Making Amends

On days, we react to opportunities and dangers, and to situations that we cannot identify as either. Sometimes we clearly sense the leadership of the Holy One to answer in a certain way. Other times, we respond with no thought at all about anythings but our rights, our feelings, or our fears.

Even after some of our greatest errors in those responses, we are ignorant of the mistake until the Spirit has struggled long enough to finally have our attention. Then He shows us the sin.

How to make things right when we have offended someone? How to reestablish a relationship that we closed (or slammed) the door on? How to respond to the Spirit when He breaks our hearts over having broken someone else’s?

Getting a response right to begin with is the work of the Holy Spirit by influencing our hearts and minds with what Paul called His fruit (Galatians 5:22,23). If we are under His power by being anointed with His fruit, the people we interact with will experience having been with Jesus.

For the times we didn’t ask or wait for that empowerment and influence, and responded to situations with what Paul called the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), the next step is just another opportunity to do what we should have initially – be influenced by the fruit of the Spirit.

Having your heart and mind enlightened by those powerful influences will open you to the additional blessing of receiving revelation about how to proceed; how to repair, how to heal, how to bless those you have injured or neglected.

Womb or Tomb

I have been annoyed for a long time when I hear people having “revival meetings.” Part of my bad attitude stems from the number of meetings that came and went and nothing changed in or among anyone.

Another part of the pain of listening to people longing for revival is the meaning of the word “revive.” It refers to something that was dead or near death being brought back to life. In my set of values, it is like longing noisily for the rock that Moses split in the desert, instead of longing for the wells in the land of promises that we won’t have to dig.

Having a greater desire that we could return to the good old days than that we could enter into the days of the future early seems to me like longing for the fish and garlic of Egypt when times get hard in the desert. We are being drawn or driven somewhere. The good old days only seem better than the surprises of the days we haven’t seen because our memory is more powerful than our imagination.

What comes out of a tomb at the Lord’s command can not match what comes out of a womb at His command. In Acts chapter 2, when the day of Pentecost had fully come, Jesus called the Church out of the womb of a room where they had gathered. When Paul visited the Jews in the synagogue of each new city he visited as he went forth from Antioch of Syria, he called the Church to be born from that womb that had been impregnated by the Holy Spirit with people who were longing for a new thing.

This is what the Lord says—
who makes a way in the sea,
and a path through surging waters,
who brings out the chariot and horse,
the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)—
“Do not remember the past events,
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.
The animals of the field will honor Me,
jackals and ostriches,
because I provide water in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert,
to give drink to My chosen people.
The people I formed for Myself
will declare My praise.
(Isaiah 43:16-21 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)

Knowing Better

In those days there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. He summoned the disciples and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home famished, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a long distance.”

His disciples answered Him, “Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to fill these people?”
(Mark 8:1-4 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)

“In those days, there was again a large crowd…” This is Mark’s chapter 8. In the days these words referred to in Mark’s chapter 6 (30-44), there had been a crowd of 5,000 men. Some, if not all of the men, had their families with them. This crowd is numbered at 4,000 people. Whether that number means “men” or “altogether”, it means a smaller crowd than they had already fed with their own hands miraculously.

Every time we have seen the hand of Yahweh in our lives at work to change things, we have been looking at His Kingdom coming in the earth. How much experience of His presence and His work does it take to change our minds so that we expect even greater things each time?

That is the place in which we are transformed – where our minds are renewed, and able to contain more of the future and freed from more of the clutter of the past.


Attracted by a Burning Bush

In Exodus 3, Moses had led his wife’s father’s flock of sheep a long way, beyond a wilderness. On an apparently ordinary day, Yahweh’s messenger appeared to him as a flame in a bush. Because the bush was not burning, but simply hosting the flame, Moses drew near to know more. As he interacted with the presence of the Lord in the bush, he received the commission that revealed his destiny. Because he listened to it, a nation was formed and delivered from slavery and darkness.

It is a mistake, when our God is doing something that doesn’t make sense, not to be distracted by it and turn our attention away from the ordinary so that we can know more, like the Pharisees, who couldn’t see Jesus as the flame of the Lord.

It is a mistake, when our God is doing something amazing, to set up a tent around it and launch a series of meetings celebrating it and showing it to all who we can draw, like Peter wanted to on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured.

It is a mistake, when our God is answering our groanings for His presence, to fail to listen to His declarations about our abilities and our destinies, which He wants to empower beyond our weaknesses, like Judas, when Jesus prophesied to him that one day he would rule over a tribe of Israel.

He stirs us with needs of our own and of those around us that break our hearts. He stirs us with heartbroken prayers. When we pray them until we can no longer bear to cry, He trusts us to become the answers to them.

Your Work

In the Kingdom of Heaven, the only secular work is something you have chosen to do yourself. When you find what work the King has chosen you for, you will find that it requires a Spiritual gift, that He makes it supernaturally easy, and that doing it gives you life. His yoke is easy and His burden is light when you find Him ordaining your ministry assignment.

Cyrus, the emperor of Persia, was chosen by Yahweh for the work of emperor before he was born. When he began to succeed at the work, he had not yet met the God Who empowered him to success. The purpose of Yahweh’s ordination to the ministry (service) of being emperor was that by being successful, Cyrus would participate in spreading Yahweh’s fame as the One True God throughout the whole earth. (Isaiah 45)

If your work is not giving you life, you are in the wrong line of work. You may have two categories of work – one that generates the income you provide for your household with, and one that brings life by the service to Yahweh it performs. You may find your financial provision through the work that amounts to your ministry.

If you are not finding somewhere in your life the place of service to the King that gives you opportunity to do the works of pastor or teacher or administrator or some Spiritual gift-empowered ministry, you are not where you should be. Seek the Lord for what He wants to burden you with in the earth: what troubles you the most? what excites you the most? Use these answers as clues in the search.

From this place of receiving His burden, seek Him for a yoke that can connect you to that burden and move it so that some part of the earth is different in some way because you manifest Jesus in it. He is the Evangelist and the Apostle and the Helper and the Teacher and the True Source  of every other work in His Kingdom.

He wants to employ you in His service just as He did Cyrus and Moses and Paul and all of the unnamed saints through the ages who have obeyed Him and brought Him the glory that He ordained them to bring.


How Much is Everything?

Look at the context of Mark 9:23, where Jesus is quoted as saying, “All things are possible for the one who believes.”

Remembering that the few times His disciples asked Him to explain something, He replied with detail about what He meant, ask Him some things like:

  • Was the “all things” reference figurative, or literal?
  • Could that “one who believes” mean even me?
  • What does “believes” mean – believing that I can do it? Believing Jesus was speaking truth? Believing Jesus was including me when He said that?
  • What am I missing being or doing in my life, that You want me to step into?
  • Will You include me in the real-ization of that word of Yours? Will You make me able to do all things by filling me with the faith that is required?

The Savior’s Heirs

Hebrews 1:14 is in the section of the letter to the Hebrews that compares Jesus to angels. The letter exposes, in subject after subject, that everything that the Jews held valuable is superseded in value by the Person and the works of Jesus. The priesthood, the sacrifice, the angels, etc.

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Based on the Greek words used in this question, it could be paraphrased in the form of a declaration about some of Yahweh’s heavenly spirits: “His messengers are priestly, liturgical spirits, and they have been given apostolic missions of being servants to the people who have been given an inheritance of deliverance by the fact that their Savior died.”

When a friend gets annoyed with me because I don’t place enough value on finding answers about how some things in the universe work, or what some mysteries mean, it is normally because I am not making a connection between that mystery and my mission. I don’t try to stop them from seeking answers that the Spirit may be leading them to search out, but I also don’t go seeking the answers just because the answers haven’t been found yet.

When answers to a mystery could help me fulfil my mission, however, I want to find all of them. There are some people who don’t need to know more about angels and how to interact with them. I don’t recommend that they look deeper into that revelation.

I do suggest that if you are one of the people to whom the Spirit of the Lord would like to reveal information that the Church will need in the coming days about how to bless angels with greater power to bless us, that you ask with much faith for that revelation to be made clear to you. Knock until the door is opened to you. Seek the answers like some lives will depend on obtaining them. I believe that they will.

If you don’t know if you are one of that company of believers, start with that question. Expect to be answered.

The Next Change

In Mark 10:17-30, the story is related of Jesus encountering a ruler who was young and rich. He approached Jesus with a question. He knelt before Jesus when he asked it. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?

Jesus responded to his request by first loving him, and then answering him. “Go, sell all of your possessions, give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in Heaven. Then, come, and follow Me.”

It is critical to note that Jesus was not instructing the young man on how to go to heaven when he died. His answer was explained to the disciples – the young man left before he heard the details: it is hard to enter the Kingdom if you are wealthy. He wasn’t talking about getting to Paradise. He was talking about stepping into the supernatural places in the earth or the rest of creation where the King’s power is manifested because the King’s instructions are obeyed.

He told the young man, “One thing you lack…” He says that to us repeatedly as we move forward to enter the Kingdom. “You lack patience…” “You lack honesty…” “You lack freedom from fear…”

When we allow the Holy Spirit to drive us into the desert where we are following Jesus and facing enemies who force us to need patience or honesty or faith or agape, we overcome those “lacks” by having our minds renewed. We enter the Kingdom. We then progress in the King’s domain. We then lead others into His love and service.

If He has not pointed out lately one more thing that you lack, be brave and kneel down and ask Him what’s next.

Altars Have Names

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
(Exodus 17:8-16, NKJV)

It isn’t clear from the text whether Joshua knew at the time of the battle that he was winning when Moses performed the prophetic act of raising his staff over the battlefield and losing when Moses let his arms down to rest. Moses perceived that Yahweh became to him a banner over his enemies when he lifted his hands to His throne, and built an altar to commit the event to worship and to memory. He called the altar, “Yahweh is my Banner.”

Yahweh told Moses to write Joshua an account of the battle from the perspective of the top of the mountain. When Yahweh prevails in our lives, we frequently thank Him and move along. Sometimes we don’t even know about the enemies He has defeated or protected us from. We don’t always see the Kingdom.

When something happens, like a healing, or miraculous provision, or a salvation or deliverance, we should make a record of it. We should use it to offer courage to the generation following us, and strengthen them to go farther and higher and deeper than we have.

Raise an Ebenezer. Keep score.

Using the Law Legally

As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach other doctrine or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith. Now the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some have deviated from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion. They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on. Now we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately. We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God that was entrusted to me.
(1 Timothy 1:3-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)

Paul wrote to Timothy that the ten commandments and the rest of the law given to Israelis through Moses was given because of their ungodliness and rebellion. The law was not given to righteous people. Since, by the righteousness of Jesus, we are righteous, we were not given the law. Instead, we were given His Spirit. That is how His righteousness has been imparted to us.

Since you are righteous, walk in His Spirit. Listen to His desires and His directions. Value things as He states their values. Stand in your place as a citizen of the Kingdom of His light and His righteousness. Even when you make a mistake, stand back up in the identity that HE declares is yours. Be awesome.