Healing the Orphan Spirit – Part 1

Book Review:
Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland – Part 1


 

Here are some take away quotes, ideas, and statistics from the book–and some personal notes:

A true orphan knows what it means to live life without the security, stability, and warmth of a physical home. A spiritual orphan is not any different. He is also well acquainted with the feelings of fear, anxiety, rejection, and homelessness even if he has a place to go home to at night.

Children from fatherless homes are more likely to be:

  • Poor
  • Become involved in drug and alcohol abuse
  • Drop out of school
  • Suffer from health and emotional problems
  • Boys are more likely to become involved in crime
  • Girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens

Adam & Eve were not born orphans, but they acquainted the orphan spirit the moment they left the Presence of God.

Genesis 3:8-10 – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Man deals with fear by pushing it deep down in his spirit. Since he does not allow the Father to remove that fear, he begins to struggle and tries to handle it on his own. Instead of acknowledging fear within the inner-core, we learn how to be self-reliant, thinking we can fight off the rising dread within our spirit.

We cope with fear through the outbursts of anger, or we do the opposite and turn the emotion inward and retreat within ourselves. We are constantly pressured to fix everything on our own. We retreat because we are afraid to deal with the real situation at hand for it might hurt too much. We think if we ignore the problem or dilemma, it will just go away.

We turn our hearts to steel, thinking that, if we make our inner being as tough as a rock, we might become impervious to the string of failure and rejection. In order to sustain that tough exterior, we learn how to reject the love, comfort, and admonition we receive from other people. We live life without a home while we try to create the self into an island fortress, striving to be self-sufficient and having the ability to go through life without experiencing the rewards of fellowship and true friendship.

A deep-seeded fear drives us to succeed at all costs.

Overwhelmed, we begin to indulge in escapism. Alcohol, drugs, porn, or more socially acceptable mechanisms like losing oneself in relationships, drowning oneself in books, tv, video games, etc. In these instances we can sometimes justify our escape patterns, because the things we are escaping to are not sins. Nonetheless, addiction sets in, and before we know it, we are already neck-deep in the deal’s quicksand.

Prov. 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

We are commanded to be in awe of His ways and obey Him. However, we were never told to fear the presence of God.

Ephesians 3:12 – In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

If we do not understand the ways of the father, then it is perfectly understandable why we are afraid when He is near.

Instead of seeing God’s commandments as coming from the heart of a loving God, we see them as restrictions. The laws of God are seen by many as a test instead of as signposts, which would lead to a blessed life. Thus, there are 2 ways the orphan spirit will cope with this fear of Father: 1) rebellion 2) religion.

Religion assumes that formalities and adherence to a man-made code of beliefs will justify his lack of true contact with Father.

The result of sin is shame. Many choose to rebel instead of putting up with shame. They flaunt their sinfulness for the whole world to see. The religious person, on the other hand, tries to deal with shame by attempting to appease God with good deeds.

The newly freed Hebrew slaves were more than willing to go back into bondage simply because they could not believe the Lord would fulfill His promise to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. One glance at their immediate circumstances forced them to conclude that God had brought them into the desert to die.

Rom. 8:14-17 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

John 15:4 – Abide in Me, and I in you.

Jesus uses the illustration of the grape vine to make clear to His disciples what He means, and in this illustration the word abide is used eleven times. The word abide means to continue on in a permanent state.

Walk through a vineyard and you will see fruit but no tension. You will never walk up to a branch and hear it complaining or struggling to bear fruit. It knows that the fruit it bears comes from inside the life of the tree and not from ‘working it up’ on the outside of the branch.

Works are a product of the arm of the flesh, while fruit is a product of abiding in Christ. Fruit is a natural outgrowth of our union with Him.

We must abide in the vine of where Christ has placed us if we are going to produce fruit. If we don’t, we will end up like the Hebrews, ‘making bricks without straw.’ Lots of busy activity with nothing to show for it! Fruit is the result of life, not hard work.

Most of us understand the principle of tithing, or giving the first fruits of what God gives us. The word ‘fruit’ is used throughout scripture with more than just money however. It is used with soul winning, holy living, character, and praise:

Heb. 13:15 – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of our lips that openly profess his name.

In tithing we give back to God the first 10% of what we receive from Him. In praise, why can’t we give back the first fruits as well? Give God praise with the first 10 minutes of your day. It’s a sacrifice, not always something we want to do or feel like doing. Science has proven that uplifting words can put you in a better mood. Fake it till you make it actually works after all!

