Destroying Obstacles

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT

I remind myself that it doesn’t say “We proudly destroy every obstacle” and it doesn’t say “We destroy every proud person” but it says “We destroy every proud obstacle”.

And just like “fighting fire with fire” without any plan or understanding just creates a great bigger, raging fire — it should be clear that to destroy any “proud obstacles” that our own pride can’t be the weapon or tool used. It must be us humbling ourselves.

It should not be us trying to manipulate a way to humble “them”. It must be us submitting ourselves and humbling “ourselves”.

We must take our eyes off the person, see the actual obstacle between us, and overcome spiritual obstacles with spiritual warfare. Don’t fuel the “proud obstacle with” more of our own pride, but humble ourselves and see mountains laid low and stones rolled away.

We see our example of this in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Lord, let our faith please you, and let us receive your Holy Spirit to teach and guide and lead us in The Way, as you have promised when we believe, confess, and repent. In Your Name, Amen.

Where am I?

Pride, 

thinking that we have it figured out, 

focusing on what has already been conquered,

Instead of what needs to be surrendered today, 

It will lead to disgrace.
Disgrace,

When it is found before men, 

We have an opportunity to learn, 

To be disciplined by the experience,

And given an opportunity to choose

Between remaining powerless in repeating our prideful failures,

Or if we will seek God, 

And be lead to humility. 
Humility, 

When it is found before God, 

Provides an opportunity to find Hope,

in Jesus Christ who is faithful and true, 

To be empowered by the Holy Spirit,  

who is our teacher or guide and our comforter,

To know the Love of our Heavenly Father, 

Who is the unseen made visible in Christ Jesus,

And in finding God we will understand the fear of God,

Which leads to wisdom. 
Wisdom, 

She is more precious than Gold, 

She is eternal and nourishes our soul for eternity, 

Because wisdom is not worldly knowledge, 

But it is the understanding that God is in authority over all things, 

That He is ruler and we are servant, 

But that He is also Father and we are sons and daughters, 

That He knows what is best for us,

That He has a purpose for us, 

That He loves us, 

Which leads us to Love. 
Love, 

It is that most excellent fruit, 

That grows ripe on the branches of those planted in the Lord’s garden.

It is the fragrance of the incense of the prayers of His saints, 

It is a pleasing aroma to the Lord our God, 

Because it is the evidence of His very essence breathing within those that are His.

It is the life that we find when we lay down our burdens of sin and death and pick up our cross to follow Him. 

It is eternal and it is how He knows us and calls us by name. 

Love is the law of Christ, 

And it fulfills completely the requirements of God that the law of Moses could not, 

Because being reconciled to love is being reconciled to God himself, 

For God is love. 
To love Him is to serve Him, 

To serve Him is to love others,

To love others is to serve them, 

To serve others is to carry their burdens, 

To serve others is to share with them the very hope that we have found in Christ, 

To serve others is to recognize that we have a purpose in life to reach others with the gospel, 

To tell them of this ministry of reconciliation to Christ, 

To show them this love that flows from the very Spirit of Christ who lives in us. 
Where are you today,  friend? 
Moving up from pride to disgrace, 

Moving up from disgrace to humility, 

Moving up from humility to wisdom, 

Moving up from wisdom to love,

Or falling down in pride? 
Even if you find yourself falling, 

It is never too late to let your disgrace lead you to humility, friend. 

Cry out to the Lord, 

Seek Him with your whole heart, 

Repent of your evil and rebellious ways, 

Knock until He answers, 

But remember to be quiet and listen for His answer, 

Because He will answer in that still,  quiet voice, 

And you will recognize Him as the Good Shepherd who loves you. 

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2 NLT

Pride

The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” says the Lord .
“Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures shall be sought after! All the men in your confederacy Shall force you to the border; The men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those  who  eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it.
“For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever.
“But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau shall  be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,” For the Lord has spoken.
Obadiah 1:3-4, 6-7, 10, 17-18 NKJV
http://bible.com/114/oba.1.3-18.NKJV

Pride.

It pits man against man.

It causes those who we one considered brothers and friends to betray loyalties to anything other than self.

And when self reigns king in the hearts of men, violence towards others is inevitable – as jealousy, covetousness, bitterness, and unforgiveness settles in for a long siege.

But Christ offers deliverance and victory. Our only hope of glory is found by His grace through our faith.

Haven’t we chosen our side?

On one hand, the flame and fire of Christ alive in us, refining us and reminding us,  and shining the light of the Holy Spirit in a fruitful life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,  goodness,  gentleness,  faithfulness,  and self control in our lives today.

Or the destructive fire of judgement set aside for the adversary and those whose pride drives their lives far from living God and loving others,  because the love of self eventually leaves no room for anything else.

A proud look

These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV
http://bible.com/114/pro.6.16-19.NKJV

As men of flesh, we are very good at coming up with laws, at coming up with rules and lists of DOs and DONTs. We are even better at trying to measure and compare them to decide which one is worse than the other. We are good at coming up with grand ways of talking about and examining wickedness in detail and elaborating upon it in our words.

Continue reading “A proud look”

Who is against you?

