High Level Activity

Recently while I was flying high over the Brazilian terrain, a land that I am not  familiar with, a land I am visiting, a country that is different and where the people are so wonderful.  Their expressive nature, the overt hand gestures, the shoulder shrugs.   All in the name of communication.   Their tactile nature across to neighbours and people they meet for the first time, the communication so warm, gushing across tables in eating places imageswith people they don’t know.   Conversations that spread from table to table, words that are contagious so to speak that commence with three people in a Restaurant but that quickly catches another table of strangers causing them to be occupied and connected.    Every one has a value, they are drawn into the conversation, quick eye contact is embraced and before you know it your part of the conversation, instant deep friends.

I only outline this to say I am so aware of the need to communicate, to be able to understand.   Here I am miles high and here I am miles away from being able to communicate, eye contact and touch, yes but I lack words, language.   Language our words are so necessary and important.   I’m travelling in a foreign land and it is really foreign.   I don’t have the words.

It is like being closed in a world of guessing because I did not  have the  words, for example, as I stood in the airport the departure gate had movement so I stood in the line ready to board,  not understanding, a word of the announcements.   Then only to realise that the delayed screen indicated that it was the wrong flight I was just about to step onto.   Having stepped out of the line  thinking I will watch the screen, I noticed 15 mins later the line commenced to open again, the people began to board, but no screen announcement of the flight number, what do I do?   The announcer declares in her best Portuguese what’s going on, but I don’t have the words so I take the plunge.   Just as I am about to get on, not ever did the screen announce the flight number, not ever did I hear any English through the speakers, I looked to the one standing next to me and I tried hard to see his ticket.   Then I do see it and with a sigh of relief he had the same numbers on it as I did.

On the plane I  am greeted by some one else  sitting in my allocated seat, they speak, “I don’t understand”, so they motion they have changed seat and I can have his?    I don’t have words.

Words, language is so important, in our hour it is so necessary we  discover language, the right language in our day.  Language to communicate, to make ourselves known and to be known.   To avoid being present with no voice, to have words to outline the picture of the future we are to embrace and to make known to humanity all around.

You see God has a language, a full language, a language that transcends all boundaries, Gods language is Jesus.  As spoken in Hebrews, God spoke in these last days in his Son, a Sonship language, a language of original source.    A language in which none of us will feel the lack of words.

The Christ is not only Gods language but he is Gods thought about you, how God sees you, how God has us in mind.   The ultimate of God is Christ, and you and I are his body, wow what words, what a thought.

The world is waiting for a plain speaking people that will communicate with words and a life style that are the extension of our words, lives that are words.   Words written, read by all mankind this is who I am, a communication, God words to a world that is longing to have seen and heard.

You and I become words in every situation, to every culture with a deep sense of Gods love and plan for creation. Let us ensure our words are compassionate which constantly widens in scope, a heart that is constantly expanding and learning, learning to exclude fewer and fewer people.   Allow my words to be translated into movement, preventing us from becoming passive, accepting of wrongs, injustices, oppression, these life words give rise to energetic action for change, first in me then on behalf of others who are in captivity or under any form of oppression.

Who am I…

Chosen Ones

 People of God

People of the Way

Children of the Kingdom

images-7Already written in my last blog :-

  • We are defined by our commitment to the Kingdom
  • We are of a different sphere; realm; source
  • Live by different nature (order, essence) of Kingdom
  • Responsible as those to give our lives and to live to the full
  • In Kingdom our lives come/hold together
  • Kingdom alignment means Kingdom adjustment, change
  • The process is under-way, the Kingdom has, will and is coming
  • Holy Spirit working in us to conform us to the image of Christ, our lives way is now around Christlikeness
  • Before going further lets define Kingdom in its Biblical usage:

‘It is God’s absolute life, God order over all things.  All universe subject to God’s plan and by god’s authority works to serve/fulfil this purpose.’

God has a Kingdom agenda for everything created.

History will one day be seen to be Gods-story, God rules, not one day will rule.     Everything moving to its destiny.

Your destiny is God’s purpose for you fulfilling your destiny is completing God’s purpose for you.      Your freedom is found under God’s Lordship.     Paul said the ultimate conformity to Christ will be achieved by one being transformed through the ‘renewing’ of our minds. Rom 12:2 The mind being our greatest problem it is right that it is here we first encounter the demonstration of Kingdom power.      God described the difference in his way of thinking and ours. (Isaiah 55:8)

To fulfil Kingdom purpose we have to develop a Kingdom mentality.       God’s way of thinking about the whole of life: family, job, money, sex, health must become ours.       It is living inside the frame-work of a Kingdom mentality that causes us to triumph in life in this age. Rom 8:5-6.

