Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some start off walking right and end up walking wrong

Are you livin' in the past, in present, in the future, in defeat ..where you fly off the handle at people ..or livin' in spiritual victory? Are you progressing or digressing spiritually--you know thinking and acting like a spiritual person in Christ or like a carnal or heathen person (not talking down at anyone, because I've been there before). How about this random question.. Where were you during "the summer of love"? Are you still there a time-warp-like-status? Man, were you even born yet (you're thinkin' that very question dates Kurt huh)? For some of those back then who dropped out, tuned in, and turned on ..only to find out that the world had nothing to offer them ..and that Christ was the "one Way".. the summer turned into an era of lasting pure love! Yup, no more selfish use-em-and lose-em free love. I want to briefly talk with you about some off-the-cuff musings I had on my mind when I woke up this morning regarding lasting love in the Spirit... just some basic thoughts about how many people can start off walking right and then end up walking wrong for one reason or another. It's so sad! Have you ever read about king Saul? You and I have got to keep our guard up.

Let me ask.. Have you ever had friends who seemingly became Christians and then after some hard times (trials) came their way, they quickly folded like a lawn chair and threw in the towel? Have you had Christian friends who allowed the enemy to draw them into responding to hateful people in the flesh rather than in the Spirit.. as these worldly scoffers taunted them.. only to see the Christian end up getting steamrolled by the wicked one after blowing up ( fact maybe you've been there reacting in anger towards people instead of being led victorious by God's love)? Yep, the enemy of your soul knows right well that if he can only push our buttons and draw us into reacting in the physical realm in a fleshly manner, he can then eat our lunch! Have you ever had friends, family, classmates, coworkers or neighbors ever harass you outright for being a Christian? Not too many of us have suffered persecution like our brothers and sisters in other developing nations. But how well did you do? Do you currently have friends who have opted to return for Egypt so to speak.. who have gone back to idol-worship instead hanging in there with the faithful One.. to get hard-hearted inside, lukewarm, dishonest or just resistant to the glorious Gospel of grace? Whatcha doin' 'bout it? Are you continuing to pray and believe for them? Are you expectantly trusting God for the results? Remember God carries the bulk of the responsibility in us fishing for souls--it's mainly His deal. And if they cast insults in your direction, please don't take it personal. The darkness hates the light of Jesus!

Man, I sure hope that you are handling it well one day at a time. You are not alone! It's my hope and prayer that we continue to walk right, tight and in His might.. yes, close with our Master. Let me explain better, but first.. here are some verses that came to my mind regarding this type of stuff…

Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
—Galatians 3:3

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
—2 Corinthians 3:5-6

Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
—2 Corinthians 3:16-17

This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts. —Zechariah 4:6

Hard and wise work—that needs to be our kind of work.  Heart-work is God's work! 

We aren't to take on God's part, nor are we to expect God to do our part (and go with the Gospel..) that He has specifically called us to do. Sure, we can expect Him to empower each of us in what He has called us to do. In Old Testament times, former Jewish exiles who were gathered together for the purpose of rebuilding Jerusalem were faced with fierce opposition from their worldly neighbors. And God reminded them that the success that they longed to see would not come to them by human might, ingenuity, or by their own power, but only by God's Spirit as they obeyed Him (see Zech. 4:6). Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Have you been refilled and cooperating with God's Spirit? Do you sense some distance there? Maybe it's time for a recommitment vertically.

As part of the Church of Jesus Christ today, you and I might get discouraged and weary from time to time from the resistance that people express towards the Gospel Message. But you and I simply need to remember that God's work done God’s way and in His time ..won’t lack Gods’ provision. He knows when you need it and you're not dead yet so stand up and fight in His might.. but not against flesh and blood. God's plan will not be accomplished by our might or by human power, but by the Holy Spirit’s power. Are you reading, reading.. studying, studying.. and memorizing, vigorously memorizing truth?

