The Authentic Powerful Person by Gary Ellis (2)

This is the second in a series of posts on The Authentic Powerful Person.  It may be helpful to scroll down to pick up this topic from the beginning.

Reality Check: Most of my readers may already feel they belief the statements and scriptures cited.  They would also be the first to “amen” and “praise the Lord” the realities.  However, some may have to admit that – for them – there’s been a disconnect between academic truth and practical daily enjoyment of Jesus’ many faceted abundant life (John 10:10).  The gap between promise and practice is normally given two explanations:

  1. Jesus is speaking of a future heavenly reality.
  2. I have it now; but it’s by faith.

Both of these basic belief’s are not inaccurate.  In fact they are rock solid true.  They are simply incomplete.

  1. Jesus did die for our sins that we could experience unending abundant life in heavenly places!
  2. <spoiler alert:  you may become offended at this one.> It does take faith to receive His purpose in the now, but if true faith is involved…ultimately experience is a part of the equation while one is walking and breathing on planet earth!

Therefore, it’s my hope – through these simple posts – to help close the gap in the disconnect between promise and practice.  Doing so, I’m dipping into my own personal testimony rather than rehashing old “oughta-woulda-coulda-shouldas.”

One More Reality Check:  The experiences herewith stated are also incomplete.  You can realize and relish much more than I’m experiencing. Just know this “I’m on your six.”

So…

If my own discovery of Christ being one with me to live His life in, through, and as me (instead of simply helping me) is truth, then what do I do?  What’s my responsibility?

Putting it simply (as Bill Johnson put’s it) “lean into it.”  Another term might be, “follow the hunch” – or – pay attention to your gut responses.   We all realize that there are internal responses (gut reactions) that are good and others that definitely are not.  How do I know the difference:

  1. Does the gut hunch correspond to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)?   If so, the source is The Vine (John 15).
  2. Are you “reacting” or “responding?”  There’s a telltale difference.

Our soul (which is neutral…but that’s for another post) either responds to Christ or reacts from flesh.  In the process, the most dominant has set up inner  castles.  Over time the soul has developed habit patterns.  Too much of the time, I was very well experienced at reacting from flesh dominated overgrowth in the garden of my heart.

<I know.  I switched metaphors; but I think the point is there>

What I had to do was take my soul off of autopilot and train it to respond to The Life (Christ) within me, instead of react to the weeds of fleshly stimuli.

My soul is still in training…probably always will be…but it’s getting more and more used to responding quickly to Christ within for direction. I consciously and purposely recognize multiple times throughout the day that it’s the Person of Christ in me, through me, as me.  I purposely face life as a “Whole Person.” The Great “I AM” united with the “me i am.”

I am so much more at rest.  And, I’ve found “my actions” much more powerful and inspired in their results.

(to be continued…)

If you are finding these helpful, pass them on to your friends.  We’re in this Christ Life together.  If you haven’t subscribed, please do so.

Thank you!

Gary





Practical Faith Insight by Gary Ellis

Faith is critical to Christian life.  Actually, it’s vital to living, period.

There’s been an exhaustive amount of teaching on the subject; And, in many ways the overabundance of opinions on the issue have born the fruit of confusion rather than clarity.  Therefore, my hope is to bring at least a ray of fresh, unconfusing light to the topic of faith.

So, please consider this…

Let me start with an example from my life.  Back in 1979 I found myself on a little dirt trail in the country of Kenya.  I was amazed at how things had come together to make this possible.  As I looked down the narrow dirt path that morning… (taking in the unique sights and sounds) …I felt like the Lord asked me the question, “Do you know why you’re here?”

I looked around a bit more and responded, “No, Lord…I don’t.  Why am I here?”  Almost immediately the inner voice of His Spirit said, “Because you decided to be.”

You see…I had made a choice.  Another way to put it…I’d taken a step of faith.

Faith…and knowing what it is…has become too complicated and “spiritual-ized.” The truth is that faith is a practical practice … and it always works.

Here’s another way to look at…or describe…the anatomy of faith:

  • You know about something
  • That knowledge becomes a desire
  • The desire becomes strong enough that you choose it – or you commit yourself to it

I heard about the possibility that I could take a ministry trip to Africa (In my case I was personally invited).  The more I pondered it, the more my desire grew and as I prayed it “felt right.” (Peaceable)

One day I made the choice to go.

