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June 2012

Believer’s

Believers
While raking the dead grass covering my never ending lawn my mind began to wonder to a familiar topic and that being the relationship we have with Jesus Christ. As you all know there are almost as many opinions out there is there is dead grass waiting to get raked. If you took a poll on whether or not Jesus existed, walked the earth and was in fact the son of God you would get a large percentage of the population pretty much anywhere in Canada saying they believe that. Now if I was to take a poll on whether or not that there were alien beings out there that have visited the earth before and will come back I would get (I’m guessing) 30% that say they believe. Now bear with me as I share with you the thoughts coming together to make a short story with a very good point. ( My opinion )
Let’s picture a modern day Sci-Fi movie unfolding before our eyes. Our skies are filled with alien vessels and they are here on a mission of conquest. They are far superior in technology and the earths forces of resistance are squashed in the first day. Now they begin to round up the locals of the planet to share how the future is now going to look. They will allow people to live as long as they follow the new rules of the planet. Now try and picture in your mind the people of the above poll going up to their new alien government and saying to them. “ You know we have always believed in you and we even thought you would one day come!” With the alien leadership now aware of this new revelation they immediately build a palace for the 30% that were believers in them because they should be rewarded for guessing right. Right? My imagination says the alien guards would tell them to rejoin the group or be destroyed. I mean the fact that these strangers happened to believe they existed and even the stories about them still didn’t make them friends or cause the aliens to see them as any different than the rest.
Let’s try another scenario with the alien invasion. Same thing happens as our ability to resist the aliens is futile. They again gather up the humans into large groups etc. The difference this time is that the leader of the aliens is none other than E.T. I hope all who read this remember the movie ET. ET had been stranded here for a time and in that time had met some young humans who befriended him and even helped him to eventually make contact with home and be rescued. Now suppose that the friends he had made from a previous visit spoke to the guard and said that they were personal friends of their leader ET. They get escorted to ET’s quarters and they get to meet their friend from the past. ET has history with these friends of his and he values them and because of that, the situation will be so much different than some stranger telling you he believes in you. Away with this man, I never knew him.
Now as I carry these thoughts over to our relationship with Christ the question arises. Does simply believing that the Christ was here 2000+ years ago and that He will return again someday really count for anything? What if you went to church regularly and hung around other people that went to church too? Would that make a difference to Him when He returns? How about when you were somewhere between 15 and 20 and you said the “ sinners prayer” ( you know the one you can’t find in scripture )
I was married to a pretty young lady in July of 1982. I told her over and over how beautiful she was, how much I loved her, and I made a marriage covenant with her. We enjoyed the rights and privileges of our union and we were welcome in each others arms. It was a time of bliss and then the honeymoon period disappeared. Well with some poor choices we made along the way the marriage ended. That happened a little more than 10 years after it began. That was 18 years ago. So even though I was legally married to her years ago and she had sworn her love for me and I to her things between us have changed completely. I am no longer welcome in her arms, her home or her life because the relationship we once had in now null and void.
Now getting back to my/ our present relationship with Jesus. Is the fact that I had sworn to always love Him years ago carry allot of weight when today I seldom give Him a thought or the time of day. Is the fact that at one time I swore to follow Him but got distracted with other things over time and actually quit following Him mean that He is technically bound somehow? Now Jesus I sang “ Jesus loves me” several times when I was little so that should count for something. My goal is not to be rude but to give this subject some real thought. What do you believe? Does believing cause you to do something to build your friendship? God gave us so many of our feelings and emotions so He is a person and feels things too. I know when I walk into a place full of people and I spot a person who means something special to me I just smile and can’t wait to give them a hug or something and start to have a gab. When it comes to Jesus religion seems to pervert what should be natural in relationship. It changes things into a list of requirements that must be achieved in order to qualify for salvation. Could it be that knowing Him through spending time and following Him where He goes is the most important thing? Being known as one of His friends? Letting Him set the standards that I want to emulate instead of wanting to wear what Tom Cruise is wearing?
Well they are things to think about so I hope you do. That is what is going on in my mind while I rake the grass, more grass…..ahh…… LOL Well until I write again. Have a great day. 

