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

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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.

The Paradoxical Nature of Christianity

I’m in love with a king who became a slave.
I’m in love with a God who is humble.
You gotta go down, if you wanna go up.
You’ve gotta go lower, if you wanna go higher and higher.
You’ve gotta hide, and do it in secret, if you wanna be seen by God.
It’s the inside, outside, upside down kingdom,
where you lose to gain, and you die to live.

I love the lyrics to this song by Misty Edwards: Servant of All

Have you ever noticed how much of the Bible seems to have a paradoxical nature? I’m not saying that the Bible contradicts itself; I don’t think Jesus is bipolar. I’m saying that, the ways of God seem to be the stark opposite of our ways a lot of the time. It’s like watching a movie were there are two realms: 1)right-side up heaven, and 2)upside down earth.


Paradox: Hide to be seen
Misty used some great examples of the paradoxical nature of Christianity in her song. Let’s look at those examples, and some others in scripture, and try to understand why everything seems so backwards to us:

Matthew 6:16-18 – And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

People, by nature, want to be honored and get attention from others. It’s okay to want a reward, but we should want it from God not man. It’s not wicked to expect payment for your work. It is wicked to show off to people hoping that they will think you are better than them. Love is not prideful (1 Cor. 13). Fasting is not for man anyway, it’s for God; and we don’t get God’s attention the same way we get mans attention. We’ve got to hide, and do it in secret, if we want to be seen by God.


Paradox: The servant is made king. Least is the greatest. Last is first.

Matt. 23:11-12 – The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Servant and KingThe one who cuts others down, will be cut down, and the one who builds others up, will be built up. It’s natural for us to try to build ourselves up, by cutting others down – forcing our way into leadership, but that’s not God’s way. God is Spirit. Man is flesh. His ways are higher than our ways (Is.55:8). God says instead to humble yourself, build others up, and then they will build you up and you will have a strong following. Would you rather follow a leader who is clearly in it for personal gain, or one who is doing what is best for the workers?

Philippians 2:5-11 – You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was Godhe did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges… he humbled himself… and died… Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth

Jesus, who was God, humbled Himself, and stepped down from His kingship to become a slave to sin and death. His willingness to die caused billions of people to live. God therefore, elevated Him to the place of highest honor.

Luke 17:33 – If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

We now have the choice of whether we will: 1)briefly die to our own desires, so that God will exalt us with Christ and give us eternal life, or whether 2)we will live briefly in our own desires, and lose our eternal life.

Matt. 4:8-10 – the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Jesus had the option to cling onto His own life. He could have gone ahead and stepped into His kingship, without dying on the cross. He probably preferred the idea, but Jesus realized that if He stepped into His kingship prematurely, without the hard work of dying to Himself, there would be dire consequences. He would have been eternally separated from His father, and He would have led the nations to battle, killing many of the people who He instead chose to save, help, heal, and deliver by being obedient to God’s timing/ways. Though it sometimes seems counterproductive, or contradictory, the best way to get the desires of your heart is to ‘let them die’ and hand over control to God. He will give you the desires of your heart, far exceeding what you could’ve expected or done for yourself.


Paradox: Lose your life, gain the world
Satan desired to be exalted to a higher level. He saw God make man in His image and Satan got mad about it. He wanted our position, so he cut us down for it. In doing so, Satan condemned himself to eternity in hell. If he had instead, humbled his desires, and served mankind, God probably would’ve raised him up to a new level of authority.

Ps. 37:4, 7, 9, 35-36, 38 – Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heartBe still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways… those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land… I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more… there will be no future for the wicked.

1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money… some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

How many movie stars and millionaires have we seen that commit suicide? Have you met people who were rich, who were still miserable? Most people desire a life of comfort; it’s natural for us to look to money for that comfort, but God says true happiness and comfort come from enjoying your hard work and by giving to others.

Matt. 6:31-33 – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matt . 7:7-11 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

It’s when we stop trying to build up ourselves, and start trying to build up God’s kingdom, that God gives us what we need and  want. If it’s God that makes us unique, and puts desires in our hearts, then its Gods job to bring us the fulfillment of those desires.


