Tag Archives: prophetic teaching

Spiritual Warfare #16 ~ Sin Distorts

In spiritual warfare it is important to know what battles have already been won so we don’t get confused and waste our energy on battles that we already have the victory in.

         For this lesson I will share a prophetic experience I had early in my Christian walk. I must confess it took me years before I actually understood what the Lord was teaching me through this experience, but I have found it to be one of the key revelations that should govern the life of every believer, and a necessary understanding to be effective at spiritual warfare.

The Lord woke me in the middle of the night and said, “get a pen and paper and write down everything I tell you.” I quietly rolled out of bed and did as He instructed.

          As soon as I sat down the Lord began to speak to me about my life and ministry. After a page and a half of correction, instruction, and exhortation, the Lord made this final statement to me,

“Don’t let sin distort your reflection of Me. I will confirm this word with a sign following to seal it in your heart.”

          Seven days later while starting my daily routine, I was taking a prayer walk around a nearby lake. It was summer in central Florida and the sun was barely up. As I was walking around the lake, fellowshipping with the Lord, He instructed me to go sit on a certain bench that was facing the lake. As I sat down on the bench and looked out across the lake, I was mesmerized by what I saw.

          The lake was completely still, not a ripple or a wave of any kind. It was a perfect mirror. Being a fisherman, I have been on many bodies of water early in the morning and seen water so still that you almost didn’t want to touch it and disturb its beauty. This was something more. It was still like a glass of water sitting on the counter. I have never seen anything like it, before or since.

          As I looked across the 20 acre lake with the sun behind me, I could see the shoreline on the other side. I saw the rich green grass rising from the edge of the water with huge Live Oak trees on the other side topped off by a beautiful blue sky with a few puffy white clouds. As I looked at this scene, I saw that the reflection in the lake was a perfect mirror image of what I was seeing on the shore.

          As I focused on the absolute perfect reflection in the water I realized that this reflected image was a perfect representation of the real thing. If I didn’t know this was a reflection from the lake I would not be able to tell the difference.

          As I was having this thought, amazed at this perfect reflection, a tiny fish jumped in the middle of the lake, right in my line of sight. I sat there for over ten minutes and watched as the ripples from that tiny fish slowly spread over the entire lake, distorting that perfect reflection that I was admiring.

          Then the Lord spoke, and said the same words He said a week earlier, “Don’t let sin distort your reflection of Me.” This was the sign that He promised me to seal the things He spoke to me in my heart. This was a prophetic word to make warfare with. It changed my life.

I won’t share the other things He said to me, but they were very precise in defining who He called me to be and I focused on these things that spoke to my identity instead of focusing on the sign and trying to gain understanding. This was a grave mistake on my part and cost me years of struggle with sin.

That is the point of this lesson. We have not only been freed from the consequences of sin, but freed from the struggle with sin as well.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ GAVE us victory over spiritual death and sin. It is a free gift! It was easy for me to believe that I have the victory over spiritual death and was going to heaven, but having faith to believe that I was completely freed from sin was just too hard to swallow. After all, I know me. I know my weaknesses. I know how many times I have fallen in the same area, so I battled against sin in my life for years not realizing that the battle had already been won.

This lack of understanding caused me to backslide repeatedly. I would get so wore out and so frustrated from trying not to sin that I would loose hope and give up on God, going back to my old sinful ways. I am so thankful God never gave up on me.

Romans 6:6-7  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 

I was free from the slavery of sin and didn’t know it! My old carnal self was crucified with Him when I made Jesus the Lord of my life. The enemy made me believe that I would never be free from sinning and tricked me into fighting a battle that Jesus had already won.

I know I am not alone. I see this problem in the lives of many believers. Hopefully this will shed some light on why some of us struggle with sin.

          God’s grace will transform us and restore us back into His image. If we make a mistake and fall into sin, we must quickly repent and forget it just like He does.

Hebrews 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

Notice that God blots out our sins and chooses not to remember them? He doesn’t do this for us. He does this for His own sake! He calls us to do the same, for our sake and His as well.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Admit it, quit it, and forget it! If we are diligent to practice this, we stop the ripple effects of sin before it distorts the reflection of His image, in and through our lives. Un-repented sin takes us farther than we want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay, and costs us more than we can possibly pay.

If we don’t deal with sin immediately, we give sin a voice and a platform for expression that causes us to dwell on sin, repeat the sin, and develop a sin consciousness.

