14 The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
15 till the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely,
20 how blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream,
and letting your cattle and donkeys range free. (Isaiah 32:14-20 NIV)
One day a shift will come in the earth that will result from accomplished warfare. The people of Yahweh will live in homes that are filled with peace.
Until then, we are a people in exile from our homeland. Still, we have access by faith to heavenly places. We have the power to bring the peace of heaven into the earth also as we influence our surroundings.
The Holy Breath – the Spirit – the Wind of Yahweh blows into the earth through us, around us, and among us. It is like a fresh blast of oxygen after a battlefield was flooded with mustard gas. Inhale Him to get peace and exhale Him to share peace.
Your days of asking, “Will this be on the test?” so that you can decide what to invest your energy in may be over.
Now, the test may be that you weren’t ready for that person you could have offered blessing to if you had prepared. It may be that you don’t see the test or the score until the time comes that John saw in what we call Revelation 20:11-13. The test may come in the form of a circle on your map, that you keep travelling in until you get that lesson and can move on.
Now, you must discern what’s important and should be studied based on what the Spirit of your Rabbi says you need in order to be ready for what’s next. Some times, it is inescapable, like a lion or bear preparing you for your encounter with Goliath. Other days, you get to decide if you want to stay in the tenth grade forever or not. Your choice, extracted from your response to a new opportunity to serve more in a way that costs more, or to choose service over comfort, may be what settles your advancement or stagnation.
Start and end your days with interviews with your Wonderful Counselor, Who wants to advise you constantly about your curriculum. He knows what you need, and would be happy to administer your preparation for it.
You need to pay attention and ask lots of questions. Sit on the front row. Stay after class. (Exodus 33:7-11)
Yahweh told Abraham that he would have a son. Many years went by. Being very smart, Sarah knew that it was not possible for her to have the promised son, so she thought up a way that it was possible – Hagar could bear the son, and Sarah could raise it.
When the promise was finally realized, and Sarah herself bore a son, it became clear that having Ishmael had been a mistake. He began to annoy and torment Isaac. Sarah made Abraham throw Ishmael out of the camp. Since Abraham loved his son Ishmael, this was painful.
When we are not patient to see Yahweh do the impossible because it takes too long, and we think up a way to make the promise work out, we are likely creating an Ishmael. It will be painful to throw him out when the genuine appears. If he is allowed to stay, he will destroy the genuine. Like King Herod tried to do regarding Jesus the King.
Don’t settle for easy, or possible, or early, or anything else that is short of the painful, late, impossible way Yahweh chooses to accomplish what He has promised. Just listen and be awesome.
Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised;
He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
Romans 8:26-27 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Hebrews 7:23-25 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
(from Holman Christian Standard Bible®)
Jesus is praying for you. Agree with His desires regarding you. Ask your Father to hear the prayers of Jesus and bless you. Ask Jesus what He is praying so that you can agree with Him and cooperate with His blessing.
Be very blessed!
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
(from Holman Christian Standard Bible®)
Your nature changed when you were born of Yahweh. Now, instead of being darkness, you are light. You reflect His light, but you are light because you are born of Light.
Don’t wait until you “die and go to heaven” to start shining. Throw away all the old darkness foolishness and let your glory bring Him glory. Display His glory along with yours. Moses spent time in the presence of Yahweh in the Tent of Meeting. When he left the Tent, his face would glow so brightly that it frightened the Israelis who saw him in that condition.
Shine in your work. Shine in your gift. Shine in the way you bless your family. Shine in the way you manifest His Spirit’s fruit (Galatians 5:22,23.)
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. (NKJV)
The Law (10 Commands and all the rest) aroused pain that was only quenched by sin. That’s what “sinful passions which were aroused by the law” means. Yahweh didn’t give rules to Israel to improve their behavior. He did it to expose their hearts.
Yahweh gave us His Spirit for several reasons, including His desire to improve our behavior. He also exposes our hearts, much more effectively than the rules could. He also gives us the strength to be righteous and represent Him among unbelievers.
Stop looking for good rules. Surrender to the Good Ruler. Seek His Kingdom and His righteousness and you will find all you need to live.
Praise Yahweh, my soul!
I mean to praise Yahweh all my life,
I mean to sing to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in men in power,
or in any mortal man – he cannot save,
he yields his breath and goes
back to the earth he came from,
and on that day all his schemes perish.
Happy the man who has
the God of Jacob to help him,
whose hope is fixed on Yahweh his God,
maker of heaven and earth,
and the sea, and all that these hold!
Yahweh, forever faithful,
gives justice to those denied it,
gives food to the hungry,
gives liberty to prisoners.
Yahweh restores sight to the blind,
Yahweh straightens the bent,
Yahweh protects the stranger,
he keeps the orphan and widow.
Yahweh loves the virtuous,
and frustrates the wicked.
Yahweh reigns for ever,
your God, Zion, from age to age.
7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:
“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
John, the son of Zechariah & Elizabeth, was the greatest prophet that ever lived. He baptized Jesus. He recognized Jesus while he was still in Elizabeth’s womb. He was not afraid of anyone. He was killed for confronting sin in the twisted life of his king.
If you consider yourself to be the greatest servant the King of Heaven has or if you think you are the least, you are still greater than John. Even if you really are the least.
The prophets and the law prophesied until John. Now, it’s our turn to prophesy. It’s our turn to be great. When the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, Jesus didn’t rebuke them for wanting to be the greatest. He corrected their standard about how to measure greatness. He told them how to win the competition.
Go be awesome. Be great.
Every believer thinks that they have the tares identified: it’s those people whose doctrine is wrong. They aren’t saved.
Everybody thinks they have revelation about what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was: it’s whatever is tormenting them relentlessly.
John said that there were already “many antichrists,” so it is probably ok for everyone to disagree about who THE antiChrist is going to be – we could each pick one of our own.
Maybe the biggest danger in all of our rules about “who’s who” is that on days we are no more discerning than the Pharisees, who thought the Holy Ghost was a demon (Luke 11:14-23), or the rich church members in Corinth, who were getting sick and dying because they could not discern the presence of Jesus in their poor church members (1 Corinthians 11:29).
When Jesus judges the nations, He said that He will separate them based on whether they fed Him, clothed Him, visited Him, etc. The people who were judged as successful in that process didn’t know when they were around Him in those bad conditions (Matthew 25:37-40.) With Jesus, but unaware…
We need to pray that the Spirit of Discernment will make us able to know Truth when we see it and to reject lies and deceptions. The couple who walked miles with Jesus after He was raised from the dead, whose hearts burned within their chests when He opened the Scriptures about Himself to them, could not recognize Him without His help.
14 When the festival was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple complex and began to teach. 15 Then the Jews were amazed and said, “How does He know the Scriptures, since He hasn’t been trained?”
16 Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t Mine but is from the One who sent Me. 17 If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own. 18 The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
(from Holman Christian Standard Bible®)
The more I abandon my will to His, the more I take no interest in how much obeying Him will cost, the more I delight myself in Him and His ways and His desires, the more He hands me secrets. The more able I become to discern what He is saying and what it means.
The more I want safety and guarantees and easy work and friends, the more difficult it becomes to see the path clearly. The more challenging it is to make decisions and the harder it is to understand what is happening around me.
If you want to do His will, you will understand what He says to you. The more you offer your body to Him as a living sacrifice, the more you can know and understand His perfect will (Romans 12.)