Sunday, 10 November 2019

How do we think?

A few nights ago I had a dream in which I was trying to speak to a very important person on the phone but could not get connected. This brought me to think of how we, as believers, connect with God. Do we connect with Him through the carnal mind or the mind of Christ as spoken of in 1 Corinthians ch. 2 v.16:- 
'For who has known the mind of the LORD, that he may instruct Him? But we have the MIND OF CHRIST.' This is saying that when we have been born again of the Holy Spirit and  are spiritually  part of the body of Christ on earth, as stated in 1 Corinthians vs. 12 and 13 ( For in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body, whether Jews, or Greeks , slave or free, and we were all given one Spirit to drink...) then we  have the mind of Christ. 

Isaiah ch. 55 vs. 8 and 9 clearly states that Gods thoughts and ways are totally different to mankind's thoughts and ways :- 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways' declares the LORD.
Do we argue with that Word?
Job ch. 40 v.2 states:-

' Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct Him? he that reproves God, let him answer it.'


This is how Paul the Apostle spoke to believers in Ephesians ch. 4 vs 22-24 regarding how they should be in Christ:-

'You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.'

Jesus' Words to us, enlightened by the Holy Spirit,  are what enable us to work out our salvation, and just as He did, we too can learn obedience through the things we suffer, trials strengthening us as we journey on.  Hebrews ch. 5 vs. 8 and 9 state:- 'though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,'  and I see through this that to 'obey' Him means to 'act' on the Word spoken to us as believers, and not just be 'hearers' of that Word.


Recently, the cover on my mobile phone broke and I needed to buy a new one. I do not buy on line and asked my daughter in law if she would order one for me. She went through several of them for me, asking which one I would like, many with butterflies on which I said would be the right one but which were out of stock.  She came to one with a picture of a lion on it and asked me would I like it. I said 'I love lions' , so she ordered it for me. She said 'What will you call the lion?' I started thinking about this and suddenly she said to me 'Did you say 'Judah'? I said to her that I had not said a word. She could not believe it, and said she literally had goose bumps on her arms.



Isaiah ch. 61 v.10 reads:-
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and ARRAYED ME in a robe of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.' 
1 Corinthians ch. 1 v.30 reads:-

'It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, Who has BECOME for us wisdom from God: our RIGHTEOUSNESS, holiness and redemption....'
If the scriptures say that He has become our righteousness, and also that God has arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, I believe absolutely that what happened with my daughter in law regarding my phone cover is a sign from the Lord accompanying His Word.


What I have on my mobile screen is a picture of a sea and the words 'Walk on water', signifying that I must keep my eyes focused on the Lord, and not on the tribulations in my life.  Now that there will be a lion covering on that statement it speaks Spiritually to me that as long as I keep my eyes upon the Lord, Who is the Word of God, then I shall be covered by His righteousness.

I end this post with a section of 2 Corinthians ch. 10 v.5  that has greatly encouraged me to change my way of thinking.

'.......bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ'

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Why?

Someone once said to me 'How can God allow horrible people, that have committed atrocities against others, to walk around the streets, and yet good people die before they are very old?'
Earlier she had said that she still loved a man who had previously left her and their son for another woman, and still lived in hope that he would return to her one day. This reminded me of the parable of the prodigal son in the Bible, and how the Lord used this story to show how  much God loves all of mankind and wants that they should return to Him.  The spiritual enemy is rife in the world, and it is even prophesied in 1 Timothy ch. 4 v.1 that many shall fall away from the faith in the end times.
Often people will blame God for many things that man is responsible for doing because they do not see the whole picture and realise how much God wants that we should all come to know Him and learn His ways, which can only be brought about through being born again of His Holy Spirit.  This is why it is so important that we should, as Christians, share the gospel of Christ with humility and not with any kind of judgement, which would have the ability to turn those Who God is calling to Him away from Him. Some time ago I wrote a poem about this. It is called 'Why Lord?'

Why Lord?