It is impossible to reflect the clear image of God with a sin consciousness. Sin has been dealt with by the only one ever qualified to deal with it, Jesus Christ.

We live in this incredible paradox of having two natures, but once we take on the nature of God we die to that old carnal nature. We no longer have to be slaves to sin. Instead, we have the privilege of waking up every day in Him, understanding that we are righteous in His sight and allow His amazing grace to reshape us and mold us into His image.

There is a modern paraphrase of the bible called “The Message” written by Eugene H. Peterson, an American theologian. He wrote this paraphrase so his young grandchildren would have a translation of the Bible that could be easily understood. While this is not a word for word translation and many people reject his writing, I believe he captures the heart of God and spirit of truth on revelations concerning sin and righteousness. Here is a wonderful passage in Romans that teaches this truth beautifully.

Romans 6:1-14  So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!

3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer captive to sin’s demands! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

We can’t let sin distort the image of God in us. We will never experience the freedom from sin that Christ died for if we keep it in our language and in our thoughts.

If we take all the energy that we expend on “doing better, resisting temptation, and struggling to clean ourselves up,” and use it to pursue Him in relationship, He will remove all things that are not pleasing to Him and are hurting His child. He is a good Father. We can be confident that He will complete the work He started in us if we will just cooperate and believe what He said is true.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

2022: The Church in the Wilderness

          We can learn simple lessons from the Bible stories we have all heard growing up. Understanding how Old Testament stories apply to our New Testament experience gives us insight into our current condition as the people of God.

          The story of Israel’s 40-year journey from the bondage of Egypt and into the Promised Land is an Old Testament instruction to the body of Christ today and can be interpreted allegorically.

          Israel’s wilderness journey shows us that salvation is not an event, but a process, and a process that requires humility, and the fear of the Lord. (Phil 2:12-15)

          The length of that process does not have to take 40 years, which represents an entire adult life span, yet for generations that seems to have been the case with the Church. Most Christians in our generation are dying in the wilderness without ever obtaining their rightful earthly inheritance. The never fully enter into the fullness of the kingdom of God even though the blood of Christ has made the way.

          Israel’s salvation was from the bondage of Egypt to the Promised Land and their inheritance. Our salvation is from death and Hell to the Kingdom of God and our full inheritance.

Wilderness is the journey between what we are saved from, to what we are saved into, and it doesn’t have to take long. It just requires humility.

The wilderness is our journey, but it is the Father’s work of transformation. The sooner we submit to His work, the sooner we get to enjoy full kingdom inheritance.

He is our inheritance. Relationship with Him is what we are saved into.

          Wilderness is a place of grace and transformation. A place of dying to self so He can live in us. It is the process of moving from believer to disciple, from servant to son, from initial belief to becoming everything He paid for us to be.

How do we expedite this process?

          We must lay down our God given sovereignty and relinquish our right to say no to Him. Until we do, we will live out our lives and die in the wilderness, never obtaining our full earthly inheritance, and sacrificing our heavenly rewards at the judgement seat of Christ.

          Yes, we will see God move, yes, we will experience God on a surface level. Yes, He will provide for us and protect us. He won’t leave us or forsake us. He just won’t abide in us. He won’t move through us like He wants to, just upon us and among us. That seems to satisfy most Christians.

Are you satisfied with that? I am not!

Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

The Mystery of the Seventh Trumpet.

          This is a result of several visions and prophetic experiences I had around the end of July, and the the beginning of August 2021. I believe this is a warning to the Body of Christ for this season. I have struggled with posting this. These visions and experiences came with strong personal correction, and eventually, great encouragement from the Lord. About the time the correction felt like it would overwhelm me, He would comfort me with revelations about His nature and how He loves me.

I must admit, this challenged my beliefs and changed some of my beliefs completely on many things. I pray that only His truth be revealed in this and not my own ideas. Amen.

I take this very serious, and I have no agenda other than trying my best to obey the Lord and properly steward what He has given me.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear…

This is what the Lord has revealed to me concerning the Seventh Trumpet. I will relate only the things He has specifically shown me or told me that I am confident I understand. There is plenty that I don’t yet understand, so please read this prayerfully and trust the Spirit of God in you.

          The seventh trumpet (the LAST trumpet) marks the beginning of the “Day of the Lord.” That Great Day is not a single day as we would understand it, how long it is I don’t know, but our involvement on the earth is just under a year long after the seventh trumpet starts to blow. Here is a portion of what I saw play out in the Spirit at that trumpet. This came by several visions and prophetic experiences over a 9 day period.

          The Lord showed me that the “elect” referred to in the book of Revelation, are the ones chosen to be alive at this magnificent revelation of Jesus Christ. The Elect are the Church and the 144000 combined. Both groups of people have the high honor of going through the greatest tribulation the world has ever seen and shining through it all, bringing God great glory. It is one of the greatest honors ever given to man and the entire Host of Heaven and the great cloud of witnesses are wide eyed in anticipation of seeing this revelation of Jesus Christ play out.

The Word of the Lord came to me and said:

“The greatest outpouring of my Spirit the world has ever seen will only come with great tribulation. If my people are not braced for what’s coming, they are far more likely to mishandle the anointing and be crushed by the trials.”

          Much of the Church has been praying for revival and the outpouring of the Spirit as promised in scripture. This is what comes with it. The greater the tribulation, the greater the outpouring.

          The Lord revealed to me that one of the purposes of saving the 144000 is specifically for God’s righteous judgment on Israel and on those that refused to repent before the last trumpet begins to blow.

Revelation 10:7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

This 7th trumpet blast lasts for a long, long time. We see in Revelation 10 that the trumpet blast lasts for “days.” It actually lasts for months from what I could discern from the visions and images that I saw. Once the last trumpet starts to blow, the Lord hardens all unbelievers like He did Pharaoh. Immediately the demons on the earth will attach themselves to the hardened people. There will be no more “salvations” for the gentiles after that. Only the saving of the 144000.

Just before the trumpet blast, or possibly at the very same time, God marks the 144000 on their foreheads. This is not seen on their physical bodies. They are marked in the spirit realm so that all demons are acutely aware of who they are. They are marked, but not yet saved. Demonized people will flee in terror when they get too close to one of the 144000 and at this time all are demonized but the Church.

I saw crowds of demonized people watching in terror from a distance some of those that are marked on the forehead. They were keeping their distance because the demons in them would not let them get too close. The 144000 are perplexed at why this is happening. In the beginning, they are not even aware they are marked. They don’t yet understand who they are because none of them have been saved yet. This goes on for what seems to be a few months, maybe a little less.

          The 144000 will be devout Jewish believers that deny Christ is the Messiah. They will sincerely love God, but not according to knowledge. In God’s great love and mercy, He takes them and marks them. They represent the original natural branches that were cut off so the gentiles could be grafted in. They will be grafted back into the olive root. This is God’s Remnant.

         The 144000 will be tormented in their faith by a few specific demons of confusion during the tribulation but will never be threatened with death. Satan somehow has a unique strategy for deceiving the 144000 and will attack their minds strongly. I could not perceive what this strategy was, but their torment will continue until every last one of the 144000 confess Jesus as Lord. Through Christ’s name alone is the only way into Heaven and God won’t violate His word, chosen remnant or not. They ALL must confess Jesus as Lord and Christ’s return is restrained until they all confess Him as Lord.

          The 144000 will have one of the highest places in Heaven and as soon as one of them are saved, God imparts to them a supernatural revelation of their identity that far surpasses anything the Church has attained in history. They will understand who they are beyond what the apostle Paul understood. They will understand mercy and grace like we never have. The mercy and grace that the Lord shows to His remnant is overwhelming the the 144000. The realize that they had absolutely nothing to do with their salvation. The humility this revelation births in them is a beautiful thing to behold, and yet impossible to describe. They understand that the last shall be first, and they realize they are the last.

          I saw that this process of saving all of the 144000 Jews will take less than a year. They will continue to suffer in the great tribulation and the Church will suffer with them. The Elect will be “gold tried in the fire.” The 144000 will watch the Church being tried, tested, tortured, abused, and killed while they are going through the process that I will describe now. Some of the greatest testimonies, and some of God’s greatest glory will come from these last day Saints. Some of the most honored positions in Heaven are reserved for the Elect.

           I saw the first man of the 144000 Jews believe in Jesus. I saw darkness physically flee as the light of God exploded in his heart. I saw the incredible burden of suffering and deception lifted from him, the light in his eyes, the expression on his face. I could tell that he was completely free. Freer than anyone I had ever known or seen. Nothing could hurt him or move him off his belief. He was born again, yet he did not have to walk out his salvation as we do.

