitably brings joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness. Do you see these characteristics in the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Through Jesus (Who is the embodiment of God’s kindness), Paul was given the work of an emissary, or ambassador. An ambassador of what? An ambassador of the Kingdom of God, not so? What is an ambassador? A representative, not so? How does an ambassador of the Kingdom of God promote trust-grounded obedience? By being weighed down by the troubles of the world? Or by demonstrating the joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness, that flows from abiding in Jesus, through trust-grounded obedience? Abiding… This is another religious word for me. What does it mean to abide? Acording to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, It means to remain stable or fixed, or to continue. How do we abide in Jesus? How do we remain stable and fixed in Him? Jesus told us in John 15. It is through trust- grounded obedience. But this trust is not a worked-up, grit-your-teeth, take-a-deep-breath type trust, it is a trust that is birthed in God's overwhelming kindness that flows from His heart of never-ending warm, rich, love. This love-drenched kindness was demonstrated by God's sending His Son to pay the price required to buy us out of our slavery to the Deceiver, who kept us locked up in death-row, in a prison of deception. As God’s love-drenched kindness penetrates our hearts, it feeds and nurtures our trust, and brings with it joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness. This works within us, and expresses itself outwardly as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I think many of us need to just stop. Go back to the beginning of your walk. Get lost in the wonder of God's lovingkindness - His overwhelming kindness that flows from His deep, warm, love for you. Remain in this place of wonder until trust rises up, fear is crowded out, obedience blossoms, and His grace flows out of you as an expression of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Then go - go and be a representative of the Kingdom of this God and the God whose Kingdom it is.
Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
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