Tag Archives: Peace

Who Has Stolen the Glory of God?

It is not unusual to hear the words, I give God all the glory, honor, and praise when a person is giving their testimony or a praise report. It is not unusual to hear the same words when in the middle of singing worship songs during service!

Today, we seem to think that giving God praise and saying thank you to Him is the same as giving him glory. We think that it glorifies the father when we scream and shout of God’s goodness. We think we have glorified God when we proclaim how worthy, powerful, and deserving he is. We think we can honor him with the word of our lips.

But Jesus tells us clearly that it is the fruit of our lives that brings God glory. It is by our fruit that people know that we are His disciples (His followers).

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” – John 15:8

Our lives must produce the fruit of the Spirit; the fruit of love, joy, peace, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, patience, goodness, and self-control if we are to bring glory to God. We cannot say we are bringing glory to God if we are not walking in love, if we are worry-wort’s, if we have no joy but walk around in a bad mood, if we are snappy, and can’t control ourselves.

The way we get the fruit of righteousness (of being in right-standing with God through the sacrifice of Jesus), is by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

Apostle Paul puts it this way:

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:25

Moreover, Jesus says that those who abide in Him will bear much fruit (John 15:4). By this we know that those who are walking in the Spirit are the ones that are abiding in Jesus.

If you are a believer, the question of bring glory to God is not a question of whether Jesus is abiding in you, it is a question of if you are abiding in Him. It is not a question of if you are righteous, it is a question of whether you are walking in righteousness…it is not a question of if you are a convert, it is question of if you are a follower (disciple).

Things will change in our lives when we give God His glory by abiding in Him and fully surrendering to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. This is when we will experience the fullness of His victory in our lives – not just his mercy but his favor and power alike.

God has honored us by granting us His Holy Spirit. We should honor Him by allowing the Spirit of God to lead us in life.

So where is God’s glory? If we are not seeing His glory, it is because we have turned our face away from Him. It is because we have ceased to love Him. It is because we have neglected the leadership of the Holy Spirit of power… in our pride and arrogance.

Conversely, there is victory, love, and life where the glory of God is present.

Food for Thought: I must abide in Jesus if I want to see His glory.

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The Mind of Christ – How Can I Grow in Humility?

As discussed in The Mind of Christ – Are You Experiencing the Love of ‘The One’, the key to experiencing victory in life and the fullness of the love of God is to develop and the mind of Christ.  Our ability to cultivate and operate in the realm of humility, prayer, seeking the face of God, and obedience ultimately decides the extent to which we experience heaven on earth. Now, if our minds are ever to be re-programmed to resemble the mind of Christ, we will have to renew it with the Word of God – for it is the Word of God that conforms us to the image of Christ, breaks the barrier between the realm of the mind and the realm of the Spirit (see Hebrews 4:12), and transforms our mind into the mind of Christ (see Romans 12:2). The bible puts it this way:

“Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.” – 1 Peter 2:2

So there it is! It is the Word of God that causes our soul (mind) to grow (develop) so that we experience salvation (deliverance) from the filth of this life (fear, doubt, pride, lust etc.) and instead experience the gift of the God (heavenly things such as joy, peace, love) right here on earth!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: It is nigh impossible to fully develop the mind of Christ (and so experience the fullness of its riches) without immersing ourselves in the Word of God!

Note: We know that Peter was talking about the salvation of the soul rather than the salvation of the Spirit from eternal separation from God because he explicitly states it earlier in his letter (see 1 Peter 1:9). Second, we know that the salvation of our spirit comes through confession that Jesus is Lord (see Romans 10:9 – 10)

So you say I have been studying the Word but it has not produced the mind of Christ in me. Why? Hopefully we can come to some answer by looking at the qualities that make up the mind of Christ. Let’s start with humility.

