PDA

View Full Version : New Light on the Age-old Problem of Sin



hootinannie
Sep 16th 2007, 12:18 AM
My dad was a preacher, though he died when I was only 6, and I was raised in the church, hearing the gospel all my life. I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was a child, and as a teenager, I made a deliberate choice to receive Jesus into my life. But what I didn't understand was that it was still MY life. I asked Him in to be my savior, but He was most definitely NOT my LORD. I struggled with same-sex attraction from my teens, and had my first lesbian affair at 19. You have probably read what I wrote about that, so I won't repeat all that. (If you haven't, and want to, you can read it here http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=100000). I struggled and struggled and struggled to be a good Christian and to live a Christian life. But it was still MY life, and I expected Jesus to help me live MY life. Nothing I ever did seemed to be good enough, and I failed repeatedly until I finally got so tired of not knowing what it was God wanted from me, and tired of chasing carrots on the end of a stick...which I felt were the promises of God that never came true in my life. There was very little genuiness in my life, but I put on a real good show. I was a "pillar" in the church because I knew the Word of God, and I knew all the right things to say, and I knew doctrine and theology. I had all my doctrinal ducks in a row, and everyone thought I was such a giant of a Christian. But I knew I was a fraud. It wasn't that I wasn't saved. I really did LOVE Jesus and WANT to do what I was supposed to do. And I tried my best. But I couldn't do it. So in anger and frustration and despair, I turned my back on God and threw myself with a vengeance into the lesbian lifestyle.

When He came and confronted me in the vision He gave me, and I surrendered, for the next several years, He began shooting all my doctrinal ducks and demolishing my faulty belief structure and giving me a solid foundation that would keep me strong in the storms of life. I still weep when I think about the person I used to be, and the person I am now, and I realize that maybe, if someone had taught me what sin really was, and WHY Jesus's death on the cross provided atonement for my sin, and that it was obedience and surrender that was what was desired, and that it was not possible for me to be 100% obedient, but that I didn't have to be, because Jesus WAS....maybe I could have surrendered much earlier and not had to go through the things I did.

For more than 30 years I suffered from the deepest of depressions....was on massive doses of anti-depressants, was sometimes catatonic I was so deep in depression.....tried SO MANY times to commit suicide, and even once to commit murder. I spent time in a mental hospital, locked up on suicide watch. Now I NEVER get depressed. I sometimes get a little blue, but it doesn't last, and thoughts of suicide are the furthest thing from my mind. I guess one of the major things the Holy Spirit has taught me in the last 7 years is the difference between religion and relationship with Jesus. Even though I was saved, religion gave me a false sense of security and prevented me from pressing into relationship with Jesus because I thought what I had was all there was. Boy was I wrong!!

When I returned to the Lord, I began to study the book of Proverbs again, a book which always held a fascination for me. I began to pray, "Lord, give me wisdom and understanding, discernment and insight." His reply was this, "Before you can gain wisdom and understanding and discernment, you must first understand what sin really is, and what really happened in the Garden of Eden." And He took me back into Genesis and began to open up the eyes of my understanding, and over the next several months, He taught me about sin, and about surrender, about disobedience and obedience; about why Jesus had to be born of a virgin, and why He had to die on the cross (the answer might be something you haven't thought of before), and how what He did on the cross actually REVERSED what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden.

Understanding was the first thing that I started to gain. Then, as I began to understand, I began to gain discernment, and then, although I am still growing in all of these, I began to make wise choices and take wise courses of action.

What the Holy Spirit taught me in those months had a lot to do with the difference between religion and relationship. The results of that tutoring are a radically changed life, a building on a firm foundation that weathers the storms....a joy and a peace and hope I'd never known before, and a relationship with Jesus that has turned a self-hating fraud into a beloved child of God who delights in His presence.

Before my surrender I hated myself so much that I repeatedly tried to murder myself. I couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror. Now when I look in the mirror, I see a friend. You can't possibly know how good that feels unless it's happened to you.

I'd like to share in this thread some of the things that the Holy Spirit taught me that so radically changed my life. There's quite a bit of content, so I'm breaking it down into sections, and I will post one every few days and then leave time for discussion and/or questions.

For today I'm just going to wait for responses to this post, and I'll post the first of the study segments tomorrow. The first one will be on the difference between religion and relationship with Jesus, and how we build our religious belief-structures and why they often come crumbling down and we become disillusioned and begin to lose our faith and trust in God. Unless the Lord changes direction, the second one will be on "surrender" and "death to self" and what that really means. During the course of the study, I also want to share what the Lord taught me about why it sometimes seems like God doesn't keep His promises...even when we REALLY BELIEVE His Word. That was a really big deal for me and was one of the factors in my turning away from Him.

I hope and pray that what the Holy Spirit taught me that has been so powerful will also minister to you and change your life the way it has changed mine.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 16th 2007, 03:57 AM
I am really looking forward to your insights, hootnannie, and am sure this thread will incite some interesting and valid discussion.

I have my own views on all of these subjects, but I will wait until the appropriate time to voice them.
One thing in particular that I want to comment on right now is your comment about your being a "pillar" in the church.

I grew up in a church wherein I was barely even noticed by a lot of people, let alone spoken to....even when my mother was sick with cancer, no one really took enough of an interest in me to give me any encouragement.

I was always very shy, and never really "stood out" within the congregation....probably because I was such a walllflower, and not very outgoing.
On the other hand, there were people who DID stand out as being the epitome of religiosity, and these people were respected and admired by virtually everyone in the congregation.....including myself. I wondered what these people had that I didn't have.

It wasn't until much later in life that I realized that God was touching me in innumerable ways, and although I wasn't a "pillar," God was working in me in ways that He wasn't working in other people. For example, I received the gift of tongues at a very young age.....I just didn't flaunt it, which is part of the reason people thought that I was weak and lacked spirituality. I really believe that God was teaching me not to focus so much on other believers, but on Him, and that THIS should be my guiding focus, rather than what I think a Christian SHOULD be as displayed by other people.

I really do think that there's a danger in putting people up on a pedestal...not only can it act to feed a person's pride, but it can also create expectations of them which they, often times, cannot fulfill. This happened with my best friend, and when she fell from grace, it was very hard on her, because those same people who were "putting her on a pedestal" were judging her much more harshly than she deserved.

As you said, it really caused her to lose her faith, and slip further into the recesses of rebellion and shame.

Although it may not seem like it at the time, I think we are doing people a huge disservice by elevating them above a certain level, and this makes for a huge disappointment, and a lot of pain, when they DO stumble.

Anyhow, I look forward to reading further comments.

Sold Out
Sep 17th 2007, 01:03 PM
What the Holy Spirit taught me in those months had a lot to do with the difference between religion and relationship.
.

That's exactly it....can't wait to read the rest!

Lyndie
Sep 17th 2007, 04:26 PM
I am looking forward to this myself, as I get caught up in the same trap sometimes.

walked
Sep 17th 2007, 07:09 PM
Beautiful testimony and beautiful truth, Ill be returning as much as possible to praise God in your sharing with us your growth in holiness and perfection through a relationship with Christ Jesus.

God bless you sister ! :pp :pp :pp

hootinannie
Sep 17th 2007, 08:55 PM
General William Booth, with great prophetic insight, stated over fifty years ago, "The chief danger of the twentieth century will be:
(1) religion without the Holy Ghost,
(2) Christianity without Christ,
(3) Forgiveness without repentance
(4) Salvation without regeneration, and
(5) Heaven without hell."
What would this blessed man of God say to our day and generation regarding this new danger? Many
preachers have robbed the Cross of its stigma. They are failing to demand a supernatural experience
in the new birth. They have reduced the message of the Cross to a meaningless evangel.

I would like to add one more: Religion without relationship.

As I said in my first post, I have been a Christian since childhood. When I turned my back on God, I no longer even claimed to be a Christian, nor did I want anyone to know that I ever had been a Christian.

Even as a child I studied the Word of God avidly. After my father died and we moved to the town where my grandparents lived, we attended a Pentecostal church which was very fundamental and legalistic in the extreme. The measure of how good a preacher was pretty much consisted of how loud he yelled and how bad he frightened us into “getting saved” every week (because we all sinned so much during the week that we had to get saved all over again every Sunday). Over and over we were told how to get saved and “filled with the Holy Ghost”, but no one ever told us what we were supposed to do next, or that there even WAS a “next”.

I learned from listening to the preacher, reading the words of hymns as we sang them, going to youth camp, reading the Bible and listening to the grown-ups talk about God. I read the Bible a lot and tried to make sense of it. I saw great and wonderful promises of God printed there and read stories that told me of the greatness of God and His power. I learned what was expected of me as a Christian, and I tried very, very hard to live up to the standards of the Word of God.

As a young teen, I made a conscious, “informed” decision to ask Jesus to come in to my heart and be my Savior.

I began having sexual fantasies about other girls at the age of 15. I knew the Word of God and what it had to say about that, and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. When I was 16, my mother shipped me off to a Christian boarding school on the other side of the country, and there was a senior girl there that I “fell in love with” but no one ever knew it.

When I got out of high school and entered the army I met and married my first husband, who was a marine. I didn’t know him, but I was not a pretty girl, and he was handsome and I didn’t think anyone else would ever ask me, so just over two months after we met, we married, and he left for Viet Nam. I thought that if I got married, the same-sex attraction would go away, and I knew that marriage to a man was ok with God....and I wanted to be ok with God. I really did LOVE Jesus and I really did WANT to be acceptable to Him.

Just after he left, some new women shipped in to the company, and I met “Cookie”. Before long, we were in bed together…she was my first lesbian relationship. To make a long story short, my conscience tormented me so much that I again tried to kill myself in an effort to get out of the relationship with her, because she was not going to “let me go”. When that didn’t work, I tried to kill her. Praise God that I couldn’t go through with it, though my hands were around her throat, choking the life out of her….I let go before she actually died. She never reported me.

I’m going to cut this off here and start another post, so that this doesn’t get so long. I’m almost to the part where I start talking about religion versus relationship, but I have to lay a foundation first.

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 09:01 PM
General William Booth, with great prophetic insight, stated over fifty years ago, "The chief danger of the twentieth century will be:
(1) religion without the Holy Ghost,
(2) Christianity without Christ,
(3) Forgiveness without repentance
(4) Salvation without regeneration, and
(5) Heaven without hell."
What would this blessed man of God say to our day and generation regarding this new danger? Many
preachers have robbed the Cross of its stigma. They are failing to demand a supernatural experience
in the new birth. They have reduced the message of the Cross to a meaningless evangel.

I would like to add one more: Religion without relationship.

As I said in my first post, I have been a Christian since childhood. When I turned my back on God, I no longer even claimed to be a Christian, nor did I want anyone to know that I ever had been a Christian.

Even as a child I studied the Word of God avidly. After my father died and we moved to the town where my grandparents lived, we attended a Pentecostal church which was very fundamental and legalistic in the extreme. The measure of how good a preacher was pretty much consisted of how loud he yelled and how bad he frightened us into “getting saved” every week (because we all sinned so much during the week that we had to get saved all over again every Sunday). Over and over we were told how to get saved and “filled with the Holy Ghost”, but no one ever told us what we were supposed to do next, or that there even WAS a “next”.

I learned from listening to the preacher, reading the words of hymns as we sang them, going to youth camp, reading the Bible and listening to the grown-ups talk about God. I read the Bible a lot and tried to make sense of it. I saw great and wonderful promises of God printed there and read stories that told me of the greatness of God and His power. I learned what was expected of me as a Christian, and I tried very, very hard to live up to the standards of the Word of God.

As a young teen, I made a conscious, “informed” decision to ask Jesus to come in to my heart and be my Savior.

I began having sexual fantasies about other girls at the age of 15. I knew the Word of God and what it had to say about that, and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. When I was 16, my mother shipped me off to a Christian boarding school on the other side of the country, and there was a senior girl there that I “fell in love with” but no one ever knew it.

When I got out of high school and entered the army I met and married my first husband, who was a marine. I didn’t know him, but I was not a pretty girl, and he was handsome and I didn’t think anyone else would ever ask me, so just over two months after we met, we married, and he left for Viet Nam.

Just after he left, some new women shipped in to the company, and I met “Cookie”. Before long, we were in bed together…she was my first lesbian relationship. To make a long story short, my conscience tormented me so much that I again tried to kill myself in an effort to get out of the relationship with her, because she was not going to “let me go”. When that didn’t work, I tried to kill her. Praise God that I couldn’t go through with it, though my hands were around her throat, choking the life out of her….I let go before she actually died.

I’m going to cut this off here and start another post, so that this doesn’t get so long. I’m almost to the part where I start talking about religion versus relationship, but I have to lay a foundation first.

Hoot, I'm happy that you've been lead to share this testimony with us. It's difficult admitting our imperfections and sins before others, but I must say that your boldness and frankness in admitting your folly and past sins without Christ is demonstrative of His strength and Spirit in you. God bless you sister and I look forward to hearing the rest of your testimony.

hootinannie
Sep 17th 2007, 10:52 PM
Thank you, friend of I AM.

(Forgive me for making this post so long, but I'm trying to get to the point where I can begin to relate why certain things happened relating to religion versus relationship):)

As a child, I was asthmatic, but by the time I was old enough to go into the army, I was living in the Pacific Northwest and no longer had asthma attacks. I hadn’t had any asthma attacks in 3 or 4 years, so even though asthma would normally disqualify one from service in the military, they let me enlist. But when they returned me to the south, my allergies to things there, along with the incredible stress I was under, served to cause my asthma to flare up again, and that was the grounds for my honorable discharge for medical reasons. It was that which allowed me to get out of the army, get out of my relationship with Cookie, and return to the northwest.

My husband returned from Nam, and was stationed in southern California, so I joined him there. When his service was done, we returned to the Pacific Northwest. For the next 27 years I lived with him ALMOST all the time. I left him a total of 12 times because he was abusive, and went back 11 times to try again. For those 27 years, I went to church and tried to serve God the way I thought He wanted me to. I was active in the church, a member of the worship team, the founder of a Christian organization to feed and assist homeless people. In 1976 we adopted a newborn baby boy and I tried with everything in me to be a Godly wife and mother.

Still I struggled with same-sex attraction. I found my body reacting to certain types of women in ways that I was ashamed of, and when my son was 10, I started leaving him at home alone while I secretly went to the gay and lesbian bars in town, looking for someone to connect with. God was gracious and merciful to me, even then, as He never allowed me to “hook up with” anyone. Most of the time I was able to keep the “monster” caged and sedated. But I would lie to my husband and tell him I was going to go “out with the girls” after the Ladies' Bible study, so he would expect me to be late, and I would lie to the women at the study and tell them I had to leave early, so I could have time to spend in the gay bars. And then in 1989, an emotionally troubled woman in our church, whom I was counseling, "came on to me", and the monster inside me awoke and got out of the cage, and I could not get it back under control.