TAKING THE BAIT

Well this appeared to be a beautiful day with the sun shining and the air temperature around 21 degrees C. I am in the kitchen getting myself a coffee to start the day when I notice movement on my sideboard. It is small very small but I know it isn’t part of the décor. It is one of those darn little invaders of the ant variety. I know that where there is one there are more. I could simply squish it but it will not change anything. There will be more to replace that one so I have to think a little bigger.
Why would they invade my house I wonder? So I think over my coffee how I will engage these little critters. I decide that if they want to come in and pirate some food away then I will assist them in their endeavor. Sometimes the best strategy is just to give them what they want. I go and get myself some Ant Be Gone which is a liquid that appears like a thick water droplet only sweeter I imagine. I put down a drip and I watch and wait. First one ant stops by and just drinks it’s fill and then leaves. After 5 minutes two more arrive and are pulled in to the liquid banquet. More time passes and more ants appear. The next thing I know there are about a dozen of them all around the drop and the drop is all but consumed. I decide to put a few more drops for them to feed on. I don’t want any to go without. They would actually load up this stuff and drag it back to the nest for the rest of the colony to enjoy. I continued replenishing the pools of this poison as they continued to lap it up.
When the first drop was on the counter they seemed a bit shy to get into in but not they would just appear and go right in. It made me wonder if the word was out that this stuff was good and they should load up as fast as they could. I began to wonder if that was something that they have in common with us. I think about the Garden of Eden and all the food that was there for Adam and Eve to have but the devil made the one fruit that was forbidden to eat look so appealing that they just had to eat. Satan started there and continues to make forbidden fruit look so appealing to us that it costs many of us our lives as we take the bait. That is exactly what the droplet of ant food is….bait not food. Its purpose is to kill ants and to kill their seed back at the colony. He does it with marriages. He presents a person ( bait) to the marriage partner and makes that person look so delicious they just have to have a bite and the marriage begins to die. An introvert wants to be more popular and he places bait in the form of a drug that will liberate him only to in fact snare him. Maybe the person suffers lack and so the bait is a sure bet at the track and so the person bets money they don’t have looking for financial freedom only to find themselves a slave to their lender.
I remember hearing a story of how monkeys are trapped. They would but the bait in a fixed box with a hole in it that you could just fit your monkey hand in. It grabs the bait inside and then tries to pull it’s hand back out but it won’t fit. The only way to get it’s hand out is to release the bait but it refuses. The hunter can just walk up and capture the poor monkey. I’m sure as people we could never do anything as foolish as this. 
It is strange but as people we are vulnerable to his trappings by his various methods to bait us. The enemy will custom fit the bait just for us if need be. Jesus saw that we were indeed like sheep without a shepherd and He sent us Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. With Him guiding you there will be no bait that will cause you to fall. He recognizes every scheme of the evil one designed to steal kill or destroy. Don’t be like the monkey and think you can take the bait and make a clean get away. It won’t happen. You and I are not the great exception. All that glitters is not gold.
After I knew there had been lots of ants well fed and I knew the nest would have been poisoned, the bait was stopped and I used the ant spray which is an instant kill. Before very long there were no more ants to be seen. Back at the nest they would be discovering that all that glitters is not food or good. For them it is the last lesson they will learn. If something is too good to be true then it probably is.

” WHO COULD RESIST THIS?”

Surrendering One Piece At A Time

 

I find myself again being drawn to the topic of surrender. I know that when there is a fight that the loser surrenders to the victor but I`m looking at truly surrendering a life, mine in particular to God for His purpose. I find that many times as a Christian I am looking for something out there that I can`t seem to find nor even know what it is I`m looking for. I know I want more of God and more relationship and more or a real sense of trust of Him in the now days of my life. That being said there will be many people who know exactly what I should be doing and the instructions will be vastly different. God has many children but He handles each one of us on a personal level. I know I have been one of those people who want to tell you just what the steps are to be fixed but most of us don`t really want to be fixed but really want to be heard until we get it all out of our system and then we are more ready to receive. It makes me think of poor Job and in his time of need his friends are speaking great wisdom to him and they were wrong and they were accusing. I guess that is the trouble when we think we now know something. It tends to erode our humility and the fact that we are all but mere men. When we speak as an authority on God and often on His behalf without His permission we really are living in a reckless manner. I`m not really speaking to “those guys” but to this guy as I will be the one answering for what I do and I really instead, want to be one who lifts up and encourages and not one who judges and tears down.