Paradox: Stop looking to find

– Gen. 2:19-22 – Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Did you notice that it says no helper was found for Adam while he was looking among the animals? Why was he looking for a helper in the animals? Sounds like modern America to me! We should be looking for someone made in God’s image, not a wild beast of a person. But even still, it was when Adam quit looking that God brought him a suitable helper. Not by our works, but by His grace He gives good gifts to those who love Him.


Paradox: Jesus is the Tree of Life

Jesus: the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus: the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus' death, on a tree,
 brought Life for all the world to see!
Enter into me,
 O, Jesus, who died on Calvary.
You died in front of all the world,
 yet your Spirit lives inside of me.
Let the world see that you live, you breathe;
 you came back with 'God speed'.
Wisest of the Wise,
 you confound everyone –
The wisdom of the world
 is folly to the One,
Who with a paradox 
 caused us fools to know,
That the battle has been won;
 we can rest in Him who's shown:
That in death, you have true life.
 and in service, you become king;
And to deny our own power,
 is to sprout God's very wings.
The Spirit's gifts 
 are for everyone to partake;
I am wholly yours, 
 make a fool of me and take:
All the lies,
 and all the works of man –
Burn them up, 
 billow and fan.
God is Spirit, 
 and God is Love,
 He lives in every man!
Not by my might, nor by power,
 but by My Spirit, says the Lord –
Go into the world, 
 and knock on every door!
He who hears My voice and opens
 shall surely say:
Jesus, you are my hope;
 the only Truth, 
 the only Way!

– 1 Cor. 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Paradox: We can’t save ourselves, but God can save us. When we accept God, God comes to live inside of us.  … you’re so weird God ❤


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The False Gospel

Christians act nothing like Christ, right? Why? Over and over again the Bible shows us that there is a true gospel and a false gospel. Paul talks about this in Galations, but the first allusion to the 2 gospels was in the Garden of Eden. We’ll look to see how this true & false gospel relate back to the Tree of Life (TOL) and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (TKGE).

– Gal. 1:1 – Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead…

– Gal. 1:6-7 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Self-righteousness is the false gospel. It's rampant in the South. It's why people hate 'Christians.'

Self-righteousness is the false gospel. It’s rampant in the South. It’s why people hate ‘Christians.’

One gospel is based on religion, or man’s attempt to get to God; it’s based on how well you can follow rules. This is the basis for most every religion in the world. It asks the question: How am I going to become godly? The other gospel is based on a relationship with God; you fall in love with Him, so you draw close to Him. How am I going to become godly?

– Gen. 2:8-9 – The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

– Gen. 2:16-17 -The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

– Gen. 3:1-7 – Now (Satan in the form of) the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil

the serpent deceived meSatan appealed to Eve’s desire to be godly. He said, eat this fruit and it will make you like God. Once they ate from the TKGE God threw them out of Eden so they would not eat from the TOL. Some of us have already eaten from Jesus, the TOL, but we are currently eating from the TKGE. This is not good. Don’t keep eating or keep living in deception; Salvation is in Christ alone.

… “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Religion can give us a knowledge of what is good and what is wrong. It can make us look righteous on the outside, and make us look like we are wise, but it always makes you naked. Every person has fallen short of the glory of God. We all sin. If you trust in your own ability of knowing good vs evil, you will still fall short. You cannot save yourself, nor can this knowledge always keep you from sinning. Partaking of the TKGE will always result in your nakedness, shame, and failure. What are the two different gospels? 1) One focuses on what you do: You aren’t thinking about reading your Bible because you love the Bible – you’re thinking about how many chapters you’ve read. You think you have it together because you haven’t missed a Sunday all year, or you’ve checked all the boxes on the spiritual to do list. One focuses on what Jesus does: You aren’t focused on how much you read, but on how much Jesus you can find in what you’ve read. You aren’t applauding your scheduling, but all that Jesus has done in your life and around you during the year.

– John 5:39-40 – You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

2) One focuses on getting God’s approval: This is the inherent belief that God is mad at you. There was a study done on how different regions see God, and the South predominantly believed that God was mad at them or that He was hard to please. This thinking says, I better not clap too loud today cause God knows I’m a hypocrite and didn’t act right this weekend. You think you have to memorize the book of Proverbs to have God’s approval. You treat sinners as beneath you. One focuses on receiving God’s love: You aren’t focused on gaining His approval; you are resting in His approval. You may sin, but God still loves you. He doesn’t like the sin, but the sin didn’t change His love for you. You show sinners God’s love, right where they are, without condemnation about anything. Love is Alpha and Omega.

