“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or to that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins.” James 4: 13-17
This passage is just packed with excellent and difficult admonishments. Like don’t tell Jesus what you are going to do and just do it. No check with Jesus first to see if it is His will, or your will, to do whatever needs to be done in the first place. There are so many things we do in our daily lives that we do without any guidance or approval from The Lord, but that is not the most excellent way to do things, is it? This begs the question,,,,are we really supposed to do ANYTHING out of mere rote and habit? I don’t think so! God should always be sought and allowed to interfere in ALL of our affairs. Many times while driving I pray for the Spirit to lead me in ALL of my day, and there have been several times (if not more) when HE told me directly to take another route. Only later to find out that my normal route would have had me in the location of a major accident. Better yet, on the new route that He led me to I have had amazing things happen, including folks getting rides and beginning a new or deeper relationship with Jesus.
What does this passage speak concerning our times of fellowship or “worship services”? Should we really start at 11 am Sunday, pray, sing 3 songs, take up an offering, sing some more, hear a sermon and close with another song and a prayer??????? Week after week, year after year, decade after decade? It is my assertion that being locked into that type of, or similar, pattern is just not God’s will. Do we care about that? Should we not rather seek God continually and then allow His will to invade and move us in the way HE desires us to go? Even relational housechurches get into ruts like this, and I don’t think He is pleased about that at all. Knowing what we are going to always do ahead of time I suggest is not a blessing, but rather a curse. We need to be free in Him and allow His Spirit to lead us in all things great or small.
Then there is that last verse…If we know what is good and we don’t do it…we sin. Yikes! This tells me that I really need Jesus; because I sin often according to this verse. But who doesn’t? Specifically, I know that it is good for me to check with Him before I do anything of meaning or substance on my own and if I do not, I boast, brag and sin. Beyond that whenever He puts me in a situation to do something good for someone, and I do not do it, I sin. Sin, sin, sin…….. What are we supposed to do??? It is quite simple really, surrender unto Him in all things and allow HIM to correct us on the fly along the way. NEVER discount HIS Grace! NOTHING should be set in stone. We should always check with Him concerning everything substantial that we do. He is The Lord and we need to be following His will and not our own. We are totally free to ask Him anything and everything. Jesus is not a micro-managing, anal retentive, control freak. HE just cares for us so much that HE is always there 24/7 to bounce our ideas off of. So why not take full advantage of this great and ultimate resource in our lives?
Kirk Out !
P.s. To Clarify, all it is really about is BEing in Him and allowing Him to flow through you in every moment. That takes a surrender, but BEing in Him is a joy and not a burden. If you feel burdened in your walk with Jesus, then it is time to re-evaluate everything; starting with your very own relationship with Him and all that He truly is, was, and will be.
P.s.s. Jesus is supposed to be our Lord and King, but many do not even use Him as a consultant yet alone Lord. Do we pray and seek His will as we ought to? Many times HE is not even consulted on where to go to college, what career path we should take, who we should marry, where we should live, or how we ought to church. I feel that ignoring Him in our decision making can lead us into peril instead of blessing. Today I choose to surrender and yield to Christ every portion of my life and future. How about you?
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our KNOWLEDGE of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1: 3-8
Wow what great words! Jesus has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness. Sure we still will face troubles and obstacles in this life, but in Him we have all the power, love, support and tools we need to overcome our momentary woes. With our knowledge of Him we can press on through the problems and into the solutions. However, the knowledge spoken of in this passage is NOT that of a mere intellectual ascent. What it is all about in the Greek text is knowing Him as in TOUCHING Him, through actually experiencing Him and His touch in our daily lives. This is not about mere book, bible or head knowledge. It is about intimately walking with and knowing Him in our heart, mind, and most inward places. I know I say it a lot, but it is all about knowing and responding to His Voice. His sheep hear His voice and obey. (John 10) Think of your closest friend and how you relate to and know them, then multiply that by infinity. He wants to walk with us and be with us, and lead and guide us, moment by moment each and every moment of every single day. If you have not experienced this type of deep relationship with Jesus I suggest that you seek, ask and invite Him to invade your life to an even greater degree than He already has. Jesus wants to reveal Himself to all of us in this manner. He is fully extending Himself to everyone and we need to just take one small step in His direction and He will meet us right where we are, and His love will bridge any distance to envelop and fill us with the power of His touch.
Jesus never promised us that everything we go through in this life would be joyful and easy. However, He did say He would be with us every single step of the way. I know what it is like to have a lengthy affliction or problem and to suffer. I also know what it is like to pray and ask for freedom from my woes. Sometimes He totally lifts my burdens from me, other times He does not. I do not know why. What I do know is that I am still here even though I have faced death numerous times in this life. I am coming to understand what perseverance means. I do know that He is totally with me in every aspect of my life and these days that has become enough to get me through even the darkest of times. It is my hope that all of you will discover and know Him in this very deep and intimate manner also.
Love and …….