Now back to the topic of surrendering to God. So God has a plan for my life just as He has one for all of you. Now I, like most of you would say I would embrace the life that God would have for me as He is good. Now when it comes to actually doing the surrendering I fall far short. This is where the problems come to the surface for me. He ( God )seems to be a details person where I am not. My life seems to made up of many, many thought process’s and personal truth’s that I live by and the people I want around me should also have similar ones. So now The Holy Spirit is within me hovering over those places that need to conform to the will of God as opposed to the will of Norm. The funny thing is when I say yes to what He wants to do I often begin to fight Him on it as I don’t like His methods. You see I have a picture going on in my mind of just how things should go and often God has a very different picture than I do. In fact it is so different that I am sure it isn’t Him, isn’t good and sure isn’t right. I’m sure I’m the only one who’s ever done this which is why the Holy Spirit is so confounded on how to proceed. I’m joking. J.

I am seeing how trust goes hand and hand with my ability to surrender. Even though in theory I absolutely trust Him, love Him, honor Him when it comes to practise it reveals something far less. As I am here on vacation with my grandchildren I notice that they do many things in ignorance that their parents need to train them in. If we see one of the little ones holding something sharp we take it from them but often not without them first putting up a fight. We are protecting them and giving good instruction but they don’t see it that way but that we are just being mean by taking something away from them. I can’t help but think I am acting in a similar way when He sees ( and He sees all ) that it’s time to remove something that is causing harm to me or someone around me I fuss and put up a fight to hold on to it as well. Why does my brain not send the message that this is a gift, birthed out of love and that I am being transformed into the image of Christ. I guess this is where Paul would be right when he says “ Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

I am starting to see things like this. God brings me into various situations that the present method I use to deal with the situation fails. Not many of us really like failure. Failure is often the vehicle that opens our mind up to new ideas, ideas that He is willing to pass on to us. Ideas that have a proven track record. I find if I am in a process that He has orchestrated I am teachable and more obedient to His direction because I am not battling with the ideas of my own that I am sure are right. Like a wonderful woman of God said ( Heidi Baker ) “ God reached in and removed all of her NO’s and she only can say YES to God now.” Her desire is now for Him now instead of the self creature that lives in us. It’s the self creature within that is saying NO GOD I WILL DO IT MY WAY.

Back in the day there were people who were forced into being a servant because of debt. After they had worked off the debt some would actually choose to be a bond servant because they found that their life was better in their master’s care. That happened by spending lots of time in the presence of the master and a respect for him developed and even more…. TRUST.  I can’t even imagine surrendering myself to another human but it happened. How much more should we be able to develop that love trust and respect for our heavenly Dad by simple spending our time in His presence? Paying attention to Him working in my life and the lives of those around me. Perhaps this is the key for me. Like Brother Lawrence simply “Practice The Presence Of The Lord”  I believe this is the best course of action for me. I know doing this I can’t go wrong.

So what so I see this looking like in my mind. I see it similarly as a country surrendering itself over to its adversary. No longer will their flag be flying signifying their independence but the flag of the one surrendered to will be flying instead. They will no longer be known as an independent nation but will lose it’s former identity to the identity of it’s conqueror. There will be a new government, laws, and a new mindset altogether. There will be a steady diet of change until the old way of thinking passes and the new has taken hold. In a good situation the new will be embraced as a better way and the desire to be independent would go.

This independence from God that began to infiltrate us at the fall and now just is rampant in the human race is a sickness that needs to be cured. Right now I am desiring that independence be cured in me. Cured in every aspect of my life and the many relationships I have with friends, family, children and even my spouse. How can the two become one with a spirit of independence in my heart? It’s that very thing that creates such division in our world today. Divorce, family division, church splits, and many other battles lost as a result of not submitting one to another or loving each other but choosing to stay within the walls of their own design. Anyway that is another topic for another day.

 

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