The Spirit of God is Meekness…Not Weakness

Yesterday I wrote that Christians should not trust in “Egypt,” but in the Spirit of God. We should “wait on Him.” Waiting on the Lord, Jesus means that we serve Him. In order to serve Jesus, we need to know who He is. We need to have a relationship with Him. We need to be as His sheep who recognize His voice and not the voice of strangers. We need to trust in Him.

This is not something that can be developed overnight. So, in that, I understand why the parable of the wise and foolish virgins makes sense. Yet, I also believe that “a smoking flax he shall not quench.” I believe that those who can fill others should try to do so. The door is not shut yet. Yet, how do we fill smoldering Christians effectively and as quickly as possible?

This is something I want to think more about. For now, one thing stands out.

As Christians, we know that Jesus does not condone violence. God hates it. Jesus is meek. However, meekness is not weakness.

The Sprit of God is not weakness.

The Spirit of God provides us with meekness—or self-control—and the wisdom and strength to act in a manner that is effective at bringing about Kingdom of Heaven results in this world. Weakness is harsh, rash, foolish, cowardly, fearful, unbelieving, murderous, idolatrous, and all manner of wickedness.

Weakness is destroying our world.

Jumping to hasty conclusions without gathering the real facts is destroying our world. Emotional reactions rooted in fear, cowardice, lack of responsibility and accountability, and apathy are destroying our world. Violence of foolishness and unbelief are destroying our world. Trusting in men instead of God—which is idolatry and sorcery—is destroying our world. Trusting in the strength of “Egypt” is not strength. It is weakness.

Although I do not condone violence, because violence is incontinence and violence is weakness, I do not condone rolling over and doing nothing either. However, without the Spirit of God leading us, all we will get is more of the same. More weakness. More destruction.

The Spirit of God will strengthen us. He will give us mighty words to say and actions that resist the evils in this world in an effective manner that shows what the Kingdom of God is about. The kingdoms of this world are weak—and the One we serve has overcome them already.

Their strength is shameful. It is nothing and it will come to nothing. Do not trust in Egypt. Trust in Jesus. Learn of Him. Hear HIS voice. HE will show you what to do. To one He says stay where you are and serve me there. To another He says go here and perform a righteous action. To one He says learn of me and get your own house in order.

It all depends on what HE would have each person to do on an individual bases, so I cannot instruct you. However, I do want to do what I can to help you hear His voice and not the voice of strangers—and there are many loud, confused, and bloody voices out there. Weakness. “Learn meekness, and He will teach you terrible things.” Learn what that means, and you will be strong.

The world dies at the hands of weak men. In Christ, there is neither male nor female, and in Christ we are strong. We will overcome this. Even if our lives are given up and the Lord finds it fitting to give this world over to the hands of weak men, we will live again because He is MIGHTY in us. He is LIFE. And we who trust in Jesus alone will live. Nothing has power over us. Not even death!

Wear the Spirit of God as Your Protection…Not the Promises of “Egypt”

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

2That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.

They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.

For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.

Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:

10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel;

In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.

17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

18 And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment:

blessed are all they that wait for him.

— Passage from Isaiah 30

Waiting on Jesus does not mean that we do nothing. It means we wait on Him, like a servant waits on his master. How can we wait on Him who we do not know or trust in? More on this tomorrow, Lord willing. For now, consider this passage and feel free to share any thoughts questions or comments in general below.

The Desolation of the UK

The title is meant to provoke thought. I can’t make any certain claim, but things seem to be going in a very “desolate” direction. A few days ago, we rung in the new year, and it was sad to see empty streets. Lifeless. Desolate.

I just heard about extreme lockdown measures that are being imposed by the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, due to this “COVID-19 Variant.” I’m not an expert in these things, but I don’t have to be an expert to recognize desolation when I see it, and neither do you. This is not right, and we should not be surprised to see the same thing happen here in the United States.

I wonder what will happen next? First it was a two-week lockdown to slow the spread, and now, the UK will be shut down for “at least six weeks.” At least. What does that really mean? This isolation is not good for anyone, no matter what the so-called experts say. Even among those who trust in science, many will tell you that the numbers just don’t add up. This does not makes sense. Something else is at work, but what? Why are all things being made “desolate?”

