Praying for a DESIRE for holiness, righteousness, Deeper Life, .....the WILL
Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:26 AM
My WILL or my "want-er" is broken and tainted with carnality. I have to place eveery decision I make everyday, in every matter, with : "Is this what I want, OR, is this what JESUS wants".
It is NOT natural for me to desire to be holy and to despise sin. Sad to say, I still detect within myself a cherishing of sin. Any my brothers and sisters.....THIS SHOULD NOT BE!!!! I realize that. So I have been praying for the last few months that God give me a DESIRE to be holy and to cherish righteousness. My logic is this: All of my life...if I WANTED something....I would do anything to get it. So...if I WANT holiness and righteousness to define my life....I will go to any length to get it.
But again I say: My 'Want to' -er is broken. It has been shaped by 49 years of living on this globe. All of the TV that I have ever watched. All the conversations with the children of Adam (worldlings) over the years. And yes....attempting to work for and have the American dream. (The pursuit of happiness and aquirement of material gain).
Brothers....Sisters......Is my prayer appropriate. Please don't spare my feelings. I would rather hear the truth and it hurt, than be soothed by mere words of encouragement that are not the true convictions of your heart. Please forgive me if that just sounded like I accused you of giving unsound advice. That was not m intent. I am just sounding out my desperation for the truth!!!! And that sentence was designed to tell you to be FRANK with me about whether this type of prayer is fruitful or in vain. Thanks for any responses.
Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:45 AM
Your desire for yourself is my desire for all of America. I have the sense in my heart that God had finally given this country its wish and has removed His hand. I no longer feel that He is with us as a country. I sense that a tide has turned, and that we have entered a new era. Our only hope is repentance and revival on a grand scale. Indeed, the church (all born-again believers) needs to collectively weep and mourn on ash heaps ... we need to rend our garments and beg God to hear us. Otherwise, we are forsaken and will continue in our apathetic lukewarm state.
Thus, I applaud your hunger and thirst for righteousness. I desire the same for you, for me, and for all of us.
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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:09 PM
By definition, it is a state of right living. But attached to that is an idea of what right living is supposed to look like. It is a standard that we have set based off of our understanding of who God is and His expectations for our lives. The problem is that our understanding of holiness is naturally faulty, because we are faulty. So our holiness ends up being our attempts at living a holy life instead of living the life of holiness as God sees it.
When Christ died and was raised on the third day, the sins of the world were forgiven. We ask God for forgiveness of our sins, yet the very idea that God requires us to ask forgiveness in order for our sins to be erased is an act of works where it is supposed to be an act of grace. In reality, all that we need to do is to simply accept that our sins have already been forgiven. Salvation is no longer about the forgiveness of sins, but instead our relationship with God. The act of asking for forgiveness is more for our benefit than it is a requirement of God. We have a natural tendency to hang onto guilt and the likes. When we ask God for his forgiveness, it can help us to let go and can become part of our healing process, but these steps are not required by God. This is a sign of His grace where He meets us where we are at, giving us stepping stones and helping us to get to the destination that He has in mind.
In like manner, it isn't God's intent that we should try to live holy lives, for that is another attempt at works. Ideally, all that we should have to do is to focus on our relationship with Him and as we seek Him and follow His lead, He will orchestrate the transformation process. This takes the sanctification process out of our hands and puts it back into God's, where it belongs. It also isn't reliant upon our understanding of God or of what we believe holiness to be. We were never meant to be sin-conscious creatures, for our consciousness pulls our attention away from our relationship with God. The more we focus on trying not to sin and trying to fix our brokenness, the less we are paying attention to where we are and where God is trying to lead us.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalms 46.10
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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:01 PM
And my "holiness" I mean a life full of righteousness as opposed to a life defined by constant selfish acts. But then....I may be way off base. It seems that everytime I open my mouth (or start a thread) my ignorance shows through. Now please understand: I didn't just say that with a frustrated voice. You would have heard gladness in my voice if I had said that right to you. I WANT to see where I am missing the mark or slipping into legalism. This stuff (no disprespect meant towards the things of God) is too AWEFULLY important for someone to HOLD BACK something to keep from hurting feelings. And I CERTAINLY appreciate your remarks!!!
