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(#250 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
You have heard it said in various ways, “This above all: to thine own self be true.” And what is meant by this worldly wisdom? Is it meant to construe that if something “feels” right, then it is right? And what makes something right, or wrong for that matter? Is it a matter of “to thine own self?” Or does the Almighty make it so? These words of wisdom come from Polonius in Hamlet Act 1, scene 3. And of course, Polonius is just the mere fictional voice of Shakespeare, a man. Here are a few other “words of wisdom” from the same scene. If they are wise, what makes them so?
· Give thy thoughts no tongue…
· But do not dull thy palm with entertainment…
· Give every man thy ear but few thy voice…
· Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment…
· For the apparel oft proclaims the man…
· Neither a borrower nor a lender be…
· For loan oft loses both itself and friend…
Now, take into account that Yahweh has declared that man’s unredeemed heart (center of intellect) is “wicked and deceitful above all things.” (Jeremiah 17:9) Then consider that the very thing that opposes obedience to Yahweh’s commands is, “To thine own self be true.” Can you trust yourself, Shakespeare, or any man? Or would you be better off knowing what the Master has to say? “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) My commandments! Cursed is the man who trusts in man; blessed is the man who trusts in Yahweh. (Jeremiah 17:5, 7) How do you “feel” about this? It is black and white, no? Trust Yahweh and keep His commands. These are not actions based upon feelings or man’s wisdom, but rather those based on immutable truth.
“To thine own self be true?” Perhaps you might consider stating the following out loud, making a decree that will forever keep you from trusting “thine own self”: “Self, I must tell you that I cannot trust you. My Almighty Father has often told me, throughout His word, that you are only interested in your own personal desire (will). And that you will never conform to the Holy standard ‘because the carnal mind is enmity against the Almighty; for it is not subject to the law of the Almighty, nor indeed can be.’ (Romans 8:7) Self, you must decrease so the Spirit of Yahweh, through the life of His Son, might increase within me (John 3:30). Goodbye self; you are not welcome here anymore!” Think it not silly loved one. This is what it looks like to take a very powerful step towards the Light and to leave behind all that the world might offer.
And here is a final thought to consider; any “words of wisdom” from Polonius that are true, are only so because they represent Yahweh’s Word. Man apart from the Almighty has no wisdom to offer humanity. “Cursed is…! Blessed is…!” It’s that simple!
The Perfected Mind
(#249 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:3) The mind of Messiah is no less than the knowledge and wisdom of everything pertaining to sinless thinking. And the nuance we want you to grasp now is that the perfected mind itself is a creation of Yahweh for mankind. What an awesome perspective! Perfection in thoughts, and therefore by Holy design, perfection in actions, is a creation of the Almighty? In essence, Yahweh Himself is above perfection, beyond it, if you can imagine. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:23).
Although perfection is commanded, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”
(Matthew 5:48), how many of you are so emphatic that, “No one can be perfect!”? This equates to no less than a barefaced rejection of your full inheritance for which Messiah died. Don’t believe it?
· Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. (1 John 3:6)
· Whoever has been born of the Mighty One does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of the Mighty One. (1 John 3:9)
· We know that whoever is born of the Mighty One does not sin; but he who has been born of the Mighty One keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18)
If you continually excuse the lack of effort to reach for perfection, calling it humility, claiming that you are resisting the “self-indulgent” effort to be holy, again you tread dangerously close to trampling the shed blood underfoot. This is not humility loved one, but false humility. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins… Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of the Almighty underfoot, counted the blood of the Covenant by which He was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26, 29)
A perfect mind is possible only because of Yahshua’s life manifesting in you and that is only available, or more precisely “mandated,” because of the blood He shed. For those who understand this, there are things you will need to remember. On your journey to perfected thinking, one crucial thing to grasp is humility, no, not just humility, vast humility. This is quite different from the false humility we just exposed.