Good! Keep it up, but let me ask you this... Are you praying, listening and worshipping the Lord as well? Don't you think that we can grow spiritually lopsided when God wants us full of winsome grace and pure love? Our responsibility is to be filled with faith, agape and peace ..and to continually draw upon God's grace to live the life His way, practically server people along with speaking out faithfully in Christ’s Name. Then we just need to leave the results up to God and give Him all the glory! Hey, it's not beyond any of us to backslide spiritually or to become self confident just like Peter did as he warmed himself by the fires of the world. Keep looking up and remain God-sufficient with holy fear, rather than self-sufficient! Jesus said..

The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. —John 4:24

I remember getting saved in the fullest sense of the term during the tail end of the Jesus Movement and I was then baptized in the Holy Spirit for the purpose of witnessing. I still need the Spirit and I talk with Him when the time is right. I remember walking in the Spirit along the beaches of California with my surfboard under my arm, talking with my surfer and volleyball buddies in the '70s. It was an exciting reality for me leaning upon the Spirit and there were so many of us righteous surf rats--born again hippies that had enjoyed this same transforming experience--just like me. The cross now meant more to us than our waxed up stick for the waves, or than joints that we rolled on the sandy shores.

It was the greatest experience for me every single day. far above all other experiences put together and it still is ..yup, knowing Christ as my best Friend and Lord is better than awesome. I can talk to God through Christ about anything at all. Sometimes when I am feeling down or have had a really rough day, God will do little things that He knows I will recognize just to bless me ..that have His bold, all caps headline font spelling out; “I love you Kurt” written all over it. Nothing beats that. He still meets all my needs!

Now the so called, “Jesus Movement,” perhaps due to some nostalgic and sentimental feelings ..has become a monument of sorts to many old school Jesus freaks and for yet other people and groups who claim to be Christian, it has sadly become a mausoleum of sorts ..sadly just like what happened with Methodism (which has gone downhill and now ordains homosexuals and women as "pastors" in Methodist churches (1 Tim. 3:2, Tit. 1:6 It's hard to be a "husband" if you're a lady), due to this group’s radical departure and drifting away from the clear teachings of Scripture.. and hey, check it out.. I am never against women being ministers in or outside the Church. I feel that the Church needs many more women ministers today).

But we’ve begun in the Spirit for an eternal purpose and we must continue on worshipping and serving the Lord by the Spirit, not according to the flesh. We don’t need to build a shrine around anything of the past just because it was really cool back then. The Ark of the Covenant had its day and Aaron's rod that budded had its day. Listen, no matter how many people were blessed back in the day, why act like a foolish idiot and worship old stuff like those thing ..or even the people who have been used by Christ in the past, when Jesus is SO there for you in the now? He lives and can meet every need!

Kurt, what in the world are you trying to say?

I simply want to say that the glories and blessings of your past experiences with Christ.. Christians.. are only as good or beneficial for you as far as they are translated into your present-day experience and walk with Jesus today. Please make Christ your God, live practically in the now going on with Him daily ..allowing Him to lead you rather than mere rules and cold regulations. Have candid honest fellowship with Him today--each day. If you trust Him (as He deserves), you will want to obey Him. Yup, get real with Him daily; be open to His instructions and touch. Basically give Him the driver’s seat of your life if you will ..and remember that He doesn’t need any back seat driving at all. Remember it's the Spirit of Christ who gives us life and liberty, therefore go on with Christ by His Spirit according to Gods' grace and the Scriptures (in a passionate love relationship), rather than in some dry legalistic relationship. Never forget that there needs to be a balance of the Word and the Spirit as you go the distance with Him.

Allow me to ask you this.. Did you start out by the Spirit of God in faith the close communion of God's kindhearted Spirit—being born of this Spirit in Christ? Is so continue on in Him by faith. If not.. 
you can right now! Why continue on in the flesh or in some boring religious sort of way? God has never been religious or fleshly in HIs ways. Take it from me.. You've must be born again and walk in Him (see John 3)! Man, that is still the greatest miracle of the Spirit that God performs! No other type of creative miracle or healing ever comes close to beating that!

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