All through these years, I attended church faithfully several times a week. I went to retreats and conferences and seminars and taught a Bible study. I knew the Word of God very well, and I could say all the right things. But I was a fraud

I became very frustrated that although I loved God and loved His word and I wanted with all my heart to live a holy life, I had NO POWER to live holy. I could not control my thoughts and feelings. The things I wanted to do, I could not do. And the things I DIDN'T want to do were the very things I did. (I know....Romans 7) I could quote long passages of scripture and counseled others in how to live a good Christian life. I’d read lots of Christian books on many different subjects and on some of them I became somewhat the “authority”….the “knowledgeable one”, the one to go to with your problems.

Behind the scenes, my marriage was self-destructing. My son was uncontrollable with ADD/ADHD. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and nothing ever improved. Indeed, things only got worse. I quoted the promises of God TO God. I claimed His promises in faith. I spoke the solutions to problems as though I already had them. I couldn’t understand why He wasn’t keeping His promises. I knew what a Christian life was SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE, and I knew that MY life was not like that at ALL!!!! Why??? What was I doing wrong? Maybe I just wasn’t TRYING HARD ENOUGH!!!! So I would try even harder. I read my Bible more, I read more books, I listened to praise music all the time, I went for counseling. Nothing worked. If only I could just figure out what it was God WANTED from me…maybe if I could just find that magic formula, that golden key, then everything would fall into place and all my besetting sins and problems would go away and I would step into some sort of beautiful light and everything would get easy. It didn't happen.

One day, in utter desperation and despair, as a friend was visiting me and I was spilling out my problems all over her, she made the mistake of saying to me, “Just trust the promises of God.”

By that time, I was at the end of my rope and totally hopeless. I literally SCREAMED at her at the top of my lungs, (please forgive me but I am going to say here just exactly what I said to her), “PROMISES, PROMISES, PROMISES. THEY DON’T MEAN A G—DAMNED THING!!! ALL THEY ARE IS INK ON PAPER.” And though I was shocked at myself, as was she, I realized that it was really the way I felt. I felt I was doing EVERYTHING I was supposed to do, and doing it because I loved God so much, and He was failing me….betraying me….ignoring me….abandoning me. I was “keeping my end of the bargain” but God was not, and I didn’t know what more to do to to get God to “come through” for me and show me that His promises were true. I began to look around and listen to other people in the church and in my circle of Christian friends. I heard them talk about their problems and claim the promises of God, but nothing was changing for them, either. I began to feel that Christianity was a sham. I became totally disillusioned with God. I began to resent Him. Over the next several years, as I finally left my husband for the last time (about the time our son graduated from high school), and moved to another city, my resentment began to turn to real anger and bitterness. I no longer believed that God loved me. I felt rejected completely by God, and I knew that if God had rejected me, as merciful as He supposedly was, then I had to be the lowest worm on the planet, and once again I began to LOATHE myself. I was a failure as a wife, a failure as a mother, and a failure as a Christian. I blamed myself for Him rejecting me. I was evil…I was beyond God’s love. If He did not love me, then I was determined to stop loving Him. They say there is a fine line between love and hate, and I was amazed that the love I had had for God all my life was so easily turned to hatred. I was determined to hate Him as much as I had once loved Him. I went into the depths of depression, unable to see any hope. The “light at the end of the tunnel” was a train that barreled over me, ripping me to shreds. I was drowning with no one to save me…even God didn’t want to save me. (That’s what I thought) I was going down for the last time and once again decided to take my own life. While I was trying to get up the courage to do it, I went to a lesbian bar and after several times there, I met Jamie.

I won’t go into that and what all happened after that…a lot of that is in my testimony which is posted in the testimonies thread….and I want to FINALLY get to the point of this thread.

hootinannie
Sep 18th 2007, 01:54 AM
I truly had been saved. So why couldn’t I live my Christian life successfully? My doctrine was good, I had a good grasp on theology. I knew the Word of God. I prayed. I believed. I spoke the Word in faith. I tried to live according to the Word of God. I tried to be a good wife and mother and be submitted to my husband even though he abused me. I tried to be the Godly woman described in Proverbs. I did every single thing I knew to do, and I had no peace, no joy, no life, no love, no hope, nothing that I expected to have based on what I could see the Word of God said. Was God a liar? I remembered the verse that says, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” I remembered that the Word said, “God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent (change His mind). Hath He said, and shall He not do it? Hath He promised and shall He not make it good?”

It wasn’t until after the night I surrendered completely to the Lord…not until after I left Jamie….and not for another year…that the Holy Spirit, as I waited before Him, began to speak to me. Here’s what He showed me.

I could study everything there was to know about George Bush. I could know what time he gets up in the morning, whether he salts his eggs before tasting them, what kind of underwear he wears and if they have holes or not. I could know every detail of his childhood, his youth and his adulthood. I could know every family member. I could know his thoughts, his hopes, his dreams, his successes and failures…all his strengths and weaknesses. I could attend every meeting he went to, read every book ever written about him. You get my point….I could go on and on and on, covering every detail…….but if George Bush throws a party on the White House lawn, and I try to attend, I’m outta there!!!! And it doesn't matter if I once met him somewhere....if he and I don't have a relationship that goes beyond knowledge, we have nothing.

You see, it doesn’t matter how much we know about God and His Word. You can be the world’s greatest Biblical, doctrinal or theological scholar, but if you are still trying to live your own life, even if you’re trying to do it in a way which you think pleases Him, if you have not turned control of your life over to Him, your life is gonna be a whole lot harder than it needs to be.

Here’s what often happens. (Now please note that I said “often” happens….I’m sure that there are people who really understood that it was relationship with Jesus that is needed for a successful Christian life when they got saved…but I was not one of them, and neither are many others…that’s why I’m writing this. Also, please realize that I am not trying to make any doctrinal statements....I'm only sharing what the Holy Spirit taught me....and it has changed my life.)

When a person first realizes his need for something or someone greater than himself and begins to search for something that will bring meaning and purpose into his life, and he encounters someone who tells him about Jesus, most likely he knows very little about Jesus or God or Christianity or how to be a Christian. So someone just tells him to ask Jesus into his heart and that Jesus will forgive his sins. Maybe the Christian friend leads him in a prayer that the new convert repeats after him. Many times the new convert is simply parroting what he’s told to say, rather than saying what’s in his heart, but he’s told that is good enough. Frequently, none of this is really explained to him, because oftentimes the one telling him what to do has traveled this same path himself, and though he may have been a Christian and in church all his life he often has been basically like I was. So oftentimes we have a powerless Christian leading another person into salvation without really understanding himself what it means. So now that the young man has said a prayer and invited Jesus into his heart, without really knowing what that means, but being assured that if he will, Jesus will change his life, and he knows he needs his life changed….now he may very well feel some peace and joy, or he may not…it varies. Now he’s all excited about his life being changed and seeing some hope, but he doesn’t know what to do next. So he asks his friend. Either because his friend doesn’t know how to disciple him (the new convert) or because his friend is too involved with his own family or friends or his own “ministry”, or his job, or whatever reason, his friend simply recommends to him to “get into a good Bible-believing church, read his Bible and pray.”

(to be continued) (next segment: How we build our belief structures)

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 18th 2007, 02:57 AM
This is all such good stuff....but there's something I'm a little bewildered by.

You said that you did "all the right things" when you were earnestly seeking to live a good, Christian life. You mentioned reading your Bible, and listening to Christian music. I guess my question is....what were you hoping to achieve through this?
Were you just seeking to get into God's good graces, or were you earnestly seeking a relationship with Him? Were you seeking a "Mountaintop Experience," so to speak?
I'm not sure I understand what the motives were in your Christian walk.
I assume by what you have said, you spent much of your time fervently in prayer. If you were, what do you believe was holding you back from a true and real relationship with God?
I know you mentioned your childhood preacher, and the fact that he was attempting to scare salvation into you. Would you say that this was your driving motive....to avoid divine indignation and the fires of Hell?
Would you say that a love for God came into play in any of this, or were you more or less afraid of God's wrath?
The reason I ask is because, from the words you wrote, it appears that you were somehow not able to achieve a connection with the Holy Spirit. Is this true?

I also don't think that the friend that you opened up to gave you very sound advice. We can trust on the promises of God all we want, but until we are actually "resting" on those promises, they mean nothing....I am not saying that the promises themselves mean nothing, but sometimes, it seems that those promises are so far-removed from the scope of our experience that they just seem null and void. There were many years wherein I trusted that the promises of God were real....but they just didn't seem real FOR ME. I really think that one has to experience a certain spiritual epiphany before He can really see the promises as applicable to himself. It took me a while before I COULD actually rest on the promises, and know that they are just as real for me as for everyone else.

So, then, I guess my question here is....what do you think was keeping you from experiencing this intimate relationship with God?
I have heard it said that sin is the thing that keeps one from this relationship, but I really don't think it applies in your case. You seem like you WERE earnestly seeking the Lord, and you didn't actually fall into sin until much later...when you had pretty much lost the faith, and given up hope?

If you wouldn't mind expounding on this....What do you think was going on in your life and in your heart to keep you from experiencing the joys of Christ until much later in life?

hootinannie
Sep 18th 2007, 05:04 AM
You said that you did "all the right things" when you were earnestly seeking to live a good, Christian life. You mentioned reading your Bible, and listening to Christian music. I guess my question is....what were you hoping to achieve through this?
Were you just seeking to get into God's good graces, or were you earnestly seeking a relationship with Him? Were you seeking a "Mountaintop Experience," so to speak?

I was hoping to be found pleasing to Him...I DEPERATELY wanted to be pleasing to him. I really loved Him. I had MANY "mountaintop experiences" and they put me on the top of the emotional rollercoaster....and I tried to "go in the strength of that joy"...but I always came crashing down into the pits. It never lasted.


I'm not sure I understand what the motives were in your Christian walk. I assume by what you have said, you spent much of your time fervently in prayer. If you were, what do you believe was holding you back from a true and real relationship with God?

I did spend time in prayer. And I asked many people to pray for me. But that was just it....although I didn't realize it, I was asking them to pray for me like a woman would ask her husband to go to the store FOR her....meaning INSTEAD of her. And when I DID pray, it was more of a "talking in the direction of heaven" or talking AT God, not talking TO or WITH Him.


I know you mentioned your childhood preacher, and the fact that he was attempting to scare salvation into you. Would you say that this was your driving motive....to avoid divine indignation and the fires of Hell?
Would you say that a love for God came into play in any of this, or were you more or less afraid of God's wrath?

I WAS afraid of God...I was TERRIFIED of God....but something happened when I was only 12 that kept me seeking Him. Although I was Pentecostal, and as far as my denomination was concerned Baptists weren't even saved, I snuck into the Baptist church one day, and went up to the balcony, where I got on my face on the carpet, and my heart cried out to God. I was so spiritually hungry. He met me there that day, and I felt His tender, loving touch deep inside my heart and my soul....I sobbed my little 12 year old heart out. It was an experience that confused me, too. Because tender love did not fit my understanding of God. But that day stayed with me, and when I got to boarding school, a preacher named Judson Cornwall came to our school for two weeks of meetings. He spoke on God's tender love. I had never heard anything like that before. He spoke as though God was his best friend. I began to sneak into the chapel, praying, hoping to experience again what I had felt at 12...but the school administrators found out I was breaking into the church and changed all the locks....and that was the end of that. Later, after I got out of school, and then again after I got out of the army, I attended Judson Cornwall's church and became a member.



The reason I ask is because, from the words you wrote, it appears that you were somehow not able to achieve a connection with the Holy Spirit. Is this true?

I was able to connect with Him from time to time....enough to keep me seeking for more.


I really think that one has to experience a certain spiritual epiphany before He can really see the promises as applicable to himself. It took me a while before I COULD actually rest on the promises, and know that they are just as real for me as for everyone else.

Later in this thread I will talk about my "epiphany" and how the Holy Spirit taught me WHY the promises of God are often NOT fulfilled in our lives, and what to do about it. :pp:pp:pp:pp:pp


So, then, I guess my question here is....what do you think was keeping you from experiencing this intimate relationship with God?

I really didn't know I COULD have an intimate relationship with God. I thought all the religion and all the things I was doing was all there was.


What do you think was going on in your life and in your heart to keep you from experiencing the joys of Christ until much later in life?

In my heart, I still was trying to be in control...I tried to live for God the only way I knew how.....in my own efforts. And I was VERY MUCH in control of my own will. I wanted God to do what I wanted Him to do. I wanted Him to fix my problems and make my life better. In my life, so much pain and anguish and upheaval was going on. As I said...my husband was abusive and my son was ADD...from the time my son was 3 years old, I never got another moments joy from him. He was extremely hard to handle, and once he got into school he was agressive and violent and every day brought new headaches and heartaches. No one was more surprised than me when he actually made it to 18 without killing someone. The constant pain and turmoil kept me in a continual state of upheaval. I cried out to God, but to no avail. It was as though the heavens were brass.

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 18th 2007, 03:13 PM
I was hoping to be found pleasing to Him...I DEPERATELY wanted to be pleasing to him. I really loved Him. I had MANY "mountaintop experiences" and they put me on the top of the emotional rollercoaster....and I tried to "go in the strength of that joy"...but I always came crashing down into the pits. It never lasted.

Well, Jan, it also sounds as though you didn't have much guidance, either. Your church certainly didn't give you any indication as to how to nurture that beautiful relationship between yourself and God....as you said earlier, they told you that you needed to get the Holy Ghost, but they didn't tell you what to do from that point on.
You know as well as me that all the emotional experiences in the world equate to nothing if you don't know what to do to keep that fire burning in your heart.




I did spend time in prayer. And I asked many people to pray for me. But that was just it....although I didn't realize it, I was asking them to pray for me like a woman would ask her husband to go to the store FOR her....meaning INSTEAD of her. And when I DID pray, it was more of a "talking in the direction of heaven" or talking AT God, not talking TO or WITH Him.

Sounds like the polar opposite of me....I had no qualms praying to the Lord, but I would RARELY approach ANYONE for prayer because I did not want to be a bother to them.



I WAS afraid of God...I was TERRIFIED of God....but something happened when I was only 12 that kept me seeking Him. Although I was Pentecostal, and as far as my denomination was concerned Baptists weren't even saved, I snuck into the Baptist church one day, and went up to the balcony, where I got on my face on the carpet, and my heart cried out to God. I was so spiritually hungry. He met me there that day, and I felt His tender, loving touch deep inside my heart and my soul....I sobbed my little 12 year old heart out. It was an experience that confused me, too. Because tender love did not fit my understanding of God.

