Considering Proverbs 10:18

18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

Have you ever dealt with someone who praised you to your face then slandered you behind you back? Be honest…maybe you’ve done this too. Sometimes we don’t want to say what we really feel because we have to be civil. We have to be adults in this world and get along. Then, when we are in our safety zone around people we know or trust, out pours the hatred as we gossip about someone.

Not good. It doesn’t feel good when it is done to us, and it’s not good to do this to others.

How often is this done among the household of the faith?

Now, when I say that, what do you think of? Do you think of your local church? Do you think of your local denomination? Although there might be occasional bickering among you, for the most part, you are of one mind, correct?

Think broader.

What about Christians you disagree with?

Where I live, there are two main camps of Christianity. I have spent some time among them both, and both never cease to complain about the other. It is like they are vying for the souls of their congregants who must pledge allegiance to the flag of (enter denomination or pastor here).

I’ve seen a surplus of online ministers and prophets/prophetesses so-called who absolutely hate the brethren. Why do they hate them? I think many of them have felt as I have: cast out, looked down upon, and judged harshly.

Resentment leavens the whole lump, as Jesus says. Purge out the old leaven of malice. It is hard to do. I know. I still have some purging to do too. Some are not merely wounded; they want to be King themselves as they give into strange delusions. I pray for you. I know what you struggle with.

What’s sad is that the things stated by all who hate their brethren are not entirely true. A lot of it is slander based on impartial information about the beliefs of the opposition, assumptions that fill in the blanks, and an unwillingness to see that perhaps their opponent has some things right that they themselves miss.

This is not good. This gets into being “drunken and smiting your fellow servants” territory. They are drunken off their superior understanding of the faith and of the teachings of Jesus, wherewith they justify condemning all others. This is four-horsemen stuff, folks. As I have said and will stand by, We Are the Four Horsemen—yet what is in heaven is in earth. Correct? Hear me?

Jesus is merciful. Thanks to God that our judgment is in His hands. Thanks to God that Jesus is a person who deals with us all individually, circumspectly, and with much patience and wisdom. If the grace of God is for us, nothing can be against us—not even our failings.

Yet…our failings are going to be judged. We cannot go around erecting towers and petty kings in the name of the King of Kings and get away with it. We cannot murder our fellow servants in the name of the Prince of Peace and get away with it.

He will tear it all down at the hands of our enemies—and this is for our own good. However, the way He does this will try our hearts. Are we faithful to Jesus or are we faithful to man? If we have the love of Jesus in us and the grace of God to see this, we will not be tried. We will see it coming from a mile away…please see it. I pray the grace of God for you to see it.

We cannot continue to speak peace to the face of our enemies and slander them behind their backs…especially among the brethren.

I do not hate the brethren, though I am human and I get angry. That is a fault of mine and I know that anger and hate are closely related. Yet, to hate wickedness is good. So, I will hate it, but I will not hate you by speaking peace to you then allow the results of your ways come crashing down on you without at least attempting to do something about it.

I have been there too. I have held my views—views that did not line up with any one of you completely, but in part with most if not all of you. I’ve felt the temptation to be against my brethren and I have felt the desire to see it all come crashing down. Now, for your sakes, I desire to see us repent. I desire to see us find humility and learn to communicate beyond our petty Towers of Babel.

The Spirit speaks still. We can hear Him if we will lower ourselves. Jesus is meek and lowly. He will not make Himself known to our towers, and if He must, He will level them to the ground so that He is exalted for our sakes.

In that way, I do desire to see it all fall—but not for the destruction of those within—but that their soul might be saved. It will happen as the scriptures say. This too is grace. It is the grace of God to chasten those He loves.

I do not accuse the salvation of my brethren, as many towers do, but I do know that those who are high now will be low in His Kingdom. Those who are low now will be raised up, as He has said. So, we can always grow in humility. Grow down, not up. The lower we get in the earth, the bigger we get in the Spirit.

In the Spirit, we are one, as the Father and the Son are one. One day, by the grace of God, we will be.

The Loop of Depression for Ni-Ti Brains

This is an off-the-wall post for a friend. I suspect this person will benefit from this information who seems to be one of these weirdos like myself. I mean this in a light-hearted way.

