Posts Tagged ‘human reasoning’

Raging from Within

Recently a reader; who shall remain nameless, sent me a request for help in what they called “their struggle to believe God”. The brokenness they felt every time they tried to trust His Biblical Truths seemed to become overwhelming… in fact they said that it felt like their heart was “raging from within”. I want to thank the “reader” for their honest transparency, because I do not believe they are alone in this struggle. The desire to know what steps to take toward freedom is a huge leap in the right direction! We all must learn and understand these spiritual principles, if we are to grow in faith as Christ’s disciples.

What most people do not understand is that they need to be free from Demonic Strongholds!

Immediately, you might draw back and feel shocked at this statement. You may even say, “I am not lead by the devil!” Let me first tell you that this issue is a spiritual battle and there is no way to be free from our past unless we admit that the past might still have a hold on our life. We will never be free from old ways except by faith in the wisdom of God and agreement with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will watch over God’s Word and make it powerful and effective in judging the intents of our heart (Heb 4:12)… if we are willing to receive.

The value of spiritual weapons… (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of spiritual strongholds, arguments and human reasoning that war against the Truth and the knowledge of Christ.”

I want to define a stronghold for you… it is a house made of thoughts.

This house made of thoughts is built upon a foundation of lies and deceptions that rule us emotionally, because we have had experiences that overwhelm our ability to believe the Truth. We cannot identify with what we have no ability to believe. What happens is that we make “emotional Covenants”… agreement with Darkness. Covenant agreement is a powerful spiritual force that either works for us or against us. Repentance and forgiveness are the beginning of freedom and all it requires is confession of our sin, but freedom costs us our emotional safety net. Remind yourself that this safety is fear based and not safe at all… its actually a deception. We must surrender our behavior in order to be free (John 8:30-36). Sinful behaviors are connected to the “orphan heart” that wants to be loved and embraced. What happens is that we often confuse legitimate needs with illegitimate behavior (Rom. 1:18-25).

We must do several things to break free.

  • 1st Renounce the Emotional Covenants with Darkness… confess the sin and begin to destroy the yoke associated with the thinking and feeling that sin brings. Isaiah 10:27 says the anointing breaks yokes around our neck… claim that strength for yourself and destroy the yoke.
  • 2nd Ask the Holy Spirit to begin to reveal to you what it is that this sin feeds in your heart. You will be able to hear in your heart immediately when you ask… God will answer and you will know. I find it helps to write a simple paragraph to God asking Him to reveal where your heart was broken and why. You might even want to ask Him where He was in the midst of your pain. You may need to go back into your heart and examine trauma or painful experiences that have caused you to make bitter judgments toward others, your parents or God. Quickly forgive them and the burden will lift, guilt and shame will leave quickly. That is where the Covenant was given its attachment to your heart. That is the easy part.
  • 3rd You must exchange the lies for the Truth of God and begin to identify areas where you are being “fathered” by emotional pain rather than God. Your Father loves you and has always been available to you. His thoughts toward you are all good (Psalm 139:17-18)(Jeremiah 29:11).

You may find many broken places where lies are hiding in your life… expose them and make them come into obedience to the Word of God. Take authority over shame and tell yourself what God has said about you… lies will bow a knee to Truth as you stand firm in Christ!

Excellence and Passion

To do things with excellence requires passion. To love well, run our race with an enduring strength and pursue a life with no regrets, requires something bigger than ourselves… something we are passionate about. Doing things well is part of living the abundant life and should be the standard for Kingdom People. We are called to walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. An excellent heart comes from who we are in God and who God is in us.

The Counterfeit:

Excellence is not the same as perfectionism. In fact, it comes out of a totally different motivation. Perfectionism is a desire for approval that flows from a religious spirit. There is no creative flow to perfectionism, because it relies upon human reasoning as its standard rather than passion and love. People who come from this motivation are often judgemental and find fault in almost anything they see accomplished.

A good example of this is when Mary pours out an expensive ointment on the feet of Jesus and Judas speaks up with a contentious attitude. To Jesus this expression was an excellent display of affection, but to Judas it was a terrible waste of money (Jn 12:3-6). Although the room was filled with the fragrance of worship, the heart of Judas was filled with criticism and judgement. Interestingly the Scripture gives us a hint of what motivated Judas. He had no concern for the poor, but was taking money from the money box, because he was a thief.

