Honoring God in the Work Place

If our boss wanted us to do something ungodly, would we do it? Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego decided they would not, even if they were ‘fired’ for it. They respected God more than man. Once they took their stand–may I add, in a respectful manner, still calling him Your Majesty–the bosses view of them changed. The boss became furious and made their work 7 times harder (v19). Would we refuse to do something against our God, even if it made our work lives miserable? Even if the boss hated us and made things harder on us? S,M,&A trusted God to take care of them, and God did just that. God kept them from being ‘fired’, ‘fired’ some of the people who tried to hurt them, caused the bosses view of them AND their God to change, AND even gave them a promotion. What if your next promotion rides on you honoring God in the workplace? What if someone’s eternity rides on it? What if the whole workplaces eternity rides on it?

Dan. 3:16-30 – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” 19Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. 28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” 30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.


The last season of my life has been a time of recovery. During that time, I didn’t do a great job portraying Christ to my atheist boss. The Spirit of God would not let me post this until I had texted him to apologize. What if my apology meant the reconciliation of him to God? What if he judged christians for being no different than the world? I can witness along side of him, that I am guilty by every measure, except the blood of Jesus has made me clean and purified me. I will try to do the things My Judge commands, even if it means sticking my foot in my mouth and becoming humiliated… I mean, humbled…

Matt. 5:23-26 – “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.


Dan. 3:1-6 – King Nebuchadnezzar (said)… you must fall down and worship the image of gold… Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.

  • This government forced everyone to worship a certain god

Dan. 6:7 – The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den

  • This government condemned everyone who worshipped a different god

‘You must worship this’ or ‘You can’t worship that’? America not only has decided it will make abortions legal, but around 2014 the government decided that all businesses must provide it to their employees. If America chose, by vote, to have abortions that’s one thing, but to force everyone to provide that service for their employees is another. The Catholic church and Hobby Lobby respectfully opposed this law by doing things the right way through the laws of the land. They were under threat of death; the government tried to close the business, put them in the news under fire from the people, and threatened to fine them one million dollars a day. What will you do if caught in this situation, where you must choose between honoring God or man? – Chris Hodges

The Methodist church is about to face a similar situation. The national United Methodist Church leaders are deciding whether they will accept gay marriage as God honoring or not. If they decide to honor gay marriage, any individual church under their umbrella that doesn’t agree can lose the rights to their buildings and land. If the leaders accept gay marriage, will these churches trust God to make them stand, even at the loss of their buildings? What if making that stance means their greatest promotion? If you’re the only church that makes that stand in your city, you better believe, there will be members leaving the other methodist churches looking for a place to call home. What if making that stance makes an eternal difference in our nation, for the members of that affiliation?

At my last job, a woman prayed for a girl who requested it. This woman was in a group of staff members, both male and female, and no one offered to pray for the young girl, although it was a christian business. The woman prayed for the girl, and was later confronted by her boss over it. This was a Church of Christ business, under the belief that women should not speak in front of men–whether to lead worship, lead a message, or even pray. Praise God for this woman’s courage to honor God at the expense of losing her job! Not everything each denomination believes, lines up with the Word of God. If we know better, we are accountable for our actions. May this woman’s courage make an eternal difference at her place of employment! And may you find the courage to do the same!

In 2015, Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley, released a statement on the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling: “I have always believed in the Biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. That definition has been deeply rooted in our society for thousands of years. Regardless of today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, I still believe in a one man and one woman definition of marriage. The people of Alabama also voted to define marriage as between a man and woman. I always respect the people’s vote, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has disregarded the choice made by the people of Alabama in its decision today.” Governor Bentley went against the nation as he refused to marry same-sex couples in Alabama. He caught a lot of heat for standing up for what was right! Satan himself went to tempt, and ruin, his public witness, as a year later Bentley fell into an affair and praise God that he went on record asking God to forgive him. May God redeem those who honor Him.

