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The life I now live

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Do you ever feel like a snail in the Christian life? As though no matter how much effort you invest or how many resolutions you make, you cannot make progress? The goal of a powerful Christian life is clearly set before your eyes, yet that mark feels so distant to your soul.

I was there.  I found myself struggling to make any forward progress in the Christian Life.   And it wasn’t for lack of effort. It wasn’t for lack of desire.  You would have found few more zealous than I.  Yet the overcoming life seemed but a fable told to children before bed.

Then, years ago, lying in bed, it struck me.  As long as I attempted to live the Christian life out of my own flesh, I would forever be subjected to inability of the flesh to produce anything spiritual.  Jesus said “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the spirit is spirit.”

I realized what Paul clearly states.  I am crucified. My flesh is finished.  Obviously, I am still alive here, but this existence is no longer lived through my fleshly efforts, but by the faith of God.

I am, in my flesh, still as incapable as a snail in this Christian life.  Yet, in Christ, the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me, I am able to run this race.  I abide in Him, because in Him is my only hope of progress. Only in Him is there potential for any spiritual success.  Only by abiding in Him am I able to be what it is He called me to be, to run how he called me to run, to live as He called me to live.

Abide in Him as the snails in the video above abide in the shoes.  If you fail, get up, thank Christ for His grace, and press on. Remember, you are no longer apart from Christ, but you are in Him, and He is in you, empowering you.

And as branch receives sap from a vine, as you remain in Him, so likewise will there be more power to you.

Do you think…OR do you know?

How does the devil beat us? No doubt many of us have been fighting him for many many years, why does he seem to win? Better yet, why does God seem not to be involved on our behalf? Many Christians struggle with this question and never get an answer. I am here to tell you today, you can KNOW.

Ephesians 6:12 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.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, We refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)

WE, not God, but WE wrestle against spiritual forces. OUR weapons, WE refute, and WE lead, not God. We must Take responsibility for the fight and stop expecting God to do it for us.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Do you realize how powerful the word is? Isn’t that the problem? We don’t realize how powerful it is becasue we have not used it. We have cried out to God and begged Him for mercy and grace and expected Him to come down from heaven and help us, to fix the issue, to prevent and counter the attack of the devil. We are supposed to use the Word against the devil.

Romans 8:6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Everything starts with a thought, reaping starts with a thought. Our circumstances of attack from the devil start with a thought that exalted itself against the knowledge of God. It went unchecked and produced the circumstances of all the misery of sin and death, what we have been asking God to fix. WE are at fault and responsible, not God. “Do you believe that my being stronger, or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place? You think that is air you are breathing?” We believe that our reality is what the circumstances report back to our senses. That is walking by sight and not by faith.

Renew your mind to be “faith” based. Feast on the Word above all else and you will automatically know the thought of sight that leads to creating the reality of attack from the devil as well as the thought of Faith that leads to creating the reality of freedom, grace, mercy, and victory in Christ. The door has been shown to you…..YOU must open it. Abide by knowing the word and being able to use it to defeat the opposing thoughts.

Where do you see, is it real?

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.

2 Corinthians 4:18
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

John 20:29
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

It is amazing to me how accepting of the circumstances we have become. We are bombarded by the fact that this or that can do this or that to us and therefore we need this or that to prevent this or that from being done to us. We look at the natural things of our experience as so concrete and immovable.

“…you have to think beyond the walls, beyond the boundaries, push your mind to accept that there are none.”

What if what we see and perceive to experience was meant for us to master? What if what we see and perceive to experience, those so called concrete and immovable things were meant to be our servants?

“…be a master of your environment, not a servant to it.” “These days, nothing is what it seems.”

Why did the movie The Matrix, produced in 1999, still today 12 some years later leave such a strong and well defined legacy?

Because it explained faith. It explained in understandable possibilities how faith and the supernatural could work. It pushed our boundaries and limits from the natural realm of our experience to something farther and greater. It calls out to something deep within us that we know is there, something that rings so true to us, the possibility that we have manipulative control over our existence and then gave us some sort of a believable framework see it work. It is why all the superhero, x-men, supernatural movies are so popular. It is exactly why Microsoft, chose this type of video for its X box commercial. Research shows that we respond really well to being called out in this way. Now, who do you think they got that from? God has been calling us out into the same thing way before Microsoft, or Nike, or Adidas, or AT&T! Is it sad to you yet, that they get it?!

At one point, Chris Armitage, a free running/Parkour professional the video is about, is talking about the point at which he slips, losing a sense of where his body is. “I was looking for where my hand should have been, and it wasn’t” as if he was in another dimension.

Reality is what the word of God says it is, beyond the current perception of those things that naturally seem to be real and affect us and impact us to a dimension that governs those seemingly concrete and immovable objects. The word indicates that the things in this natural physical world, despite their real impact on us, can be counteracted and prevented via the spiritual realm. We read these verses and they are all good because you know, they are true. But we don’t really believe them because when it comes to applying them in our life, we are a servant to the concrete and immovable things. All we have ever experienced is being over run by the devil. Therefore we have learned to protect by navigation around the impossible for fear of defeat yet again.