<In place of the word faith, change it to the word “choice…decision…or committing yourself to something” and see if it clarifies your “faith question.”>

A process became apparent, but I wouldn’t have begun the process if I hadn’t made the choice to go.  Obstacles arose along the way…further choices (steps of faith) had to be made.  Then one day…

I was on a little dirt path in the country of Kenya asking the question, “Why am I here?”

I hope this sheds some fresh light on your faith path.  What things do you know about, and desire?  Is the next step…CHOICE?

Gary

It Makes Me Wanna Shout by Gary Ellis

Shouting can be a bad thing…if we’re hollering in the heat of an argument.  However, there’s the release of a righteous roar of joy.

At least seven times in the Psalms we find the instruction, “Let the people shout for joy unto the Lord.”

There are several things that could be illustrated here regarding the Lord’s directions to shout for joy unto Him.

Why such an instruction?  Why is it important to shout for joy?  Why not simply be joyful because of His goodness, mercy, and compassion?

What is so important that God repeats it several times throughout the scriptures?

Let me list just four of many benefits of shouting for joy unto the Lord:

  1. The focus and intensity that produces a vocal shout of joy to the Lord changes the direction of our will.
  2. It lasers a decision of trust.
  3. It strengthens our resolve and emotional stamina.
  4. It mutes the voices of doubt and fear

There are many clamoring voices of doom and gloom bellowing their fear and doubt.  Their cacophony of discord assaults us daily…hour by hour…minute by minute.  The Lord gave us a practical way to nullify their hopeless clatter.

The Shout of Joy to the Lord!

The practical thing about this shout of joy is that it can be practiced on purpose continually. Just use the inner vocal chords of the mind.

The only caution:  It won’t work…unless you train yourself to DO it.  So, if you’re tired of being sick and tired, depressed and fearful, hopeless and hapless.
SHOUT!  SHOUT!  SHOUT FOR JOY TO THE LORD!

What other benefits does the shout of joy to the Lord contain?  Thanks for your comments!

Gary


Couch Potatoes Are In Training

Yessiree.  Couch potatoes are in vigorous training to become really burned out, burned up potato chips.

Couch potatoes misunderstand “trusting the Lord” as passively hanging out until God decides to do something they are asking for.

Couch potatoes have developed a “que sera, sera” belief system.  (Whatever will be, will be).

Couch potatoes put everything in God’s hands and take little to no personal responsibility.

Couch potatoes are always hungry for something to “snack on.”

Couch potatoes are never really satisfied.

Couch potatoes think trust is passive when it’s actually active.

Psalm 5:11 says, “Let all those who put their trust in You rejoice.  Let them ever shout for joy because you defend them.  Let them that also love your name be joyful in You.”

This is a very active verse of instruction.  It doesn’t work very well for people who are convinced that their goal in life is to develop couch potato faith.

The verse doesn’t say, “who trust in You.”  It says, “Who put their trust in You.”  That’s making an active choice.  That’s swimming against the stream of opposing circumstances…as an active choice…again…and again…and again.  The word “trust” can also be translated confident hope.  That starts as a choice…a decision…not an emotional response.  (Emotions follow when we stick with it.)

The verse goes on, “Let them ever shout for joy…”

The word ever is primarily a word of duration.  Keep at it.  But the root of the word also contains the idea of covered or secret places.  In other words, let us ever shout for joy in the hidden places of the heart.  It may not be appropriate to shout for joy in some places.  But, you can continue to do so loudly within.

Finally, I love the word that is the reason for our continuous joyful shouting.

It’s because the Lord defends us.  The primary idea that we think of is that He’s protecting us.  And, that’s true.  But the original Hebrew word here for defend also means “to join to.”  In other words, the Lord “actively joins Himself with us to surround and protect.

Couch potatoes don’t seem to experience the joys and peace of His salvation.  Perhaps it’s because they are responding to the Lord like couch potatoes.

You may be saying, “Yea…I know…I should be dis…dis…yuck…disciplined.”

I have a better idea that the Lord put on my heart when I said the same thing to Him.

He said, “I’m not suggesting better discipline.  Instead begin training yourself in primarily two areas.  Train yourself to be a meditator of My word.  And, train yourself to pray continually.”  Just those two.  Everything else will fall into place.”