In the Bible, Joseph refused to disobey God’s laws at the command of his master who wanted an affair with him. He lost his job over the issue, but later God made him the ruler of a nation (Gen.39:10; 41:40). If Joseph hadn’t lost that job, he wouldn’t have become ruler of a nation. Trust God’s plan in whatever happens, and do your best to stand up for what is right. We all need God’s forgiveness, for we are all tempted, and all sinners–but still people that God can use to make a difference.

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Judging the News

Do not judge by appearances – John 7:24

If you hear… anyone saying… then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly – Deut. 13:12-15

The Lord said, “The outcry… is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know” – Gen. 18:20-21

Judge according to facts, never by appearances. Taking a snippet of anything, out of it’s original context is asking for a major misunderstanding. I’m sure you’ve had someone take your words and twist them into something you didn’t mean, or had someone enter the conversation at the wrong time–just in time to hear something that sounded off as a standalone comment. We are told to investigate, search out, and inquire THOROUGHLY before we draw conclusions. We have to see the whole picture first, and we don’t get that from a video snippet. God set the example, when He went Himself to investigate things instead of relying on the report of humans or angels!

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me judge… between you?” – Luke12:14)

Jesus, the only truly righteous Judge, even refused to judge in situations where He was not yet in authority! It is for the justice system to decide matters of justice. You have the authority to go to the hearing and protest at that time if you feel the trial was corrupt.

Judge nothing before the appointed time – Luke 12:14

Goodness knows, we have some corrupt government, but that does not make them all corrupt. If they are proven corrupt, sentence them. If they made a mistake, then FIRE them like you would a doctor who messed up:

Bring it out in the open and deal with it… Hold this man’s conduct up to public scrutiny. Let him defend it if he can! But if he can’t, then out with him! – 1 Cor. 5:3-5

Doctors and cops, have stressful jobs and stressful decisions to make. Mistakes happen. Rarely is a death with corrupt intention. These people don’t take killing someone lightly. A cop can go 20 years without shooting a person, then one day has to pull a gun and weep over the loss of life–being forced to make this decision.

Research the facts, instead of jumping on the bandwagon of hearsay:

  • Cops killed nearly twice as many whites as blacks in 2015. ‪#‎DoWhiteLivesMatter‬? Data compiled by The Washington Post shows, 50% of the victims of fatal police shootings were white, while 26% were black. The majority of these victims had a gun or “were armed or otherwise threatening the officer with potentially lethal force.” Although more whites were killed than blacks, The Wall Street Journal, 2009 statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveal that blacks were charged with 62% of robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15% of the population in these counties; meaning even though blacks comprise the majority of criminal, whites comprise the majority of deaths. MacDonald also pointed out that blacks “commit 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 66% of all violent crime” in New York City, even though they consist of 23% of the city’s population.
  • More whites and Hispanics die from police homicides than blacks. According to MacDonald, 12% of white and Hispanic homicide deaths were due to police officers, while only four% of black homicide deaths were the result of police officers. More so, a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black, than a cop killing an unarmed black person. However, according to WSFA, Montgomery Black Lives Matter is asking the police department to let citizens police their own neighborhoods instead of sending in white cops, even though we are now witnessing something called the “Ferguson Effect” in other cities, as murders have spiked by 17% among the 50 biggest cities in the US as a result of cops being more reluctant to police neighborhoods out of fear of being labeled as racists.

Our unrighteous judgment, suspicions about racism, and refusal to let cops do their job is about to cause even higher rates of murder in Montgomery, and other cities in the nation, that already struggle with this crime.

How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?… all the foundations of the earth are shaken – Ps. 82:2,5

The world will be a disaster zone as long as we continue to judge in favor of the wicked. When a criminal has a weapon, or is trying to attain a weapon, the police have the right to take action. America needs to understand the role of police. They will try everything they can to arrest someone without shooting them, but when forced, they shoot to kill. That means unloading a full clip. In the case of criminals who are hopped up on drugs or adrenaline–who don’t feel pain and continue to rush people despite being shot–it is even more justified to shoot these people until they quit moving.