– Rom. 5:8 – While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We don’t get our act together to get to God; we go to God to get our act together. Within His love there is no condemnation; only conviction that raises us up from our sin, and shows us how to love on the same level that He does.

– 1 John 4:19 – We love because he first loved us

3) One focuses on external duty: I have to do this or do that. One focuses on internal desire: I want to do this or do that.

– Jer. 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds

The Lord sees the heart and knows which tree you are eating from. He does not want to punish you. He wants you to choose to eat from the TOL.

– Gen. 3:24 – guard the way to the tree of life – Rev. 2:7 – To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. – John 14:6 – Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.

Jesus, the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus, the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus is the Tree of Life. We need to partake of Him and His grace. We should not partake of the AntiChrist (TKGE/religion) that says 1)I know Jesus, 2)I know what He says is good and bad, and 3)I can follow those rules to save myself. Self-Righteousness cannot save you. Trying to obey the law cannot save you.

– Eph. 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. – James 2:10 – For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

– 1 John 5:3,12 – In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome… Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

His commands are burdensome if you are eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (TKGE). It is burdensome to take the whole weight of the law on yourself and think that you can carry it by your own power. It’s only when we eat from the Tree of Life (TOL), the grace of Jesus, that the burden of the law is lifted and we can live in the freedom of His Spirit.

– 2 Cor. 3:17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom

How do I eat from the Tree of Life (TOL)? 1. Fall in love with Jesus (Think about who He is (Love), and the death He endured to save you.) 2. Don’t allow condemnation 3. Make the choice everyday

– John 14:15 – If you love me (Jesus), keep my commands

We can read this from either tree: TKGE: If you love me, you will obey me and show me that you are a good person. TKGE reads it backwards; they make it say: Keep my commands to prove your love. TOL: Just love me. Just love me, and you will automatically do the things that show me love. You’ll want to do the things.

– Deut. 30:19 – This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life

In every moment, take your thoughts captive and test them to see If they line up with the Tree of Life. Lie: God is mad at me because I sinned. The TKGE says I will be punished for my sin. God must be mad with me. I should punish myself and allow others to punish me. Truth: God loves me. Jesus, the TOL, says He died to take away my sin. When I ask Him to forgive me, He does so immediately; And though He knows everything, He chooses to never again remember my sin. He took on the punishment; He is not interested in punishing me. We are in right relationship and our love can freely flow. He is proud of me. I am His child, and He is my patient, loving Dad. He takes delight in my honesty that I messed up, and He says ‘I’ve already got you covered, now go have fun and make the right choice next time.’


To learn more listen here: The Two Gospels – Galations Series, by Highlands If you enjoyed this post please +follow lovedisciple

Our Jihad

Jesus heals ISIS Execution

Our Jihad is not one like the Muslims’. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. Our sword is not like the sword of this world. What kind of war has God called us to? And what does the Book of Revelations mean? Let’s take a peak at a few spots:

– Matt. 26:50-52 – Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

– Luke 22:51 – And Jesus touched the man’s ear and healed him

– Eph. 6:10-13,17 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand… Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The Kingdom of Jesus is not a matter of physical war, it is one of spiritual war. We are not fighting people, but evil spirits; and we do so with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Where Isis & some sects of Islam are killing unbelievers, Jesus is healing unbelievers.

– Rom. 7:22-25 – I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus

There is a battle in the spiritual realm over your mind. Jesus called us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Preach:
1. to urge acceptance or abandonment of an idea or course of action

– Rom. 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

– 2 Cor. 10:3-5 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We 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.

Truth is the Only Way to the FatherWhen a question or argument arises in your mind you are thrown into a battle, a push and pull until one side wins. In every argument that comes to your mind, you are supposed to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph.6:17), find the lies and cut them down. The need the gift of the Spirit called ‘discernment’, so we can tell which way is right and which is wrong. We compare everything to the Bible. We find the fruit of the Spirit (peace), once we win the fight. If we lose the fight, we become severely wounded and start living from a false mindset that brings us pain. We have to win the battle in our own mind before we can go out and help others who are fighting. We face many lies every day and the only way to recognize them is to know the Word of God (your sword).