There are many sins of this world, and I do believe that anything that happens is ultimately God’s will–and that also means that ultimately, all things are working together for the good of those who trust in Him. So, I really want to drive this thought home: “all who trust in Jesus will not be made desolate.” There are also scriptures warning us not to rejoice over the desolation of the wicked, lest we find the wrath of God turned onto us.

This is a sad time, but we can find some measure of hope in knowing that God is in control. When things seem dark, God is at work. We can trust in Him. We can trust in the Son. He will keep us.

The governments can try to take it all away, but in Jesus we have something they can never take away. We have faith in a Kingdom in which righteousness dwells. There is no darkness there. There is no desolation, but life everlasting.

I can’t help but wonder what will follow. What will we be required to do in order to go back to life as “normal?” Or, is this “new normal” going to take over? I don’t know what is going to happen, but I do know that any power that rises with a solution will not be Christ, and we should not trust in it. It would be better to lay our life down and live than to trust in desolation. Desolation means empty, void, isolated. Dead.

Jesus makes us full. He brings us life. He makes us connected with those who love Him and trust in Him–and no matter how isolated this world gets, we are united in Spirit.

Never let those who make void rob you of your joy and peace. Never let those who make void steal your faith and cause you to fear. Never let those who make void cause you to bow to anyone other than the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Bruised Reeds and Smoking Flax

The mercy of the Lord, Jesus is an incredible thing. His patience. His compassion. His wisdom. He knows how to deal with the vulnerable. As it is written of Him, “a bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax shall he not quench.” When we are barely hanging on to the faith, He does not break us. He does not put our lights out.

It’s interesting to me. On one hand, there is the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The foolish, who had no oil in their lamp, were not ready when the bridegroom returned. On one hand, there are rebukes given to the churches in Revelation. 5 of the 7 were threatened with having their “candlestick removed out of its place.” It seems that only two are left in Revelation 11, so the others must have been “removed.”

On the other hand, “a smoking flax shall he not quench.”

I’ve seen a lot of faith-breaking and Spirit-quenching ministry. It is a shame though. In this time, when Christians need to ban together, fill one another, and build each other up, there are many who would rather break and snuff out.

I guess that’s what it means to be a prophet (I speak sarcastically). Some seem to think so. They seem to think that sniffing out the weak within the flock then devouring them makes them messengers of God. They call it rebuke and exhortation. I don’t think Jesus would agree. I think He would say they are drunken with a false sense of righteousness, power, and the notion that they are something great in the kingdom. I think He would say that they are smithing their fellow servants. I think He would say “depart from me you who work iniquity, I never knew you.”

I have struggled with this too. I know that temptation and the blindness that can take hold of you. This is not the way, and it make me sad when I see it. There is a lot of this Online. There are good ministries Online too, but there are many who are looking for those lost sheep so they can devour them. Of course, they don’t think that is what they do. The think they are doing God’s service.

There are problems with our churches. We can learn from Revelation and from the lessons of our history so that our gatherings are made better. If they must come down, and I do believe that they will of a necessity so that the Kingdom of God can be established; the old must die to make way for the new, which is blessing in the end. However, the church—which is in spirit and not contained by our buildings—and the temple of God—which are all believers and their individual relationship with Jesus in Spirit—will never fall.

Instead of worrying overmuch about the failings of the things that will die, why not consider how we can make that which will live better?

Some Christians see the failings of our churches, and they fear. They fear that Christians will not make it. Instead, we should trust in the One who is “meek and lowly in heart.” His grace is what we lean on. Not our abilities or our failings.

Some see the failings of our churches, and they become wrathful. They feel a sense of indignation against them, and they feel just in tearing them down. Instead, we should know that God is in control. He is dealing patiently with all of us, and all things work according to His timing.

If things need to be torn down, He will send and enemy to do so—and again, this is for our good ultimately.

Christians should not tear down other Christians. Period.

We should build up. We should rebuke sin—in the spirit of meekness—lest we be tempted to be as the fearful, unbelieving, and murderous. Lest we align ourselves with those who set themselves up as an idol, looking to gather to themselves disciples for their kingdom. Lest we judge things before their time and find ourselves judged instead.

Let those who destroy do their work. It is necessary, but not for us. Those who destroy will be destroyed. Let those who build do their work. It is necessary, and to those there is everlasting life.