We cannot defend criminals. We can however, wisely and righteously, bring corrupt government officials to justice when all the facts are well researched and presented–proving the matter. We should be rioting that Hillary Clinton was guilty of treason and yet not charged, and is being allowed to run for a higher position, not rioting that a cop shot a criminal who was about to pull a gun, or over the number of times they were shot. Some of the cases over the years could be corrupt, but they are not all corrupt.

Some government officials didn’t want to actively patrol heavy crime areas even decades ago. They allowed drug cartels and gangs to do their thing. Now, many of those criminals are the very ones trying to blind and deceive our nation with racist talk and lead us into orgies of unbridled sin (riots). Our news stations after decades still refuse to tell the whole story. Our citizens are unspiritual, untaught, and unjust in their judgments. It’s a perfect storm of all the things that have gone unchecked through the years.

Yesterday, a black cashier ignored me while helping two black customers behind me. As a white girl dating a white cop, there’s no way to hear about a handful of hate crimes without opening my ears to similar situations. While I do not believe this was an issue of race, but perhaps an issue of crowdedness, I do understand how a race that experienced 250 years of enslavement can easily listen to promptings of suspicion and assumption. If I, a christian who has not experienced much racism, am tempted, how much more will the world and those with much experience be tempted? God however, asks us to base everything on truth, and calls listening to suspicion and assumption a sin. When we act on the suspicion or assumption that something is a racial issue, we only perpetuate racism. It’s only when we take those thoughts captive, and choose to act out of a Holy Spirit that the cycle of racism ends.

Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. – Prov. 11:21

It is a Biblical principle that the righteous not be condemned as the wicked. It’s a principle that runs throughout the Bible from start to finish! We cannot condemn all white cops because a couple mess up.

I admire my white cop boyfriend for his ability to handle high stress situations, and treat people with equality. He makes people that look like his grandparents put their hands on the steering wheel/seat when he pulls them over, just like he does someone he suspects, or knows, has committed a crime. He became a cop because he wanted to help protect everyone, and make his hometown a better place.

Thank you God, that YOU protect the righteous and watch over them, and guide their hand in battle (Ps. 144:1). Continue to see America free from racism and corruption. Help us weed out unrighteous rulers in a manner that is honorable. Raise up more judges, teachers, senators who will not take bribes, who judge with discernment, and want to do their job to the best of their ability out of respect for you. Raise up more people who want to lay down their lives for others, who want to pursue and rid America of criminal activity instead of letting it engulf certain areas, who are able to discern who is dangerous and innocent regardless of color. Provide us with more training for both cops and the general population to avoid mistakes. Help us come up with a system that protects the innocent, condemns the wicked, does not cave to human opinion, and is completely unbiased, in Jesus name.

The Price of One Life

This scene should shake us all, as this man looks back on how many people he could’ve saved from the Holocaust. How many people could we save by giving up one dinner, buying used instead of new, giving up a simple want to provide for someone elses need? When we get to heaven and see the full picture, will we look back with this same regret?

The price of one life. I threw away so much money. I didn’t do enough. This car could have saved 10 people. This pen, 2 people.

Consider giving up one meal this month, and donating the cost to water282.org. My friend Jacob started this non-profit in 2011 after a heart-wrenching divorce. He felt the pull of God, and left everything to go build water wells for those in need. He has successfully given clean water to over 38,451 people.

He keeps finding villages in need, who have little water that is polluted, and often also treated as a bathroom. He gives sanitation and well maintenance training to each village. These wells not only cut down on deaths due to waterborne diseases, but also sparks economic growth as people can easily access water, hold a job (due to time saved from traveling to their last water source; often miles away by foot), and water crops.

Water282 continues to take situations like this:

water282 water well africa nonprofit

And transform them into situations like this:

water282 water well africa nonprofit

Consider helping by giving $10 in lieu of one evening on the town. At the end of our lives, we don’t want to feel like we didn’t do enough. Consider the price of one life.

Healing the Orphan Spirit – Part 2

Book Review
Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland // Part 2

Below are some quotes, scriptures, and notes from the book. In Part 1 we left off with Job in his depression. Realizing that sometimes we have to lose the things we are relying on before the real issues can come to the surface. Loss is never fun, but it is an effective way to have to face your underlying issues. A brief moment of loss is worth going through, because we then deal with and find healing from the surfacing issues, knowing that once the season is over God will restore us with a two fold blessing of anything we lost.


