October 16 2017

Identity In Christ

identity in christHow many times have you looked around the world and wondered why a good God would allow so much evil? Or how terrible things happen to good people? Surely a God of love would never allow these things. This is a common thought that many people have, which leads them away from Christ and into a pit of lies created in hell. If God is Sovereign, but the world is evil, then it looks like God is either evil Himself, or completely impotent to change it.

What we don’t understand is that we are not looking at the world from a heavenly perspective. We are looking at the world, and even at God, from a viewpoint that is not aligned with the Truth. When we compare these thoughts to scripture, we can see some very important realities that we have been lead away from.

We have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Eph 1:3

Examples of spiritual blessing are: the armor of God, treasures in heaven, an armory in our storehouse, spiritual gifts, the fruit of the spirit, eternal salvation, Gods love, grace and mercy, the heart of the Father aka His Holy Spirit, power and authority of Christ, perseverance, righteousness, holiness, being Gods people, being adopted into son-ship, inheritance into the kingdom, right to be called sons and daughter.

He choose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. Eph 1:4

Our citizenship is in heaven Phil 3:20 and we are seated there with Jesus right now Eph 2:6

Hope is stored up for us in heaven Col 1:5 where our inheritance is 1 Pet 1:4

Through Jesus we are more than conquerors, Rom 8:37 and because of that nothing, not even the evil schemes of the devil, can separate us from the love that chose us. Rom 8:38-39

So before time began God created us for adoption through Christ to be sons and daughters, holy, blameless, pure and righteous, forgiven of sins, redeemed through his blood, lavished with His grace, freely given His love. He then sent us here as citizens of heaven with every spiritual blessing. We are seated in the heavenly places right now, with Christ, for His good will.

The reason God brought us here when He knew how evil the world is, because He has already prepared us in advance with everything we could ever need. We are lacking nothing in this world and evil is no match for what God has freely given to us. He prepared us before the creation of the world so that when Lucifer tried to take it over, we would already have everything we need to defeat him.

However, God also gave us free will, in order that we might choose our own course in life. From the very beginning man chose sin. Man chose to do evil in the sight of God. We never gave up our treasures in heaven, we only chose the more difficult path in order to do it on our own and be like god. God was never worried when He created man, because He has prepared us in advance for all of this. The devil can never win, even if he has made it look like he can.

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Revelation 12:9

Why would God make people who were going to choose to sin? Some people have a proclivity for sin and evil.  Every spirit was born of God, and every spirit was created with His love. However, some spirits chose to reject that goodness, just as Lucifer did. God did not choose to abort any creation of His, because God is love, and love does not do evil. Love has hope, and believes in redemption and salvation.

When we do not rest the foundation of our belief systems on the truth of who we are and where we came from, we find it increasingly difficult to manage the pain and uncertainty that fill this world. We begin to listen to the lies that surround as at every turn and they slowly disintegrate the voice of our spirit within us. Our soul (aka emotions and thoughts) takes over and leads us by way of what seems right or what feels good. The next thing we know we are lost and full of hopelessness as we forgot the whole reason why we were created and brought here in the first place. Love.

identity in christIt is through our salvation that our spirits are renewed through the blood of Christ. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are again proclaiming our allegiance to the One True Living God. We are baptized into his death and resurrection and become a new creation. The death of this world that threatened to swallow us no longer has a foothold over us. Instead we are alive in Christ, as sons and daughters of the Most High. Our spirit never forgets where we came from. It is through Jesus our spirit is able to lead us through partnership with the Holy Spirit, instead of our souls.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

The devil is always going to try to bring us down. His process is to steal, kill and destroy and he is relentless in his tasks to do so. As long as we focus on what is wrong in our lives and what is wrong in the world, we will never regain the eternal ground that God built inside of us before we were ever born. We will continue to remain in that hopeless state of confusion that has twisted its way like a serpent into our hearts.

If Adam and Eve, who walked daily with God Himself, can lose their way and be deceived, how much more susceptible are we today? We have distractions in every facet of our lives, turning us around and around until we forgot we were supposed to be devoting ourselves to our call here on earth, given by our Heavenly Father. We are called to be set apart in a world that is confused and out of control. We carry the light and the hope of Christ, and we need to return back to the roots of where we came. Heaven.

