Good advice CPN, (my brother from another mother!)
We are rooting for you C1. Check back in when you get the chance.
Good advice CPN, (my brother from another mother!)
We are rooting for you C1. Check back in when you get the chance.
It is obvious reading your post that your are being 'walked' to Christ right now in your life. You see the LAW(rules) was never intended to save us or make us right with God or give us peace in any way. The law has three main purposes. Found in Gal 3 and throughout Romans. First it was temporary. It was our babysitter(tutor) that takes us by the hand and walks us to Jesus. Then it turns us over to Him. Second it was given to show us what sin is. We would not have known what sin was without the law. Third and most important it was given to 'box us in' or show us that we can't live holy on our own. This is how it 'walks' us to Christ.
You are going through the age old journey of being walked to, back to, Christ right now. He does that with EVERY individual by letting the law, or a list of rules, become the 'way' they think they get right with God and find peace. They take on this rule list in total sincerity to please God and clear their conscience and get right with the creator. As someone tries to live up to the law, and be good enough, they grow tired and more tired as well as feel no real life in their soul. This confuses them, but this is actually the laws purpose. To show you your inability not your ability. To show you what you are NOT able to do not what you ARE able to do. It is at this point of realizing you can't do it that you turn to Christ who DID do it. In Hebrews 6 there is a list of elementary principles. Number one on the list is repentence from DEAD WORKS. Dead works are the works we try on our own to please God. Everyone gets the point that we should repent of evil but few people understand the need to repent from dead works. I tried to say this in another post when I explained that good was on the same tree as evil.
Can you see how your struggle to fulfill the rules and be 'good enough' is actually in the process of walking you to Christ. You are doing this CORRECTLY. You will hit a point where you will say I can't do all of this. God will say I KNOW. You will move from law to grace and ENJOY what HE did for you not what you do for HIM. Others have said this I just wanted to explain the process you are in....or try. You are in the age old journey/battle of law and grace. You are on the same journey we all went on. You go through law in some form first to show you your humanity and weakness. From that weakness you can fully embrace and accept His mercy and grace because you now see you need it.
It isn't that most churches don't believe in grace. Most churches have a mixture of grace and law. We in general have taught that we are 'saved by grace' but then teach people unconsciously to live under law by throwing rules at them. I believe this is happening to you. Your dicision at 18 was real but now there is a true journey to move from law to grace. So you're not just saved by grace but LIVE under grace. Everyone here telling you about grace I would bet went through there own period of living under a form of law. It was that period that wore them out and really showed them grace is the way. You will get there also. Keep going.....
father bill answered your specific question excellently. I took a shot at the bigger issue and where you are in the process so you might have a little more clarity. God Bless.....
Wonderful post for sure. This understanding comes from revelation of the Son which you have received.
Super info it is surely. Friend on mine has been looking for this content.
Had the chance last night to take the wife and kids to the movie Courageous. In a nutshell, it is a Christian-based film about fatherhood. It centers on the lives of several deputy sheriffs in the rural south and their dedication to being the type of father typified by examples from the Bible. It is well done and a salient message for our diseased and troubled world. Though I take my role as a father very seriously, it gave me pause and has influenced me to do better. It does not appear to be a blockbuster; my family were the only ones in the theatre. That however, is not surprising since it was a Christian film and did not have the special effects, questionable morality or big names that attracts most to the movies these days.
I would be curious to hear if any of you have seen Courageous. I found it very inspiring and a positive influence on my faith.
"...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." -Joshua
After wiping the tears.. I want to say thank you. Truly, thank you for the kind words, the direction, the reality. I promised a response would be short...but I doubt 3 sentences will do it.
I watched the two videos. I'm jotting down the Scripture references as well, and the messages you've all typed have given me a new perspective...a new reason to push forward even harder.
I'm floored. Nothing more can be said right now. We've just had 3 curve balls hit us in the last two days. Nothing major, we'll work through them...after all, it's a beautiful day and we're still all together. My neighbor, who's father was a minister, told me once: "The more you try to learn and live The Word, and have Faith in Jesus...the more under attack you'll become"
While some may not see it that way, it sure feels that way to me. And I can honestly say, that through your kindness, to take the time to help me along with suggestions and positive thoughts and references to the Scriptures...it just proves that whatever may come, I will never give up trusting in God. There are good people all over this Earth...despite things that are said to the contrary.
MaryAnn, BSD, CPN, Fr.Bill, CC, Storm...and anyone else I may have missed or that may come later.. thank you, from the bottom of my humbled heart.
Much love to you all. As much as I can give. Really. Hopefully we can continue to chat...I enjoy it.
Funny with the spiritual upheaval I'd been witness to in the past two weeks, someone goes and starts posting items from Ann Barnhardt. She is very pro-man in the traditional sense and it hits home with me now more than ever. It also comes back to the issue of prophecy as a gift.
The upheaval deals with an E-Free Church I attended for 10 years until 2008. To be as brief as possible, several men realized (starting about'06) that there were problems with many things, especially in the men's ministry and the way certain things were being implied from the pulpit. Many of us saw a creeping "feminine theology" encroaching on the congregation. As we stepped foward to warn people, a core of men (including myself) were marginalized and denied out usual positions in teaching and leadership. The charge against me was that I didn't "speak in love". The real problem was I didn't speak like a metrosexual all the time. In 2008 I left after it was clear I'd never be allowed to teach again. The rest of the core either left or became pew-warmers.
Well I was amazed to find out three weeks ago that the pastor was fired by the elders for bringing more and more feminist theology into the liturgy. He had come to the point where Ephesians 4, to him, no longer applied as to roles in marriage. Well after I heard that, I knew fairly well that it was now time to return to that church. I spoke with the elders and reminded them what I and other men saw coming years back. A "prophecy"? Perhaps.
That's all for now. I will write more later.
I have been blessed as well by this conversation. C1, I thank you so much for your initial post and I will say that I absolutely believe in spiritual warfare and it is very possible that as you seek Him you will experience trials. Then too there is just the "stuff" that happens but I think our spirit can discern many times. I will pray God gives you strength to grow through this present time, and again, thank you for being a blessing to me! : )
After the Storm, that was just a beautiful explanation of law and grace. Yes and yes. We humans so want to know the "rules," we protect ourselves from the fear of rejection that way. Thank you Father you see us and love us.
And Cpn, that is a very interesting experience you shared. I am so glad you are able to rejoin your church, and yes, maybe that was prophecy.
Ann Barnhardt is a gutsy woman and is willing to die for her type of faith but it does not mean that she possesses the revelation of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. When she speaks it is with boldness and fearlessness and it does feed the flesh of those who hear. Every person who approaches Christianity should be required to read two books. The first is "Church History by Andrew Miller" and the second is "The Centrality of Jesus Christ by T.A. Sparks". These books along with a bucket load of revelation from the Holy Spirit would help her greatly. She stated that she is old Latin mass Catholic and she needs to study the crusades of old and see how that church system dealt with Mahometanism and the results.
Andrew Miller commented about Romanism and Mahometanism " But what, it may be asked, is the moral lesson to be drawn from the character and results of these two great powers? Both have been permitted by God , and, if we rightly judge, have been permitted by Him as a divine judgment on Christendom for its apostasy , and on the heathen for their idolatry". (Page 340)
Do we really believe that we will conquer the forces of this present darkness by telling Islam that they are evil and if they do not like it then come and kill me??? I have been in North Africa with converted Muslims to Christ and the price they pay to preach in those areas is their very lives. They do not stand up among their countrymen and tell them that their laws are evil and their treatment of women is cruel. They preach the Cross of Christ and Him as crucified.
We have been a poor witness to a lost world over the last 1700 years. We have our thousands of divisions (denominations),sects, and cults. The unsaved world will be drawn to the Light of Life. Jesus is the Light of the world and He said that we are also the Light of the world. Lets preach Christ and repent of our apostasy, idolatry, and divisions. Let the Gospel be unleashed upon those who are being drawn by the Spirit of God. I'm not interested in killing them but on seeing them saved through the fire. JD
Things hit me so hard sometimes...but also make me feel like I could never be good enough to be accepted through the gates, no matter what "good deeds" I try to do. No matter if I mean them, or they're just a reaction of guilt and fear of being sent South...ya know? I struggle with this, like you would not believe.