Ya....I remember a time when the whole "fire and brimstone" methodology was the only thing that was thought to keep people in salvation. I don't even know how many of these kinds of preachers are still around....and praise the Lord, because I don't think that I would have come back to Christ had this been the only kind of stuff coming from the pulpit.
For someone who already feels like he's already in hell, such an approach does little good.



Later in this thread I will talk about my "epiphany" and how the Holy Spirit taught me WHY the promises of God are often NOT fulfilled in our lives, and what to do about it. :pp:pp:pp:pp:pp


I'm looking forward to that



I really didn't know I COULD have an intimate relationship with God. I thought all the religion and all the things I was doing was all there was.

YES....and I think that ministers who emphasize ONLY this are doing the members of their congregation a HUGE disservice.

hootinannie
Sep 24th 2007, 12:33 AM
Ok...so now the baby Christian either goes to the church where the person who led him to the Lord goes, or he asks around or looks in the phone book to find a "good, Bible-believing church" where he can attend and learn how he's supposed to act and what he's supposed to do now that he has asked Jesus to come into his heart. So he sits in the congregation and listens to the pastor talk about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and he talks with other Christians and listens to them and watches what they do and say. He listens to them pray so that he can learn how. If he's a reader, he may read lots of Christian books and listen to Christian music. He hears the words of the hymns and choruses. He may go to retreats and conferences and seminars. From everything he's heard and seen and all of the input he receives about God and all things "Christian", he begins to build an image in his head of what God is like. He puts things he hears and reads and sees into places where they "fit" into his limited understanding and as time goes on, he forms an image of a God that he can relate to. To the extent that he keeps God within the confines of his beliefs, he limits God to the realm of his own understanding. Reading and hearing all the promises of God, he now expects certain things to happen because that's what the word of God SAYS will happen. With the current way that God is so often presented, he begins to believe that God should do whatever he WANTS God to do, because the Word says that whatever we ask in His name, He'll do. Very often these days, a new believer comes to expect God to serve HIM, instead of the other way around, and there are plenty of doctrines out there and teachers out there that espouse that very idea. So now, whether consciously or subconsciously he begins to form the idea that he can live this Christian life with God to help him. (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.) Unfortunately, in most cases these days, the new Christian has not been taught about surrender, has not been taught that he is to give over total control of his life, his past, his present and his future into the hands of a loving God who will TAKE his life and EXCHANGE IT for His own. The new one is taught that he can have everything without giving his life for the One who gave HIS life for him (the new Christian).

There is a tragic tendency these days for people to project a salvation which costs the sinner nothing. Repentance is neither explained nor expected. People want that which costs them nothing. It's a "freebie" society. We have cheapened grace to the point where the sinner can have salvation without turning away from his sin, simply expecting God to forgive him over and over and over. We have developed a mentality that "it's easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission". We want to do exactly what we want to do and we still expect God to bless us in our endeavours.

So....here's the new baby Christian now armed with all kinds of knowledge about God. Now he knows how things are SUPPOSED to work. He now has a belief structure built upon the foundation of what he has been TOLD and what he has READ, and what he has SEEN.

BUT...and this is a BIG "BUT".....the road to salvation, the road to the kingdom of God, the road to heaven goes THROUGH the cross. The cross means DEATH. It means laying down your life. It means laying down your past, your present, AND your future in the dust at the foot of the cross. It means laying down control of your life. More on this in the upcoming segment on Surrender and death to self.

Jesus's death on the cross was preceded by a death that was just as real the night before....in the garden where He prayed. It was there that He struggled in the throes of death to His own will. He could have saved Himself, but He didn't. Jesus couldn't go around the cross, He couldn't go over the cross, or under the cross. The ONLY WAY to the resurrection life that He knew awaited Him on the other side of the cross was to go THROUGH it. The ONLY WAY to victory over the power of sin was THROUGH the cross. Jesus had to die to who He was. He had to die to what He could do. He had to die to what could have been. He had to die to the temptation to take matters into His own hands to achieve the desired end without the required end.

The CROSS is the solid rock upon which our belief structures must be built, or all that we build will never stand. You can have all the knowledge in the world about the Bible and doctrine...you may even study theology. You may be a virtual fountain of sound doctrine. But all of your knowledge will not save you or help you if you do not have the right foundation.

We build very complex belief structures, and the more we know, the more our belief structures control our lives and our actions and attitudes. Our belief structures will influence everything in our lives, and so whenever someone attacks our belief structures, we defend them vigorously, and sadly, sometimes viciously, because if our belief structure should crumble, we are left with nothing and all we have invested in the building of it is lost. If our belief structure is proven to be faulty or someone comes along who is able to challenge our beliefs in such a manner as to cause us to doubt and question, and become confused, then we become disillusioned with God and salvation and we are shaken to the core, and often our belief structure comes tumbling down in some very painful ways. If our trust has been in "living the right life", "saying the right things", "doing the right things", "thinking the right things", then when things happen that fly in the face of what we have come to understand as the way things should be, our very faith is shaken and can come tumbling down around our ears, and many never recover. Many are so disillusioned with God and Christianity that they walk away from Him altogether.

You see, you can be a Christian and never go THROUGH the cross. Will you be saved? Most likely. Will you ever have the joy unspeakable and full of glory? Probably not. Will you ever have victory over the power of sin in your life? Probably not. Will you ever have the peace that passes understanding, or hope that endures? Not likely. You see, you can have a certain amount of life on this side of the cross; you can have a certain amount of joy, and peace and hope and provision on "this side of the cross", but the ABUNDANT LIFE, the JOY UNSPEAKABLE, the HOPE THAT ENDURES, the PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING, and the SUPPLY of ALL YOUR NEEDS are only found on the OTHER SIDE of the Cross. You can survive or exist on this side of the cross, but you will never know the true meaning of life until you go THROUGH that death. You will never experience the power of the resurrection without first dying the death.

The CROSS is the singular most important aspect of salvation. We ignore the cross because it's uncomfortable, because it reminds us of the absolute necessity of death to everything we hold most dear and precious.

The sad thing about the way salvation is presented today is that seldom does anyone actually take the new believer under their wing and disciple him in the need to develop a deep, intimate personal RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. The new believer learns to pray by listening to others pray in public, and he seldom learns how to pray in the still of the quiet times in the presence of God. He never learns how to truly bare what's in the very depths of his soul. He hears Christians speak about hearing God speak to them, and he doesn't hear God speak to HIM, so he gets the idea that he doesn't rate with God or God would speak to him too. He wonders what he is doing wrong that God won't speak to him, and gets the idea that God plays favorites. No one sits down with him and explains the different ways that God speaks. No one shows him what real RELATIONSHIP with God looks like, nor teaches him the necessity of putting that special time with God each day at the top of his priority list.

Carl Jung said that religion is "the opiate of the masses", and I think that's the only thing he ever said that I agree with. Religion, religious knowledge, religious activity, religious belief structures, those things that make us feel that we are "all right", even though there is emptiness deep inside of us that is never satisfied...that kind of religion is one of the most detrimental things that we can have.

Satan is not the slightest bit afraid of religious people. In fact, some of his best servants are religious people....some of his best tools are religious people. As long as people are busy with religion and believe they are doing the right things, he does not have to worry about them. They are no threat to him. But you let a person who has a deep, personal, intimate RELATIONSHIP with Jesus and with Abba and with the Holy Spirit begin to pray and begin to tread on satan's territory, and satan begins shaking in his boots because he KNOWS that a person who has been THROUGH the cross HAS the victory over the power of sin, and that person HAS the authority of Christ Himself because he has hung on the cross with Christ, he has died with Christ, he is risen with Christ, and he REIGNS with Christ.

I was religious almost all my life, but it wasn't enough to keep me. There was a deep down inside me emptiness that nothing could satisfy. I had no power over sin, I had no peace, no life worth living, no joy, and no hope. I couldn't let anyone know how empty I was because they all looked up to me as some sort of spiritual giant. But I knew I was living a lie. Was I saved? Yes...I had asked Jesus to come into my heart and be my savior. I had repented of my sins and tried with everything in me to turn away from them. I truly did LOVE Jesus and I wanted very much to please Him. But it wasn't enough to satisfy my soul. It wasn't enough to set me free. I never did find "enough" until I went THROUGH the cross and died to everything I held precious and dear. It has ONLY been in sweet, intimate RELATIONSHIP with Jesus that my soul has found that for which I had longed and searched all my life.

(to be continued)

Friend of I AM
Sep 24th 2007, 01:38 AM
Wonderful testimony hoot. Giving your life to God almighty. Complete surrender. That is the hardest thing for most of us to do. We're taught that we need to fight to get what we want, and the Word tells us otherwise. I think surrender from a Godly perspective though more or less means to not succumb to evil, but instead to admit one's helplessness before a good and all loving God. Patience also comes with surrender. One thing I've learned is God is not the kind of God to just forcefully fill us with His spirit - making us like Him right away. It's a gradual process.

hootinannie
Sep 30th 2007, 12:44 AM
Complete surrender. That is the hardest thing for most of us to do. We're taught that we need to fight to get what we want, and the Word tells us otherwise. I think surrender from a Godly perspective though more or less means to not succumb to evil, but instead to admit one's helplessness before a good and all loving God.

Thank you Friend of I AM. It is indeed the hardest thing for us to do. Later in the study it will become obvious WHY it is so hard to do.

According to what the Holy Spirit has taught me, surrender means MUCH MORE than not succumbing to evil and just admitting one's helplessness, etc. Let's look at what surrender means.

One of the most effective means of Bible study that the Holy Spirit has taught me is what I call "mushroom word studies" (because they start with one word and "mushroom" into something much bigger). I use Microsoft Word to do these, because by right-clicking on any word, I can go to a thesaurus and look up the synonyms of any given word. Once I have the list of synonyms of the primary word, I then begin to list the synonyms of each one of the initial synonyms. When I have all of those, I then list the synonyms of all of THOSE synonyms until I am no longer getting any NEW synonyms, and I look up the definitions of the primary word (and often the resulting synonyms) in both Webster's and in various Bible dictionaries I have available. By that time, I have a pretty clear overall picture of the word and I have a good understanding of the meanings. I then look at how these meanings of the word/words apply to my own life and to my relationship with God. One of the most amazing things I find is that there are SO MANY words that I thought I knew what they meant, but that my understanding was limited to one or two of the definitions/synonyms, and that by finding the other meanings, my overall understanding of the "bigger picture" was MOST enlightening.

It would be insufficient to define surrender as "not succumbing to evil", as it entails a whole lot more than that. Surrender must have TWO aspects. The first aspect of surrender is total, 100%, UNCONDITIONAL giving over of our entire lives to the rulership of Jesus Christ. This means He controls EVERYTHING...that we no longer have ANY right or privilege to have ANY say over ANYTHING that happens to us. We do not try to control our circumstances, our spouses, our children (there is a difference between control and guidance), our co-workers, our neighbors or anyone or anything else. We put it ALL squarely in God's hands. Essentially, absolute surrender is jumping out of an airplane at 35,000 ft with no parachute. We cannot change our mind, we cannot "unjump", and we cannot control the results. If God does not save us, we are doomed....our end is certain. I like to compare it also to "pulling the pin on a hand-grenade and throwing it straight up in the air". It's a terrifying thing to have absolutely NO CONTROL over ANYTHING.....Everything within us wants to retain control of our fate, our destiny, our decisions, our will. But it is precisely BECAUSE we no longer have control that we must now TRUST in God's love, His grace, His mercy, His provision...we must trust Him for EVERYTHING. We no longer get to "lean on our own understanding" but we now must trust HIS understanding, His love and His wisdom. At first this is about the most terrifying thing you'll ever do....but as you walk through the SECOND aspect of surrender, you find His faithfulness and you begin to become secure in His love and wisdom.

It is critical to go through this FIRST aspect of surrender, because you will go through your own "Garden of Gethsemane"....your own "dark night of the soul"....where you will wrestle with God and must finally give up. The reason it is critical to go through this is so that you have a point in time to point back to and use as an "altar" upon which your sacrifice has been laid. This is "going THROUGH the cross", because it means the death of your will, your wants, your wishes, your control. It is the very meaning of "He that would save (preserve, keep control over, retain his right to decide) his life will lose it, but he that would lose (surrender, give up control of, relinquish his right to decide) his life FOR MY SAKE and the gospel's, shall SAVE it. For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Resurrection, abundant LIFE comes THROUGH DEATH.

The SECOND aspect is the daily walking out of your surrender, the "I die daily" part. This is the daily "laying it all down again" process....the choice at each juncture, each circumstance, each situation that we encounter as to whether God is in control or whether we are going to be in control. This is the "death to self" part of surrender.

We hear about "surrender" and “dying to self” all our Christian lives, but most people never truly understand it, and of those who do understand what it means, few are willing to pay the price to experience it, and there is a price to pay. That price is different for each person, and yet it’s the same. Jesus warned people to count the cost and see if they were willing to pay it BEFORE they make that commitment, because, as the Scriptures say, “no man having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.”

Let’s take a look at just part of a mushroom word study. Let’s look at some word definitions. Don't just skim over these, they are one of the most important parts of the whole study.

SURRENDER – means to give up, to relinquish, to yield to the power, control, authority or possession of another; (God) to cease trying to retain control and agree to yield; to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another (God); abandon, resign or relinquish possession of (your life, your control), usually for the sake of another (God); assent to loss of possession of (your life, your will) or exercise of or power or control over (your life, your circumstances); to give (oneself) up into the power of another (God), especially as a prisoner (more on this in the next segment); to abandon oneself or devote oneself entirely to something (God's will) without restraint, reservation, further resistance, or regard to consequences. Not holding anything back.

RELINQUISH – to forsake; to cease from considering, practicing, or cherishing; to assent to withdrawal, dropping, or cessation of; give up; leave, abandon, waive, resign, cede, yield, surrender (relinquish usually does not suggest forceful action or strong feeling in dropping, desisting, renouncing; it sometimes suggests regret at giving up or delay in the process)

ABANDON – to cease to assert or exercise an interest, right or title to – especially with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting it; to give oneself over to or yield oneself to, without check, restraint, control or conditions; to give up possession of, claim or right to.

YIELD – to give up and cease resistance or contention; to cease opposition; give up the contest; to agree to accept (God's will) or comply with something; exhibit willingness rather than opposition; to cease opposition or objection to something; to give place or precedence to (as to someone having superior right or claim); to acknowledge the superiority of someone else.

Synonyms are: submit, capitulate, succumb, bow, defer, relent, yield.