If we talk about vineyards, then we also need to talk about pruning.

  • What does He prune? Whatever hinders my growth!
  • When will He prune? At the right season to produce the greatest amount of fruit.

Pruning is necessary for maximum productivity. If there is no pruning, there will be no increase in fruit.

Abraham tried to figure out a way to make God’s word work. Every time we try to help God out, we are in danger of producing our own Ishmael. It wasn’t what God had in mind! Abraham was deceived.

Abraham believed God’s promise. The prophecy was taking a long time. Abraham wondered if there was something he was doing wrong. Is there something that I need to do to make the prophecy come to pass? Is God waiting on me? Shouldn’t I be co-laboring with God? What am I missing?

Deception means: to look for something where it’s not. Webster says it is: fraud, double dealing, or trickery.

This could be the lost entry to my diary: Turning Point 13 – I took the prophecies I received, and did what I thought I needed to do to co-labor with God and see them come to pass. I put 30k toward a business I knew nothing about. I later figured out it wasn’t God. I called the company, called it fraud and got a full refund (thank God). Plus, they let keep the books, so I have learning material to grow into. I now have money to live on, buy a new car, or whatever. And my anxiety is a little less, seeing that the money isn’t sitting in mutual funds wasting away with the declining economy and I have 4 jobs biting this week. Guy Harvey at the beach, 50k without moving, slow & easy life + a free house, or meet a doctor? Hmm… ? All great things and hard choices!

God was still gracious to Abraham’s confused efforts, by blessing Ishmael. However, God didn’t allow Ishmael or Abraham’s efforts to replace His original purpose.

Rom. 11:29 – for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable

When God decides to give us something, He doesn’t change His mind, no matter what we do.

2 Cor. 3:6 – the written text brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Religion lives for rules. Rules are how we control people, especially in the church.

The Pharisees:

  • Loved prominence
  • Endangered the souls of men
  • Majored on the mechanics of religion
  • Lived a double standard
  • Talk didn’t match their walk

Rom. 7:24 – Who will rescue me from this body of death?

The term to which Paul alludes to is descriptive of a shocking execution that was employed by the Romans. A cadaver would be fastened to the condemned person so that he could not be released from the corpse. The deceased, decaying flesh of the cadaver accompanied every move he made. Eventually he would die a slow, painful, and emotionally horrifying death. It’s ghastly to think about, but that’s what it looks like for a person living without Christ. Their sin follows them wherever they go and produces death.

Facts of Fatherlessness:

  • The percentage of kids born out-of-wedlock has grown 223% since 1970.
  • 7 of of 10 African-American kids are born out-of-wedlock.
  • 3 out of 10 Caucasian kids are born out-of-wedlock, an increase of 440% since 1970.
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 60% of repeat rapists grew up without father.
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from a fatherless home.
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother.
  • 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state prison have no father.
  • 85% of youth in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
  • 75% of prisoners grew up without a father.
  • Fatherless boys are 2x’s as likely to drop out of high school, 2x’s as likely to end up in jail, 4x’s more likely to need help with emotional or behavioral problems.
  • 43% of US children live without their father.
  • Each year America spends $48 billion on incarceration, $5 billion on parole and probation, and $6.5 billion on juvenile detention due to fatherlessness.
  • Over 6 billion people are in the correctional system due to fatherlessness. That is almost the same as the population of Hong Kong, China, or 3 times the population of Houston, Texas.

John 14:16-18 – And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

In the parable of the prodigal son we see two sons without a father. The rebellious son and the religious son. Both lived outside their father’s love.

Rebellious: The son has to wait, in most cases, for the last will and testament of the father, but this son asked for and received his inheritance early. He wanted his inheritance early so he could live outside of the fathers will. He took it and left for another country, creating as much distance as possible between him and the father. He wanted total control over his own life and did not want the guidance or approval of his father.

The son wasted his money on wild living, and when he had nothing left to give, his friends left him. Severe famine hit the land and he was forced to hire himself out as a pig farmer. He wasn’t treated like a human being. In fact, he was treated lower than slaves, as even the pigs were considered more important than him! He begged his master to give him a portion of the pig feed and they refused.

Then he remembered his father and that even his servants had food to spare. He came to his senses. Only one thing held him back: his belief that no one could accept a rebel such as himself.


As Jesus taught this parable, Pharisees and teachers of the law were listening. They probably wondered why Jesus was wasting his time talking about a sinner who deserved to be punished. They were confident they knew the Law and the moral of the lesson. The Law called for death:

Deut. 21:18-21 – If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.

