Tag Archives: truth

~The Role of Godly Relationships ~

Ephesians 4:16  ~ from whom (Christ) the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

          Notice it says, “by what every JOINT supplies.”   What is this joint that Paul is talking about? What exactly is the supply coming from this joint?

          I think most of us understand that God uses the human body as an example of how the body of Christ works. With that in mind, consider what a joint is. It is not a body part, but the connection between the parts. it is the joining of one or more parts together. The “joint” is the relationship between the parts. We are “joined and knit together” by what every relationship supplies. The supply of the Spirit comes through the relationships we have with other believers.

          This supply of the “joint” will cause growth and edification to the body according to the effective working of every part doing its share. So, what if we, the parts, are not “effectively working?” What if  we are hurt, confused, misunderstood, or deceived? What if we are simply the wrong part in the wrong place? What if we are just ignorant of how all this works so we don’t put enough emphasis on the relationships and make it all about how each part is functioning or not functioning.

In our physical bodies, when there is pain and injury to any joint it affects all the surrounding parts. It limits mobility, reduces overall strength, severely limits the function of all the surrounding parts. It is the same with a spiritual body.

While praying one day I said by the Spirit, “Lord, I thank you for the Body of Christ that validates you to the world.” As soon as I said those words, I saw in the Spirit an Arab man sitting in a wheelchair with his head down. In bold white letters, written across this image was the word, “INVALID.” As I looked closer at the image I saw that it was Jesus in the wheel chair. I cried profusely at what He was showing me. He gave me understanding of what He was telling me.

The Lord was showing me how our behavior has made Him an invalid (not valid) to the world. The world sees us put ourselves first, instead of Him and others. They see the selfish ambition that causes envy, jealousy and every evil work. It is no different from their own behavior. We must be separate. We must be different.

When I was a young boy, I remember my grandmother, who was a nurse, using that term to describe someone bound to a wheelchair, whether temporary or permanent. I began to think about the significance of that word, INVALID… Not valid. What a terrible thing to say about a person.

James 3:14-18

 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

        We can be the right body part in the right place, but if we are not relating properly with the other parts of the body, we actually cut off the supply of the Spirit coming to us and through us. Furthermore, if we are selfish and prideful in our relationships we become a landing strip for demonic activity according James 3.

         When the parts are effective at doing their share, with humility and deference, right relationship and true fellowship occurs inviting the Holy Spirit to provide a supply that brings growth and edification. It is how the parts relate that brings the supply, not the strength of the part. It is the fellowship of the parts that bind and knit us together. It is the “joint” of fellowship that allows us to experience God on a level that goes beyond what we can experience on our own.

Fellowship isn’t just a bunch of fellows in the same ship, its a bunch of folks called to community by divine appointment to be an expression of God to the world.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

We need to celebrate our local church and the relationships we have there. If we are broken and separated from the body we should reconnect. Be a peace maker, gather with an awareness of the importance of right relationship. Come with humility, come with expectation, come to join in God’s work and be a blessing to God and all you are in relationship with. Lets make Jesus a valid option to the world.

JC

Truth Pressure

          Words are the creative bricks that build and form our reality. These bricks can be used to build strongholds in our hearts and minds. The words we speak and hear can also be used against us and others.

Don’t give the devil any building material!

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

          Love what? “The power of the tongue.” What does that look like?

          The chief expression of love is to give. If we give ourselves wholly to speaking life and truth, the fruit of those words will become evident in our lives. We must not be double tongued or double minded about this.

James 3:10-12

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Psalm 34:13

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Proverbs 21:23

Whoever keeps his mouth, and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 15:4

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 18:4

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

Matthew 15:10-11

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 

JC

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

            Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is called the unpardonable sin. A sin that will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come. It is imperative we understand this passage of scripture. One of the most significant revelations concerning faith is in this passage of scripture.

Matthew 12:25-32

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

            Jesus made it clear in Matthew 12 that when He was talking about a Kingdom, a house, or a city divided against itself, He was talking about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Not a different Kingdom, but itself. It -SELF! He then said if Satan casts out Satan he is divided against HIMSELF.

            Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is speaking against, being in rebellion against, or simply not agreeing with the Holy Spirit in YOU. The Holy Spirit is God’s Kingdom representative in YOU.  