· Submit more strongly indicates giving up after conflict, contention or resistance to the will, control or disposition of another. (God)
· Capitulate centers attention on a definite act of surrendering or giving up to a stronger force or power. (God)
Succumb is likely to indicate utter yielding through weakness or exhaustion


Repentance and forgiveness of sins through the blood sacrifice of Christ makes Jesus our Savior.....but it is absolute, unconditional surrender that makes Jesus our LORD. He can be our Savior and never be Lord of our life....as was the case with me.

Because I made this initial first aspect of surrender (my altar of sacrifice, my own "cross") at one particular point in time, I now have a definitive point to which to refer the enemy when he tries his tactics on me. If he tries to bring back memories of my lesbian past, I simply tell him, "Listen, I made my decision about that kind of thing on Tuesday, November 22, 2000, at 9:30pm and the subject is NOT OPEN TO DEBATE". I can also point him to that date when he tries to get me to worry about things and take matters into my own hands to achieve what I might believe to be a "reasonable solution". I simply tell him, "You'll have to talk to Jesus about that...He's the one running this life now. I gave Him control on Tuesday, November 22, 2000, at 9:30 pm, and anything you have to say, you can say it to Him." It works every time. Then I put the second aspect of surrender into action and lay my own desires, my own understanding, my own ideas of what should or should not happen down at the foot of the cross and leave it there, asking the Lord to show me what HE wants me to do.

The first aspect of surrender is death to my own will and my own ways and my own control. The second aspect is walking out that initial surrender on a daily basis.

(Next segment: The Nature of the Dead)

hootinannie
Oct 3rd 2007, 12:53 AM
Just bumping this up so it can be read before it gets off the page.

hootinannie
Oct 4th 2007, 12:59 AM
Dead Man Walking


Let’s take a look at a dead person. A dead person cannot say what they want done with their carcass. The person could make their wishes known before their death, but once they die, if their family chooses not to abide by their wishes, there’s nothing they can do about it. Dead people have no ties to or influence on family or friends. Dead people have nothing to say about their present, past or future. They have no plans, no hopes, no dreams, no desires, no ambitions, no wishes and no rights. Dead people have no control. They have no possessions. They have no control over things, other people or events. They have no power or influence. They have no treasures or resources. They make no decisions or plans. In short, dead people have nothing to say about ANYTHING!!!

On the positive side, dead people have no worries or cares; they do not feel sadness or grief. They have no remorse or regrets, no guilt or shame. You cannot threaten them, frighten them, bribe them, intimidate them, manipulate them, offend them, embarrass or humiliate them. They do not get their feelings hurt. They do not struggle or strive.

It wasn’t until I went through that death that I discovered the true meaning of life. It was then and only then that I discovered that His yoke TRULY IS easy, and His burden TRULY IS light. The reason for that is that the responsibility for what happens to me is no longer on my shoulders. It is no longer up to me to resolve the problems of my life. The changes that need to be made in me will be made by Him, as I continue to lay my life down and surrender it all to Him. The responsibility for my daily provision is not mine, it is His. A person who can work should work at the job that God provides for them. In my case, I can’t work (I’m disabled), so it is His job to provide for me, and He does that very well and very faithfully. When I ceased the struggle to accomplish what I desired for my life in the way I desired it, then many of those things which I desired to see happen DID happen, and they happened so easily, so smoothly, so effortlessly…..things that I had wrestled with for YEARS just began to be resolved. A man cannot serve two masters. If we insist on being “in charge”, God will allow us to be “in charge” and the weight of that responsibility will weigh us down. But if we will allow GOD to be in charge completely, we will find the weight of the world lifted off our shoulders and we will find Him carrying the load.

I said in the last segment that I would talk more about part of the definition of surrender pertaining to prisoners: to give (oneself) up into the power of another (God), especially as a prisoner ; so I want to do that now.

From the time a person is arrested, their freedom is severely curtailed. They can no longer go where they want to go whenever they wish to go there. They are now “in the power of another”. Their daily routine is set FOR them. They no longer even have their own identity but are given a number. They rise at someone else’s decided time. They go to bed on someone else’s time. They eat on someone else’s schedule; even their time to take a shower is decided by someone else. They are told when they can go outside (IF they can go outside). Their work is decided for them. In short, they are COMPLETELY in the power of an authority other than their own. Paul refers to himself as a “prisoner of Christ”. This was not simply a reference to the fact that he was in prison…he was relating his experience in prison to his relationship with Jesus Christ…he was drawing parallels. Paul no longer claimed an identity of his own…he identified himself with Christ in His suffering, His death and His resurrection. He says “So that it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me.” He had surrendered even his identity to his Lord. He did not want to be seen by man, but only that Christ might be seen IN him. He says “I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet NOT I, but Christ liveth IN me.” Paul is saying that he literally DIED with Christ and the life they now saw living and breathing in his body was there only by the presence of the Spirit of God. His life was completely lost and hidden in Christ. His greatest desire was that he could so surrender EVERYTHING to Christ that it would be only the Spirit of Christ that would be visible within his fleshly body. Paul’s initial surrender occurred on the road to Damascus…the definitive point to which he could refer as his altar of sacrifice….the point at which he died. From that day forward, he was a brand new person. He had a different identity; so much so that God even changed his name from Saul to Paul. His subsequent surrender on a daily basis was the walking out of that initial surrender….the “I die daily” part...the second aspect of surrender.

Now, everyone knows that a thing surrendered to God does not necessarily mean that it’s going to be taken away from him (the enemy will try to convince you that it will be), but it does mean that it will have no hold on you…you can let it go just as easily as you can hold it. If you were to suddenly lose it, you would not be destroyed by the loss. Even though the pain of the loss may be unfathomable, God’s peace and comfort would sustain you and carry you through it. God blesses us with family and friends and provision for our needs and yes, even for our comforts and enjoyment, but we hold these things loosely and do not cling to them. God does not want to ruin our lives and spoil our fun….He LOVES us, and He’s not out to hurt us. All of His thoughts toward us and about us are thoughts for our GOOD and our BENEFIT, to give us a FUTURE and a HOPE!!! He wants our JOY to be FULL….our life to be ABUNDANT….our PEACE to be such that it is beyond all understanding and explanation.

(Next segment: The Origin and Nature of Sin)

hootinannie
Oct 8th 2007, 05:28 AM
I know this is a long post, but I need to maintain the flow of continuity here, so please bear with me.

Trying to get rid of sin by simply stopping the sinful behavior is a never ending battle and a "lost cause". I will explain more fully WHY, later.Until one realizes that sin is much much more than simply things that we DO that are displeasing to God, we will continue to struggle with besetting sins that we seem to have no control over...indeed, that seem to control US!!

So what IS sin REALLY? Where did it come from? Was Eve's eating of the fruit the first sin? No. It wasn't. Sin goes back further than that. The first sin occurred in heaven.

The Origin and Nature of Sin

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were completely dependent on God for EVERYTHING – food, shelter, health, water, - EVERYTHING was supplied by God. They never had to worry – they had no fear or anxiety. They never worried about where they would sleep, what they would eat, how they would keep warm, where they would go, what they would do. Everything was done FOR them, and because they KNEW God and loved Him, they knew that He loved them and they trusted Him implicitly because they understood His love and His nature and character. Their entire purpose in being alive was to bring joy and pleasure to the heart of their Abba by being loving, trusting, obedient children who depended wholly on their Father. That’s ALL that was required of them – love, trust, and obedience and utter dependence. And as long as they did those things, they lived in the radiant joy, blessing, favor and pleasure of their doting Father and they were in His presence continually.

Let’s take a look at the origin and nature of sin. Adam and Eve’s sin was not the first sin. Let’s look at Isaiah 14:12-15 NIV (Parenthesized italics mine. Bolded italics for emphasis)


12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! (This was Lucifer) You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." 15 But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

This is a description of the fall of satan from heaven. This is what was in his heart and mind that precipitated him being cast out of the presence of God. He was lifted up in his own heart with pride and declared his independence from the Father. He began to exercise his own will.

So now this fallen creature comes to the garden where dwell the delights of God’s own heart, His man and His woman. Satan’s objective is to get Adam and Eve to do what he did, and that is to act independently of God. The serpent knows that if he can get them to decide for themselves on a course of action, he has them.

Let’s look at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There was no need for Adam and Eve to eat of any fruit in order for them to know good. They already knew “good”. They knew God, and everything about Him was good. They knew the creation and the beasts of the fields and the heavens and all that God had created and given to them. God said it was all good. God’s will was good, His love was good, His life was good, His provision was good, His fellowship was good; His blessings were all good. So what was it that Adam and Eve would gain knowledge of if they ate of that tree? It was evil. In order for them to eat of that tree, they would have to assert their own will. They would have to decide “I will eat of that tree. I will determine for myself, without God, my course of action.”

Let’s look at the Biblical account of what happened in Genesis, chapter 3:1-6 (NIV) (Parenthesized italics mine)

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" (Did God really say? Implying that for God to forbid them to eat of any tree in the garden was an unreasonable restriction and unfair to them.)

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. (Now satan implies that God lied to them, thus planting the seed of distrust in their minds)

5 "For God knows that when (notice that satan said "when", not "if") you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (The implication here is that God does not want them to “be like Him”, and that He is holding out on them; that there is something that they could know but God doesn’t want them to know it. Italics my own comment)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it (she first had to decide “I will eat it”). She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (he also first had to decide “I will eat it” Parentheses mine). Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

So Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation to take matters into their own hands to achieve a desired end. They acted independently of their Father. They disobeyed Him. They began to try to control their own destinies. What was the desired end they wanted to achieve? To be more like God (good thing to desire, isn’t it?) They wanted to be more like God - they loved Him. But they were already like God. They were made in God’s own image!! Satan tells them that when they eat of the fruit of that tree, they will be like God (good purpose, wrong method). Satan got them to begin to distrust God’s intentions for them by suggesting that God is “holding out on them”. So of “love, trust and obedience” trust was the first to go. The next thing to go was “obedience” when they decided that they would become “like God” (remember what Lucifer said that got him kicked out of heaven? “I will make myself like the most high God”) by taking matters into their own hands and acting on their own initiative to accomplish their desired end, independently of God. (The beginning of the “I did it my way” era). Then, after losing trust, and being disobedient, they were separated from fellowship with God, and love was next to go. Fear came in. Perfect love casts out fear, but perfect love was gone and they were afraid and hid themselves. Love, trust, obedience, and utter dependence were ALL GONE....just like that!!!

Until then, Adam and Eve never had to labor, never had to struggle, never had to provide for themselves, never had to worry, never feared, never were insecure, never felt guilt or shame, never sorrowed nor felt grief, never knew regret or remorse. All these things were direct results of their decision to act independently of God. Until their disobedience, they had the nature and character of their Father.

So, Adam started out without a sin nature and in the face of temptation, he made the wrong choice. During the next 4000 years, until Christ, mankind was given the law to show them what God’s holy nature and character was like and what man would have to be able to do in order to be restored to that Father/child relationship. He sent them prophet after prophet after prophet to tell them what it was they were doing wrong and how to correct it and receive God’s mercy and be reconciled to Him. God, in His infinite patience, love, mercy and grace, because He loved them so much, gave them 4000 years to try (and fail) to gain restoration on their own, to get them to understand that no matter how hard they tried, they were still trying to accomplish the desired goal by doing it themselves, by taking matters into their own hands, by being self-determining, and that it was never gonna work!!!! When they had gone through 4000 years of failing miserably and seeing that no matter how hard they tried by doing things their way they could not achieve restoration on their own, then God sent Jesus.

Next segment: The Second Adam

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 8th 2007, 07:02 AM
May I just say, that I am fully enjoying this thread. I would like to interject my thoughts as I feel inclined....not necessarily for argument's sake, but more for the sake of expanding my understanding:




Trying to get rid of sin by simply stopping the sinful behavior is a never ending battle and a "lost cause". I will explain more fully WHY, later.Until one realizes that sin is much much more than simply things that we DO that are displeasing to God, we will continue to struggle with besetting sins that we seem to have no control over...indeed, that seem to control US!!

Right....we sin because we are sinners, and not vice-versa. Sin is a part of our nature, and we need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in order to conquer that nature. If we try to conquer sin apart from Christ's transformation within us, it becomes a works-based faith, rather than Christ working within us.
Even if we COULD live an outwardly perfect life, apart from sinful actions, we still have the inward sin to account for, that being, greed, malice, lust, envy, and all other sins of character. For instance, a person may have a lustful thought, but can still elicit enough self-control not to ACT upon that thought....but the thought itself is still a result of the sin nature, and demands repentance. Just because there is no outward sin does not mean there is no inward sin. This inward sin is a product of the "old man," whom we were commanded to crucify with Christ. We cannot crucify the old man without the transforming power of Christ Jesus, who was crucified in the flesh that, through Him, our flesh may be crucified.



So what IS sin REALLY? Where did it come from? Was Eve's eating of the fruit the first sin? No. It wasn't. Sin goes back further than that. The first sin occurred in heaven.


The Origin and Nature of Sin

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were completely dependent on God for EVERYTHING – food, shelter, health, water, - EVERYTHING was supplied by God. They never had to worry – they had no fear or anxiety. They never worried about where they would sleep, what they would eat, how they would keep warm, where they would go, what they would do. Everything was done FOR them, and because they KNEW God and loved Him, they knew that He loved them and they trusted Him implicitly because they understood His love and His nature and character. Their entire purpose in being alive was to bring joy and pleasure to the heart of their Abba by being loving, trusting, obedient children who depended wholly on their Father. That’s ALL that was required of them – love, trust, and obedience and utter dependence. And as long as they did those things, they lived in the radiant joy, blessing, favor and pleasure of their doting Father and they were in His presence continually.

Oh, my gosh, Hoot, this is all so true.
I also think this also attests to the fact that the ONLY way one can live in the promises of God is through obedience....and obedience is evidence of complete and utter trust.
I have noticed a lot of parallels between what happened in the Garden and what happened to the Israelites in the Wilderness.
The paradise of the Garden was only retained if Adam and Eve were obedient to God's commands....once they disobeyed, they were expelled from the Garden. Eve's sin reflected a lack of trust on her part...She trusted the serpent rather than the Living God.
The same thing went with the Israelites. As long as they remained faithful to God's commands, the Promised Land was theirs. If not, destruction would follow. They disobeyed because they lacked trust.
The same can be said of our own spiritual life, as well, don't you think? As long as we completely trust God, we will remain obedient to His commands, and as long as we remain obedient, we "will make (our) way prosperous, and have good success" (Josh. 8:8). This is a theme that runs all throughout the book of Deuteronomy, as well as Joshua. It is an important concept, which is referred to numerous times.


Let’s take a look at the origin and nature of sin. Adam and Eve’s sin was not the first sin. Let’s look at Isaiah 14:12-15 NIV (Parenthesized italics mine. Bolded italics for emphasis)


This is a description of the fall of satan from heaven. This is what was in his heart and mind that precipitated him being cast out of the presence of God. He was lifted up in his own heart with pride and declared his independence from the Father. He began to exercise his own will.