How Humility Grows

As we continually hear and/or read the scriptures, the water of the Word begins to infiltrate the gaps of our stony hearts and begins to soften the soil of our hearts. As our hearts soften, it becomes receptive to receive the seed (or substance) of the Word of God. Once implanted in our hearts, we start to gain an understanding of the enormity of God (His power, His might, His love) and if we are honest with ourselves, begin to realize that we are but mere nothingness in comparison to Him. We start to realize that our hearts cannot even begin to compare to His heart; that while He killed Himself to restore our unworthy selves to Him, we kill our neighbors just because they do not look like us! See, it is only through the watering by the Word that humility (having a modest opinion of ourselves) which leads to surrender to God is developed.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Honest self-examination (in comparison to God) leads to true humility. True humility leads to surrender to God – His will, His truth (word) about you, His promises, His statutes, and judgments.

So, it is clear that the way God intends for us to come to the point of humility is by studying His Word – this is why the bible says that all scripture is profitable for reproof and correction (see 2 Timothy 3:16). Unfortunately, many of us choose not to allow the Word of God to humble us but instead allow the circumstances of life to bring us to our knees in surrender.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Since humility in life is inevitable, we are wise to humble ourselves voluntarily before God than have the crisis of life humble us!

Can life-long humility come from a crisis? Yes! However, the humility that comes through crisis tends for many of us to be temporary as it only lasts for as long as the crisis remains – because we see Jesus only as our Savior (deliverer) and not our Lord (master). Without fully immersing ourselves in the Word and gaining an appreciation of His love and our reliance on Him during our crisis, it is likely that we simply surrender to our own foolishness once more as soon as He rescues us – how ungrateful of us! Yet, how merciful of God! Thus we go from crisis to crisis because we often revert back to our own mindset. If we are to follow the example of Jesus, we should not allow crisis to bring us to the point of humility. He humbled Himself out of love for the Father and us. We ought to develop the same mind of humility in love.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: It is the knowledge and appreciation of the extent of His love for us that keeps us surrendered in humility.

So then, some practical steps to develop a mind-steeped in humility are as follows:

  • Be honest with ourselves about who we are (in our heart) – take our focus off what we do
  • Stop comparing ourselves to other people but only compare ourselves to God
  • Study the Word to specifically find out about the love of God – to know how His ways are so much better than ours

And here are a few reasons to develop humility

  • Honor, riches, and life (see Proverbs 22:4)
  • The acceptance and attention of God (see Psalms 51:17)
  • Promotion (see 1 Peter 5:6)
  • Power and favor (see James 4:6)

Food for Thought:  A mind steeped in love is a mind that is steeped in humility

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The Mind of Christ – Are You Experiencing the Love of ‘The One’?

Today, it is not uncommon to hear people say ‘I am looking for the one’. While the use of ‘the one’ for me invokes thoughts of the Matrix, its use is more commonly reserved for that individual we just know is perfect for us. A real superhuman who brings us love, joy, and peace. A passionate, compassionate, forgiving, courageous, hard-working, faithful, kind, gentle, patient, and self-controlled soul who loves us for who we are. If you are looking for such a person, then today is your lucky day for I have their contact information. They can be reached at 1800-ELI-DIAL, 1800-THE-WORD, or Jesus@walkintheSpirit.com.

While this contact information is obviously fictitious, it does point to the truth that God has already made a way for us to reach or contact Him through the sacrifice of His Son.  There is no other way! It is only when we accept Jesus that we are given the contact information to get to ‘The One’.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” – John 14:6

When we call upon ‘The One’, He (God) stirs up the Holy Spirit within us to move on our behalf – to guide us, empower us, and to rain down all the goodies of the Kingdom of Heaven that He (Holy Spirit) has brought with Him. However, many of us do not fully experience these goodies (love, joy, peace etc) because we seldom dial Eli (God) on the prayer line, fail to spend time in His Word, and choose not to walk in the Spirit.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We have to spend time with ‘The One’ if we are to ever experience His love.