As so many have ably and eloquently spoken to you in this thread, I can only add it might be a worthwhile endeavor to see if you can identify from where the guilt is emerging.
It's one thing to harbor authentic guilt for something we've done wrong....something unconfessed, unforgiven and unreconciled. That is true guilt.
False guilt is that which rummages and pilfers through our hearts over the action AFTER we've confessed it, been forgiven and been reconciled to those we've alienated. It is often lie-based, and given the father of lies is a deft opportunist in that department, he pounces on the falsehoods that we believe about ourselves: I feel like I can never make retribution enough for the screw ups I've made.....and.... but also make me feel like I could never be good enough to be accepted through the gates, no matter what "good deeds" I try to do.....and so on. These strongholds in our minds are not undone by our own effort and might. And the enemy's present power in our lives is only to the extent which in we believe the lie. That's really all the power he has in light of the name of Christ and His authority we carry. Be sure you are reminded that this is not a power encounter, but one of truth.
Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He isn't a concept to be merely grasped, but Truth is a Person to be encountered. And sometimes God sees fit to stir up that yuck in us to show us the depth of what is shackling us. He likes to show up in that stuff too.....to reveal Himself, speak truth into the nasty places and shed light in the darkness. Let's face it; either of us could fill you up with all the Scripture and truth there is to be known but subtract the truth-encounter with Jesus, and lasting transformation that doesn't require you to maintain that inner transformation/healing is less likely to come by.
So when/if you get a chance, and you are pummeled by the guilt, find a lonely spot and simply ask God to show/reveal/speak/impress upon you what he wants you to see/know/feel, etc. Do it while reading scripture, after singing.....by all means, invite a trusted confidante to pray with you and for you in that. But listen and see what he does, whether he moves momentously or just "hunkers down in the corner" with you.
C1 and everyone else:
Fabulous dialogue! C1, here's my brief take on your situation. Having been a partier myself for years the devil had me under his control easily. When I decided to be more responsible and walk with Christ the evil one didn't like it and thus began the attacks.
The devil will fight to control you I have no doubt about it and the further you get from him the harder he fights. The Bible tells us when we come to Christ we start a new life and the past is gone unless there are specific instances you need to apologize for or people you need to make amends to. Non believers will say it is your conscience bugging you and that is true to some extent.
Giving your self fully to Christ is difficult because the world has infected your view point for so long. If you fall, get back up and continue the walk. He will be there to guide you as long as you seek Him. I understand your feelings of dread, sometimes I think I'm the only one around here who sees things as they are but I know there are many others who see as well. The key is Faith! Faith will allay your fear. Continue to build on it as I am doing as well. This verse helps nicely.
2 Timothy 1:7: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Blessings to you and yours!
Someone through out zionism on the main board that got me thinking again. I sure would like some discourse on Genesis 12:3 and Zionism because I think it gets very convoluted and is actually dangerous territory as a believer.
Has anyone studied the two against each other? Is there a dichotomy between the two? I have my own opinions but as iron sharpens iron I would love to hear more of what the TOF congregations thinks.
Here is what I think. Disclaimer: I will speak for myself only, I'm not representing the view of other Christians.
Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you".
Who does the Bible refer to as "you"?
I believe in Number 2. Number 1 has already been fulfilled through the birth of Jesus. Number 3 is politically motivated to support Israel government's foreign policies, and to justify growing settlements in disputed territory and resource grab by Israel government, where Palestinians are given very little access to water from the Jordan river and prohibited from tapping the aquifer of that region.
I must chew on that for a bit. That is good. I hope to garner some more talk on this as I think it would do all Christians some good to refine this murky area, me for sure. Nice jumping off point, as always I enjoy your takes and seeing the world through CC's eyes. :)
@CC - I think you can add to that "4) Jewish people in Israel". I actually don't see much proselytizing for #3 since enough American Christians support the nation of Israel and its people without too much prodding. But I certainly agree with you on #2. "Will Jewish people go to heaven?" "Does God still help the Jews?" Well, it all depends on what you call "Jewish" or "Israel", doesn't it? Since God gave Jacob the name, all who "contend with the God of Abraham" are Israel IMHO. And we know for sure that that includes all Believers in Yeshua, the Messiah.
