Tag Archives: for christians
(#063 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Have I not told you, you are not to have friendship with this world (James 4:4)? If so, why do you choose to live like those who are strangers and foreigners to My family? Look at your life! Is this why I created you? Why is your life so—typical? In other words, why is it not set-apart from the world? My Kingdom suffers violence, and the violent [My hungry children] take it by force. (Matthew 11:12) Politics? What do I care about Caesar’s agenda? Economics? The gold and silver are mine! Society and life? Read Exodus! What do you think I meant when I said, “Come out of her My people”? (Revelation 18:4) Answer Me! What does this mean to you?
Listen to Me child. Babylon will always “babble-on.” Consider this; I planned the existence of evil so that good would have to overcome. It’s the battle the makes life what it is. How could righteousness be proven unless evil existed? How long will you play with what is not intended for you? I am fiercely protective of My culture and My boundaries. I may have a melting pot of children, but My culture is never to be changed or watered down to appease man’s disdainful compromises. Why else would I tell you that the same law applies to both the native-born [thoughts birthed in righteousness] and the foreigner [thoughts opposed to cleanliness] (Leviticus 24:22; Numbers 15:16; Exodus 12:49)? As such, the “foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:34)
My most basic commands mandate separation (set-apartness, holiness)! Have I not called you My treasured possession? (Exodus 19:5) You are not of this world, you are citizens of Heaven [exalted conscience] (Philippians 3:20). Stop trying to blend into cultures that are not of Me. Mine is a culture of priests and prophets! Do something about your faith! If it is glory I seek, will I not help you do glorious things? Open your eyes! The light is right in front of you. Sojourners do not settle in; they know they are not staying and keep a loose grip on anything that will not remain when My Kingdom comes. That is the way it should be for you NOW! On earth as it is in My Kingdom (Matthew 6:10). Do not let Caesar entice you any longer. Come out I say; Come out! Your life, the entirety of your conscious and subconscious existence, depends on it.
(#062 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Father (Yahweh, the great I AM); Mother (Ama, Spirit, Help Meet); Son (Yahshua, “Yahweh saves”); and Daughter (the Bride, the called out chosen), yes, this is the family order. Certainly, it is My most precious concept. May I share My plan for the family with you? I wish to reveal My purpose for such a concept.
Yes, I am He who reveals things in many deep layers. Has not My Son said, “On earth as it is in heaven?” (Matthew 9:9-15) The earthly family should be a mirror image of My Kingdom family. It must have proper order instituted. Authority should be understood in its right context. Your family (as the Spiritual family does) should display perfect unity of thought and action. Joy, as well as all facets of love, should be demonstrated in service to one another and on display in every decision and action. (1 Corinthians 13)
Add this understanding of family to all other things which are expected of you in the earthly realm: pro-creation (a fruitful multiplying); exhorting and building up future generations (who will bring Me glory); enduring together in times of testing; and standing against foreign principalities in unity (which will prove My power). And what of My body, My called out chosen, preparing herself as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2)? She must be: unified; holy; and respectful of each member. Your role is to find your purpose as part of the body, your created purpose, as you actively plan for the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9).
I have commanded that your family be modeled after the heavenly pattern, so do not be dismayed by the attacks against the family and marriage. It only reveals the value I place on them. It is an indicator of how much I protect such things; and yes, that means I Am on your side in reference to family matters.
Hasatan (Satan, ego) knows we will be united, yet, he still believes he can change My plan. He has waged an all-out war against you. But, I laugh at his folly (Psalm 37:12-13). Be on guard! Do not fall for the tricks and traps he lays for you! I will give you wisdom about his ways if you so desire to seek. I Am a protector; you have the same obligation. Have I not said, “The two will become one flesh; and let no man separate?” (Ephesians 5:31 from Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6) Yes, I Am very pro-family. I understand what it takes. Be diligent. Be wise. Love your family, and resist the temptations of the evil one.
(#061 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Yet I will rejoice in Yahweh, I will joy in the Mighty One of my salvation. Yahweh Almighty is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills. (Habakkuk 3:18-19)
Oh Father, bring us to the watchtower as You did Habakkuk. Allow us to see Your purpose for us from a perspective higher than ours. Would Your grace grant us the privilege of seeing the way which has been planned for us. Oh, how we long to dance on the heights with You. Show us the way my King. Why must the unknown still seem so—fearful?