To the Pharisees, it would have been better for the prodigal to stay away because his father had the legal right to stone him for his rebellious attitude.

God welcomes back his lost son with open arms, giving him the best of all he has, and restoring him to sonship. God doesn’t want us to hide from Him like Adam & Eve did. He wants us to be restored to Him.


Religious: The elder brother from the parable of the prodigal son was noted to be working the fields with the servants. His rightful place was in the presence of the father, but he seemed oblivious to the fact that he was a son. He manifested the orphan spirit in a different way by acting as if he did not have a home, when, in fact, he had legal rights as an heir. The Pharisees, like the elder son, knew the father, yet did not seek intimacy. Instead they built a religion, or a to do list of works, around Him. Most modern churches still exhibit this model: Israel wanted God’s blessings and what He could do for them, but they did not want anything to do with seeking their Father’s face. They encouraged Moses to enter into the tent of meeting to commune with the Lord, while the rest of the nation of Israel were content to stay in their tents far away from the Presence of God.

God reminds the elder son that he is an heir, and has continual access to all the father has. Remember that you are a son and not a slave. Don’t let your work separate you from God, or think that your work is the only way to God, or think that God will only love you if you do His work. You are more important to Him than something you can do for Him. He has enough servants; He wants a son.

The father tried to change his mindset to think like an heir. ‘Everything I have is yours’ – Luke 15:31

Don’t continue to look with envy at the resources within your grasp while feeling unable to even glean from the ripened harvest.

We can’t earn His love. He freely bestows His love on us all, so stop working like a slave for it.

Our fathers nitpicked, condemned, and cut us down. They pointed out every flaw. They belittled us, made us feel unloved, made us feel like we had to earn their love by changing ourselves to get to their standard. We had to climb, work, and change to become something that they could approve. Sometimes it might have worked, but most of the time it didn’t. Who wants to change to live up to that evil standard anyway? Our heavenly Father wants us to know that we don’t have to do anything to earn His love.

Rom. 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God loves us while we are still sinners. He wants us just the way we are. We don’t have to strive, or constantly work to change ourself to His standard. We can rest in His love now, where we are, whether that be in a state of sin or righteousness. He will never stop loving us, so stop trying to earn it; He’s not going anywhere.

There is nothing I can do that can take Your love from me; and there is nothing I can do to make You love me because it is not about the doing. You just love me because I am Yours

Job is an illustration of what the orphan spirit looks like. In his case it took the pressure of difficulty to bring it out, but it is obvious it was there all along.

The Black Hole
The orphan spirit will:

  • Seek to drive a wedge between our heart and our Father’s love
  • Try to convince us that God is to blame for all our troubles
  • Cause us to look for answers from any other source but our Father
  • Create confusion and distance between us, and those closest to us
  • Cause us to live in despair when not healed by the power of Christ
  • Job saw himself as an animal trapped by circumstances. Job 19:6 – ‘it is God who has wronged me, capturing me in his net.’
  • Job felt like an innocent man being condemned as a criminal in court. He felt like God was treating him unfairly. Job 19:7 – ‘Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered; I call for help, but there is no justice.’
  • Job felt like he was making progress, enjoying life, and doing all the right things before God put a roadblock in front of him.Job 19:8 – ‘He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, And He has put darkness on my paths.’
  • Job blamed God for taking away every good thing he had. Job 19:9 – ‘He has stripped from me my glory and taken the crown from my head.’
  • It’s hard to be normal and function the way we want to when everything is out of sorts. Job felt like a building that had been completely destroyed. Job 19:9 – ‘He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone’
  • An uprooted tree will die. Without its root system it will not produce fruit or survive. Job 19:9 – ‘my hope has he pulled up like a tree.’

Heaviness takes the color out of life, and makes it difficult to see the truth clearly. Heaviness makes it hard to find purpose and direction in life. Heaviness can come from a variety of reasons:

Constant Criticism:
Ps. 69:20 – Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.

Spiritual Failure:
Ps. 119:25-28 – My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.

Family Difficulties:
Prov. 10:1 – A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

Worry:
Prov. 12:25 – Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.

Trials & Pressures:
1 Peter 1:6 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials

to be continued

Lord of the Poop

Beelzebul, a name for Satan, gets its roots from ba’al, meaning lord, and zebel, meaning dung. Satan is the lord of crap (to be polite).

According to 1 Kings 14:10, one burns crap until it is all gone. And according to Rev. 20:10, Satan’s end is to be thrown into fire.