Once you begin, through strict and disciplined obedience, to access the mind of perfection, you will be able to root out any and all deceptive patterns of thinking. You must first do this in yourself before you are free to recognize it in others. This is a penetrating and humbling experience. Part of perfection is the decreasing “need” to correct the errors of others. Like Messiah in you (Colossians 1:27), you will learn to first pray for others rather than being quick to rebuke and correct. Be still and know that He is Yahweh, not you (Psalm 46:10). Part of perfect mindedness is the reality that prayer is the most powerful and effective tool you have. Ah yes, the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)
Another crucial concept to understand is that the perfected mind speaks only after having exhausted every possible remedy and conclusion that fails to meet the Holy standard. In other words, a question like, “Well, did you think about this?” will always be met in the affirmative. How could you be at a perfected level of thinking otherwise? All avenues have been considered, and the perfected mind picks the perfect way every time. This is no less than Yahweh’s fullness in you loved one. With this type of thinking, how could the solution not always be perfect?
But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1 Corinthians 13:10-12)
It takes vast humility to sit face to face with Messiah! It is what will draw you closer to the perfect mind, and when you arrive it is what will keep you there. And then, it will take you beyond!
Acts 15 The Jerusalem Council
What Commandments should new Jewish people follow?
The Other Side
(#248 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Adam—Edom—Shedding of Blood—Ego—Flushed—Ashamed…
In scriptural context these are synonymous. They all emanate from Adam who “chose” to eat from the wrong tree, and therefore are also synonymous with all who came after him, all but one that is.
It is necessary that you understand what is intended when you read about blood sacrifices. The key element of the sacrifice is always about the shedding of the blood, and now we know this means no less than the shedding of shame. The shame is caused by your fierce and carnal desire to act like you have an option to choose rather than obey. “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45) The first Adam chose ego; the last Adam was the perfect sacrifice because He chose to shed His ego (blood) in order to give life (spirit revival) to those the Father would choose to forgive.
You would do well to to consciously practice the recognition of the above words as synonymous with Adam each time you read the scriptures. When you read of blood, think “shame or ego.” When you consider the Edomite, think about the ego of man. Loved one, it is all about progressing in your level of consciousness from the fallen mind to the mind of Messiah. This transformation takes a constant “renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), and ultimately the removal of your personal thoughts, as they give way to strict obedience to Yahweh’s decrees and commands (mind laws/mind patterns).
Yahshua knew His purpose; He had to eliminate His own will. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42) He knew that it would always shame His Father, and ultimately Himself, if He chose His own way, if He sought His own glory. “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from the Almighty or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.” (John 7:16-18)
It’s quite simple; one side you choose ego, the other side you choose the shedding of ego! Is this not the pattern, “nevertheless not My will,” upon which you should base your own life? Remember, you were purchased for a great price and you no longer own yourself! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood [ego], there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
Shake it Off
(#247 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“But he shook the creature [viper] off into the fire, and suffered no harm.” (Acts 28:5)
How often have you considered such things, like Shaul’s (Paul’s) ability to overcome such a seemingly insurmountable physical obstacle? A viper “fastened on his hand” and he just “shook the creature off!” How about things that Abraham, Moses, and David overcame? How often have you thought, “Why not me?”
Let us consider how and why Shaul suffered no physical harm? It was not as you might think or imagine. Take heed loved one; nothing is ever physically achieved until it is spiritually conceived! Many acts of faith propelled Shaul’s ministry, but a recent specific memory of a spiritual promise fulfilled was most likely what inspired him during his encounter with the snake.
Just the night before, Shaul demonstrated amazing faith as he “believed” the promise of things to come even during a storm that was sure to take the lives of all aboard his ship, including his own. Consider his words; “For there stood by me this night a malak [messenger] of the Almighty to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Shaul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed the Almighty has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe the Almighty that it will be just as it was told me.” (Acts 27:23-25)
Because Shaul could testify that “it will be just as it was told me,” not even a viper bite would mean death for him. Why? Because Yahweh made a promise to him that Shaul was certain would be fulfilled. “You must be brought before Caesar.” Just like Abraham believed Yahweh for his son’s inheritance, “My son, the Almighty will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering,” (Genesis 22:8) Shaul knew he would see the future Yahweh had promised.
