The Muddy, Murky Waters and the Monstrous Mushroom of the Multitudes

 “And we know that we are of God,
and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1 John 5:19 KJV

We know that we are from God,
and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
1 John 5:19 ESV

How can we, as God’s people, endure this world’s evil environment?
We are inundated on all sides, surrounded by the pollution of wickedness and oppression that pervades this earth. More and more, we are becoming persecuted; many are dying because they follow Christ. These are the muddy, murky waters in which we live.

If this was not enough, the news of this world’s wickedness covers the airwaves. Any hope that should be ours in our Lord Jesus Christ is smothered by the cloud of despair that, if possible, would make our faith useless.

Such conditions of this world perpetuated by the masses whose only God is self has to be addressed and overcome by those whose hope is in Jesus Christ ~ the only power to live in this present world without being drowned with the multitudes or caught up and carried away in the monstrosity of repetition.

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Illustration:
From a body of water looking inland, the Bible is the dock. “The muddy, murky waters” are strewn with fetuses, guns, syringes, devices, etc.
Above is a dark, “monstrous mushroom” ~ an overarching cloud reflecting the elements in the water.
Slicing through the middle of the mushroom is light from above shining on the path extending inland from the dock.
The light and brightness in the background add color in the middle of the darkness. (Kourtney, our granddaughter, is working on this.)

 It is only through God’s Word that we learn the truth about life, and by which we know our only hope of salvation in this world. Christ in us and us in Christ is the power to live through the degradation of this world victoriously and to rescue others.

 

 

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless,
the sons of God, without rebuke,
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,
among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the word of life.”
Philippians 2:14-16

Such is the need for the truths of God’s Word in our newest book in progress. Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory is the presentation of the spiritual truths for which Jesus came to earth, died, arose, and ascended to heaven, sitting now at the Father’s right hand as our High Priest interceding for us.

By the power of His Holy Spirit, He is living in His followers. Not only is He living is us, but we are living in Him ~ raised with Him and made to sit together with Him in heavenly places.

Truths from God’s Word
The Holy Bible ~ God’s Holy Word ~ is filled to overflowing with the revelation of His Holy power working in and around us ~ the same power that raised Him from the dead. Although threatened at every turn by the enemy, the Holy Spirit is finishing His work on earth to bring us safely to Him.

We must understand the power that is ours in Christ if we are to overcome the conditions in which we live and endure to the end.

 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,
because he hath given us of his Spirit.”
“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,
God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love;
and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
1 John 4:13,15,16

Two Books at the Same Time
A few weeks ago, I mentioned working on Focus, Balance, and Order, a book started a few years agoAs I began to see where this was going and was focusing on our heavenly Father, I was led further back to eight years ago when I started this blog.

The name God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory was not an immediate choice.  It was given after considering many others ~ an answer to my desire for this to be God-centered and only for His glory. Soon after, this title Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory came to mind without any understanding of what it meant.

It wasn’t until a few years later, through His Word, the Lord began to show me the riches of His promises to live among His people. The kingdom is within you made more sense than ever before. 1 John 5:4:13-15, together with all the references of Christ living in us and us in Christ began to germinate from the seed planted in 2011.

In the last week, His Word has been profound as these truths continue to be a reality. The more I focus on God, our heavenly Father, His Son, and His Word the easier to see His balance and order in the world for His people.

As I study and search His Word, I am in awe and know that I am not worthy to handle such precious gems of truth. I sense a deep need to experience these truths before I can write them for others to understand. I pray and trust that He will fill me with His Spirit and grace to progress in this work ~ by His grace and for His glory.

My hope along the way is to share how our Lord is completing this work in and through me. Your prayers and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Father, oh, how we need you to reveal your presence among us, Christ living in us by the power of your Holy Spirit, filling us with your grace, covering us and surrounding us with your glory. Show us these truths through your Word. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

How the Holy Spirit Works ~ Part Three

Do you question God’s power to work in your life? Do you doubt or wonder at His supernatural working what He has planned and desires in your life? We are continuing to learn how God, who is Spirit, works supernaturally, whether it is for our salvation, our sanctification or contentment. His kingdom begins here on earth, His Spirit working in ours. He made us spiritual creatures in a physical body with the intentions of living His own Spirit in us, and portraying His own image. Jesus, being the example and the means through which He would accomplish His plan, is through the power of His Spirit, revealing and fulfilling His plan in us.

We have seen in our previous posts, the first and Part Two, where He begins. In this post we will continue to see the flow of His Spirit bearing the fruit of His own work (John 7:37-39; Galatians 5:22-23).