His revelation of son-ship was complete from the start. Love was perfected in him at his conversion. It was the greatest eye opening, Ah-ha! moment I have ever witnessed. It turned him into a pillar of faith and hope for all of the Church and the remainder of the 144000.

It is almost like God imparted an understanding and a maturity of sorts into him, but at the same time he had an air of incredible child likeness about him. It was obvious he had complete, and absolute trust in the One who just saved him. This experience is similar for every one of the 144000.

Much of their time immediately after their conversions are spent in expressions of joy, gratitude and worship.

          Once converted, each of the 144000 understand that the rest of the 144000 must be found and converted quickly. so they begin to seek out others that have experienced demonized people running from them and salvations begin to increase rapidly.

Its hard for me to explain, but each one of the 144000 has this incredible, spectacular experience of awakening to new life. Each conversion is a unique and dramatic dramatic event to the individual and to all those who witness this born again experience, on earth as well as in Heaven. The Church and the 144000 marvel at each and every conversion and watch with great anticipation as they witness each new birth. All of Heaven echo the celebration with an energy and enthusiasm that is marvelous to witness. Heaven and earth celebrate every conversion like its the greatest event in the history of man, because in God’s eyes it is.

I sit here and weep at the the beauty of this, and the conviction of my own heart for taking salvation for granted. I watched my three sons being born and was privileged to experience the crazy emotions, the anticipation, and the incredible joy of each birth. As great as those moments were, they pale in comparison to what I saw at the conversions of the 144000. Life is to be celebrated and we haven’t begun to understand that yet.

It will only take a few months from that first confession of Jesus to the final one of the 144000 to believe. The urgency of the 144000 is fueled by the revelation of who they are in Bible prophecy, and the anticipation of each individual conversion event. The Church will catch the revelation of who the 144000 are as well and help find the rest of the Remnant.

They begin to keep a rough head-count on these incredible salvations as much as they can, and this quickly becomes a hunt for the last man. They know that when the last of the 144000 is saved that God will come for His Bride. The revelation of son-ship for 144000 becomes a great encouragement to the Church and births great faith for those that are being persecuted for Christ.

I saw many prominent ministers that are labeled “prosperity preachers” with multiple private jets. They will be a big part of the network that tracks down and finds the last of the 144000 scattered throughout the Earth. They are a part of God’s end time plan.

Somehow, God has this intricate infrastructure prepared that we are not even aware of yet. His strategies will become evident to all very soon. During the tribulation there will be this great, progressive unveiling of who God is to the world. I am talking about how He thinks, how He sees us, and a revealing of His great love that will overwhelm all that believe. It will bring hope and strength to many that are weak.

          As I write some of this the Lord revealed this passage to me. Jer 50:4 “In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. 

          The Seventh Trumpet blast is a physically audible sound and continues for months, driving the demonized people mad. The Elect will recognize the trumpet for what it is. It will be a sound of hope to those who have the Spirit. The sound of that continual trumpet blast strengthens the Church to walk through the fire of tribulation. I perceived that the long trumpet blast is actually an expression of God’s great mercy to the Bride of Christ so that she can strengthen herself to love not her own life unto death.

The unity of the Faith will be accomplished during this time. We can only prepare for it this side of the trumpet. This is the bride without spot or wrinkle that He is returning for. This empowers the Church with such strength and resolve that they become the greatest army the world has ever seen. Fully clothed in God’s armor, unchangeable, unmovable. There will be many glorious deaths for the Church and some of the greatest rewards in Heaven will be granted them.

          It is God’s great love and mercy that started this. It will be His great Love and mercy that finishes it. We are here for His good pleasure and were made for that purpose.

          The world will witness the 144000 loving and serving God and hate them for it but won’t be able to kill them because of the names on their foreheads. They will literally walk the earth like aliens that can’t be killed, and they will be seen as such by the hardened, demonized masses.

Every negative thing that is happening on the planet will be blamed on the 144000. They will stand out as a people so radically different and unique, and model the royalty what we were all created for from the beginning. The 144000 can’t be killed, so Satan pours his wrath out on the Church instead. The spirit of accusation will pour forth on the Church as Satan’s bitterness, anger and great rage increases in the unbelievers.