If we then, are the body of Christ (1Cor.12:27), then we should be taking in the good nutriment and disposing of the waste; that way we are all doing our part in pushing Satan, the crap, out of the body. He’s just a big pile of crap to be burned.

Science tells us that poop that stays in the body too long releases toxins. A healthy body knows what is good and what is waste, and doesn’t get clogged up. History also shows us that poop that isn’t disposed of properly can have huge reprecussions. The Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, killed an estimated 200 million people in a 7 year span, due to rodents running around in open sewage. More recently sewage caused the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Let’s not be the dog that returns to its waste to eat it (Prov.26:11). Let’s keep on taking in the wholesome nutriment of Gods word, being made new and stronger, and cutting off that which does not produce. 1 Thess. 5:21-22, hold on to what is good and reject every kind of evil. I don’t want to be a fly, dog, or dung beetle feasting on crap. I want to be a king feasting on fine foods. I want to eat the fruit from the tree of life, which produces no waste. No more rotten fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It’s time for that to pass from our body.

So yes, Jesus poops (at least while on earth). And today, Satan gets the royal flush. But Satan is hardly a holy shit, because poop is unholy and unclean, and Satan definitely is. And no, I don’t have a problem with using words in their proper context; but that should probably be a topic for another post.

A Pregnant Creation

A Pregnant Creation Awaits the Revealing of the Sons of God - Romans 8 // LOVEDISCIPLE

Figured I’d share some of my recent artwork with you today ❤


Psalm 139:11-15 

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.


John 3:3-4, 6-7

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”… Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’


Romans 8:14-39

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Ephesians 1:13-14

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him (Jesus), were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Metaphors of the Church

Jesus gives us several metaphors to help us understand what the church should be like. The ‘church’ is not a religious building, or a specific denomination. The church is every person who accepts Jesus as their savior. Here are five metaphors to help us understand His plan for the church:


God is the master architect

God is the master architect

1. The Church is like a Building
This means: We need support.

If you are in the ‘church’, you are a part of the building, and helping build the building. If you are a pillar, then you need someone who is concrete to support you; you need someone as a roof, for you to hold up. We need people to support us, and people who we can support. A building is not made of only one kind of material. We need each other; we cannot do it by ourselves.

– Eph. 2:19-22 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

– 1 Cor. 3:9-10,16 – You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation (Jesus) like an expert builder. Now others are building on it… Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?


We are the body of Christ

We are the body of Christ

2. The Church is like a Body
This means: We need to grow.

When a body is healthy, it grows and develops. It needs many parts to be able to function. If you plucked out the eye, it couldn’t do its job. It still holds the potential to do it’s job, but it is worthless unless it is attached to the body. Parts must be connected to use their potential, help, and grow. Your potential cannot be realized by you. You need others to bring out your full potential. When we are separated from the body, we die.

– Rom. 12:4-6 – For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

– Eph. 4:16 – From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

– Eph. 4:11-12 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

– Phil. 1:6 – For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


Christ is the shepherd of the flock

Christ is the shepherd of the flock

3. The Church is like a Flock
This means: We need protection.

The church is meant to protect you and for you to protect those in it. You are not meant to be alone. You can be around a lot of people, but if you aren’t being truthful, and transparent, you will feel utterly alone. You are meant to be able to share your life with others and let them speak into you. You need others to teach you, help you spot enemies, and help you trample the enemies. The enemies plan is to find those who are separated from the flock, and those who are weak. You cannot stay safe on your own.

– Acts 20:28-29 – Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

-Acts 17:26-27 – he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

– 1 Peter 5:2 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care

– Jer. 3:15 – I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

– Luke 12:31-33 – But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven


We are the family of God

We are the family of God

4. The Church is like a Family
This means: We need to be loved unconditionally

God loves us unconditionally. We are saved by His grace, not by works. Have you had a family member you didn’t get along with? We might not get along, but we aren’t supposed to kick each other out of the family. We need to be able to see others through our Fathers heart. The more we understand God’s heart, the more we will be able to show His love to others. We are adopted by God, into His family, and joined together by the blood of Jesus. A lot of times, your church family sticks closer to you than your physical family. These people know the struggle and have wisdom from God to share with you. We need more spiritual sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. Mentors rise up!