So now this fallen creature comes to the garden where dwell the delights of God’s own heart, His man and His woman. Satan’s objective is to get Adam and Eve to do what he did, and that is to act independently of God. The serpent knows that if he can get them to decide for themselves on a course of action, he has them.

Let’s look at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There was no need for Adam and Eve to eat of any fruit in order for them to know good. They already knew “good”. They knew God, and everything about Him was good. They knew the creation and the beasts of the fields and the heavens and all that God had created and given to them. God said it was all good. God’s will was good, His love was good, His life was good, His provision was good, His fellowship was good; His blessings were all good. So what was it that Adam and Eve would gain knowledge of if they ate of that tree? It was evil. In order for them to eat of that tree, they would have to assert their own will. They would have to decide “I will eat of that tree. I will determine for myself, without God, my course of action.”



This is interesting, because if you really look at the big picture...Adam and Eve had absolutely NO CONCEPT of evil. Yes, they knew very well what good was, but at this point, they were unable to distinguish between the 2, because they had no knowledge of the latter. In a way, one could say that they were ignorant of evil, and had no knowledge of the results thereof. This is where trust was VITAL to them.
Having no knowledge of evil, or it's modus operandi, obedience meant exhibiting COMPLETE and TOTAL FAITH in the wisdom of God.
God did not quantify or rationalize the specifics of what would happen...He simply told them that they would die.
Obviously, at this point, they had knowledge of what death was, because God told them point blank...but they couldn't see the future, and had to trust God based on "blind faith" (and I say "blind," because they had never seen evil prior to this).
God told them what would happen...It was up to them to believe Him. To have ABSOLUTE and COMPLETE trust which would ENABLE them to obey. They chose to believe Satan rather than God, which indicates to me that they didn't fully trust Him, which is a tragedy.
The same can be said for our personal spiritual lives...We must have blind faith, and completely trust God in obedience. We do not know the specific consequences of our sin, only God does...and because He does, we must trust Him. We must trust that He knows, and we must trust that He loves us enough to lead us in the right direction. We know the general consequences of disobedience, but not specifics. We must trust that He is looking out for our best interests.




Let's look at the Biblical account of what happened in Genesis, chapter 3:1-6 (NIV) (Parenthesized italics mine)

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" (Did God really say? Implying that for God to forbid them to eat of any tree in the garden was an unreasonable restriction and unfair to them.)

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. (Now satan implies that God lied to them, thus planting the seed of distrust in their minds)

5 "For God knows that when (notice that satan said "when", not "if") you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (The implication here is that God does not want them to “be like Him”, and that He is holding out on them; that there is something that they could know but God doesn’t want them to know it. Italics my own comment)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it (she first had to decide “I will eat it”). She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (he also first had to decide “I will eat it” Parentheses mine). Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

So Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation to take matters into their own hands to achieve a desired end. They acted independently of their Father. They disobeyed Him. They began to try to control their own destinies. What was the desired end they wanted to achieve? To be more like God (good thing to desire, isn’t it?) They wanted to be more like God - they loved Him. But they were already like God. They were made in God’s own image!! Satan tells them if they eat of the fruit of that tree, they will be like God (good purpose, wrong method). Satan got them to begin to distrust God’s intentions for them by suggesting that God is “holding out on them”. So of “love, trust and obedience” trust was the first to go. The next thing to go was “obedience” when they decided that they would become “like God” (remember what Lucifer said that got him kicked out of heaven? “I will make myself like the most high God”) by taking matters into their own hands and acting on their own initiative to accomplish their desired end, independently of God. (The beginning of the “I did it my way” era). Then, after losing trust, and being disobedient, they were separated from fellowship with God, and love was next to go. Fear came in. Perfect love casts out fear, but perfect love was gone and they were afraid and hid themselves. Love, trust, obedience, and utter dependence were ALL GONE....just like that!!!

So, then, do you believe that pride played a factor in the fall of man? I guess the reason I'm asking is because I always thought that when
Eve disobeyed, her wanting to be like God was a matter of pride rather than love.....the same reason why Lucifer disobeyed. He wanted to dethrone God, so to speak, and wanted to be worshipped AS God.
So, the, why DO you believe that Eve wanted to be like God? Is it because she wanted to connect with Him on a deeper level, or something else?
In that sense, do you believe that there was EVER a time when Satan loved God?


Until then, Adam and Eve never had to labor, never had to struggle, never had to provide for themselves, never had to worry, never feared, never were insecure, never felt guilt or shame, never sorrowed nor felt grief, never knew regret or remorse. All these things were direct results of their decision to act independently of God. Until their disobedience, they had the nature and character of their Father.

So, Adam started out without a sin nature and in the face of temptation, he made the wrong choice. During the next 4000 years, until Christ, mankind was given the law to show them what God’s holy nature and character was like and what man would have to be able to do in order to be restored to that Father/child relationship. He sent them prophet after prophet after prophet to tell them what it was they were doing wrong and how to correct it and receive God’s mercy and be reconciled to Him. God, in His infinite patience, love, mercy and grace, because He loved them so much, gave them 4000 years to try (and fail) to gain restoration on their own, to get them to understand that no matter how hard they tried, they were still trying to accomplish the desired goal by doing it themselves, by taking matters into their own hands, by being self-determining, and that it was never gonna work!!!! When they had gone through 4000 years of failing miserably and seeing that no matter how hard they tried by doing things their way they could not achieve restoration on their own, then God sent Jesus.

Next segment: The Second Adam

RIGHT....and I think that fact that they never had to struggle was a direct result of obedience. I do believe that this was the natural order of things....and still is, to a certain extent.
Because Adam and Eve "took things into their own hands" when they disobeyed, they would now be required to depend on their own faculties for their sustenance. Instead of God providing everything for them, through no effort of their own, they would now have to utilize their own efforts in having their needs met.
To a certain extent, the natural order still exists, that being that obedience to God initiates His bountiful providence. The only difference is that, now, sin is in the world, and this makes things more difficult....not for God, but for us. Because sin is a part of our nature, obedience MUCH more difficult.....not only that, but the corrupt order of things makes it much more difficult to trust God.
God's providence is perfect, but we live in a marred world, dominated by Satan. That is why Jesus' death on the cross and the Holy Spirit is IMPERATIVE if we are to have that complete trust DESPITE our separation from God.

hootinannie
Oct 8th 2007, 07:22 AM
So, then, do you believe that pride played a factor in the fall of man? I guess the reason I'm asking is because I always thought that when

Eve disobeyed, her wanting to be like God was a matter of pride rather than love.....the same reason why Lucifer disobeyed. He wanted to dethrone God, so to speak, and wanted to be worshipped AS God.
In your opinion, why DID Eve want to be like God?
In that sense, do you believe that there was EVER a time when Satan loved God?

There MAY have been an element of pride in Eve's wanting to be like God, I don't know. I don't know what was going on in her mind at that point, but I'm inclined to believe that it was more out of her desire to be like God because she loved Him than anything else. Pride was the DEFINITE beginning of sin....but I don't know how much pride was involved in Adam and Eve's sin. I think it had more to do with the sudden realization that there was even ANOTHER WAY, other than God's way...that even existed. I don't think they had ever realized that there ever WAS any OTHER way but God's way. I think that when the serpent came to Eve in the garden, he presented her with a possibility that until then had never even crossed her mind, or that of Adam's.

And yes, I believe that there WAS a time when lucifer loved God.


The same thing went with the Israelites. As long as they remained faithful to God's commands, the Promised Land was theirs. If not, destruction would follow. They disobeyed because they lacked trust.

I don't know that their disobedience was so MUCH that they lacked trust, although that certainly was a factor...I think it was more that sinful, self-determination and desire to be in control and do things their OWN way....the nature of fallen man....that resists God and everything to do with Him. There was definitely pride involved in their sin, because they thought their own ways of perceiving and acting were more reasonable than God's ways.


The same can be said of our own spiritual life, as well, don't you think? As long as we completely trust God, we will remain obedient to His commands, and as long as we remain obedient, we "will make (our) way prosperous, and have good success" (Josh. 8:8). This is a theme that runs all throughout the book of Deuteronomy, as well as Joshua. It is an important concept, which is referred to numerous times.

Most definitely. In fact most of the old testament is one example after another of man insisting on his own way and reaping the destructive consequences. And there are a multitude of examples of man doing things God's way and being incredibly blessed by his obedience. Your observation regarding Deuteronomy is keenly astute. The Lord took me there to teach me the difference between God's ways and man's ways and to show me the results of doing things God's way or doing things MY way, and the results are not pretty. He repeatedly says, "IF you will do such and such, THEN I will do so and so". Cause and effect. IF we want God's blessing, THEN we will do things HIS WAY. If we want our own way, we can have it our way, but we will pay the price for our self-determination, and I can guarantee that it won't be pleasant.



Thanks for your post, Cloudburst....heheheheh....I was beginning to wonder if anyone was even reading this or if I was wasting my time posting it. I did get a little communication from someone else that said they were enjoying it, so I guess I'll keep posting.

hootinannie
Oct 8th 2007, 07:56 AM
I guess I'll share this here and now. The Lord showed me something very enlightening when I asked Him one time about why so many h*m*s*xuals who leave the lifestyle often return to it. Here's what He showed me, and this has to do with all kinds of sin, not just gay sin.

Acts of sin (sinful actions or behavior) are like the fruit on a tree. Trying to get rid of sin by stopping the sinful BEHAVIOR is like trying to make an apple tree stop bearing fruit by picking all the fruit. You may have solved the short-term problem, but the next year, or later the same year, the tree will have more fruit.

So you think, "Well, I'll fix that. I'll cut the branches way back and that will take care of the fruit problem."

But any gardner who knows ANYthing about gardening knows that the more you prune the branches back....even severely....the more fruit you will have the next season. Prune it back, get a bumper crop.

So you think, "Well, if I cut the TREE down, that will take care of the problem." The PROBLEM with that thinking is that yes, you may not see any more fruit for YEARS....even 20 years or more, BUT, eventually new little sprouts will come up from the roots, and the trunks will grow, and the branches, and finally, after maybe many years, you will be faced, once again, with the problem of more fruit.

The ONLY WAY to make sure that you never have to deal with the fruit again, is to make absolutely certain that all of the ROOTS of the tree have been removed completely. This is why John the Baptist, upon seeing Jesus, cried out "Now is the AXE laid to the ROOT of the tree." He understood that only Jesus would be able to lay the axe to the root of the tree and deal a final blow to the ROOT CAUSE of sin.

Until that blow has been applied to the root of the sin in our lives, which is the determination in man to be self-determining apart from God, we will continually face the same old sinful behavior problems over and over and over. It is by absolute, total, unconditional SURRENDER of one's life into the hands of Christ that the cleansing blow is dealt to the root of the tree. That is not to say that you will NEVER sin again...you will...there will be times when you simply WANT what you want, WHEN you want it, and you will take matters into your own hands instead of trusting God to take care of it for you. But the DESIRE to sin....that PULL of sin that we experience will no longer be there, and when we DO sin, we will immediately feel such remorse and regret and shame that we will QUICKLY get things set right again and be restored to the relationship of love, trust, obedience and dependency on Abba, our Father.

I hope this is taken in the way it's offered. Since I totally surrendered to the Lord, for the most part, temptation has not even been an issue. I am no longer tempted the way I used to be in regard to other women. And for the most part, the idea of being disobedient to the Lord or insisting on my own way USUALLY doesn't even enter my mind. I don't STRUGGLE with the issue of sin any more. That is not to say I never sin. Just this last week I wanted something, and I took matters into my own hands to achieve my "desired end" and it backfired on me. I did NOT achieve what I wanted, and in fact, something happened that I seriously did NOT want to happen. But I wanted it SO BADLY that I deliberately disobeyed God and broke a promise to Him, and it made me feel SO MISERABLE that I literally got on my face on the floor and buried my face in the carpet and bawled and bawled and bawled and without going into further detail, basically repented of my sin, once again surrendered my entire life back into His hands, told Him how sorry I was that I had insisted on my own way, and that what I had done was NOT WORTH IT, in that it separated me from His presence. I knew exactly what I was doing, I knew it was sin and I did it anyway. But the loss of His immediate presence was so extreme that I couldn't stand it. I know that I will never again do what I did this week because I know now that it won't give me what I wanted, and it simply just was not worth it in light of the separation I felt from Him. I think maybe there are still some little pieces of root that need to come out, and always will be until we go home to be with Jesus. But the more the roots are destroyed, the less struggle we will have with sin, and if there is NO ROOT, there is NO FRUIT.

hootinannie
Oct 8th 2007, 03:47 PM
This is interesting, because if you really look at the big picture...Adam and Eve had absolutely NO CONCEPT of evil. Yes, they knew very well what good was, but at this point, they were unable to distinguish between the 2, because they had no knowledge of the latter. In a way, one could say that they were ignorant of evil, and had no knowledge of the results thereof.


I think that fact that they never had to struggle was a direct result of obedience. I do believe that this was the natural order of things....and still is, to a certain extent.
Because Adam and Eve "took things into their own hands" when they disobeyed, they would now be required to depend on their own faculties for their sustenance. Instead of God providing everything for them, through no effort of their own, they would now have to utilize their own efforts in having their needs met.
To a certain extent, the natural order still exists, that being that obedience to God initiates His bountiful providence.



This is so very true. I have found from repeated experience, time and time again, that when I am walking in obedience to the Lord, that my struggle actually CEASES. This is where His yoke is truly easy and His burden is truly light. There have been many many MANY times in the last almost 7 years that I have said to myself, "This is just TOO EASY!!! It just CAN'T be THIS EASY!!!" There has been a MULTITUDE of times that I have wished with everything in me that I had totally surrendered and known, long long ago, the things that the Holy Spirit has taught me in the last almost 7 years, because my entire life could have been SO MUCH EASIER than it has been. We struggle and struggle and struggle all of our lives and it's so unnecessary. But we're afraid that if we surrender completely, God will do something or ask something of us that we won't like....so we continue to struggle to control our own lives and our own destinies. Lord, teach us to surrender.

tango
Oct 8th 2007, 06:39 PM
Wow, I know that's not the most eloquent remark on the thread but this is one of the most insightful threads I've seen on the board so far.