Example:
Lie: My feelings, and experiences, tell me that without my anger as a defense, I am weak and will not be able to survive a hard conversation with people.
Truth: Jesus, the Word of God, says without God I am weak. I am strong when I rely on God, and I am weak when I rely on myself, or anger, for deliverance. My anger isn’t going to scare anyone into submission; it is going to make my situation worse. I should respond in love and wait for God to do the rest (Ps. 18:2).

Lie: I feel like life is pointless. There is no point in living; there is nothing good ahead for me.
Truth: Jesus, the Word, says God’s plan is to give ME a hope and a future and lead me into something better than I could even dream for (Jer. 29:11).

Like every warrior, we need practice and training with our sword. Each lie that comes against you is an opportunity for you to become a stronger warrior. Sharpen your blade! Memorize the scriptures and actively call them to mind. Take every thought captive and make sure it lines up with the Bible before you let it run free. In battle we take prisoners first. We judge later, and decide who can live and who should die. Put to death the lies of the enemy.

Jihad:
1. a holy war waged as a religious duty; a personal struggle in devotion especially involving spiritual discipline
2. a crusade for a principle or belief

We are fighting mindsets in the world. The main mindset we are fighting is the AntiChrist.

– 2 Thess. 2:4 – He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

The temple is no longer a building, but His people. The veil, of the flesh, was torn so that we can stand before the Spirit of God 24/7

The temple is no longer a building, but His people. The veil, of the flesh, was torn so that we can stand before the Spirit of God 24/7

The Bible says we are the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). We aren’t waiting for a new temple in Jerusalem and some world political figure to rise up. We already have the AntiChrist in the temple, the body of believers. God & Jesus are the Holy Spirit. Those who oppose the Spirit (who is Christ) are those who are following the AntiChrist.

There is a true Christ and a false Christ in our churches. One is a grace based salvation, founded on being born again by the Spirit of God, and walking by the Spirit’s power. This one is called the Tree of Life. This is the true Christ. This is the tree that God wanted us to eat from in the garden of Eden.

The other is a law based salvation, founded on our ability to do what is right, in an attempt to save ourselves. This is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The law is from God, and the tree was from God, but God said do not eat of it or you will surely die. The law cannot save you and eating from this tree cannot make you like God. This one says I am saved by my own power to live by the laws of God.

– Rom. 3:23 – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
– John 8:7 – Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone

– Rom. 8:2-3 – For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh

– Rom. 7:4-6 – Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.  For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

The burden of sin and the law. The burden of working out your own salvation, instead of living by the Spirit of Jesus who already did the work

The burden of sin and the law. The burden of working out your own salvation, instead of living by the Spirit of Jesus who already did the work

We are not under the heavy burden of the law, but under the light and easy yoke of the Spirit of Christ. So then anyone who believes that the law can save them has partaken of the AntiChrist.

– Luke 11:46-47 – Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets

Woe to you teachers who burden God’s people with the law, do not help them, and do not show them that the Spirit is the only way to fulfill the law and make the burden light!

– Rom. 8:2 – through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

– Matt. 12:31-32 – every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven

Blasphemy:
1. great disrespect shown to God or to something holy
2. irreverence toward something considered sacred

Have we blasphemed the Holy Spirit by ignoring Him or by treating parts of Him as useless?

– John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth

– 1 Cor. 14:13-18 – the one who speaks in tongues should pray that they may interpret the tongue. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit praysI will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit..  I thank God that I speak in tongues

Wolf in Sheeps ClothingIs the leader of your church opposing the fullness of the Spirit? Do not follow. So many Christians are scared of the Spirit of God! So many think God isn’t performing miracles anymore! Those are things Satan wants you to believe so you don’t see God, understand His will, or do the things He’s calling you to do. Don’t be scared to learn about the Spirit of God, be scared not to! Who do you think wants you to think God can’t heal you, deliver you, or give you that miracle? Satan wants to hold up the sheep skin that no longer has the power of the sheep. The AntiChrist is clothed to look like the Christ (religion), but takes away all the power that the Spirit of Jesus has.