            Jesus went on to say that if you enter a strongman’s house you first had to bind the strongman, then you could plunder the House. The strongman is SELF, the carnal nature, the old man of sin. Self must be bound and crucified. Ephesians 4 tells us that there is only one Spirit, one faith, not two. Not in the Kingdom.

Ephesians 4:4-6

 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

            We try so hard to be sold out to God, not recognizing that we have been bought out, Spirit, soul and body. We are not our own! We have been bought with a terrible price! And yet we struggle to be completely submitted.

            If we are not with Him 100% we are against Him. Not my words, His.

            When we don’t give God 100% of what He paid for, we are a withholder and a scatterer, and we disqualify ourselves from Kingdom authority, Kingdom resources, and Kingdom promise. God doesn’t trust His power with one who doesn’t trust Him or is opposed to Him.

            Flesh is enmity toward God. Self and selfishness are born of the flesh.

Romans 8:7-11

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

            If our flesh is God’s enemy, our flesh should be our enemy as well. When selfishness and pride rises in our heart it is the flesh trying to find expression through words and actions. When we give flesh control and give it a voice, we allow it an opportunity to express itself. This is divisive, it is double mindedness. It is allowing the enemy expression in the Kingdom. It is speaking against the Holy Spirit.

            If we serve two masters, God and Self, we will hate one and love the other. We will love God and hate ourselves. How are we to love others and be an ambassador of the Kingdom if we don’t agree with the Holy Spirit in us. God is in us, trying to get out, trying to find expression through our life. Christ in us is His hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The glory of God is any attribute of God being made seen and known to others.

Christ in us, the hope of making God seen and known.

            I think often we are the ones wanting to be seen and known instead of letting Him shine, letting Him be sanctified in the sight of the people. His glory is to be seen and known through His people.

            When we refuse to let Him shine in the sight of others, we bring a reproach on the Kingdom and disqualify ourselves from inheritance, now in this age, and future rewards in the age to come at the judgement seat of Christ.

            Moses gives us a vivid example, and an Old Testament type of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit that helps us understand this passage of scripture.

Numbers 20:6-13

 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.

            WOW!

            Moses had a moment of pride during a supernatural manifestation of God in the sight of God’s people. He took partial credit for bringing water from the rock the first time and didn’t speak to the rock like God commanded him but struck it like he did the first time.

            God called it unbelief because Moses didn’t hold Him alone up as holy, instead he held himself up in the sight of others. This disqualified Moses from entering the Promise Land on Earth. It didn’t keep him out of Heaven, but We can surmise that he would get less rewards there because of this incident.

            This is exactly what happens to us. We like to take credit for the results and put the responsibility for obedience on others. Instead, we should take full responsibility for obedience but take no credit for the results.

            Anything we “accomplish” in the name of the Lord for selfish or prideful reasons disqualifies us from full entrance into the Kingdom of God on earth and disqualifies us from any rewards for those accomplishments at the judgment seat of Christ. This what Jesus meant when He said this sin will not be forging in this age or the age to come.

            If you have wondered if you have committed the unpardonable sin, you likely have. Pride and selfishness are sneaky devils. They creep in slowly through deception and trickery. Understanding this verse helps us be aware of the devil’s schemes and keeps us from stumbling.

            Pride must be silenced. Self must have no voice. God must be sanctified in us so that He can shine through us.

JC

God loves a Mystery

To understand the mystery of the gospel, we need to understand that

God loves a mystery.

          For us to embrace this thought we must realize that God does not always use His ability to see the future. He will always choose to lay aside His foreknowledge in favor of relationship.

Proverbs 25:2-4

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.

          It is the glory of God to create a mystery. Jesus Christ is the greatest of God’s mysteries and it is our great honor to search it out. But God does not ask us to do anything that He hasn’t or will not do Himself.

As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.

          God purposely makes the kings heart, our heart, unsearchable. Even for Himself.

          When we are born again, we are born of royalty. Within each of our hearts, God deposits His Seed and creates a new mysterious being that never existed before. Within that incorruptible seed, are gifts and graces to help shape and develop you. God is excited about that! He has great expectation of seeing how that seed matures and expresses itself through our unique personalities.

          While it is our glory to search out the mysteries of God. It is His glory to search out and discover the mystery of who we are in Him and watch it unfold in our lives. He loves the discovery process of our journey. He loves relationship.

