Running my race. Sometimes I do well; too often I do not.
I have recently, again and again, fallen short of the Glory of God.
I am a sinner.
I have hurt others, and I have been hurt by Christians I look up to and admire. And I have used that as an excuse to sin even more.
How did all this happen, I wonder. Maybe you wonder, too. Well, it was all too easy.
A lot of it happened through social media. Through the news. And most terribly – in my own heart.
Friends I admire and look up to would send me jokes about democrats, and I would laugh – some of them were really funny. And some of these were not just funny, some were also quite nasty.
Other friends would send me descriptions of religious republicans and the twisted things some of them are encouraging, and I would agree.
Friends from different parties would send me news articles. Too often full of truths that make my heart recoil. And too often — one sided or twisted versions of events. And I would agree for a while, before I saw more broadly and inclusively.
Friends with high ideals and good reasons sending me twisted, one sided, soul shrinking propaganda. And I would read and agree for a while. Until….
Everybody has good reasons. Too often amplified beyond reason – the kind of thing that gives opportunity to unclean spirits. Too often twisted, to make a point. Too often so one-sided as to be sinful in themselves, yet very convincing.
And here I am, a well meaning feckless chameleon; first agreeing with this and seeing it clearly. Then agreeing with that, and seeing that clearly. Boy, talk about being double-minded. I’m an expert. A friend tells me the Greek literally means two-minded, a person with two minds – actually two souls.
I have lost all sense of proportion and of the larger picture: I am bound by love, previous repentance, and duty to a King and Kingdom that is at hand: Immanuel and his Kingdom. How often do I forget the Good News of the Kingdom? Too often.
I get caught up being for this or for that; or against this and against that. As though these were my first allegiance. I forget Whose I am.
I have sinned. Repeatedly. Forgetting Whose I am, forgetting the Kingdom and Immanuel. My first allegiance. I am ashamed.
So I again repent and ask for more of Holy Spirit. For help to live not for what I eat or drink but for righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Putting the Kingdom first.
Lord, help me be a beneficial influence in the culture that surrounds me, influence, share and spread the Kingdom of God. And to do this first, before and more strongly and with more skill, love and determination – than any good thing I do in well intentioned and wordly politics. Help me follow Holy Spirit so well and so much that I am full of Fruit of the Spirit. Love, self-control, kindness, patience…and control my tongue.
The Untamable Tongue
3 My brethren, (A)let not many of you become teachers, (B)knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For (C)we all stumble in many things. (D)If anyone does not stumble in word, (E)he is a[a]perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 [b]Indeed, (F)we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.5 Even so (G)the tongue is a little member and (H)boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And (I)the tongue is a fire, a world of [c]iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it (J)defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of [d]nature; and it is set on fire by [e]hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, (K)full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made (L)in the [f]similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a (M)fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? [g]Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Heavenly Verses Demonic Wisdom
13 (N)Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have (O)bitter envy and [h]self-seeking in your hearts, (P)do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 (Q)This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For (R)where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But (S)the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, (T)without partiality (U)and without hypocrisy. 18 (V)Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Half the country is upset, and half the country is feeling glad.
Here’s a very, very radical idea: love everyone.
Love your favorite politician. Love the opposition. Love followers of each of them – all of them. I didn’t say you should or have to agree with them!
So calm down and try it again if needed: love everyone! You don’t have to agree with anyone you don’t want to. You don’t have to like or love their positions. You just have to love God with all your heart, soul and strength; and others as yourself – and please love yourself with the God kind of love.
Agape everyone. Your politician. (Yes, I know you’re not as attached when you do this; it’s all right.) The opposition. Yes, you really can do it; or it would not be the most important commandments. Love everyone. God, your politician and followers, the opposition and their followers. Agape them all. God first, everyone else second. Everyone.
Yes, that’s right, everyone!
And you don’t have to agree with anyone that you don’t want to.
Agape. You can do it. And when you have difficulty, ask for help.
Ask for more of Holy Spirit; receive with faith – already given! Follow Holy Spirit. Express love out of your New Person, to everyone. The generous, God kind of love.
Now go ahead and disagree all you want. Just keep agape – for everyone! What a radical idea. Doing as Jesus says. Radical.
I’ve noticed several things that help me live out of my New Self, my New Person. So I make a list to help me remember and do this, especially when I am under pressure. (So read slowly & meditate, or even better, have a conversation with Jesus about these matters.)
Why is this important?
My Old Person has:
been marked by sin,
has wounds & is reactive (has trauma & PTSD) because of them,
is carnal and fleshly, selfish and mean. Feels smaller than I am.
does not please God.
Does not hear God except for audible voice, which is rare and something I personally have not yet heard.
Carries the curses of a broken world, including sin, sickness and disease. Feels bad.
Cannot minister effectively.
My New Person has:
always been free of sin – and has no marks of sin.
Has no wounds and so is not reactive to wounds (has no trauma or PTSD). Feels bigger than I am.