 

Micah 7:8-9 – Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case And executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness.

David, Job, and Solomon all mentioned how they saw wicked people flourish on earth. They also noted that they finally came to an understanding of why. The wicked are judged in eternity, so God allows them to live as they choose while on earth. We however, are free from judgement in Christ; yet as the children of God, we are disciplined, directed, and corrected by the Father while on earth, so that we can live a more prosperous life. That discipline and allowance of some fires/trials, help the dross rise to the surface. Dross is the impurity in metal. When heated up those impurities surface and the metal worker skims it away, purifying the metal. We will ‘bear the indignation’ for our sins for a brief moment, but the whole time Jesus is advocating for us to execute justice on our behalf, and see all things work out to our benefit.

 

1 Peter 1:7 – These trials have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

God tells us that we are of much greater worth than gold. Gold is put through fire, but it will not always be around. We however, are put through fire and get to live in eternity in our purified state.

Zech. 13:9 – This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’

I love this verse. It shows us that even though God finds dross and impurities in us, he still claims us as His children. The world has a habit of allowing hard times to drive us away from each other, but God shows us that in a relationship that displays true love and true commitment, hard times actually bring you closer together. It’s when we go through the fire that we claim and cling to God.

The enemy will try to create confusion about your future.

New. 4:6-9 – So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.

If you are in a season of seeking healing from God, setting boundaries, and building back up the things that the enemy has destroyed, then rest assured the enemy’s tactic will be to come and create confusion. In fact, if you’re making enough progress, and working intensely at it, all the spirits that you’ve ever cast out may conspire to come attack you all at the same time. That’s been my experience in this season. It was also what Nehemiah witnessed as Israel built up the wall of Jerusalem with one hand, and defended themselves with the other. In order to be successful in this venture, we have to be on watch day and night, prepared to stand our ground and not give up on the progress we’ve made so far.

If the enemy can cut you off from your future, you will always go back to your past. The word confusion means, ‘to hinder’.

New. 6:9 –  For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.”

Don’t sit on the sidelines. For many believers, the enemy created enough confusion in their life that they stepped away from the calling of God on their life, and decided to sit this one out. He will do all that he can to stop your progress. The ultimate strategy for the enemy is to stop the growth and maturity of the believer. When Nehemiah was faced with this strategy, he prayed ‘God strengthen (take hold of) my hands’.

Like Eve in the garden of Eden, the enemy knows that if he can create enough doubt about the validity of God’s word, then he knows he can continue with his strategy of moving us from certainty to doubt.

Micah 7:8 – Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.

Micah stated ‘when i fall’, not if I fall. That is the story of most of the people in the Bible. Moses committed murder, David adultery and murder, Jonah ran from God, Noah got drunk, Peter denied Jesus. We all fall. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker – William A Ward
Failure is good. It’s fertilizer
– Rick Pitino
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently – Henry Ford

Facts don’t always line up with the truth. The facts may say you’re going under, but the truth of the matter is, you will make it to the other side.

2 Kings 6:15-18 – when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

In the naturally they were surrounded by an army. The facts were against them. Sometimes we just need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes so we can see His army around us waiting to protect us and carry out His good will.

Eph. 1:18 – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people

You can have light in your mind, but your heart has to be enlightened.

What does it take for the thoughts of hope to become seeded in our hearts? At what point does the hope start to enlighten our hearts?

Much like Nehemiah, the wall wasn’t built in a day. It was ‘a great work’ that took time and effort.

Prov. 4:18 – The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

We begin our journey with Christ while in darkness. We then travel, heading toward the light. Our path grows brighter and brighter with each step toward righteousness.

What is a stronghold? 