– 2 Tim. 3:5 – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

– Matt. 23:13 – Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

The Bible says: 1)that God is to be worshiped in Spirit and in truth, 2)the Spirit is the truth, and 3)the gifts of the Spirit are for every person. We need to be able to work in our own power AND in the power of the Spirit. We need to take the time to make sure we are not being taught by an AntiChrist leader in the church; one that says Jesus didn’t rise from the dead in power. The Holy Spirit is Jesus on earth today! He is alive and active in power. We don’t want to be grouped in with the people who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and are irreverent toward the works of power being done by the sacred Spirit of God. Let’s not miss the kingdom of God, for it is at hand. Let us not be deceived for:

– Rev. 19:10 – the testimony of Jesus is Spirit of prophecy.

– 1 Tim. 4:1-2 – The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

What is the kingdom of heaven supposed to look like?

– Luke 10:9 – Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

– Luke 9:2 – he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

– Luke 11:20 – if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

We were meant to proCLAIM the kingdom with the power of God. Isn’t it the ruler of a kingdom that puts forth the power to claim His own kingdom? God did not raise our bodies to life, but birthed us in the Spirit! We should be living in the power of the Spirit everyday.

Revelations talks about martyrs for Christ. Don’t you see that you are that martyr? We died with Christ.

Revelations talks about the resurrection. Don’t you see that you have been resurrected? We were raised with Christ. We are a new creation, and we (through the Spirit) are currently seated in heavenly places with Christ.

Revelations talks about His return with His army of believers for the final battle. Don’t you see that we are in that final battle? We are at war with the evil spirits in this world. We are taking every mind for Christ. And once the gospel has reached the ends of the earth, the end will come.

Armies of HeavenFight the good fight of faith. Wear the armor of God. Cut down everything that is against the supreme power of Love. Our Jihad is to win the minds of people over to God, who is Love. The Jihad of Isis is an AntiChrist: salvation based on human works. Some Christian doctrines are following an AntiChrist: salvation based on human works.

Jesus was baptized and the Spirit came on Him with power. The disciples were baptized,with fire (passion), with the power of the Spirit as well. We are to be baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit as well. Our God is a consuming fire; set my heart ablaze with passion for your name!

The Spirit gives us 3 lists of replacements, since we died with Christ. We were reborn by the Spirit, a new creation. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. We no longer belong to ourselves. The character, abilities, and works we display should not be our own, but His:

9 fruits (or character) 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.

Jesus allowed His love and compassion to move Him to powerful works. He was moved by the fruit of love, so it ignited the gift of healing. The Spirit saw the those mourning and He ignited the gift of miracles to raise the dead and comfort them. Each list ignites the other list. We need all three operations of the Spirit to accomplish the ultimate goal of letting people see the face of Love (God).

Love conquers all! God never fails. His power is here to show us that. He cares about our health – he heals! He wants us to hear his voice – He prophesies. He is a miracle working God yesterday, today, and forever.

Eagerly desire the gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11) so that you can show the world His Love! This is the good fight! Fight it well!

Noah, the Flood, & Evil God


Noahs Arc   Peter drowning

The waters, of Noah’s flood, washed away the wicked. What kind of loving God would kill all mankind? He’s so harsh, right? Let’s look into this story and its meaning. Remember God is, was, and is to come; that means His Words, and actions, are without time – and the message stays consistent.


– John 1:1-2,4-5,14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…  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 Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son

– Gen. 1:1-2 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

– Matt. 14:24-25,27-31 – When evening came, He was there alone. By this time the boat was far from land and was being thrown around by the waves. The wind was strong against them. Just before the light of day (or the beginning of day; the dark hours before daybreak), Jesus went to them walking on the water… But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

These 3 passages have similar components like: 1)God  2)on the water, 3)in the beginning, 4)at the dark of night.

So many people read the story of Noah and think that God wiped out mankind without giving them a chance, but these verses show us that, from the beginning of creation, God has been walking on the waters, looking for people to rescue. Since the beginning of creation, God has been hovering over the waters. When I hear the word hover, I think of a helicopter on a rescue mission, searching fiercely for those drowning.

Helicopter water rescueHover means to remain in the air in one place. This is God. He has His eyes on all the world. He is our dispatcher. Jesus is our first responder. Jesus says in John 12:49 that He doesn’t do anything on His own, but only does what God has commanded Him to do. Jesus is God. Jesus mission is to rescue.  He’s on the ground, er on the water, coming to the aid of all who cry out for help.