Why do people hate You Lord
and blaspheme Your precious name
why for all man's evil deeds 
do You always get the blame
Can't they see Your goodness  
are they all so blind
don't they see that all Your works 
are merciful and kind
or is it that Your children  
we who see Your good
are not presenting You Lord 
as we really should
Have we made our own rules 
for people in distress
Instead of showing Jesus 
do we just oppress
Are we thinking we are clean 
through something we have done
do we stand in judgement 
condemning everyone
What do they see stood in front of them 
do they see You Lord or me
do they look on a humble child of God 
or a self righteous Pharisee
Father forgive us our stubbornness  
our refusal to bend to Your will
Oh teach us to go when You say 'Move on' 
but to wait when You say 'Be still'
Forgive us for our stiff necks Lord 
for our vain and foolish pride
bring us to preach to the world Lord 
only Jesus Christ crucified
As oracles of God we are 
like Jesus to behave
Who came not to condemn the world 
but for the world to save
So Lord forgive me if I've failed to set the captives free
if I have become to You a fruitless fig tree
Don't let me see the cruelty of the possessor
let me see the plight of the possessed
don't let Your love inside me turn to hate
because I see the oppressor instead of the oppressed
Unstop the ears of this messenger Lord
open the eyes of this servant of Yours
then will I hear the cry of the prisoners
and You'll show me the way to open locked doors
Then they'll see You when they look at me
they'll just see mercy and grace
seeing the Lord of eternity upon this earthly face 


What I really love about the Bible is that it becomes a book of instruction on how to live a peaceful life on earth. Jesus says  in John ch. 16 v.33 that in Him we have peace. The more we read, the more correction, advice and Spiritual growth we have access to, and the more God's thoughts and ways become our thoughts and ways.















Sometimes we have to go through  'sadness', 'badness' and 'madness'  before we can see what we have brought ourselves into and then we have to learn from these situations what not to do in our lives.  The only way we can change is to bring the Word and teaching of God into our lives, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in our journey through life on earth.  The battle is not about flesh and blood but is spiritual.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians ch. 6 v.12



Tuesday, 6 August 2019

A labourer let me be

' Stay in bed for the day ' my husband said ' get rid of that cold '.  ' Hmm.. ' I thought, ' maybe I will have a few hours in bed.'    ' I could do with a rest.'  I replied.  So I had stayed in bed that morning and much of the afternoon.
As I lay there, gazing out through the window, I watched the people passing by in the street and reflected on how their lives might be, on whether there might be sadness behind the smile, or worry and anxiety behind the sombre look.  I thought of how little we might know about one another's lives, whether we be workmates, neighbours or even strangers.  After a while my husband brought me a cup of tea and I started to feel a little better, and decided to read.  I looked at my collection of books on my shelves and chose a book of poems called ' In Memory Of ', a collection of poets' tributes to, and memories of, friends and loved ones that had died.  As I read poem after poem of peoples' feelings, some of joyful memories and some of grief, I began to realize that God was revealing to me what I had pondered on earlier while gazing through my window.  He was now showing me what lay behind a face in the street, revealing to me peoples' innermost feelings, people who were mostly hurting through loss and loneliness.I don't believe that God does anything by chance.  I am a Christian and, as it says in Psalm 139 that every day in my life was written in His book before even one of them was formed. 
 As I lay in my bed I had to question my part in life as far as my fellow man was concerned.  I read on and became filled with compassion for the people who had allowed me to see into their lives.  I know that on that day, when I was brought to see inside the hearts and minds of others, I felt compassion which brought in turn responsibility.  I had been made aware of the loneliness and suffering of others, Christians included, and it had compelled me to want to play my part in life to the best of my ability.  May the Lord help me always to be alert to where and when I may help another.
One poem in particular about a man who was grief stricken at the loss of his soul mate and looked to God for release filled me with such sadness that it brought me to write this poem which contains, I suppose, some of my own deepest feelings.

