YOU NEED TO BE A GLORIOUS ADDICT

So many Christians wonder at how lacking in power and joy they are. They are trying to walk a line in the middle of sin and righteousness and that line is a totally godless spot where they will find no help from grace.

BE HOT OR BE COLD OR BE NAUSEATING TO GOD!

When is the last time someone saw how you were acting and concluded that there must be an awesome God acting through you? When the last time you were accused of being a “Christian nut?”

Picture the average European soccer fan or even the less “crazy” American football fans. Does the god of sports deserve more enthusiastic worship than the GOD OF GOD’S? We are dead to sin that we may be ALIVE to God. How much time and money and thought and talk and memorizing etc. does the average sports fan put into their worship?

ADDICTED TO GOD:

Let him be in ALL your thoughts.

Talk always about his wondrous deeds in your life. I have a pen that literally saved my career because I can write all day without hurting. The inventor talked incessantly about his ideas till one of his friends said, “you’re not talking about that pen again are you? Nonplussed, he replied, “Hey that would be a great name” and called it (pen again)

Share all your thoughts and joys and needs and feeling with him. We know that we can’t keep secrets from him but we need to counsously take our inner heart chatter to him so that WE KNOW that HE KNOWS and can rest our hearts.

Do all to his glory. Let him be the alpha and omega and all the letters in between.

YOU WILL BE AN ADDICT! Addicted to sin addicted to God or addicted to pretending to be your own boss and experiencing leanness of soul.

Similar to all bloggers, I often wonder “is anyone listening?” I am contemplating a podcast of this material for those who are too busy to sit and read my blog. If you would be interested and think it a good idea please say so on my messages and comment section. Thanks Verle

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE BLESSED? YOU SURE?

(If God spoke as a northeasterner)

Blessed: are the ones who sense how poor their spirits are and their need for spirit strengthening and enrichment from God. Do you really, want me to see that my spirit is far more needy than I realize? “YUP” Wouldn’t that make me beat  myself up when I see the poverty of my spirit, or make excuses, or compare with others, or say “that’s just the way I am I can’t help it?” “Nope, it will help you get out of the GAME OF WORKS and realize that the only hope for someone as messed up as you is to let me live through you”

Blessed: are they that morn. Am I sure want to be blessed? Will I have to let God give me a sense of grief for my sins and the sins of the world. ‘YUP” This will teach my heart to hate sin and that is the essence of THE FEAR OF THE LORD.

Blessed: are the meek. But Lord don’t you want me to hate sin? “YUP” Yet turn the other cheek and walk the second mile? “YUP” So meekness is strong rage at sin with steady calm self controlled efforts to let God attack sin through my obedience? “YUP” Sounds like a tough balance to me!

Blessed: are the spiritually hungry,who hunger and thirst after righteousness.  Boy, can I stand all this blessing? Sounds painful to me. “YUP”

Blessed: are the merciful. So I need to hate sin, work to resist and defeat it and not wack on the “bad actors” if they repent? Is that fair?  “AFTER WHAT I FORGAVE YOU? YUP”

Blessed: are the pure in heart. What, the precious ointment of my love to you can’t have one teeny tiny dead fly in it without stinking? “NOPE”

Blessed: are the peacemakers. You mean that if I see others being attacked, I can’t just video it and put it on facebook? I have to get involved and might be attacked myself? “YUP”

Blessed: are the persecuted. Now just hold on, maybe I could do without all this blessing. You sure there isn’t another way? “NOPE”

OK Lord but without you I can do none of this, “YUP” so please work in me so that I might be blessed and be a blessing. “OK”

WHEN THE TRUTH DOESN’T SET YOU FREE

The truth won’t work on someone who WON’T examine themselves or accept feedback.

What can we learn from the struggles of our passive aggressive brethren?

PASSIVE AGGRESSION: Believing that we have good intentions and are actually unusually loving, kind, gentle, patient, faithful, peaceful.

We then cause others to count on us and then subconsciously, let them down.

When they complain we have an excuse (preferably making our own failure be their fault,”You didn’t give me enough time, I am trying don’t I get some credit for trying?, You weren’t clear enough, I didn’t intend to break it etc etc,.

We then promise to come through if they give you another chance

We then let them down again AND ROUND AND ROUND.

What can we learn from our passive aggressive brethren? THE CONSTANT NEED FOR SELF EXAMINATION AND FOR SEEKING AND FINDING BALANCING FEEDBACK FROM OTHERS!

Recent study has shown that people who do poorly THINK that they are doing much better than they are. The wonder why others don’t agree. They are “polite” but inwardly shake with rage when others point out their obvious shortcomings. The question was whether the ignorance of their own reality came from low IQ or what? Later research suggests it correlates with LACK OF FEEDBACK.

