Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Truth, is it Tainted?

“Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet.1 Kings 2:5 NIV

Ephesians 6:13-15 NIV
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

The belt of Truth and feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of Peace, wow! As I read 1 Kings it reminded me of the armor that the Apostle Paul speaks of in Ephesians. This armor, a "protective covering" if you will that is to be worn by the believer, equips us for battle, spiritual battle. Paul takes the physical armour used by the Roman soldiers and begins to share with us this analogy in the inspired Word of God. We as Christians are to be alert and of sober mind. Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). At any moment, a subtle turn, a whisper, though it may seem far, can begin to settle in our hearts; a seed that leads to danger, to ruin. This turn, this decision, this entertainment of wicked thoughts, this call to leave the straight and narrow path (Matthew 7:13) it really can lead to a life of destruction.

Joab, the commander of King David's army; we read how he obeyed all the commands from King David. Yet, something incited him, provoked, prompted him to disobey and kill Abner who was the commander-in-chief of Saul's army; to kill him during a time of peace. The belt spoken off as "the belt of truth" and his feet, the sandals, both tainted by blood. Blood as a result of his own ego, his ownership of thoughts that lead to disobedience.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:13-15)

When the belt of Truth is tainted, when we take it off or try to manipulate Truth, chose to handle it according to our own definition, when we define Truth to best suit us, we are in trouble. Joab was killed, orders given by King David and followed through by his successor King Solomon.

Nothing escaped King David; nothing escapes the King of kings. Compromise a tool of Satan, along with every concession or cooperation with evil intent leads us away from God; takes us away from that which is right. In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises (Psalm 10:2). Joab schemes did not go unpunished.

An armor designed for us with a shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16).

Reign in your thoughts, thoughts that can lead us to destruction. Commit every thought to the authority of Jesus Christ. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Re-read Ephesians 6 today. Let's make sure that our armor is on correctly, that each piece is secure.

Take the belt of Truth off and everything falls apart.

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, October 4, 2013

Change is Comimg

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

The season of change is upon us. This is my favorite time of year along with Spring. I look on the horizon as I travel; look at the mountain range and see the transformation occur. It's a healthy vibrant green landscape full of life and within weeks it seems like it dies.

Two questions arise; is everything really alive in the midst of the green forest and when the conversion is complete, is everything that looks dead, really gone?

When all is well and life is fruitful we really don't pay much attention to the areas that are slipping away; the parts of our lives that may need attention. As the season changes and the lush of greenery fades away, the obvious sick or dead zones seems to appear. They have been their all along.

The leaves have fallen and now the dead trees, the trees that have fallen and split in two are resting on healthy strong trees.

When the seasons change somehow we too change. In the Fall we seem to gather in all we need for the cold days ahead; we prepare for storms and power outages that may occur; those storms that try to remove the Light from us and leave us in the dark.

How is the ground around you? Has it been fertilized throughout the Summer; have you taken good care of all that was overgrown and carefully trimmed and pruned all branches so they could produce good fruit? He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruit. (John 15:2) If we neglect to be a good ground keeper, that which has been ours to care for, will be like the dead tree leaning and split in two; useful for nothing except to be thrown in the fire.

The gentle breeze that comes in the Fall and adds to the removal of the leaves on the trees, well it reminds me of the Spirit of God that gently brushes through our lives. Seasons changing? Good! Let the Spirit of the Lord come and remove the dead weights that can can be a hindrance to our walk, our life! Interestingly enough, not every tree in the change of season looses their leaves as the same time.

I've read on the process, that incredible transformation that occurs, photosynthesis. The abscission layer, a layer of waxy, corky cells at the base of each leaf. This stops the growing process and stops the flow of sap. The process of how chlorophyll is lost and hence the Fall miracle happens. It's not just a colorful splendor but their is the miracle of preservation.

So, we fast forward into Spring and what do we see. The God of all creation has gently closed every tree bud, every flowering plant to be ready to thrive again. You see, these trees that seem like they are dying are really in a state of preservation. God has prepared the landscape; dead leaves if left on the trees, could freeze and with the storms coming, could cause a tree that otherwise would be healthy to fall in the midst of the storm.

The Lord gently prepares us for change and the storms to come. Get rid of that which is dying, shed those leaves away. The season is about to change. Preservation is coming; a season of defense, a safeguarding for what God has entrusted to us. What has he entrusted us with? We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)

Preservation..... which can be translated as Salvation. Hallelujah! He has kept us and is keeping us.

Is everything that looks dead gone; no, it's just getting ready to bloom again and the command and wake up call of the Lord. We can join creation and declare the glory of God as the skies proclaim the work of his hands. As day after day they pour out speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

We guard what the Lord has entrusted to us for the sake of preservation and to affect the next generation, the new season, so that the message of salvation, the Good News may be heard everywhere!

The season of change is coming....get ready....get ready. Let it Rain....I feel the wind of your Spirit!


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