We all want to hear God well, and nearly all of us want to hear God better.
There are horse whisperers, people who pay exquisite attention to horses and learn; there are dog whisperers, people who pay wonderfully attentive attention to dogs.
What you may not know is that there are people who help you hear God better. Not prophets who hear God for us, sometimes. (Although since Jesus came, we are to hear God for ourselves, and what a prophet says should resonate because of Holy Spirit confirming to us what a prophet says.)
These are people who are what I sometimes call, “God Listener’s”, and their job is to help you hear God better for yourself. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
There is a long tradition of such ministry, going back to at least the “Desert Fathers”, usually solitary monks who lived in the desert. From them a succession of ministers have helped people hear God for themselves.
Today we often call these people, “Spiritual Directors” or “Spiritual Friends”. You can look up these terms, they are well known. There is a long tradition of such people who help others to hear God better. This is a precious ministry.
They don’t listen for you; they help you hear God better for yourself. A ministry worth having, if not having always, at least sometimes.
We have all had periods of time that are rough. I remember one particular time when that was happening to me. My computers were not working right. My dogs were misbehaving. Around the house things were not working well or would break. I prayed about it, for these things and against these things. I finally decided I must be having a problem with demons. So I told them to leave. Usually not a problem for me – but the problems persisted.
So I called on a God Listener who I knew was very good with unclean spirits and asked for help. She managed to convey to me rather quickly that the problems were not demonic in origin. The problems were being caused by my own attitude. She told me that my wrong attitude and my own energy was causing the problems with my computers, dogs, and household appliances.
This was not what I wanted to hear. I wanted her to fix the problem for me. (Sound familiar?) But, I knew she was right. Holy Spirit confirmed what she was saying.
So I changed my attitude and my energy. The problems quickly went away and disappeared. I was blessed to have the help of a good God Listener, because I needed help to hear God well. And to solve problems that I mistakenly thought were being caused by demonic spirits when it was my own attitude and energy that was causing difficulties.
When you have big problems, opportunities you are not sure what to do with, when you need good guidance – a God Listener can be a huge help – so you can more reliably and accurately hear God for yourself – especially when doing so matters even more than usual.
You can easily learn more about God Listeners, Spiritual Friends or Spiritual Directors. There is more information than you might at first suspect.
Help is closer than you probably expect, is easy, and quite rapid. When you do these two easy things:
Ask for more of Holy Spirit.You will receive. Guaranteed. (See Luke 11:11-13.)
Then follow Holy Spirit; intend to follow Holy Spirit. Ask Holy Spirit to help you follow Holy Spirit even more.
Yes, it’s this easy, just:
-1. Ask for more of Holy Spirit, and
-2. Deeply intend to follow Holy Spirit or even ask Holy Spirit to help you follow. (See Gal. 5).
That simple. Easy. Check – now you are more single-minded. You are not so overwhelmed and maybe not overwhelmed at all.
I do this to get help when I am too sad at the loss of my wife. I ask for more of Holy Spirit. Then, automatically, with zero drama, grief is small and Holy Spirit is huge. What a wonderful and easy transformation!
I am operating out of my New Self, not my old self. The same for you. New Self with Fruit of the Spirit, including –
Galations 5:22 – …the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.
Holy Spirit gives you a revelation of how to apply God’s Word in your life. You act on this and God blesses you wonderfully!
Later, you do it again in a similar situation, and maybe this works for you this time.
Again and again, you depend on different Scriptures – and maybe this works well for you.
Sooner or later something else might happen. It will appear to you that standing on God’s Word is no longer working for you. (That’s not the actual issue, but it may seem to be.)
You will faithfully stand on God’s Word again – maybe in a different circumstance, maybe you are depending on a different Word in Scripture. And it appears to not work for you.
So you double down. And you double down some more. You try harder and harder and it isn’t working for you and you do not understand why this is happening. You are sure it can’t be what it looks like. And you are right – it isn’t what it looks like — only different from what you expect.
Here’s how to get this fixed. Like so many things, it’s easy when you know how. Hard when you are missing a key to what to do and how to go about it.
Here’s what happened and how things inexplicably went wrong – and here’s what to do about it:
Originally Holy Spirit delivered to you an insight, technically a revelation to you – that in response to a certain issue you were to apply and put to work a particular Word from God.
This worked wonderfully well for you.
When the situation changed or you try to do the same thing with a different Word or message from scripture – it may seem like it doesn’t work for you anymore, a puzzle easy to deny and hard to accept. Because you are so certain that being faithful was the key! Standing strong on God’s word was key!And you were right. But you may have missed something important.
The first time when it worked so well you received revelation through Holy Spirit.
After that you chose what scripture to apply to what situation and it seemed not to work. So you tried harder and harder. You continued to double down, and it still isn’t working.
You need God’s revelation! In choosing what Word or message from Scripture to apply and to give you insight to about how to apply that message.
When you try to figure it out by yourself, it may not always work.
