Finding Deeper Peace

What has you the most concerned, today?

The ‘Master Key’ to finding a more profound sense of peace in life is found in discovering the supernatural solution.

God’s word is the entrance to the supernatural.  Anytime we enter His world through the doorway of a text; we cross over the threshold from mere natural existence into an extraordinary land of promise.  God’s realm is accessible to any of His sons and daughters that commit their way unto Him.

Ambrose, one of the most influential bishops of 4th Century Milan is quoted,
Meditation is the eye wherewith we see God and prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven.  Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind, and then you will see…the treasures of peace, and the joy of grace.

Proverbs 16:3 counsels us, “Commit your works unto the Lord and your thoughts will be established.”

Let’s unpack that verse a bit with the language that initially framed the thought:

Commit = roll away as a heavy stone.
Works = business, pursuit, undertaking, labor, activity.
Thoughts = ideas, considerations, plans, imaginations.
Established = fixed, fashioned, made firm & steady.

We all have pursuits in life of one kind or another.  Along with those daily activities come ever rolling thoughts that are both encouraging as well as worrisome.

By God’s design, mankind’s thought language is the imagination.  Therefore, our inner theater is our strongest support or heaviest weight.

Our picture thoughts are powerful pillars of support when they are fashioned and anchored by the inner working of the Holy Spirit.  The same inner projector, when powered by the flesh, casts images that produce anxiety and fear.

The difference in results is found in which source we allow and encourage to function.  The choices are being made by each person on a moment by moment basis.  The one given the most attention grows in strength and dominates our lives.

Godly imagination is built by fueling it with meditation in God’s truths.  Asking for the Holy Spirit’s help and allowing one’s self to see on the mind’s screen the pictures that His word paints.

Vain imagination of natural reason and speculation is built the same way; gazing at the worrisome pictures painted by the flesh.

Godly imagination is initiated by “What Is” (according to God’s counsel).
Vain imagination is intiated by “What If” (based on negative speculations).

Developing the habit of intentially meditating in the Scriptures, and praying them back to God, as they apply to personal circumstances, increasingly releases the aroma of supernatural peace in one’s soul.

Abandoning one’s self to God, in this way, takes practice.  The average person has such a habit of worry (negative speculation) that it takes time to re-train oneself.
The average Christian is so used to living by the standards adopted from the world that it takes effort and diligence to adopt thinking like the New Creation they are.  But, the result is Kingdom of God rest.

“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”  Hebrews 4:11 (NIV)

The alternative to God’s rest (Deep Peace) is troubled lives of stress and worry (perishing).

Peace that is beyond natural comprehention is already bought and paid for posted to our account.  Whether or not one spends it is their choice(s).

What are you worried about, today?  What kind of scenes are you picturing and feeling in your mind?  Are you living with peace or stress and fear?

Choose peace.

Effective Prayer for Children and Grandchildren


Our children and grandchildren have a very warm place in our hearts and minds.  Sometimes our thoughts and emotions carry concern.   Let me share with you a prayer, based on the Scriptures, that will help us powerfully pray for them.

As you pray words like these, connect your heart with them.  Feel the prayer.  As you do, you’ll sense a powerful connection with the Lord on their behalf.

The following prayer is based on a combination of Bible facts, and as they are released before the Lord with faith in the power of His Spirit, they become like the Words of God at Creation on behalf of your children and grandchildren.

You can personalize the following prayer with names as you pray these thoughts over them.

Another suggestion is that you speak slowly phrase by phrase and allow the Holy Spirit to quicken other impressions to speak.  These might be considered “Selah” moments that you find in some of the Psalms.

Prayer:

“[My Children & Grandchildren________] are trusting in the LORD and doing good.  They are at rest and safe in their homes, schools, and playgrounds.  They delight in You with tender and flexible hearts that Your Spirit is working within them now as You are filling them with Your desires.  They continually commit their ways to You trusting fully in Your help.  You are making their righteous reward as the light of dawn, and whenever darkness threatens them, You vindication shines like the light of full day.”

Use this prayer as a guide to release over them on a regular basis.  You may want to copy it for future reference.

Gary

 

It’s God That Never Fails; Not You

Be assured; if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. An older brother who has known the Lord for forty-four years, who writes this, says to you for your encouragement that He has never failed him. In the greatest difficulties, in the heaviest trials, in the deepest poverty and necessities, He has never failed me; but because I was enabled by His grace to trust Him He has always appeared for my help. I delight in speaking well of His name. –George Mueller

You will fall short of your own expectations.

More stress is caused in your life because you are not living up to what you are expecting of yourself.

Lower your expectations of yourself, and instead, raise your expectations of Jesus who is closer to you than your very breath.

Don’t be a belly-button gazer.  You’ll always find lint.

Don’t be surprised that there is dirt in your own mountain.  There’s gold there, too:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”  2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (ESV)

It’s one thing to quote Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus…”  It is another to keep choosing to do so.  But, it is in that habitual choice that opens the door to the choicest of blessings in life.  It is Jesus, your brother, that has the power of mastery in all things.