So why did God destroy the wicked? Let’s see what the definition of wicked is, so we know who drowned in Noah’s flood.

The dictionary says wicked means:
1. distressingly severe, as a storm
2. unjustifiable; dreadful; beastly
3. extremely troublesome or dangerous
4. evil or morally bad in principle or practice

Hmm… by definition it doesn’t sound like God sent a storm to destroy the wicked; it actually sounds like the wicked people were the storm.

– 2 Sam. 22:5-7,17-18,20,49 – Because deadly breakers engulfed me, while torrents of abuse from the ungodly overwhelmed me. Binding ropes from Sheol entangled me while lethal snares hindered me. I cried out to the Lord in the middle of my troubles; I cried out to my God. He listened to my voice from his sanctuary, and my call for help was heardHe sent for me from on high! He grabbed hold of me, drawing me out of deep water. He rescued me from my strong enemy— from those who hate me continually, since they were stronger than I… He brought me to a wide open area, rescuing me because he was pleased with me!… delivering me from my enemies. You exalted me above those who rebelled against me, delivering me from violent men.

– Prov. 10:25 – When the storm ends, the wicked vanish, but the righteous person is forever firm. (*We are in the storm right now)

We can surmise that wicked people destroy themselves. They are their own storm and since God gave us freewill from the beginning, he lets our freewill play out to the fullest extent. People have blamed God because it’s easier to blame God than blame self; we don’t want to take responsibility for our own actions and admit that we did wrong. People have also chosen to blame others instead of blaming self; Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake, and I’m sure the snake blamed God for being loving and giving him the freewill to choose to do wrong! Granted, many of us are victims of someone elses wrong doing. I was. I was a long-suffering victim of many things. Family, friends, people without God, and people with God, all hurt me (I put part of this testimony at the bottom of this post). I had to hold on to God, take responsibility for my own life, and wait for the other side of God’s ‘Noah’s ark’ promise:

God can save the righteous from those who are wicked. God’s ways tell us to die to self, and not repay evil for evil, though that goes against every fiber of our being. God doesn’t want us to have to protect ourselves; we are His kids. He is our protector and He is more than capable of taking care of us.

Imagine you are the father to a child and someone just came up and slapped them to the ground. We gonna fight; you don’t touch my child like that. God, our Father, is the king of everything, and he is a warrior king at that. Don’t cross him. He can vaporize you in an instance, or worse yet, make you face an eternity of punishment…

But guess what. We are ALL God’s children. He says:

– Eze. 18:23 – “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the Sovereign Lord. “No, instead I would like him to turn from his sinful ways and live.”

– 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God is waiting for every child to ask Him how to love. He is love! He is pulling out all the stops to show us love, but God can’t help us until we are willing to listen to His advice. That’s the definition of love: respect. God respects you enough to let you make your own choices. In Eden He gave us a choice, and everyday on earth is another choice. He will never FORCE us to do anything, and that should show you that He loves you, not make you think that He doesn’t care about your choices. He has given us His Word as our way to hear His advice on any, and every, topic. He is our loving, good, heavenly Father that is with us at every moment. He is not a wicked person who thinks he is supposed to control someone. Our Father teaches us right and wrong, then gives us the choice to make. This can cause us pain if we choose our own way:

Child touching stove eyeWhen dad says, ‘Don’t touch the stove or it will hurt you’, then we test it out and get hurt – that experience should drive us closer to our father, and show us that we can trust his advice.

Haven’t you seen a parent that was loving and wise, but the child was too rebellious to take their advice? The child put himself through hell before he finally realized he needed to take his parents advice. They had to face the consequences of their own choices before they could accept the wise advice of their parents. Their pride got the best of them: ‘I know better than my parents.’ Soon they realize, ‘My parents had more experience than me. I went through the same pain and trials they went through, because I was too prideful to listen to their advice. They were trying to save me this pain. They had a good plan and future in mind for me and I missed it.’

Every person sins. God does not destroy us because of sin. Those of His children who are willing to listen to Him and take His advice are covered (by Jesus blood). All His children will sin, but they will immediately turn to Dad and say, ‘I did wrong; teach me how to do right.’ These children are not wicked, or rebellious. They are God’s heart.

