Wisdom from Romans Chapter 8

    As I heard the Spirit of the Lord instruct me to read Romans 8 today, I wondered what new nuggets of truth would come spilling out. I always have that anxious expectation of joyful revelation when the Spirit leads me to a particular passage of scripture. Those pages in Romans are worn. I’ve been here many times before and gleaned pieces of wisdom from them. I’m starting to see those pieces fuse together to form a big picture. I began to see a perfect description of the human person.

    We humans are a two-part being. Our identity, our heart and mind and all that we are, is spirit. That spirit is made in the image of God, and that spirit, if reborn into Christ, serves only the law of God. At the moment of salvation, the spirit within us is conveyed from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. It’s like being shot from a cannon. The new spirit breathes and lives, is creative and full of joy. Our spirits identify with the Spirit of God. He speaks to our spirits, He breathes life into our spirits and He protects our spirits. It is a knowing that we are home.

    Yes, we are spiritual beings. We are little spiritual offspring of the Father who is all spirit and no hindering flesh. He doesn’t need a container for Himself and someday we won’t either. But while we are here on earth, He gave us a covering for our spirits, a protection and a carrier. It is the housing for the spirit and to be used as a tool for effective life. It can, however, be a source of consternation, frustration and even sin. According to Romans 8, the flesh serves the law of sin. The conflict keeps you sharp although it is annoying and we want to cry and whine about the constant battle. The battle serves a purpose. The battle teaches you to war against something and win. In my life, it’s been the worst battle of all, and I’m not done yet. I have been in a battle with the bathroom scale for years when all along I should have been in a battle with my own flesh. I believe God gave me insight today to run this race and finish it in victory. I’m taking authority in the name above all names, the name of Jesus, today.

    We actually have a choice to serve the spirit or the flesh. We can sow to the flesh and reap corruption, or sow to the spirit and reap life and peace. Living according to the flesh will cause us to be in a position where we are unable or unwilling to fight the temptation to overeat, to use addictive substances or tame our tongues. We have the potential to become dull, angry, mean and bitter. We are exposed to corruption. We can turn on our own flesh and abuse it by eating too little or too much or overworking. We can cause catastrophic disease to take over and destroy the flesh and never even realize it is our choice to do so. That is the influence of the enemy of our souls, the devil. He will use the weakness of our flesh to cause us to get into sin, then beat us up for being weak and ineffective. The circle continues and becomes insidious. If you overeat sugar and unhealthy foods, don’t be surprised by the diagnosis of diabetes. Slow destruction, depression, even suicidal thoughts are the by-product of temptation. Now look, I’m speaking to myself, don’t bring in the yeah buts right now. I’m not saying all disease is sin, I’m not a Pharisee.

    HOWEVER, if Christ is in us, the body is dead because of sin. The law of the Spirit makes us free from sin and death. Jesus condemned sin in the flesh. Good news, the flesh is dead to sin and alive to Christ, so it can’t be killed!  We make the choice to subdue the flesh and its gravitational pull on our spirit. We voluntarily set our renewed minds on Jesus and live according to the Spirit instead. The Spirit of God dwells within us. We are His. I declare pursuant to His word, that He will give life to my mortal body so it may serve God. I live by the Spirit and put to death the deeds of the body. Because I choose that, I will live. I choose to suffer through the death of my flesh, to live free with my spirit controlling my body and what it does.

    We are delivered from the bondage of the flesh that is corrupted by sin, and forcefully flung into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The Spirit of God intercedes for us as we go through this flesh struggle. We have hope that we will not reap corruption, but glory as promised in the Word of God. All things are working together for our good in this struggle because we are called according to His purpose. He predestined us for that purpose. I’m focused on Jesus and His purpose for me, not my scale number. If God is for us, who can be against us? It truly is not a battle against other people, but our own flesh and the enemy Satan, who uses our weakness to tempt and destroy. Do you compare yourself to someone else and become discouraged? Hey, their purpose is not your purpose. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

    So how do we overcome our own flesh? How do we fight this battle? The Holy Spirit showed me what I needed to do as taken from Romans, Chapter 8.