Ask Him to be your Personal Trainer.  He will jump at the chance.  But know this….”He’ll help you sweat.”  🙂

Gary

How To Get What I Don’t

Audio Version:

Some people call it, “Having a revelation.”  Others term it, “an ah-ha moment.”  Whatever we call it, it’s that point in time when something we were struggling to get our heads around finally makes sense.

A life truth that I discovered some time ago was that it is more important to get one’s heart around something than getting the head around it.

Because of that “revelation/ah-ha moment,” I have been training myself to approach issues with my heart first rather than my own understanding.

“Trust the Lord with all your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding”

Another way to say, “own understanding” from Proverbs 3:5 is don’t put your weight on what you think you know.

To fill the brain with good information is very important.  We need to always be learning and it’s not an issue of divorcing your head from your heart.

The issue is the question, “Where do you put the weight?”

Our heads were never designed to function as a candle or flashlight.  That’s what God created the heart to do.  The heart generates the light we need to navigate this life.

We have to have information to work with.  The brain gathers and stores that information.  Without that gathered intelligence, there wouldn’t be anything for the heart to enlighten.  In other words, “For God so loved the world” is just information (and non personal) until the heart shines on the words in a way a person can embrace and enjoy them.

That’s true for us as individuals, personally.  That’s als0 true for other people we are concerned for.  You know…the folks we care about that nothing…no amount of counseling…no amount of encouragement we try to give seems to make any lasting impact.

It’s because they need a revelation!  An “AH-HA.”

I’ve recently witnessed several such situations where individuals seemed to be batting their heads against the wall.  They were getting headaches rather than breakthroughs.

However, when the focus was changed from “trying to convince” to “praying for heart revelation,” absolutely amazing things started happenings.  As a matter of fact, in some cases, faster than I would have dreamed possible.

I personally do two things for heart enlightenment:

  1. I pray Ephesians 1:17-19 substituting the persons name (or the word, “my”).  Example:  “I pray that the eyes of (my/Jeff’s/Jane’s) heart will be enlightened that (I/he/she) might know you better and that they might know the hope of (my/his/her) calling, etc.”
  2. I pray in the Spirit (tongues).  In fact, I have discovered amazing results and a whole lot of “coincidences” popping up that weren’t before I started giving myself to the practice on a frequent and regular daily basis.

I pray that the eyes of (my reader’s) heart might be filled with wisdom and revelation that they will receive more than information from this article, but have a personal ah-ha in the reading of it.

Gary





Postpone Panic by Gary Ellis

I’ve discovered (and am still discovering) that “panic” to respond to a negative situation or circumstance is never what Dr. Jesus orders.

For me, panic has never been motivated by faith.  And, what’s more…the results to a “panic driven reaction” always has one of the following results:

  1. The “solution” was temporary.
  2. The “solution” didn’t bring peace.
  3. The “solution” caused even more problems.
  4. The “solution” didn’t help me grow in faith or trust.

Most of the time the need for an “immediate response” is a faulty perception.

It has been my experience, time and time again, that God is never caught off guard.  He has never says, “Whoa…we have a problem, Houston!”

What’s more…God is smart enough to know the ins and outs and all the natty little details.  Typically He alone has the perfect wisdom to apply the perfect solution.  And if we let Him do “His Job,” His ways and means will work out far better than our “panic attack.”

Does this excuse an attitude of procrastination on our part?  Nope.  Not at all.  You know whether or not procrastination is your “drug of choice.”

But, if you are feeling “panicky” and driven to respond out of fear…then stop.  Pull back.  Tell God you trust him with (this or that) situation or person.  And, also tell Him that you know He knows how to do His job and doesn’t need your advice.

Decisions that you are given no time to make are not normally the result of something God’s wisdom would lead you into.

Postpone Panic.  Stop focusing on natural circumstances.  Intentionally turn the situation over, in trust, to the One who has perfect wisdom.

In fact, sometimes you need to just take a nap or a night’s sleep as an act of faith.  Avoiding life through sleep is not what I’m advocating.  But, I think you know that already.

Panic decisions and actions are not your friends.

Please Leave A Comment Of Your Own Experience
It May Help Someone Else

Gary

Mistrust Discouragement by Gary Ellis

One of the greatest lessons I’ve been learning on my “spiritual/truly realistic” life journey with God is in the area of how to deal with discouragement.  Fact is…”discouragement” is an ugly gremlin that knocks on everyone’s door time and again.  In some cases it seems like it’s camped out on the doorstep.  For some it feels like discouragement has taken out a lease on the property right next door – or – built a room in your house.

