The Need to Flat line…

I am sure I am not the only Christian that struggles to understand what God is doing in my life. What good can come out of my situation? I pray and I pray. I ask God to help me understand. Why am I still in this situation? And God answered me.

Who can know what is on the mind of God? Even Jesus who was with God and is with God said there are somethings only the Father knows. The promise of “R E S T” (rest eternally secure today) is to not receive the grace of God in vain being careful not to fall short of the grace of God…you who attempt to be justified by the law.

At some point in every believers walk he, or she must flat line…that is to die to this world…to pursue the things of the world no longer…to not indulge in its lusts, or desire its sensuousness…to surrender not to its fears, to forsake the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, to consider such things no longer.   The carnal man must flat line to allow God in…to accept God’s will…and to surrender our will. Giving up our arms, our weapons for the army of the Lord.

But how can any man possibly surrender all? Surrender does not come easy to folks, at least not to me.

The father and son relationship is the only type of relationship where the giving and taking, (surrendering) comes natural, giving and taking out of love. We learn early on to surrender to our earthly father. It is a relationship not easily broken when established…and still mend-able when broken. As believers, we pray to our Father in Heaven. We cry to Abba, Father because He loves us.

Gal. 4: 6-7 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Quite unlike a marital relationship where the wife gives herself to her husband, forsaking all others, submitting only to him, out of love, out of obedience because of that love, but it can go sour when trust is broken, adultery, not submitting one to another, or honoring one another. The love is what binds them, and when it’s gone it can reap bitterness, resentment, isolation and end in divorce, a broken covenant.

Eph. 5: 22- 33 The Marriage—Christ and the Church

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

God, the Creator, our Maker knows how to restore relationships. He loves unconditionally. We don’t. We can’t. We have expectations, obligations, prejudices, demands. We are easily ensnared by our own selfish desires, our own inadequacies. God’s love, mercy, and grace can restore us to Himself and us to those we must, but he expects us to walk in truth.

Granted, it’s easier said than done, but our God knows that well.

God sent His Son to save us and to show us how to love. It is in the name of Jesus that we can go to the Father. It cost Jesus His life and separation from His Father for us to gain access to God. Likewise, we are to sacrifice our life so that others may live, and that sacrifice can be different for all of us.

God teaches us how to love, and gives us the desire to want to love, but to love others requires sacrifice. If we don’t willingly, He fashions our days…brings us to our knees…still He shows us mercy and gives us grace…even in our disobedience. Jesus promised that no one that the Father has given Him will be lost. Every struggle, every trial and tribulation should reinforce that promise.

God worked six days when He created the heavens and the earth, man, and everything else. On the seventh day, He rested. Likewise, God is creating in us a new creation, a new mind, a new heart, but because we are full of sin and not empty and void, it takes a lot more time and effort to fashion the person He wants us/me to be. We have a will, and our will, our flesh gets in the way of us doing the works God has prepared for us to do… yet He is loving, He is patient, He is merciful and He gives us/me grace to accept His perfect will. In the proper time He will give rest.

Reminds me of a Rich Mullins song.

“Surrender don’t come natural to me I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want than to take what You give that I need and I’ve beat my head against so many walls now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees.” 

I can imagine myself as the child kicking and screaming to get my way and my Father trying to explain why I can’t…and all I want is my way. His Word is filled with promises and reminders of why we should desire His way.

Matthew 11:29-30

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Heb. 4:10

“He who has entered into God’s rest has himself also ceased from his work as God did from His.”

Thank you, my Creator!

Who can know the things of God? No man! Except… for the man to whom God will reveal His truths. God shows us the path we must walk. Sometimes it is for us to understand, and sometimes not. We cannot fathom the ways of God. And only when we die to the things of this world, only until we flat line can we begin to truly understand the nature of God and begin to accept the the unfathomable thoughts and the perfect will of the living God. God have mercy on me and mine. To God be the glory.

Be blessed.

Self-control – In me I trust

It is about 2 am in the wee hours of the morning. I finally finished reading the first five books of the Bible and what a revelation it was. I think the most resounding revelation, for me, was that the God of the Old Testament, the God that is criticized for initiating so much violence against humanity is the same God that gave His only Son as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind, His creation. God in all His glory took responsibility for His creation.  He gave us the first look at the fierceness and compassion capable in parenting. Yes, to God be the glory.

As sinful creatures we have an innate desire to be in control, to provide for our own needs through our own abilities. Blind trust is difficult, especially when trusting in God whom we cannot see, feel, or touch. Jesus came to do the will of the Father. He was obedient to the cross. Self-control was never an issue, because all He considered was the will of the Father.

Our first challenge as believers is giving up our need for control. The flesh wants it, if not demands it. Others alike expect you to take control of your life, your desires, if not to embrace your desires, and your walk with God. We believe there is always a degree of control that we must have, but I don’t think that’s how God meant it. He told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of good and evil, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” this implies obedience, not self-control. For every action there is a consequence. God was always testing His people to see if they would obey Him. We obey His commands out of fear and reverence, respect and yes even habit.

This is what the Lord shared with me, so when I finished writing everything down I went back to bed.

In the morning I awoke and the message continued.

As infants and children we learn self-control. As newly born humans, it’s the flesh that drives our behavior until we learn obedience.

An infant that cries for food, for a diaper change, or feels ill and wants attention the babe knows no other way of communicating other than crying, this is the flesh demanding. When a baby takes its first step, it opens up a whole new world, and he wants to go everywhere. He takes a few steps here and there. He has no concept of danger. His little body wants to go. He fights any restraint. It is up to the parent to put up safety guards and establish limits to keep him mobile, yet safe.

A toddler has the worst of times because all he wants is his way. You hear people refer to these behaviors as the terrible two’s, but the child is learning obedience, patience, sharing, etc.. As we grow, we learn to bring the flesh under submission, we come to expect certain things, so the flesh learns not to be so demanding. The flesh no longer dictates because it knows that certain things will take place that satisfy its needs. The need for sustenance is a great example. we know that mom will fix breakfast, lunch and dinner.  As the flesh hungers, what we learn is patience, to wait. When we lack self-control we gorge ourselves while waiting for dinner, and then eat a complete meal.

Self-control we learn as children. Self-control is about behavior and when we have the mind of Christ, the mind of Christ only wants to do the will of the Father. Having the mind of Christ allows God to always be in control.

Self-control is carnal mindedness. It has to do with the self, I, me, my, the flesh, it’s desires, it is never satisfied.  From an early age, if basic needs are not met, if limitations are not set, the child never learns self-control. The flesh then goes into overdrive to satisfy its desires.

The mind of Christ is focused on the things of God. The flesh is put to death. We are to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We are to give the devil no ground. Surrender is not easy.