How We Can Experience More

God desires that we experience more, much more of His goodness!

Those things that block the abundance He desires for us and that Jesus paid for – in full – are our own fear-based ‘needs.’

There’s a good desire to be understood, but there’s also an unhealthy need to be understood.  There is a healthy desire to be accepted by others, but there is also an unhealthy need that is based on fear.

Noone desires to feel alone and lonely.  God made us as social creatures. But there is also a fear of being lonely that goads us into making unwise choices.

A fear of serving others because they may take advantage of our service can be a hindrance to acts helping others in need.

Then there’s the fear of death and the pressure of trials, or the fear of having nothing if we follow the will of the Lord for our lives.

All of these fears hinder the flow of God’s goodness from reaching our experience.  The heart of God’s desire for us is that we may taste and see that He is good and His love endures forever.

Many times, the first step to being able to experience His plan and purpose for our lives is to recognize those fears that so easily beset us.

Yes, the verse says ‘sins’ that easily beset us.  That is exactly what putting up with these fears robbing us from the fullness of God’s desire is.  Sins.

When we recognize them for what they are, bring them to God as such, lay them aside by choosing to look to Him for who He truly is…

We begin tasting…actually tasting His goodness.  And, mmm it is good!

Prayer: 
Lord, Deliver me…

From the unhealthy need to be understood and accepted
From the fear of being lonely
From the fear of being taken advantage in service
From the fear of death and trials
From everything that hinders me from knowing You in the fullness of Your goodness,.

 

Christianity Needs Real Intelligence

True intelligence isn’t merely the ability to make rational arguments about its faith.  True knowledge expresses itself in ways that bring joy into other’s lives.

Authentic intelligence isn’t afraid to color outside the lines.

The intelligence of the God kind looks for the gold in the mountain made of dirt.

The honestly intelligent man and woman know they are not smarter than their Creator.

People of real intelligence know how to enjoy their relationship with God and their neighbor.

Intelligence is energized by the creative abilities of the Holy Spirit.

Be intelligent as He is intelligent!

 

 

 

Into Me You See = Intimacy of The Jesus Kind

The key to finding life’s treasures is found in Hebrews 12:2, but perhaps not always in the way you’ve thought, or expected.

The verse says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith.”

If you lived at the time this was written, you would have understood the idea to include, “shifting your eyes away from one object to another.”  It meant to change your focus of attention.  Peter experienced the downside of this statement because he looked away from Jesus to the storm around himself.  But Peter did even more.  That brings us to a better understanding of the word, unto.

The Greek word is ‘eis.’  On the one hand, ‘unto’ is a correct preposition to use, but there’s a better one as we recognize the deeper sense of the phrase.

Peter actually did more than “look at” the storm.  He “looked into” the storm.  He got ‘up close and personal” with the waves and the wind.  He got intimate with them.  He ‘looked into” their destructive potential.  He saw and felt himself drowning.  His body began to respond, and he began to sink.

[We are governed by the beliefs with which we are intimate.] 

Looking “into” Jesus is superior to merely looking at Jesus.

Intimacy is best defined as ‘into me you see.’  Seeing from both sides of the coin, it could include ‘into you I see.

It can be a frightening thing to allow real intimacy to happen in any relationship; especially with Jesus.

I used to wonder why people would be afraid to have an intimate relationship with Jesus.  After all, wouldn’t that really be cool and fulfilling?

Then I realized (out of my own self doubt) that there were barriers to the intimacy of looking into:

1.  I didn’t want Jesus to see my dirt. (As if He wasn’t already familiar with my flesh).

2.  I didn’t want to see into His demands of me.  I had a pretty lousy image of how true spirituality and His will would affect me.  I reasoned (because of the influence bad religion) that God seemed to like taking guys he designed with the bodies and dna of football players breaking thier legs and making them play the flute.

Then it began to dawn on me [code for Holy Spirit revelation]:

  1.  Jesus had no illusions about me.  He knew all of me.  Good, bad, and ugly and still loved me as He had all along.  He is not occupied with my short-comings.  He is the ultimate example of hope for my life and relationship with Him.
  2. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.  He made me and had a plan for my life that always corresponds to the very desires with which he designed initially within my soul.  My passions, and every way he ‘wired me’ physically, emotionally, and mentally are on purpose with a purpose that demonstrates His glorious wisdom.

Since then…

I’m progressing on the path of righteousness (right-ness) that grows brighter day by day.  Looking into Him and He looking into me is the only satisfying way to live life on our earth journey and for eternity.

I invite you to look away from lesser things and into Jesus, the one who writes and finishes the story of your faith!

 

 

 

A Better Look At Faith

Is your feeling that faith means to be willing to step off into the dark? Is it a scarry thing?

Is there a better understanding of faith than you now hold?  The improvement of your life depends on an increasingly better understanding
of God’s way of looking at life. 

I’m not referring to increasing your pile of man designed doctrine.  In this article, I’m investigating something that could lead to a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus.

We’ve all heard many teachings, sermons, and opinions about what it means to walk through our earthly lives by faith.  Much of the time, the ones that I’ve heard (and taught myself) are not inaccurate.  They are merely incomplete thoughts.

The path of those in right standing with God and His Kingdom grows increasingly brighter (Prov. 4:18) as we make it our highest priority (Matt. 6:33).

One of the most well-known scriptures about the subject of faith is found in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”  It certainly sounds like that means that faith is stepping off into the dark, doesn’t it?

However, there is a better understanding of that statement that is, actually, gloriously positive:

Faith is not a thing.  It is not a reasoned-out doctrinal position.  It is the realm of real, vibrant life that we move about within.

For example, A person lives in the realm (or land) that is peaceful, and harmonious in quality of life.  Another person may live their lives in a place that is constantly, by nature, an atmosphere of fear, and striving.

The word ‘sight’ in that verse is never used referring to things that people see with their eyes.  I.e.,  “My eyes see that she is wearing a blue dress.”

It always refers to the way one views what they are looking at.  It’s about how a person perceives a thing.  I.e.,  “The blue dress she is wearing doesn’t look good on her.  Is she trying to look dowdy?”

Please permit my paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 5:7,  “We are walking in the beautiful land of faith.  What we don’t perceive is darkness.  We see the hope-filled light.”

It is common that most people judge that faith is like stepping out of the light into the dark.  Reality Check:  That is the perspective of natural thinking of the flesh.

We will never enjoy life, nor grow in the experience of peace, joy, and love if we allow natural reasoning to dictate how we think and perceive God’s realities.

To walk in the land of faith is to detach our thinking from the perception that it is a dark, stress-filled place.  Instead, walking in faith is choosing to attach ourselves to a realm where the light of clear confidence saturates our being.  It means living our lives in the joyful light of God’s mighty, beautiful, creative, and satisfying presence.

Yes, the natural ‘reality thinking’ of the flesh will balk as we take on a new (more correct) mind-set.  But as we keep making the better choice of how we perceive what it means to walk by faith, the flesh’s dominance over our thinking withers.

To walk by faith (the best part) is to be attached to knowing the reality and depth of God’s character and quality of life.  It also helps us clearly see His attitude toward our “neighbors.”

God is not calling us to be unsure and afraid (as we call it faith).  His desire is for us to leave the darkness behind, and sit beside Him at His banquet table as our enemies look on heads hung low in defeat.

The re-trained (renewed) mind faces steps of faith like, “Okay, this is going to be good,” instead of (deep-tense-breath) Okay…here I go.”

Don’t you want to live the God-kind of faith where there is no darkness nor shadow of turning?  That’s your inheritance.  You can begin spending it now!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise Secrets – How To Experience Breakththrough

Purchase complete e-book for $.99 HERE

Praise is like…a tuning fork that adjusts your heart to the melody of heaven, and your song on the earth.

Praise is like…a metronome that helps your heart beat with the rhythm of God’s Kingdom.

Praise is like…a wrecking ball demolishing evil speculations that are raised up against the true nature of God.

Praise is like…a supernatural road grader that goes before you making your crooked places straight and the rough places smooth.

Praise is like…a beautiful diamond studded with brilliant facets that attract the abundant life into your life.

Praise is like…divine oil that lubricates the mechanics of the day.

With praise as one’s default, life changes…and changes…and changes some more.

PRAISE IS A GAME CHANGER THAT USHERS IN LONG DELAYED BREAKTHROUGHS IN YOUR LIFE.

You may desire to learn more practical “how to” apply the power of praise into your life circumstances.   Select here, now:  Amazon.com

Are Your Thoughts Destroying Your Happiness?

Just as it is important to realize that nobody can make you mad, it is also important to admit that flowing thoughts don’t control what you think. You do.

When I say, “You do,” I mean you and Holy Spirit, working in a partner-friendship, do; with Him as the Senior Partner. That is why it is essential to acknowledge your connection with Him as a daily-life protocol. The mental pressures of the flesh life are more than you can handle alone. You and Holy Spirit must be in conscious connection for you to succeed in your thought-life.

“Holy Spirit, it is my will that You and I are of the same mind today (or now).”

The Passion Translation says (Philippians 2:5, And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mind-set become your motivation.”   (Let the mind-set of Jesus become your motivation).

“Holy Spirit, how would Jesus be thinking about this (or that)?”

Of course, Philippians 4:8 reveals the heart of the Christ-like mind-set.  I will, again, quote the Passion Translation:

So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.”

To experience the abundant life in the present, it is essential that we have a protocol for the way we allow ourselves to think.

Remember:  No other person or situation can make you mad, stressed-out, or fearful.  Those are the choices that you  (and I) allow.

I will close this article with a quote from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy,
“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.”

Independent human reason of the flesh-mind focuses on fear.  It tells us that this or that issue, that generates feelings of fear, anxiety, and anger are rational and reasonable.  But, the only perspective that is reasonable is God’s perspective.  I urge us all to establish the protocol of choosing God’s perspective as our ruling thoughts.  Abundant life follows.

Gary

 

 

 

Jesus: Just Like Us

In the days of His earthly journey, Jesus was known as the Son of Man.

Did you know that, in His Middle Eastern Culture, Son of Man was an idiom meaning one of us?

As we apply that to our contemporary thinking, some folks, unfortunately, make two erroneous applications:

  1.  Some are afraid that thinking of Jesus as the Son of Man and meaning one of us devalues His Lordship.
  2. Others also feel that thinking of Jesus as one of us means a sinner like us.

But, both of those trains of thought are erroneous.  The idea of Jesus being one of us meant that He perfectly related to us as a man of this earth.  He lived His earth-existence as a human being.  Without the core of a sin nature; but as a real person.

Think with me.  Make sure to, at least attempt, setting aside pre-learned religious thinking.

Matthew 11:19 (NLT), “The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”

One day as I was praying, Jesus said to me, “Call Me brother.”  At first, I wondered, “Am I  making this up?”  However, Romans 8:29 immediately came to mind confirming the fact that Jesus was the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  Although I would still know Him as my Lord, I didn’t to also know Him in a more “human” way, like my brother.  Since then, I call Jesus my brother often.

Note:  I realize that the term ‘firstborn’ literally refers to the importance of the person and not a numerical birth order.  But, it is also accurate to recognize that it is legitimate to think of it numerically.

Several thoughts can be emphasized on this subject, but the main idea that I would like to convey in this article is the following:

For us to mature in an accurate and satisfying relationship with Jesus, it is essential for our experiences with Jesus to have the added dimension of ‘normal humanity.’  We have suffered (yes, I said suffered) under the gray cloak of religiosity in our communication with, and feelings about Jesus.

Jesus wants to communicate with us on a full level of ‘brotherly’ expressions.  Instead of the whole of our prayer life being to receive a healing, the solution to a financial need, or solving some other critical issue we have, the building of friendship is essential to what Jesus desires; He with us, and us with Him.  That includes all kinds of light conversation.  He even has a playful mood with me.  I reciprocate.  He loves it, and I love it.  Since I’ve been on this new journey of a full friendship with Jesus, something remarkable has developed.

When I pray, it ‘feels’ like I’m talking to the most amazing big brother.  This feeling has not diminished a sense of His Lordship in my life.  It has made it much stronger.  My faith has accelerated!

My prayer for you is that you’ll discover a fresh revelation of what a personal relationship with Jesus includes.  One day it will happen to the fullest measure in heaven, but there’s much more most of us can realize now.

“I no longer call you servants….Instead, I have called you friends…”
John 15:15

There was a time when I thought I already understood friendship with Jesus.  I sang songs like the old time, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”, and Israel Houghton’s, “I Have A Friend In God”.  However, I discovered that there is a much more profound depth of experiencing that reality.

Gary