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Things Unsaid (Two)
(#298 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
The Father’s supernatural use of His “vessels of wrath” to guide you personally:
Yahweh said to Mosheh, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you power to do. But I will harden his heart [mind] so that he will not let My people go.” (Exodus 4:21)
Yahweh called Mosheh for a specific reason, to free His people, and granted him the power to do so. We will call this Yahweh’s wisdom and direction for Mosheh to fulfill his purpose (calling). He tells Mosheh to deliver a message to Pharaoh and then Yahweh hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that he WOULD NOT let the people go. Knowing that this appears absurd to the unredeemed mind, Shaul writes: “What if the Almighty, choosing to show His wrath and make known His power, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath prepared for destruction? What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory…?” (Romans 9:22-23)
The vessel of wrath, in this case Pharaoh, who would ultimately be destroyed, was created to make things difficult for Mosheh. Yahweh’s intention was to make Mosheh (His object of mercy) aware of His glorious calling, and at the same time, to reveal His own glory. In other words, Yahweh used a vessel of wrath to guide Mosheh to his destiny. The pattern is this; the Father inserts objects of wrath into the path of His people to effect a fuller understanding of their calling. The purpose is to alter their course, leading them to discover the vision He has for them.
One of the keys to understanding the process of discovering your personal calling is to recognize how the tests force you to practice rest in the midst of “wrath.” Testing teaches you to fully trust Yahweh’s guidance when unforeseen events take place, even if those events are initiated by those destined for destruction. Once this is affirmed in you, you can testify, “I am always right where I am supposed to be. He will make sure of it. His sovereignty guarantees it.”
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18:3) The Kingdom is meant to be understood by children. The reality that Yahweh is sovereign over all is more easily accepted by a child. That He is sovereign over both the chosen and the unchosen is ONLY accepted by a child! You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. (John 15:16)
“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh, and this is their vindication from Me, declares Yahweh.” (Isayah 54:17) The weapon will not prevail; you will overcome it. Nevertheless, this does not negate the fact that it is Yahweh Himself who formed it. “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc.” (Isayah 54:16)
The vessel of wrath is His tool to test His chosen ones; it is His way of making the riches of His glory known.
So is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isayah 55:11)
The vessel of wrath is His tool to test His chosen ones; it is His way of making the riches of His glory known. Listen very closely loved one. If you reject and resist the oppressive force of the weapon that was meant to test and refine you, then you are rejecting the sovereignty of Yahweh and the predetermined plan that He chose for you specifically, in order to bring you into your personal calling. If the weapon brings suffering, then suffer well, endure, and step in to your calling!
Things Unsaid (One)
(#297 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
It is time to unlock the revelatory calling in your life; it is a supernatural gift. But in order to fine tune your narrow path, we must initially take a broad view. It is essential that you first remember that the totality of Yahweh’s commands apply universally. In other words, the commandments are not for personal interpretation, the entire body (congregating thoughts) is called to obey because the Law expresses the superior will of Yahweh (Romans 2:17-18).
Once you come into alignment with that, it’s then time to get personal; “The commandments do not tell me anything specific about my calling. So, what part of the body am I; and how do I know?” It is a common perplexity faced by those who do not recognize scriptural patterns, those missing some keys to the Kingdom. Let’s call those missing keys “things unsaid.” They unlock doorways to your very personal calling. Scripturally, you might call them the backstory. Let us demonstrate this by encapsulating a well-known scriptural narrative.
The central figure is David, the man after Yahweh’s own heart. The story can be found in 2 Samuel 7, his vision to build a temple made of cedar for Yahweh. It’s a detailed story with countless allusions and lessons, but for our purpose we will keep it pointed. David declares his disdain for the tent that he has placed the Ark of the Covenant in and his subsequent desire to put the Ark in a “house of cedar.” Let us remind you that it was David’s choice to put the Ark in a tent in the courtyard of his palace in Jerusalem, instead of putting it back in the Tabernacle Mosheh built, which was still standing in Gibeon.
This should be your first hint that something is either very wrong or that David knows something we don’t. And that is the key (pattern) we want you to recognize. There is no record anywhere that Yahweh had ever told man that His plan was to move the Ark from a tent of curtains to a house of cedar. Yet, we know from Yahweh’s response that it was the exact vision that He wanted David to capture, and He blessed David and his progeny for his faithfulness. What we don’t see is all the asking, seeking, and knocking (Luke 11:9-10); all the spiritual tenacity of not letting go (Genesis 32:26); and the spiritual violence (Matthew 11:12) it took for David to discern the heart of Yahweh and find the vision He had for him, in order for him to advance His Kingdom. He was after all, a man after Yahweh’s heart. And this is precisely what He has for you, a vision you are supposed to seek after, one that He predestined for you as your contribution in building His Kingdom (Romans 8:28-29).
Over the next four days we will define specific patterns which will lead to the greatest of all earthly pleasures, knowing your Creator better and discovering why you exist for Him:
1. The Father’s supernatural use of His “vessels of wrath” to guide you personally;
2. A simple look at the life, and not just the words, of men like
Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Israyl, Kepha (Peter), Shaul, or Yahshua Himself;
3. Individual wisdom (insight, revelation) for you;
4. Individual direction for you personally.
We will take each of these, one at a time, and you will step into the purpose He predestined for you. For today, we ask that you till (mentally prepare) the soil (ability to receive) of your heart (center of intellect) (Hosea 10:12, Jeremiah 4:3-4), and ask Yahweh, even now, to reveal and overcome any carnally-based perspective that has held you back. Come wanting to listen and hear. Till the soil today and be ready to plant the seeds of His love deep into your consciousness. Up and away loved one, to the highest of heights (the mind of the Messiah).
(#296 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“From one man He made every nation of men, so they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:26)
Have you ever said, or heard someone say, “I feel lost?” And we don’t mean in regards to longitude and latitude, but in vision, purpose and direction. Today is your day to step into your inheritance, to acknowledge that you have already been released into your destiny. In the Messiah Yahshua, you who once were far off [at a distance, far away, remote, alien] have been brought near by the blood [having been shed] of the Messiah. (Ephesians 2:13) Your destiny has been ordained by Yahweh. Put off the old man (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22) and never look back, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)
All that awaits those who look back is salt (Genesis 19:26). The “salt” of bitterness, regret, and shame, is all that is available if you do not “forget those things which are behind.” Instead of clear vison, purpose, and direction, you will feel lost. Have you sung, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound; I once was lost, but now I’m found,” only to have your life truly sing, “And now I feel lost again?” Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. (James 3:11-12) Found yet lost again? This ought not to be so! (v. 10)
But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:22) There are several things you can do to guard against this mental relapse:
Choose Facts over Feelings: First, you must decide to live in what is known and not what is felt. Fact: He determined the times set for you and the exact places where you should live. How you feel about something may not always jive with His truth; in that case your feelings MUST acquiesce to the facts. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares Yahweh, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) How then can you be “lost?” It’s not possible loved one, other than you giving more weight to your feelings than His promises.
Grow up: Whom will He teach knowledge? And whom will He make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? (Isaiah 28:9) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of the Almighty; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (Hebrews 5:12) It is time to grow up; time for some solid food! For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of mature. (Hebrews 5:13-14a)
Transform Your Mind: Digest this; what the Father says is true for all time! You can, and must bet your life on it. Transforming your mind (heart) is a process that must start now. The mature thinker has their “senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14b) and concludes: “I feel lost but I know it is not possible because my life is in His hands.” This type of thinking is an indication of a transformation taking place; it is the “renewing” of your mind. (Romans 12:2) A mind that can digest “solid food” will deny all that opposes His word, no matter how it feels.
The complete transformation of every thought that does not conform to the mind of Yahweh is victoriously within your grasp. It is not as difficult as you might think; it’s as simple as a choosing what He says over what you feel. You are never lost loved one, only choosing to feel that way.
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
(#295 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“Great peace have they who love Your Law, and nothing will offend them [cause them to stumble; trap them].” (Psalm 119:165)
Imagine this offer for a moment. It is yet another supernatural exchange that comes through the obedient mindset. Love His Law and nothing will offend you! Love His precepts, instructions, commands, and testimonies. (Read all 176 verses of Psalm 119). Love His word and your mind will never stumble; obey His ways and you will always have poise and balance.
Yahshua said to His disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses [things that challenge people to stumble] should come… (Luke 17:1) Offenses will come! Those irritations that entice you to blow your witness; those annoyances that lure you to stagger are a certainty; it’s your reaction that is optional. Offense is best described by the imagery used in the original language. It is a snare or the trigger of a trap; the mechanism closing a trap down on the unsuspecting victim. Wait a minute! When you are offended it is you who are trapped? Precisely!
You need not be an unsuspecting victim. Lay claim to this promise; “For Yahweh Almighty will help me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7). Of course it sounds wonderful, but many times it seems impossible for those who might have actually pondered this heavenly offer. And so what about this “exchange” that has been offered? Under what circumstance can you make such a bold claim; “He will help me; I will not be ashamed?” Profoundly, it is quite simple. “Yahweh Almighty has opened my ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.” (v. 5) He speaks and you obey; it’s that simple!
Here are several steps you can practice. Repeat these over and over to become unoffendable. And then teach them to others:
Step one: Remember the goal; it is wise to recognize the fruit you are plucking. The fruit of the Spirit is…Peace. (Galatians 5:22) “Great peace have they who…” and then nothing will offend;
Step two: Love His Law; “Great peace have they who…love His Law.” This is the key that unlocks the fruit. The Law is the blueprint of the mind of Yahweh; it is the key that opens the door to the mind that cannot be offended. Oh, how I love Your Law! It is my meditation all the day; I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law. (Psalm 119: 97, 113);
Step three: Obey His Law; it reveals the will of Yahweh. “You rest on the Law, and make your boast in the Almighty, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent [superior], being instructed out of the Law.” (Romans 2:17-18) Desiring His will changes what you ask of Him; He alone becomes your fulfillment. “Yahweh, help me to love You more than anything. I delight to do Your will, O my Mighty One; yes, Your Law is within my heart,” (Psalm 40:8) becomes your prayer. This cry that pours forth from the obedient heart is the culmination of a surrendered will. As Yahweh becomes your everything, everything becomes yours. Loved one, when you own everything, what could possibly offend you?
Step four: Love like Him; Love is the fruit of an obedient mind, which is no longer “double-minded” but “double-edged;” no longer capable of simultaneously producing thoughts of blessings and curses (holding offense). Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? (James 3:11) The fruit of the Spirit is…Love. (Galatians 5:22)
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Yahweh, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my Mighty One, in whom I trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers. And under His wings you shall take refuge. His faithfulness is your shield and fortress. (Psalm 91:1-4)
When He is all you need, you fulfill the command “I shall not want,” and no snare will ever trap you again!
Children of The Most High
(#294 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says Yahweh. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
A servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. (John 13:16) If a child cannot be greater than his Creator, then how can one who is “lesser” do as Yahshua proclaimed? “The works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” (John 14:12) Is it possible for greater works to be done by the created one, the child? Yahshua revealed the secret to doing just that; “I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (John 14:11) In other words, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, so you may marvel.” (John 5:19-20)
How do you do greater works?
Step one: receive Him and become a child of the Most High (John 1:12);
Step two: believe that you are in the Father and the Father is in you (John 14:11);
Step three: do nothing in your own strength (John 5:19);
Step four: do only what you see the Father (as portrayed through the lifestyle of Yahshua) doing (John 5:19);
Step five: live like it is no longer your life, but the Messiah’s life in you (Galatians 2:20).
Even with these five steps, you will never be greater than the vision you hold in your heart (mind). For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7) Fortunately, as a child of the Most High, He has planted His vision in your heart, and you can discover it if you are willing to search it out. Ask, seek and knock (Luke 11:9); “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does.” (John 5:20) Moreover, as you submit your will to His, in other words, delight your “self” in Yahweh, He guarantees you the desires and secret petitions of your heart (Psalm 37:4). You see, He planted His vision in your heart and, therefore, greater works are possible because it is His power being expressed through you, not your own.
As a child of the Most High, you are His house (the place where He releases His wisdom and understanding within His Temple in your conscience) (Hebrews 3:6), and you are being continually shaped and formed to fulfill the Master’s plan. As His vision for you expands, your “house” must mature to contain the increase! There is, however, no need to strive because “Unless Yahweh builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1) In other words; a submitted child can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do!
Greater works result from His Spirit producing a supernatural transformation in you. You no longer live; instead, He lives in you! You decrease and He increases. His increase then manifests a vision in you, far greater than any you can imagine. He will do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
“By wisdom a house is built and through understanding, it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
(#292 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve Yahweh. He is the Holy Mighty One; He is a jealous Mighty One. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake Yahweh and serve foreign gods [mental self-reliance], He will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after He has been good to you.” But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve Yahweh.” Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve Yahweh.” “Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied. (Joshua 24:19-22)
“It’s all about grace.” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of the Almighty—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Ah yes, “It is not from your own effort, but by grace.” And then there is the oft forgotten next verse; For we are the Almighty’s handiwork, created in the the Messiah Yahshua to do good works, which the Mighty One prepared in advance for us to do [that we should walk in them]. (Ephesians 2:10) Yes, your declaration of faith stands as a witness “against” you because by grace you have been saved to serve Yahweh, and that means you have “good works” to do. And Shaul, the Hebrew writer of the letter to the Ephesians, knew of only one definition of “good works.” Mitzvahs: good deeds founded upon the precepts and commands of Yahweh.
Joshua was offering Israyl a renewal of the wedding vows they had committed to some 90 years earlier after Mosheh came down from the mountain. The people answered together and said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.” So Mosheh brought back the words of the people to Yahweh. (Exodus 19:8) Even then, their own words echoed as a witness against themselves. This is why Joshua could convict them of a history of rebellion (v. 19) and adultery for serving other gods (v. 20). It is only adultery because they first said “I do!”
Oh that the body of the Messiah would understand this wedding vow. The promise is so much better than the vanity of what the doctrines and commandments of men offers (Mark 7:7). When you said “I do!” you accepted a new standard for your life. And once you did, anything less is willful disobedience. King David knew this; “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13). And the writer of Hebrews reminds (re-minds) us of the dire consequences of such; “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:26)
You know the truth! Do not run from these foundational principles any longer. You proclaim you are “Free in Christ.” “It is for freedom that the Messiah has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1a) But, what are you free from? “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1b) Are the good works, the good deeds founded upon the precepts and commands of Yahweh, which were “prepared in advance for you to do,” the yoke of slavery? Is freedom from His commandments why grace abounds? What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (Romans 6:1-2, 6-7) It is abundantly clear that it is slavery to sin that you have been freed from, not slavery to His commands (good works).
You are now free to hand over all of your choices and allow Him to take complete dominion of your life? You are free to say, “Father, I acknowledge that Your commands and the shed blood of Yahshua are now the standard that will judge my every thought and action. I expect punishments for disobedience with the same joy that I expect blessings for obeying You.”
Loved one, whether or not you acknowledge His Word as a witness against you, if you proclaim to follow Yahshua, it already is. Seriously reflect on what it means when Shaul says that “your old self was crucified with Him.” Consider this fair warning; you surrendered any other option when you said, “I do! I will serve __________.” If you filled in the blank with a title or some pagan given name, then much of your disobedience has its cause therein. If you have yet to call on the Name, the only given Name of the Mighty One, then perhaps for the first time, you will take your wedding vow in the Name of Yahweh.
(#291 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Officious: assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way, especially with regard to petty or trivial matters; intrusively enthusiastic in offering help or advice; interfering; self-important; self-assertive; overbearing; overzealous; opinionated; intrusive; meddlesome
You know the kind, those who have a strong need to be right, rather than to benefit their listeners, or should we say, “Targets.” They will say their zeal is all about “spreading the truth.” But, the fact is that their “strong need” is rooted in insecurity and unworthiness, not truth. There are many people like this. This might even be you. There is transformation waiting for those vulnerable enough to look in the mirror, those willing to go there.
How can the bearer of truth be distinguished from the one trying to compensate for feelings of insecurity and unworthiness? It’s simple; first look for the peace. Truth is always accompanied by peace. In other words, if one is blessed with deep insights about the Kingdom of Yahweh, then joy, gentleness, calmness, composure, and peace that surpasses understanding will prevail in his heart [mind] (Philippians 4:4-7).
Within that peaceful state, the one who stewards the truth recognizes that he is nothing more than a farmer sowing seeds. He recognizes that he plants and the Almighty brings the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6) The response of the “ground” is not up to him. The Messiah was crucified for the seeds He planted; yes, very often truth and rejection go hand-in-hand!
Even so, truth is never accompanied by an overbearing spirit that insists on its own way. Remember, love does not seek its own (1 Corinthians 13:5). Yes, love, as well, is always present with truth. The bearer of truth loves anyway, even when rejection and hostility come as the blowback from proclaiming Yahweh’s reality. How would truth respond to such an attack? “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
As for the roots of insecurity and unworthiness, they will slowly dissolve over time as insistence gives way to humility and as identification with the “old man” gives way to the “new creature in the Messiah” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24). Humility is another characteristic that is always present with truth. As you become humble, Yahweh is magnified. He must increase, and you must decrease. (John 3:30) As you become lesser, Yahweh becomes greater in you. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10). When you accept that lesser is greater, the transformation will heal your desire to become everybody’s everything. You will become peaceful, quiet, and content being yourself. How do we know all of this? We’ll let you guess.
Peace, unfailing love, and humility are all integral characteristics of Yahweh’s truth; they bear His signature. But, none have a place in the “gospel” of officious people.
“God Bless You”
(#290 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
How frequently do people everywhere casually use the salutation, “God bless you?” Oftentimes, it is expressed frivolously to anyone at any time, substituted for “goodbye; see you later; take care;” and in writing, “Sincerely.” It’s even your conditioned, “good manners” response to someone who sneezes in your presence. Let’s explore two patterns related to the true blessings of Yahweh.
Pattern number one: His blessings apply only to His people, Israyl! Those who have been redeemed by the shedding of Yahshua’s blood (surrender of His will). Remember “that at that time you were separate from the Messiah [once gentiles], excluded from citizenship in Israyl and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without the Almighty in the world. But now in the Messiah Yahshua you who once were far away have been brought near by the [shed] blood of the Messiah.” (Ephesians 2:12-13) You can only be brought near by shed blood because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) And then, it is only by the shedding of His blood. Yahshua warned, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Other than that, Yahweh’s blessings are foreign to you; your destiny is the way of the gentiles (nations). The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget the Mighty One. (Psalm 9:17) To the nations, saying or hearing “God bless you” amounts to nothing more than the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Isayah as echoed by Yahshua Himself. “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts [minds] are far from Me.” (Mark 7:6 from Isayah 29:13)
Pattern number two: Yahweh’s people only receive His blessings through obedience to Him. “All the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:18) “Now if you will obey Me and keep My covenant, you will be My own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to Me.” (Exodus 19:5) And for those who claim it is now different with Yahshua; While Yahshua was speaking, a woman in the crowd shouted, “How blessed is the mother who gave birth to You and the breasts that nursed You.” Yahshua replied, “Rather, how blessed are those who hear and obey the Mighty One’s word.” (Luke 11:27-28)
Call them commands; call them laws; call them instructions; call them whatever you like, as long as you obey them. The earth dries up and withers. The world wastes away and withers. The great leaders of the earth waste away. The earth is polluted by those who live on it because they’ve disobeyed Yahweh’s teachings, violated His Laws, and rejected the everlasting promise [Covenant]. (Isayah 24:4-5)
Next time, before you say “God bless you” to someone, consider whether they keep His commands, as Yahweh’s blessings are not randomly poured out. Would you consider something new, something that adheres to the patterns, something that allows you to share true hope in a Mighty One who does not change and cannot lie (Numbers 23:19)? In your next salutation, consider this instead; “May Yahweh bless you, as you obey Him.” This is a blessing that will actually be answered, a blessing from Yahweh Almighty Himself!
Is it Finished?
(#288 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“It is finished! (John 19:30) We have Jesus now.” “And this Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) “Oh, that’s when it’s finished. Wait a minute, I’m confused. Which is it?” It is finished and it’s not finished? This is the great Christian paradox that renders the church weak and powerless in so many ways.
I was listening to a “minister” of thirty-five years one day, as he repeated over and over with great fervor and animation about how, “It is all finished in Christ!” I was reminded of Shaul’s haunting words from Romans 10:2, “I can testify about them that they are zealous for the Mighty One, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” In other words, “I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to the Almighty, but they are misguided.”
My challenge to him was this; “If it is all finished, tell me why…
• I need to work out my salvation with fear and trembling? (Philippians 2:12)
• I must run the race that lies ahead of me and never give up? (Hebrews 12:1)
• I must press on to take hold of that for which the Messiah Yahshua took hold of me? (Philippians 3:12)
• I should be a doer of the word and not just a hearer? (James 1:22)
• I must be transformed by the renewing of my mind? (Romans 12:2)
• I should press on toward the goal to win the prize? (Philippians 3:14)
• I must let perseverance finish its work so that I may be perfect and complete, not lacking anything? (James 1:4)
• It is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in the Almighty’s sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:13)
• I am commanded to ‘Be perfect as His heavenly Father is perfect?’ (Matthew 5:48)
• Until Heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished?” (Matthew 5:18)
His response was, “Well, we are supposed to do what Jesus did, right?” I replied, “So it’s really not ‘finished’ in Christ, a believer must also ‘do!’ It’s more like we are supposed to finish what He started, correct?” He stood there looking stunned for a moment and then blurted, “Well, it’s all finished in Christ.”
Is this you? If the Messiah said, “Be perfect as My Father in Heaven is perfect,” was He jesting? Did He say, “No problem, I did it for you? You have no stake to carry.” Or rather, did He say, “If people come to Me and are not ready to abandon their fathers, mothers, wives, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as their own lives, they cannot be My disciples. So those who do not carry their stakes and follow Me cannot be My disciples. In the same way, none of you can be My disciples unless you give up everything.”? (Luke 14:26-27, 33) Open your eyes (spiritual perception). Put away the horrendous doctrines that cripple you and render you as powerless ministers.
We have an observation for you to consider; “The Good News of the gift of salvation to chosen men is finished. The Good News of the Kingdom is NOT finished.” It still needs to be lived out (preached by an obedient life) to the entire world, and then the end will come. That’s what Yahshua said!
Treasures of Darkness
(#287 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“I will give to you the treasures of darkness [obscurity] and the hidden riches of secret places, so you may know that I, Yahweh, who calls you by name, Am the Mighty One of Israyl; I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create destruction [adversity]; I, Yahweh, do all these things.” (Isayah 45:3, 7)
Darkness and destruction; obscurity and adversity; do you wish to gain a supernatural perspective? These are created by Yahweh; created as “treasures in hidden places.” They are hidden in plain sight for those who have eyes to see (Luke 10:23-24). For far too long you have missed your treasures, most of you because of some form of denial. You deny that Yahweh would create darkness and adversity for His own purposes. You also refuse to see the “good” in the struggles, the persecution, the injustice, the false accusations, and wrongful harm. Don’t you believe that “all things work together for good to those who love the Mighty One, to those who are the called according to His purpose?” (Romans 8:28)
If you refuse the adversity, defy the obscurity, or erroneously give credit to a “devil” for the work Yahweh is doing, you will abort what He purposed for your suffering and persecution. Can you imagine if Yahseph (Joseph) rebelled after he was sold into slavery by his brothers? Can you comprehend the magnitude of the historical disaster had he chosen to avenge the injustice and eviscerate the progeny of Israyl, instead of taking this Holy perspective? “Do not be distressed nor angry with yourselves for selling me here, for Yahweh sent me ahead of you to preserve life. And the Almighty sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but Yahweh; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and master of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 45:5, 7, 8) Or can you imagine if Yahseph credited a devil for the magnificent work of his Father in Heaven? “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but Yahweh meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
Had Yahseph rebelled against the darkness, wickedness and obscurity, he would not have been used in Yahweh’s plan to preserve life. And his purpose to be used as the Almighty’s instrument to safeguard the lineage of Israyl would have died right there in Egypt. No doubt, Yahweh would have chosen another, but the opportunity for Yahseph to experience the power of forgiveness and become the preserver of Israyl would have been lost forever. Instead, if we listen to the still small voice, we can almost hear what Yahseph prayed; “You did this Father; You sold me into slavery; You separated me from my mother, father and brothers; You accused me of rape; You placed me in prison; and You transformed my mind as I obeyed. Then You made it so that I could feel only Your love for the ones who abandoned me, and lied about me, and imprisoned me. You used evil to save lives by such a great deliverance! Praise the mighty Name of Yahweh!”
“Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.” (1 Chronicles 29:14) In the darkness are the hidden treasures of Yahweh. Find them and you will overcome every fear and learn of His love. They are His treasures. Open your eyes and see! Next time you are faced with darkness all around you, consider this perspective; “Father, I was sent here to preserve life!”