  1. Lord I repent of the deeds of my flesh.
  2. I repent of believing the lies my flesh uses to get me to feed it.
  3. I repent for not fighting the enemy who uses my flesh against me and causes me to enter into sin,
  4. Lord, I am free in you. He who the Son sets free is free indeed. I am victorious over sin in my body and put my spirit in charge.
  5. I accept the free gifts included in the promises of God for my life. I will focus on Jesus and not me.
  6. Devil, I bind you from tormenting me with temptation, I rebuke you and the Bible says that if I will resist you, you must flee. Go.
  7. I ask for help Lord, in fighting this battle and winning this war. I know that I have what I ask when I ask in faith according to your word. I ask for strength and determination to persevere to the finish line in both your purpose for me, and against my flesh. Amen, so be it, it is finished.

The Whole 24 Revisited

I wrote a piece on my blog yesterday called The Whole 24. It was an amazing revelation to me about how Jesus loves us. He says that He will never leave us nor forsake us, but do we really get it? Do we really understand that He is with us always? I’ve read that at least a thousand times over the years but never got it till now. And even in that, I still may not be getting the whole thing. It’s that big!

In the Greek language, words and intent are so much fuller. English causes the words to diminish somewhat in the translation. English, like the rush of our culture, seems to be spoken faster, it’s quicker, easier and infinitely less rich than the original text. So yes, something might be lost in the translation, and you can rest assured it’s the fullness of each word. That leads me to look up individual words in the original Greek, and compare them, in order to find Gods intent in His statements of truth.

So, when the Word reads I am with you always, it really means, I am with you, next to you, I go before you and I back you up, 100 percent of the time, every day, the whole 24 hours of the day. I never leave to go somewhere else, I am in your presence, I see you, I love you, and I’m standing right next to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year, 365 days. It means I am with you when you pray, when you drive, when you are at school, when you are shopping, when you are working, and when you are sleeping. I am with you when someone disrespects you, they do it right in front of me. I am with you when someone praises you and I join in with them in delight over you. I am interested in every aspect of your life, I am deeply in love with you.

Knowing this, getting it down in our hearts, will cause us to live differently. It will cause us to pray differently. We take our seat in the heavenly places, next to Jesus and pray from His perspective. We can stop praying, Oh God, please be with so and so and they journey through this situation of whatever. Knowing that God is already with them, next to them, sharing the burden with them, is revelation. It adds a new perspective. We can now pray from a place of infinitely more faith. We can say, Oh God, thank you that you never leave so and so as they go through this fire. Thank you that they are comforted by you, and with hope, look ahead to your victory in it. Thank you Lord that this person has a knowing in them that you have their best interests at heart, that you rejoice over them with singing and that they have a future and a hope in Jesus. That’s the way to start. Then, bring your supplications to Him for that person as the Holy Spirit leads. Bring your love and concern, knowing that Jesus is next to you and hears you, and next to them and acts on their behalf. We need to dig deeply into God’s word to see the fullness of the truth knowing that for freedom, He has set us free. There’s so much more than we thought. Oh, thank you Jesus for setting captives free! Shalom.

The Whole 24

    Last night was my turn to teach Bible study and my topic was about when friends, family and co-workers dismiss, disrespect and disregard you because of your relationship with Jesus. The study was great, it validated women, it brought truth to expose the lies we’ve all heard and believed. It set us free to be who we are as children of the King. It brought freedom and a confident launch into destiny.