But we are still called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I also heard a compelling argument once, that the Jews are still "brothers of Christ". I also think as a practical matter, for America to turn its back on the nation of Israel is simply bad form and bad diplomacy. And very much to the point, if turning our back on Israel means casting our lot with the Palestinians, I sure don't want a piece of that. FWIW.
On Sunday I will return to my former congregation and hope for a warm welcome. I have already sat down with one of the elders and he believes it is the right things to do. I plan to go back and join in fellowship there, take up my teaching position again (hopefully), and walk in the gift of prophecy ("speaker" prophet, that is) that, at this point, I ignore or deny at my peril. Too many things have happened to me in the last 20 years to think certain things have happened to me by chance. I firmly believe that if someone "wants" the gift of prophecy, they have no idea what they are asking for. It it the one spiritual gift that one is brought kicking and screaming into - at least that's my experience.
"But we are still called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I also heard a compelling argument once, that the Jews are still "brothers of Christ". I also think as a practical matter, for America to turn its back on the nation of Israel is simply bad form and bad diplomacy."
Cpns, Middle East politics is very complex. Even Arab countries do not want Palestinian independence as they view Palestinian state as illegitimate. They were laborers and were not land owners for the most part prior to Israel nation formation. So even Arab countries are in favor of a stalemate. However, Israel is also to blame, IMHO. They exploited Arab ambivalence to oppress the Palestinians. The head of the Jordan river was diverted to irrigate Israel farms, leaving little for the Palestinians to grow food. Only Israel can tap the regional aquifer, while Palestinians are not permitted to drill a well past a certain depth. On average, Israel daily consumption of water per capita is 5 times that of Palestinian. Palestinians are human being, too, without water they cannot grow sufficient food, and hungry people are angry people. This water grab by Israel is not the only outrageous policy. You can see the forced settlements (land grab) being pursued as well. The water and land grab policies pursued by Israel gov, along with heavy handed military tactic, are constant provocation to the Palestinians.
I don't know what the solution should be. It is too complicated for me to think about what solution is workable or may be acceptable to both sides. But I urge Christians not to lump together US foreign policy towards Israel and Palestine and our faith in Jesus into one thing or one issue. Peace should be number one priority guiding Christians' point of view.
Regarding Jewish in Israel, from their looks, I believe they are part Europeans. I don't know how many % of their genes actually come from Abraham's descendants. I'm guessing that perhaps it is the Palestinians who share more genes with Abraham than the Israelis.
PS: anyone who is interested in understanding Middle East (ME) politics can read "The Next Decade" by George Friedman. When I read it, I realize how little I know or comprehend the intricacies of ME politics. I was tempted to think that perhaps there is no workable solution.
Thats exciting pal! I am a believer of very specific prayer. Is there anything "specifically" that I can pray for you with?
Just in general having been in ministry and knowing what comes with it I will pray for your spiritual Armour. As you are most likely aware of and prepared for, you will face some challenges and attacks if you are going to step into a leadership role again coupled with the gift of prophecy at your side. Using these gifts to further the Kingdom always comes with spiritual attacks from the enemy, so my general prayer for you will be that all of your Ephesians 6 Armour is tightly secure.
Thanks for wading these Genesis 12 waters also. I am already becoming wiser through you and CCs comments.
Blessings and much Love!
5 minutes with Dennis Prager on the Middle East problem.
Last comment and I'll shut up on this issue. Again, the warning here is that I am not speaking to represent Christianity or other Christians. I am speaking for myself.
- Even Jordan does not want Palestinian independence. Jordan rulers come from Hashemi tribe transplanted into the region by the British. Really complicated politics at play here favoring stalemante. You can see Stratfor's analysis on this.
- I still hope peaceful solution is possible in ME, but as I said, I have no confidence that there is a solution that is acceptable by all, considering the complexity of the politics.
- If peace is not possible even after more equitable natural resource use, I understand that Israelis may prefer to live under their own law rather than under Islamic law. I think Islamic law is fundamentally difficult to reconcile with law prevailing in western countries.
That's it. No more comments from me on this topic. Back to thread of faith topics.