Kirk Out !
You know what I hate? I hate the first two questions people always ask you when they find out that you are a believer of some sort. The first question is always, “Where do you go to Church?”, and the second question is always “Who is your Pastor/Leader?” I hate the questions even though I have pretty good answers. My answer to question one is “I don’t go to Church because it is impossible to go to what you are. Because the Church is the people not the building or location. You might go to the place the church gathers, but you cannot go to Church. Read my T-shirt? Don’t Go To Church….BE The Church!” The answer to the second question is even easier…”I follow Jesus, because Jesus is the only true Leader in the Church!” Most people agree with me when I spell it out that way, and the few that don’t get it just walk away.
I was in the grocery store last year and a lady who worked with me at our local Pregnancy Helpline asked me if our home fellowship was doing “The 50 day Spiritual Adventure?” I said “No, we are all about the 365 days a year adventure” We laughed, but I think I made my point, and yes she still talks with me and remains a friend.
I say all that to ask this one very important question…… Does a true follower of Jesus really NEED a Pastor/Teacher/Leader? Seriously, think about that before you answer too quickly? Because 1 John 2: 27 says this:
“As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in Him.”
In context this passage is warning about antichrists and false teaching, but verse 27 is rock solid clear to me: Jesus gave us His anointing and His anointing teaches us all things without the need of a human teacher. The traditional church manages to tap dance all around this message, but there it is clear as day. But doesn’t the Bible talk about apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor/teachers? Sure it does in a few places, but these giftings never replace His anointing and direct revelation. If anything they are meant for confirmation of His anointing. The real antichrist and false teaching is that you NEED these people OVER you and that you should trust them over and above His anointing.
“So Captain are you telling me that I can hear directly from God for myself?” The answer is YES, absolutely! So you better start listening to Him instead of traditional church doctrine and its teachers. It may take awhile to develop a listening ear and heart, but I guarantee that His anointing is real. You want to learn about Jesus? Then just start hanging around other Christ followers who have and use His anointing. Share what you think you are hearing from Jesus and your peers can help you determine what is of Him and what is not. Do not be afraid of being wrong because that is how we best learn. “My sheep hear My voice and obey.” said Jesus. So listen, share and then listen and share some more!
Kirk Out !
p.s. I am not saying that we don’t need each other in the Body of Christ. What I am saying is that everyone in the Body is special and anointed and not just a select few. I have been taught much by His anointing via and through other saints, both living and long dead. I even read the occasional book other than the bible, but when I turn to others I am still really listening for Him, His voice, His message and His anointing in and through them.
“Praise The Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147: 1-3
I have just recently come to understand once again that verse three is about me. In the last 17 years I have been like Jerusalem, once a mighty and great city, but then battle ravaged and broken down. My mind, emotions, hopes and dreams scattered and exiled by the war, for my soul, that is the nightmare called PTSD. However, now The Lord is rebuilding me and I am regaining all that was thought lost forever. My mind is still a battlefield, but The Lord has sent reinforcements and day by day He is helping me to win the battles and move forward into a more abundant life in Christ.
Most of all He is healing my broken heart. Most of my relationships, that I thought were totally lost due to my harsh words and actions during the hellish flashbacks are being restored. Some in full, some in part, but progress is most certain. Perhaps most of all Jesus is repairing how I judge and view myself. Because of all this I am truly experiencing His extremely wide grace and deep, deep love in a way I have never even imagined before. The person I am today, I dare to say, is even better than my pre-PTSD self. Because of my affliction I now know what true humility, love, mercy and grace really are, because I NEED to live in them each and every day that I breathe now.
As far as Jesus binding up my wounds progress has been difficult because my wounds are internal and not obvious. Having been brutally abused sexually, emotionally, physically and verbally by my earthly father from ages four to eleven leaves very deep and damaging wounds on one’s soul. I certainly now have the utmost compassion for those suffering from any sort of depression or mental illness. Band aids, stitches, medication and braces all fall way short of addressing the wounds one suffers on the inside. Sure effective psychotherapy and an empathetic counselor helps some, but only The Great Counselor can truly address and begin to heal the wounds that lie within.
Today I am even able to embrace my affliction because it took me to places and people who were in desperate need of a touch from The Lord. In fact, I now look back at my numerous psychiatric hospitalizations as missions trips. The fruit from these “trips” is undeniable. I have prayed with dozens of lost souls who now are no longer lost, but now found in Christ..
Today I want to thank those who have loved and prayed me through this process of healing and restoration. Without you I could have never made it this far. So to friends, family, old loves and new love I say thank you! To those out there that still suffer I tell you that growth and healing are possible for you too. So please do not give up? “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3: 9
Love and …….
Kirk Out !
P.s. I have not had a major PTSD “episode” in over 36 months now. I still have the occasional flashback, but nothing I can’t manage or work through with my Lord. Plus my medications have been cut back 60% over the last twelve months and I am feeling great. Thank Jesus for this wonderful progress!