Faith allowed Shaul to shake off the viper (mind tormentor) and move forward as if nothing had happened. Literally, he set his mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2). He knew that Yahweh was his strength and his shield; his heart trusted in Him, and he was helped (Psalm 28:7). He was able to ignore the physical realm, and all of its illusions. It’s never from the physical where power is derived! Remember this! All power is spiritual; and all power is from Yahweh alone. There is no other source of power! (Psalm 62:11)
My soul, wait silently for the Almighty alone, for my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
In the Almighty is my salvation and my glory;
The Rock of my strength, and my refuge is in the Almighty.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him; The Almighty is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:5-8)
(#246 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) If it is life abundant that Yahshua died for, then what exactly did His sacrifice offer you? What is the abundant life?
It’s time for a permanent shift. If your definition of the abundant life is primarily focused on external things, life in the physical realm, then we must submit that you are missing true abundance. Would you consider a new paradigm? “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Hebrews 8:5) Moses was commanded many times in Exodus to follow Yahweh’s exact instructions to build the Tabernacle (the dwelling place within where Yahweh reigns). Why? Because the pattern serves as a copy or shadow of heavenly things. (Hebrews 8:5) The physical, in this case the Tabernacle, is a pattern? Yes, and it is true of all things. Our entire physical world is a shadow of the “real thing.” What is the real thing?
Your physical life is a direct result of your thought life, both conscious and subconscious. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7) Your thoughts are the real thing! Your thoughts create your physical world. Here is something dramatic to consider; your thoughts are real and the world you see is a shadow. Man’s fallen thoughts (mind) manifested a fallen world. And the reverse is expected! The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation [manifestation] of Yahweh’s sons and daughters. (Romans 8:19). Sons and daughters of Yahweh will have the mind of Messiah (1 Corinthians 2:16) which will redeem all of creation. Fallen mind fallen world; redeemed mind redeemed world!
Your thought life is a very individual thing as well, as no one else can live in your mind for you. Your entire personal world is first a thought, before it manifests. Peace, joy, love, poise, balance, and power; are these not all states of mind, abundant states of mind? Is not all of life a byproduct of your thinking?
Consider Jerusalem, the “center” of all scriptural activity? Jerusalem means “city of peace, foundation of peace, or possession of peace.” Peace also must be the center of all your thought activity. The pattern (physical manifestation) serves as a copy or shadow of heavenly things (thoughts). Peaceful thoughts must therefore precede physical peace. “Shalom” in Hebrew is from the root word “shalem” which denotes completeness, wholeness and soundness. This is what His death was meant to offer you loved one, peace! Peace is a whole, pure, and sound mind; a mind so focused on Yahweh Almighty that the physical aspect of life becomes secondary. The flesh can die while the mind says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34) This is life loved one. Perfect life! Abundant life!
(#245 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)
Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust. However, for our purposes we will define hope from a Heavenly perspective; hope is collecting pieces of faith. This more comprehensive view of hope requires multiple qualities to amalgamate into something more complex than expectation, desire, and trust. It is yet another pattern created by our Father. To fulfill the pattern, spiritual hope does not just happen; it is constructed. Think of hope as a building you must erect with different components needed before it is completed.
In hope’s case, you will first need to incorporate belief. Think of belief as your foundation. To help you believe, Yahweh has circumcised your heart (center of intellect) (Deuteronomy 30:6); He has taken out your heart of stone (stubbornness) and given you a heart of flesh (raw, renewal) (Ezekiyl 36:26). You must walk in this to lay the foundation for hope to rest upon.
Next it is time to frame the walls of hope. Framing is done with faith! Faith makes the structure or substance of hope. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) And since our faith is a gift, and we are each given a measure of faith (Romans 12:3), we need not conjure it up. We simply must stand in it in order to build the beams and walls, the substance that will hold hope together. Every time we exercise faith, we add to the structure and strengthen it. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance holy reverence, to holy reverence brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. (2 Peter 1:5-7) Soon, the pieces of faith, assembled together, build a solid structure that can endure any storm.
Once we have the foundation and structure complete, something supernatural happens. The hope that was formed from belief and faith, now actually further strengthens your belief (the foundation) and faith (the structure), as well as intensifying hope (the building) itself.
