Saturday, June 28, 2008

Misplaced Anger: Self-Deception

I’m curious about something. When Jesus advised the disciples that they were to beware of the leaven (or the teaching) of the Pharisees, what was that all about? Why was Jesus so insistent about this issue that he would take the time to warn them?

Later, Paul had to address a very similar situation with some other followers of Christ: You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

A lot of believers who have made the exodus from organized religion are angry, hurt and wounded at the institution and its leaders. But could it be their anger is misplaced? Note that Jesus did NOT say to beware of the religious leaders - but to beware of their 'leaven' (a type of yeast that caused fermentation in bread or liquid). Could it be that He knew how easily we would fall for this well-disguised, baited hook of corruption masquerading as truth? I mean, is it possible that Jesus initially gave this warning to ‘beware of the leaven' of the religious leaders because He knew that in our very flesh exists an innate liking, appetite or desire for this very leaven? Could it be that at one point in our lives leaven, or religion, was mighty attractive to us? Maybe our heavenly Father wants those who are still blaming their former religious leaders to take a sobering look at the possibility of the real fact - that hidden within their very own flesh is the very same spirit that was working in and through those they now blame for all of the religion-induced pain they are grappling with today. Why, then, should those who have left the institution be so angry at its hierarchy? Have those leaders not been duped by religion as well?

Here in my opinion is a real brain freeze! All of this misplaced anger is amounting to nothing but keeping believers locked up even further and longer in their own self-made prison. "But" many would argue, "I was but an innocent lamb, a pawn, duped into this entrapment! And the leaders were the ones who kept me enslaved!" Seems to me, if you read the biblical account of the fall in Paradise, that after Adam and Eve's moment of supposed enlightenment proposed by the father of lies (the serpent) Adam, speaking to God, retorts, 'I would have never been deceived or wouldn't have disobeyed you, had it not been for this darn woman!'. Then the woman goes straight for the jugular: 'I too am not responsible! It's all that darn snake's fault! He made me do it!'

I know of no greater lie or deception than being SELF-deceived, and then passing the buck and blaming everyone else rather than seeing all that we have gone through as a wonderful wake-up call from our loving heavenly Father. Maybe He is bringing us to the place of recognizing for the first time the depth of the utter and total depravity of our fleshly thinking and the hidden inclination within US, to turn our lives over to somebody or something other than the Father of our spirit? Could it be that religion was instituted by Satan himself in the Garden for the sole purpose of enticing humanity with a substitute for the real thing (freedom) - and from that point on ALL humanity has fallen for the lie?
Jesus once said to his disciples that there were many things he would like to have told them but that they weren't able comprehend it (like Jack Nicholson's character says in "A Few Good Men": "You can't handle the truth!). Maybe coming to grips with the fact that it's not the religious leaders, but the pervasive world-system of religious thinking, which is the leavening agent within our corrupt flesh - that is to blame for our deception. However, it is necessary to note that this covert and subtle suducing away from Christ as our only Life is totally impotent as long as we don't give a 'mind' to it (see Galatians 3:1-3).


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Short Cuts

In response to my friend Dave and his quick wit demonstrated over here, I wanted to share the following.

A popular movement in Christianity in the past few years has been the attempt to live our lives by applying the question, “What would Jesus do?” to the situations in our lives.
This sounds good but it completely misses the point. What we commonly look for in asking this question is some kind of specific guidance such as, “Would Jesus buy a Ford or a Chevy?” It pains me to inform you that Jesus didn’t know what a “Ford” is. The object of seeking specific guidance is really to allow us to live independently instead of living through the moment by moment operation of the Father’s life in us. The Father’s life is spontaneous and operating in that spontaneity requires the walk of faith. Being told what to do, even by God, is not faith. It may be obedience but it is not faith.And obedience apart from faith is dead obedience.