Power to Excel:

Dunamis is the Greek word for power that described the Holy Spirit’s outpouring on the day of Pentecost. Jesus said “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is poured out and you shall be witnesses to Me… in all the world” (Acts 1:8). Notice that this power would become the motivator for the witness they carried out in the world. The Holy Spirit would release such passion that they would bear evidence of a lifestyle from another world… Heaven.

Heaven’s Purpose:

Now there is some excellence in Heaven. There are some creative ideas in Heaven. There are things yet to be accomplished through Heaven’s creativity and purpose in the Earth. Jesus wanted us to accomplish the things of Earth with Heaven’s resources. Passion, creativity, wisdom and ability are designed to be released through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Its part of our delegated authority in the natural world to be a witness of Heavenly standards. “Gold, silver and precious stones rather than wood, hay and stubble” as the Apostle Paul would say. Your work will be tested by fire and the only thing that will endure will be that which had an eternal quality (1 Cor 3:12-15).

Be Creative:

Being creative does not mean everything has to be original or amazing, it just needs to carry our unique flow of expression, passion and gifting. You and I are the Children of God that the creation has been waiting to see, waiting with groaning and birth pains (Rom 8:18-23). We carry a glory that must have expression!

  • There are songs, yet to be written and sounds, yet to be heard!
  • There are inventions, yet to be seen and businesses, yet to be created!
  • There are cures for diseases, resources for the poor and justice for the downtrodden that must break forth!
  • There are revelations to be discovered and dreams to be dreamed!

All because of the Holy Spirit’s anointing… we have been blessed with the glorious liberty of excellence and passion.

Humble Flesh

Scripture: “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish… And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:16-26)

Thought for Today: “Humbling the Flesh”

The Bible seems to emphasize the idea that man was created by God with three parts (1 Thess 5:23) spirit, soul and body. The spirit or inner-man is where the Holy Spirit makes its dwelling. The soul or outer-man, consists of our mind, will and emotion and is where man processes natural realities and makes decisions. The body, called the carnal man or “flesh” is the visible part. It responds to our five senses; taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing, and becomes the means of expression… activity.

Sanctification:

Now in order for us to understand the value of spiritual disciplines like prayer and fasting, we must first recognize the broken state of our human condition. Sin separates us from God and causes us to rely upon natural sight and human reasoning. The point of spiritual discipline is to restore our connection to the voice of God by separating our spirit, soul and body from sinful behaviors, habits or thought patterns that are in opposition to the will of God.

Restoring the Connection:

Its like removing the insulation from an electrical wire so that a connection can be made between a power source (God) and an appliance (activity). This process of removing the insulating barrier is what the Apostle Paul called sanctification. He felt the struggle we all have with sin and taught about dying to self, letting go of flesh desires and yielding our lives to God’s purpose (Rom 12:1-2)(Phil 3:3). He practiced and encouraged disciplines that would release and multiply the fruit of the Holy Spirit and free us to walk like Jesus.

Quieting the Flesh:

In order for us to hear the voice of God we must quiet all the other voices that compete for our attention and affection. The voice of the flesh is like a dripping faucet, consistently crying out to be fed, clothed and nurtured. Its been doing this all of our life, from a baby until now. We have given in to its desires and unless we discipline its voice, it will try to rule us.

Jesus said – “Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!” (Jn 8:36)

Spiritual Freedom:

Freedom is not just living without the hindrance of the old patterns, but its the ability to live with fresh purpose, empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that God gives more grace to the humble (Jms 4:6). Fasting does more than just quiet the flesh… it humbles the flesh and trains it to obey the spirit, when done in unison with prayer. By making room for the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our lives, we are free to live by the spirit and fulfill the will of God!

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

Consider Your Ways

“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:4-7)

This frustrating lifestyle is often felt among Christians who are in the midst of life’s greatest tests. You see, I believe in the God of supernatural provision… the God who calls Himself “Jehovah-Jireh!” (Gen. 22:14); which means “the-LORD-will-provide”. I have seen it in my life and have no doubt that God tests me often to make sure I focus on His provision rather than any human reasoning or manipulation.