People gather, process, and implement information in a variety of ways. There is an area of loose science that has explored this concept. Some regard it. Some don’t. As someone with an odd kind of brain, and one that is prone to depression, finding this information helped me.

I try to keep these things in mind and seek Jesus when I get down and find that my thoughts are spiraling out of control or into depression. I also try to recognize that most people do not think like I do. This makes it easier to find a way to communicate more effectively.

Our way of dealing with the world is a gift on one hand that can serve Jesus if we get to know ourselves a little and focus on Jesus more and on the chaos a little less. Jesus says, “sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” Our way of dealing with the world can be a kind of curse that can draw us into a dark state of being that is hard to get out of. So, I want to share this.

Be cautious. There are some ridiculous ideas about this personality/cognitive function type. Focus on the science behind it, not the mysticism and vanity of man. Get the good information, use it, and seek Jesus in this so you can break these cycles. I still get in them. Frequently. However, they pass much more quickly thanks to this understanding and learning to seek Jesus early.

Of course, Jesus is the way to all healing and truth, but it helps to recognize our own patterns so that we can seek Jesus to help direct our minds towards something profitable, ideally, Himself.

Breaking Through the Babble

When mankind works together, we begin to make too much of ourselves. We think we can reach heaven. We think we, being man, can make ourselves like God.

So, God divides us. He breaks down our communication.

This is good for us. This is also our undoing.

We are prideful, selfish, and murderous by nature. If we cannot communicate and come to knowledge of what is good and true, we will simply destroy one another.

Man will try to create their tower of Babel again—but what will result? Peace? No. Not peace. Man cannot communicate and come to knowledge of what is good and true. So, they will simply destroy all who stand in their way.

Many will “have one mind” and “give their power and strength” to this Tower of Babel. Right? They will make war with the Lamb, who is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Right?

In Jesus, I believe that we should be one mind also—but not according to the vain power of man that is arrogant, proud, destructive and exceedingly foolish—but according to the Spirit of God.

In Christ, we should not kill one another in the name of our own petty Towers of Babel as we argue over how to best reach God. Don’t we serve the same God in the person of Jesus Christ?

If we could just communicate. If we could just break through the babble and see past our prideful towers we have erected in the name of Jesus, we would find something wonderful. Unity. Real unity. Not the fake unity of man that is not unity at all, but a conform or be killed kind of unity.

One day the things that divide us will be removed. Perhaps not until Jesus Himself returns. Perhaps this is good. Perhaps for now the best we can do is learn to get along and be at peace with everyone, as much as is possible, without denying Jesus.

Perhaps my dream of Christian unity is a pipe dream. Perhaps it is vain to think that maybe Jesus is teaching me to see beyond our Towers of Babel. Perhaps it is vain to think that maybe Jesus is helping me to hear what the Spirit is saying instead of what our Towers of Babel speak concerning Him.

One day, we will be joined with Jesus. All of us will. One day, He will judge Babel, even the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon who gets rich off of Him, fornicates with the world, and murders the saints of God in the name of her towers.

We will learn to see Him for who He is, and we will see that we all saw Him in part. We all prophesied in part. We all got rich off of Him in part, we all conquered in His name in part, we all starved for truth and His Word in part, we all murdered our brethren in part.

We all need mercy much, and thanks be to God, that we serve a God of mercy.

I for one no longer desire to be a part of Babel. I choose peace instead. I choose He who is Perfect instead. Do I see Him? Do I hear Him? Bit by bit. Little by little. As I overcome one Tower of Babel at a time…who wants to come with me?

He will return. He will judge it all, and in the end Babylon the Great and Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth will fall. He will reign and we who overcome will also.

There is a time for all things. I think it’s time to get out of Babel. Seek He who can help use see, hear, and speak beyond the babble of our foolishness. Is the Spirit of Truth among us of a truth? Are we one as the Son and Father are one? We can be. I believe that.

Yet, I know that unity among the brethren does not serve those who want to be rich off of Him. Unity among the brethren does not serve those who want to exalt themselves over our brethren. Unity of the brethren does not serve those who are calcified by traditions of man. Unity of the brethren does not serve those who are afraid of what Rome will do… Even so. Jesus will avenge. Let’s find unity anyway.

What is a Tree?