The good news:  Mr/Ms Discouragement can be effectively vacated!

First Key: Mistrust It.  Ie: Treat It With Suspicion.  Deeply Doubt It.

The only reason discouragement can get a foothold is that man’s logic has told us that it’s “being realistic.”

Let me add here that the only true form of “realism” is based on God’s perspective…and we find that in these places:

  • His stories of activity and intervention in the Old and New Testament (especially the stories of Jesus).
  • His stories of victory in the timeless testimonies of others.
  • His stories in the events of your personal life that have demonstrated His delivering and restoring grace.

That’s why I opened the first paragraph of this post with the words, “spiritual/truly realistic.”

I used to feel that realism could be judged by whatever my circumstances were dictating.  But, I found that circumstances were, often, only a reflection of happenstances in a sin scared world.

Wisdom dictated by a sin scared world must be mistrusted!

I found that the only “scars” worth trusting are the scars embedded in Jesus!  Those scars dictate the realistic truth!

So…what’s the solution?

MISTRUST DISCOURAGEMENT! Weigh it in the balance of God’s truth through the three points I listed above.  (At least that’s a good place to start.)

When your emotions drone their dismay in your ears with thoughts like…

  • “I can never do anything right!”
  • “Things will never go good for me!”
  • “This situation is hopeless!”
  • “I’m the exception to God’s rule!”

Mistrust it.  Doubt it.  Be very suspicious of how you are feeling.

As “Cooksey’s Blog” points out, “Discouragement Is a Choice”(Interestingly i discovered his inspiring wisdom as I was searching for a good picture to put with this article.) I really enjoyed the simple wisdom and subscribed to it to see what other gems he may post.

Here’s to “Victory Over Discouragement in 2011.” I didn’t say it would be easy.  It depends on how many roots it has set down in your thinking.  But take the axe of God’s truth to the roots.  Start today.

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Please Add Your Comments

Gary




Gentle Answers Win

Have you ever said something that was sincere and honest truth but met resistance and an offended response?

Yea, I thought so. 🙂  You’re human like me!

But, you say, “I thought that the Bible said that knowing the truth sets people free?”

It does.  But, it also says in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”

A strong personality might now respond, “Yes, well I’m not going to dumb down or weaken my position just to satisfy somebodies tender feelings.  I say it like it is and let the chips fall where they may!”

I understand.  I used to feel the same way, myself (at least sorta although not that “in your face”), but I found I stirred up more hornets nests than was productive….as if stirring hornets nests is ever productive.

A gentle answer is not simply being soft spoken or warm and fuzzy.  It includes the idea of fashioning one’s words in such a way that they are receivable.

A gentle answer is seasoned with grace.  That means the speaker is taking the time to frame his or her words wisely.

Different words or phrases strike very different perceptions depending on the speaker and hearer’s life experiences.  Let me give an example:

It’s my belief that religion has created a lot of problems and has been devoid of the power that God desires for people to experience.  So, I may say, “I’m not about religion.  I’m about relationship.”  That sounds very cool, if you come from my side of the fence.

But what if the person has had many good experiences in the more traditional or ritual church format?  What if they actually found positive life change through Jesus there?  And, what if the word, “relationship” brings up a lot of painful memories?

Then, instead of being able to make any helpful point after that, I’ve stirred up a hornets nest of negative, painful emotions.

So…what’s the bottom line.  With God’s help and our due diligence, let’s learn to frame our words of truth with the wisdom they deserve.  Let’s honor each other in our communication.

That’s work.  That takes more time.  And that’s true Godliness in action.

Please leave your comments, experiences, or observation.

If this has been helpful, Please subscribe or Bookmark. Thanks 🙂

Gary



Faith That Doesn’t Work

Many people study the subject of faith for the wrong reasons.  Many times these same people – if they are gut honestare discouraged because they don’t know why it isn’t working like promised.  Or, they are defensive of their style of believing.

One of the things you’ll hear them say is…

  • It’s by faith, brother…
  • Therefore, I’m just taking it by faith…

But…the thing is…I don’t believe God expects us to go through life “believing but never receiving.”