Am I keeping my eyes on the work that the Lord has for my life today, or finding myself jealous or even judgemental about what others are doing?

John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.” But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”
Luke 9:49-50 NLT
http://bible.com/116/luk.9.49-50.NLT

Comparison to others is dangerous. It leads to either jealousy/envy or pride. This is because it falsely gives us the sense of either being under someone or over them. We aren’t to be called teachers nor call others teachers because we have one one teacher,  the Holy Spirit. We each have one authority we should be walking under and that is God. So comparing ourselves is not just foolish, it can be dangerous – since jealousy and envy are counted in Galatians 5 as sins that must be cast out or bound in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Continue reading “Who is against you?”

Nothing without You

God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!
Psalms 53:2-3 NLT
http://bible.com/116/psa.53.2-3.NLT

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.
Mark 10:18 NLT
http://bible.com/116/mrk.10.18.NLT

Do we think that we are good?

Do we think that we deserve credit or reward for the good things that we have done?

Do we compare ourselves to others and say either, look how good I am compared to them – or look how much more good they are than me. Foolish pride and envious sinner, depart from us, satan.

Continue reading “Nothing without You”

Like a Child

http://bible.com/116/mat.11.25.nlt
At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.

Observation
It is childlike faith that follows Christ with abandon, stepping out in faith and doing things to follow the Lord that seem foolish to the world around us.

A proud and arrogant person hears the Word of God and thinks himself wiser, twisting it and turning it or denying altogether that it applies to their lives – having no fear of God at all.

A childlike faith looks to the Word of God a and the Holy Spirit as their teacher, not relying upon their own understanding,  but being humbled daily by examining their lives closely and identifying those things that need to be cut out and abandoned so they might live a life that more perfectly reflects Christ’s love. It is understanding that His way is the best way for our lives because His life of obedience and love validated and confirmed His title as Messiah just as our lives of obedience and confirm His presence living in us and through us.

And even as we continue to grow,  we are humbled by our not yet fully reflecting His perfection in our walk. It is in our weakness that we are reminded that we are the children and He is the teacher. In our stumbles and as we search deeper into the depths of our hearts with this two edged sword of the Word of God performing surgery upon the cancer of sin that must be cut out, we find ourselves on our knees before Him at the foot of the cross, boo claiming royal titles of kings and rulers and crown bearers – but humbly claiming our title as the very children of God that He professes as His when He says,  “Suffer not the little children to come into me.”

You see,  He tells the world and all of creation,  He, the Christ,  the Word of God,  through whom the heavens and earth were created,  He who has been here since the beginning and who will be here evermore commands – Yes, He commands His creation to not get in the way of His little children as they come to rest at His feet and learn from their teacher.

And He warns the world,  those proud and arrogant enemies of truth,  that stand in opposition and that seek to distract and destroy those that are His –  those that think themselves wise in their own minds – He warns them of their destruction – He promises them that they will be laid low.

So we must examine our hearts and recognize those areas of pride and vanity in our lives that need to be cut out that are a trap and snare to ourselves and are a stumbling block to others. We are to be humble and obedient children of God,  not proud and rebellious children of evil and self importance.

Call to Action
Is God truly first in our life today, friends? Does our spiritual stance, our position before God, our visible actions in front of others prove us humble and obedient to the Word of God proving the fear of God that is His wisdom?

Walking upright and obedient to the Word of God, while loving and serving and forgiving even those who might seem “far from God” is the stance that recognizes our own position before God – not as someone kingly and close to the perfection of Christ ourselves, but as one “far from God” ourselves if we were to be measured and judged by our life actions alone without the redeeming sacrifice of Christ and the gift of His grace. Because even a single sin, even a lustful thought, even a hateful thought,  anything that falls short of the glory of God proves that we are not yet standing in his presence, that we are still in the flesh and not yet in our fully glorified spiritual being.

Yes, we are just children. We are growing from the seed planted and watered and growing by the streams of living waters. We might even be little trees bearing fruit in our branches, but we are just children, learning and growing at the deer of our Father. We are not great,  but He is. If there is anything great in our lives, it is Him – as we decrease and He increases. But all of that which is good and honorable, He gets the glory and praise and honor. It is His alone.

Humble child of God, arise and walk upright and obedient to the Word of God. Be healed and renewed. Find strength in the Lord your God.

Enemies of truth – arrogance,  pride,  vanity and all who would stand in the way of the Lord’s work – make way for your own destruction. Your time draws near, my Lord Jesus Christ approaches and will come quickly like a thief in the night. Repent while there is still time. Hit your knees and surrender willingly to the one who loves you and is willing to forgive you and free you from your captivity,  or who is faithful and true to send you into everlasting separation from God.

Believe,  take up your cross and follow Him. Find yourself sitting at the feet of the Good Shepherd,  child of God.

Don’t Point

Today’s Manna – Our Daily Bread
http://bible.com/116/hos.4.4.nlt
Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you.

Observation
People are less likely to listen and learn when we point the finger at them in judgement, because when a sword is raised towards us,  we prepare to defend ourselves,  we put up walls and prepare for battle, we run away because we are afraid that we are about to be hurt and plundered.

Continue reading “Don’t Point”