I love exploring nature with my toddler. He reminds me of how easily we forget to appreciate the simple things in life. The beauty of the mundane is lost as the years speed by, faster and faster it seems. I hope the grace of God will keep me in awe of Him. How terrible it would be for Jesus to become mundane.

Today, I was struck by something as my little boy inspected a tree. His new favorite phrase is, “wassat?” What’s that? Oh, that? That’s just a tree.

We walk over to the tree. He feels the tree bark and breaks off a piece of it. He looks at the bark closely, drops it, then pulls off another and does the same. He notices the big black ants crawling amid the cervices of the tree bark. He brushes his hands across the long-leaf pine needles. I break a few off and we smell the fresh piney scent together. We stood there for a few minutes taking in that tree.

“Wassat?”

Well, it’s just a tree. What is a tree?

Is a tree the bark that covers it or the pine needles that adorn it? Is it the tree sap? Is it the roots? Is it the branches? Is it endless possibilities of all that its wood could create? Is it paper, a table, or a chair? Is it firewood?

“Wassat?”

How much more difficult is it for us to grasp God than it is for my toddler to grasp a tree. What is a tree? Who is God? Are we much more than little toddlers, inspecting bits of Him at a time? In Jesus we see the image of God, but how much more is there to Jesus than we see?

Maybe to some, Jesus is the bark that covers the tree or the pine needles that adorn it. To some He is tree sap. To some He is roots and branches. To some He is paper, a table, or a chair. To some, He is firewood.

What if we as little brothers and sisters in Christ would take a step back, communicate, and revel in all that Jesus is?

We all see somewhat of Him. We all receive somewhat of Him as we are conformed to His image. Yet, how much do we miss out on as we focus on a few aspects of Him, argue over who He is, or in our foolishness assume that we have Him all figured out so we just simply say, “that’s a tree” but don’t take the time to really inspect Him in all His wonder?

“Wassat?”

Childlike wonder. That is what I never want to lose hold of, and the humility in knowing that we don’t really know in fullness. What is a tree? Who is Jesus? Who is God? Let’s keep searching with eager expectation and curiosity, with humility, and with awe. He is worthy to be awe-inspiring and unifying for all who are enthralled with His majesty that is so much greater than any tree.

Rest for our Soul?

Jesus says, “come to me all who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest to your soul.”

Jesus says that he is “meek and lowly in heart.”

Jesus says, “take my yoke upon you because my burden is easy and my yoke is light.”

I want to think more about these ideas. I get very tired.

I get up early because it makes my day go much better if I can get up before my children do and spend some time with the Lord in quiet, and even better if I get up early enough to write also. I also stay up late working most nights because I want my days to be spent caring for my kids. I sacrificed them on the alter of work for too many years. I have made a strong decision not to do this any longer, but I feel myself being sacrificed.

My body, my mind, my soul…little by little seems to be utterly spent. Pair this with my care of the Christian faith, the state of our nation, and personal problems in this life, and the burdens are oh so heavy. I get tired physically, mentally, and emotionally for a number of reasons. This world is exhausting.

To find rest. Real rest. That is an astounding thing, and I feel kind of silly because I don’t think I have really entered into His rest. Not like I could perhaps.

There are times when I feel like it is all just too much, then I look to Jesus, and I feel better. I feel rest in His sovereignty. I feel rest in His mercy. I feel rest in His faithfulness. Yet, the world always seems to squeeze the life out of me…and would do its best to squeeze He who is Life out of me also.

To find rest. Real rest–and abide therein. That is the sabbath, is it not? Do the churches by and large offer His rest? They don’t seem to. Not for me anyway.

Instead, I seem to find a yoke of accepting sinfulness. Some call evil good and good evil. Some admit defeat to sin as they neglect the power of the gospel and the kingdom for our present lives. Some try to reach the kingdom through legalism. Some set up their own kingdom.

Yoke upon heavy yoke, yes. Rest? Not so much.

I feel ostracized by most Christians. I feel looked down upon by most Christians. I feel judged as condemned by the Lord because of my poverty and the hardships of my life by some Christians.

I feel this pressure to “conform or else” by most Christians. Conform to what they think is righteous or good…which very often seems to oppose what Jesus really teaches. Many want to make me a white-washed tomb or a cup that’s outwardly clean, or a duplicate of themselves or their favorite minister.

