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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….

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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?!

Give no Place

Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:  5To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

“We don’t make compromises. We make Marines.”

Oh, that the church we be able to say this!  But we cannot.  We are so frightfully unable to produce Christians, that if we were any other institution we would have been shut down for pure incompetence a thousand years ago.  I often feel that Christians are made despite organized religion, and not because of it. 

We make compromises. We pander. We barter. We do anything it takes to keep membership high and coffers full.  And the Body of Christ suffers like a cripple, and sinners flood the gates of hell. 

This wasn’t the spirit of the early Church.  A few verses later in Galatians, Paul withstands Peter to his face.  The truth and integrity of the Gospel was so vital, that Paul would give place to no compromise. 

Where have you been forced to compromise? To back down from the truth for one reason or another? Stand up and fight that the truth of the gospel might continue with those you impact.

All that will live godly

2 Timothy 3 11Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

1 Timothy 410For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

1 Peter 5: 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

It has crept in slowly, this idea of non-suffering, this thought of anti-martyrdom. You can trace this sentiment around the world, you can follow it on the current of Western culture, and see it pervade the fabric of Christian character. 

Will you suffer. Not neccessarily.  If you don’t live godly, I personally see little reason for the adversary the devil to bother you.  Why should he? What threat are you to him? Yet we see a clear statement from Paul to Timothy advising the young pastor that if he will live godly he will indeed suffer.

The question begs itself then, what will you suffer? Some sides of Christianity will say that all you endure in life is this ‘suffering for Jesus.’  Some see every circumstance as a testing from the hand of the Lord. They cry “I am Job!” Others will see a demon on every doorstep, and rebuke the devil when the wind shifts. These say you should resist that devil and he will flee, crying “Get behind me Satan!,” when their feelings get hurt.

Without having a firm grasp on the Word, we will find ourselves unable to submit to the hand of God or resist the enemy. But we must know the difference if we are to be effective as Christians.  Why be sober and vigilant if you have no option but to be consumed? Or why resist the hand of God which you are called to be submitted to?  

A Soldier will suffer in the field, but the hardships of war, the attack of the enemy, and the correction of a commander are all very different. 

The hardship of war is inevitable.  Many will die at the hands of the enemy. Our Lord stands and welcomes the martyr.  Christianity’s seed has long been the blood of the martyr, and this suffering no Christian should shrink from. 

The attack of the enemy is sent to sabatoge the Kingdom Soldiers and render them ineffective.  Disease, destruction and slow death are all evils which are to be resisted. In the Army you get innoculations, are issued gas masks, and are attended by physicians because the health of an Army is vital to its ability to accomplish a mission.

The correction of a commander serves to enable his Soldiers to better accomplish a task.  It may be stern and momentarily resented, but if a Soldier submits to the correction and changes, he will be better for it.  This correction doesn’t detract from battle readiness, but enhances it.  This is the unearthing of the diamond and the making of a disciple.

Never surrendor what you should fight for. Never resist what you should accept. And never fear what shouldn’t be feared.

Learn this and become effective. Become a Christian Soldier.

The Plough

 

Luke 9: 61And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

George Washington learned quickly the issues of an entirely volunteer Army, one without contracts and prescribed lengths of service.  As distractions came in, as does the harvest in fall, the men he once counted on began to dwindle, until at last he was unable to conduct war.  His lesson was learned and the Army changed the way it conducted business.

The Marines are well aware of this and as such, ‘don’t accept applications. Only commitments.’  A fighting force must be dependable, instant in season and out of season, ready to react when the bugles of war are sounded. 

Does Christ expect less of His disciples? What type of commitment does He expect? What does He deserve?  Surely, our heavenly mission and calling, much higher and more worthy than any earthly cause, is more entitled to the dedication of all your energies. 

But whereas the Marines will demand you to find the strength within yourself to succeed, our gracious Lord supplies us the Holy Spirit, thereby enabling us to act on the commitment in our hearts. 

Have you applied for a pass to heaven, or have you committed to Christ Jesus the Lord?

Excuses?

1 Timothy 6: 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 2Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

We talked about already being possessors of eternal life, yet here we have another portion of this revealed to us. “Lay hold on eternal life,” Paul encourages Timothy. The key is recognizing where you lay hold of eternal life. No longer are we rending the heavens and dragging God down. Lay hold on that which is in you already. Fight the good fight for your faith, for which you and the world will ever and always at odds.

We look at heroes of the past and assume that they had some special annointing, like some assume of Michael Jordan and basketball. But we neglect to see the hours, days, and years they spent laying hold of that which Christ freely give them. John G. Lake, Smith Wigglesworth, Mother Etter, Paul, Peter, John Wesley, Charles Finney, Martin Luther, and countless others who have lived and died were men just like us, possesors of the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead.

Fight to let loose the Spirit of God that dwells in you by Christ and which alone is the answer for a sick and dying world. Maybe we aren’t as good as Paul and the rest who went before us, or maybe we are just making excuses.