Describing it in terms of a jigsaw, some threads make sense in the same way putting two or three jigsaw pieces together makes sense. This thread is like finally figuring out how two big sections fit together.

hootinannie
Oct 9th 2007, 02:24 AM
Thank you, Tango. I wish I could claim credit for it, but it has all come to me as I have sat at the feet of God and let His Holy Spirit teach me. I know that what I'm posting here has completely changed my life forever and it is my greatest hope that as I share it with others, that it WILL "put the pieces together" in a way that people have never understood before and that the Holy Spirit will be allowed to do in them what He's done in me. I'll post the next section within the next couple of days. :)

In Him,
Hoot

hootinannie
Oct 12th 2007, 01:39 AM
Since the first Adam failed so miserably at remaining in that relationship of love, trust and obedience, and utter dependence on God that was necessary to remain in unbroken fellowship with Abba eternally, and 4000 years of trying had failed to result in man's regaining it (because it couldn't), God basically had to "start all over again". He had to have an "Adam" (it means "man") that could succeed where Adam had failed. He had to have an "Adam" that would refuse to "take matters into his own hands"....that would refuse to be "self-determining", but would always trust His Father, always love His Father, always obey His Father, and always be completely, utterly dependent on His Father. So God sent His only Son.

Now Jesus had to be born without a sin nature, just like Adam was “born” (created) without a sin nature. Since the “sin nature” is passed down through the fathers, Jesus could not have an earthly father, or He would also have had a sin nature. This is why Jesus had to be born of a virgin, so that He would be on equal footing with the way Adam was when Adam was created, completely untainted by sin. The Bible calls Jesus the “second Adam”. But where Adam had made the choice to determine the course of his own destiny, Jesus made the choice NOT to do that. Jesus succeeded in remaining always in that Father/child relationship of love, trust and obedience, and utter dependence on His Father. He did not do or say anything of His own understanding or volition. He only did and said those things that He “saw” the Father do and “heard” the Father say. And thereby, He restored to US the possibility of once again living in that same childlike dependence, love, trust and obedience. Nowhere does Jesus say that He came to die on the cross, but He repeatedly said “I have come to do the will of my Father. I have come to do the will of my Father. I have come to do the will of my Father.” His obedience was so utterly complete that it took Him all the way to death. Had He at any point in His life taken matters into His own hands to spare Himself ANY test or trial, or to achieve any desired thing apart from His Father, His death on the cross would have accomplished nothing. He would have been just like the first Adam. Since the Lord showed me all this, I have gained an incredible appreciation, not just for His death on the cross, but for His utterly obedient life. Even ONE act of disobedience, even ONE time that He took matters into His own hands IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE, and the cross would have meant nothing. But He was SUCCESSFUL!!!!

But whereas DEATH came by mankind following Adam’s example, LIFE comes by mankind following Jesus’s example. Jesus said, “Unless you become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God.”

Well, what is a little child like? A little child is completely dependent on its parents. It cannot provide its own food, clothing or shelter. It cannot provide its own security or safety. It does not worry about these things. It is not even aware of what goes into providing for its needs. All it knows is that whenever it has a need the provision is there. It cries when it’s hungry…it gets fed. It cries when it’s tired…it gets put to bed. It cries when it’s poopy or wet…it gets cleaned up. It cries when it’s hurt or lonely…it gets comforted. All it knows is that if it cries, its needs are met. From birth to an older age, which varies from child to child, it does not understand ANYTHING the parents say or anything they do. It doesn't NEED to understand...all it needs is the relationship of loving nurturing and dependency upon its parents. But as the baby's relationship with its parents matures, little by little it begins to understand language and the meaning of the words. As it gets older and learns to use words, then it can express its needs. But even then, it doesn’t know the effort and sacrifice that go into providing its needs. It has a need…the need gets met. It simply exists as a child and its very existence, the very fact of its utter dependence and helplessness is sufficient cause for provision by the parents. It plays and eats and sleeps and poops and makes big messes, and it takes each minute as it comes, living in the moment, totally oblivious to what may come. The child does not know worry (we’re talking about a good, healthy parent/child relationship here…like it should be), it does not fret or stew about the future, dares to ask (when it’s old enough) for what it wants (it won’t always be granted what it asks for) and as long as the child is in the parent’s presence, fears no harm. The little child believes whatever the parent says as gospel truth simply because “my daddy said so”.

As long as the little child is loved, it loves in return. As long as it trusts, it need have no fear. As long as it obeys, life is good and sweet and pretty darned easy. Life doesn’t begin to get hard for such a child until it begins to exert its own fallen independent nature.

Jesus remained totally dependent, loving, trusting and obedient to His Father. And because He did that FOR US, (in our stead…IN STEAD of us) He made it possible for you and me to literally return to the kind of relationship with Abba that Adam and Eve had before they exerted their own independence.

I find it interesting that whereas a LIVE tree (in the garden) was instrumental in ushering in DEATH, a DEAD tree (on Golgotha) was instrumental in ushering in LIFE.

Now we have a problem here – what do we DO about our old nature – the fallen nature that wants to “do it MY way”? As long as that nature is in ascendancy, we have a "Romans 7” scenario….The things we don’t want to do are what we do. And the things we want to do are the things we don’t do.

Once we really understand with our hearts and not our heads, what really transpired when man yielded to the temptation to do things his own way, then we begin to understand at a heart-level that only a return to utter helpless dependence on our Father will get us OUT of the mess that Adam got us into by his INdependence. And that return is only possible through Jesus. Utter helpless dependence (like a baby at its mother’s breast) is the WAY to all good things: blessing, success, abundant provision, security; peace of heart, mind and spirit (that peace that passes all understanding), joy unspeakable, enduring hope, freedom from fear, stress, anxiety; victory over the power of sin, and ETERNAL ABUNDANT LIFE!!!!!!

John 15: 9-10 (9 )"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (10) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

(All you have to do is to believe that what Jesus did by His perfect obedience, satisfied the requirements of God for perfect love, trust and obedience and utter dependence on Abba, and accept His perfect obedience as the substitute for that obedience which you are incapable of perfecting. God’s promises no longer depend on your perfect obedience. But we still must “remain in His love”….if we “remain in a loving, obedient, trusting, dependent relationship” with Him, we WILL obey His commands because we UNDERSTAND and because we love Him.)

The natural outcome of INDEPENDENCE and the “I’ll do it MY way” mentality is labor, toil, worry, cares, anxieties, depression, fear, anger, rejection, hopelessness, destitution, defeat, decay, destruction and DEATH.

The Bible says, in several places, “There is a way that seems right (MY way) to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” That is so true.

Next Segment: O Wretched Man that I Am

ravi4u2
Oct 12th 2007, 03:57 AM
The video here: http://lifegathering.bravejournal.com/entry/22360 explores the current phenomenon surrounding the exodus of millions of Christians from religious institutions.

hootinannie
Oct 12th 2007, 04:25 AM
The video here: http://lifegathering.bravejournal.com/entry/22360 explores the current phenomenon surrounding the exodus of millions of Christians from religious institutions.

Could this be the separation of the wheat from the tares, you think?

ravi4u2
Oct 12th 2007, 07:02 PM
[/font][/size]

Could this be the separation of the wheat from the tares, you think?Maybe not, for the wheat will remain with the tares the harvest will continue to grow with the tares. But I think what's happenin now, is quite prophetic and I have given my views at this link: http://lifegathering.bravejournal.com/entry/20397

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 13th 2007, 08:40 AM
Now Jesus had to be born without a sin nature, just like Adam was “born” (created) without a sin nature. Since the “sin nature” is passed down through the fathers, Jesus could not have an earthly father, or He would also have had a sin nature. This is why Jesus had to be born of a virgin, so that He would be on equal footing with the way Adam was when Adam was created, completely untainted by sin. The Bible calls Jesus the “second Adam”.

This is one of the most important truths in the Bible, what you have pointed out here.
On a similar note, I recently read a very interesting commentary by Dr Chuck Missler which addresses this very subject. Not only was Christ to be born of a virgin due to what you have pointed out, but also because of complications involving the blood line of David. Here is what he said:

God announced very early that His plan for redemption involved the Messiah being brought forth from the tribe of Judah, and specifically from the line of David.

However, the succession of the subsequent kings of Judah proved to be, with only a few exceptions, a dismal chain. As the succeeding kings went from bad to worse, we eventually encounter Jeconiah upon whom God finally announced His "blood curse" on the royal line:

Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man [that] shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah Jeremiah 22:30

This created a rather grim and perplexing paradox: the Messiah had to come from the royal line, yet now there was a curse on that very blood line

Both of Jesus' parents were of the Davidic bloodline...Mary was a descendent of Nathan, while Joseph was a descendent of Solomon.
Jeconiah was in the line of Solomon, but because Christ was not an actual descendent of Joseph, the curse did not apply to Him. Both of Christ's parents were descendents of David, thus fulfilling the prophecy....but genetically, Christ was a member of the unaccursed line of David, thus overriding the curse.
Isn't it amazing how God works all things together to enable His perfect and masterful plan?




But where Adam had made the choice to determine the course of his own destiny, Jesus made the choice NOT to do that. Jesus succeeded in remaining always in that Father/child relationship of love, trust and obedience, and utter dependence on His Father. He did not do or say anything of His own understanding or volition. He only did and said those things that He “saw” the Father do and “heard” the Father say. And thereby, He restored to US the possibility of once again living in that same childlike dependence, love, trust and obedience. Nowhere does Jesus say that He came to die on the cross, but He repeatedly said “I have come to do the will of my Father. I have come to do the will of my Father. I have come to do the will of my Father.” His obedience was so utterly complete that it took Him all the way to death. Had He at any point in His life taken matters into His own hands to spare Himself ANY test or trial, or to achieve any desired thing apart from His Father, His death on the cross would have accomplished nothing. He would have been just like the first Adam. Since the Lord showed me all this, I have gained an incredible appreciation, not just for His death on the cross, but for His utterly obedient life. Even ONE act of disobedience, even ONE time that He took matters into His own hands IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE, and the cross would have meant nothing. But He was SUCCESSFUL!!!!



But whereas DEATH came by mankind following Adam’s example, LIFE comes by mankind following Jesus’s example. Jesus said, “Unless you become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God.”

Well, what is a little child like? A little child is completely dependent on its parents. It cannot provide its own food, clothing or shelter. It cannot provide its own security or safety. It does not worry about these things. It is not even aware of what goes into providing for its needs. All it knows is that whenever it has a need the provision is there. It cries when it’s hungry…it gets fed. It cries when it’s tired…it gets put to bed. It cries when it’s poopy or wet…it gets cleaned up. It cries when it’s hurt or lonely…it gets comforted. All it knows is that if it cries, its needs are met. From birth to an older age, which varies from child to child, it does not understand ANYTHING the parents say or anything they do. It doesn't NEED to understand...all it needs is the relationship of loving nurturing and dependency upon its parents. But as the baby's relationship with its parents matures, little by little it begins to understand language and the meaning of the words. As it gets older and learns to use words, then it can express its needs. But even then, it doesn’t know the effort and sacrifice that go into providing its needs. It has a need…the need gets met. It simply exists as a child and its very existence, the very fact of its utter dependence and helplessness is sufficient cause for provision by the parents. It plays and eats and sleeps and poops and makes big messes, and it takes each minute as it comes, living in the moment, totally oblivious to what may come. The child does not know worry (we’re talking about a good, healthy parent/child relationship here…like it should be), it does not fret or stew about the future, dares to ask (when it’s old enough) for what it wants (it won’t always be granted what it asks for) and as long as the child is in the parent’s presence, fears no harm. The little child believes whatever the parent says as gospel truth simply because “my daddy said so”.

Yes...This is what is known as "childlike faith."

I also find it interesting that the Bible tells us to be imitators of the faith, as little children. Young children tend to imitate their parents, because they have an innate desire to be just like them.
As Christians, we are to be like Christ....we are to imitate Him, not only in word and deed, but also in faith. When we strive to be like Christ, we are striving to be obedient to the Father.....to exercise complete and uncompromised faith. It is only when we strive to imitate Christ can we be pleasing to the Father, who said "This is my Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
So, then, I guess it's safe to conclude that when we obey the Father, we are imitating Christ, as well. Since Christ remained obedient to the Father, imitating Him requires our full and uncompromised obedience.



As long as the little child is loved, it loves in return. As long as it trusts, it need have no fear. As long as it obeys, life is good and sweet and pretty darned easy. Life doesn’t begin to get hard for such a child until it begins to exert its own fallen independent nature.


Jesus remained totally dependent, loving, trusting and obedient to His Father. And because He did that FOR US, (in our stead…IN STEAD of us) He made it possible for you and me to literally return to the kind of relationship with Abba that Adam and Eve had before they exerted their own independence.

YES....as long as we exercise our independence from God, we are no longer imitators of Christ, as Christ NEVER exercised His will apart from the Father.....BUT, I also think that in order to exercise our will in accordance with the Father, our will must be aligned to the will of God, and the only way to achieve this is through an indwelling of the Holy Spirit.



I find it interesting that whereas a LIVE tree (in the garden) was instrumental in ushering in DEATH, a DEAD tree (on Golgotha) was instrumental in ushering in LIFE.

This is a beautiful analogy, Hoot!!!




Now we have a problem here – what do we DO about our old nature – the fallen nature that wants to “do it MY way”? As long as that nature is in ascendancy, we have a "Romans 7” scenario….The things we don’t want to do are what we do. And the things we want to do are the things we don’t do.


Once we really understand with our hearts and not our heads, what really transpired when man yielded to the temptation to do things his own way, then we begin to understand at a heart-level that only a return to utter helpless dependence on our Father will get us OUT of the mess that Adam got us into by his INdependence.

The way I see it, when our hearts are aligned with the heart of the Father, our will follows suit. It really has to do with a heart condition as much as anything....the "old man" is the man whose heart is not aligned with God, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what brings our hearts, and our will, in alignment with that of the Father. As long as our will is aligned with the will of the Father, as Christ's will was, can perfect obedience result....and a TRUE imitation of Christ emerge.


And that return is only possible through Jesus. Utter helpless dependence (like a baby at its mother’s breast) is the WAY to all good things: blessing, success, abundant provision, security; peace of heart, mind and spirit (that peace that passes all understanding), joy unspeakable, enduring hope, freedom from fear, stress, anxiety; victory over the power of sin, and ETERNAL ABUNDANT LIFE!!!!!!


John 15: 9-10 (9 )"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (10) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

(All you have to do is to believe that what Jesus did by His perfect obedience, satisfied the requirements of God for perfect love, trust and obedience and utter dependence on Abba, and accept His perfect obedience as the substitute for that obedience which you are incapable of perfecting. God’s promises no longer depend on your perfect obedience. But we still must “remain in His love”….if we “remain in a loving, obedient, trusting, dependent relationship” with Him, we WILL obey His commands because we UNDERSTAND and because we love Him.)

PERFECT....SO TRUE!!!!
When our will is aligned with that of the Father, we no longer have that innate desire to disobey, and take matters into our own hands, because His will becomes our will.
Our prayer becomes the same as that of Jesus: "Not My will, but Thine will be done." We begin to trust in His will over our own will apart from God, thus resulting in obedience.