But what about my soul? Is my soul cleansed? Is my soul at peace? Have I really found that?

I don’t want to accuse anyone or slander anyone—especially in the body of Christ. Maybe it’s me. Maybe something is wrong with me. However, I do not think I have found the rest of Jesus Christ among most believers.

Perhaps, as Jesus said, “broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that go in thereat, and straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it.”

Have I really found it? Do I really give it?

I’ve spent several years writing about Christianity and my journey towards seeking more of Jesus, but for all of my work, I wonder, have I rested? Have I helped others rest?

Maybe Jesus brought me to this point of absolute exhaustion so that I could ask myself these questions. Where is His rest? How do I really enter in? Why does it seem like most of the Christian world fails to get me there? How can I help others find His rest too?

Do you have thoughts about this? If you feel like sharing, please feel free to leave a reply. I’d love to hear what you think. Have you found the rest that Jesus offers?  

Oversharing?

Do I overshare my own experiences? Do I talk about myself too much? Does this distract from Jesus? Maybe at times. Am I self-serving and vain in so doing? Maybe.

Until I started sharing my experiences through Christian article writing, I was a very reserved person. No one really knew me. My family did not really know me. I had no close and lasting friendships. People thought I was weird because I was so incredibly reclusive, quiet, and reserved. I did not respond to much. I never had much to say. I observed, and it seemed like when I would speak, people did not like what I had to say. So, why say anything?

I’m still that way, actually. Very few people get close. It’s a character flaw of mine, but one that I don’t know how to fix. I suppose I live a double life in a way. Online I feel free to expose things that I would not otherwise, to speak what I feel the Lord gives, and to share myself with others. I fear that if I were this way in my real life, I’d run everyone off. Very few want to live in the truth, and I think that is why I’ve spent most of my life silent.

I know that people might find reason to accuse me in my motives or in my faith because of the things I write. Even so, I will keep doing so for as long as the Lord allows.

Why?

One of the most terrible things in this life for me has been a feeling of loneliness. I’ve always felt like a “stranger on the earth.” My greatest sympathy is for those who are the same, so if my sharing can help one person feel less alone, then I will share. It’s freeing to share. It’s freeing to be real. It’s freeing to know that we are all flawed so there is no reason to pretend to be otherwise. Jesus says that the truth makes us free—and it does.

His truth makes us free. The Spirit of Truth makes us free. Living truthfully makes us free. I love the truth, and I love that He who is Truth placed that love in me.

The truth also exposes and kills…so I think that’s why so many hate it. Some of the truths I write are hard to hear, but I won’t hold back anything the Lord puts in me to say. Those who love truth will be comforted. As the scripturas say, “don’t my words do good to them that live uprightly?”

It is by the blood of Jesus that we can be counted as upright, but if we love the truth and seek Him, we will be made–by the grace of God–into the righteousness of Christ in some measure during our lives. We cannot lose sight of this.

I also don’t want to say the hard things the Lord gives without also sharing my faults. I think this provides a protection against hypocrisy or creating a false image of myself that seems better than I really am.

Making a fool of myself can also bring comfort to a few who feel alone, so I will gladly do it. In a world of Instagram, photoshop, social media, and all manner of temptation to being fraudulent, I think people find honesty refreshing. Or so I’ve been told by a few.

There are more things I want to share—and not because I just love to talk about myself—but because I feel like I must. Life is painful but sharing in that pain with others makes it more bearable. Is this a “misery loves company” mindset? I don’t think so. I think this is more of a mindset of fellowship, finding a place of truthfulness, and seeking Jesus so that we can let go of our pain and find relief.

This is what I most want to do. I love the teachings of Jesus and I love writing about them, but what I have most on my heart is sharing myself with my brethren and offering the real kind of safety, truthfulness, and accountability we so desperately need in this world.

We all want to feel safe. We all want a place. We look to the world for these things but Jesus is the real rest for our souls. I never want to distract from Jesus, but as much as He is in me, I will share of Him. We all have something of Him to share, and we can support one another as we look for more of Him together.

Sin on All Sides, Death in Front, and Peace Within

What do you do, as a God-fearing Christian, when you are faced with a seemingly impossible scenario? If you go to the left, to the right, or turn back, there is sin. So, all you can do is move forward knowing that the steps you are taking are going to be painful and the end of the road looks like death.