The people that God calls wicked, are those who are so prideful, that they truly think they can do no wrong, or have never done anything wrong. Those people will be destroyed unless they open their eyes to their wrongs, ask forgiveness, and turn from their wicked ways. They are hurting themselves, and everyone else, and they cannot admit that they have done anything wrong.

David had a son who tried to steal his throne. David loved him and did not want to punish him. Eventually, Absalom led an army against his father David, to destroy him. David’s commanders went out to battle and David said, ‘Be gentle with Absalom.’ In the battle the commander thought he knew better than the king, and he killed Absalom. When David heard this he cried, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I had died instead of you. Absalom! My son, my son!”. – 2 Sam. 18

David is often used as a depiction of Jesus. Jesus told us to go ‘fight the good fight’ by sharing His love with every person. How dare one of us decide that we know better than Jesus, and try to cut down one of His children.

The disciples painted a better picture for us, on how to treat those living in sin:

Water is often thought of as representing sin. Think about baptism: we are dunked under the water, and it represents dying to sin and self. Then we come out of the water, and it represents new life, lived through the Spirit of God.

Jesus gave Peter the ability to walk on water, just like he gives us the ability to live free from sin. We are walking toward Him without getting bogged down in the mire. Peter (like all those who are walking toward Jesus will) fell into a bit of sin, started to sink in the water and cried, ‘Help!’ It says Jesus immediately stretched out his hand to catch him.

As Christians we are all called to live the same kind of life that Christ did. Jesus wasn’t trying to show off to Peter; He was trying to disciple him. We need to get out of the physical boat that we call religion, or the church, and realize that the physical boat can’t save us from the storm. Jesus is our spiritual boat; He is our salvation from the storm of sin. He wants us to 1)get out of the church building, 2)follow Him into all the world, 3)walk on the waters, and LOOK for those who are drowning, thrashing, panicking, and crying out for help.

– Gen. 1:1-2 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Go out, into the dark places of sin, and be a part of God’s rescue mission. Noah preached to a wicked world for 100 years, and no one believed him. We have the same call, and I guarantee it won’t take 1 year for you to find someone who wants God. God is our true boat; there is safety in His righteous ways. Bring people into Him.

Fire fighter saving naked childBe gentle with the sinner (Absalom). It is hard to see underwater; it’s hard to know which way is up, and which is down. It’s hard to stay on top of the water when the crashing wakes of sin are beating you down.

Be the hovering helicopter with the search lights;  be the hand that helps them up and brings peace to the storm. Get out of your place of comfort, where you think you are safe, and be the rescuer that puts his life on the line to save someone else.

Matt. 10:39 – If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Are you so scared of sin that you can’t be obedient to God’s command to go out and help those who need help? If your first response to seeing the firefighter photo was, ‘I thought this was a christian blog; why is she showing a naked person?’, then you might want to check your heart. God’s call, not to look with lust, is serious, but if it keeps you from seeing a person in need and doing everything in your power to go to them where they are, and save them, then you don’t have love. Anything done outside of love is worthless to God (1 Cor. 13:3). And if you’re scared that the second you look on a naked body you will lust, then your heart isn’t that pure is it? Don’t lose your life:

– Is. 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you

We aren’t going to the waters of sin to drown in it. We are passing through the waters to save people. It is hard and you might sink a little, like Peter, but God will never leave you or forsake you; and He is more than capable of getting you back up. Don’t fear for your life. Put your trust in God to save you from sin.

Worship: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United


Thank you God for putting your life on the line to save us. Thank you Christians who put your life on the line to save us. Thank you cops, firefighters, and first responders for putting your life on the line to save us. Thank you for seeing the worth of a person above your own fear of sin, waves, fire, or trials.