You speak to us of the “sacrifice of praise” Abba (Psalm 50:5, Psalm 107:22). The reality is that You have ordained that we must worship while in pain, and more so, that it is by this process that all pain is removed. Give us a supernatural zeal for this process Father; make it so sweet to us, even as You form our minds (hearts) with Your chisel. You have thus spoken that You are our answer to everything, the fulfillment of “exceedingly great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:3-4), and yet, we still have questions. This too is part of Your process.
We must rejoice and praise in obedience to Your commands regardless of how we “feel.” It is in this that we cry out for Your strength Mighty Father. Even the zeal to praise You through our suffering comes from You. Where else can we go Father? Only You can increase our love for You, and we confess how much more of it we need. This is the mind You gave us and only You can define love. Where else can we go Father? Teach us to love You effortlessly and, in this, let us experience pieces of the joy of Your salvation until we are whole, complete, lacking no good thing (James 1:4). From the watchtower in our conscience we look for You every moment of every day. Be our beacon Abba. Show us the way.
(#057 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Sometimes I think I have given everything to Him, whether by choice or being forced by His strong hand. Yet, I still dream of a new day with new hopes; I have plans. Of course, hopes, dreams and plans are biblical, but must be surrendered to Yahweh for Him to overrule at His good pleasure;
Unless we do this, we are really just setting up our own agendas and expecting Him to honor our vain plans for our lives. Even when we strongly believe that our hopes, dreams, and plans are from Him, we often struggle to persevere when tested. Fear of not knowing what the future holds clouds our confidence in Him;
Believing that the things we dream of shall come to pass is often the only hope we have throughout the day. Sometimes what we dream of is so magnificent, yet so unfamiliar, and the battle is so great, that all we can do is stand back and receive the words our ancestors did long ago; “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but the Almighty’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)
Mind over matter is a big piece of faith, as it is the constant renewing of our fleshly mindsets that allows us to take on Wisdom in all her beauty. It allows us to rethink our realities and to conform to those of our Creator’s, all while proclaiming, “Your ways are higher than ours.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I will personally choose the path of the created, rather than the selfish mindset which considers itself sovereign or “self” created. Some of you might think that this is too radical, deciding instead to fuel your own agendas, framing them in your mind as if they are “convictions or directions” from Him. It is through compromise that we convince ourselves that our plans must surely be His plans, even while we never stop to ask Him if He approves, never inquiring if He who gives us breath and life actually condones our actions;
To You Yahweh, I lift up my soul. I long to trust in You alone. I hand You my hopes, my dreams, my plans, my fears, and my family. Yes Father, I admit there are parts of me that still don’t know and trust You fully. It is in those foggy areas of my mind that I tend to rely on only what I can see, touch, taste, smell or hear. Help me move beyond my false faith, which is fueled only by tangible things, to true faith which has substance founded on unseen evidence (Hebrews 11:1). May I even hope, dream, and plan for a new day when You permeate me so completely that even the unseen becomes tangible. I believe this is possible because there is nothing You cannot manifest as reality. Nothing is intangible to You!
Remove the Grave Clothes
(#054 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
The Stone Removed
Has not the stone of death been moved?
The stench replaced by living.
Has not the promise of Him been proved?
Your sin… He is forgiving!
Come out I say, remove the cloth,
Let those who see regale.
Strip off the layers, remove the wrap,
Fruit of righteousness prevail.
Baptized into His death…Buried with Him…Raised from the dead….Walk in newness of life…United together in the likeness of His death…Be in the likeness of His resurrection…Our old man was impaled with Him…Sin is done away with…No longer slaves of sin….He who has died has been freed from sin…If we died with Messiah, we shall also live with Him…Reckon yourselves to be dead to sin…but alive to the Mighty One…Not instruments of unrighteousness to sin…Instruments of righteousness…Sin shall not have dominion over you…Set free from sin…Slaves of righteousness! (Romans 6:3-18) Meditate again on this promise! When He died you died; When He resurrected you resurrected with Him to a new life. You are no longer a slave to sin; you are a slave to righteousness.
Was it harder for those around Lazarus (the begging soul helped by Yahweh) to believe he was alive, then for Lazarus himself? Was it a bad dream Lazarus had risen from? “I can’t breathe; what’s this cloth on my face? Help me; I feel like I am suffocating.” Put yourself there; imagine being in his place. You are you know! As the pangs of death surround your soul and mind, you cannot possibly see a way out. Your whole being could simply crumble like dust and vanish. Have you ever been forced in your mind to birth a new reality of a better place, a better way, a higher calling? This is that time!