Where do you need to allow Jesus to be your salvation today?

You can’t save yourself, but He can.  He wants to.

Gary

 

Understanding Spirit Faith vs. Flesh Faith


Many people struggle with faith.  Instead of the process being a ‘good fight’ (1 Timothy 6:12), it’s become unfruitful labor.

For various reason, the subject of faith has often become quite confusing.  People mean so many different things when they say, “I’m standing in faith.”  It seems to depend on what they have been taught about faith.

What many Christians are calling faith is actually born in the brain rather than birthed in the heart.  Here is another way of looking at that statement:

Intellectually reasoned faith is a product of the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.’  Spirit driven faith is a fruit of the ‘Tree of Life.’

I’ve heard some folks say that activating spiritual faith could also be explained as ‘taking a risk.’  In a sense, I understand that way of illustrating Bible faith.  However, I believe ‘taking a risk’ is misleading when describing God’s faith.

The Genesis ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ offered (and still offers) mankind the opportunity to make independent rational decisions regarding the good and bad of life.  The Tree of Life (or Jesus) illustrates remaining connected to God as the source of wisdom in life.

(Note:  Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a form of Hebraic terminology that meant ‘the full scope of life from beginning to end.’  Another illustration would be where Jesus was called, ‘the Alpha and Omega.’)

The purpose of Satan’s temptation was to encourage God’s children to be independent of the relationship of God’s counsel and think for themselves.  His lie was suggesting that it was not necessary to drink of the waters of life to live abundantly.  However, the independence he offered was a cistern of lies, half-truths, arrogance, self-interest, and self-deception.

The deceit and duplicity were in the forbidden tree having ‘fruit’ that gave an appearance of being wise.  However,  being wise without God is ultimately foolishness.

Another name for the forbidden tree is Flesh.  According to Romans 8:7 (NIV),

“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;
it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”

When we are considering having faith, a person can attempt to secure it by using the process of natural reasoning.  That is what I refer to as Flesh Faith.   The person reasons that if they have followed the steps they were taught, and repeatedly stated some promise scriptures, then faith will follow and God will act on their behalf.  When the ‘answers’ are delayed, they boldly proclaim that they are ‘standing in faith.’

Before any reader assumes that I’m cynical about faith teaching or personal Word promise affirmations, I am not.  Those things can all be beneficial.
There is a great deal of faith teaching that can point a person toward deepening their relationship with Jesus.   Confessing and affirming the promises can nurture a heart connection with the Lord.  However, I’ve witnessed that many people are using the principles of faith teaching like inducements to get God to respond to their needs.  They are 2 + 2ing it to = 4.  But, God is very clear about the Flesh (natural logic without intimacy with God).  It will not and cannot produce anything that harmonizes with God.

In the process of striving to attain the promises with only the brain’s logic, the emotion of confidence is fleeting.  Rest and assurance are like butterflies that land on one’s shoulder and quickly take flight at the slightest provocation.

On the other hand, authentic faith, which stands firm in confidence, is that which is birthed in the heart.  It is the product of enjoying and eating the fruit produced by the Tree of Life (Jesus).  The God kind of faith develops on a daily basis of intentional communion.  It may be illustrated in any human relationship.  Faith in each other grows through fellowship.

What it boils down to is this:  Faith for anything is based on the amount of confidence one has in God.  Faith is ‘looking unto Jesus’ the Person (who resides in one’s heart) as the Source for the answer rather than looking unto ‘faith techniques and formulas’ to produce the desired manifestation.  Faith is not the creative force.  The Creator is the creative force of what one wishes.

Spirit faith is humble before God and does not demand the answers come by the petitioner’s predesigned expectation.  True faith honors the wisdom of God to paint the details.  One may ‘suggest’ the desired outcome, but also have confidence that ultimately God’s abundant answer will be superior.

Finally, authentic God faith can remain in the realm of mystery.  That is one reason it is called faith. 

I am thankful, beyond measure, for the teachings that took my Christianity from the passive “if it be Thy will” to greater confidence in discovering the heart of His will as revealed by the Word of God.  But, with that, I also acknowledge that I do not have to place my confidence in what I think I understand about the Scriptures.  I am so thankful that I can trust the Lord with my heart and not place any weight on what I think I know about the Scriptures or life circumstances in general.  It is a very firm and restful place to live from.

May the God kind of Spirit faith be yours!

Gary

 

Under Attack Solution

Does it feel like you are under attack?

If that is the case, your solution is to view your circumstances through a different set of eyes.  That is another way of saying that “repentance” is in order.  In other words, you need to begin thinking more accurate thoughts.

What do you mean, Gary?  It is accurate that I am under attack.  So many things are going wrong.  That’s the truth.

Okay, I’m glad you want to talk about truth.