We can fight against the enemy in the realm of false teachings, sin, and all manner of destruction. This includes the ministers of destruction—and there are many. It’s easy to spot when you were once one of them.

That’s why the focus right now is that we should be careful of “the spirit we are of.” That’s why the focus right now is that “those who walk after the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” That’s why the focus right now is that we do not want to be found “drunk and smiting our fellow servants.”

This is a serious matter—but as with all things—trust is greater than fear. Even these can be shown a better way. The Lord understands that “because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” He can soften our hearts. He can open our blind eyes. He can make a way for us to escape—and He will.

Considering Proverbs 10:11

The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

This is similar to Proverbs 10:6Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

As Christians who seek to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, we are truly blessed. We are told that those who love the Son and seek to keep His commandments will receive the Holy Spirit, and that God will reveal Himself to us. We are told that we will receive a fountain of living water that will spring up out of us into everlasting life.

The words that we speak should be of this well of life; they should be righteous. The more we learn to trust in Jesus and not Man, the more we learn of the ways of Jesus, the more we love His ways, the more we are conformed to His image, the more this well of life should be coming out of us.

Conversely, we know that violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

I think this means that their mouth is one that is covered in violence, like a filter of filth that all their words come through and are therewith contaminated. I cannot help but think about the mask mandates these days. It is fitting.

I think this also means that their mouth, which is so accustomed to violence and so loves it, will be stopped with violence. As Jesus says, “he that leads into captivity must go into captivity. He that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.”

As Christians, the only covering we need is the covering of the Spirit of God—and the more we trust in Him, the more we will speak His words—and these are words of life to those who are of life. As it is written, “to some it is the savor of life unto life, to others the savor of death unto death.” Those who love death hate the words of life. To them, it is violence, and therewith they will be stopped.

 “This is my covenant with them, saith the Lord: My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.”

Jesus alone is our redeemer. Not governments. Not our church buildings and exalted men and women of God. Not our houses. Not our jobs. Not our families. Jesus alone. He must come first, and He will come first. All things that are exalted in our life above Him will be thrown down, and this is a blessing for many who do not realize just how much they have aligned themselves with man.

When that great image of Man is made, many will see and know suddenly, and they will turn to Jesus more fully. However, if our lamps are too empty, we will not see. So, let’s continue to fill our lamps while we have time to do so. “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor like yourself.”

Delivered to Satan

You might be familiar with the time Paul the apostle wrote about delivering someone to Satan. If not, you can look it up. This is something I believed to be warranted when Christians abuse the written word of God and the blood of Jesus who is the Word of God.

When we knowingly misuse the scripture for our own purposes, we are abusing the word of God. When we misuse the sacrifice of Jesus, either by forgetting mercy towards others or by using His sacrifice as an excuse to live in sin without repentance, we are abusing the blood of the Word of God.

I also wrote that “with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.” I willingly submitted myself to this judgement, and it would seem, that judgment came to pass to a degree.

In a recent article, entitled, “Tempted,” I wrote about something I experienced the night before. It was kind of dream-like, but also very real. Real enough to leave what I think will be a lasting impression on me, and I have considered the experience almost nonstop since. There are some things to take away from this, and once I have considered the ideas more fully, I will write more about it. Lord willing.

For starters, I realized just moments ago that the temptation I experienced was the same temptation that I had judged (and I believe this judgment to be the judgement of the Lord that was given to me, not just my own judgment).

This was a temptation to change the written word of God, then to abuse the sacrifice of the Word of God by joining myself with Satan—by trusting in him instead of Jesus, by loving the things of this world and gaining this world instead of loving the things of the Kingdom of Heaven and gaining Heaven, and by making light of sin as something natural that we all do.

Though I did not give in ultimately, I did feel that temptation. After dealing with that, I no longer have any desire to deliver anyone to Satan. I would rather, in my own small way, deliver people away from him—and I know that many are in bonds to him already.

I can do nothing, but that Jesus would do it in me. Just as Jesus said that He is in the Father and the Father in Him, and Him in us. We should do the work of our Father. We are not the Father. We are not the Son, but His works we should do. As it is written, “as many as walk after the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” We should not do the works of Satan. He is not our father. We need to learn the difference, because “many will kill you thinking they do God’s service.” They “do not know what spirit they are of.”

