This month's teaching : Repentance

Strength in Weakness

When a man exercises his assertive strength, he will discover how incapable he really is spiritually. Flesh will always produce flesh, as will a spiritual man produce that which is spiritual. Before God can greatly use those He has anointed, He must break all within that is not anointed. The only way the anointing of God can flourish with strength, is for the human vessel to surrender in complete willingness to work under the authority of God. This will weaken the strength of the naturally empowered icon of self and easy ability. God must break our strength till we operate in divine strength. When we exercise in weakness, we do not sit idle either. Exercising our purpose in weakness is like seeing roadblocks everywhere around us. The only way forward is simple day to day faith, moving towards that which divinely inspires our heart. Spiritual weakness allows us to function in broken inspiration and reverence to our maker. The spiritual transformation of a child of God is a divine process that cannot be ignored, nor should it ever be misunderstood. It is a very difficult and lonely place where understanding is seldom realized.

Many admire the huge success of building a large formation when all is wood, hay, and stubble. The display is admired, well-regarded, and heavily supported because of fascination with the aspirations of a dreamer’s dream. It is so often true that the eagerness of one’s desire to impress the emperor within, ignites desires of competitive achievement under the title of spiritual burdens. What God is seeking within a man is simple faithfulness. This is the only way that God can do great things with small things. When we exercise our weakness through the strength of faith, we will see the strength of God. God is not visible in our strength, only in our weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. What causes the man of God to operate in the strength of God? Once we find pleasure in specific related infirmities, we have been transformed. When reproaches for righteousness’ sake become the surrounding echoes of cheer in the valley of shadows, you know that you are in rich pastures of the heavenly kind. When necessities howl a wondering cry without echoes, you know a form of weakness so strong that it surpasses the riches in the land. The spiritual persecutions only come to the Godly who live in Christ. But many are persecuted because of their wrong doing and it is rightly deserved and must never be understood as the same.

These spiritual distresses are for Christ’s sake, not for our sake. They are designed to advance God’s kingdom into territories so deep, that none could ever endure except the strengthless (yet empowered) heaven-bound soul! These are places that are God-designed for His specific purposes. These are extremes of power and display His truth to the heavenly accompaniment of witnesses! These are Daniels in a den of close-mouthed lions. These are Elijahs on the run, desperate to only hear a voice of direction, with Baal’s prophets’ blood on his mantle and Jezebel in his ear. These are Pauls in a spiritual shipwreck on the sea of captivity heading toward the court of his enemies. These are Johns thrown on the island of Patmos, into the wild teeth of raging enemies where God whispers the depth of His Revelation, so profound that most fail comprehension.

God is available as our strength, but only after we reach our limitation of ability. If our limitations are not truthfully recognized, then God’s strength is not needed to do our task. True dependence upon the Holy Spirit is only known within the private confinement of one’s honest heart. This reliance is revered and held in faith so deeply that its surroundings feel like a temperamental place of awful uncertainty. Herein lies the power of spiritual weakness; it is the eye of the hurricane. The dunamis power is beyond the immediate visible circle of torrent winds. The eye produces no power, but without the eye there is no power, nor wind, nor strength.

A heart that boasts its dependence does not walk in weakness but in superficial hollowness. Truly recognized limitations of personal strength will always bring humiliation to the soul. If our own powerful ways and ideas do not experience this sobering humiliation, then apparent surrender to the cross is not genuine. Where there is no cross there is no Jesus, where there is no Jesus there is no Holy Spirit, where there is no Holy Spirit, there is no divine power to supervene all the strength of man and God’s work is completely limited within that man.

Tried and Transformed

Was the test for me or for God? Did I fail or was there really a divine purpose? How do I know or understand what God is really seeking within me? Was the entire mess I went through of the enemy? Am I hurting from my own mistakes? All of these questions have answers. In the quietness of our heart, there seems an evident hint that has overtures of deep spiritual significance. The answers are simple yet faint to the hearer. The answer becomes clearer and clearer once we emerge from the shadowing veil.

Inside this secret song of inspiration, you will begin to uncover the richness of a lasting transformation which has sprung a new beginning of redemptive power only God can work. This is a deeply surrendered access point, wherein you have given the Holy Spirit the liberty to search all things, yea the deep things of God within you. Such a deep surrender to the will of God gives Him ownership and the authority to transform His sacrifice. He will discover and bring to your attention that which is an isolated place, still untouched by the master’s surgical hand. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: V.24 and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. The search turns into a test that lingers around one’s sensitive, yet toughened places. Towards the conclusion of the trial, He tenderly whelms one’s heart with deep spiritual gentleness, so lovingly that the soul weeps its way to surrender. He is transformed!