The Window

' Twas sickness caused me on that day
to rest and in my bed to lay
While through my window I could see
the world outside did not need me
It carried on its busy life
 regardless of my pain and strife
Yet as I gazed upon the scene
that lay beyond lace covered screen
I wondered at each passer by
 .... If face reflected truth or lie

I lay in comfort needing naught 
my husband food and drink had brought
but for my mind to idle be 
was nothing short of misery
Then suddenly my eye was cast 
upon my books - a treasure vast
A book of poems I should read 
to satisfy my spirit's need
to see what lay within the mind 
of other creatures of my kind
I turned the pages one by one .... 
a stirring journey had begun
For hidden there in every leaf was joy 
and sorrow, love and grief
A vast collection here was seen  
of frozen dreams that might have been
of past regrets and loneliness  
sweet memories of tenderness
Lost loves and breaking of the heart 
when sudden death caused to depart
a soul mate of so many years
My burning cheeks felt cooling tears

Such moving stories I had read 
as I lay sick upon my bed
A window had been shown to me 
through which I'd seen reality
of pain that lay behind a smile 
of need to go the extra mile
What of my part in life I thought 
what words of comfort had I brought
In all my years upon this Earth 
What words of love, support and worth
had touched the lives of those I'd met 
Was there remorse, was there regret ?
What use is it if kindly word 
is left in thought and never heard
This world that from my bed I saw
that looked so proud and strong before
has need of me .... and I of it 
each soul to do its special bit

To share with others words of love 
God's seeds of blessing from above
is all that may be asked of me 
to help to set another free
from pain and hurt and misery 
that death and loss has caused to be
but seeds can never come to birth 
unless they're planted in the earth
So Father help me in my life 
to ease a fellow creature's strife
to seek my Lord to try to do 
the things that I have learned from You
and may You cause my eyes to see 
windows of opportunity
to stretch a tender loving hand 
towards the suffering in this land
to sow Your seeds of love and peace 
that word and deed might bring release



















Before I finish this post I feel led to add a song that I wrote some time ago.

A labourer let me be

A child is dying in the street - it cries aloud for bread
do you give of what you have or watch it til it's dead
The harvest now is ready, the fields are white I see
one thing I ask my Father, a labourer let me be
a labourer let me be.

A world was dying in its sin - it didn't ask for bread
God could have given punishment. He gave His Son instead
Yes, He gave His Son instead.
The harvest now is ready - the fields are white I see
one thing I ask my Father, a labourer let me be
A labourer let me be.
Teach us to be humble Lord while bearing precious seed
To deal our bread from Heaven to those who are in need
To those who are in need.

For what is salt without the savour
what is the church without the Word
What use are we among the prisoners
if they say 'Lord we never heard'
If they say 'Lord we never heard'.

The harvest now is ready - the fields are white I see
one thing I ask my Father, a labourer let me be
a labourer let me be.


Monday, 10 June 2019

Contaminated Water

Recently I had a dream. There was a fish tank with many gold fish in it, but the water appeared to be dirty. I felt I had to clean the water, so I removed the fish, put fresh water in the tank and put the fish back in it.  Then I saw another smaller tank further away, with just two goldfish in it, also with even dirtier water in it. One fish was alive, the other was dead. I felt to remove the dead fish, replace it with another live one, and once again refill the tank with clean water.













I believe I know what this dream was portraying to me. Ephesians ch. 5 vs. 26 and 27 reads, regarding the reason Jesus gave Himself up for the church:- 
'to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless...'

 1 Corinthians ch. 15 v.27 tells us that:- ' For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive',  and I believe the first tank was representing a danger of us being in  'contaminated water' (as in the cleansing Water of the Word, which keeps us 'alive in Christ', being blemished by false doctrine being added to that Word.)


The second tank was at a distance, and I believe the live fish was representing Jesus, Who is alive forever, and the dead fish was representing a spiritually dead church that could result from false doctrine if we allow the Word of God to us to be contaminated by it.

1 Timothy ch.4 v. 1 says :-   'The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.' 

Ephesians ch. 6 v.12 tells us:- 'For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.'
We are all One in the Lord as the 'church', the body of Christ on earth, and I believe that my 'cleaning' of the water in my dream was a warning that we must each play our part of building one another up in the true Word as stated in 1 Corinthians ch. 14 v. 26:-
'What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Let all things be done for the building up.'

Matthew ch. 28 v.19 and 20 tells the disciples to go making disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  However, it is obvious that He is not speaking to the disciples of that time alone, as He goes on to say that He will be with them until the end of the age. That Word is the same yesterday, today and forever, and is quite plainly speaking to the church today. All the gifts of the Spirit must freely operate within the church, as it is only the Holy Spirit that can lead us into all truth, and this is very much needed to bring a revival of the Holy Spirit in these end times.

Sadly, the church today can sometimes be 'washed' by 'contaminated water' (the Word of God that has been 'added to' or' taken from' through false doctrine), and the large fish tank in my dream, with many fish in dirty water portrays this.  The smaller tank with very dirty water and two fish in it (one alive and one dead) portrays to me Jesus, Who is forever alive, and the threat of what the very dirty water (the highly indoctrinated word) can do to the collective church of this day, the bride of Christ.

Jesus said 'My Words are Spirit and life' John ch. 6 v. 63, and without His Words and their teaching we have no life in the Spirit, we remain dead in our sins.

I believe that my dream was a warning to me, and to all who are in the Lord, to always check that the Word spoken to us, that we hear and act upon in our daily walk with the Lord, is in line with the scriptures, and is not contaminated by a false doctrine that does not conform with what is written there.

I end this post with this prayer:-

Father as each day I seek
Your blessed strength when I am weak
may all opposing voices heard
be silenced by Your precious Word
that all sufficient healing power
may reach me in my needy hour
Father may I see Your face
look down on me with tender grace


Those who fear Thee shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in Thy Word.
 Psalm 119 v.74

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Our Spiritual journey

I love the way that the Word spoken to us is a living Word, and just as we do not say 'yes' and 'no' at the same time - neither does God through that Word as the Holy Spirit teaches us, it depends where we are in our spiritual growth.  It is an on-going journey and I love the way I am being changed through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, even though I go through many trials.

1 Corinthian ch. 2 vs. 11 and 12 read:-
'For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him?  So too, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.' 

The following is something which I felt to write many years ago.  They were words that just dropped into my head as if it was a voice speaking to me after I became born again of God's Spirit.  Whether it will speak to anyone else I do not know, but I feel to share it on this post, although I may have already shared it on my blog some time previously.

Renewal

Do not be tainted by a love that is not God's. Don't let innocence be spoiled by a wisdom that is earthly. Always remain as a child in your own wisdom so that the greatness of God's words can be allowed to enter into the ears of your heart, so that you may grow up into Him and remember no more the foolishness of this present world.  For there is a part of you which can not understand His Words and it would seek to rob you of His truth. It is the mind of your first father, Adam, a fleshly mind. The Lord speaks and your heart receives, but your mind tries to intervene and to reason with logic.  Oppose that which is at enmity with God and receive into your heart only that which is pleasing to Him, His Words, which are Spirit and life.


MIRROR IMMAGE

Lord may we learn from creation
may we look to the vast blue sea
to the mountains, the fields and the valleys
to know how we ought to be

May we look to the gentle dolphin
as he tries to befriend mankind
and follow this creature's example
leaving killing and hatred behind

May we look to the towering mountains
holding fast against tempest and rain
as we struggle with sorrow and tragedy
finding strength amidst suffering and pain

As we look to the fields and the harvest
all golden and bursting with grain
may we learn how to share with each other
may our giving replace all our gain

Then, as in the river's reflection
of the blue of the Heavens above
so too we will mirror the image
of God's totally unselfish love


These are another two poems that I have written at two separate times during my on going walk with the Lord.
The first is one that I wrote at a very early stage when I was being fed the 'milk' of the Word, it is called  'Messiah':-

MESSIAH

I watch in anguish every day
as killing, torture, hatred reign
in horror turn my eyes away,
hoping somehow to reduce the pain
I cry, despair and sorrow gripping me
Then Jesus comes, saying 'Child - I see'
and the burden is removed from me

I stumble blindly down life's road
through shifting sand and mists of sin
bent low by fortune's heavy load
deep loneliness and fear within
I scream, held tightly by frustration's hand
Then Jesus comes, saying 'Child - I understand'
and shows to me a promised land

I reach towards this man of love
this gentle lifter of my head
empowered by Spirit from above
to wake from sleep the living dead
I breathe, as new life stirs within my soul
Then Jesus comes, saying 'Child - I make you whole'
and give you back what Satan stole'

I listen - now familiar sound
a still small voice dispels the gloom
my step a dance upon the ground
as I arise from earthen tomb
I praise -  my song 'Emmanuel' 
the Christ has come saying 'All is well
for I have conquered death and Hell'

The second poem I would like to share in this post is one that I wrote regarding Jesus' sacrifice. I called it 'Forever grateful Father'

FOREVER GRATEFUL FATHER

Forever grateful Father that You gave Your precious Son
Who, knowing His awesome destiny said
'Not my will, but Your will be done'
Yet it pleased You to bruise Him Father
so that I might have peace and be healed
for through this one act of sacrifice
was Your gift of salvation revealed

Forever remembering Jesus
that You hung upon that tree
taking the pain and punishment
that was meant for a sinner like me
Yet You chose not to open Your mouth Lord
and call on the Heavenly host
to come to Your aid on that lonely day
No.... You suffered and gave up the ghost

Forever Yours Holy Spirit
while You teach me and make all things clear
chastising me when I go astray
and wiping away each tear
Oh Father I love and respect You
and Jesus I want to obey
So guide me great Spirit and keep me
'Til my Lord returns for me one day

Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift   
2 Corinthians  ch. 8 v.15



Saturday, 9 March 2019

Perseverance and prayer

A few nights ago I lay in bed thinking quite negatively about growths that have been in my body for many years, and wondering if the Lord is going to heal me.  They first started to appear after I asked Him to teach me about sickness and healing, because I did not understand why I had some prayers answered and yet not others. Many strange, supernatural things have happened in my life, including a miraculous healing in my body since I have been born again of God's Spirit.  I have even being transported from one road to another in my car instantly (which no one would have believed if another person had not been in the car with me), so I know absolutely that what  is not possible with man is possible with God.   
After I asked the Lord to teach me about sickness and healing it was pointed out to me through scripture not to go to the world for help, but to trust the Lord to heal me.  I have since been through many trials and have been strengthened many times through scripture spoken to me in my times of weakness, even experiencing some healings, but am still going through trials in my physical body.
 
Jesus is the Word of God and when I asked the Lord to teach me about sickness and healing He brought to my attention Psalm 103 which speaks about all the benefits in the Lord including verse 3 which states that He forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. This shows me that doubt within the carnal mind is the only thing that can prevent my healing from coming to pass.
 
Another scripture that came to my mind during the night was  2 Corinthians ch. 10 v.5 'We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.'  This is a very hard thing to do as Satan's questioning in the carnal mind can be a strong enemy and cause us to question God's Word to us just as it did to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. The simplest of experiences can be a good example of how what is in the mind can veer us away from doing something.  One of these is that I am trying to stay on a bit of a diet and yet chocolate biscuits and Mars bars  keep coming into my mind constantly :-)
This is what James ch. 1 v.6 says about 'doubt'
'But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind'
 
 Total belief in that Word  has the power to bring into existence that which does not exist, WHEN we believe, including physical healing. For Mark 11 v.23 says:- 'For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.' 
Although I have had many things come upon my body, and am still going through trials, I see that the scriptures say that we glory in tribulations because they teach us patience, and regarding trials James ch. 1 vs. 2, 3 and 4 state:-  'Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.' 
 
So I feel that I have to persevere in my trials and gradually come to erase all of Satan's questioning from my carnal mind to be able to have 'faith' in God's Word to me. 


Some years ago I bought a picture in a church table top sale, it was of a young girl who was sat on a chair, outside a shed, blowing bubbles. Some time later I came across an ornament. It has a  picture of the same girl, in what appeared to be an open book, with a poem attached to it.

I have these items in my workroom and am being spoken to by the Lord through them once again.  The Lord has seen my weakness and is reminding me once again that all things are possible with Him and is encouraging me to have faith to know that He will do what He has promised. Even the meaning of the young girl's name Amy (dearly loved) is reminding me that we are dearly loved by the Lord.  It is a beautiful time of strengthening me against the spiritual enemy.
 

 

 
 
On the left side of the book is a poem that speaks about having 'faith', it is called 'Dreams', and as I read this once more that morning I felt it was the Lord encouraging me once again through it to have faith in Him.



In the large picture of the young girl there is the name 'Amy' , scratched into the door behind her, that I could barely see. I am reminded that Jesus is the 'door to the sheepfold' and in John ch. 10 vs. 9 and 10 He says:-
'I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.   The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly'


As part of His body we have to stay within Him, ( as the name 'Amy' being scratched in the door was reflecting to me), acting upon that Word spoken to us, in order to be the true church, for 'as a man thinks so he is.' Just as Jesus prayed constantly to His Father so too we have to constantly pray to God
1 Corinthians ch. 12 vs. 7-11 states:-
'Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determine

 We are told in Hebrews ch. 13 v. 8 that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.'  and in Revelation ch. 19 v. 13 that He is the Word of God.

I say this prayer to our Father God.

Father I ask in Jesus' name, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit will act within Your church, and that any unbelief that doubt brings upon us will be removed and You will increase our faith. Amen and thank You father.
 

Saturday, 9 February 2019

What is Joy?

This morning I opened my Bible to where 'praying in the Spirit' was being spoken of, so I prayed in the Spirit regarding what I should write about next.
I have several draft posts which are unfinished which I hope to put up later, but two comments have been left recently on a post I put up several years ago. So I have decided for now to re post this one:-
 
What is 'joy'?

Joy to the natural mind is doing the things that bring pleasure.  I get a lot of pleasure out of nature, and taking photographs.  I love animals and birds and get tremendous pleasure from their presence in my daily life, and I get pleasure from painting, writing
and many other things that I do.
 
  

 
 
Yes, we tend to use the
word 'joy' when we talk about the pleasures of this life, and there is nothing
wrong in that.



 
What of the meaning of 'joy' in God's eyes?


My dictionary tells me that 'joy' means 'excitement or stimulation of pleasurable feeling caused by the acquisition or expectation of good'.  As a christian I know that there is, in God's eyes, an established good and an established evil, and I must learn, through the Holy Spirit's teachings, to discern between the two.

Good and evil

Is it by choice or predestined, that we do good or evil? What is good, what is evil, where is the plumb line? Is my evil somebody else's good, is my good somebody else's evil? To whom somebody else's evil is good, then it is good. To whom somebody else's good is evil then it is evil. To establish a common good or a common evil there must be a plumb line. Without a plumb line there is no such thing as good or evil - only chaos.

Proverb ch.15 v.21 says that, 'Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly',  so where do I find true joy that will not come from folly, and how do I tell the difference?  First of all, in order to experience fully the kind of joy that is mentioned in the Bible, the kind that Nehemiah spoke of as being a strength in Nehemiah ch.8 v.10,  I must have a knowledge of what walking uprightly is in God's eyes.  Just as Nehemiah had given understanding to the people of God concerning what was walking uprightly in God's eyes when the people were under the law, the Holy Spirit will give understanding of what is walking uprightly in God's eyes to we who are not under the law but who are under God's grace.  Otherwise we will be deceived, and have a substitute joy which will be derived from what is good in our own eyes, but maybe not in God's eyes.

In the book of Jeremiah ch.15 v16 Jeremiah says to God 'Thy words were found, and I ate them , and Thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by Thy name O Lord God of hosts.'
We see by this account that it is God's words that became a joy, but only after Jeremiah 'ate' them, so God's words acted upon (eaten) become an 'excitement or stimulation of pleasurable feeling caused by the acquisition or expectation of 'good'.  So the christian can be sure that as he or she seeks God's word in their lives, what God speaks to each individual will become a joy and the delight of the heart if that word is acted upon.

I can truly say that when God speaks to or instructs me from His word personally, though I may not always understand it or my carnal mind will advise against it, if I believe it and, when required, act upon it, it brings about good - a good which surpasses all that I could imagine.   In John ch.14 v.15,  Jesus says to those who believe in Him 'If you love me keep my commands .   And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you.'