  • It’s where darkness reigns
  • It’s a thought pattern alien to the Word of God
  • It’s anything in us strong enough to keep us from becoming like Christ in a given area of life
  • It’s a command post, which the enemy works in the surrounding areas. It’s a system of logic that is a lie used to perpetrate the purposes of the enemy in our lives
  • It’s an act of rebellion much like cancer in the human body

2 Cor. 10:4-5 – The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholdsWe demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

A stronghold is a mindset. It is a system of lies that we believe that have made us unable to live in freedom in a certain realm of our lives.

Mark 3:27 – Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods?Only someone even stronger–someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.

Mark 3:27 – But no one can go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man, and then he will ransack and rob his house.

If we have a stronghold mindset, then we have a strong man (demon) residing there. The only way to deal with it is to ask Jesus to overpower it. Ask Jesus to tie up, or bind, the evil spirit and reclaim us as His holy temple and abiding place (home).

We always need to be on guard to ‘take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’. Any lie or enemy that slips past the guard can create of bondage situation. We will be like a wrestler whose component has gained a foothold (Eph.4:27), and if we don’t recognize it and get out of it, the enemy will gain a leg hold, and then a stronghold.

Strongholds are like a cancer. Just as cancer is an incorrigible maverick and refuses to be checked, rebellious thoughts, that have resisted orders from the head (Christ), have gone into thought patterns that are against the revealed truth of God. Cancer must be detected early, and rooted out. The longer it is allowed to exist in the body, the more it spreads, and the more complex the root system becomes, which will surely bring death.

The longer it lasts, the more rigid are the ideas that give the bondage a foundation.

Without the capacity to detect which thoughts are ours, which are God’s, and which are the enemy’s, we will be open prey for the demons to attack.

Intimacy requires a feeling of safety and security. Without security you will not open up!

The prodigal son had to learn the hard way that it is better to dwell in the house of his Father, rather than live in the dwelling place of the wicked.

Luke 15:18-19 – I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’

He did not care if he would be relegated to the position of a slave as long as the father was nearby. He knew wherever the father went there would be provision and blessing. He had spent everything he had in pursuit of happiness and ended up more miserable than ever. He was hungry for more than food; he was hungry for his fathers love.

No amount of good deeds can change your status from slave to son. The amount of sacrifice you have struggled with over the years pale in comparison to the glory of sonship.  This is why works cannot buy this privilege.

Father, is there any part of me that is like the prodigal son who has squandered or been careless with my inheritance just to pursue pleasures or desires that will not last? Is there any part of me that is like the elder son and where I try to work for what is already mine?

I refuse to live any part of my life in the slave’s quarter anymore because I know the palace is my inheritance.

‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son’ – Luke 15:21
‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him’ – Luke 15:22

The prodigal son could have reasoned with his father insisting he was unworthy of such kindness… and he would have been theologically correct. According to the Law, he did not deserve mercy but punishment. Sometimes we try to preach to God and tell Him we know more about scriptures than He does. When we try to refuse the kindness of God because of our past history and failures, we think we are doing Him a favor.

Romans 13:14 – clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ

God gives us His best robe. He clothes us with His righteousness through Christ. In jewish history, the best robe was one that the father would have worn himself. This was a prophetic foretelling of what God had in mind, to give us and clothe us with His Holy Spirit.

You can have the most expensive wardrobe comprised of signature clothing from well-known designers, but in the spiritual realm you are still naked.

Jesus was stripped naked before he was hung on the cross. He was made naked so He could pass on His clothes to us. The robe of glory and righteousness is also a badge of authority because in the spiritual realm it establishes the identity of the owner. The owner of that robe has full access  to what Father owns, and no servant of Father will refuse his request for help.

Jesus said he did not come for the righteous, but for sinners (Mark 2:17). As long as the elder brother continued to believe he could work his way into the heart of his father, he could never experience true sonship and would never receive what was graciously given to his prodigal brother. Saul had the orphan spirit, and, for it to be dislodged he had to go through a process. First, he fell off his high horse of religious pride, and was blinded. During his restoration process, he was made into a new person, and given a new name: Paul.

He will not lecture us, but love us, for we are His prize possession.