Jesus is the only name by which man can be saved. He will make a way. We can trust in Him. However, there are scriptures to consider. Is it not possible for people to claim Jesus yet align themselves with Satan?

There are many scriptures about this. There are those who commit fornication with him—and I believe that is in spirit—very similar to the temptation I just went through. Gross. I know. Shameful. I know. A hard truth, however. There is nothing I go through that is not the same for all Christians. It is given to me in a way that my foolish self can understand and share with the brethren. Think nothing over much of it. He seduces us away from Jesus in many ways—and we are often overcome. It should not be so.

There are scriptures about putting Jesus first, not Man. When we put Man first, is it not Satan who we trust in and worship? Man comes up with many idolatries. Many false images. And there will be one Image of Man that many will worship.

There are scriptures about our houses—our temples—which are the temples of the Spirit of God. If our houses are of Satan, or if our houses are built upon sand, they will fall when “the flood” comes. When we realize that our house is a house of Satan, and not the Lord, Jesus, we should get out. Get out fast. Don’t try to take anything with us. Those are dead things. Leave them and don’t look back.

The flood will come. I have seen it. I don’t know how or when. I don’t know if this Satan and this flood I saw are types, just as there are many types within history, or if this is something more akin to the end of all kingdoms of this world. There are cycles in history. There is no way for me to know if this is another cycle or the end.

In any case, we do not need to deliver Christians to Satan. Just as Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it because the world was condemned already, we need to deliver our brethren away from Satan—and Jesus is the way. He will chasten those He loves. Death will have his day. Even so, Jesus will not lose a single soul that is redeemed by Him.

We can trust in Him. The end of this chastisement is Christ. This is refining for those who belong to Him, and it is a destruction of those who are among us but not of us. This is most importantly true for our own selves. What is not of the Kingdom within us will perish. The Kingdom is at hand, in heart and in the new world to come, so be thankful and praise Jesus!

Jesus is faithful and the blood of the Lamb will cover us. Let no man accuse you. Many accuse Christians because of their sin, even other Christians. Though we know that many will fulfill the scriptures pertaining to unfaithful servants, we also know that we stand by grace alone. Not our works. Yet, grace, when it is effective, will cause the works of the Father within us.

Even so, most of us have fulfilled the scriptures pertaining to unfaithful servants at some point. However, the Lord will bring all lost sheep back to Him. He will lose none—but the son of perdition—as it is written. Never assume that is you. All who trust in Him will not be desolate, as it is written.

Trust in Jesus cannot be stressed enough. However, we should also fear because we can trust that He is not to be trifled with, and those who fear God will find mercy. Those who fear Man will find false hope only and death.

This is a kind of summary of what I have to share with you. Take this thought home: with what judgment you judge, you will be judged. Can you withstand it? Even in this, there is mercy. I know this from experience also. The mercy of the Lord is incredible. Yet, do not take that for granted.

Tempted

I think “the flood” might be coming soon, as we see in Revelation 12. I don’t think this is an actual flood of water. I’m not certain what form the flood will take, but I do know that Jesus is the one who will protect us from it. We cannot deny Him, but we will most likely feel tempted to. I was just tempted to. Some of the things I am about to write make me feel very ashamed, but I am also thankful for the mercy of God.

Whether this was a vision or a kind of being caught away to another place, I don’t know. It felt very real. I was sitting in a room and a man who I knew in that moment to be Satan handed me a paper. There were scriptures on this paper, and he instructed me to change the scriptures. Just small changes, but changes enough to change the meaning of the scriptures. I was afraid that if I did not, he would kill me.

He left the room. I decided that I would not change the scriptures. He came back, and I told him that I would not change the scriptures. He pointed to a specific scripture, and strongly suggested that I should want to change that one. The scripture was, “love is strong as death.” He told me that I should change the word “death” to “life.” I felt pressured to. I was certain that in that moment, if I did not change it, he would kill me, but I could not do it.

He did not seem phased by my decision at all, and instead of reacting with hostility, he took me to another room and offered gifts. He wanted me to stay with him in his house. He said he wanted me to be his. It is hard to describe what this felt like. He offered protection from harm and endless adoration, and he was very tempting. I am ashamed to say this, but I did feel tempted to stay. It was like a force came over me, and all the weakest things about me were trying to get me to stay with him.

I also felt sorry for him. He seemed sad and lonely. I thought it was strange that I would feel sorry for him, but he seemed so non-threatening and almost weak. Pleading. I told him that I was sorry, and that he does not seem to be so bad of a person. He is just like we are. I told him that I am sorry for his fate, and I would change it if I could. I know that sounds terrible.

His countenance towards me was not unkind. I told him that I had to go. With a look of sadness and defeat, he told me that I could go, but that I had better go now. I noticed that some of my belongings were scattered around the house, so I went to pick them up. I did not have time to get all of them. His softness soon turned into anger. Have you ever felt so sad and hurt that you became enraged? That is what it was like.

He came towards me, and he was holding something over his head that looked like a book. Water was pouring out of the book onto his head, and as he walked towards me, rain began to fall from inside of the room. Like a wall of rain that was with him as he walked, and it was coming towards me. I ran out of the house, and that was the end of it.

What does this mean?

These temptations and the emotions I felt might seem strange and shameful. Some of it is shameful. However, there are things to learn from this.

Many are tempted to change scripture. Just little changes here and there. Little missuses of the word of God. Many are tempted because they are saving their own skin and livelihood, but they know full well what they are doing. As Christians, we should be faithful to the word of God, even if it means death. I know many believe Christians should not and will not suffer, and Satan himself will tempt us with that same promise. Christians have always suffered and died for Jesus.

What about the temptation to stay with Satan? What about the feelings of compassion for him, thinking, “you are not so bad. You are just like us.” Satan does not seem so bad to us sometimes. Some sins seem so natural, that why not do them? Why call them sin at all?

As Christians, we sometimes feel tempted to be compassionate and accepting of sin. Sin promises many gifts. Sin looks beautiful. Sin appeals to our weaker selves. Sin makes us feel comfortable. But if we join ourselves with sin, he will keep us. Although it might seem strange to feel sorry for Satan and his fate, there is a degree to which Christians should retain compassion for sinners. Their fate is death.

However, there will come a time when that compassion ends because Satan and those who do his work will fully persecute us. We cannot save them. All we can do is get out, and like Jesus said, “don’t go back into the house neither take anything out of the house.” It is interesting that I tried to take things out of the house before the countenance of Satan changed towards me, and I had to run out quickly.

Will Christians suffer persecution or “the flood” because of the sadness, emptiness, fury, and jealousy of the wicked? It seems so. Is this time approaching? I cannot say for certain. Maybe this is a sort of “abundance of business dream,” but it certainly felt real, as if I was in an actual place. Though, the things that occurred were symbolic.

Take it for what you will. We will do as we have always done regardless. We will continue to seek Jesus, learn to trust Him and grow stronger in Him. He will not allow us to give into temptations that would take us from Him. He will make a way for us to escape.  

The Challenges of Being an Outlier Christian (Part 1)

I know that many Christians find a place within various denominations and sects of Christianity, and I do not want to insult any who do. Many are my brethren. However, as a Christian who spent the last several years seeking Jesus outside of the confines of these systems, I sympathize a great deal with believers who feel as though they do not fit in with any particular Christian denomination or sect.

I want to share some about the challenges I faced as an outlier Christian, because I know many believers deal with this.

We all have differing experiences, so I can only speak to my own experience.

I was not part of any church when Jesus began to take over my life. I prayed that He would show me the truth, even if I did not like it. I prayed this because I was confused by the contradicting ideas about the Christian faith and the contradicting ideas about our Lord, Jesus. I wanted to know which denomination was right. I wanted to live a Christian life, but I didn’t know where I should go for proper instruction and support.

Jesus answered by leading me to a series of Online bible studies. These challenged my doctrinal views, encouraged the need for living righteously as a Christian, and instructed that Jesus would transform me so that I could live more uprightly by the power of the Holy Spirit. These studies inspired me to study the scripture for myself, because although the teachings made sense to me and provided answers for things that severely challenged my faith, I could not simply change my views so easily.