Sacrifice 
Jesus on Cross


Personal Testimony:
I made the decision to give God my life in the 5th grade. I didn’t have anyone to train me in His ways, so I lived the same way a non-Christian would, except that I was reading the Bible for myself. In 6th grade I read about the gifts of the Spirit; I came across the scripture and had no idea what it meant. Most of the gifts confused me, but I understood what a miracle was, and that sounded nice, so I asked Him what the others meant. Several years later, in 9th grade, I had planned out my suicide. I was tired of my lot in life. I could’ve blamed God, but God gave me a home; my parents lovingly adopted me. God is love, and everything that comes from love, comes from Him. Everything that’s bad comes from sin (outside of the plan of God). My parents weren’t perfect, nor was my birth mother; they had their own struggles. It wasn’t my fault, but I had to suffer through it. One was driven to drinking and abuse. A hard life drove the other crazy; schizophrenic to be exact. My life was hell for many, many years, but theirs had been too. I love them very much, and forgive them, but I had a lot of pain at that time, so I was sitting in the place where I would kill myself; preparations at hand. No one was there, but as I shut my eyes to cry, I saw Jesus. He walked up to me and placed His hand on my head saying, ‘Peace be still.’ This overwhelming peace flooded me. Every other thought was silenced. I told him, ‘God, I have nothing to live for but you. As long as you are in my life, I’ll keep trying.’ I walked away that day, but a month after that the thoughts came back. I had a string of suicidal thoughts, about the length of my testimony to this point. I was just about to leave for church, so I went and tried to stuff them down. I went up for prayer after the teaching, and before I had spoken a word, the 15-year-old girl (who had been preaching) opened her mouth and repeated verbatim – word for word, sentence by sentence – the full length of the thoughts I had thought. She then rebuked the evil spirit behind the thoughts, and prophesied God’s good purposes over me. 1)I had been alone when I thought them, 2)I had not said them outloud (they were thoughts), 3)I hadn’t told anyone about them – and yet this girl knew exactly what they were. Freaked. Me. Out. Just like God proved I wasn’t alone the 1st time, God showed me again in this 2nd instance – I AM with you. God came Himself the 1st; and the 2nd, he came through a person. This is the gift of prophecy; the ability to HEAR God’s voice, through the gift of the Holy Spirit (who is God).

Miracle of the Red SeaHow did I know it was God and not the devil? Well, I sure as hell knew it was something! But the Bible also says, 1)the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for every man, and 2)the devil doesn’t work against himself. Satan was trying to get me to commit suicide both times. He would not have interjected a vision of Jesus or a prophetic Word from Jesus that 1)lined up with scripture, 2)immediately kept me from killing myself, and 3)strengthen my relationship with God. As far as I was concerned, there was no question in my mind whatsoever that there was a God; this was solid proof.

God tells us that he never leaves us or forsakes us; He is always with us. Reach out to Him; He is speaking. How can we as Christians pray, and be mad at God because we don’t hear a response, while many of us have disowned Christ (the Word of God), which says the gift of prophecy is a gift for every man to help us hear His voice?

– Matt. 23:29-32 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

Meant for “bigger things,” Scuffy the Tugboat sets off to explore the world. But on his daring adventure Scuffy realizes that home is where he’d rather be. 'Home is where the heart is.' My heart is in God, and God's Spirit is in me; home sweet home

Meant for “bigger things,” Scuffy the Tugboat sets off to explore the world. But on his daring adventure Scuffy realizes that home is where he’d rather be.
‘Home is where the heart is.’ My heart is in God, and God’s Spirit is in me; home sweet home

Prayer: God, I understand that we are all sinners, and I have many things to relearn about you and cause to come into alignment with your Word; but helps these who are hurting and asking to hear your voice. Deliver your righteous ones from the sins of their leaders. Remind us of your word to test every spirit, and taste every word that is spoken, to see if it lines up with who YOU say you are. Strengthen us to search you out, so we can see for ourselves how real you are. Raise up those working by the Spirit of God, though the workers be few, for a sign to all the world. We will be mocked, beaten, and called heretics, but so was Jesus. You, God, were rejected by the world and the church leaders (Pharisees). Don’t let me stay in the physical sinking boat of religion, trying to save my own life. Give me the power of your Spirit to walk on the waters and rescue those drowning. Don’t let it be said of me that I didn’t preach for the 100 years of my life, trying to pull people out of the flood waters. You are my boat, and you live in me, which makes me a boat. You do the steering; just help me be willing.


I’m working on a multi part blog about the Holy Spirit. I hope to make it fully comprehensive about who He is and what He does. You know the fruit of the Spirit is love, and love is God; we need the Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, I’m not through writing it yet, so here are some resources to help you find out more in the mean time:

Highlands Sermon Series – The Holy Spirit
Riches in Humility, by lovedisciple

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