Arise! I say, arise! Did He not promise that if you lost your life for His sake, you would find a new life (Matthew 10:39)? Lazarus had to die before he could resurrect. And let there be no doubt that once his grave clothes were removed, Lazarus had a mind that could become a slave to righteousness. There was no more uncertainty in him; his life was no longer his own. His new life was purchased for a hefty price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20); the result: he was no longer a slave to sin.
Have you had your own Lazarus experience? Have you come to terms with your total depravity? Have you had a death of self and begged for a resurrection? There is no doubt that, if asked, both Lazarus and Yahshua would both produce the same testimony about their deaths; “My new life is worth the death of my “self.” For the joy set before me (Hebrews 12:2), I would do it again, a thousand times over.” Won’t you?
Lean on Me Alone
(#053 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
This is what the Spirit (Ruach) of Yahweh is speaking in this hour. “If you don’t learn to let My vision for you alone fill your heart’s desires (intellectual longing), then you will never become all I have hoped for you. Without vision [revelation from Me], My people perish [cast off restraint]. (Proverbs 29:18). Dismiss all human interference so nothing steals your heart (mind) away from Me during this time. You have been destined for this your entire life, but have been afraid to embrace it. I am going to complete it in you now. Even if I must force this on you, you will be eternally grateful when I am done.”
A Holy relationship is that which, by love’s decree, must remove everything that attempts to preserve the “self” (Hebrews 12:25-29). You must embrace the fullness of Yahweh’s love, a love that never fails and never seeks its own (1 Corinthians 13:8, 5). How, otherwise, could you offer love to another, and most paramount, offer it back to Yahweh first, if you have never experienced it? A deep cleansing will allow you to first receive it and then to give it. A soothing, and even welcomed cleansing of your mind is only possible if you first acknowledge that your carnal mind stands in total opposition to everything about Him (Romans 8:7).
Yahshua declared; “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:39) This truth will manifest, even if you resist, for it has been promised. When the Father asked Yahshua to die for you and He accepted, it became of the utmost importance to keep this promise to His Son. When Yahweh said to Him, “Let them murder You, and in return, I promise I will turn them into vessels of love (Acts 9:15),” wouldn’t you expect Him to fulfill this, even in spite of your resistance?
If love never fails nor seeks its own, then Yahweh must shake off of you every speck of dust that clings to “self.” He cannot stop anything short of your total transformation. “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for [Him] will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) And remember loved one, if the transformation was meant to be an easy and agreeable process, then the Messiah had no need to become a man and die in order to demonstrate true love. Greater love has no one than this… (John 15:13).
But now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also Heaven.” (Hebrews 12:26)
The Father’s Best
(#049 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Read chart first!
And prayerfully, this is ultimately you! “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of the Almighty and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah.” (Revelation 12:17)
And, so it is with those called to acknowledge that suffering is the key element in their quest for perfection (Hebrews 2:10; 5:8). From the scriptural pattern of being persecuted (sentenced) for righteousness sake (Matthew 5:10), you can easily presume that a lack of suffering is attributed to a lack of spiritual growth, maybe even the failure to risk stepping into the greatness of your heavenly calling. Why would you avoid the risk? “Self” preservation is the reason; and quite frankly, it is a sin.
And imprisonment does not only exist as physical incarceration loved one; it starts in the mind. So ask your-self, “Am I in prison? And is it making me more Holy?” If not, then perhaps a shift in perspective is warranted. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36) But, how can you be set free lest you had first known the utter depths of your bondage? It is from that valley we rise!
Apple of Whose Eye
(#048 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. Yahweh does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart [center of intellect].” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Shaul (Paul) taught that we must take every thought captive and make it obedient unto the Messiah (2 Corinthians 10:5). He was revealing the Messianic allusion of the words of the great prophet. He says, “You judge by appearances;” (v. 7) you are looking at the outside, the physical, but it is the mind that truly matters (v. 5). Yes, the mind, and the command to take every thought captive, is magnificently congruous with the prophet’s Hebrew understanding of the heart, the center of intellect. People look at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart! Yahweh is looking for the mind of the Messiah in you. Oh yes loved one, [His] ways are higher than your ways and [His] thoughts [higher] than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
King David was a man after Yahweh’s heart; “the apple of His eye” (Psalm 17:8). Who was David? He was a murderer, an adulterer! Let there be no doubt; there are many “Davids” in the church today, who are lost in their iniquity, and yet who are madly devoted to the things of the Father. The church itself would deem these modern-day “Davids” as sinners, guilty, unclean, and even not fit for salvation. And they would accuse those sinners in their hearts, while at the same time singing praises to the “Lord” at weekly services, using words from the very Psalms written by David, the murder and adulterer.