Heaven alone is our where our focus needs to rest. The next time you feel you are in the midst of a identity crisis, you need to turn to the Bible and allow the truth of the Word to separate you from what is not of God. The Word is the Sword of the Spirit, and essential part of the Armor of God. It is only through the Word that we come to an understanding of these eternal truths that allow us to remain steadfast in the midst of the chaos around us.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

October 2 2017

Finding Peace In The Midst Of A Chaotic World

Recently I have really been striving to understand the truth about peace. As I go through my inner healing process and gain more and more freedom from the bondage of the occult, I find myself more and more on the receiving end of attack. As the attack came, I found myself overwhelmed by the scope of it. In the midst of the war, I found it hard to make Christ my dwelling place and home. Yet as I cried out for peace from God one morning, I heard Him say “I am your peace.”

When we think of the word ‘peace’ we think of the world’s version of peace. The peace that means absence of war or strife. The peace that I was seeking was just that; the absence of the war and the ability to feel it all pressing down on me. However, when I heard Jesus tell me that He was my peace, I was confused. If Jesus is my peace, then I needed to understand what that meant on a deeper level.

My whole life I had the world’s understanding of peace. Peace to the world means freedom from strife and chaos in your life. Let’s take a closer look at the Merriam-Webster definition of peace:

  1. a state of tranquility or quiet: :  freedom from civil disturbance

  2. freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

  3. harmony in personal relations

  4.  a state or period of mutual concord between governments

So my beliefs on peace were rooted in this definition that being free from rage, strife, disturbance or war meant peace.  In this world we have many troubles, especially now with so much political unrest, natural disasters, and threats of war or violence in other countries. When we see war or strife, especially close to home, it brings an internal chaos to us. We are filled with fear of the unknown. We have no idea how to cope with problems bigger than we can fix or handle on our own, especially problems that are completely out of our control or authority. Often times when we see chaos or strife, we want to take complete control over the situation. This control gives us a false sense of peace. However, we are trying to take over Gods authority in situations, instead of giving Him complete control and submitting to His will.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

Biblical peace has an entirely different definition. Lets look at the Biblical definition of peace according to its Hebrew and Greek usage.

Shalom in Hebrew is most frequently used in the Old Testament for peace. It means wholeness or completeness, harmony between two parties
Eirene in Greek is the most frequently used in the New Testament for peace. It means to join or bind together that which has been separated

The Biblical definition of peace is the opposite of the world’s view of peace. While man would seek to tame circumstances, God seeks to quiet the heart and align it with His Spirit. Man wants to resist the Spirit of God out of lack of trust and need to control. However, control does not give true peace. True peace keeps our heart and will at one with God. It brings us into a place of trust, where we ultimately hand over the reigns to Jesus and know full will that God works all things for our good.

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

Isaiah 12:22

Trust in God that He is Sovereign and Good and will do what is best is a difficult concept for most to hold on too. The devil has worked our entire lives to distort the true meaning of peace and instead work us into a frenzy of being our own gods. Peace does not come naturally to man, it is a fruit of the Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit comes out of living a life submitted to Jesus. It comes by following in His Holy Spirit and living in trust and under the umbrella of His Sovereign Authority. Peace comes only from God, not from absence of pain and chaos. Where there is chaos, that is evidence of the work of evil. Instead of living in fear of strife and evil, we need to take our thoughts captive to align them back with the truths of the word of God.

The Word of God tells us that trials and tribulations are a normal part of life in this world. The devil has come to steal, kill and destroy, not to bring peace. That paired with the fact that sin has separated us from God, results in strife and chaos here on earth. It will continue to be this way until Jesus returns. We believe that having a good life means having things we want and when are lives don’t resemble to plans we had in store for ourselves, that something must be wrong with us. We believe the lie that happiness is the peace the world promises: freedom from strife. This is reinforced over and over again in the media and in the world. However, what we don’t understand is it is unrealistic, and no one has a life free from all strife.

peaceTrue peace comes from a place of rest and ease within ourselves by the power of Christ alone. The peace of God allows us to connect with Him and trust in Him in the midst of the storm. It brings us to a place of submission, fully realizing that we ultimately have no control outside of our own thoughts and actions. Choosing to be humble and allow God to work all things for our good will bring us the peace that surpasses the human understanding.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

As we begin to submit to God’s authority and plans for our lives, we will let go of our earthly desires, and our fears. We will cast them upon the throne of God and allow Him to comfort and nurture us. His perfect love will being to refine us so that when the world around us in chaos, we can stand firm on His Word instead. When we begin to align our thoughts with His words of truth in scripture, the devil has less of a chance of taking us captive to his lies.