The natural outcome of INDEPENDENCE and the “I’ll do it MY way” mentality is labor, toil, worry, cares, anxieties, depression, fear, anger, rejection, hopelessness, destitution, defeat, decay, destruction and DEATH.


The Bible says, in several places, “There is a way that seems right (MY way) to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” That is so true.

Next Segment: O Wretched Man that I Am

The old man is basically the exercise of our own will apart from God. When we crucify the old man, we are also crucifying that independent will....the flesh. When we crucify the flesh, we are bringing our will into alignment with God's, and our spirit into complete submission to Him. At this point, it becomes harder for us to disobey, because disobedience is an exercise of our own free will apart from God.
I really think that this is the true point of submission. When we submit our all to God, we are surrenduring our own free will to God, and allowing Him to replace our free will with HIS perfect will.

hootinannie
Oct 17th 2007, 03:47 AM
Just to bump this up and let you know I haven't forgotten about this. I've been in a lot a pain this week. I'll be posting the next segment within the next couple of days.

Hoot

hootinannie
Oct 22nd 2007, 06:52 PM
Finally!!! Time for the next segment of the study. I'm feeling a bit better now. The doctor gave me a shot for the pain that lasted several days, and though the pain is returning, it's not yet as bad as it was (which almost entirely incapacitated me) Thank God for a few days of relief.

What I'm going to be doing for the next several posts is to quote a lengthy passage from Romans, chapters 5,6,7 and 8, from Eugene Peterson's "The Message".

SO! With Paul, we cry out, “O wretched man that I am, who shall save me from this body of death?” Let’s take a look at how Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” reads in Romans 5, 6, 7 and part of 8. I LOVE how plain this is made in the Message.

Ok…here we go….one long quote: (I’ll split it up into smaller sections)

Romans 5
“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us – set us right with Him, make us fit for Him – we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide-open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him.

Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of His Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of His resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

THE DEATH-DEALING SIN, THE LIFE-GIVING GIFT

You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in – first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.

Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?

Here it is in a nutshell; (don’t you just LOVE the way this reads? Heheheh). Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, He got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

All that passing laws against sin did was produce more law-breakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life – a life that goes on and on, world without end.

The first covenant that God made with man was dependent upon man's obedience to the laws and conditions of the covenant. All throughout the first covenant, God REPEATEDLY says, "IF YOU will do such and such, THEN I will do so and so." The "such and such" that man was to do was to keep His commandments and His laws and statutes and precepts. Man was unaware of the deadly nature of sin until God gave the law, and the law awakened in man the desire to do the very things that God had said they must not do. The law was given as a "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ. The law revealed the profound perversion and rebellion in man's heart and showed man that no matter how hard he tried, he could do nothing but fail...that no amount of self-will, self-determination or self-effort would ever be sufficient for man to be able to keep his side of the covenant. The very law, which was GOOD revealed man's heart to be profoundly evil and incapable of redemption within the scope of man's efforts. The first covenant failed to provide redemption and reconciliation. God kept HIS part of the bargain whenever man was obedient, but man was incapable of keeping his. The old covenant depended on man's total obedience in every single point of the law. The NEW covenant depended solely on Christ's obedience, wherein He succeeded...thus the "new and better covenant" referred to in the epistles. So since Christ's keeping His part in the new covenant succeeded where mankind failed in keeping its part in the old covenant, does that mean that since redemption is no longer dependent upon our perfect obedience to the law of the old covenant that we can live any way we want to and still be saved?


Stay tuned for the next segment: When Death Becomes Life - What is True Freedom?

walked
Oct 22nd 2007, 07:37 PM
Amen hootinannie (http://bibleforums.org/member.php?u=23124) !
I praise God for the understanding He has given you.

God bless you sister :hug:

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 24th 2007, 10:47 PM
The first covenant that God made with man was dependent upon man's obedience to the laws and conditions of the covenant. All throughout the first covenant, God REPEATEDLY says, "IF YOU will do such and such, THEN I will do so and so." The "such and such" that man was to do was to keep His commandments and His laws and statutes and precepts.
This is exactly why the book of Judges exists....because Israel broke God's Laws NUMEROUS times; as such, the covenant was rendered inactive. After all, that is the EXACT nature of a covenant in the first place...when one party breaks the covenant, the covenant no longer stands. God INITIATED the covenant, and Israel AGREED with it. The covenant was entered into by both parties, but overall, it was only ONE party...God....who DETERMINED the covenant (i.e. set it's precepts). God did all the work...Israel's only job was to FOLLOW it, which they failed at miserably.
Rather than abolishing the covenant altogether, though, God in all of His marvelousness established a NEW one...one which WE were able to follow. He still set it's precepts, and it did co-incide with the old one, but the NEW covenant was a BETTER covenant because it allowed us a way of actually FOLLOWING it. I also feel that this is why God holds us to a higher standard...whereas the people living under the Law did NOT have the Holy Spirit, WE DO.
Through Christ, it IS POSSIBLE to follow the Law, whereas before Christ, it was IMpossible. God is fair, and He judges accordingly. Something tells me that the judgement of A.D. sinners will be more harsh than those of the B.C., sinners, because now we have the help of the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live righteous lives....they were at a disadvantage because they had to rely on their own devices.


Man was unaware of the deadly nature of sin until God gave the law, and the law awakened in man the desire to do the very things that God had said they must not do.
I'm not sure that I fully agree with this statement. Perhaps he was not FULLY aware, but I do believe that man had an awareness of sin's deadly nature even before the Law was enacted....not only was he intrinsically aware, due to what he experienced in the Garden, but when man sinned, God called Him out on it, telling him exactly WHAT he did wrong, and HOW he would be judged. To punish man for something of which he is not aware would be unjust, and we all know that God is far from that.
For instance, take the people who perished in the Noahic Flood. Not only were they INTRINSICALLY aware of their sin, but God EXTRINSICALLY warned them of the punishment that sin would bring. The same thing with Cain....If Cain had no awareness that killing his brother was wrong, then what reason would he have had to lie to God? Truth is, man DID have an awareness of his sin...but I really don't think that he realized JUST HOW GREAT his sin was until the Law. The law was SO laborious and extensive, that it brought to light just how extensive SIN was.
There's something that I posted in another thread, but I think it applies here, too...Before the law, God kept no ACCOUNT of sin. When mankind sinnned BEFORE the Law, he was judged on what he intrinsically KNEW to be evil. Because he didn't have any set guidelines, he was only expected to abide with WHAT HE KNEW to be right and wrong...and when God enacted judgement, He would ALWAYS point out the transgression, and the reason for judgement.
Once the Law was enacted, though, things changed. Man had a set standard by which to live, and was now held accountable....because man KNEW EXACTLY what God expected. It wasn't just intrinsic anymore...It was extrinsic There were no more gray areas...everything was laid out before Him. This accountability existed on 2 levels...God now kept an account of man's sin in Heaven, and man was held accountable for the sin he committed on earth.
Now, when Christ died on the cross, things changed again. Now, when a person accepts Christ's sacrifice, God no longer holds men ACCOUNTABLE for the sins they commit, because the price was paid by Jesus Christ. When a person asks forgiveness, ALL of that person's sins are washed away, and God no longer keeps an account...and the sacrifice that Christ made was sufficient for ALL of man's sins, rather than one sacrifice being sufficient for just a few. Because Christ's sacrifice was sufficient for ALL sin, God no longer keeps an account of it in Heaven. This is only true for those who have accepted Christ's sacrifice...for those who have not, EVERY sin will be accounted for.
So, then, I guess what I am trying to say is that through the old covenant, we were held accountable for our sins...while through the new covenant, we are no longer held accountable...the wrath of the Father was laid upon Jesus
PRAISE THE LORD FOR THAT!!!!!!!!!!!



The law was given as a "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ. The law revealed the profound perversion and rebellion in man's heart and showed man that no matter how hard he tried, he could do nothing but fail...that no amount of self-will, self-determination or self-effort would ever be sufficient for man to be able to keep his side of the covenant. The very law, which was GOOD revealed man's heart to be profoundly evil and incapable of redemption within the scope of man's efforts. The first covenant failed to provide redemption and reconciliation. God kept HIS part of the bargain whenever man was obedient, but man was incapable of keeping his.

YES...SO TRUE!!!! Whereas the old covenant was based to a certain extent on a cerebral awareness of the Law, the new covenant is based entirely on a spiritual awareness of the Law...We understand it's FULL implications because, for the first time in out human existance, we understand the severity of sin, not only because God had to DIE to recompense for it, but also because the Holy Spirit inside of us gives us a SPIRITUAL AWARENESS of the gravity of our sins. We can feel His grief everytime we sin. If not for the new covenant, we could NEVER have this Holy Spirit awareness. Rather than just an external awareness through the law, we have an internal awareness through the Holy Spirit.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that, through the new covenant, the Holy Spirit was initiated to indwell inside of us, and it is HE who makes us aware of the severity of sin EVERY TIME He speaks to us, and makes us uncomfortable, when we sin. We realize the FULL EFFECT of sin because it makes us uncomfortable to do it....we also realize it's gravity because we KNOW that everytime we sin, it seperates us from God. The fact that sinful behaviour can "quench the Holy Spirit" really brings us to an awareness of just how SERIOUS our sin is. If it can quench the Holy Spirit, or cause Him to remove Himself from us, it is serious, indeed.
The new covenant is a better covenant becaus it is more perfect...and if you realize it, God is really doing most of the work. Not only is He keeping His end of the bargain, but He is also enabling us, through His Holy Spirit, to keep our end, as well.

That is just SO wonderful!!


The old covenant depended on man's total obedience in every single point of the law. The NEW covenant depended solely on Christ's obedience, wherein He succeeded...thus the "new and better covenant" referred to in the epistles. So since Christ's keeping His part in the new covenant succeeded where mankind failed in keeping its part in the old covenant, does that mean that since redemption is no longer dependent upon our perfect obedience to the law of the old covenant that we can live any way we want to and still be saved?

I completely agree with all of this.
I find it interesting that after Christ's death, that He descended into paradise to minister to those who were there. Because they had no previous sacrifice for ALL of their sins, they were unable to enter into the holy presence of the Lord...They had to wait until that sacrifice was made, and they could be redeemed.
The Law was never established to bring people into a close relationbship with the true and living God, nor was it brought about to transform those people.
Even if a person followed the Law to a tee, that person would still be unable to enter into the presence of the Lord, just because of his nature.
The new covenant was brought about THROUGH Jesus' sacrifice, and without it, the new covenant would be impossible; furthermore, if Jesus' had not lived a holy and perfect life, the new covenant could NEVER have been activated.
God could send people to paradise to exist in peace, but it wasn't until the beautiful and perfect Lamb of God shed His blood that a person could FULLY enter into God's presence

Anyhow, Great comments, hoot!!!

I look forward to the next istallment....same Bat-Time, same Bat-channel :)

walked
Oct 25th 2007, 06:15 AM
This is exactly why the book of Judges exists....because Israel broke God's Laws NUMEROUS times; as such, the covenant was rendered inactive. After all, that is the EXACT nature of a covenant in the first place...when one party breaks the covenant, the covenant no longer stands. God INITIATED the covenant, and Israel AGREED with it. The covenant was entered into by both parties, but overall, it was only ONE party...God....who DETERMINED the covenant (i.e. set it's precepts). God did all the work...Israel's only job was to FOLLOW it, which they failed at miserably.
Rather than abolishing the covenant altogether, though, God in all of His marvelousness established a NEW one...one which WE were able to follow. He still set it's precepts, and it did co-incide with the old one, but the NEW covenant was a BETTER covenant because it allowed us a way of actually FOLLOWING it. I also feel that this is why God holds us to a higher standard...whereas the people living under the Law did NOT have the Holy Spirit, WE DO.
Through Christ, it IS POSSIBLE to follow the Law, whereas before Christ, it was IMpossible. God is fair, and He judges accordingly. Something tells me that the judgement of A.D. sinners will be more harsh than those of the B.C., sinners, because now we have the help of the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live righteous lives....they were at a disadvantage because they had to rely on their own devices.


I'm not sure that I fully agree with this statement. Perhaps he was not FULLY aware, but I do believe that man had an awareness of sin's deadly nature even before the Law was enacted....not only was he intrinsically aware, due to what he experienced in the Garden, but when man sinned, God called Him out on it, telling him exactly WHAT he did wrong, and HOW he would be judged. To punish man for something of which he is not aware would be unjust, and we all know that God is far from that.
For instance, take the people who perished in the Noahic Flood. Not only were they INTRINSICALLY aware of their sin, but God EXTRINSICALLY warned them of the punishment that sin would bring. The same thing with Cain....If Cain had no awareness that killing his brother was wrong, then what reason would he have had to lie to God? Truth is, man DID have an awareness of his sin...but I really don't think that he realized JUST HOW GREAT his sin was until the Law. The law was SO laborious and extensive, that it brought to light just how extensive SIN was.
There's something that I posted in another thread, but I think it applies here, too...Before the law, God kept no ACCOUNT of sin. When mankind sinnned BEFORE the Law, he was judged on what he intrinsically KNEW to be evil. Because he didn't have any set guidelines, he was only expected to abide with WHAT HE KNEW to be right and wrong...and when God enacted judgement, He would ALWAYS point out the transgression, and the reason for judgement.
Once the Law was enacted, though, things changed. Man had a set standard by which to live, and was now held accountable....because man KNEW EXACTLY what God expected. It wasn't just intrinsic anymore...It was extrinsic There were no more gray areas...everything was laid out before Him. This accountability existed on 2 levels...God now kept an account of man's sin in Heaven, and man was held accountable for the sin he committed on earth.
Now, when Christ died on the cross, things changed again. Now, when a person accepts Christ's sacrifice, God no longer holds men ACCOUNTABLE for the sins they commit, because the price was paid by Jesus Christ. When a person asks forgiveness, ALL of that person's sins are washed away, and God no longer keeps an account...and the sacrifice that Christ made was sufficient for ALL of man's sins, rather than one sacrifice being sufficient for just a few. Because Christ's sacrifice was sufficient for ALL sin, God no longer keeps an account of it in Heaven. This is only true for those who have accepted Christ's sacrifice...for those who have not, EVERY sin will be accounted for.
So, then, I guess what I am trying to say is that through the old covenant, we were held accountable for our sins...while through the new covenant, we are no longer held accountable...the wrath of the Father was laid upon Jesus
PRAISE THE LORD FOR THAT!!!!!!!!!!!