The truth about David’s courage and lineage is preached, which of course leads to the Messiah. But, the preaching commences with fervor as does the condemnation of these modern-day Davids. And all of this is shielded under the umbrella of self-proclaimed righteousness. This disconnect is not because so much time has passed since King David walked the earth, as if time would heal the constructs of the ego. Time does not change the heart of man. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of the Almighty. (Romans 3:23)
This disconnect is due to the denial that the brand of “church” or practice of “Christianity” they preach does not coincide with the true intent of their thoughts, the wickedness in their hearts. Unforgiveness and condemnation is the manifest evidence. We love to acknowledge the Messiah’s greatness as He “forgives us even though we do not know what we are doing. (Luke 23:34).” And yet, it is a rarity indeed to witness a modern-day believer lay down his life for another, especially one who is “unworthy.”
Yahweh is looking for those who realize that if He only used “good” people to do His work on the earth, then there would be no one to use. Stop wrongly judging your living brother by appearances, while at the same time glorifying the dead heroes of the faith who were just like them. This, indeed, is a reality check for us all!
Indebted To Who?
(#047 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Is it not the very thing that comforts you to the core of your soul? Is it not in our model prayer; “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive the debts of our debtors?” (Matthew 6:12) The forgiveness of debt is the removal of pain, remorse, guilt and shame; the torture stake covered all obligations. It is the very thing that brought your soul back to life; real life, a redeemed life.
And yet Caesar has placed trillions of dollars, and counting, of debt burden in your minds and, therefore, on your shoulders. It is there with every credit card bill, with every loan, with every tax, with every levy, with every price jump of “goods and services,” and with every news report that mentions the “state of the economy.” It is literally there with every purchase. Yet, the words of Yahweh are meant to bring clarity where there is confusion. They are meant to make your yoke easy and your burden light (Matthew 11:30). And with that in mind, let’s take a fresh look at what it means to “Give Caesar what is Caesar’s.” (Matthew 22:21)
It became “Americanized!” That is what happened to your mind when you acquiesced to the idea that anyone who identifies themselves as “leaders” must therefore be God-appointed “governing authorities.” If a house divided cannot stand (Luke 11:17), then how is it possible that the One who predestined you to be set free from all debts, would then raise up authorities who place trillions of “dollars” of debt upon you? Is there any variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17) in the One who you call “Lord?”
Listen to the voice of Yahweh loved one: “If I proclaim that anyone holding debt against you is wicked (Matt 18: 32-33), then would I choose leaders who place an insurmountable debt on the shoulders of you and your children’s children to countless generations?” Yet how easily you fell into Caesar’s trap believing that “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s!” meant that you were beholden to him. To the contrary, the burden you feel in your mind from Caesar-created obligations is Caesar’s burden. So, in obedience to His command, give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s!
Note: US Dollars are actually “Federal Reserve Notes.” A “Note” is not real money; it is an I.O.U. debt instrument. Are you carrying debt in your wallet?
Give to Caesar
(#045 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
(4) “Then all the elders gathered and approached Samuel, saying, ‘Appoint us a king to judge us; just like other nations.’ But these things displeased Samuel… Samuel prayed to Yahweh… Yahweh said, ‘…they have not rejected you [Samuel], they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them… to this very day… forsaking Me in order to serve gods [men]… listen to them and let them know how a king will reign over them and will behave toward them.’
(10) …Samuel said, ‘This is how the king you desire to reign over you will behave… he will take your sons and appoint some to serve his chariots… some will drive his horses… others will run before his chariots… you will plow his ground… bring in his harvest… manufacture his weapons of war… he will take your daughters… seize your best fields… demand a tenth of your sheep… you, yourselves, will become his servants. You will cry out, but Yahweh will NOT listen to you.’
(19) The people REFUSED to listen to Samuel. ‘No, we want a king over us. Then we will be like other nations with a king who will fight our battles.’ …So Yahweh instructed Samuel… “Appoint them a king…’” (Highlights from 1 Samuel 8:4-22)
Ask and You Shall Receive
Come one, come all; step right up,
And give your tribute gladly.