  • The hallmarks of a Kingdom mentality are a
  • Grasp of spiritual things
  • Seeing the invisible: Abraham/City, seeing the church of God as a wall-less city made up of people displaying, living in Christlikeness
  • Quickened by continuing revelation in the word
  • Appraise everything from God’s perspective 1 Cor. 2:14-15
  • Moving/living in Spirit
  • Not intimidated by fear; we have love; peace; sound mind
  • Not shared by temporal ‘meet/drink’ but enjoying righteousness; peace and joy in the Holy Ghost – this is the Kingdom of God

As already said our greatest battle is with our mind, not devil or demons or men.        The only way the devil can come back at you, is if you have something that is his in your life.      He then will return to lay claim to it.     Jesus said that when devil would come he would not find anything in Jesus corresponding to devil.

That in Christlikeness will be true of you?       It is in these areas where we shelter or hide things belonging to the devil that the enemy builds ‘strongholds’. 2 Cor 10:3-5  These become enemy base-camps in our lives.

  • How does the enemy go about building a stronghold in our minds
  • Resurrecting past: memories Psalm 25:7
  • Through our reading; imagination
  • What we focus minds on
  • The baggage of concerns, fears, worry we carry around, mental oppression
  • Holding resentment; bitterness; lust; greed; withholding forgiveness
  • How do we counter the enemy?
  • We must allow Christ’s mind to be fully in control in us 2 Cor 10:5
  • Harness loose thinking Col 3:1-2
  • Pull down every thought and take captive.. 2 Cor 10:5-7
  • Fill our mind with Gods Word  Ps 119:11
  • Focus on right things. Phil. 4:8; Col 3:2

In these ways we develop a Kingdom mentality.

Super spirituality is fake-spirituality (often manifests in affected voice; and various religious quirks – )

It is the consequence of a non Kingdom mentality Col 2:18

God said Gods thinking – which should become ours – is on a different level. Isaiah 55:8

Kingdom people already have the Law of God in their minds; Heb. 8:10
This in turn is activating powerfully by the Spirit in Sanctifying us – we are being transformed by the Renewal of our minds. Rom 12:2

Religion does two things to us, it introduces a life style of delay and distance in regards to God.    Everything is ours from Gods perspective, we have been given everything NOW to attain Godliness.   Now we are made a new creation not in the sweet by and by.    Immanuel, God has drawn near according to Gods love not that we have to get near, for this is the Kingdom of God.
We are actioning the Kingdom agenda 1 Peter 1:13. doing so in clarity/decisiveness. We should be particularly watchful in the questions we entertain in the mind.    Vast difference between asking a question – To gain understanding on ‘questioning’ in the sense of inferring or Untruth or wrong motive.

These are rooted in enemy mind as seen in Eden when serpent asked such a question of Eve ‘Hath God said…’

Avoid

  • Questions that undermine Gods faithfulness
  • Questions that question Gods integrity
  • Questions that question Gods love; ability or will
  • Questions that reinforce a wrong image of God
  • Questions that undercut hope/faith
  • Questions that strengthen negative thinking

The second way the Kingdom demonstrates its power in us is over our Emotions

God is a God of moods but not a moody God.   Consider the accounts in the word of those who were not in control of their emotions and see the pattern of destructive consequences.

  • Cain/Abel
  • Noah
  • David/Bathsheba
  • Samuel/King to rule over Israel
  • Samson/Delilah
  • Moses / Rock (struck)
  • Micah despising David dancing before Ark
  • Rich young ruler – went away sorrowful
  • Demas / loved this present evil age
  • Diotrophes / loved to be first in everything

We are people of the day, we are sons of the Kingdom, we are people of God the ways of the Father, Son and Spirit have become ours the Kingdom is here

 

 

“To this end…”, more to follow

Moulded in the potters hands

Moulded in the potters hands

28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature inChrist.

29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

(Col 1:28-29)

The Next Step, which is the second on this topic is SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES 

Turning my inner person to God and giving time, over the years many have used different names to call for this process such as “Devotional time” or “Quiet Times”.    Some even have seen liberty as a reason to be free form a discipline and used the thinking not to develop the intimate times with God.       Let me say from the onset without developing these regular, intimate moments with God one will not advance, neither is it a religious action but a real love, developing an adventure of hearing the Father.

The natural progression of fellowship leads you to a disciplined development of intimacy through spending times away, aside with God, the Psalmist said evening and morning he did it, quiet times.     Now all our faith is learning that the Father wants responsive followers,  not people living by the letter of the law, so this ‘quiet time’ is not a duty but an outflow of deep thanks, manifest in time given to be intimate, never due but an appreciation and response.       As for me, if I do not create these moments I feel starved and hungry.      My children, when younger, would say it was evident in my ways or life’s conduct towards them if I had neglected that time with the Father.    Let me re state it again although daily times when followed as routine or obligation have been discredited as legalistic, it is nevertheless true that the absence of seasons of quietness with God will eventually lead to poverty of soul and vulnerability.

Again, looking back over the years I see the practice of a daily time of meditation as one of the greatest strengths in the development of my spiritual life.      I look upon it not as a time to get something to say or preach but a conversation between me and the Godhead for us together.    For these times to be seen as necessary as eating, taking in nourishment to the body so these times of discipline are to my whole being.       Over the years I have looked upon it as times of just filling up a kit bag for a long journey, storing insights, Holy Spirit utterances and directions, never knowing when or what the Holy Spirit will draw from that resource we placed into the kit bag for life some time ago.    For the Father to mould me more and more into Gods image.    Although in recent years I have modified my approach, I remain convinced they were vital to fellowship with God.

The reading and marking of the Word of God

God’s life works powerfully in those who love the Word.     It reads, speaks, grips and provokes you. There is so much that the word of God does in you that nothing else could – preachers could never produce what the Spirit does through the Word.     It is this opening of my life and mind to its truth and challenges that has proved indispensable to personal development.

I turn to the word of God as I turn to a person knowing that this person wants to talk with me, I love 1 Cor 2:9, 10 that says for me, God is searching God, to bring out the deep things of God to show and present them to me.   Therefore every time I turn to word it is an adventure and excitement, I feel the thrill, what about you, revelations come when we do, honestly, try it is a promise.

I read the Word simply, in an attitude of faith.      I don’t look for it’s difficulties or problems, I don’t concern myself with the arguments of author ship or authenticity of historical detail.    I first read the Word to let it read me.    I take what is obvious from the surface, apply that and rejoice in it.     My marking system – underlining etc., reinforces its impact on my mind.      Today I have hundreds of notes daily devotions in my computer stored for either me or some one else in later years may wish to mull over them.

When studying the Word more earnestly for a given purpose, I give myself to research as to the authorship, the background of the principal parties concerned.       The circumstances of the nation at the time, the issues that are primarily being addressed etc.      But my first approach to the Word is to get to know God by allowing its revelation to minister to my life.    It is God the Father making known his nature, it is the ever arriving God, a self-reveling Father eager to make known to reward and give gifts.        Choice of emotions?????? this is not what you are considering….

Step Three – You CHOICE OF FRIENDS is vital to ongoing spiritual progress.      

It was the awareness of this that made me face up to my first series of difficult choices.     These were to affect my relationship with my former friends in the world.

Their way of life was now so different from my own.     I had witnessed effectively amongst them to the point where those open to Christ and change had already been converted.      Finally I was faced with the difficult choice concerning those who had no intention of changing.      I became convinced that continued companionship with some of them would eventually lead to the compromising of spiritual values, and that meanwhile  I would be under constant pressure to conform to their behaviour and activities.

From early days I had to make the decision, I recall some who helped me, that after deciding to follow Christ they used to cross the road directly in front of me, in order not to entertain meeting me, once passed they would cross back to the original side, it was challenging at the time as we all like being wanted or liked but then it helped me to see choices in relationships are so important.    Let me add a caveat, it is not rejection or exclusivity we cannot do that in the gospel of the Kingdom, we are not to be exclusive, the Kingdom of God makes us at every hand inclusive and I must demonstrate that, it is just knowing where and how I grow through the relationships around me, while accepting and loving every one.

Then there were the “carnal Christians”, not sure what that means any longer some times?      You understand those who seek their own, those who have themselves at their centre only, those who are looking to add the things of the present to themselves for positions or stature, not seeking the Kingdom of God as predominant view.   I met many in my early experience.    It became clear to me that continued company with these would prove almost as damaging.      Fellowship was based upon the sharing of discontent, mutual grumbles, ill-feeling, gossip, argument, contentious discussions and soulish issues such as “preacher for lunch”, and “destructive sermon analysis”, running people l down in the light of “being honest”, being divisive and colouring my view of others, Inflicting their personal agenda on people

Alternatively, there was the prospect of companionship with those whose heart was towards God.     Who loved God as I loved the Father, who were intent on making progress in their spiritual lives while pursuing their destiny.

I decided these were the companions I should cultivate, for their fellowship would help sharpen my spiritual insights and provoke me towards maturity.

I am told which I am sure its true that less is best for a blog although I don’t know how to lean this or better still practice the lesson today however I am going to head the encouragement allowing you to mull my comments on adding and advancing your journey into God.

I pray that you will develop deeper in 2013 your Spiritual Discipline along with wisdom, not emotion in your choice of friends while recalling Part One of “To this end…” with developing that fellowship with God who is eager for the relationship.

Happy journeys into Christ, great adventures of the Holy Spirit and deeper into God in 2013

Thoughts on a Kingdom

“My Kingdom is not of this world”

“My kingdom is from another place”  John 18:36

“…not of this world…” in this day when more and more we are recognising  our responsibility of stewardship and transformation to our environment, our world;  when we are realising that our destiny does not wind up in an escape from this fallen world but in transforming this creation to Gods’ ultimate intention, that Christ will fill all in all.    There is a tension to hold to in “…not of this world…”  meaning we do not belong to this world,  the Kingdom of God finds its source – origin – its genesis – nature – authority – life – laws  and resources all find their root or origin outside of this cosmos.      As a matter of fact I tend to see that the Kingdom of God is the Christ and that God is the Kingdom.    The origin may not be in this cosmos but it is God breaking into our world.

The Kingdom of God cannot be understood by seeking parallels of kingdoms in this world, it is not worth examining kingdoms of old or even kingdoms that  still exist, as they are totally incompatible.    For this thought lies behind the theological mystery spoken to Nicodemus “…you must be born again…” this experience, encounter is not for salvation but  “…you must be born again to see the Kingdom of God”

Your responses to life’s situations, your behaviour and actions are the result of your theology not of your intellect or emotions.   The way you think and feel are shaped by your deepest convictions from your spirit – God.    At least this is how it should be, today I must admit I see many that are challenged to conduct themselves this way, they struggle to remain true to their convictions, to the established foundation of their lives.   Life can become so fickle and changeable as the commercial emotional living on the surface of life prevents convictional living.    Decisions are then made for the benefit of the immediate, self-gratifying rather than what belongs to people’s advance and betterment which is about maturing.  We have come to a world that react rather than living out convictions from the foundation of life actually from the Christ, who is our foundation.

This is why “if any is in Christ…new creation” the spiritual house, mankind is governed by the Spirit, as the agent of the Godhead, as God working with in us to bring us into the life way of the Kingdom of God.    This is the law written on our hearts by which we will reign in life.

To believe this is to live this – which is why the reality of many people’s claim to being born again is questionable.    If this cosmos rules in our life then it is questionable, if the other place Kingdom has been either seen or entered, it will alter our way of life.

I shall continue my ramble through the Kingdom thoughts the as I write in my next blog, I will continue this thought line from this point onward as we go forward, until next blog which will be soon a joyous reaching for the King.

Who, what did any one say anything?

GOD SPEAKS, from Genesis to Revelation BIBLE STUDY:   From Scripture’s beginning to its end, the message is clear: God speaks. The Bible opens with “and God said” (Gen. 1:3) and closes with, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches” (Rev. 22:16).

Yet we can become so familiar with the words God said that we never stop to ask, How did God speak? Did people hear Him audibly? See Him? Somehow “know” that something in their hearts was from Him? Looking at scriptural examples of when and how God spoke can give us insights into how we continue to hear Him today.

Ways God Spoke

When we look at biblical passages to discover how God spoke, we find the following categories.

a. “God said.” Sometimes, we don’t see an indication of how God spoke, just that He did. We’re only told “God said” (Gen. 6:13) or “the word of the Lord came” (1 K. 16:1) or “the Lord appeared” (Gen. 26:2).

b. Face to face. In Gen. 3:8–9, we get a hint of one way God communicated—face to face—when we read that Adam and Eve “heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day.”

c. Audible voice. Some people didn’t see God, but they did hear an audible voice (e.g., 2 Pet. 1:16–18). Often this audible voice was accompanied by a physical phenomenon such as a light, storm, cloud, or fire.

d. Angel. God often sent angels as messengers. In fact, the Hebrew and Greek words translated in English as angel mean “messenger,” “representative,” or “envoy.” (Note: In some passages, such as Judges 13, the name “the angel of the Lord” might refer to a physical appearance of God Himself.)

e. Dream or vision. Often people heard God, or talked with Him or with angels, in dreams or visions. God also showed people pictures or scenes in dreams (Daniel 7). Sometimes the person who had the dream or vision needed help interpreting the message he had just received (Daniel 2).

f. The Holy Spirit coming upon or moving in a human. Another form of communication occurred when the Holy Spirit “came upon” a man or woman, and the person began to speak out, prophesy, praise God, or speak in tongues (1 Sam. 10:9–11). At other times, God or the Holy Spirit moved “inside” a human’s mind or heart (Ezra 1:5).

g. Message or prophesy through other humans. Just as God sent angels as His messengers, He also sent messages through other people (1 K. 12:22–24). Sometimes the messenger is identified as a prophet or prophetess (e.g., Moses and his sister, Miriam, in Ex. 15:20 and Dt. 34:10) and the message as a prophecy or oracle.

h. Urim and Thummim/casting lots. We also see God answering people’s questions through the Urim and Thummim and the casting of lots. We know little about the Urim and Thummim, only that they were physical objects (see Ex. 28:30). We’re also not told the mechanism people used to “cast lots.” An interesting variation occurs in Josh. 7:14, where, after God speaks clearly and directly to Joshua about sin in the camp, He stops short of revealing the troublemaker. Instead, the guilty man is “taken” through an unspecified process of identification.

For the following passages, record whom God spoke to and check the appropriate column to indicate the method He used. (Match the categories to the descriptions above.) Sometimes you’ll see multiple methods in the same passage.

Though this list seems long, it’s only a brief overview. Because we had to draw the line somewhere, we’ve mostly drawn from the Old and New Testament historical books, skipping the Old Testament prophetic books entirely.

WAYS GOD SPOKE

a. “God said”

b. Face to face

c. Audible voice

d. Angel

e. Dream or vision

f. Holy Spirit came upon or moved

g. Human messenger

h. Urim and Thummim/casting lots

 

WHO RECEIVED THE MESSAGE?

HOW DID GOD SPEAK?

NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

a b c d e f g h
Gen. 3:8–9                    
Gen. 4:6                    
Gen. 15:1                    
Gen. 18:1–2                    
Gen. 20:3                    
Gen. 21:17                    
Gen. 25:21–23                    
Gen. 32:24–30                    
Gen. 35:9                    
Gen. 41:15–16, 25                    
Gen. 46:2                    
Ex. 3:2–4                    
Ex. 33:7–11                    
Num. 11:24–29                    
Num. 22:9–35                    
Num. 27:21                    
Dt. 5:22                    
Josh. 1:1–2                    
Josh. 5:13–15                    
Josh. 18:8–10                    
Jdg. 2:1–5                    
Jdg. 4:4–6                    
Jdg. 6:6–11                    
Jdg. 7:9–14                    
Jdg. 13:24–25                    
1 Sam. 2:27                    
1 Sam. 3:1–15                    
1 Sam. 19:19–24                    
2 Sam. 23:1–2                    
1 K. 3:5                    
1 K. 20:35–43                    
1 K. 22:1–28                    
2 K. 20:1–5                    
2 K. 22:10–15                    
1 Chron. 21:8–11                    
1 Chron. 28:11–12                    
2 Chron. 21:12                    
2 Chron. 35:20–22                    
Ezra 1:1                    
Neh. 2:11–12                    
Job 38:1                    
Mt. 1:18–20                    
Mt. 2:19–22                    
Mt. 3:16–17                    
Mt. 4:1                    
Lk. 1:11–13                    
Lk. 1:26–27                    
Lk. 1:41–42                    
Lk. 1:67                    
Lk. 2:25–35                    
Lk. 2:36–38                    
Lk. 9:28–36                    
Lk. 10:21                    
Lk. 24:1–8                    
Jn. 1:14                    
Acts 1:10–11                    
Acts 1:24–26                    
Acts 2:1–4                    
Acts 4:5–13                    
Acts 7:55–56                    
Acts 8:26, 29                    
Acts 9:1–7                    
Acts 9:10                    
Acts 10:3–7                    
Acts 10:9–16, 19                    
Acts 11:27–28                    
Acts 13:1–2                    
Acts 13:9–10                    
Acts 16:9                    
Acts 18:9                    
Acts 19:6–7                    
Acts 21:10–11                    
Acts 23:11                    
Acts 27:21–26                    
Ro. 8:16                    
2 Cor. 12:1–2                    
2 Cor. 12:8–9                    
Heb. 1:1–2                    
2 Pet. 1:20–21                    
Rev. 1:1, 9–11                    
Rev. 22:8–11                    

WRAP IT UP

After you’ve finished looking up the passages, here are some questions to consider.

• What observations struck you as you looked up these passages?

• Did anything surprise you or challenge assumptions you held about how God speaks?

• Did you see any differences between how God spoke in the Old Testament and how He spoke in the New Testament?

• Did you sense God saying anything to you personally as you read these passages?

• Is anything you read likely to change your own conversations with God? If so, how?

• Write a summary statement of what you most want to remember from this study.

GOD STILL SPEAKS!   How is that effecting me?