          I have seen some of the terrible things we must face, and I will not share them, but the more He shows me, the more excited I get. We can bring Him such great glory in these times, shining bright for His great name in the middle of tribulation. This is where faith shines the brightest. I now see how blessed we are to live in these times. It is such a high honor. I welcome it with anticipation and the fear of the Lord. I know that it is only by His grace that I can see it this way.

          The Church is in a time of correction. We must all judge ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to correct and adjust us so that we can become the bride without spot or wrinkle. It will take great faith to just remain the clay. Somehow I understand that even our great faith He is responsible for. We truly can do nothing but cooperate and yield to the great potter.

          When Abraham sent his servant to find a bride for the child of promise, he showered her with gifts to prepare her to meet the bridegroom. Our Father is going to do the same thing with the bride of Christ. This is the great outpouring we’ve been praying for. It is these great gifts that the Father will pour out on the church so that she shines her brightest in the darkest time in human history. The Father will get great glory and there will be some of the greatest rewards in heaven given to those that overcome during this time. WE ARE BLESSED!!

          There are three prevailing doctrines on the rapture and when it takes place. Before these experiences, I believed in a Pre-Tribulation rapture for over 30 years. Not any more. God ripped that foolishness right out of me. He showed me how it was a doctrine of devils we have been deceived with, to keep us from being prepared for what is coming.

The rapture won’t happen until the last of the 144000 confesses Jesus as Lord. I believe this will happen a little less than a year after the last trumpet starts to blow, about 4.5 years into the tribulation from what He has shown me. The instant the last of the Remnant believes in Jesus, we will be caught up together with Him in the twinkling of an eye. As we disappear the trumpet stops. This is what the Lord means when He said the days will be shortened for the Elects sake. The next 2.5 years or so the earth is in great darkness, awaiting the wrath of God.

People think the tribulation is the wrath of God. It is not. It is the wrath of man and the wrath of the enemy. God’s wrath only lasts for a brief moment, and we are not appointed to that.

          Satan’s final act of vengeance is to use the people left on earth to fight the final battle against the Lord, but that will be a quick fight. Faith has already won the victory. That is all I will say about that.

In 2017 the Lord corrected me about reading too many books about the Bible. He interrupted me while I was reading a book by a popular Christian author and specifically told me to “STOP eating leavened bread.” (He was referring to reading books about the Bible) He made it clear that I was to only read the Bible, and call no man on earth my teacher. (Matthew 23:8-10) This is my own personal conviction and I am not implying this is God’s will for everyone. I have been faithful to that instruction and I believe that simple act of obedience opened the door for some of these things to happen.

Many of the things He showed me were strategies of Satan to deceive God’s people. One of the primary ways was to flood the earth with so much diverse teaching about the Bible that it leads people to seek the teachings of men and abandoning personal, intimate relationship with the Father and study of the Bible itself. This has led us to becoming a Church with itchy ears.

Consider this; A slow reader can read through the Bible in 100 hours or less. This alone tells us how little we read the Bible and how much we neglect His written word. That being said, I have a healthy and growing respect for the word of God and I post this in the fear of the Lord.

          The 7th trumpet is the last Trumpet. The LAST one. There will not be another.

These are just some of the events that I saw transpire at the last trumpet, at least the ones that I am clear on. I believe God is preparing us for what is coming.

All experiences and revelations should be judged. Please seek the Lord for yourself on these things. I would not be sharing this unless I believed that He wanted me to. I do this with a trembling heart. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

This is our journey, but it is His work. The time is short. Let us cooperate with His final work.

For more links to Prophetic Ministry CLICK HERE.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

The Pruning of the Lord

If it isn’t producing Life it needs to be pruned, and pruning hurts! God prunes us as we incline our hearts toward Him, but HOW does He prune us?

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

        God is the great Vinedresser and His Word is used to help prune us and shape us into His image.

His Word is sharp, cutting clean and deep when we incline our heart to it. It is a discerner of our thoughts and intentions, separating light from darkness, exposing things in us that need change. The Word challenges what we think and believe as it exposes us to God’s will for our lives.

The carnal man’s response is to run from the Vine Dresser and try to heal himself from the cutting…. Because pruning hurts! The New Man’s response is to run to the Father and hide under His wings. We can’t consummate our marriage to Christ while our “old man” is still alive.