The final component of the blueprint for spiritual hope is the blessing. It is miraculous! Your reward for participating in the building process, the prize for your obedience to walk in belief and stand in faith, is the blessing. Yahweh Almighty will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. Yahweh will again rejoice over you. (Deuteronomy 30:9) The blessings cover the building and protect it from deterioration. The blessings strengthen all the components of the building so that it becomes an eternal structure, wherein no elements of the world (ego-centered life) can cause decay. The building is the Spiritual Temple loved one, and the construction of this Temple within is the renewed life promised to Yahweh’s chosen children. You also, as living [spiritually renewed] stones [firmly established spiritual thoughts], are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to The Almighty through Yahshua the Messiah. (1 Peter 2:5)
This is hope defined. For You are my hope, O Yahweh Almighty; You are my trust from my youth. (Psalm 71:5)
(#244 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Satan stood up against Israyl, and moved David to take a census of Israyl. . . David said to the Almighty, “Isn’t it I who commanded the people to be counted? I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand, O Yahweh Almighty, be against me, and against my father’s house; but not against Your people, that they should be plagued.” (1 Chronicles 21:1, 17)
Have you ever been responsible for the death of another, not to mention 70,000 people? David condemned them when he succumbed to the temptation; “Satan (the adversarial will in opposition to Yahweh’s will) stood up against Israyl, and moved David to take a census (dependency upon personal power and might) of Israyl.” Translation: David was motivated by his own ego (“self” determination and reliance). Even after he was warned (Verse 3), “Why does my master require this thing? Why will he be a cause of guilt to Israyl?” he still chose sin.
Don’t you know that when you present yourselves as servants and obey someone, you are the servants of whomever you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? (Romans 6:16) David, the King of Israyl, servant of the Almighty, man after Yahweh’s own heart, and the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8), chose sin. David is well known for his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband. But, rarely do we hear of his responsibility for the deaths of these seventy thousand.
This very same man, who gives us such hope with his genuine repentance; Have mercy on me; Against You, and You only, have I sinned; Create in me a clean heart (Psalm 51); was a slave to his own desires, a servant of sin. You are the servants of whomever you obey.
Now consider the thousands who died; would you be so inclined to see him as a pillar of faith if your loved one was one of his victims? Would you still read his words and be encouraged by them? Would you follow him if he was your “king” today?
Maybe a better way to ask is this. Do you see what Yahweh sees? Confession: “I am the one who sinned.” And intersession: “Please let Your hand be against me, but not against Your people.” Or do you overlook the heart (mental disposition) and see only what man sees, the consequences of sin; “Seventy thousand dead” (Verse 14)?
Who are you to judge? Does your true nature long to condemn others? Do you condemn others to make your “self” feel better about you? Learn from this, loved one. His fire is coming; you will be tried; you will be tested. If you’d rather have the short version of the test, then humble yourself. If you see yourself as a diamond with no flaws, step down from your self-made soap box.
The Father knows you are a diamond in the rough, in other words, a piece of coal. It takes a lot of “pressure” to turn coal into a diamond. The pressure will “squeeze” you and expose what is inside. Take your eyes off of everyone else’s sin. Get your focus back on you. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. (1 Corinthians 11:31) If you do, there may just be hope for you yet.
Let him put his mouth in the dust, there might yet be hope! (Lamentations 3:29)
(#243 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
No My child, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Mighty One.” (Matthew 4:4) For those who have been pruned in great tribulation, the significance of such a declaration takes on new meaning. When you are poured out like a drink offering, when your strength alone will no longer do, you must rather hold fast to the Word of life, so that you may rejoice in the day of the Messiah (Philippians 2:16-17).
Bread alone? Temporal provision satisfying your every need? This strength you have come to rely on, this so called “bread,” has you hanging on by a thread. Holding tight to this false security, much like a child clutches his blankie for safety and familiarity, will keep you from ever receiving your full inheritance. As long as the heir is a child, he does not differ from a slave, though he is master of all. (Galatians 4:1)
When faced with trials, if you habitually manage the strife with your own power, wisdom, and insight, it is imperative that I expose your true poverty. I command you not to lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), for it inevitably leads to decisions which depend upon your own strength, and this will never do. I will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught (Proverbs 3:26). If I desired that you depend on yourself, then why did I sacrifice My Son? And the truth is, My Spirit in you has already testified this to you. Yet, you ignore it with your sacrifice, which often looks like “struggling to do it on your own.” I desire obedience, not sacrifice! (1 Samuel 15:22)
When you receive the revelation that “bread alone” will not preserve life, and very often I must take away your bread for you to embrace this revelation, all that is left is My provision. Then My Word becomes your only source of nourishment. My patterns cannot be changed. My Word comes before anything; I have magnified My Word even above My Name (Psalm 138:2). Consider it like oxygen; although you can still breathe on “bread alone,” true life comes from the “breath” of My Word.