Now, our example of always being in contact or having perfect fellowship with ‘The One’ is Jesus. We know He had continuous unbroken fellowship with the Father because He did not sin. In fact, that fellowship was so tight and so close that Jesus said ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in Me’. And because of that fellowship, He was able to imitate God in speaking what the Father spoke and doing the great works that the Father did (see John 14:10).

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: When we contact and fellowship with God, He enables us to bring forth the goodies and works of heaven into the earthly realm through the empowerment of His Holy Spirit.

The question then is this: How did Jesus do it as a man? How did He stay in constant contact with the Father? If we can answer this question, then we have a real shot at experiencing love (God) the way we should (since we have been granted access), and do the greater works He said we will do (see John 14:12). If we can have the same mind as Christ, then we can follow in His footsteps.

Since God desires for us to be in constant fellowship with Him, He gave us the answer of what the mind of Christ looks like through Paul the Apostle. He says:

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” – Philippians 2:5 – 8

So there it is. The answer is humility and obedience.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment:  Every time we set our minds on humility and obedience, we achieve the mind of Christ.

Since humility and obedience are the keys, it is important to know the practical steps to become humble and obedient – although we know they both flow out of love. In the case of humility, we ought to get to the point of humbling ourselves rather than have life humble us through vicissitudes. Similarly, the prerequisite to obeying God is asking what He wants us to do (via prayer) and verifying His direction for us (seeking His face). Thus, the mind of Christ can be expanded to include prayer and seeking the face of God.

When we develop a mindset of humility, prayer, seeking God’s face, and obedience, the bible tells us that God hears us and heals our land.

“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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

See, when we develop the mind of Christ, everything we think to request of God glorifies Jesus (for we have the same mind as Him) and so the Father hears us and grants us those requests (see John 14:13 – 14). Thus, when we tell the mountain to be moved, it is moved. When we tell the devil to flee, He flees. When trials and tribulations come, they do not stand a chance against us. Hallelujah! But God does not stop there! He also rains down righteousness upon us until the land of our hearts is restored and the fruit of love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, patience, goodness, and self-control is produced. He transforms us into ‘the one’.

We will examine the practical ways to develop the mind of Christ together in the concluding parts of the Mind of Christ. Please stay tuned.

Food for Thought: We cannot truly be ‘the one’ for our families until we develop the mind-set of ‘The One’ which consists of humility, prayer, seeking God, and obedience.

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Unequally Yoked – So you think you are marrying a believer!

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” – Romans 8:14

Paul makes it clear that it is not enough to have the spirit of God, but that we have to be led by the Spirit. He further implores us not only to live in the spirit but to walk in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25) for it is those of us that walk in the Spirit that do not fulfill the desires of the flesh and are able to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

To be led, we have to hear from our leader (God). Now, it is impossible to be led without studying and meditating on the Word of God, for the bible tells us that hearing comes by the Word. Actually, the whole verse tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word. Therefore, it is hearing that grants us faith (trust and belief) to obey (walk or be led) by the Spirit. Since it is simply not possible to be Holy Spirit led without having faith in God (Jesus Christ), we ought not to be mocked in the these two things:

  • It is only those who have faith in Jesus Christ that can receive and be led by the Holy Spirit (God)
  • It is our faith walk that makes us a child of God – it is what makes us a believer

The second bullet point elevates and challenges our thinking on what Paul means when he tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. He is telling us not to be married to someone who is not walking in faith. He puts it this way:

“And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever” – 2 Corinthians 6:15

When I first read this, I thought Paul was unnecessarily harsh or perhaps going off the deep-end a little. I thought to myself: Paul, you are comparing an unbeliever to Belial! Seriously!  Then it dawned on me that the only way to identify a true believer is a person’s faith walk. I stumbled upon this realization as I began to unravel what Belial (evil spirit/devil/demon) is able to do. Since no one would call Belial a believer, there must be something that separates believers from him. That something is faith! To bolster this assertion, here are some interesting facts about Belial.