And yours too Lori!!!!!! They are equally relevant and I learned something from you just then......I need to be lass introspective sometimes and more "spective" (new word) of my fellow countrymen. Our country is gravitating downward morally. But didn't Jesus warn us of this....: Broad is way to destruction. Or something to that effect? Thank you both and may God just bless you until your mouth falls open from astonished joy and peace!!!!!
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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:14 PM
It seems that everytime I open my mouth (or start a thread) my ignorance shows through.
Praying each day for your mother and the Holy Spirit's work.
Kevin, I quote above because it seems you are even concerned about what "we" in this forum think of you! We, as I speak for myself, but believe it can be said of most brothers and sisters here, aren't thinking you're ignorant or anything else...that's judging. I think we are all here in this Deeper Life forum because we either are, have been, and are aware that it's possible again, to be where you are in your sanctification process.
I have been exactly where you are with respect to specific questions about my salvation, state of living "The Christian Life", struggle with sin and so on. As LORI said, about two months ago, I also sensed that the LORD took his hands off our nation. Something happened in the world; the universe. That event, as I sensed it, was palpable and it was like a wave crashing over the universe. It unsettled me because I couldn't tell anyone about it. They'd look at me as if I had five heads. I sensed it was permanent and there was no going back. I know two other people who bore witness to this; now with Lori, three others.
I write all of this because we are in a new era where Christ may well return at any moment (hopefully). There really isn't any such thing as "living The Christian Life". If so, please have someone tell you exactly what it is. Even in Paul's epistles he constantly refers to all kinds of deceptions and antichrists in the Church, as did Christ. You are not one of them! You are discerning spiritual battles in the heavenlies...which are really happening in the spiritual realm as close as a breath away from your body and soul. Yes, Satan would like to sift you like cake flour! Yes, he would do that to every one of us on this forum and beyond. Satan does what works. If you lived in the near or middle east, spiritual battle would be as common as going to the market. Here, we are so duped into really eliminating the supernatural world, the spiritual principalities, Satan has fooled most people sitting in the pews on Sunday. You just need to trust and, possibly, pray with someone; preferrably two other Christian men who are abiding in Christ on a regular basis. Maybe they're not perfect or even further than you are, but who knows that anyway? This is a bit tricky because you want to make sure you pray with acceptable men who are not scripturally or spiritually "off". You can't go it completely alone without fellowship; albeit small.
There is a ministry, Freedom in Christ Ministries, founded by Neil Anderson at http://ficm.org/. This ministry is based in Knoxville, TN. They have ministry people all over Tennessee. I was even considering going there before I located a ministry couple in Colorado. I know you're house-bound now; it's for a season and completely within the LORD's will I'm sure. HE has you just where HE wants you. However, there are people there who can minister to you and even come to you from FICM. FICM has a book they recommend, Victory Over the Darkness by Neil Anderson. They prefer that you read this to know where they are coming from. If you're not in agreement in your spirit with the book, then you'll know. I've read it twice (reading if for the second time now) and can't disagree with anything they say. There is a great deal of truth in the book, insight from others who've been healed from bondage; not that it's everything.
Again, just as Lori senses the change in this present world (this present darkness), you will come under persecution from within and without. The church needs revival. That is all over the first four chapters of the Book of Revelation with respect to the churches past, present and to come. And to end in a quote by Tozer:
AW Tozer â€“ The Saint Must Walk Alone
- Most of the worldâ€™s great souls have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of manâ€™s creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.
- Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdsmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man â€œwhose soul was alike a star and dwelt apartâ€? As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men. Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others. How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering. There, alone with a horror of great darkness upon him, he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.
- Moses also was a man apart. While yet attached to the court of Pharaoh he took long walks alone, and during one of these walks while far removed from the crowds he saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting and came to the rescue of his countryman. After the resultant break with Egypt he dwelt in almost complete seclusion in the desert. There, while he watched his sheep alone, the wonder of the burning bush appeared to him, and later on the peak of Sinai he crouched alone to gaze in fascinated awe at the Presence, partly hidden, partly disclosed, within the cloud and fire.The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness. They loved their people and gloried in the religion of the fathers, but their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their zeal for the welfare of the nation of Israel drove them away from the crowd and into long periods of heaviness. â€œI am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my motherâ€™s children,â€ cried one and unwittingly spoke for all the rest.Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write, treading His lonely way to the cross. His deep loneliness was unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.â€™Tis midnight, and on Oliveâ€™s brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone;
â€˜Tis midnight; in the garden now,
The suffering Savior prays alone.
â€˜Tis midnight, and from all removed
The Savior wrestles lone with fears;
Eâ€™en the disciple whom He loved
Heeds not his Masterâ€™s grief and tears.
- William B. Tappan
He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw. There are some things too sacred for any eye but Godâ€™s to look upon. The curiosity, the clamor, the well-meant but blundering effort to help can only hinder the waiting soul and make unlikely if not impossible the communication of the secret message of God to the worshiping heart.
Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience. Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, â€œOh, I am never lonely. Christ said, `I will never leave you nor forsake you,â€™ and `Lo, I am with you alway.â€™ How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?â€
Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real. It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience. This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society. The sense of companionship which he mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people. Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. â€œThey all forsook Him, and fled.â€
The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature. God made us for each other. The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right. The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share inner experiences, he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.
The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise. After all he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul â€“ and who but God can walk there with him? He is of another spirit from the multitudes that tread the courts of the Lordâ€™s house. He has seen that of which they have only heard, and he walks among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his return from the altar when the people whispered, â€œHe has seen a vision.â€
The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Savior glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. â€œWhen my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.â€ His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd â€“ that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess lifeâ€™s summum bonum.
Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone.
The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the broken hearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world, he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. â€œGod will not suffer you to lose anything by it,â€ he told them. â€œYou can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you.â€ This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.
The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful â€œadjustmentâ€ to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.
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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:16 PM
Maybe there are two guys here who'd be willing to step out in faith and Skype you once a week to pray??? Pray for the LORD's leading.
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Posted 10 November 2012 - 07:38 PM
This is where things start getting tough. A lot of the way we do things as believers and much of the doctrine associated with Christianity take on a certain flavor because of expectations that we have put into place. When we think of church, we naturally think that it should be a family place. Because of that, we don't necessarily want to see people for who they are. We don't want to expose our children to the realities of life, so we tend to suppress the uglier side of life. God knows our nature and our struggles, yet He accepts us for who we are and where we are in our relationship with Him. He doesn't expect us to change our sin nature, but instead wants to take us through a process of healing. Sometimes that means that He performs a miracle and removes things outright. Other times He takes us through a process of transforming our hearts and working that transformation through our lives step by step. That can take time. When we try to force this process, it can create guilt and regret, which in turn can hinder or prevent the healing process from happening. Then there are other times where God will leave us where we are at, for a time, without bringing needed healing, so he can use us in our place of brokenness.
I guess the point that I am trying to make is that if we force holiness and sanctification, not only can we hinder spiritual growth, but we may also find that we are pushing people away from God and from needed healing. In our attempts to glorify God, we can actually become a hinderance to the things He is trying to accomplish. But by encouraging people to seek God and focus on the relationship instead of changing the sin nature, it may appear to be more messy, but in the end, I believe that we will see a much healthier and effective growth process.
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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:42 PM
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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:02 AM
I wanted to share what the Lord told me this morning. I've been wondering what to do and how to live as a Christian under His chastening and this is what He told me (God is leading me to a particular church, but we can use the same premise in our individual homes if we don't have a church):
This morning the Lord pointed me to John 8:58. Here the Lord made a statement to Jews who challenged His authority: Jesus said to them, â€œBefore Abraham was, I Am.â€ What God wanted me to see is that Israel had a beginning. Indeed there was a day when God chose Abram out of all of the peoples of the earth and promised to make him into a great nation. God certainly kept His promise. But some of Abrahamâ€™s descendents assumed that all of Abrahamâ€™s descendents were above reproach simply by birth. However, Abraham was important because he walked with God. Thus, those who rejected God and His plan could not claim special status simply through birth.
Then the Lord drew my attention to America. Our forefathers established a nation that, for the most part, embraced Godâ€™s Lordship. However, in recent decades there has been a shift away from God. Now there are men who are saying arrogantly that they can grab the land and claim its benefits even though they hate God. This is foolish and the land wonâ€™t yield itself to them.
I asked God what Christians should do. I feel Godâ€™s anger in my spirit, so at times itâ€™s been almost hard to draw close to Him. Indeed, Iâ€™ve been asking God how Christians can walk in His favor when He is angry at the nation as a whole. He told me to take one piece of ground and that He would bless it. Thus instead of worrying about the whole nation, concentrate on one place.
When Christians collectively establish strongholds in the midst of a rebellious land, God will help to establish and bless those strongholds. Then we can rejoice under His favor while many in America experience His chastening.
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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:03 AM
Posted 11 November 2012 - 02:21 PM
When Christians collectively establish strongholds in the midst of a rebellious land, God will help to establish and bless those strongholds. Then we can rejoice under His favor while many in America experience His chastening.
I'm not sure what you mean here, but I'm just believing that God put this in your heart this way without anything further to explain. I would love to "collectively" establish strongholds (spiritual) against all this. Collectively being with other believers on a conscious level. However, I assume the LORD knows who those in the collection are and they may not know it as a collective group consciously? As I said in my other post, anyone I attempt to explain this to, including my own husband, looks at me like I have five heads. Even so, the couple of people in my realm who know it, seem to focus solely on the political, government, economic aspects which are visible. I'm not talking visible. That's where I seem to lose people. Yes, they "get it", but default to the obvious of what's taking place in America. There's really nothing new under the sun is there? If you lived 200 years ago, you'd be like John Adams who was agast about Freemasonry that George Washington and some other forefathers practiced. So, what has really changed except that the nation is now 95% over the cliff. This is spiritual. Spiritual.
Thank you for sharing.
Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:44 PM
I agree, it is spiritual. Sorry my words are confusing. Maybe this will help, every time I focus on America, I feel the grieving of the Holy Spirit. His glory left the land like His glory eventually left the temple in Israel. This left me without a focus ... what could I work towards? The Lord told me to focus on a sub-level area instead. For example, God has recently placed me in a church, so I will make that my world and will focus on establishing that in the Lord. I will spend my energy cultivating this place, and then I will go out from there to evangelize and love the world.
It is a spiritual thing because it is the grieving of the Holy Spirit that I feel. Thus I need a realm to live in that doesn't grieve the Holy Spirit. Otherwise I feel lost and unstable. Hope that makes sense.
Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:52 PM
I default to America because God is showing me that I can't make it my focus anymore. It's more than the economy or even parties. Evil has taken ground. Actually, I believe God gave evil ground. It's part of God's plan, and the Lord's return. Things are going to get darker spiritually. Well then I mourn for America like Samuel mourned for Saul. But God says, change our focus to His plan. Part of His plan includes separating wheat from chaff, and part involves making things bad so people will turn to Him. But I still had to have something to focus on. God told me to establish a base at a local church that would replace the security I had in my country.
Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:27 PM
I bet that didn't make a lick of sense!!! LOL Well, I had a point in my head that I was trying to make. Anyway:
Please allow me to hijack my thread and ask this question: What did the prophet, and then Peter (who used that scripture in a letter) mean when he said....talking about Jesus: "By His stripes, we are healed". Why didn't he say: By His stripes we WERE healed? I am assuming that this "healing" is an ongoing process....something that the believer today can partake in because of the stripes of Christ. Healed from what??? When I was in a Full Gospel (Assembly of God) church, that was one of our "healing" scriptures that we'd use when someone was sick and we'd be praying around the sick person and invariably someone would always add into the prayer "Lord, You promised that by Your stripes, we are healed."
Now I believe in Divine Healing. I may not go for that stuff where someone blows on you or waves their jacket at ya and ya "go down" under the Spirit....but I believe that God wants healthy children. It is FAR easier to pray when your not in ailing somewhere.