– Eph. 2:19 – you are no longer foreigners and strangersbut fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household

– Prov. 18:24 – … there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

– Eph. 1:5 – he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

– Rom. 8:14,29 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

– Gal. 3:26 – So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith

– 1 John 4:20-21 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


We are the bride of Christ

We are the bride of Christ

5. The Church is like a Bride
This means: We need to be One with Christ.

We need to leave everything to be joined to Christ, our husband. We need to get rid of every hinderance, and lay down every weight. We can be honest to our husband, because He loves us unconditionally. He takes His vow seriously, and He does not believe in divorce. In Jewish culture they would actually slaughter a bull and the couple getting married would walk between the parts and say, ‘may I be like this bull if I do not keep my vow.’ Christ walked through the parts for us (Gen.15:9-18). We are in a covenant relationship with Him and He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut.31:6).

– Gen. 2:24 –  a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

– Eph. 5:31-32 – “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mysterybut I am talking about Christ and the church.

– 1 Cor. 6:17 – But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

– Rom. 8:9 – You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ

– Ruth 1:15-16 – Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

– Matt. 19:29 – And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.


Worship: Brother, by NeedToBreathe

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Prayer: Lord, join your body together, so we can be the holy temple of God. Make your bride spotless, and show your people how to live unified in love. Keep our eyes set on your return, for you left for Spirit as a wedding pledge to us. Let us keep showing off this great gift of your Spirit, as one would a wedding ring. Let us stay about your work awaiting your return to take us to the home you have prepared for us in your Father’s kingdom. May your people (family) be our people; teach us to love them. May we build up the your people (building) with words of encouragement. May we protect your people (flock) and share the truth about our sufferings, trials, and victories. Help us grow, develop, and reach our full potential. Bring a new level of unity and love to us in Jesus name, Amen.


For more on this topic you can listen to Pastor Chris Hodges:
Be Transparent – How to Live Through A Bad Day – Highlands Series

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You are Dead

– Rom. 6:5-14 – Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to Godoffer every part of yourself to God as an instrument of righteousness

– 1 Cor. 6:14-17,19 – By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own

– Acts 1:8 – you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you

– John 14:12 – Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

How can we do the works Jesus did? Because we died and we were born a new creation by the Holy Spirit. It was when Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit that He started working in the gifts of the Spirit. It is when His followers are baptized in the Spirit that they begin working in the gifts of the Spirit.

How can we do greater works than Jesus? Jesus was still part man. 6 Billion people cannot see one physical person at one time, but since Jesus now lives in us, He is in multiple places at one time! That’s why He said it was better for Him to go and send us the Spirit. The Spirit is Him without the limitations of a single physical body. Now, we are each a part His body, physically in different places but unified by the Spirit.

Jesus said the baptism that He would bring would be greater than the water baptism of John. That’s why when the day of Pentecost came, they were ‘fire’ baptized with the Holy Spirit and with power! We need to be baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit as well. The gifts of the Spirit are for everyman (1 Cor. 12:7). Our God is a consuming fire. Let Him fill you with passion for His name.

Since we are dead. Let us stay dead! We now belong to the Spirit of Jesus that lives inside of us. The Spirit gives us 3 lists of things: new mindsets, new abilities, and new works. These are all done by the Spirits power and not our own.

9 fruits (or mindsets) of the Spirit: 1)love, 2)joy, 3)peace, 4)patience, 5)kindness, 6)goodness, 7)faithfulness, 8)gentleness, 9)self-control

9 gifts (or abilities) of the Spirit: 1)ability to work miracles, 2)to speak in unknown tongues, 3)to interpretation unknown tongues, 4)to discernment between good and evil, 5)gifts of healing, 6)prophecy, 7)word of wisdom, 8)word of knowledge, 9)faith

9 beattitudes (or works) of the Spirit:
1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
2) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
3) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
4) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
5) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
6) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
7) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
8) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
9) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Let the Spirit live in you!

John 6:63 – The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.


I need the fruit, gifts, and works of the Holy Spirit to be able to operate in love.

Example: One evening I was mad at a friend. I had every intention on waking up the next morning and cussing them out. When I woke up, I had repeated a phrase in tongues 3 times before I realized I had been talking. I woke up enough to realize what I had said. I didn’t know what it meant, but later at work I tried to look it up and it meant ‘no anger’. Freaked me out a little. I’d never had tongues work in that way before, but it kept me from acting in anger. A week later that friend came to know Christ. The gift of the Spirit produced the fruit of the Spirit, and the Spirit did the work in the life of my friend. Hell, the Spirit did the work in me too; I pretty much need a miracle every time I need to produce patience.