The mercy and love of our Father is amazing. He took extraordinary lengths to restore back to us our identity, our inheritance, and our position as sons and daughters.

They could not believe that Jesus, a supposedly righteous teacher, was actually having fun! He ate and talked with sinners, rubbed elbows with greedy tax agents, received food prepared by prostitutes, and answered questions asked by petty thieves and crooks.

Though Jesus taught occasionally in the synagogues (churches), he mostly taught as each opportunity arose in his day to day life.

Most of us will play the role of the prodigal son and the elder brother at some point in our lives.

I went from being a prodigal son to being the elder brother. I tried to win the favor of my Father by working tirelessly.

Jesus did not talk about the love of God based on what He knew from reading scriptures, but from an intense personal experience.

On July 31, 1838 on the Island of Jamaica, a man named William Knibbs gathered 10,000 slaves for a great praise gathering. They were celebrating the New Emancipation Proclamation Act that would abolish slavery on the island. They had built an immense coffin and into it were placed whips, chains, branding irons, fetters of all kinds, salve garments, and all the things that represented the terrible slavery system that was now coming to a welcomed end.

At the first stroke of the midnight bell, Knibbs shouted out, ‘The monster is dying.’ At each stroke of the bell that followed, this cry was repeated and the great crowd began to join in the cry. At the 12th stroke 10,000 voices cried out, ‘The monster is dead, the monster is dead, let us bury him.’ They then screwed the coffin lid down and lowered it into a huge grave and covered it up. That night, every heart rejoiced and 10,000 voices grew hoarse, shouting and crying with joy. Once they were in bondage to slavery, but now they were free.

There is a tragic side to this story. While many rejoiced in their new liberty and freedom, there were some slaves that lived in remote areas of the island. These slaves did not know they had been legally set free. Because they didn’t know for many years the Emancipation Proclamation had been made law, they still serve their slave masters. Their former masters successfully kept the news from them as long as they could. By law they had been declared free men and did not have to live as slaves any longer. However, ignorance of the truth kept them in bondage.

Hearing this may cause a feeling of sympathy or even anger, But the truth is, the same type of thing is happening in our day. Jesus through the cross has issued an Emancipation Proclamation of freedom from sin to everyone on earth, but like some of the Jamaicans, there are those today that don’t understand that they no longer have to live as slaves to sin.

As America continues to suffer from racial division I would add that there are even slaves who have legally been freed, but who choose to remain in their slavery. Instead of burying the whips, chains, dependences, and words that represent the slavery system coming to an end, they are holding on to them and using them against their own people. We can all understand the human desire to turn the tables, choose not to forgive, and make the masters children pay for the sins our their fathers, but to take the pains and turn them against their own people… that’s heart wrenching.

If we continue to use words that represent certain ideas, then you better believe that we are keeping those ideas alive. Satan loves to shape culture, and he has shaped a culture that is eating us alive where former slaves continue to use inflammatory words to describe their own brothers. As long as this continues they will never be free from the ideas and inflammation those words represent. They will live under the words/mindset as slaves, never realizing that they have already been set free. They will continue to hate the people who created the word, never looking up to realize that it’s themselves who are now using it. Freedom is scary, and it’s hard work, and it’s easy to give up and lay down especially if that’s what you’ve been trained to do.

Satan’s chief joy is to separate children from God, while Father’s delight is to turn their hearts back to Him.

Satan offered Jesus a chance to rule the world. He said if you worship me, I’ll give you. Satan always wants something before he’ll give something. Satan wants to give us the same gift that God wants to give us, not out of love, but as an opportunity to win us. He will dangle the gift in front of us and try to use it to his advantage. He’ll give it to us prematurely so that we can’t enjoy it. He’ll try to beat God to the punch so that we won’t get closer to Him. His way always comes at great price. God is the only good Father, and the only one who gives good gifts. He gives them to us freely, because He loves us. He will never ask for something beforehand or afterward. It’s a free gift.

He will teach us how to handle the gift however.

The passing of his tests qualified him to receive a nation, not as a servant, but a a beloved son.