I don’t mean to imply here that we cannot expect to get guidance for our living from the Father. We can expect to be led by the Father in our daily living. This is not the prescriptive “go and do” type of guidance we are often taught to seek. Rather, when we live by the Father’s life leading from our spirit we are guided moment by moment. This is most often the leading of “God’s unspoken yes.” We have God’s leading from our reborn human spirit continually. The life of Christ in us is continually operating. We go through our days confronted by a series of choices. As long as we are making choices that are acceptable to the Father we feel no hesitation. If we consider a course that is harmful (to ourselves or others) we will experience a “check” or sense to not go there. We can heed the check or we can ignore that check and live with the consequences of walking in our own way. These consequences need not be dire but we will see our plans fail and our expectations not be met.This is not a BIG deal. We learn to follow the Lord’s leading by our mistakes as well as our successes. The Father knows this is part of the process---this is why Christ died for ALL our sins everywhere; past, present and future.
(1Peter 3:18)

As we gain experience in listening to the Father’s leading we will make fewer mistakes. We will learn to listen better and turn more quickly. In the end there is NO substitute for dependence on the Father’s life as our only life and resource for living: (John 15:5)
Living independently from the Father is bankrupt living. There is no legitimate reason for walking apart from the moment by moment resting in dependence on the Father for all things. This is the way we were meant to live. This is the ONLY way we can live effectively.

Once again this is taken from Bill Landon’s book, ‘My Father and Your Father’.

I am so thrilled that NO man can teach us this operation of the Law of the spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and its unfolding work of grace within us, liberating us daily from the gravitational pull from the Law of sin and death!!There are NO short cuts for any of us. In being awakened to the depths of His matchless grace and unconditional love, we are freed to join Him in discovering just how deep the rabbit hole really is.


Askew Reality

Was it fruit from a dream tree that Adam and Eve imbibed from, only because of the promise of enlightenment, only to enter a world of virtual reality?

I enjoyed this quote from my friend Bill Landon in his book, ‘My Father and Your Father’ page 81.

‘Our life reality in this world is this: there is a part of us that will never submit to God. This is not an indictment of our weakness and failure. Rather, it is the legacy of the fall. (The residual-collateral effects of the fall). When we opted for knowledge of good and evil, we gave up a God-given knowledge of reality. We now must spend the rest of our lives learning from the Father how to be submitted to Him. Through this process of submitting we regain that God-knowledge we originally had. This comes back to us, in pieces, from the Father by revelation. As we progress through and submit to this teaching, we die to the influence of that independent-self.’

Is it because we have yet to recognize, have revelation with regards to the total depravity within our flesh that grace has and is most lop sided within Christianity? Meaning, one of the most persistent themes in our Lord’s teaching was his submission to his Father.

Like a water mark on paper, has the embedded mark of independent living stained even those of us who have been embraced by His grace? Didn’t Jesus address this mark/stain that had permeated all flesh, ‘people going where they choose, when they choose and do what they

This operation of submission within Jesus’ life was clearly made evident to his disciples as he said to them, they could go where the chose because they were the gods of their own lives. But the Lord could only do the things of the Father. The enlightenment that spread like a cancer and permeated all flesh prevented man from seeing or knowing anything related to submission to another, see here.

In the near future I want to share my thoughts on something I am putting together called, ‘The Vulgar Message of Grace’.
Stay tuned!


Monday, June 16, 2008

The Father's Love

Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it 4-ever.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Knowing About

I don’t know about anyone else but for me I find it very easy to accumulate much knowledge about God and yet still be barren and living in a most impoverished state.

I know it must sound so trite, a mere wrangling of words talking about ‘knowing about verses knowing Him’, but one will keep me a prisoner to the past while the other not only touches my past, but present and all of my tomorrows.

"Then Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!"

Love, real love, His love is what I was created for, and in receiving His love the mystery of the incarnation is happening all over again, the Word (Christ Jesus) being fleshed out in and through me.
So many have heard ‘about’ God-Jesus, but the prompting in my heart seems to be in the direction of showing Jesus to the world I live in, rather than just telling them about Him.

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning