Discerning Your Time – Week 4 – Where do I stand?

Where do I stand?

Hosea 10:11 – Jehovah’s view of Spiritual and Practical living

Hosea 10:11 Ephraim is a trained (experienced) Calf that loves to thresh

(to separate); so I will put a yoke on her fair neck. I will drive (the force or power behind) Ephraim, Judah must plow, and Jacob must break up the ground.

Ephraim – Fruitful. The experienced ability to Recognizes fruit and separate the fruit from the vine – discerns wheat from chaff. – lie from truth – One who discerns the truth – fruitful in living and attaches him or her-self to what is fruitful.

Judah – Praise. David and Jesus were defendants of the tribe of Judah.

1Samuel 30:6 – (while in exile) David was in great danger because his men were bitter about losing their sons and daughters (during a raid on their camp), and they began to talk of stoning him. David strengthened (encouraged) himself in the Lord.

Encouraging ourselves in the Lord is a lost ART. We would rather have someone else pray for us, then to take advantage of the weapons, and position we have as sons and daughters of God. This is why the hear, respond, obey movement is so valuable, as it establishes a firm foundation that can be built upon. (t-shirt)

Which reality are you choosing to believe?

Because what we see is becoming more turbulent, and the frequency of the appearance of struggle and distress is in front of us, we must decide which side of reality we land on. Gods reality, or what we see?

Change your perspective, and you will change the way you live and respond to your visible reality.

David changed his perspective by encouraging himself in the Lord

How do I encourage myself in the Lord? Do the very thing that builds your ability to hear and believe God. PRAISE & WORSHIP / PRAYER in the SPIRIT.

Jacob – Sup-planter – takes over, over throw, strategy and scheme. May God protect. Listening to Gods Spirit establishes a plan of strategy for living. Being led by Gods spirit enables us to over-throw the fear our natural reality creates, (abundant living) so that God becomes the ruler of our hearts and Minds – especially our minds, which is where our emotional response exist.

Where are you in this conversation?

3 things we must do today!

1). We must discern what is wheat (fruit) and what is chaff (bad yoke, that produces fear, doubt, anxiousness, worry, stress) in our lives; attach ourselves to what produces fruit.

2). We must praise, worship and pray in the Spirit till our belief in God (and what he is able to do) becomes firm and his voice hear-able.

3). We must mix faith in God (God strategy) with our belief, so that we over-throw the fear of our circumstances (or what our eyes see).

Discerning Your Time – Week 3 – What are we not doing?

What are we not doing?

What you hear, will determine what you do – “faith comes by hearing” – the question is, what voice are you choosing to believe?

James 1:23-24 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (this truth can be attached to every area of our lives in which we are required to believe God) – the application of the truth is what causes a spiritual perspective to become real or tangible.

The status of the Church today is this parable by James. We come into a worship setting, and catch a glimpse of who we are while in Fathers presence, but often walk away forgetting what we look like, or being defined by another identity (past, present, or future). Because faith is established by hearing, we must position ourselves daily to hear God speak to us. If God is the one who gives a measure of faith, then he is the only one who can build upon that measure. He does this through our surrendered obedience. Without obedience, the measure of faith cannot grow, and unless we hear his voice, we cannot obey.

But, the question remains, what are we NOT doing?

1). Not Spending time with Jesus.

2). (We are not) Trusting, believing – we are not Resting in him.

You see, if we are going to remember what we look like, and so change the way we live and respond to God in life, we must SPEND TIME with the very Jesus we love.

Quality over Quantity.

It’s not just time spent with Jesus that matters, but it’s the quality of time spent with him. For example, if I am sitting with my wife, who wants to be with me, but she can tell that I am not engaged in the what she is saying, or that I don’t want to be there, then she will just shut-down and go away. (tell story on balcony in TN) This is not quality time, as it doesn’t allow for real fellowship. This fellowship is needed, because we all have enough noise and chaos in our lives – which keeps us from hearing and believing God.

What does real fellowship with God look like?

Answer: Rest

It is often the case that even in prayer, we are restless and anxious. We are not resting, not being “still” on the inside, even when we pray. In times of turbulent water, rest is so valuable, and unless rest is practiced, we cannot pay attention to the whisper of God that Elijah experienced. Even prayer can be stressful, as it is often tied to what we worry about, what we are anxious about, fearful about etc. this continues perpetuate a lack of trust and belief. (tell story of woman (Theresa) in Guatemala – how I was in my right mind enough to save the creamer)

Spirit-led pray is restful prayer. Let Father set the agenda and talk to us about whatever he wants to talk about. This establishes the potential for faithful living, as it causes us to release the weight or concern of our circumstance, which is burdensome, and allows us to only take on Gods yoke. If we are faithful in this little, (Gods yoke), God will Make us ruler over much. God spoke to me recently when I read this passage and said, Lester, “What you do with the “much” will be determined by what you learned from the little.”

It is through spending quality time with God that we learn to hear and believe God. Unless we believe God and submit our lives to him and his defining, we will set ourselves up for continued deception.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie (to make the lie appear to be the truth), and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth (Jesus is truth) and so be saved (our salvation is the restoration of who we are as children and the living example of that restoration).

 

Discerning Your Times – Week 2 – What are we not seeing?

What are we not seeing?

John 12:27 Jesus declared, Now my soul is deeply troubled (struggle). Should I pray, Father save me from this hour? (many of us stop here and do this because we are looking for emotional release and restoration)

No. For this is the very reason I came to this hour! Father bring glory (reveal yourself) to your name. (Jesus looks (sees) past his pain and emotion struggle and sees the plan of God)

Faith enables us to look past the turbulence of circumstance to see and hear Jesus standing and calling us out of the boat (fear, control) and onto the water. This brings glory to Him.

1 Cor. 10:13

No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].

But God said he would not put more on me than I can handle?

The implication in this passage is that you are living IN HIM. Often people struggle with this passage because they find themselves over-taken by temptation or fear, stress and anxiety. But the reality is, we will be overtaken, if we, as saved Christians, are still trying to control our lives. What makes this passage applicable, is the assumption that you are letting go of your life and allowing yourself to be led by God – trust God – and believe who he says you are. We must remember, God has given us power as spiritual children. But, When we are in control, when cannot live out of the power given us by the spirit of sonship. It is impossible to look past the thing that is controlling us (our problems, circumstances, past, present and future). Here’s the sobering truth! You and I only think we are in control, but truth is, we are slaves to the fear (the boat) our circumstances create. So what you see, is what you continue to focus on the most. But what you are not seeing, is who you are in him, which allows you to look (as Jesus did) past the circumstance and declare “Father bring glory to your name.”

John 12:35 – whoever walks in the dark, does not know where he is going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of Light.

John 14:15-24 – obedience reveals God

“If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 4 – Evil

Proverbs 3:7-10
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (revere) the Lord and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones

Honor the Lord with your wealth (possession, goods, worth – your life) with the first fruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing (there will be no lack).

Evil: Anything that keeps you from believing God.

Remember what sin is – sin is simply, unbelief in God. The act of unbelief is what we often see, as this is merely an expression of our own nature (the sin nature we were born into). When we are conflicted about what we believe, it is impossible to make Godly decisions or submit to God making evil or temptation greater than God’s ability to make us victorious. Evil is the expression of all things wicked, bad, wrong, immoral, foul, vile, dishonorable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, reprobate, villainous, vicious and malicious.

Accepting an evil position in life, only leads us to the fulfillment of Satan’s plan for our lives.

We must understand Satan’s goal:

Understanding that Satan’s plan is to distract you from the ability to allow the truth to enter into your soul – which changes your living.  Remember, as the truth enters into your soul through belief, you always have a choice to act upon that truth. This is what eventually causes the truth to produce consistent fruit. The more we act on the truth, the less we are tempted (distracted) or drawn away by our own lust.

One of the ways we know we are choosing evil (unbelief) over God’s plan for our lives, is Guilt.