So, I studied. I made a list of all the core doctrines that I was struggling with, and I assigned each a color. I went through the New Testament twice and highlighted all passages related to these teachings, then I grouped them together in a spreadsheet and considered the doctrinal issues further. I know this is a very nerdy approach, but it was all I knew to do. It did help me to become more familiar with the scriptures, so I am glad that I did this.

When we are new to the faith, we need instruction in the scriptures. We need someone who can take us through the word honestly and help us understand what the Christian life is about.

However, I know from first-hand experience that there is great value in taking the time to prayerfully consider the scriptures for yourself.

We know that there are matters Christians disagree on. So, aside from the core issues of the faith pertaining to the Son of God who died for our sins, there is value in laying aside the doctrines we have be taught and considering these matters for ourselves.

The person I was led to study under is not a trained pastor. This is another outlier Christian. Although I do not want to insult or accuse any pastor or those who go the route of traditional Christian education, I appreciate this important fact: you cannot institutionalize the Spirit of God.

We don’t have to be very smart or scholarly. We don’t have to overly rely on our pastors or other forms of religious authority or our Christian educational systems. Jesus can open His understanding to anyone, and in-fact, I believe that being very knowledgeable and loyal to our traditions hardens us to hearing His instruction, and it is those who are hungry for His word who are filled.

However, as with all things that are worth doing, there is no fast-track way.  It takes time to go through the scriptures and to consider what is being taught apart from what other people say. It also takes a lot of desire for the word of God, and Jesus can provide us with that.

For many years I did not care one bit about studying the bible. It felt like a chore. It was something I felt I should do as a Christian, but I could not stay focused for long. I know what it is like to have that zeal placed in you. It is insatiable. You cannot resist it. So, if you want to study but feel ashamed because you lack motivation, pray about it. Keep praying about it. Maybe you lack motivation because the Lord is leading you away from your comfort zone first so that He can instruct you.

There are good teachers out there who help, and they can speed the learning and growth process up for us a great deal. I certainly benefited from this, and I want to instruct others also so they find support and maybe bypass some of the troubles I faced. However, there is no substitute for living our own life and seeking Jesus for ourselves.

So, if you feel confused about Christianity or if you want to sharpen your understanding and walk with Jesus, I encourage you to take some time to consider the word of God for yourself. Don’t ignore the doctrines that you have been questioning. Don’t ignore those scriptures that are conveniently skipped over or explained away without sufficient care.  See what the Lord will do when you rely on Him to teach you.

Considering Proverbs 10:10

10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

What does the first part of this proverb mean? At first, this seems like a negative statement. Maybe it is, but it seems like the Proverbs provide contrasting statements, with one half of the proverb indicating a positive attribute and the second half indicating a negative.

The second statement is more obviously in the negative than the first. I like to substitute the word “babbling” for prating. Meaning, someone who speaks all their mind without considering the matter more fully or the effects their words will have.

Where is the contrast in this proverb? What does it mean, “he that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow?”

I don’t know for certain, because that is a strange sounding saying. I looked at other translations, and I did not find any of them particularly satisfying. Here are my thoughts, and I think the meaning I see is sound whether or not this is what the author of this proverb meant.

When I think of winking with the eye, in this context as a contrasting idea to a babbling fool, I think of a narrowing of one’s gaze, which is an indication of careful contemplation and consideration.

When we are faced with a difficult scenario and we carefully consider the matter and wait patiently for the right course, we can cause sorrow to those who want us to take their side hastily.

However, we know that a babbling fool will fall. In a world of contention, it is a good idea to find a matter out as fully as we can before jumping to hasty conclusions, lest we find ourselves banding together with the wicked.

There is another thing to consider. In many cases, if the wicked are over eager to get us on board, they are going to be very zealous about the matter.

If we get caught up in their strong emotions, and the cause is not just or is not handled in a just manner, then we are placing ourselves at risk of becoming even more foolish. How so? We are less likely to see the error of our ways when our vision is clouded by unrighteous zeal, which is often fueled by things like fear and pride.  

Whether we are dealing with a small matter or a large-scale issue within our society, we should consider as much about the matter as we can before choosing sides. I have found, that when we do so the side that is most just will often lie within the middle ground. Most often, in any matter of contention or debate, both parties have valid points and both have errors. If we hastily choose one side without considering the difficult points that the other party makes, we can become very foolish.