God’s thoughts are the truth.  And He sees things much differently than we often do.  If you are in Christ, God sees the fact that is spoken in Ephesians 2:6,

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”

If current circumstances in our lives seem to contradict that fact, it doesn’t make the circumstances to be the truth.  It may be ‘true’ (accurate information) that the visible things that are surrounding you right now are chaotic.  But truths are facts from a superior vantage point.  It is the realm of superior truth that Paul instructed the Philippians to ponder upon and consider real.

Here’s the truth, regardless of visible circumstances:  You are not under attack.  The attack is under you.  That is the truth to focus on.

Be still, stop striving, and know (come to experience) that He is God…not your visible circumstances.

What ‘seems to be’ has a powerful influence on our natural process of feeling and thinking.  However, the key to change that locks the door to further struggle is focusing on the fact that in Christ trial is under you.

As you fix your attention on that truth, the light of revelation will shine on the path you are walking and become increasingly brighter with the wisdom of God’s light.

Don’t merely glance at your position in heavenly places in Christ.  Soak in it.  Let it soak into the cells and fiber of your heart.

Where you’ve seemed ‘stuck,’ the truth will act like WD 40, and before you know it, you’ll begin experiencing a new level of freedom in thoughts, feelings, and circumstances.

You are not under attack.  Attack is under you!

Gary

 

 

Hope 2018


I believe that this new year (2018) has the potential of being the best year ever.  That is not just “preach speak,” the rose-colored glasses kind of pop psychology, or reliance upon favorable circumstances.  I say it here because I believe the Lord put that thought in my mind as 2017 was drawing to a close.

The current circumstances and world conditions don’t give us much of canvas on which to paint that potentially bright future.  To believe there is a possibility for a “best ever” year would have to rely on a more powerful telescope than is designed by human minds and hands.

We have to realize that we need more than a human version of faith to experience the desire of God for our lives.  It is also essential that we have more than a human version of hope to see what God has designed for us to experience in this life and the one to come.

To describe something like a ‘human version of hope’ begs the question that asks, “What is the difference between a human version of hope and the kind of hope that describes Abraham in Romans 4:18,

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (NIV)

The human version of hope is anything that the power of natural hoping can visualize as possible.  It is limited to the ‘designing power’ of rational thought.

The kind of hope that is described of Abraham is that which Paul describes in Ephesians 3:20,

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (NIV)

The kind of hope that God gives, paints a picture of expectation in our hearts that is beyond what the human mind will put together.

I believe many of us limit ourselves to experiences that are far short of God’s desires and design for our abundance in life. That is because we define and describe what an answered prayer should look like.  We reduce our expectations to fit our own designs.  We restrict the desired outcome to fit the boundaries of our own wisdom’s capacity.

What if there is a better way?  What if we can delight ourselves in the Lord and be tender enough before Him to receive and attach our faith to the dictates of His magnificent wisdom?

This begs the question:  Who is God to you?  How all wise and all caring is He?  How deep, wide, and wise is His love for you?  Would He do that which is above and beyond anything you can ask or imagine for you this year?

Day by day, let’s learn His heart.  Let’s jump into the deep end of His love and discover the joy of drowning in His beyond natural hope goodness.  Let’s go beyond the most and best important doctrine you think you know.  Let’s not limit ourselves to what we can imagine for ourselves.

Let’s live energized by the kind of faith and hope that comes from exposure the the throbbing of His heart as we learn to lay our heads on His breast.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Your 2018 Messiah


Did you know that it is appropriate to wish people, “Merry Christmas,” every day of 2018? 

We have a shared understanding of the phrase, but it is very revealing, enlightening, and powerful to go deeper into the actual meaning behind the words, “Merry Christmas.”

Let’s look at the individual word meanings:

Merry = Full Joy
Christ = Greek: Cristos;  Hebrew:  Messiah
Mass = The word Mass comes from the Latin word Missa.  Missa means ‘a dismissal.’   The purpose is to celebrate a spiritual truth or mystery with the result being to ‘be dismissed and go forth’ in reality of the truth celebrated.

Messiah:  A Messiah was one who led his people to victory over their oppressors.  To end, however, the description at that point gives us an incomplete understanding of the end-goal of a Messiah.  Ultimately, the Messiah’s purpose  was to accomplish the following:

(A) To release from previous obligations of the oppressor.
(B) To re-write a code of conduct that was harmonious with His values.

Therefore, with joy, we celebrate our Messiah delivering us from our oppressor and then writing a new code on our hearts that corresponds to His Kingdom.

This post began with the idea of being able to celebrate the spirit of Merry Christmas on a daily basis in 2018.  Although Jesus, our Messiah, can be celebrated privately, it is vital to recognize our relational connection with a Body of believers as we worship the fullness of Christ’s work on our behalf.

May this new year be one that knows the fullness of joy as we recognize and celebrate (personally and corporately) the release of the old and rewriting of the new on the walls of our hearts.

It is the understanding of a Merry Christmas that motivates and propels us forward into a Happy New Year.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT:  Isn’t this a good time to emulate your Messiah by releasing others (and yourself) from the obligation of old expectations, and the re-writing of new expectations that were born from the heart of Jesus?

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Gary