We need to be prayerful and honest to that extent that our delusional brains can be. We need to ask, “Do I appreciate negative feedback and apply it to my life?” Just saying to those around you, “I am always open to criticism my door is always open, you may tell me anything.” Does not mean it is true. I have NEVER had a boss who said that I could give them feedback, listened without defending or explaining and actually changed ANYTHING. Needless to say, most bosses think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Do I encourage feedback by pointing out to those who know me that I am examining myself in order to grow and wonder if they see anything else. How do we make sure we have no feedback? Let me count the ways (at least a couple of them) We claim ability and dare others to disagree. I know of a woman who couldn’t sing a note on key who tried out for the choir saying “At least I can carry a tune.” What was the director supposed to say? “No you can’t!” We isolate and just make sure no one hears one of our opinions or sees us try anything that they could then give feedback on. We are always pointing out everyone else’s flaws as if we are the final judge. We counter attack, “Well, you’re not so great yourself” We only hang out with people who think exactly as we do.

Passives also are always preparing and never doing. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason Proverbs 26;16

Now is the day of salvation, now is the appointed time. Do we go to classes and meetings and keep waiting till we feel ready to reach out to others.

Needless to say, TRUTH does no good for passive aggressives, because feedback is truth accepted and applied.

Lord help me examine myself, especially before communion but also on a regular basis. I Corinthians 11;28

Lord teach me to think on my ways and turn my feet to your testimonies. Psalms 119;59

Lord help me search and try my own ways and turn again to you. Lamentations 3;40

Lord when I consider and turn from my ways to yours, give me LIFE. Ezekiel 18;28

Consider your ways! Yes consider your ways says the Lord. Haggai 1;5,7

Lord make me tired of this world’s pig-slop and bring me to  senses and return to you. Luke 15; 17

Go ahead and search me O God, even if you have to use other people even my enemies to help me see and learn.

 

 

 

 

WHEN TRUTH DOESN’T SET YOU FREE

Perhaps one of the most dangerous places to be found in is to be able to hear truth and love truth and be unable to benefit from truth. The phrase would be better put “being able to hear and apply to truth to oneself will set you free”

James 1:21 Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye does of the word, and not hearers only deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into th perfect law of liberty and continueth therein he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

When I was a young helper, I thought that filling people with practical truth would bring freedom. Boy was I surprised, to find that there were people (Borderline disorder) who were terrified to do well. I would share truth–they would grow–they would become terrified at their growth–they would do something to make all the progress fall apart.

What can the rest of us learn from them? Paul says that he LEARNED both how to abound and how to be abased. Philippians 4:12.  What did he learn? Perhaps that all sucess is the Lords’ We do not have to earn it or maintain it or fear what man may do to us if they don’t like God’s success in us. The second we take some responsibility to succeed or keep it up, we will just screw it up, like Moses saying,”Must WE bring water out of this rock for you?” Why  are so many Christians so shy, so hesitant to witness? Do we fear others will judge and wack on us? They probably will, but so what? The person with Borderline had an authority who NEVER TOLD THEM WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR AND COULD NEVER BE PLEASED. The Lord on the other hand is VERY CLEAR ON WHAT HE WANTS but IS ALWAYS PLEASED THAT WE ARE TRYING AND THAT WE ARE HIS CHILDREN. The Borderline has to give up their identity because they try according to their God given design and are criticized. God on the other hand love to see the identity he has designed into us being developed and used to minister. Borderline folks tend to put others on a pedestal then knock them off. By God’s grace we see no person as being the source of our hope but even when they let us down (as they inevitably will) we continue to relate and help them. The Borderline tends to “awfulize” ever situation to justify once again trashing their latest endeavor. By God’s grace we stay calm and see things in the perspective of eternity. The Borderline has much trouble being mindfull and present. By God’s grace we grab ahold of the NOW and HERE and do not invest hope and anxiety in tomorrow but delight in and invest in what we have, who we have and what we can do in the present.

In my next blog I will discuss what we can learn from out PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE brethren who also do not benefit from truth.

I SHALL NOT WANT?

Either God’s promises are true or he is a liar and he claims to be unable to lie. A friend recently texted that she loves Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.  Still, she has trouble with Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want, (Presumably because her life,like all of ours in this sin damaged world, is full of want.

Put in ordinary words, she must see a world in which there is constant struggle and a very real sense of not having things she needs and definitely does “want” more.