We have not been taught how to be supernatural, how to be a master of this natural environment. Jesus spoke to every aspect of our existence…..wind, waves, storms, fig trees, bodies, and food. He radically changed those things for the Glory of God and for the sake of other people. He was a master of this natural physical world. It bowed to Him and it was the servant. His circumstances never over took Him.

We have not been taught how to be that way and so we chalk His ability up to be that He was God. However, if He did those things as God, how could His very words tell us that we will do the works He did and even greater(John 14:12)? We will never be God or divine, so if we can do what He did, He could not have done them out of His divinity. He had to have done them as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit, yet still God. He lowered himself from the divine position to become man(Philippians 2:6-7) and everything He did was through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. That means we can do the same! We are actually commanded to do so!

We have not been taught how to be this way and when the circumstances of our life, the attack of the devil, over run us, we legitimize our own unbelief and continue with the ways of man because they seem to be more successful in navigating around these seemingly immovable certainties of life. Some of us are tempted to blame God as not being interested in our lives, or caring. We talk about the distance of God and try to explain why our experience does not line up to these promises in the Word. We change the meaning of the Word so that our existence makes sense. We give God an out because surely He does care about us, right, I mean there must be some reason He is not intervening? We misunderstand how He has already intervened to empower us to take care of the situation in place of Christ being here doing it for us.

The Abide Project is about explaining how Christians can operate in the supernatural existence of Christ. to be masters of their environment, to speak to the winds, waves, storms, fig trees, bodies, and food just like Jesus did and be successful! It is possible to walk in the supernatural success that Jesus walked in, as we Abide In Him.

Now you Know! And as the G.I. Joe cartoon taught me when I was little….”and knowing is half the battle”!

Let’s learn how to put into practice the power of God against the devil to establish His kingdom here on earth as it would be in heaven. It starts with seeing what where reality really is….

Faith is Not RE-Active

Ephesians 6:16
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

1 John 2:14
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

We have been engineering safety into every aspect of our lives from the inception of our life and even our salvation. We are conditioned to expect the worst, to expect injuries, to expect wrong doing, to expect pain, to expect to be robbed, to expect our hopes to be destroyed, to expect our dreams to be killed, to expect harm, failure, discontent, injury, death, and list goes on.

We have been conditioned to prepare for these things in a RE-actionary way, as if there is no way to prevent them from happening. Its coming, so we must prepare to endure and safeguard ourselves from the onslaught. We have insurance for everything now…our bodies, our homes, our investments, our cars, our rentals, our cell phones, our actions, our jewelry, our spouses, our money in our bank accounts, and we can even insure ourselves from alien abductions now. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has insured his middle finger, Gene Simmons of Kiss insured his tongue, actress Betty Grable insured her legs, and singer Bruce Springsteen insured his voice.

Our humanistic common sense says, “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” and “Accidents just happen”.

I just have one question…..

If ALL the fiery darts of the evil one WILL be quenched by our faith, we are strong, that absolute true word of God abides in us and we in it, and we have overcome the wicked one…….why do we expect to be stolen from, to receive destruction in the hopes of our lives, or to have our dreams killed by the one whom we have overcome?

It has been our experience that we cannot stop nature, that we cannot prevent bad things from happening to good people, that this world is over run by satan and we are just waiting for God to suck us out of here and until then we protect ourselves from the attack.

Maybe our experience has been the product of us looking at our life and those attacks in a wrong way. Maybe we have looked at life and God wrong all these years and that has legitimized our own unbelief. Maybe this place of misunderstanding has thrust us into protection mode in every way, shape, and fashion. Maybe WE have had it all wrong in our thinking and line of sight……

In the old days of wars with bows and arrows and shields, the shield was used offensively. The shield was used to protect a soldier from arrows or hand held weapons as the soldier advanced into the enemy territory or throng.

We have used our shield as a reactionary protection from the attack of the devil. We have experienced successful attack by our adversary because we have misunderstood how to use the shield offensively. He has backed us down into a corner and all we can do now is just try to block him.

However, the word says above ALL instructions for using the Armor, take up the shield, it is the most important piece of the armor. Maybe we should be using our shield more pro-actively to prevent the arrows and blows of the devil from hitting us as we advance upon his kingdom, therefore establishing the kingdom we are a part of. The word says that we are strong, that the word of God regarding the shield and faith abides in us, and that we have overcome the evil one. We are not “going to” overcome the devil, but we HAVE! That is the good news!