P.s.s. PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
“I urge you all to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16: 17-20
I read this warning this morning and I had several thoughts about it. One of the biggest ways that folks divide the Body of Christ today is by making a distinction between those who are “gifted” and those who “give” to support the “gifted”. It is the mark of The Clergy/Laity division and it is a pox in the Church today. It is crippling the Body of Christ and it is so very, very, extremely wrong. Whenever one person is treated as special over and above others in the church it destroys mutual fellowship and any chance at true unity. Because the truth in love is that EVERY member of the church is gifted and special in their own unique way. We are all Spiritually gifted ministers in the New Covenant and when we come together everyone is expected to share and add their portion to the mix that day. (1 Corinthians 14:26) The whole concept that some are Ministers and the rest get to sit, listen, and pay is a totally bogus teaching and it is a division right from the pit of hell.
A major obstacle being taught today is legalism and observance of The Law as the standard, rather than simply living as the Holy Spirit leads us by grace and faith in Jesus. Far too often we are taught to avoid evil of all kinds, instead of to embrace and practice what is good and pure. Too much emphasis on what not to do takes away from the Gospel and the importance of what we actually should BE accomplishing in Christ together. The good news is the hope of glory, which is simply Christ in us.
Having God crush satan under our feet is an interesting thought, but it seems to me that in order for this to happen we have to be where satan is and not in some sort of total avoidance of evil mode. As followers of Jesus we are supposed to be Light shining in darkness. We need to go where hurting and lost people are and not just pretend we are safe within the walls of religious structures. In order to actually be like Jesus we need to get off our blessed ASSurance and be out among the people who need Him most.
I have no idea if any of this will make sense to those of you reading, but I feel like I have shared my portion today. “The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
Kirk Out !
Well, I am going to ramble a bit today. So please bear with me?
Yeah “Authority” was a big deal to the Pharisees, Scribes and Teachers of the Law.
But not to Jesus,…. In its simplicity, it was
just an ordinary, matter of fact and real in a
non-over the top Spiritual kind of manner.
In fact does not the book read, “Submit to one another
out of reverence for Christ”? Submitting is just a matter of recognizing and honoring the authority of Christ in one another. It is not positional, it is relational in nature.
It is always supposed to be Mutual, relational, voluntary, peer based and not
required or forced at any time.
And yes, we do need these type of peers (sisters, brothers) in our
lives,for love, truth and balance. Because we only have
ONE Father and we are all siblings! Then there is the fallacy and
MANipulation of ANY “church” that allows for ANY human hierarchy.
We only have one King. There is only one OVER us…Jesus!
When someone becomes more than a peer in your life you have
surrendered your Priesthood and damaged both your and the other’s faith
and life experience.
Frankly it is a sin to give in to such deception. And such negatively
effects all of one’s life and relationships with GOD, family and all
persons, in the Body of Christ or not.
Have mercy Lord?
So what’s the deal with authority? (best Seinfeldesque voice)
“Man” with satan’s influence made it a deal, a REALLY BIG DEAL. When God
always intended to keep it simple and relational and mutual. Heck,
even GOD is mutual and relational in these matters… we can say no or yes at any time to HIM.
Here is something I got from the Lord once while praying and driving to
a totally open & free, Spirit led gathering with my family. Please take it for a Spiritual
test drive and see how it hits your hearts and minds?
“Authority is not a force or something to be exerted. It is not
imposed upon people. It is rather like a vaccuum or a draw,
that people would be attracted to it and ask for its virtues
(input, wisdom, correction, whatever). It would also draw out the best
(gifts, ect.) in people and would seek to always edify the seeker
and not the giver of “advice”.
Wow? Attraction and not promotion!
If we would only surrender unto Jesus and one another so that HE
would simply flow forth from our lives instead of having to be
falsely MANufactured and presented instead of just lived out in a free & open manner.
Notice how Jesus did not go around telling people what to do?
No, HE walked in relationship with The Father and others and people
came up to HIM most of the time and asked, “What must I do to
be saved, ect.” They approached HIM because HE went to them
and walked and lived where they were. HE didn’t stay in a Temple or
Building waiting for folks to come to HIM at a specific service time.
HIS life was fragrant and desirable. People wanted to actually
“Taste and see that HE IS good”.
Oh that it could be the same with those who supposedly identify with
HIS name here and now. That people would see tasty, fragrant, lip smacking fruit
borne on the branches of our life in HIM, and eat freely.
But of course, true fruit is borne and it comes from simply living and
abiding in the true VINE that is Christ alone. It tastes GOOD!
But wax false fruit is nasty, non-edible, non-nutritious, and
MANufactured… not borne… it is made in buildings and factories
at specific times with specific protocols and workers in specific
supervised places of so called authority.
Feast or famine? It is your choice?
Kirk Out !
Rather to squeeze out one little, tiny, edible grape than
MAKE and MANufacture a cornucopia of fake wax fruit.