There are walls to build and roads to pave,
You want a king so badly.
Your priests and leaders all agree,
Over time their plans revealed.
“Better to pay… than to fight me,
Your best will plow my fields.”
For if the masses all agree,
Do not fret or be dismayed,
Our faces alone, your currency,
Your part, it must be played.
The entitlements offered will tempt to sway,
The most oppressed of you at heart.
“All must protect the kingdom’s way,
Each must do their part!”
Pay no attention to those foolish ones,
“Come out of her…,” they cry.
“We’ve read THE book; we understand.
But, give fear of man a try!”
Come one, come all; step right up,
And give your tribute gladly.
There are walls to build and roads to pave,
You’ve got your king so sadly.
“Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then He said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to the Almighty what is the Almighty’s.” (Matthew 22:20-21)
That The World May Know with Ray Vander Laan
Give Us A King
You may have learned somewhere that God did not want Israel to have a king. Most Christian churches teach this to youngsters early in Sunday school. But it is wrong. God did want Israel to have a king; he just had a certain kind of king in mind. In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, long before the time of Saul, God said, “Be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses” (emphasis added). God’s choice for king: that is what Israel ignored.
God’s Qualifications For Israel’s King
In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God gave the qualifications for a king. First, the king was to be an Israelite (17:15). This meant the king would belong to the people who recognized the authority of God.
Second, the king must not acquire many horses (17:16a). The Bible explains that horses came from Egypt, and horse-trading would tempt the Israelites to interact with the pagan people from whom they had been delivered.
Third, the king must not take many wives (17:17a). It was normal in ancient times to seal treaties between kings by intermarriage. Foreign women would influence the Israelites to abandon the unique lifestyle to which God had called them. Later in Israel’s history, Ahab (who married Jezebel) and Jehoram (who married Athaliah) learned the hard consequences of ignoring this proscription.
Fourth, the king must not accumulate large amounts of gold and silver (17:17b). Perhaps God wanted to make sure Israel’s king remained dependent upon him for success; or perhaps he wanted to keep his people from interacting with the pagan nations that would be supplying the gold and silver.
Fifth, the king must keep a copy of God’s Torah with him to be read throughout his life, so he would rule according to God’s principles (17:18-20).
This was God’s king: faithful, separate from the pagans, guiding God’s people to righteous living as a shepherd leads his sheep.
A King Such As Other Nations Have
Facing a Philistine threat at the time of Samuel the prophet, Israel requested a king. Samuel was angry because he knew they were rejecting God’s rule. The key to God’s displeasure was the request itself, to “appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have” (1 Sam. 8, emphasis added). The Israelites did not ask for a king that God would choose, but one that the world would choose.
Jewish scholars maintain that the story of David and Saul makes this contrast clear. When the people asked for a ruler such as other nations had, God gave them Saul, “a man who couldn’t keep track of donkeys in his care,” to show them what their kind of king would be: a self-absorbed failure. Throughout his life, Saul did things to satisfy his own desires and not God’s.
By contrast, David, a shepherd like God, was God’s choice for king, a man after his own heart. David lived by the words of the Torah, keeping the Lord always before him. When he sinned with Bathsheba, he was beside himself with sorrow, because he knew he had turned from God.
Who Do You Want As Your King?
Today, we face the same decision the Israelites did. Who (or what) do we want as our king (master)? The fascinating stories of 1 Samuel provide us with some insight and perspective.
Solomon was the wisest king of all. Yet the Bible judges Solomon by God’s standards: “Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horses” (compare 2 Chron. 9:25 with Deut. 17:16a). “The king [Solomon] made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones” (compare 2 Chron. 9:27 with Deut. 17:17b). “The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents” (compare 2 Chron. 9:13 with Deut.17:17b). “He [Solomon] had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines [mistresses]” (compare 1 Kings 11:3 with Deut. 17:17a).
What a shock! The wisest human ruler who ever lived broke almost every command God gave for a king.
We are left wanting something better. Matthew, the Jewish writer, voiced our need: “If this is the best the human race can provide, there must be someone else.” Then he remembered the words of Jesus: “… one greater than Solomon is here” (Matt. 12:42).
That is God’s final choice for the ideal king: Jesus the Messiah. He must be our choice as well.