Belial believes that Jesus is Lord

“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble!” – James 2:19

The devil and demons have no problem believing that Jesus is Lord (see Matthew 8:29) for they know it fully well. After all, they were cast away or separated from God because of rebellion. Satan was disobedient (rebelled) because he did not love God. How do we know he did not love God? We know because the scriptures tell us that those who love God keep and obey His commandments (see John 14:21). Since genuine faith works through love (see Galatians 5:6), we know the Satan and the rest of his rebellious crew (demons) also did not have faith! If demons had faith, they would not tremble (fear) at the name of Jesus, for there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). But they do not have faith or love, so they operate in fear.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A believer is not just someone who believes that Jesus is Lord but walks in faith and produces faith-based work. Since genuine faith grows out of love, the walk (life) and work (actions) of a true believer is steeped in love.

Belial knows the scriptures

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”” – Matthew 4:6

This is the devil quoting scripture to Jesus.What impudence! But it does show that the devil knows scripture and is able to quote it – probably better than we can and at will. Hence, the knowledge of scripture itself is not the mark of a believer. If it were, then we would be unable to distinguish a believer from the devil! Without the Holy Spirit to guide us and to lead us aright, we only apply the scripture erroneously and for our selfish gain –just like Satan tried with Jesus.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A person who is filled with the knowledge of the Word of God is nothing but an historian if that knowledge does not produce faith (which is only possible through the Holy Spirit).  The scripture to a person without faith is simply a history book. Hence the ability to quote and recall scripture does not prove a believer.

Belial can exhibit “spiritual” gifts

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour” – Acts 16:16 – 18

The slave girl had the gift to tell the future – a gift of prophesy so to speak! Yet it turns out that she was possessed with an evil spirit. It is also very interesting that although demon-possessed, she was helping to spread the gospel! It just goes to show that not everyone who is proclaiming the gospel is of God. This exemplifies why the bible warns us about false prophets and warns us in the last days not to be fooled by those that perform mighty works.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The ability to exhibit “spiritual” gifts does not prove the believer as the gift may be from ungodly spirits working in that individual.

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” – Matthew 7:22 – 23

Belial obeys God – but in fear

“And He said to them, “Go.” And when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine…” – Matthew 8:32

The demons obey the voice of God when He speaks to them. Hallelujah! The difference between the obedience of a believer and that of demons is this: The obedience of evil spirits does not come out of love (and hence faith) but instead comes out of fear. See, faith and fear are the polar opposites of each other, but both require that we believe something that is yet to be. Both faith and fear can produce obedience – fear produce obedience based on consequences; faith produces obedience based on love.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Faith released outside of the realm of love is fear in disguise.

Spot a Believer

So, if believing that Jesus is Lord, reading and knowing the scripture, preaching the Word, exhibiting spiritual gifts, and Pharisaical obedience to the law are not full proof ways to spot a believer, then how can we spot believers? How can we tell if someone is walking in faith?

The answer is simply this: By their fruits you shall know them (see Mathew 7:20). A person who walks in faith also walks in the Spirit for it is the Spirit of God that grows our faith as we spend time in His Word. Anyone who truly walks in the Spirit produces the spiritual fruit of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

No one can fake these fruits. An impatient person cannot simply become patient at will. A selfish person will not be joyful because selfishness produces dissatisfaction or perennial unhappiness. A person who cannot control their tongue will not all of a sudden be able to master their tongue. These fruits cannot be faked because what we produce comes from who we are and what is in our hearts rather than what we do (obey, preach the Word…).

A person who is truly in Christ produces the fruit of the Spirit along with the works (read the bible, preach the Word…)

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A true believer walks in faith and therefore produces spiritual fruit. If we do not see spiritual fruits, then we see a counterfeit believer. Whatever else they do should not impress us much!

Food for thought: We cannot believe in God and not produce love for He is love.

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