These are all thoughts that surface as we emerge out of the furnace of testings. One of the primary divine achievements that God wishes us to understand is the results of what just happened. The testings and trials I am referencing are not momentary tests of shallow experiences. These are grave valleys of sorrow and deep humiliation of soul that encompass the ways of the elect of God; those with depth of aspiration and anointing that God refines into unlimited depths of His desire. These are not reckless sinners and wanderers in soul-boasting appeals of personal ineptitude. These are the ones that hold tirelessly onto the lifeline of God’s mercy. These saints treasure the grandeur of God’s presence in holiness, but are often trounced with ultimate feelings of anguish. These are the ones who seek transformation in secret closets of despair. The ones who deeply seek immortality by dwelling in the light of God. They are a book laid open that hold nothing in the dark. These closet saints weep for a redemptive solution against their own will and wrong apprehensions.

These are they who hang onto eternal life! They know of the walk through valleys of deep spiritual refinement while being laden with feelings of severe bewilderment and loneliness. These are the withdrawal symptoms that are being purged out of one’s self-filled with selfish ambitions, so now to walk in the transformed image of Christ. This depth of Godliness does not come from mere obedience, as some would like to self-induce through stubbornness of mind. Jesus did not become obedient through intelligence; He became obedient through things He suffered and endured. The sanctified believers become partakers of Christ’s sufferings as well. We seldom realize this in the middle of suffering, because it appears too evil. 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: V.13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Now let’s look at the picture of the failed test. Some things are designed to be destructive against the purpose that God has placed upon us. If God is our refuge, then He will deny us the ability to run from His sovereign love and become encased in bitter harshness. If we caused the error and refuse to acknowledge our iniquity, we will prosper further into callused animosity and find cover in hardness of heart. The sorrow-laden soul of such a condition will never find deeper revelation in Christ but remain shallow, though super-spiritual in appearance. This soul is not noticed as genuine and cannot be held in God’s trust as faithful to His will. This soul demonstrates itself with strength but is laid bare in the small matters it stumbles over. This pitiful undone slave lurches with the pretense of being super-spiritual, but boils in his frustration with explosive quietness. Jeremiah 6:30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them. This silver has kept its impurity and would not refine even in the fire.

We must allow God to test us where He desires us to go. We cannot be the commander to His will. He will not harm us nor ever leave us. He will transform us into His image just as we have asked Him to do. He leads us by our own unseen hand that we didn’t know we had. It is the hand of difficult circumstances. Our hand is a very vulnerable and tender place. Here He gets all our attentive focus. Hallelujah!

Passing the Test

As a child, I attended school to learn things useful for my future. At the end of a specific amount of learning on a subject, there was given a test to see how successful my learning really was. Throughout the year, there were numerous tests on the things I learned within the same subject. If my test score failed, I had to go back and relearn the subject till I passed the test. Only after reaching the needed scores was I allowed advancement in my lessons and entrance to a different grade level for the next year. Is the Christian life this way as well? Are trials tests?

“The trial of your faith” is a phrase found in 1 Peter, chapter one, which simply means just that. The Greek meaning for the word trial here means testing. The original meaning gives this phrase, “testing of trustworthiness”. Tests are important and even more so in the spiritual life. My experience in walking with God for close to 50 years is that testings are for a purpose. There are a lot of people who have not experienced such testings, and the results are obvious; their lives are shallow and not very effective for the kingdom. But the greater and deeper the spiritual tests one endures, the greater the divine relevance. Christians who have not endured many testings are shallow and filled with noticeable bareness. 1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

There are three great and noble virtues that form within a much-tested vessel for God. One is patience and the second is spiritual refinement known as gold tried in the fire. The third one is divine enablement by purity and holiness before God. God will not advance someone into deeper effectiveness without testing their trustworthiness by His fire. I have observed the triviality of many well-meaning Christians, having never accomplished much for God, and there is a notable difference in the solemn spiritual categories of testing in their own lives. These tests are entirely spiritual and do not come as correction to weak attributes. Spiritual testings are not corrections to mistakes; they are refinements in areas of spiritual credibility.

Why do some escape God’s complex virtue of testing? It is mostly lack of surrender of certain principles, these being held against the request of God to place upon His altar. When we are surrendered entirely, we are tested entirely. I find that if all is surrendered, then all is tested and all becomes useful. I understand that many say they have surrendered all, but that which is still esteemed important by them speaks of the lack of spiritual depth under which they have restrained themselves. These are they which are always in need but not aware of their own plight. These well-meaning people are not poor in spirit as might be portrayed in innocence. They understand very little about true heavenly kingdom living but never lack easy answers. Their resources, lying close at the fingertips, are of better ideas and predigested information, but lack deeper flowing rivers from one’s own belly.

Testing is important even if it seems to lack noticeable objective. Our thoughts are not His thoughts, and our ways are not His ways by common nature. This is how He changes us into His own image. The spiritual sequence is seemingly like this: He manifests His will, then requires obedience and tests the relevance. If the tested has passed through the refiner’s purging table of fire, then the gold becomes purer, the intrinsic value is significantly increased, and God will be greatly glorified in due time on the earth. What seemed to us as unfair victimization, now becomes enablement to exercise the Holy Spirit’s power and spiritual authority in ways that most do not comprehend. Passing God’s tests can be very hard and extremely perplexing. I find that His potter’s work is in seasons. I have clearly perceived by experience that He brings me through these seasons about every ten years. Sometimes these seasons last for several years. It has been God’s way of dealing deeper within my life. It might not be this way for others but I do clearly acknowledge that God works in seasons of testings, all for His glory, to refine the power that works within us. Endure, yield, and wait it out. Once you come out of it changed and transformed, you have passed this noble test. Hallelujah!

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: V.13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. V.14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Should Christians Judge?

As we all differ one from another, it becomes apparent that our purposes and callings are not identical. While we have all been created for His glory, our similar abilities can vastly differ in the final results. We are given a soul with three specific functions, giving us competence to become and to perform. These three abilities are instinctive and God-created wonders known as the mind, emotion, and will. The oppressive or explosive environments in which Mankind lives are basically descripted as conditions of influence. These influences are completely capable of being depressive or impressive. However, the receptiveness and effect varies from one to another based on pre-existing conditions of the soul. The inner condition of our soul will determine the impact upon our life. It is the understanding of two people seeing things from two completely different perspectives. One sees a cup half full, and the other sees the same cup half empty. Here we see two different views that are both correct. Why is this? The perspective through which we view circumstances is often influenced by certain sensitivities of prior influence. This influence becomes a prominent driver of the way we understand and accept. Perception is the antenna through which most people receive. It is entirely natural for man to use two specific instruments of the body to form judgment. The eye and the ear are the natural perception sensors which bring us judgment decisions. If then, perception is the inspection instrument that is used to view and comprehend, we see how there can be misunderstandings. How does this work in the spiritual world where we are called to function, and why is this so important to understand?

We find that Jesus calls the type of judgment I have just described as unrighteous. We are asked to make righteous judgment. John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. The word righteous means innocent and pure, i.e. without prior influence. This simply means judgment that is true and not pre-influenced by the soul. So, we understand that judgment reached using our eyes is not righteous. Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; V.3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.

Jesus did not judge with what His eyes told Him, and He did not reprove things that He heard through His ears. If Jesus didn’t use these means, neither should we. Most people judge with a pre-bias or an obstacle in the eye. This can blur vision and even affect dreams. It can give Satan the advantage to dilute the sensual soul. Jesus likens this to a huge plank of wood that stumbles over a little splinter. This judgment comes from a beam of prior influence that disappointed the proud stumbling icon of self. These are poisonous little venoms that pre-influence the eye and the ear to perceive something small as being huge; they burn with poisonous venom, thus making it way over-blown because of personal anxiety. This will cause pre-influenced judgment in every imaginable way. The beam can easily be labeled with other words of influence like Envy, Jealousy, Despise, Hate, Self-pity, and other vipers of ill-will. Most people that walk around with well-nourished hurts, baby these captions of others’ slight mistakes. Huge mistakes made by someone seldom bring hurts that are nourished. Huge mistakes that are sin against us drive us to the cross, and that is where we can lay it down in surrender. Oh yes, it can take down the very spiritual and established and even the very elect, according to end-time conditions that will come. Little mistakes often drive the soulish man to revenge and aggravation.

Jesus was so full of the Holy Spirit that He would not depend on His eyes or His ears to make judgment that only spiritual discernment could conclude. And the Holy Spirit rested upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Those are six specific virtues from the Holy Spirit that were at rest upon the life of Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives us less intelligence, more wisdom. He gives us less shrewdness, more understanding. He gives us less opinion, more counsel and guidance. Less muscle, more might. He was not knowledge, but the Spirit of knowledge that that will always find us in the fear of God. So, we see that the judgment Jesus used was from the Holy Spirit. The true Saints of God will possess this pure form of God’s Holiness to live by. Nothing pre-conceived, but Spirit-revealed. Let us never be found without our vessel FILLED WITH THE OIL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! So, do we judge?

1 Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? If the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Hallelujah!