Guilt

Unless we allow the truth from God to establish our thinking, Guilt will always be part of the ramifications of our actions (or the lack there of) in life.  This distorts our view of God’s love. If we are not operating out of truth, then evil (unbelief in God) will always be part of our thinking.  Reverence, submission and humility, positions us for receiving the truth, which demolishes evil and keeps us from living under a Spirit of religion, which is where we find ourselves without truth.

Proverbs 16:6
Guilt is banished through love and truth; Fear-of-God deflects evil.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 3 – Godly Fear

Proverbs 3:7-10
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (revere) the Lord and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones

Honor the Lord with your wealth (possession, goods, worth – your life) with the first fruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing (there will be no lack).

Godly Fear: Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Reverence is the beginning of Submission. You will never go wrong with Humility. This leads to healthy service and consistent trust in Father to take care of your life.

Often what happens when we do not submit or surrender to God in life, we find ourselves in a place of worry, fear, anxiety and stress – this is because we are unwilling to submit control of our lives. As we submit to God in life through obedience, we see God, which establishes reverence and proper fear for God.

Do Not Worry

Luke 12:22-32
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 2 – Eyes

Proverbs 3:7-10
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (revere) the Lord and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones Honor the Lord with your wealth (possession, goods, worth–your life) with the first fruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing (there will be no lack).

Eyes

Perspective is everything. The way you view your life, will be the basis for the actions (verbal and physical) of your life. The Lord requires truth in the inward parts; meaning, God desires that the truth find its way into our lives through experience with Him. It’s not enough that we hear the truth, but that we believe. It’s easier for us to believe the lie than to believe the truth, as the lie takes no effort to believe, and it’s easier to come by. The truth however, although heard, will always require something of us (our lives)–truth must be experienced, so that it becomes reality.

Like how our earth orbits (turns around) the sun. The truth orbits our soul trying to find a way in. “David said you desire truth in the inward parts. God wants us to not just hear the truth, but to receive it in the inward part, so that it changes our lives, making it livable. Jesus said, you shall know the truth and (you receiving and believing) the truth will make you free.

ROMANS 12:1-2
Offer your lives as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God– for this is your real act of worship. Do not be conformed to the ways (thinking) of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may know (have proper perspective of Gods plan), what is the good and perfect will of God for my life.

How do I reestablish myself in God’s will? — By Giving Thanks

1 Thessalonians
In all things, give thanks, for this is Gods will for you. Giving thanks sets your mind back on what he has said. It lowers us in humility, so that we no longer take control of our lives through fear and submit ourselves to Him through thanks and acknowledgement of his power in our lives.

Let your Christianity come from your experience with Him. This is
the perspective that has power.

Being Spiritually Minded – Part 1 – Wisdom

Proverbs 3:7-10

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (revere) the Lord and turn from evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones

Honor the Lord with your wealth (possession, goods, worth – your life) with the first fruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing (there will be no lack).

There are 9 points within Proverbs 3:7-10 that are key to being Spiritually Minded.  

The First is WISE:

Ecclesiastes 2:26 – To the person who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

We know that faith is what pleases our Heavenly Father – as well, faith is what enables us to know that Father is pleased with us. The more we walk with God in faith, the more opportunity we get to gain wisdom through God revealed. Knowledge can be gained by anyone, as it is learned through study and communication – like with all information, knowledge can only take us so far with God. Wisdom is what God reveals to us that knowledge cannot. This is why faith and wisdom are connected. The 2 co-exist together through God revealed. No one can argue God revealed with you, because it gives you insight and wisdom that doctrine, information and knowledge cannot. This is why participating with God in life is so valuable. The value of being a disciple is that you learn by experience (experience through circumstance).  This is why James said that if anyone asks for wisdom, he must believe – otherwise he is tossed like the wind, unstable in all of His or Her ways.

Remember, wisdom comes not from what we know, but who we know in the person of Jesus Christ, and this, can only be achieved through doing life with God.