Faith is not an escape clause in the covenant.  It’s not “the fine print” that nullifies lack of experiencing the promise.

What if your son or daughter were believing you, as a good father, would provide the next meal.  As their hungry bellies were growling, you kept saying, “Just take it by faith dear son/daughter I dearly love.” “My promise of food doesn’t mean that I will actually give you food.”  “I just want you to believe I can….and take it by faith.”

Or suppose a farmer worked hard all day planting seed in his field.  That night, you say to the farmer, “So, what kind of crop are you going to harvest?”  He says, “Oh, I don’t expect to harvest.  I was just planting seeds by faith because I want God to see I am a faith farmer.”

Ridiculous.

Ignorance, Incorporated.

Foolishness gone to seed.

There are lots of “faith formulas” out there.  Some have some truthful foundation.  But, what I want to suggest is that “failure” is often the result of this reason:

  • The person believes that if they learn the right words, and apply the right formula the circumstances will change.  Once the circumstances change, they will know peace, power, provision…or whatever they are “faithing it” for.

That approach doesn’t work because…

Peace, power, and provision come from the inside out.  Not the outside in.

Jesus taught the “inside out” principle as a key to our understanding of the Spirit filled life.

God desires that we experience the righteousness, peace, joy, and power of His Kingdom…and “in part” here on earth.

Jesus demonstrated it when He went sound to sleep in the back of a boat that was rocking and rolling in the middle of a life threatening storm.

Where are you looking for peace?  What do you believe has to change before you can experience the promise of “peace on earth…”

Has this been a “bad” year for you.  What do you believe must change for 2011 to be better?

Is your answer “outside in” or “inside out” as the controlling source?

As your true faith is, be it unto you this next year.

Gary



Don’t Chase The Butterfly

You desire more clear communication with the Lord.  You know that prayer is more than a one sided conversation where you do all of the talking.  You know about “getting quiet” and you try to listen. But it’s such a struggle.  You often give up to try  again another day.

I know how you feel.  I’ve felt the same way, myself.  But, I found a secret!  I discovered something very important that opens the door to better “hearing” the Lord.

Simply put, it’s found in the phrase, “Don’t chase the butterfly!”

In the natural world, if you chase butterflies, they will flutter away from you.  It’s the same in the spiritual world!

There Are Two Major Mistakes

There are two major mistakes that people make when they are seeking the Lord desiring two way communication.

  1. They Chase The Butterfly
  2. Thy Listen For A Loudspeaker In Their Head

Here’s how I learned this.  One morning I sat down in my early morning prayer place. I listened to some scripture (Psalm 27) on my computer.  I then turned my attention to “the center of my being” instead of my head.  (Actually, the turning of my attention inward should start the process.) Then I expressed words of praise and worship.  Next, I asked Jesus to speak whatever He had for me…(and then)…

I pushed my imagination to experience something.  (You see, I know that the sanctified imagination is the doorway to connect with spiritual perception)

Other than a few random scatterings of uninspired pictorial debris…nothing was happening.

Then a hunch hit me, “Don’t chase the butterfly.”  “Be still and wait for it to light on you shoulder.”

I had just learned a vital secret to communication with the Lord.  I’d just discovered an important principle of experiencing the voice of His Spirit.

Don’t Push.  Wait Until He Initiates Something. The discipline of waiting takes practice…but, it’s extremely important if we really want a rich relationship with the Lord.

I’m so grateful for His grace in responding to me – with the thought of not chasing the butterfly – while I was emotionally pushing.  But, it was to instruct me on the issue of getting comfortable with waiting in an illustration I would understand.

  • Don’t listen for a loudspeaker in your head.

The second mistake we make as we are “pushing” for an inner response is expecting to hear words. In other words, we are trying to hear inner speech.

Much of the time He will initiate a response with a vague perception or picture in our “mind.”  As we then focus on that “sense,” it will begin to become clear.  That all happens at different speeds.  Most of the time I do not get the “full meaning” at that time, but instead, as I re-think it during the day.

I’m truly desperate to develop a deep relationship with the Lord.  It is obvious (I hope) that the depth of any relationship is directly linked to the issue of communication.  My desire for you, my blog reader, is to increase the quality of your personal relationship with Him.  May we walk this journey on a path that grows brighter day by day.

Any questions or personal experiences?  Please comment.
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Gary