Here we can clearly see the Jewish Prophet Haggai, challenging people to consider their ways and their harvest, in order to evaluate the issues they are puzzled about, when it comes to provision. Why were they consistently overwhelmed and living in lack? Well, its like the Apostle Paul tells us… “do not be deceived, what you sow, you shall also reap” (Gal. 6:7). When a professing believer never seems to have enough and his money bag seems filled with holes, it is time for him to consider his ways before the Lord, because something is not adding up!

After all, our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is well able to supply all our needs. In context, Haggai is rebuking the people of Judah for tending to their own welfare and neglecting the work of God. “Is it time for you, to dwell in your paneled houses, and this house [the unfinished temple in Jerusalem] to lie waste [broken down and forgotten]” (Hag. 1:4). It might be helpful to understand that the Temple was the place that housed the Glory of God. It was a special place designed by God to meet with His people and fellowship among them for their good.

The Eternal Principle:

We need to recognize the zeal of the Father’s heart is for fellowship… not just a get together; but a spiritual experience that leads to knowing His heart. Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of things” like food and drink and clothing. But, He also calls us to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:32-33). In the midst of the directive is a promise! If these necessities of life are not being provided, we urgently need to consider our ways. Are God’s Kingdom and His righteousness really our first concern?

Accessing Promise:

We often quote the wonderful promise, “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). But we must remember that this promise was given to a group of Macedonian Christians whose “deep poverty [was not a hindering mindset] abounded in the riches of their liberality” [their giving], because “they first gave themselves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:2-5). That is how the Glory Realm is accessed and our needs are met in Christ… surrender and obedience to the Father’s heart.

The Spirit’s Quickening

Jesus tells us, “It is the Spirit which quickens, the flesh profits nothing: the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life.” (Jn 6:63)

One of the most powerful stories of the New Testament is when we see the Evangelist Philip leave a city moving in great revival. The Bible says of Samaria that it was a city full of “great joy” (Acts 8:5-8). But just as the breakthroughs were beginning, Philip is ‘quickened’ in the spirit to go and minister to an Ethiopian Eunuch on his way out of Jerusalem (Acts 8:26). Philip’s ability to respond to the Angel of the Lord shows great sensitivity to the Will of God and the unction of the Holy Spirit. Its a wonderful example of spiritual faith, because history tells us that through this encounter a Nation was turned toward God. If you ask me… “Can a nation be won in a day?” I will tell you boldly, under the quickening power of the spirit… Nothing is Impossible!

Discernment:

We were made to do the works of God and manifest God’s Glory in the Earth. While we all recognize that God’s Will is central to our heart, few have determined to recognize the quickening work of the Holy Spirit. Very few people dare to live spontaneous lifestyles. Yet the “suddenlies” of God are the most unique and powerful opportunities the Holy Spirit sets in front of us. Discernment is a vital key to walking in sync with God and His Manifest Glory.

The Christian who develops a lifestyle of prayer and fasting will tend to respond with spiritual urgency when they feel the Holy Spirit’s nudge. This is because they have trained their hearts to move in faith, to make room for the spontaneous; rather than live only in routine or human reasoning. What the Bible calls discernment, Jesus calls being sensitive to the Spirit’s “quickening”.

A Quickening:

Feeling the quickening of the Holy Spirit is a powerful faith activity. Its a strong sense of “NOW” or being present in a divine moment of opportunity. Its the heart’s response, the realization if you will; to supernatural movement or a “Word” from the Mouth of God. At times its a whisper and at other times its a hurricane. We can tune into God’s voice and timing, simply by believing; not tomorrow, not when we have time available, but in the now. The Spirit will tap on the heart at any time and in many ways, but it is only effective when the heart is tuned in and functioning by faith.

We are called to live in these moments… called to move with an unction of Holy Spirit and find our fruitfulness as a bubbling stream from “His River” of heavenly resource. In God’s harvest fields, we need the Spirit’s quickening! In fact, there is no sphere of reality that human reasoning or religious tradition can effectively transform. Transformation is a work of the Holy Spirit! According to Acts 17:28, even the heathen poets in the days of the Early Church, recognized the fact that… “in Him we live and move and have our being”. It only makes sense then that God would still be speaking and quickening us by His Spirit!

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

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