There must be a crossing over. You see loved one, there is a difference between the one who spends an hour with Me daily, due to sacrifice, and the one who communes with Me perpetually out of love and adoration. Yes, like the baby on milk, obedience is taught first, so afterwards true love can emerge. If you need to go back to milk, then do so. Even then, your effort will be blessed. Remember, I desire obedience (thoughts bound to reverence) over sacrifice (thoughts bound to burdens)!
It is only after you embrace this revelation that you can help others to receive what is intended for them. So, consider My words, the true delicacies of life, eternal delicacies. Then come away with Me, My loved one, and dine on all I have for you (Song of Solomon 2:10).
(#242 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Yet it was Yahweh’s will [it pleased Yahweh] to crush Him, and cause Him to suffer [bear sickness], and though Yahweh makes His life an offering for sin [guilt], He [Yahshua] will see His offspring [seed] and prolong His days, and the will [pleasure] of Yahweh will prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:10)
Yes loved one; when this Priest [Yahshua] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Almighty. (Hebrews 10:12) He is the last sacrifice, the full atonement for your sins. He is your life-giver and your redemption (permission to renew your conscience to perfection). You seem to comprehend this at times, to actually live like you believe it; your obedience is how I gauge this. May I share something with you about the process? Perhaps this will help you develop a stronger desire to know Me, and therefore a stronger desire to obey.
Today child, it is the “crushing” I would like to discuss with you. Could have I chosen another method to perfect you, another “modus operandi,” a different pattern for purification? If I wanted, couldn’t I have simply allowed My Son to come and teach? I could have planned for Him to stay with you for many years, even centuries to show you My ways, no? Or, could have I simply programmed My creation to obey Me at all times? Yes, all of these options, and more, were available. So, why then do I, instead, choose the “crushing method” for your perfecting? Because it is the suffering that made My Son perfect (Hebrews 2:10). And Remember what [He] told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted [Him], they will persecute you also. (John 15:20) Therefore, do not invalidate the suffering process when the pattern shows up in your own life.
Yes, I did say that My Son was the last sacrifice for sin for all time, but I did not say that I would no longer use suffering to align My people with their destiny (James 1:2-4). Quite the opposite; it is in the suffering that the dross (all mental “self” reliance) is removed. “For it has been granted [gifted] to you on behalf of the Messiah, not only to believe upon Him [Yahweh], but also to suffer on behalf of Him [Yahweh].” (Philippians 1:29) It is in the suffering that purity is birthed. It is I who make all decrees, to bless or to afflict. Even if I choose to use evil to prune you, then so be it! And don’t be so hasty to assume that evil is some “outside force” and not a tool of revelation exposing the evil that resides within you loved one. Yes, the crushing and chastening are Mine!
Why would My way seem so harsh? You would not think it cruel if you embraced that My chosen methods always represent pure love My child. No more of your double-mindedness! Reckon this as truth; I only do good on behalf of My children, and therefore the suffering is to bring about good. I have said it before; this is a never-changing, ever-present pattern on the narrow road to perfection.
Now you should be thinking, “If I align with Your ways Father, then I would be able to see that suffering inevitably brings holiness into my life, and therefore serves good for those called according to Your purpose (Romans 8:28). And that would mean I should suffer well.” Exactly, My loved one. Embrace My “modus operandi,” My way of doing things. When your mind comes to peace with such thoughts, you are prepared to sail to the heights, finding the life I have always intended for you. Trust Me, you will get there; your suffering ensures it.
Yes, the only way to perfection is through suffering, so suffer well loved one. Suffer well.