Sunday, November 27, 2022

Rejoice Always 11.27.22

 1 Thess 5

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

This post's purpose is to shed further light on the command receive above to rejoice always.  What has the Spirit revealed about this command?  It goes deeper than this servant originally thought.  The command seems great and not too difficult when things are going reasonably well but the tough question arises over and over, "how do we rejoice when things get bad?"

Life is a series of mountain top and valley experiences.  The valley experiences are a bit more frequent than most of us would like and when we are in these valleys how do we deal with it?  We are told to "rejoice always" which means yes, we are commanded to rejoice even when the circumstances around us leave us feeling like we have been punched in the gut and left for dead.  So obviously feelings will be no help for us in the valleys.  We are not being told to rejoice that something bad happened to us either, that is nonsensical.  

So, if there is nothing in our immediate environment that supports rejoicing, how do we do this?  It requires some advanced processing power that can only be accomplished by true believers.  Why is that?  It will require real faith.  And why is that?  Because in order to rejoice in trials and tribulations it will require us to shift our focus as an act of our will off of our immediate circumstances and surroundings and onto the promises, power and presence of the Lord God.  This shifting of focus onto the promises, power and presence will require real faith.  What we are doing in this process is practicing being less like a human and more like the Lord our God.  We are shifting our focus from the temporal to the eternal.  We are shifting our focus from things that can be shaken to things that cannot be shaken.

Why is this important^^?  When everything is taken away in a situation where a Christian is unjustly persecuted and maybe imprisoned the only thing left that cannot be taken away are 1.  the ability to respond to the situation according to faith and not feelings and 2. the promises, power and presence of God.  This is the key to being able to rejoice always, even in the worst circumstances.  

So, in these valley experiences where our feelings betray us our willpower and discipline has to kick in to do what must be done.  The mention of willpower and discipline should be our first clue that this will not always be easy.  So once we have embraced what must be done so that we actually do it there are some secondary effects that kick in that will benefit us.  Obviously doing what we were told to do is a good thing in itself, it is obedience to the command.  But what else happens?  There are real physical, emotional and spiritual secondary effects that will impose themselves on the trial or tribulation.  Effects like what?  Like this:

A Japanese scientist named Masaru Emoto discovered that water has memory.  You can see how the water physically changes its structure as it is exposed to various human stimuli.  By extension we can lay hold of the fact that "forced" rejoicing or shall we say disciplined willful rejoicing as a result of faith and not feelings will result in structural, physical changes to our environment.  In the case of the water above, why is it important?  The average human body is composed of 60% water.  Individual components of the body like the brain are up to 75% water.  

This rabbit hole definitely goes deeper but the content of this post should be enough to chew on for quite awhile.  The Lord God is good.  When He tells us to do something, there is always a really good reason for it whether we understand it or not.  In the case of rejoicing always we do not have to dig too deep to begin seeing benefits that can transform our life.

Glory to God!

Grace and Peace

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

2024 is Shaping Up Right on Schedule


In a time of great darkness like today, we who serve the Lord must seek His face constantly.  The darker it gets, the closer we need to get to the Shepherd of our souls.  What does the Lord God counsel us to do in these dark days?

Rom 12

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. c Do not be conceited.

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” d says the Lord. 20On the contrary:

Phil 4

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In the midst of the ongoing oppression by the enemy, the Spirit of the Lord has impressed upon the servant who writes to you the importance of Rejoicing always.  After some reflection on this concept here are some takeaways:

1.  We are not rejoicing that we have problems/trials/tribulation, we are rejoicing in spite of them.  This has an aspect of asymmetric warfare to it that is very powerful.

2.  We cannot control what happens but we can control how we respond to what happens (rejoice instead of despair, anger etc)

3.  Shifting the focus as an act of our will-instead of focus on the problem we focus on the promises.  We get to choose what we focus on, the Lord has instructed us how to do this.

4.  It is not easy when our feelings are betraying us.  After feeling like we have been punched in the gut or kicked between the legs it is not easy to shift the gears off the pain but we have to do it.  It is not a matter of feelings it is a matter of 1. willpower and 2. choice

Psalm 9

1I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

2I will be glad and rejoice in you;

I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

The Lord instructs us this ^^ is a matter of willpower, decision and disciplined response.  Paul gives us an example of what we are talking about here:

Acts 16

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

So we can see our principle in action here ^^.  Paul is beaten and thrown into prison.  Response?  Prayer and singing hymns.  Which resulted in what?  Breaking the chains and freedom....

It must be said again that this is not easy but it is what must be done.  We all have a prison being built up around us, most people just cant see it yet.  The Lord told us what to do and what not to do.  More of what to do (most of Ps 37 tells us what to do) and what not to do here:

Ps 37

1Do not fret because of those who are evil

or be envious of those who do wrong;

2for like the grass they will soon wither,

like green plants they will soon die away.

3Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4Take delight in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him and he will do this:

6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,

your vindication like the noonday sun.

7Be still before the Lord

and wait patiently for him;

do not fret when people succeed in their ways,

when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9For those who are evil will be destroyed,

but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10A little while, and the wicked will be no more;

though you look for them, they will not be found.

11But the meek will inherit the land

and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12The wicked plot against the righteous

and gnash their teeth at them;

13but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

for he knows their day is coming.

14The wicked draw the sword

and bend the bow

to bring down the poor and needy,

to slay those whose ways are upright.

15But their swords will pierce their own hearts,

and their bows will be broken.

16Better the little that the righteous have

than the wealth of many wicked;

17for the power of the wicked will be broken,

but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,

and their inheritance will endure forever.

19In times of disaster they will not wither;

in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20But the wicked will perish:

Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,

they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21The wicked borrow and do not repay,

but the righteous give generously;

22those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,

but those he curses will be destroyed.

23The Lord makes firm the steps

of the one who delights in him;

24though he may stumble, he will not fall,

for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25I was young and now I am old,

yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken

or their children begging bread.

26They are always generous and lend freely;

their children will be a blessing. b

27Turn from evil and do good;

then you will dwell in the land forever.

28For the Lord loves the just

and will not forsake his faithful ones.

Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed c ;

the offspring of the wicked will perish.

29The righteous will inherit the land

and dwell in it forever.

30The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,

and their tongues speak what is just.

31The law of their God is in their hearts;

their feet do not slip.

32The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,

intent on putting them to death;

33but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked

or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34Hope in the Lord

and keep his way.

He will exalt you to inherit the land;

when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35I have seen a wicked and ruthless man

flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,

36but he soon passed away and was no more;

though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37Consider the blameless, observe the upright;

a future awaits those who seek peace. d

38But all sinners will be destroyed;

there will be no future e for the wicked.

39The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;

he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

40The Lord helps them and delivers them;

he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,

because they take refuge in him.

The good news is He told us what to do and not to do.  We just have to follow instructions.  This will not be easy but we know what to do.  The Lord knows how to settle accounts, that is not our job :).  We need to practice the asymmetric warfare outlined for us.  In the midst of killing, stealing and destroying by the enemy and his servants, we are to rejoice, pray for what we want and need, and continually give thanks.  

Thankfully we do not have to figure everything out, the Lord knows all the plans of the enemy and how to do deal with them.  He is our Commander in Chief, we are His servants.  Let us be good pawns/soldiers/servants in this spiritual battle.  In the end, whatever happens we will be able to say we were faithful.  We did what we were told to do.  Again, the Lord told us to do many things but thankfully one of those things was not "figure everything out on your own."  We just have to follow orders.  The Lord knows what He is doing, He has a plan.  The enemy is being played whether he knows it or not.  Faith and patience to the end :).

Glory to God

Grace and Peace

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Another (S)tolen (S)election

 2 years after the last (s)tolen (s)election we have another (s)tolen (s)election.  What did the "good guys" (repuli-traitors) do about the previous (s)tolen (s)election?  Nothing, you could hear a pin drop.  What do you think the "good guys" (repuli-traitors) are going to do about the steal this time?  Nothing...

With the so-called good guys exposed as maybe worse than the demon-crats (at least they own their demonic infestation while the republi-traitors pretend otherwise), perhaps it is time to look for other solutions to this world's problems other than voting....

This world does not have social, economic and political problems it has a rebellion against the Lord God problem.  Spiritual problems demand spiritual solutions.  People who are attempting to fix spiritual problems through politics are on a fool's errand.  How has "getting out to vote" worked out for the past 2 election cycles?  Here is an additional insight, "they" have no plans to stop the fraud, theft and corruption anytime soon.  

By virtue of what the Lord has allowed to happen it appears He does not have our full attention.  Until the Lord God gets people's attention, expect more of the same in the future (pain).

2 Chron 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We can do some quick Biblical calculus here to determine that if the land is sick and on the verge of death, then "my people, who are called by my name" have not humbled themselves, prayed,  sought His face, and turned from their wicked ways.

The enemy and his servants are busy doing their work, we need to be busy doing ours.  The formula for success has not changed:

1 Thess 5

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

The formula for success is right there and deserves its own post sometime in the near future:

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances-rinse, repeat.

Rejoice. (how often?) Always.

Give thanks.  When? In all circumstances.

Pray. (how often?) Without ceasing.

So, rejoice and give thanks even when demons are rampaging around us stealing (s)elections and increasing oppression throughout the land?  Yep, especially then.  Again, this is a topic the Spirit of the Lord has been instructing your servant on but the learning is ongoing.  A post on this topic alone is forthcoming.  Suffice it to say once again the answers we are looking for are all right in front of our eyes (in the Book of answers).

Instead of hanging our head or getting angry, we need to do what we were told to do.  The Lord included Psalm 37 for our reading enjoyment and edification in times like this:

1Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.

3Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.b
4Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

7Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

8Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

10In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.

12The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
13but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.

14The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
15their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

16Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

18The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;
19they are not put to shame in evil times;
in the days of famine they have abundance.

20But the wicked will perish;
the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;
22for those blessed by the LORDc shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
when he delights in his way;
24though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD upholds his hand.

25I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
26He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.

27Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
28For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
31The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.

32The wicked watches for the righteous
and seeks to put him to death.
33The LORD will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.d
36But he passed away,e and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.

37Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
38But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

So today the demon-crats can laugh at what they got away with, but those smirks will be wiped off their faces soon enough.  Accounts will be settled with the republi-traitors as well, soon enough.  It will not be the hand of man that does this but God Almighty who promised and does not lie:

12The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
13but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.

Glory to God

Grace and peace