          He loves surprises. He loves watching the milestones of our growth and development and experiencing them with us. He loves every little step we take toward Him. He loves it when we choose life over death. He loves it when we run to Him for help. He loves it when we believe. HE LOVES US!

Everything God does is relational.

God prefers the joy of relationship over His ability to see our every move and choice.

The mystery of who we are is one of His greatest joys.

He loves a mystery.

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;

          Our Father is the smith, taking away the impurities, the iniquity, the sin. He loves removing the things that weaken us while searching our heart to find the treasures He has hidden there.

          Our heart is revealed to Him through our words and actions. Faith is revealed in the same way. When our faith is tested our heart is revealed and He takes that faith and refines it. Therefore, faith pleases Him, and trials are important.

Hebrews 8:12

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.

          If God can choose to remember our sins no more, at the very least we must entertain the possibility that He could choose to not use His foreknowledge.

Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

          Why would God search, and test if He already knows the answer? Why did He ask Adam and Eve four questions in the garden? Why did He stop Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and make the comment,” Now I know?”

          Because He didn’t know. He chose the mystery of relationship instead of using His ability to foresee what happens.

          He loves walking through the trials, and the fires, the purging and the pruning, the testing, and the valleys. All to see the brightness of our rising, the perfecting of His vessel.

          We are the glory of His great mystery. Vessels, being tested, shaped, and molded. We are no common vessels to be filled with common things, but vessels with a glorious purpose. To house the very presence of the Almighty God.

          Understanding this truth helps us see God in a completely different light. It gives us a better understanding of the scriptures and gives us a better understanding of ourselves.

          Everything God does is relational in its intent. He desires to be involved with us in intimate relationship during our journey. It is our journey, but His work. We must humble ourselves to embrace His work and allow Him the honor of sanctifying our journey with His involvement.

JC

The Unprofitable Prophet.

Jeremiah 23:29-32

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.

          In these last days we are witnessing an abundance of false prophets and false prophecies. Although false prophets are speaking things they declare is the Lord, we also have inexperienced prophets that have not learned how to properly steward God’s word, speaking words out of season with wrong interpretations of what God is saying to His church. Then we have true prophets that are hearing from God and speaking His word in season to help shape the culture of the church and prepare her for what is coming. However, even a true prophet can make a mistake or be deceived.

          How are we to tell the difference? What can help us discern which voice to listen to? What is our responsibility as the hearer? What is our responsibility if we are a prophet?

          First let me say, we have a responsibility to hear God for ourselves. There are few things more tragic than to name Jesus as Lord and never experience intimacy with the Father. This is available to all. This is the reason Christ came.

          A terrible price was paid so God could get back inside us. He has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. We can’t afford to blindly trust others to hear from God for us.

We must know our Fathers voice!

          Pride and selfishness has corrupted the beauty and dulled the hearing of the Church. With itchy ears she runs about seeking the next word, the next teaching, the newest revelation, with no intention of walking any of it out. Carrying a head so burdened with unused knowledge that she doesn’t know what she believes or why she believes it.

          We must turn to the Lord and lay everything we have and everything we are at His feet. Humility under the hand of Almighty God is our protection against the deception from false prophets and false prophecies. It is also protects us from giving false prophecies if we are a prophet.

Jeremiah 23:21-22

“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.

          When we fail to stand in God’s council for ourselves we lack discernment and are easily deceived. It is His council we are after, not mans. The council of man is tainted with the fallen perspective of pride and selfishness.

Pride distorts and darkens.

Humility brings clarity and illumination making direction and timing clear. Intimacy is the answer to all the questions above.

          Intimacy with God is primarily where transformation takes place. The Great Potter shapes us into His image as we pursue the mystery of who He is. If we will embrace this truth and give ourselves over to this process we leave no room for deception and discerning the truth becomes easy.

JC

Praying in the Spirit explained

          There seems to be confusion in many church circles about praying in the Spirit and what exactly praying in the Spirit is. Many Charismatics limit praying in the Spirit to only praying in tongues. This is not true. Praying in the Spirit is NOT just praying with other tongues but praying ANY prayer under the inspiration and direction of the Holy Spirit. Look at our instruction in Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:18

1praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

          This passage is clear that ALL prayer is to be done “in the Spirit.” Prayers of sanctification, prayers of dedication, prayers of intercession, prayers of repentance, the prayer of faith, prayers of thanksgiving and adoration are all to be prayed “in the Spirit.”