The Holy Spirit works in the spirit of man through the soul and the body; in the body, through the mind, heart and will. Here we see how He works in our impressions, our affections, emotions and expressions for His desired results.

The Spirit and Impressions

The Spirit works with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

“For freedom Christ, (through His Spirit and Word) has set us free” to know, fear, love, obey, and bear the fruit of His Spirit.” Galatians 5:1

Jesus promised His disciples to send the Spirit of truth, explained in the priestly prayer in John 17:17.

We cannot avoid the impressions of the Holy Spirit when the Father sends Him to witness of Christ in us. He brings us to read or hear His Word, and He brings conviction ~ “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:” John 16:8

“the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you:”
1 Peter 4:14
“lively stones, built up a spiritual house .”
1 Peter 2:5
“Sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.”
Ephesians 1:13

The Spirit and Affections

Do we sense the stirring of the Spirit within us? Where are our affections when the Holy Spirit does the will of the Father and the work of the Son within us? Where are our affections when we learn the truth of God’s love for us?

“Seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24

The Holy Spirit impresses us with the Father and Son’s love for us, so that we respond in brokenness, humility, repentance and faith.

“God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.” Romans 2:4

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1-2

The Spirit and Emotions

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:11
“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”
Romans 12:11

“The meek and quiet spirit” 1 Peter 3:4

The Holy Spirit works through our emotions and zeal in the body of the church.

“Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”
1 Corinthians 14:12

“in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”
1 Peter 1:22

The Spirit and Expressions

From the Spirit’s working in our spirit, soul and body, through our mind, heart and will, He is able to make His impressions real, and to express what the Father and the Son do in and through us as His people. In the following references we see what He expects to do in and through us to the Father’s glory.

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:14

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18

“in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27

By the power of the Holy Spirit we are brought together as His people to live the abundant life here, bearing the fruit of the life of Christ, by the power of the Spirit, content with what He is doing in us until He brings us home to glory ~ ready to answer those who ask our reason for hope and contentment.

Dear Heavenly Father, as we close this segment of our series on Contentment, I praise you for leading us to know how you work through your Holy Spirit to prepare your people for our eternal glory with you. As we wait and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to bear the fruit of your Spirit within us. Conform us to the image of Christ by His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and temperance. Thank you for loving us and making us your children. Enable us to be content with your glorious blessings in and through us. ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, by the power that works in us; to Him be glory in the church throughout all ages, world without end.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Recommended Reading: The Power of the Spirit
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Praying For Our Nation ~ Week 5

“In the fifth petition we pray that God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins, which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by His grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.” Shorter Catechismunknown-1

Forgiveness is a revolving grace that begins with God, working His love and forgiveness in us, and through us to others. Subsequently, we can confidently ask for forgiveness for our own indebtedness to Him, which is more than anyone could owe us. This grace is characteristic of God’s people, those who share space in His kingdom. How can we not love and forgive, when our Father has forgiven us?

Is there bitterness in your heart toward God or another person? Resentment is the spirit of oppression, and the enemy’s greatest weapon, working from within to destroy.

The condition of any single life, family, or nation, can be summed up in the total of our grievances and vengeance against others.

Where is Our Freedom?

We are concerned about our freedom here in America. We are already in bonds to the oppressive spirit that rules in the hearts and minds of men. What we see from those who desire to govern this nation is the same spirit of this nation. We are in need of God’s intervention by His Spirit to bring us to repentance, to lead us in truth and righteousness; to overcome this spirit within us.

Our nation and the world will remain under threat until we learn to live in love and care for our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and each other. Let us consider and examine our own hearts to know for sure that we have trusted the heavenly Father’s love and forgiveness for us.

Gracious Father,  forgive us of our rebellion, our pride, and covetousness; forgive us our anxieties and unbelief. Forgive us our discontent and impatience; forgive us our neglect and slothfulness. We need you to examine our hearts, to try our thoughts, to know if there is any bitterness that we hold against you or any other person. Reveal your love and forgiveness to us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Bring us to repentance, that we may trust you in all things, to live in peace with you and our fellowman. Heal hearts in this nation and other nations by the peace of your Son, in whose name I pray. Amen.

“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God.” Daniel 9:19

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The Finish Line

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Why is the last course the hardest?

It seems uphill the rest of the way.

 

 

~ So that you will know that nothing has been of your own strength.

It has been only by the will of the Father, the promise and calling of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit that you have breathed, moved and had any being in this world. (Acts 17:28)

In the whole of life endurance comes only by His working His strength in your weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)  You can continue on as you rest your weariness on Him.

When you cannot move He will carry you the remainder of the way.

 To the Israelites He said, “I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” Exodus 19:4

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10 

“Are not the angels all ministering spirits  sent out in the service
of those who are to inherit salvation?”
Hebrews 1:14

Dear Father, thank you that your grace is sufficient, and that your strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.  Let us be content in our infirmities knowing that the power of Christ rests on us, as your people.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Humility and Death to Self ~ Chapter 10

In this Year of Humility we have been learning from Andrew Murray’s Humility (PDF) the meaning, the means, and the working of humility in the Christian life. In this tenth chapter we come to the aim of humility, the end goal, and that is, death. Let us remember where humility originated, and follow its course to the effect it has in our own lives.

Humility began in heaven with God. In Jesus He condescended to the human level, so that He might save us from our sinful state. Christ, in humility and obedience to the Father’s will, with no plans of His own, gave up His position of glory to live a life here on earth, a life that He would share with us. For Him to accomplish this act for our salvation He had to humble Himself in order to die.

climber_offering_help_h_27770948_stdWhat if, in a very strategic situation, you need help? Someone offers, but you refuse, because the terms of the one who is able to help you are not to your liking. You die because you refused what could have saved your life.

What if, in a life-threatening position, you have the opportunity to live, but you cannot let go of something that you are holding on to.

These are both cases that are analogous to refusal of the salvation that is offered in Christ.

Again, think of life that is promised if we not only let go of things that we hold dear in this life, but to give up our own life. Death to self is the only means of true life. And humility is the only means of coming to the end of self. Without humility there is no promise for life.  True humility leads us to die to self. In all this we see that the true life is the humble life that is ours in Christ; now and for eternity.

“Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 16:25

Revelation, Desire, Prayer, Reality
I speak from experience, as I say that humility is not a human trait, but that gift from heaven, through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, given to men for the abundant life that He promised those who come to Him. As much as I desire to live the humble life it seems still a supernatural life that I look forward to and pray for. As soon as I think I have a little humility, the oppressive spirit of the enemy assaults, and pride rears its ugly head.
(Oppression is a subject that I am studying and hope to write about.)

In Paul’s letters to the Romans and the Galatians he teaches us that the flesh and the Spirit are at war against each other. The hope (another gift) that we are given keeps us in prayer and more watchfulness against the wiles of the devil. He wants us dead, but not to self.

These truths are revealed to us by the Spirit, regenerating us with a new heart and a new spirit; so that we, seeing our ignorance and pride come to repentance and faith, our first step of humility toward growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. One step leads to another as we desire this humility, pray for it, and by His working, humble ourselves, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.


God Uses All Things for Our Humbling
Every time I read this book I come away with the same impressive statement Murray makes in this chapter. It is similar to Romans 8:28-29. It has made a difference in my life to see everything under God’s sovereignty working through everything whatever He wants to do in my life.

“Accept every humiliation, look upon every fellow-man who tries or vexes you, as a means of grace to humble you. Use every opportunity of humbling yourself before your fellow-man as a help to remain humble before God. It is by the mighty strengthening of His Holy Spirit that God reveals Christ fully in you.”

“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
Romans 8:25

Dear Father, you knew when you started all this, that we would need everything from you to make it work to your glory. All that you expect from us is supernatural and beyond our doing; but you have put it into our hearts and promised us, that you are exceedingly abundantly able to do more than we can ask for or imagine, by the power of your Spirit working in us. Thank you for coming down to us that you might bring us up to yourself. Enable us to die to self; to raise up by your divine power to live in praise unto you.
“Of your great goodness make known to me and take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride; and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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GOD’S GLORY ~ Not Ours

If God had created us for our own glory wouldn’t He have made life easier?  Why does starting, and getting through, a normal day require so much?  And why are we not satisfied and content with all that we do?  Is it not because God, our Creator, planned more for His creation than we are able to understand or to live up to, on our own.

He proved this, by leaving our first parents to themselves.  A day without the constant companionship of the Father left them open to their own imaginations and the temptations of this world, and they failed to live up to the standard by, and for which, they were created.

GOD is His own standard of excellence, a standard that no one can reach.  He must, through His own plan of redemption, bring us into this relationship of Father and child; and in His own timing and means of grace conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Without this we will continue to work for our own success and glory, hoping and trying to “be like God,” and failing miserably.

Only as He does a continual work in our hearts and lives by the authority of His Word and the supernatural power of His Holy Spirit, daily leading, teaching, and bringing us up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord  Jesus Christ” can we ever know the true purpose for our creation and redemption—His glory and our joy.

“God is faithful, by whom you  were called  into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.”                     1 Corinthians 1:9

Now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, world without end. Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20, 21