We are not backed into corner, Jesus has defeated the devil, and that gives us footing, that gives us a stance, that gives us place against the devil. In the perfect place of His love, there is no fear. Rise up into that place, stand firm with your shield as you advance towards the devil and drive him from the place of attack in your life. Get fed-up with the devil always on the offense against you, stand up, and advance upon him with all the power of Jesus inside you in realization that you are already the victor. The devil is in a place of defeat, perpetrating a lie that you are not in a place of victory over him. Keep marching toward him expecting that you are the victor and that the shield WILL protect. We know that the Centurion had the greatest faith because he understood Authority. Let’s rise up in that authority against the devil, he has been defeated….Let’s start acting as if that is true and rise up against him to prevent his attacks, to quench ALL of his attempts.

Abide in the truth of the word, of the shield of faith, and its effectiveness, Amen?!

Do you have dissociative disorder yet?

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Galatians 6:15
It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.

Matthew 9:16
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

Mark 2:22
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

Ephesians 2:13-15
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two, one new man, so making peace; 1 Corinthians 6:17 – But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

Ephesians 4:22-24
22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:8-10
8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Galatians 2:20
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

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How do we do this? How do we just leave our old self behind? How do we leave him in the dust and take off running without him? How do we overcome this sinful nature that we posses as Christians?

Romans 6:4
3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

You don’t have a sinful nature anymore, that is how! We have been taught that after salvation(Romans 10:9-10) we still have a sin nature and we have been identifying with that for so long, that we have become who we believe ourselves to be. Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:”. SEE, Faith worked! Faith in this lie of who we are, has actively produced stagnation and death in Christianity thus far. We must realize that Adam did NOT have a sin nature when he committed sin initially in the garden. The sin nature came as a RESULT of the sinning. Your sin nature died and was buried with Christ and you were raised in newness of life, Behold! ALL things are become new, a new creation, a new man.

The first step to getting free of our old self and leaving our old sin nature behind is to recognize that we already did leave him behind at salvation and water baptism. Stop trying to identify with that old person, the old hurts, the old frustrations, the old unmet needs, the old sorrows of that OLD person. Paul tells us 44 times in Romans 5, 6, 7, and 8, that our sin nature and old flesh is DEAD. We are no longer that person anymore. We must disassociate with the thoughts and actions that stem from that person. Humanistic(withOUT God) Psychology has taught us that is not a healthy prospect, but the Word clearly says to do it. We must stop trying to fix our sin nature and literally deny it any place in our thoughts, words, or actions.

Hebrews 4:12
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5– ” 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”.

Let the truth of the word abide in our hearts and minds. Let us dismiss every thought, feeling, desire, frustration, or reasoning of the OLD man that tries to pass through our minds and tries to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. Let us teach our minds to obey Christ’s truth instead.

Abiding in Him means, abiding in newness of life, dissociating with who we used to be.

Do you have dissociative disorder yet?

Troubled about many things

Luke 10:41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

Does this seem like you? How and when do you worry? How do you fret? What is the process behind it?

It’s simple isn’t it.  You just wake up and look around, and a thousand needs and desires and situations crash in on you.  You could even say that it fills you, right?  As we focus on all that swarms around us, it’s easy to even question if Jesus cares for us at all.

                   Mark 4:8And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

And we  are forced into a place of decision.  Do we continue in our worry? Do we focus on all of the necessities of life?  If so what is the effect on the Word of God sown in our hearts?

Mark 419And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

What is our other option? What should we do instead?

Matthew 6:31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Yes, that’s easy to say. But is it practical? Is it feasible?  What confidence can we have? What can I do when I am already consumed and filled with such worry and doubt?

Philippians 4Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

1 Peter 5 :7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

What’s this? He cares for me? For me? Me?  He wants me to give Him my cares?  Praise God.  The Creator of the Universe cares for me. And if He clothes the lily, and feeds the sparrow, how much more faithful will He be to me, someone whom He sought out and willingly sacrificed His own Son for.

Ephesians 5:25.…even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Hebrews 1022Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Be washed from all that would seek to fill your heart and steal your joy and choke the word and cripple your faith.  Let the Word of God cleanse you of all doubt. Abide in Him and His love for you. When worry and care creeps in, cast it on the Lord, saying with confidence “You care for me.”  Set aside the throne of your heart for the Lord only, and when worry tries to usurp His place, take it captive and make it line up with the Word.

When I wake up, my first thought is this: I abide in You and You abide in me.

Why? Because in Him I have my confidence and strength. And when all else seeks to overwhelm me, I rest, knowing He cares for me.

Marvel not

John 15:16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  17These things I command you, that ye love one another.  18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

1 John 3: 1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is…. 13Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

Disciple, you have dared to be different. By accepting Christ and His call and His Kingdom, you have set yourself at odds with the world and now the world hates you for it. 

Don’t be surprised by this.  If the world hated Jesus Christ, how can it accept you, the bearer of the Prince of Peace? Men will hate you, despise you, mock you. Some may try to kill you. Marvel not at this.

Your obligation is not to win their love or admiration.  Critics will doubt you and your motive.  But it’s okay. 

You are a rare breed. A doer of the mighty.  A believer in the impossible.  Your light shines to both illuminate the way for the lost and to shine light on the sin of the world.  Some will hate you and others will love you. But all will see you shine.