Step by step we must come into a new understanding of peace. The world would love us to run around busying ourselves trying to make our own peace, but it is only at the feet of Jesus we will find His perfect peace.

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

October 9 2017

Karma: Finding The Path To Grace

karmaAs a non believer, I was a firm believer in karma. Karma was very similar to the law of three fold in the Wiccan beliefs that I firmly believed in. Karma says, you get what you deserve, and the law of three fold says, you get what you deserve back three times. Either way, I held in my heart the knowledge that the universe was holding each of us accountable to our behavior, and those that did wrong would pay a high price for it.

With those thoughts in mind, I surely had no intention to do wrong. As a matter of fact, I hated evil. Evil was against everything in my nature. It made no difference that I had a love affair with vampires and witchcraft. Those were not things that were evil; they were things that were deeply misunderstood, just as I was. So with all of my being, I set out to be the best person I could be. To never harm anyone intentionally and to do what I could to always grow and be better. I was convinced the world was full of enough evil, and so I needed to combat that by doing good.

It is very easy to see natural consequences of ones actions and call it karma. Karma, however, according to traditional Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, is not as simple as that. Karma is actually based more on the belief that whatever we do in this life determines what we will return as in during the next life. The meaning of karma has been adapted to fit a wider audience of this world. That is because karma in itself is a twisted ideology based on a world run and ruled by many gods and goddesses. These deities have no real concern for humans, or this world, except to keep them living up to their expected standards of behaviors and worship.

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

The devil would love us to keep in line with this way of living. If we are ever striving to be better and do better, then we are focused completely on ourselves, our behavior, and the actions of others around us. There is no need for grace or mercy, and we give over judgement to this failed universal law of karma. If karma is going to ultimately judge others, then we have no need to worry about anyone but ourselves. What we don’t realize is that while our actions do have importance in this life, there are far more important values than being “good” or “bad”.

Consequences in life are a natural occurrence. It’s the basic law of cause and effect. However, the Bible teaches us about God’s grace. God’s grace is a miracle of His loving kindness. Whether you believe in the God of the Bible or not, you can be sure that you will meet Him on the Day of Judgement and be held accountable for your actions. The difference between karma and grace is, karma leads us to live a life based on works, and grace leads us to a life of submission and humility.

We serve a holy God; a God that is so good and righteous that He is unable to sin or do evil. Yet even though we are created in His image, we have chosen sin over God, over and over again. We have to be held accountable to these sins, for sure. However, the goodness and righteousness of God far surpasses our human understanding. While we would render judgement on the first act of evil we saw, God instead gave us mercy. His mercy and compassion was so great, it lead Him from His place in heaven on the throne, to the womb of a mortal woman.

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:3-7

We have all fallen short of the glory of God. We have all turned our backs on Him and decided it was better to make our own way. As much as that grieved our Father in Heaven, He was unwilling to do the same for us. God made a way to connect with us when there was none. Through Jesus Christ we are able to have a sustainable and real relationship, coming into the most holiest of places: the throne room of God.

Why should a people who have hated God, perpetrated evil and terrible crimes against others, even to the point of taking lives, be given any grace whatsoever? If it was up to the universe and karma, we would all be on our way to hell with no chance of redemption. Thank God that is not the way love works. Our Father is a God of love. It was through love He created the universe and all that lay in it, and it was in love He breathed life into man. It was with love He has guided each of us our entire lives, and it is with love Jesus died as that redemption for our sins we never deserved. I cannot think of any thing so great as the love of God that held me and accepted me just as I was.

We are not here in this life to be good. We are not here on this earth to try the best we can. We are here for one purpose; love. Love brought us to life and gave us a chance to know our Creator in deeper and more intimate ways. Try as we might to do good or be good, we are always going to fail somewhere. Thankfully our Father is going to be right there, every step of the way, to pick us up and and help heal our wounds. He is a good, good Father.

As we each come into the understanding of the truth of who God is, I pray that He opens our hearts to fully receive His love. So many of us are so broken and ashamed, feeling too unworthy to even accept the love of God. Our Father is waiting for you right now, waiting to wash you from all of your sin and shame, wanting nothing more than to welcome into His arms for all eternity. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done in this life, it only matters that you say ‘yes’.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16