But sin itself is also like a sickness. Jesus said "It is the SICK who need a doctor". I really think that Jesus was referring to sin-sickness right there, but I could be wrong, I'd appreciate for someone more mature than me to give me your thoughts on "By His stripes....We ARE healed" (emphasis mine). Much obliged. kevin
Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:40 PM
Another great source online is blueletterbible.com. With respect to your question, I went to that site and the commentary. This is a great site because you can read commentaries that further explain Scripture. GOD's SPIRIT should lead you in case you get something that isn't "right". However, this is a good source that I will often go to. I have commentaries (MacDonald is good) in hardback, but I can go here and search and search too.
Here's what Matthew Henry comments on 1 Peter 2:21-25. Matthew Henry is "wordy" in my opinion. However, he is definitely not without a great deal of insight. I like him also because he lived long ago. I don't know, but sometimes I think those guys were a bit less jaded than we are now (in general and that's not biblical - just my opinion) Here's what he says:
"Lest any should think, from what is said, v. 21â€“23, that Christâ€™s death was designed merely for an example of patience under sufferings, the apostle here adds a more glorious design and effect of it: Who his own self, etc., where note, (1.) The person sufferingâ€”Jesus Christ: His own selfâ€”in his own body. The expression his own self is emphatic, and necessary to show that he verified all the ancient prophecies, to distinguish him from the Levitical priests (who offered the blood of others, but he by himself purged our sins, Heb. 1:3), and to exclude all others from participation with him in the work of manâ€™s redemption: it is added, in his body; not but that he suffered in his soul (Mt. 26:38), but the sufferings of the soul were inward and concealed, when those of the body were visible and more obvious to the consideration of these suffering servants, for whose sake this example is produced. (2.) The sufferings he underwent were stripes, wounds, and death, the death of the crossâ€”servile and ignominious punishments! (3.) The reason of his sufferings: He bore our sins, which teaches, [1.] That Christ, in his sufferings, stood charged with our sins, as one who had undertaken to put them away by the sacrifice of himself, Isa. 53:6. [2.] That he bore the punishment of them, and thereby satisfied divine justice. [3.] That hereby he takes away our sins, and removes them away from us; as the scape-goat did typically bear the sins of the people on his head, and then carried them quite away, (Lev. 16:21, 22), so the Lamb of God does first bear our sins in his own body, and thereby take away the sins of the world, Jn. 1:29. (4.) The fruits of Christâ€™s sufferings are, [1.] Our sanctification, consisting of the death, the mortification of sin, and a new holy life of righteousness, for both which we have an example, and powerful motives and abilities also, from the death and resurrection of Christ. [2.] Our justification. Christ was bruised and crucified as an expiatory sacrifice, and by his stripes we are healed. Learn, First, Jesus Christ bore the sins of all his people, and expiated them by his death upon the cross. Secondly, No man can depend safely upon Christ, as having borne his sin and expiated his guilt, till he dies unto sin and lives unto righteousness.
5. The apostle concludes his advice to Christian servants, by putting them in mind of the difference between their former and present condition, v. 25. They were as sheep going astray, which represents, (1.) Manâ€™s sin: he goes astray; it is his own act, he is not driven, but does voluntary go astray. (2.) His misery: he goes astray from the pasture, from the shepherd, and from the flock, and so exposes himself to innumerable dangers. (3.) Here is the recovery of these by conversion: But are now returned. The word is passive, and shows that the return of a sinner is the effect of divine grace. This return is from all their errors and wanderings, to Christ, who is the true careful shepherd, that loves his sheep, and laid down his life for them, who is the most vigilant pastor, and bishop, or overseer of souls. Learn, [1.] Sinners, before their conversion, are always going astray; their life is a continued error. [2.] Jesus Christ is the supreme shepherd and bishop of souls, who is always resident with his flock, and watchful over them. [3.] Those that expect the love and care of this universal pastor must return to him, must die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:46 PM
Your insight is definitely spot-on. Even in a church that appears "dead"; as Tozer said, "the Holy Spirit may not show up for months and no one knows the difference..." etc. There are believers in those bodies who "know" the LORD not just "know about" the LORD. It isn't a matter of how long you're a believer, just HIS SPIRIT showing you HIS heart. That's great. The LORD has HIS plans and we can know, at least generally, what HE's doing. Current events show us the state of the world. However, the church in China, Iran and Egypt know this "spiritually" more than we, as a "church" here in America. They deal with the spiritual all the time. It is so common in these places. It's just Satan uses what works; and in America, dead churches seemed to have lulled many into a deep sleep. I would rather go home now since I can see much of this in my life over the years, even as a Christian, easily pulled into the world. But, the LORD is still on HIS throne! And, I'm so glad that HE is!