    Sometimes people say ugly things simply because they don’t understand or they are convicted by our new way. They are still judging us as we used to be. As Christians we are conveyed out of darkness and into light. Jesus set us free from all iniquity, paid the price of atonement for us, and brought us up high to sit in heavenly places with Him, and to have a heavenly perspective over things. We are different, we love and we have patience. He tells us to rejoice when we are treated badly, because that in itself serves a mighty purpose. The nasty words fall flat, they have no meaning and take no root in our spirits. The enemy can’t use those words to nag at us and destroy us, because instead we choose to rejoice and count it all joy when we fall into various trials. He is defeated again. We have been watered and transformed by the word. We believe Jesus because His word is true. There’s no more need to be convinced, the evidence is there. Now look, words do hurt, they do create bondage and hold people hostage, but Jesus has given us a way out of the pain. He never asked us to do anything alone and unequipped. He never asked us to be prisoners of hateful words.

    Jesus said in Matthew 28: 18-20, “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” NIV

    Surely I am with you always. Surely, positively, absolutely, without question, set in cement. In the King James version it says, I am with you alway. I thought for a second, hey, what does that really mean. The Strongs concordance indicates that the word alway, means figuratively, a period, an age, forever, day by day. Now if that isn’t enough to get you fired up, it literally means, the whole thing, all, any, all manner or, all means, always, thoroughly, daily. The whole 24 hours. Whoa, the whole 24 hours. Do you see it? He is with you, right beside you, before you and behind you, the whole 24 hours, every day, every night, every year. And not only that, He gave us all that He had, including the authority of His name and power in the Holy Spirit. Equipment.

    So, when someone says hurtful words to you, realize that they are saying it in front of Jesus because He is with you always. Your very Savior and Father hears them disrespect His own child. How do you think that makes Him feel? I think it breaks His heart because He loves that person as much as He loves us. It breaks my heart for them because they walk alone.

    So speak life. Love. Be free. For freedom He has set us free. We are no longer held captive to mean words, they don’t define us, they don’t affect us any longer because we know what we know, and we know we are covered and protected, the whole 24 hours. Peace.

The Josiah Stand

As usual, with anticipation of what God would do today, I sat down in my prayer chair, unzipped my bible cover and flipped it open. It landed on 2 Chronicles, Chapter 34. I felt impressed to read the chapter before even beginning to pray. This passage archives the reign of King Josiah in Judah. He was only 8 years old when he became king and he ruled for 31 years. The Bible says he was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways if his father David, without faltering.

He saw that the alters to other gods, the high places, and the images created as gods, were evil in the sight of God and he destroyed them all. He cleansed Judah and Jerusalem of unrighteousness, he burned the bones of priests (leaders) on their own alters, and restored worship. He went through Judah destroying ungodly things and didn’t return to Jerusalem until he was finished. He caused the money that was brought into the house of the Lord to be given to the workmen to repair and restore the temple. The workers were faithful in their labors under Josiah’s watch.

When the money was brought in, the priest Hilkiah found the missing Book of the Law of the Lord, given by Moses. When King Josiah was given the book, he was sorely grieved and tore his clothes. He asked Hilkiah and other leaders to inquire of the Lord; for he saw that great was the wrath of the Lord poured out on his generation, because of the forefathers not keeping the word of the Lord and to do according to all that was written. Huldah, the prophetess, confirmed and prophesied that calamity was to take place in the future because the people forsook God. So, King Josiah stood in his place before a crowd. He made a covenant before the Lord to keep His commands and follow his statutes with everything in him. He made all that were present to make a stand and the inhabitants did as he requested. For the rest of his life, the people did not depart from following God.

Immediately I felt an urgency to pray for President Trump as he takes his Josiah stand in America. He has publicly declared allegiance to the Lord God and humbly stated he cannot do his job without daily prayer and consultation with God. President Trump has boldly declared the righteousness of God, the moral decay of America, corrupt leadership and the hope of God’s renewed covering for the nation that He loves. He, like Josiah, is grieved for this rebellious nation and desires to restore godliness. It is incumbent upon us to hold him up in prayer as he takes a stand against the things God finds abominable and sets an example of righteousness.