Go back to what helped you from the beginning. God’s revelation to you!
Then pause. Stop. Listen. Look. Feel. Be aware of thoughts that appear in your mind. What you experience next may be literally God’s answer to your question.
And it will probably look and differ from what you expect. Why? Because you didn’t know the answer. It’s like something that’s lost: it’s not where you have been looking. AndGod knows more than you or I do.
And because God loves to give us wonderful surprises.
AND, God cares more about your relationship than most or possibly even all answers. God is not a Santa Claus, and not an answering machine, either.
You may not have thought about this yet, but it can be a wonderful and freeing and healthy thing to do: update yoursoul ties.
Soul ties are your ongoing relationships with people at the level of your soul – your thoughts, feelings, emotions and such. Also included are relationships with places, institutions, groups of people – anything or anybody your soul has ties to or a relationship with. Even your health or age.
God made humans out of the dust of the earth – the body, and the breath – spirit – which when body and spirit combined, humans became living souls.
Your soul is like the dreaming part of you. In fact, it is the soul that dreams.
There are objects and people who are stable, yet plastic and changeable. A chair can become something else in a dream, to name just one example. Not as likely in the physical world, where chairs are more stable.
So here is the key idea: every time a relationship changes, it’s possible, even likely, that the soul tie needs to be updated.
Any relationship that goes through a change needs to be updated. Parents need to let their children grow up and adjust to that, rather than continue to relate to them as children. Your child, yes; but not relating to your child as a child. Children need to relate to their parents differently as you mature and as they continue to mature and age. Suffering will surely result when this is not done. Even graduation from school. Marriage. Any change in relationship. Any.
Someone dies. Relationship changes. Soul ties need adjusting. Whether a family member, friend, or pet.
Soul ties need frequent updating because relationships go through transformations. Any time a status changes, a soul tie update is a good idea.
Here’s another hint: any time there is ongoing pain through a relationship, an updating of soul ties is likely called for. Ongoing relationship pain is a clear signal: an update in soul ties is called for. Literally.
How to do such a thing? Fortunately, it turns out to be easy to do.
People who do a lot of deliverance probably prefer to ask for the blood of Jesus to help make the change. There is a place for that.
Personally, I prefer to utilize the Helper that Jesus sent us to guide and comfort us: Holy Spirit.
Ask Holy Spirit to help you update and adjust your soul ties. Any time – every time – there is a transition or change in relationship. Or when there is ongoing pain or suffering.
And when there are normal things to do that mark a transition in your culture, do them carefully, thoughtfully, and lovingly. These help too.
Easy. Simple. Just ask. Holy Spirit will do this for you with wisdom and love, and do it perfectly, too. If you wish to pray in the Spirit, this is likely a great help, too. You really cannot go wrong praying in the Spirit.
And, if you highly empathicor sensitive (HSP), you can find much relief with this simple and easy approach that you are already equipped for. Ask Holy Spirit to adjust your energy, feelings, relationships, and body. Ask as often as you feel like it may be helpful. It can’t hurt, and this can help you a lot.
First, I heard a concern here in a WhatsApp group about home robbery. Not sure what to do with that and suspecting it was more likely for long-term members, I just made a mental note of it and moved on to other things. A special note, because a brother in Christ and a good friend had his brother in Panama recently attacked in his own house by several men, one with a knife. He’s in a coma in the hospital, still. So the warning of a robber in a house struck me stronger than usual, was more noticeable than usual.
Not long afterwards I saw that a rainstorm was coming. Even verified this with a neighbor who is Panamanian and who I expect can read the weather here better than I. (This rainy season has had fewer rainy days than has been usual, but when they come the rain pours hard for many hours.) So I took dogs outside for a last chance to do their outside business.
Next day I was not doing well. Leg hurt, and I was not doing well at all. Unusual for me, but I noticed and tried to not do things that required me to be resourceful and at my best. I still ended up having two conversations, one by email and one by WhatsApp where I was not at my best. Maybe 60-70% of what is normal for me. So today I did what I could to set things right and to apologize.
Now, by hindsight, putting all this together…I am wondering if this was a Word of Knowledge warning me of a spiritual, not a physical attack.
Recently I’ve been in learning to recognize Words of Knowledge, something I had not previously noticed. I’m wondering how frequent they have been and how little I’ve noticed.
Another Word of Knowledge may have come, too. The tension in my leg from the leg cramp resulted in tension up and down my body on that side and eventually was resulting in a neck-headache. A painful one.
And the second picture I saw on Facebook led to my meeting with someone new, a person who captured the second photograph. Which turned out to be a Divine Appointment – someone with whom God wanted me to meet. We are learning from each other. This was a Divine Appointment or a big coincidence. And I am learning that big coincidences are often Divine Appointments, it’s worth paying attention and finding out.
In one day I had these two experiences with what may have been a Word of Knowledge. I think maybe they were just that.
What do you think? What does your experience tell you? What is your own experience with how you experience a Word of Knowledge?