 In Exodus 33:20 God said to Moses, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”

        Our carnal, fallen nature (“old man”) cannot look into the face of God and live.

          Spending time with our Father and His Word is our Old Man’s face to face encounter with Him. It is the surest way for dead things to get pruned out of our life. 

          If we are constantly in His Word and don’t practice intimacy, we will try to DO the Word in our own strength instead of becoming the Word by His grace.

           Embracing intimacy will always lead to a healthy dose of the Word, and develop a Father consciousness. The more we see Him as a Father, the more we see ourselves as sons. When we have intimacy, coupled with the Word, our perspective changes about everything and everyone, including ourselves. Our identity is formed in intimacy. Without intimacy we will never bear the fruit of who He is.

          Our perspective of the Word will change as we pursue intimacy with God. We will find ourselves “reading” the Word less but digesting it more. The Word will become so alive it will be as if one phrase is speaking volumes and we will naturally, purposely slow down to thoroughly digest it, letting it cut us deep and clean, knowing that His embrace causes it to be less painful. The cutting is for our good, the pruning is needed for growth and health.

          Long-term exposure to only the Word without an intimate relationship will produce self-consciousness and self-righteousness. Exposure to only the Word cuts us and cuts us and cuts us, with no relief in sight. The cutting exposes darkness, weakness, and sin. Intimacy is one way God becomes strong in our weakness.

           Cutting off those things in our life that aren’t producing good fruit is HIS responsibility in this relationship, not ours. He is the Vinedresser, we are the vine. Vines NEVER prune themselves. He is the great potter and we are the clay. Clay NEVER shaped itself into anything, but that is exactly what we will gravitate to if we have only God’s Word in our life with little or no intimacy.

           Knowledge of the Father without intimacy will puff us up and make us think we know what to do and try to please Him with our own human efforts to “do better.” Without intimacy we become legalistic, frustrated, and sin conscious.

Sin consciousness is the fruit of being exposed to the Word of God and not pursuing intimacy with God. Sin consciousness is easy to identify. If we are constantly seeing sin in others and judging them, thinking about what they need to change, what they should do, and how they should behave, this indicates knowledge of God’s Word but ignorance of who we are. We must not try to do what we learn without learning who He is. Our identity is formed in intimacy. Without intimacy we will gravitate toward Old Testament law and never fully understand or embrace New Testament grace.

We are in the last days and we we all need to aspire to become everything Jesus paid for. We must embrace the pruning and the correction of the Lord in this season.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Keep your Finger in the Sand.

John 8:6-8

This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 

          Two key phrases in this verse; “they said to test Him,” and “He bent down and wrote on the ground.” How are they related? What was Jesus doing when He bent down to write on the ground? What is the Lord saying to us through this encounter?

          Testing will always come because that is the way God has chosen to strengthen our faith in Him. The closer we get to Him, the greater our testing will be. Our true heart is revealed through testing. What comes forth from us during testing and trials indicates what we believe and who we trust. Testing is an essential part of the gospel. When we get squeezed by life, what is inside us comes out.

          They were testing Jesus, putting pressure on Him. They were trying to squeeze Him until something came out of Him that they could use against Him. Being slow to speak is just one of the many valuable lessons to learn here.

James 1:19-20

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

          When Jesus got squeezed, what did He do? He bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground. Giving us a living example of how to deal with tests and pressure, and how to find the answers we need when our feet are being held to the fire.

          I doubt that Jesus was writing anything significant in the dirt. I believe He was checking on the inside with the Father to see how He should answer, how He should respond, and what He should do.

          We know that in Jesus’s mind, He could do nothing of Himself.

John 5:30

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

          So, instead of answering out of His own understanding, He bent down, focusing on what the Spirit has to say about this. They continued to ask and pressure Him. We don’t know how long, but when He stood up the Spirit gave Him the words to say. Then once more, He bent back down and wrote on the ground, waiting for further instruction.

Luke 12:11-12

 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

          Jesus consistently modeled the gospel that He preached. If we can’t find what we are practicing in our churches in the life of Jesus, it doesn’t belong.

          May times throughout the gospels Jesus separated Himself in between times of ministry to connect and fellowship with the Father. Without this component in our lives, we will not be strong enough to keep our finger in the sand when difficult situations are thrust upon us.

Nothing is reproduced without intimacy. If we are not intimate with the Father, we will not produce the fruit of who He is.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC