This is a really great blog post by Chip Brogden of The School of Christ. It’s about taking up our cross daily and what that truly means.

The Principle of Surrender

Do you know what that truly means? Have you experienced the power found in the surrender? There is a rest to be found in the genuine and true surrender to the Father and His ultimate will (no matter what it is!) that simply can not, and will not, ever be found anywhere else. It is surely reserved for only those who venture into the Way of the Cross and find what He has for us, that we have for so long felt was unattainable.

What you have thought was attainable to experience by being ‘born again’ and (although you may hesitate to confess it to be true) were disappointed when it wasn’t your experience, can be found in the OVERCOMING experience. That only happens by taking up your cross (not fighting the devil!) and fully surrendering. (Maybe that will be a seperate blog post).

Read this. Think about it and tell me what your thoughts are on this.

I thought this was a great video clip. It’s fun to watch (about 16 minutes), and it says so much. Hear the heart of the Father in this and be blessed.

Be a blessing. Be a validator.

Wow! Where have I been? It has been too long since I’ve been posting, but I have been legitimately busy.

I have already included in my blogroll, a friends website I have been working on, and I will include it on my ‘Recommended’ Page. This is kingdavidstable.com.

King David's Table

King David's Table

David Weber and I have carved out, what I think, is a beautiful site with many of his messages that should stir you on to greater things in and of God. We have both felt the hand of the Lord on this website and therefore expect many other people to be quite blessed by the treasures to be found there.

Although these messages are laid out for you like a bountiful buffet, please consider responding to David about what you are being blessed with from the site and even how you like the site visually and if things seem pretty easy to find.

I’ve come to realize myself, more so lately, that within the family of God, we don’t do enough to encourage our brothers and sisters, bear one another’s burdens, share things in common, and bless and minister to one another. We do need to come to understand that it is the Father we are blessing ultimately when we do these things. Jesus even said a day would come when He would say to MANY, “When you DID NOT minister to the least of these, you did not minister to me.” That does not mean a cheque written to World Vision. It means putting yourself aside and another FIRST until their burden or need is ended or changed or you are released from the spiritual responsibility of it. Or simply extending thoughtfulness, courtesy and kindness.

I’m sure you can think of several people you know, even as personal friends right now, that have needs of all kinds. But we also minister to another (and ultimately the Father) when we are ‘there for each other’ even when needs are prevalent or the main focus. Family is family ALL of the time. Consider in respectful prayer to whom the Lord would have you minister where there are needs, even something as simple as encouragement or a ‘hello’, that the body of Christ be built up.

You can be plug full of doctrine, but if you aren’t loving your neighbour, it’s like filthy rags.

Seriously pursue the Lord as to what you may do to minister to Him by ministering to another. You don’t ever have to be a bible scholar, a preacher, pastor or have any kind of ‘ministry’, when the Lord Himself desires to be ministered to by EVERYONE, even by you ministering to another in a way that may not even seem that great or special.

Please check out my friends website and be blessed and greatly enriched. And again I ask, please consider sharing your thoughts and blessings (and anything else) with a special brother (of the website I mentioned above) who has given his very life as a living sacrifice to minister to the Lord by ministering to the rest of us.

The Lord bless you as you bless one another,

dj

“Just as the Good Shepherd gives His Life for the sheep, so the True Vine gives His Life for the Branches. Do you see the connection? It’s the same thing. It’s exactly the same thing. The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the sheep; the True Vine gives His Life for the Branches. This Life He gives is not for the purpose of making my life better; it is given so that I can exchange my life altogether, and rely upon the Life of Another.”

This portion just above is an excerpt from an email I received from The School of Christ website. It is an article based on an audio series as indicated below. The author, Chip Brogden, brings out so much truth in his book, articles and audio. I do encourage you to visit his site and see what the Holy Spirit would lead you to that He may bring you into further understanding of living by the life of another and that He must increase and you must decrease.fruit-on-the-vine

The preceeding article is based on an audio series titled “Abide In Me: The Way of Spiritual Abundance.”

To request your copy of this message on a double compact disc set, visit:

http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/audio/cds122.html

*******************************************

I mention the above because in reading it this morning my spirit rejoiced in the message and knowing that this is the way the Holy Spirit has been leading me, and very much so, lately.

I have described my experience lately as ‘defying’ the world. I am also obviously ‘denying’ myself (which is death to self). The world I have grown up in, and my carnal self, has dictated reactions I have had in the past to certain circumstances. Nothing life threatening or of an emergency nature at this point, but just daily stuff. Car breaking down, a complicated problem with work, a stressful relationship.

In these type of situations I am prone to have thoughts of anxiety, that lead to fear, or panic, or just greater stress and the resulting physical symptoms like headaches, loss of appetite, etc. The other day I was driving my car and it was making horrendous sounds. It sounded like the entire car would fall apart right there. It really sounded bad. Immediately my heart start racing because I’m in traffic, my thoughts go to my bank account and if I can afford a car repair bill right now, and so on.

Then I caught myself and said “No. I will not be afraid. You’d like that wouldn’t you (self)? I’m not going to. Lord, I trust you. Whatever happens, I trust you and I will not give myself over to fear. But I am taking the car in to get checked.”

The car was checked and found to have only a build up (a really big build up) of ice underneath. Problem solved.

This is not the first time I have done this, nor is it the last. It is my intention, that by the spirit, this shall continue until there is no vestige left of me that would fear or concern myself. (Until the devil can find nothing in me). It certainly doesn’t mean these things will never happen, but I will certainly handle them in and by the spirit and not self.abundant-life

Here is definitely a worshiping of the Lord “in Spirit and in Truth”. My life is a living sacrifice, and the only worthy sacrifice is His life in me. My life is not a worthy sacrifice. My life is actually already dead IN HIM. It is the Holy Spirit that leads Christ’s life in me as a sacrifice. To deny the Father the Life of Christ in me as a living sacrifice, then I am saying I do not want the Father’s will, and therefore stand opposed to the Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven. I can’t do that to my Father. I can’t do that to Christ who shows up faithful and consistent for me ever single day and moment.

My prayer is that all of you either already know this overcoming experience, or that you will. This is the abundant life given us in Christ. This is our eternal life now. His life is eternal. His life in us, the begotten spirit which is the real us, makes us eternal now. I think that’s pretty abundant.

Lately I have heard it mentioned many times that not every follower of Christ needs to do the same thing as another, at times. This is true. God does design it that everyone and their life and call in Him is different and therefore, requires different things from each of us.

We are to learn by the Holy Spirit and He will lead and teach us based on where we are at in the Lord. But I think we have to understand that the Lord intends for us all to come to the same maturity.mini-policeman1

I say this because, as mentioned in my last post about whether to request a tax receipt or not for a financial donation to a charity or ministry, it is recognized that not everyone does, or feels, the same. Each person acts on the wisdom and understanding they have. This wisdom and understanding should be what has been taught to them by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, differences in the way we currently deal with this issue is acceptable, but God does not ideally want everyone ‘doing their own thing’.

We grow and learn in our spiritual maturity just as children grow and learn to mature. There are stages and each stage has its acceptable level of immaturity, but it is expected that the child will grow out of that immaturity and into greater maturity. So it goes with our spiritual growth. How else do we all come unto the full measure of the stature of Christ? How else are we all of one mind?

A different stand here might be to say that we are different parts of the same body and therefore we would not all be expected to treat one aspect of life the same as all others. The differences in the body, I think, are more appropriately assigned to our calling and ministries, however, not to our spiritual maturity.

Love is love. Faith is faith. Grace is grace. These aspects conduct themselves uniquely based on situations and circumstances, but the essence of these are to be the same in each of those unique situations. All from the same source, our Father.

To grow into the maturity of the character and nature of Christ, having the mind of Christ and growing unto the full measure of the stature of Christ, is to understand all things as the Father intends. He does not intend for anyone mature in Christ-like character, to believe that doing the wisest thing carnal men consider to do with their finances, for example, as a spiritual and Godly thing. The wisdom of men is foolishness to God. The wisdom of the Spirit is far greater than this.

To stay with the example of a tax receipt, when learning to be accountable for finances and coming under the discipline of accountability, it is good to learn to get a tax receipt and improving your financial situation this way. However, a tax receipt is not a spiritual thing. It is a worldly thing. It is very much of the economic system of which the Kingdom of Heaven does not conduct itself.child

So we have to give our heads a shake now and then and realize that we are all in differing stages of growth, but it is expected that we will grow up and out of our immaturity and into greater spiritual maturity. We must learn to think, know and understand with the mind of Christ and not the carnal mind with its best worldly wisdom that is foolishness when measured by the Spirit.

We can tend to use our immaturity as an excuse and claim that this is what God has taught us, though He may be doing differently with someone else. He does do differently with all of us, but only in specifics for teaching, NOT in character and maturity.

You would do no different with your children. Having more than one child, would you expect one to grow up in maturity and another not? One may be athletic, or another disabled, but you would still desire each one to know love for each other, both to trust you, both to learn to make wise choices, etc, even though each must conduct his life a little differently.

Let’s stop making excuses for ourselves and for others too. There’s too much at stake to be lazy and childish where our spiritual growth is concerned. No, we do not have control of many aspects of our growth, any more than a child does, but we do, as children do, have the choice to rise up to maturity. Just as we recognize many children that are ‘wise beyond their years’, or simply quite mature for their age. I dare to say it is much the same for us in Christ.

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1:3 NASB

We have to stop whining and complaining like the Israelites in the wilderness.

We have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves.

We have to stop making excuses for ourselves.

We have to stop making excuses for others.

We have to stop doing what we’ve always done (spiritually speaking), and expect better results.

We have to start paying more attention to what the Spirit is saying.

We have to stop playing games and take on some responsibility.

We have to stop being offended and insulted.

We have to grow up!

We are not ‘safe’ because we are saved or born again. That only means we have eternal life. It does not mean we have the spiritual insight and understanding, fortitude and discernment to know what to do or when to do it, when the Lord requires. If we do not quickly become one whom He can count on to help others, we will be the needy ones and that will not please Him. Would that not be a disappointment to Him? Is that glorifying Him?

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  1 Corinthians 13:11

For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, Hebrews 5:13 – 6:1

Let’s finally put the childish things behind us and grow up unto maturity, coming along side one another to help and encourage our friend and neighbor to do the same.

Recently I was asked, when giving some money to a ministry, if I wanted a tax receipt for the donation. My spirit adamantly said “No.” It was not a surprise to me. I knew I wouldn’t want a tax receipt, as this had happened to me before. The woman, who has a personal ministry to Africans that I believe is very much a ministry of the Lord, seemed at least a little surprised at my insistence against a tax receipt.tax-receipt

This made me later check in with the Lord and be sure I knew why. I didn’t want to “do what Jesus would do” as though mimicking would make me righteous or any more transformed into His nature. I really wanted to be absolutely sure I knew and understood why I did not want a tax receipt.

As I meditated on this, the Holy Spirit reminded me that a tax receipt is for Babylon’s purposes. The world’s economic system runs based on taxes and accountabilities this way and that. I ended up with the money in my hand on this occasion as a blessing from someone else. When I had received the money from them, the first thought was “Oh good, now I have something to give.” I knew that I had wanted to give, but was unprepared to do so. Here I find the Lord Himself, very much prepared to do so. He planned ahead, He arranged it and it was done.

The Lord has challenged me to live according to the principles of His Kingdom and not the principles of this World which I am in, but not of. He is my provision, He is my sustenance.

I appreciate that other people feel it is necessary to have a tax receipt, and I did at a time when the Lord was dealing with me concerning finances and a time of being responsible and accountable. So I understand some people seeing my actions as possibly irresponsible or unaccountable. Yet, it all comes down to what the Spirit is leading us to do at any given moment.

On meditating further, the Holy Spirit brought to mind the scripture;

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. Matthew 6:5 NASB

Receiving a tax receipt, is to me, as though I were calling recognition to myself, or tainting this good gift from the Father’s heart with my own ‘need’ to be compensated. I was not seeking recognition, even from the Father, for the giving of this gift, but I certainly did not want to disqualify myself from His momentary pleasure, for the sake of a small tax deduction.

This is certainly not a day to be trusting in our savings, or the economic system to sustain us. Does God not challenge our thinking that has been conformed to the ways of the world? We must learn to think with the Mind of Christ, do with the heart of Christ and this by hearing the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Wisdom, even when it would seem foolish to the ways of the world.

Has this sort of thing happened to you? How did you deal with it? It would be interesting to hear more people’s stories and see how the Spirit has lead different ones.

“Arise, shine.” Isaiah 60:1

We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us, He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there. Whenever God inspires, the initiative is a moral one. We must do the thing and not lie like a log. If we will arise and shine, drudgery becomes divinely transfigured. drudgery-dishes2

Drudgery is one of the finest touchstones of character there is. Drudgery is work that is very far removed from anything to do with the ideal – the utterly mean grubby things; and when we come in contact with them we know instantly whether or not we are spiritually real. Read John 13. We see there the Incarnate God doing the most desperate piece of drudgery, washing fishermen’s feet, and He says – “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it. Some people do a certain thing and the way in which they do it hallows that thing for ever afterwards. It may be the most commonplace thing, but after we have seen them do it, it becomes different. When the Lord does a thing through us, He always transfigures it. Our Lord took on Him our human flesh and transfigured it, and it has become for every saint the temple of the Holy Ghost.

by Oswald Chamber, My Utmost for His Highest

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