I think that we can all relate. If you read Foxe’s book of Martyrs you will be appalled at what the Lord allows his servants to go through. Still, one Roman soldier warned the administrators that when the smoke from the burning Christians hit the watching crowd; it had magical power and turned the watchers into Christians also. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church’s growth. The first missionary to North Korea was murdered as he waded ashore; still it was on that very beach that a great revival started that spread throughout all of Korea.

It is helpful to put all truth in context. In Ephesians 4 we read Not that I speak in respect of want. (Paul was in real need and appreciated the gifts sent so what does he mean that he had no “want”?) for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, in this to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, (note that he was hungry) both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.

We Christians are troubled on every side,perplexed,persecuted, cast down, bearing aabout in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus, always delivered to death II Corinthians 4:8. But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us. We are his fellow sufferers, fellow laborers, fellow soldiers.

Don’t expect to feel content just because you are saved and if you could see the bigger picture would be content with what God is allowing. Note that even a man as disciplined as Paul had to LEARN and to BE INSTRUCTED in the art of contentment. Surely the Lord is our shepherd and we may have to walk through the valley of evil but he will never leave me nor forsake me. If you seek a god who will guarantee comfort or even function, look elsewhere. Our God only guarantees himself as our “enoughness” and that he will walk every path with us.

KINDLING STARTS FIRES

Many of the illnesses that I work with are KINDLED. That means that they tend to gradually worsen. It becomes easier to fall into a relapse and harder to recover.

Change for the better or for the worse tends to be like that. It can be discouraging how slowly we replace a bad habit with the healthy. We begin thinking that bad is good and wondering why it doesn’t work out for us. Then we find out that our ways are not his ways neither are our thoughts his thoughts. Then, once in a while, we catch ourselves and yield our members according to a gradually growing awareness of what his ways look like when applied to real life. After a while longer we find ourselves responding in his ways consistently, but must still concentrate to do it. Eventually we respond in his way automatically and wonder how we could have ever considered our old way reasonable.

Change for the worse sneaks up on us quietly. We start hating evil but maybe being a bit fascinated by it. Then we may “taste just a bit of it” and recoil in disgust, Then just as the frog in gradually heated water, goes to sleep and lets himself be cooked; we play around the edges of sinful behavior assuming that we can control it and enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season. Gradually we find ourselves hooked and even wondering what is so bad with it. We may even get to where we call good /bad and bad/good. We may find ourselves attacking those who stand for Christ. My daughter is fighting for the truth of God-spoken creation. She gets her most vicious attacks from fellow Christians who say that the truth is driving off young people. The truth is that evolution is convincing most of our youth that there is no need for a god to explain the intricacies of creation, so they are free to indulge in being their own god.

I pray that the fire of God’s love of all people and hatred of all sin, be kindled and grow in you.

Philippians 1:9 And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.

ALREADY IMMORTAL

I was talking to someone who was concerned that they would get bored being immortal. What would we do for all eternity? Of course they were thinking of eternity on this planet surrounded by sin and with their own sinful tendency to be stressed with striving to be strong and perfect and the whole time being bothered by not dwelling in the here and now but letting their mind wander to the future and wallow in the past. Trust me, eternity won’t be a problem because our attitudes will be perfected, but it doesn’t hurt to practice in the NOW.

We are commanded to take no thought for the morrow but rather focus on today. One gift the Lord has given me as early as my teen years was the gift of dropping out of time. I had been immortally alive since I was 5 years old and time seemed irrelevant. I watched my peers ignore to privilege of learning and being in the present because their happiness was connected to the weekend.

WHAT’S THE RUSH? Death is but a transition from one home to another. Lois and I have moved over 30 times in our lives, so what’s one more move?

In heaven will we be eagerly awaiting the future, ignoring the wondrous present? But we are already immortal! It would be wise to start practicing seizing life one moment at a time, savoring what we have, relating to who is in our lives, doing all things with gusto.

The bad attitude of thinking life starts only after we get to heaven often causes us to not grasp the privilege of NOW!

Think with me of all the COOL STUFF WE CAN do now that WE CAN’T DO IN HEAVEN. Oh yeah I won’t object when he calls me home but WHAT’S THE RUSH? On earth we can do battle with evil, we can witness to the unsaved, we can practice faith, we can comfort the ill and wounded, we can lay up treasure in heaven, we can encourage the weak, we can restore brethren overtaken in a fault, we can apologize and ask forgiveness,we can join in Christ’s sufferings and labors, we can pray power into the battle, we can hold up our pastor’s hands when he is weak, we can teach and share with others what God has done for us. Now is the day of salvation, Now is the appointed time. When THEN becomes NOW  then we will be free to freely grab that reality BUT NOT YET MY FELLOW IMMORTALS.