The temptation to turn to the left, to the right, or to turn back weighs heavily daily. Yet, God in His goodness has an iron grip as He gently nudges us along, soothing us, wiping our tears away, and letting us know that the end is not death, but life everlasting.

The painful steps make Him strong in us, killing things that do not live forever so that we can live forever. Yet, we know that many do not have to walk this road who are called by His name. Many walk easier paths and they too will live. Many say that Jesus will “put on you no other burden.” A God-filled life is one of ease and plenty, they say. God does not care much for your sin. You are forgiven. Maybe for some this is true. In His mercy Jesus said, “that which you have, hold fast till I come.”

Yet, it would seem that those He loves most will suffer most. We should be glad to join in the “fellowship of His suffering,” but as Jesus says, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” His Spirit can do wonderful things. He can strengthen us, and it is in our weakest times of much suffering that He is made strong in us.  

Jesus says that His burden is easy and His yoke is light. This is true. But the burdens of this world are heavy and being yoked to the wicked is a path of much pain. Especially when those who cause the most suffering are those of our own household—those who we should be able to trust in. Jesus is there.

We trust in Him alone because the hearts of self-serving and weak man will betray one another to death. They will take their ease and watch us wither. Are they blind? Do they not really know? Are their hearts so hard that they do not care? Is their fear and self-preservation their god? Lord knows.

How long do we have to endure it before He breaks the yokes that bind us?

Though we suffer in this world and the flesh feels the pain of impending death, our souls live in Him—and we know that we will be raised bodily when He returns.

Never let people make you feel ashamed because of your suffering. Never let them make you question where or who your God is. Remember who it is that says, “I sit a queen and am no widow and shall see no sorrow.” Sorrow comes, but so does peace. “These things have I spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

As Christians, we are made joint heirs with Jesus Christ. He will return one day, and as He has promised, “He that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am sat down with my Father in His throne.”

It makes sense that meekness, or self-control, would be a key attribute of any who would inherit the earth with Jesus.

It takes self-control to lead properly. Otherwise, we would be as the petty kings before us who cry out “off with their head” at any offense.

Instead of being as one who would “call down fire from heaven on the earth in the site of man,” those who overcome keep Jesus in mind. We keep His immense patience and self-control in mind. We remember that He tells us to bless those who curse us, pray for those who use us, and know that all suffering we endure brings us blessing.

We will inherit the earth if we continue in His love, and that is indeed a kind of overcoming, especially as iniquity abounds as He has said.

I am astounded at the level of self-control Jesus demonstrated during His time on this earth.

He felt all things as we do, physically and emotionally. Yet, He was without sin.

Can you imagine what that would be like? Can you imagine how He suffered? He lived with the mind of God and the body of a man. As we grow in the things of His Spirit, we should be able to relate to some degree, and we should grow in gratitude for His patience with us and in so doing, we learn patience too.

He lived among us cruel, backstabbing, lying, self-serving, faithless, and foolish people. He endured ridicule and hatred. He was not regarded by His own who He loved, and He was eventually killed just for being Himself: for testifying to the truth, as the Father had sent Him to do.

The world could not take it. They could not take seeing God in a man, because their own sin became exposed. They could not take their authority being challenged. They could not take the idea that God was not pleased with them. They feared Rome, in who they trusted instead of God.

Yet, Jesus endured it. He who could have called down legions of angels to save Him, and they would have come if His kingdom had been of this world.

One day His kingdom will be in this world, and once again, the world will hate it. Perhaps at this time, legions of angels will indeed come down, and perhaps a few self-controlled Christians will be granted the ability to resist knowing that these are not angels of the Lord, but ministers of Satan. They will resist, but not with the swords of man and their petty kings or with lying signs and wonders of spirits of devils—but with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!

The meek will inherit this: those who know how to use the sword of God properly, or are willing to lay down their self-interests so they can learn how.

How many misuse the written word of God as a tool to harm people wrongfully? How many misuse the written word of God as a tool to further their ideas and agendas instead of furthering the Kingdom of God? How many misuse the written word of God to justify evil doing? How many use the written word of God to lead people into captivity and death?