Jer. 32:40 – I will never stop doing good to you

Jer. 32:41 – I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul

Phil. 2:13 – For it is I who gave you those desires

In Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Heb.1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Rom.8:31).


 

Well, there’s some quotes, scriptures, and thoughts from the book. Not necessarily cohesive, but tidbits of goodness. Get the book for the full read:

Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland – $9

 

God Despises No One

Job 36:5 – God despises no one

Synonyms for despise:
abhor, detest, hate, loathe, neglect, reject, snub, look down the nose at, undervalue, disregard, have no use for, misprize, put down, wipe out

(Print out this scripture memory card and fill in the blank with the synonym of your choice)

God does not hate you, reject you, neglect you, or snub you. He sees your value and He has a purpose for you! So anytime you feel rejected, neglected, or of no value, speak this verse over yourself.

– 1 Cor. 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

– 1 John 4:8 – God is love

The Single Narrative


The Bible, which means the book, is a single narrative that points to one person. 66 books written over the span of human history, and they all stay consistent; Christ, the Word of God, who never changes.

Domestic Abuse

I’ve watched several friends stay in abusive marriages, and several divorce because of abuse. There are many reasons why people choose to stay in these relationships, though it’s hard to image why. I’ve listed some reasons at the bottom of this post, but lets attack the topic of boundaries for a moment:

We need boundaries. Without boundaries we will become victims of abuse and adopt a powerless mindset. We should have a standard set for ourselves of how we will allow others to treat us. If people do not treat us as we have designated, then we should not listen or continue in relationship. Here are some things that we should require, and reject, in relationships and conversations. These actions will encourage hope and self-control (empowerment), and help us escape abusive relationships. Boundaries cause the abuser to face the consequences of their own decisions while empowering us with the choice to leave if they don’t treat us with respect.

– 2 Chron. 7:14 – IF my people, my God-defined people, respond by (1)humbling themselves, (2)praying, (3)seeking my presence, and (4)turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.

What we should require & reject:

  1. Humility instead of pride & arrogance 
    Verbal abuse, or other means of belittling you, should not be tolerated.

  2. Requests (prayer) instead of demands
    Use of fear tactics, physical abuse, or other means of control, should not be tolerated.

    God gave us dominion over everything but people. We need to respect others and protect their ability to make their own choices. If their choice is to abuse you, then you need to make the choice to leave.
  3. Seeking presence instead of things
    If someone wants something from you, without wanting a relationship with you, then its un unhealthy relationship. This should not be tolerated.

    If you are married and your spouse habitually has sex with you without trying to connect on an emotional level, it’s abuse.

  4. Turn away from wrongdoing instead of continuing to wrong you
    Refusing to change, though you respectfully ask and show them how they are hurting you, should not be tolerated.

Notice also that God waited for these 4 things from His safe place, Heaven.

– Heb. 10:26 – For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins


If you are in an abusive marriage, you need boundaries. Consider a temporary separation if you do not want a divorce. Once faced with the consequences of their choices, if they repent then go back to them:

– 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins

If they do not repent then divorce them:

– Rom. 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death


There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. Here are a few:

– My partner will kidnap the children and disappear.
– My partner will spread horrible rumors about me.
– I’m nothing. I don’t deserve better.
– I was brainwashed to believe that I couldn’t cope without my partner.
– I’m more comfortable with what I know, than the unknown out in the world.
– My children will blame me and resent me.
– My partner will turn the children against me.
– My partner doesn’t let me out of the house.
– I have no friends or family to call for help anymore.
– I believe my partner when he or she says that it will never happen again.
– My marriage vows.
– My religion.
– I love her or him.
– My partner has all the money.
– My partner charges up all my credit cards.
– My partner will lose her or his job if I report this.

Other reasons why women stay in abusive relationships


Make a list of your reasons and confront them. Get out of the situation. There are churches, programs, and safe houses designed specifically to help you. It’s scary facing these reasons, but its wisdom to escape the cause of these abuses. Say no to the abuser and leave them today.

– Prov. 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight

– Ps. 18:6-19 – In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

– Ps. 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

– Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.