So, what does that look like? What does this mean? How do we get there?

          Everything God does is relational. Prayer is no exception. Many of us have allowed our devotionals to become mechanical and lifeless. We run through our prayer list and read our daily chapter to feel good about ourselves and never even take time to be silent and connect with the one we are supposed to be submitted to.

Powerless, fruitless, and lifeless is prayer apart from the Spirit.

          I am not saying that praying with the mind and natural understanding is wrong but let this be a launching point. A positioning of the heart and mind to a place of stillness and quiet. 1 Corinthians makes it clear that we need both.

1 Corinthians 14:10-15

 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 

          Praying in the Spirit can start in the natural. As we approach God boldly in the natural, the anticipation of God speaking to us and leading us should bring us great joy accompanied by a reverent fear of the Almighty. Trembling is not just allowed, but encouraged.

          In prayer, we must arrive at a proper place of humility so hearing His voice and sensing His direction becomes easy. The place of humility is the place with the greatest light. Everything is more illuminated from a humble perspective. It is also the place of greatest sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

          Understand when communicating with God that we are here for His good pleasure. It is His will, His agenda, His purpose that we are pursuing. Not ours. Truly, we can do nothing of ourselves. We need God’s involvement. We need His instruction. We need His direction.

          If you arrived at a place in prayer with the perspective I just described, you are praying in the Spirit whether it be in a known or unknown tongue.

          Let us not put God in the miniscule box of our limited understanding. Instead of trying to define Him lets let Him define us by praying in the Spirit with ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION for all the saints.

JC

Preparing for Revival #6

Preparing for Revival #5

Your Unsearchable Heart

            I am completely blown away by the things the Lord is showing me in this season. While reading Proverbs 25 the Lord began to confirm some things that He was showing me about how He thinks and how He loves. This is the passage He unvealed to me.

Proverbs 25:2-3

It is the glory of God to conceal things,
    but the glory of kings is to search things out.
As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
    so the heart of kings is unsearchable.

            While meditating on this I thought to myself, “We are kings and priests unto our God.” (Rev. 1:6) I began to meditate on the fact that God has made our hearts unsearchable by men. Then I said out loud, “Our hearts are unsearchable by everyone but you Lord.”

            He then spoke to me, “No Jack, I have purposely made your heart unsearchable by everyone, even Me.” I could hear joy in His voice when He said this. So much so that joy got on me! I said, “Lord show me what you mean by this, I do not understand. I remember scripture that says you search the hearts and minds of men.” (Jer.17:10)

            The Lord began to elaborate, “I have made you a sovereign being with a free will. When you choose Me and accept the sacrifice of My Son, I lay aside My foreknowledge in favor of unravelling the mystery of who you are in relationship. The moment you make Christ your Lord, you become this mysterious new creature. My offspring.

            I have given you my written Word, My spoken Word, and My living Word to help you pursue the mystery of who I Am. I would never ask you to do anything that I have not done or am willing to do. Your heart is revealed s you pursue Me. The only way I can know your heart is if you reveal it to me. I love a mystery and it is My glory to conceal man’s heart and my glory to search it out.”

            God does not always use His foreknowledge, at least not on those He is in relationship with. He will choose relationship over His foreknowledge every time. He loves the spontaneity, the anticipation, the surprises of growing in intimacy with His children. I see His heart toward us so much clearer now. My understanding of His love has multiplied because of this simple truth.

            Our heart is a mystery even to God Himself. He made it this way for His good pleasure. This may be the most profound thing I have discovered about His nature and His love. While thinking about the implications of this I realized that we have the ability to surprise God! That is nuts! While thinking about this He spoke to me again, and this blew me away even more!

“I gave you creativity so I could be surprised at how you love Me and serve Me with it.”

            His people are so glorious and so precious in His sight that we have not even begun to understand. I am so humbled and so excited about this I can hardly contain myself!

            It is our journey but it is His work, and it is a marvelous mystery!

JC

Sin Distorts

          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, not wanting to wake my wife, 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 as the sun came up. As I was walking and 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 stillness. This was something more than that.

          As I looked across the lake 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 Oaks 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.

          As I focused on the reflection in the water I realized that this reflected image is such a perfect representation of the real thing, that 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 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, “Don’t let sin distort your reflection of Me.” This was the sign that sealed the things He spoke to me in my heart.

JC.