How many neglects the blood shed by Jesus who Is the Word of God, either by neglecting mercy or by neglecting the call to righteousness that is given by grace through faith tangibly and in this present world?

I am thankful that any good thing we get, including self-control, fear of the Lord, and reverence for His word, comes from God. Though we fall short, we can seek His mercy and favor to overcome.

I am thankful that in the final days, those who He gives power will be faithful to it, and those who misused His word and defiled His name will be astounded, and Lord willing, motivated to repentance for how they misused the word of God and Jesus who is the Word of God.

I am thankful for the amazing example of self-control that Jesus showed. He calls Himself “meek and lowly” as one who gives “rest to our soul.”

Our soul gets tired, and the tiredness of the flesh pales in comparison to tiredness of the soul. Jesus knows. He comforts and He strengthens. He brings us into His rest—a rest that the world cannot know nor duplicate with vain keepings of the Sabbath that completely miss what His rest is really about.

I am thankful to know that we can call out to Jesus. I am thankful to know that our emotions are not sin. His agony on the cross shows us this. His declaration, “how long must I suffer you” also shows this. Yet, He endured.

He thanked the Father always. He trusted the Father always. He now sits at the right hand of the throne of God because He endured to the end, and through Him we can too.

Of a Truth

Of a Truth, it has been a long time since I poured out my heart to the wind.

Who will hear it?

Of a Truth, I am sick with sin, and who can help?

Who can pray for me so that God will hear? He who hears the prayers of the righteous and turns His eyes away from those who defile His Name.

Will I again visit my Pentecostal brethren, who make claim to be the true Bible-believing and Spirit led church—who I could not join because I would not bind myself to their laws?

Will I again visit my Baptist brethren, who sing songs, listen to preaching, then send us on our way as though our duty to the Lord is done—who I could not join because I would not bind myself to their laws?

Will I visit my Catholic brethren? Will the prayer of the Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness soothe my soul?

Will I go Online to hear a man or woman prophet so-called stand in the gap for me, whose prayers are tainted with spittle littered with the flesh of my brethren who they hate and accuse?

Do I accuse you? No, I do not accuse you. I simply want a place to go.

Of a Truth, there is none.

Do I call upon loved ones, who speak nice words to my face and slander me behind my back—who see my poverty in this world and in spirit as a reproach, as one who is rejected of God because in my integrity cannot bind myself with those who have forgotten the ways of the Lord?

Do I call upon loved ones who have their own lives to live, who I do not want to burden? Those who care are a great blessing to me. Lord see and repay. Let them too be blessed! Yet…

Of a Truth, even those I love most are bound. What can they do for me?

Of a Truth, many use your Name to make themselves rich in this life and in social status. Of a Truth, many think you will be their safety in troublous times, but of a Truth, heaven will be silent.

Yet, I hope in Your mercy. I know Your will is good for all who love You in heart and not in word only. Of a Truth, I am a sinner too. I need You too. I need help too…but who will help?

Of a Truth, my stomach has no energy to spare to digest food, because I am used up with no one to replenish. Of a Truth, my heart is weak, my body aches, and I am in awe that at such a young age I feel so old.

Of a Truth, my soul looks to the One who can save, and I am glad because I know that He draws nearer with each passing day!

Of a Truth, many are dried up and used up by this world. I know I am not am not the only one.

Of a Truth, I know that those who call us forsaken will be ashamed.

Of a Truth, He who is Truth will hear. He will come. He will strengthen. He will repay.

Of a Truth, He will show much mercy—He who said, “forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Why I Say That I Did Not Know What Spirit I Was Of

How can a minister of Jesus be filled with His Holy Spirit and also be overcome by evil spirits? Is this even possible? Isn’t it written that those with the Spirit of God never sin, because the seed of God is in them and they cannot sin?

I want to write about this because I said that I would, but I don’t think I have a very good understanding. Just my own experiences and thoughts. It seems that ministers should not be very sinful. Yet, I know that we learn in different ways and I know that we cannot pin down the purposes of God.

I have learned that scripture is useful in growing our understanding of the Lord, Jesus; however, the written word of God should not be used in such a legalistic and calloused sense as to keep us from the Living Word of God who is Jesus Christ.