It is always my choice whether I do what He asks or not, but how can I claim to love Him and not do what He asks?

Not because.........

I love You Lord                                             
not because I must
for 'must' comes out of fear
and Your perfect love casts out fear

I serve You Lord
not for what I can get
for 'get' comes out of greed
and You make me able to be content
with little as well as much

I follow You Lord
not because there is no other path I can take
for You have allowed me to try every path
and I can see.....
that what appears to be a broad path
leads to a confined space
but what appears to be a narrow path
leads out into a broad place

Simon Peter answered Him 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life: and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God.' John ch.6 vs.68,69

Ecclesiastes ch.2 v.26 says that God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to the man who pleases Him. So we need to find out what pleases God in order to experience this God given joy.
Wisdom, knowledge and joy will be given freely to us if our intentions are to seek to please God and walk in His ways, but as His ways and thoughts differ from ours,  Isaiah ch.55 v.8 says   'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord',   we cannot possibly please Him without revelation from the Holy Spirit first on how to do this.  This is why it has to be the Holy Spirit that teaches us, because 1 Corinthians ch.2 v.11 says that 'no man knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God'.  1John ch.2 reads 'but the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you; as His anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in Him.'

James ch.1 v.2 tells us to 'count it all joy' when we meet various trials.  James goes on to say that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness and to 'let steadfastness have its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.'  So to the christian these trials are necessary and good.  Walking in the Spirit may not always appear to be a bed of roses but it's fragrance will be every bit as beautiful  and much longer lasting than walking according to the flesh, or carnal mind.  We are encouraged to continue to walk in the Spirit, running the race that is set before us, in Hebrews ch.12 v.2 where we are told to 'look to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.'  If we do as we are encouraged here we will never have to endure what Jesus endured but, Glory to God, we will share in the joy that was set before Him.


The necessity of the ' Chief cashier's signature'

One day I found a part of a ten pound note on my bedroom carpet.  I could not think where it came from and was going to throw it in the bin.  My husband said 'I think you can claim a whole ten pound note if you take it to the bank.'  I said 'I don't think so', but phoned the bank and explained what had happened and what my husband had said.  The young man on the phone told me to pick up a form from the bank, fill it in and send it off to the bank of England.  The form asked for details of what had happened to the note.  I put down that I did not have a clue, told them what my husband had said, and sent it off with the part of the ten pound note.  For the price of a stamp it was worth enquiring.  I had a very nice letter back saying that as there was only fifteen percent of the note found, no chief cashier's signature and no promissory clause, they were unable to pay out, which I thought was fair enough.

I think probably the piece of the ten pound note may have come in on my shoe from outside, but the whole incident, including the words contained in the return letter, made me think of how there will be no joy set before those who are outside of the kingdom of God, who having only the part of the note, so to speak, hearing about God but not knowing Jesus.  For without the Chief cashier's signature, the Holy Spirit's presence in their lives, there is no promissory clause, no guarantee of eternal life.  The 'I promise to pay' is on the other part, the part with the Chief cashier's signature on.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in enjoying the things on this Earth that give pleasure, God has given us those things to enjoy, the natural things and things that can be bought with money.
True riches can only be found in Jesus Christ, but that does not mean that we are denied our heart's desire in the things that we love in this life also, it depends which we put first.   However, all the money in the world will never buy us the salvation and eternal life that God's Son has purchased for us.  God help those who don't know this if we don't share the joy of the Gospel of Jesus with them.


Treasure

What good is my gold if I don't have You
what use is my earthly treasure
all it can buy is a dream or two
a moment of worldly pleasure
What use is it if I have jewels and fine clothes
and I cut with a silver knife
if all of these things fall apart and decay
with my soul at the end of this life
No I'd rather have treasure in Heaven
gathered in barns of trust
than to have all the gold on this earth Lord
and my soul to return to the dust
Yes I'd rather have You Lord Jesus
You're worth far more than gold to me
for gold's only good for a lifetime
but You ....... for eternity

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.        Matthew ch.6 vs. 19-21