As the scriptures teach, we should walk “circumspect as the wise,” meaning we consider matters from all angles. However, the scriptures also teach us that we can trust in Jesus in all things. Sometimes we don’t have the time, opportunity, or ability to search a matter out fully. If we form a relationship with Jesus, learn His ways, and practice applying His ways to our life, we can feel confident that the Holy Spirit will give us the understanding and proper response to any given situation as it arises.

Jesus said, “when they shall deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what you will speak; neither do you premeditate, for whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that is what you will speak. For it is not you who speaks, but the Holy Spirit.”

So, we see another kind of contrast. When we are able to find a matter out, we should, lest we jump to conclusions and align ourselves with the foolish. Yet, there are times when we cannot find a matter out, and we can trust in Jesus to reveal all things through the Holy Spirit.

In all things, whether we are searching for the right answer or waiting on the Lord, we can trust in Him—and let no hasty and foolish person lead you astray with their unrighteously zealous pursuits.

We do not want to be babbling fools, so we want to narrow our gaze and consider the matter. However, we do not want to narrow our eyes so much that they are shut to evil.

It can be tempting at times to turn the other way when faced with a difficult problem, but as Christians we are stewards of goodness and truth in this world—specifically pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and the testimony of Jesus Christ. We cannot simply shut our eyes and go on with our lives. We are participants in this world, and in fact, we are told that the whole creation is in agony as it waits for the formation of the saints.

We should stand up for what is right. We do not turn a blind eye, and neither should we be hasty in our judgments. As Jesus says, “judge not after the outer appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” He can help us learn how to judge things more uprightly and keeping His commandments of love towards God and fellow man is a summation of it all.

However, as fallible creatures who are prone to death, we do not know how to love as we should. The curse of man is death. We spend our lives killing one another; literally and spiritually, and therefore our end is just. We too shall die.

I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of His sacrifice, we are forgiven of our destructive ways. Because of His resurrection and ascension to the throne of God, we are promised a new nature that is free from the bonds of destruction and we have an intercessor who speaks on our behalf when we go astray. Because of His faithfulness, all who God gave the Son will rise from the dead. He will keep us. So, we can trust in Him.

We are all foolish. We all need Jesus to show us the way, and just as He went after the one lost sheep, so will He go after us. Sometimes that means waiting for Him while the wolves in sheep’s clothing circle us, howl, and try to lead us to our doom. The Good Shepherd will deal with it. We should also note that the “hirelings” will run off, but those who are faithful servants of the Good Shepherd will stand strong, and “your eyes will behold your teachers.”

All things will be made known. The Day of the Lord will reveal much. We see some evidence of this even now, so seek Jesus while there is still time. Without Him, there is no salvation from the foolishness of the world and their destruction.

Fighting in Two Fronts

Last night, I wrote about how I was feeling torn about my next steps. I think I might have some insight, but I need to think about it more over the next few days or so. I will go ahead and share so you can consider it too. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment or send an email.

There are two big enemies of God’s people mentioned in the bible, and I think we see both at work in the New Testament and in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

These two enemies are the Assyrians and Babylonians.

My understanding of the Assyrians, in Christian terms, has to do with our own sin. In this time, there are many strong temptations in this world. There is temptation to fear and unbelief, self-righteous indignation, resentment, jealousy, theft, idolatry, and so on. I do believe that our greatest temptations of this time are temptations to violence–and there are many things at the root of our violent natures.

However, there is a violence of God and there is a violence of Satan. Meaning, those who speak the truth of God will seem violent to those who oppose God. However, many do the work of Satan thinking that they do the work of God–and that is because they are overcome by the Assyrian.

As for the Babylonians, I think this has to do with unjust powers that overthrow the people of God. In the final sense, this takes form of the false prophet and the great whore of mystery Babylon. There are types of Babylon at play now–but if we are blinded by the Assyrian, then we will not see it. In-fact, we might bow down and worship it, all the while thinking we are doing well.

So, we are fighting on two fronts, and both are important. Maybe my fight is more with the Assyrians, and the fight of another is more with the Babylonians–but both go together. Or, maybe I should deal with both.

Maybe I am way off base with this. I will consider it more. If you have thoughts, please share. I’d love to hear from you.