Lori, thanks for sharing!
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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:48 PM
As for your last question I refer you to a site I often use when I have questions.
Much love to all my brothers and sisters. Bets
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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:53 PM
Here's something from Oswald Chambers on the subject of 1 Pet. 2:24. I like it~
My Utmost for His Highest
The Collision Of God And Sin
"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree."
The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God's judgment on sin. Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God. He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.
The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin. The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization. The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.
The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience. The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.
The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened - but the crash is on the heart of God.
- Lori Smith and Charles Miles like this
Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:43 PM
And Candace, the reason you stated that you preferred the preachers and commentators that lived long ago is the EXACT same reason that I do!!!! And I have a Matthew Henry Commentary in my library (a cabinet with several shelves).
Again...I am sorry that the first part of the above paragraph was off topic. That doesn't mean that I am not reading all the replies and looking at the links that you precious people of God type in. I thoroughly appreciate it. And I also appreciate the prayers and the prayers for my momma. It has been a good day for her. She is smiling more. There has been no fever today!!!!!!!
- chipped china likes this
Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:22 PM
None of us has perfect theology. None of us has a perfect understanding of who God is, what He is trying to accomplish or anything else in this world. Each of us has some screwed up beliefs, yet God knows that and accepts that fact. This is another example of His grace. In one way or another, God reveals Himself to each and every person. Sometimes it is through a direct gospel message. Other times it is by speaking to our hearts through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. God reveals himself to each of us differently, but the quality of that relationship is not dependant on our understanding of Him or His ways, but instead our willingness to grasp onto the revelation through which He has revealed Himself and to be true to that to the best of our understanding and ability.
As I share this thought, I do it because this is what God has placed on my heart to share. I have no idea what God may be trying to accomplish through this or even to whom it was intend. All I know is that He gave me a direction to move and the choice whether to step out in faith or not. The choice doesnâ€™t require me to know anything about who God is, the circumstances behind it, or what He is trying to accomplish through it. All it requires is for me to choose whether to be obedient to where He is leading me, or not. As I follow His lead, I am walking in obedience. And even if I know nothing about Him I am walking in relationship with Him.
I believe that the Holy Spirit was released on all flesh and is continually trying to speak and to draw each and every one of us to God. But we are the ones who have to humble ourselves and be willing to listen to what is being said. God will use the circumstances of life to help bring us to that point, but the decision to listen and to obey is in our hands. This is where our relationship with Him starts and is also the pattern through which each and every day of our life should follow. As we continue this process it begins to build our faith and our trust in Him, we become more and more dependent on Him, which strengthens our relationship with Him.
As we come together as the body of Christ, there is a tendency to look to others to teach and to train us in the ways of God. In a way, this is a very logical thing to do, but as we do this, we take our focus off of God and place it onto fallible humans.
â€œThey became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.â€ (Nehemiah 9.17)
Godâ€™s plan was always that we should have a personal relationship with Him where He could speak to us, lead us, guide us and teach us through His Spirit. We are the ones who reject Him by letting man take the place that He reserved for Himself. I believe that that is one of the big reasons why God will quite often lead His people out into the wilderness, so that He can remove the things that distract us and take our eyes off of Him, so that He can become our guiding star. Once that level of relationship is established, then He can place us wherever He needs us, knowing that He can trust us to follow through with His plan.
- Lori Smith and Charles Miles like this