Though He changes not, because He is God, He is a person. He was a man of mercy and He is a God of mercy. He is also wise in ways that go beyond our reasoning, and one thing we know is that the purpose of the creation by our Creator is to raise many sons.

Although the hearts of man are fashioned alike, we are distinct individuals also, so the Lord will do what He must do for each person so that we are properly formed for His purposes as sons and servants of His Kingdom. Because of His great and personalized care with each person, we cannot use the scriptures so woodenly regarding the judgment and mercy of God towards us who love Him.

Peter gives great examples of this. Jesus said that those who deny Him will be denied by Him to the Father. Peter denied Him three times, and Jesus forgave Him.

So, yes. The scriptures say that those who have the Spirit of God do not sin, but there is always going to be mercy and there is always going to be purposes the Lord is fulfilling that we do not readily see.

I cannot speak too much regarding other ministries, but I can write about myself. I knew that my first website, kinglingtruth.com, was a learning process. I felt as though this was more for myself as something that would sharpen my understanding and ability to communicate the things of God more effectively.

There is some good content. There are ideas that I should get back to that I have at times let slip. There are also mistakes. There are errors in understanding. As I have mentioned previously, there were times when I was not of the right spirit.

What does this mean? The Spirit of God will have certain effects that bring good and true things. His Spirit brings life-giving things. His Spirit also destroys, but in a constructive manner that is not man-pleasing, proud, arrogant, or rude. His Spirit is not impatient or fearful. His Spirit is not self-serving or self-preserving. His Spirit does not lie, create confusion, or minister questions that take our focus off of Him. His Spirit does not lead to disputing among believers, accusations, and slander. His Spirit does not bring us under bondage of law or legalistic faith. His Spirit considers the fullness of every situation, and with wisdom instructs each person personally.

Though at times I was in the right spirit, many times I was following something else. I was following myself or I was overly reliant on the people I looked up to. There were times when I doubted what the Lord was showing me because I relied too much on others, and when they would make jabs directed at me, I shriveled up and berated myself, not realizing that I was grieving the Spirit in the process.

There were times when I was overcome with fear. There were times when I was impatient and angry. There were times when I was self-serving. There were times when I judged the brethren too harshly. All of the things that the Spirit of God is not were in me—and how could that be? His Spirit was there also, but I did begin to doubt it. I wondered if I had deluded myself or maybe His Spirit left because I was too grievous to Him.

So, I quit the ministry. Things did not go well after that, so I came back. Yet, I did not feel like it was good enough to just go back to kindlingtruth. I had to start afresh, sort out the good from the bad, and do better. Or, at least attempt to. I will never claim perfection in life or in ministry. I know there are going to be weak spots. There might be times when I am still of the wrong spirit.

In any case, I don’t think any Christian instantly knows how to walk after the Sprit of God from the get-go. We have to learn how to, and Jesus will do the work in us necessary so that we can. It is also true that none but Jesus have the fullness of the Spirt of God. We can always seek more. The day we stop looking for Him is a sad day.

Even so, I do believe that as many as walk after the Spirit of God are the sons of God. We do not want to walk after the spirts of devils, but we might at times. We need mercy. We need guidance. We are all lost little sheep looking to our great Shepherd.

I will forever be skeptical of any minister who claims to be without sin, or at least without the capacity for sin. Maybe we get to a point in which we do not sin, but we are still not perfect. We have work to do. We have sufferings to endure. We have more of the Spirit to obtain. We have the resurrection or transfiguration to experience, and we are all at one time changed into the likeness of our Lord. How wonderful!

I don’t think anyone will attain perfection before the other. We are all raised at once at the coming of our Lord, Jesus. We are all on this journey together, so I am also highly skeptical of ministers who lord themselves over people. We should lead as we are given the ability, but often we are walking along side one another. Not in front or behind.

I do know that if the grace of God abounds towards us who have the Holy Spirit, we will be convicted of our sin. We will repent. We will overcome over time. So, in that way, those who are born of the Spirit of God cannot sin. I can sin. I would that I could not. I get overcome by things that are not of the Spirit of God, but I do recognize this more readily than I did before.

He can do this for us, and the more we seek Him and put Him first—which is a desire He graciously gives—the more we will grow in all things of His Life-giving Spirit. And in turn, we can be better servants of our brethren and of Him.