In fact, just last night someone prophesied over me about my own generation. The gift of prophesy called up some unforgiveness in me that I needed to let go of, and called me forward to operate in the fruits toward my generation.

Those are 2 examples of how gifts produced fruit in my life, but Jesus shows us that fruit can produce gifts as well:

– Matt. 14:14 – When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Do you remember when Jesus went into the temple and flipped the tables (Matt. 21:12)? Jesus says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says He is the Spirit. So, when Jesus comes into us, He flips the tables. That’s how the BeAtitudes work; those who mourn will be comforted. Jesus takes the bad things that happened in your life and turns them around to bless you with a double portion! Those who faced rejection will get a double portion of acceptance when Jesus comes into their lives. Those who were suicidal get a double portion of crazy joy. Those who were confused get a double portion of revelation. Those all happened for me; that’s how I made the connection ;). And the friend that brought me anger, brought me great joy, but only because the gifts produced the fruit, and the Spirit did all the work!

Meditation

Meditation is practiced in many religions, such as Sahaja Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Buddhism, Hinduism, and many others. Their traditional basis of meditation is the act of clearing the mind; emptying the mind is the goal. The Bible is expressly against this! The Bible teaches meditation and encourages it, but it is meant to be the exact opposite of the other religions. The Bible says we should never empty our minds, but that we should fill them with the Word of God (Jesus).

– Jos. 1:8 – Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

– Gen. 23:63 – He (Isaac) went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.

Here we see two of the founding fathers of Judaism, and Christianity, meditating. Just as we see Joshua say: meditate on the Book of the Law day and night and let it ever be on your lips, the new testament also says:

– Matt. 12:44-45 – When it (an impure spiritarrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.

The house refers to the mind, or the body. We know that we are supposed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God was supposed to always be in the temple. God should always be on our minds! This verse shows us that it is in the emptying of our mind that a perverse spirit can enter. This is why we do not meditate the same way as other religions. Emptying the mind allows the enemy in. Filling the mind with Christ, the word of God, fills us to the brim with the Spirit of God. We are to be the temple of the Spirit.

– Eph. 5:18 – be filled with the Holy Spirit

– 1 Cor. 6:19 – Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

When we choose to follow God’s plan for meditation we see many results. Joshua already told us that meditating on the word helps us live by the word and stay in obedience to Christ. He also said that we will prosper and succeed in our lives by doing so. David, another forefather, repeats the principle:

– Ps. 1:1-3 – Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

– Col. 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Dwell:
1. live in; reside; lodge; stay
2. think, speak, or write at length about

We can keep the word of God in our hearts and minds by: 1)reading it and taking it in like daily food, 2)thinking about it all day (dwelling, or chewing, on it), 3)singing it in worship to God, 4)talking about it in our conversations and teaching it to others, 5)praying it back to God to remind Him of His promises.

– Heb. 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active.

– Gen. 1:3 – And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

The word has power. We bring that power into our lives when we dwell on it.

– Ps. 119:130 – The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

– Col. 2:3 – Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

The word gives us wisdom and understanding; it is Christ, the Word of God, that gives us the knowledge of who God is, and how to live our lives in a fulfilling manner.

– Matt. 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

The word nourishes us; it gives us health and life.

– Is. 55:10 – As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

–  Heb. 6:7-8 – Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed

The word helps us grow and develop; it satisfies our needs and produces good fruit.

– 1 John 2:14 – … I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

The word strengthens us; it gives us the power to overcome.

– Eph. 5:25-26 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word

The word cleans us; it purifies our hearts and minds.

– Acts 20:32 – Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

The word encourages us; it gives us hope, life, and builds us up, giving us the riches of inheritance.

– 2 Tim. 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The word teaches us and helps us see when we are in the wrong; it shows us how to live righteously and equips us to do good works.

– John 16:13 – But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

– John 14:26 – But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

The word, and the Spirit of God, shows us the truth about God; it teaches and reminds us, as we need it, of everything Christ, the Word, says.

– Is. 59:21 – My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips

Living a life before God, in a state of constant meditation on who He is, is the best way to live your life. It gives you success, prosperity, wisdom, understanding, power, growth, nourishment, strength, encouragement, equipping, hope, correction, purification, health, fulfilling life, and brings forth a bountiful harvest from our labor. It invites God to participate in every part of our lives, and walk with us as He did with man in Eden.


– John 1:1-5,9-14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Christ, the Word of God, dwell in me!
 Make your home, and stay.
Remind me of the love you are,
 Each and every day!

Meditate on that!


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