YES...SO TRUE!!!! Whereas the old covenant was based to a certain extent on a cerebral awareness of the Law, the new covenant is based entirely on a spiritual awareness of the Law...We understand it's FULL implications because, for the first time in out human existance, we understand the severity of sin, not only because God had to DIE to recompense for it, but also because the Holy Spirit inside of us gives us a SPIRITUAL AWARENESS of the gravity of our sins. We can feel His grief everytime we sin. If not for the new covenant, we could NEVER have this Holy Spirit awareness. Rather than just an external awareness through the law, we have an internal awareness through the Holy Spirit.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that, through the new covenant, the Holy Spirit was initiated to indwell inside of us, and it is HE who makes us aware of the severity of sin EVERY TIME He speaks to us, and makes us uncomfortable, when we sin. We realize the FULL EFFECT of sin because it makes us uncomfortable to do it....we also realize it's gravity because we KNOW that everytime we sin, it seperates us from God. The fact that sinful behaviour can "quench the Holy Spirit" really brings us to an awareness of just how SERIOUS our sin is. If it can quench the Holy Spirit, or cause Him to remove Himself from us, it is serious, indeed.
The new covenant is a better covenant becaus it is more perfect...and if you realize it, God is really doing most of the work. Not only is He keeping His end of the bargain, but He is also enabling us, through His Holy Spirit, to keep our end, as well.

That is just SO wonderful!!



I completely agree with all of this.
I find it interesting that after Christ's death, that He descended into paradise to minister to those who were there. Because they had no previous sacrifice for ALL of their sins, they were unable to enter into the holy presence of the Lord...They had to wait until that sacrifice was made, and they could be redeemed.
The Law was never established to bring people into a close relationbship with the true and living God, nor was it brought about to transform those people.
Even if a person followed the Law to a tee, that person would still be unable to enter into the presence of the Lord, just because of his nature.
The new covenant was brought about THROUGH Jesus' sacrifice, and without it, the new covenant would be impossible; furthermore, if Jesus' had not lived a holy and perfect life, the new covenant could NEVER have been activated.
God could send people to paradise to exist in peace, but it wasn't until the beautiful and perfect Lamb of God shed His blood that a person could FULLY enter into God's presence

Anyhow, Great comments, hoot!!!

I look forward to the next istallment....same Bat-Time, same Bat-channel :)





I know this is way out of context but, I'm sure hoot will excuse me this once.

Hi cloudburst, I cant help but notice how wide a range of topics and depth of biblical background in OT and in NT scripture you display, not just on this thread but, on all but a few threads you've posted on...I'll be happy to reference them, if you need.
Normally this wouldn't strike me as odd but, you said you are a new christian like as recently as 7 months ago you became a christian?
I was just wondering what other kind of background you might have to bring you such easily recallable biblical information on such a wide variety of topics and in such an indepth way you respond to the wide variety of topics you post and respond to here at bibleforums....

I'm just really curious about this, you don't have to reply if you think I'm out of line by asking you this.

God bless you.

Kingsdaughter
Oct 25th 2007, 06:34 PM
My dear sister in Christ, May the Lord continue to renew your mind! God

bless you Hoot and thank you for your testimony. No one is saved apart

from the working of the Holy Spirit in that persons heart. You and I

getting saved was not OUR doing but HIS! God's timing is perfect, He

knew at the exact moment we would TOTALLY SURRENDER TO HIM, He

knew the events that would take place leading up to that point. I too was

raised in the church, my dad was the preacher, I loved Jesus and believed

God's word to be true from cover to cover...well even the demons believe

and tremble! I prayed, fasted, memorized scripture, got babtized, asked

Jesus to forgive me, I walked, talked, and sometimes acted like a christian

and THOUGHT that because I did all of this, well then I must be saved,

but I WAS NOT!Because even though I was doing all of this on the outside I still wanted to live my own life MY WAY! I prayed and read the bible because I wanted to be" cool with God" and still do what I wanted to do. I DID NOT KNOW HIM! I always thought of Him as this old

spirit in heaven ready to whack me over the head when I disobeyed. It

wasn't until that glorious day Jesus knocked on the door of my heart and I

I said yes, COME IN I WILL SURRENDER! I was born again that night.

I remember opening up my bible and reading in the book of John, I had

read this chapter many times and even memorized most of chapter one.

But this time when I read it.... It's as if HIS WORD JUMPED OFF THE PAGES

AND CAME STRAIGHT INTO MY HEART. HE REVEALED HIMSELF TO ME

THROUGH HIS WORD FOR THE FIRST TIME! And I've been getting to know Him ever since. For anyone who is reading this

and has no idea what I am talking about then you probably are not HIS, and for the BODY OF CHRIST, let the Lord be magnified!!!

I bet there were saints that were praying for me during the years I was living in sin, true believers that I didn't even know were believers, maybe a store clerk?, postman?I won't know until I get to heaven. The

reason I believe this to be true is because whenever I meet an unbeliever, I intercede in prayer on their behalf asking our Father to open their hearts

that they may receive Christ as Lord! Well Hoot, I'm looking forward to reading many of your post, I'm new to the message board so I have

yet to read anyones testimony, which I am excited to do. Be blessed today sister.

Love in Christ,
Kingsdaughter

hootinannie
Oct 25th 2007, 11:52 PM
Hi Kings Daughter....

Welcome to the board. Isn't it amazing the difference between religion and relationship? Stick around. There are some wonderful people here who are extremely kind and supportive (and wise, too)

You said you haven't had the chance to read testimonies yet. If you're interested, mine is in the Testimonies forum, the thread is the one about the gay-pride lesbian.

I'm about ready to post the next section in this study. This is all stuff that the Holy Spirit taught me in the months and years since I surrendered to Him.

Again...welcome

In Him
Hoot (Jan)

Equipped_4_Love
Oct 28th 2007, 02:53 AM
I know this is way out of context but, I'm sure hoot will excuse me this once.

Hi cloudburst, I cant help but notice how wide a range of topics and depth of biblical background in OT and in NT scripture you display, not just on this thread but, on all but a few threads you've posted on...I'll be happy to reference them, if you need.
Normally this wouldn't strike me as odd but, you said you are a new christian like as recently as 7 months ago you became a christian?
I was just wondering what other kind of background you might have to bring you such easily recallable biblical information on such a wide variety of topics and in such an indepth way you respond to the wide variety of topics you post and respond to here at bibleforums....

I'm just really curious about this, you don't have to reply if you think I'm out of line by asking you this.

God bless you.



Hey, there, walked;

God bless you for those kind and encouraging comments. You really blessed me with that, because many times, I just say what's on my heart, and what comes to mind....and I am just so grateful to the Lord for feedback, so I know whether I'm on the right track or not.

Even though I have only been walking with the Lord for only a short time (like you said, about 7 months), I WAS raised in the Assemblies of God Church, went to a Christian high school, and went to Bible college for about 3 yrs., so I do have some background.
Even so, I don't really have that much extensive training. To tell you the truth, I have read more of my Bible in the last 7 months or so than I EVER had growing up, or even when I was in Bible college. I also think the fact that I have a study Bible helps, too, but I really am just saying what the Lord puts on my heart, and what makes logical sense to me.
I also listen to Christian radio and preaching throughout the day, so it keeps my mind focused, and I learn a lot.

Anyhow, you really blessed me with your comments. Thanks so much....I just praise the Lord that He gives me enough insight to be able to contrinute to the many threads and discussions that I find interesting.

walked
Oct 28th 2007, 04:10 AM
Thank you cloudburst (http://bibleforums.org/member.php?u=22524) and, God bless you.



To tell you the truth, I have read more of my Bible in the last 7 months or so than I EVER had growing up, or even when I was in Bible college.
I know what you mean I am experiencing this at the moment too, although I haven't had any formal Bible college....God is really using these recent times in my life to reveal much, much, much more of Himself to me than ever before.
:pp :pp :pp He is definitely preparing something :pp :pp :pp

hootinannie
Oct 29th 2007, 06:37 PM
To reiterate here, total, 100% obedience, IN EVERY POINT OF THE LAW, was required under the old covenant in order for God to be constrained to keep HIS side of the covenant. But man, because of his sin-nature, that "I WILL" in him, that determination in him to do things HIS OWN WAY instead of God's way, to trust his own understanding and wisdom rather than God's, was helpless to be obedient in all points...it was impossible for man to keep his side of the covenant.


Even as one man's disobedience caused sin to be IMPUTED to all mankind after him, Christ's total, 100% obedience leading to redemption is likewise IMPUTED to all mankind who will believe it and who will accept and receive the blood sacrifice of Christ as the atonement for his own willful and rebellious self-determination.

For those who might not understand IMPUTED, here is the dictionary.com definition that applies:

Imputed =
3.Law. to ascribe to or charge (a person) with an act or quality because of the conduct of another over whom one has control or for whose acts or conduct one is responsible.

4.Theology. to attribute (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to a person or persons vicariously; ascribe as derived from another. (Our righteousness and obedience are derived from Christ's righteousness and obedience)

Did you catch that? Christ's perfect obedience is attributed to US...as though we had been/are PERFECTLY OBEDIENT. Our side of the covenant is perfectly kept and fulfilled!!!! Therefore, since mankind's part of the covenant (the New Covenant) has been fulfilled, the promise stands that God will fulfill HIS part of the covenant eternally.

SO....does the fact that the complete and full obedience of Christ actually fulfilled the requirements of the law which mankind was incapable of fulfilling mean that we can live any way we want to now? No….as Paul said, “God forbid!!!” Our acceptance of the work that Christ accomplished on the cross for our sin and His imputation of perfect obedience and righteousness, REMOVES us from the life of self-determination and self-will, and places us squarely into a life of total dependence on God and doing GOD’s will. We no longer live in a place where we can “do things our OWN way”, but we have entered a life where we now “do things GOD’s way” And GOD's way is a HOLY and PURE way. Listen to what Paul says in Chapter 6 of Romans.


WHEN DEATH BECOMES LIFE

So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace – a new life in a new land. That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life – no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, (it is IMPUTED to us) we also get included in His life-saving resurrection. (it is IMPUTED to us) We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, He took sin down with Him, ( by HIS perfect love, trust, obedience and utter dependence on God) but alive He brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time – remember you’ve been raised from the dead! – into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

WHAT IS TRUE FREEDOM?

So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in His freedom!

I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing – not caring about others, not caring about God – the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?

As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.

But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise!!! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.

In the old covenant, the law was written on tablets of stone. The law could not CHANGE a life or a heart. Man's HEART was deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and there was nothing that was able to change man's heart. But in the NEW covenant, God has written His law in our HEARTS...hearts of flesh....soft hearts, and He has placed His SPIRIT...the very same Spirit that dwelt in Christ Jesus while He walked this earth...the selfsame Spirit that enabled Christ to live holy and pure...THAT Spirit now dwells WITHIN our hearts, and that is the Spirit which lives in us BOTH to WILL and to DO of God's good pleasure. That Spirit lives only to do God's will....to do things GOD's WAY!!! That Spirit is what changes us...He is the One Who takes the stony heart from us and replaces it with a heart of flesh that responds to God's wooing and gives us the DESIRE to do God's will....to do everything GOD's way instead of our own way.

Only in complete surrender of our "I WILL" to Christ is the stony heart removed and replaced with a heart of flesh that longs only to do God's will, and to do things only God's way.

As long as we live on this earth, the old sin nature will attempt to rear its ugly head again, attempt to convince us that "our way" is the right way. But we are no longer obligated to listen to anything it has to say. God's mercies are new every morning, and every morning there is grace available for us to appropriate to enable us to live holy and pure lives, because we are now "doing things GOD's way", and all of God's ways are ways of holiness and purity and righteousness and truth.

So do we continue in sin that grace may abound? NEVER!!! We cannot do things God's way (do God's will) and still do things our own way (do what WE want to...do OUR will). The two are mutually exclusive...man's ways are not God's ways....God's ways are not man's ways. There is still something inside of us that resists God and resists His ways and His will. Like Paul, we have to deal daily with this issue, and like Paul, who said "I die daily", we too must make daily choices, in every circumstance and situation, to do things "God's way"...to do HIS will and not our own. Our flesh rebels against God's will, but we are no longer obligated to listen to the desires of the flesh. We no longer need to be "torn between one way and another".

Next Segment: Torn Between One Way and Another

Friend of I AM
Oct 30th 2007, 12:39 AM
Nice testimony hoot. One thing I might add is that many get confused into believing that free will is emnity to God, but this is quite to the contrary of what is mentioned in the bible.

True free will unto itself comes from the only one who is truly free -- God. God's will is imparted upon all of those who follow and have faith in Christ Jesus - and abiding in the Lord's Truth is what makes us free. (John 8:32)

So sin, or specifically "rebellion" against the Lord - is the only thing that is a real emnity to God - not free will -- and one only possesses true freedom when they are abiding in and walking with the Lord.

Friend of I AM
Oct 30th 2007, 12:53 AM
Nice testimony hoot. One thing I might add is that many get confused into believing that free will is emnity to God, but this is quite to the contrary of what is mentioned in the bible.

True free will unto itself comes from the only one who is truly free -- God. God's will is imparted upon all of those who follow and have faith in Christ Jesus - and abiding in the Lord's Truth is what makes us free. (John 8:32)

So sin, or specifically "rebellion" against the Lord - is the only thing that is a real emnity to God - not free will -- and one only possesses true freedom when they are abiding in and walking with the Lord.

Or to simplify -- True free will = God's Will. ;)

Partaker of Christ
Oct 30th 2007, 01:28 AM
Nice testimony hoot. One thing I might add is that many get confused into believing that free will is emnity to God, but this is quite to the contrary of what is mentioned in the bible.

True free will unto itself comes from the only one who is truly free -- God. God's will is imparted upon all of those who follow and have faith in Christ Jesus - and abiding in the Lord's Truth is what makes us free. (John 8:32)

So sin, or specifically "rebellion" against the Lord - is the only thing that is a real emnity to God - not free will -- and one only possesses true freedom when they are abiding in and walking with the Lord.


I fear that we may end up hijacking this excellent thread from Hoot, by responding to theme in this post.

Friend of I AM
Oct 30th 2007, 01:36 AM
I fear that we may end up hijacking this excellent thread from Hoot, by responding to theme in this post.

Good point. Carry on...:) At some point though I may open up a thread about the whole rebellion/sin topic. In the interum though, I'm going to kind of chill with the posting for a bit. I have to take a break every so often from discussions and forums like these. Kind of helps me get my head clear and focus on doing more important things for the Lord...;)

God bless

hootinannie
Oct 30th 2007, 04:29 AM
I fear that we may end up hijacking this excellent thread from Hoot, by responding to theme in this post.

Yes, please.....if you want to discuss free will, go back to the "Grace" thread. I didn't use the term "free will" here, I said our "I WILL", meaning that determination to be self-determining that entered the picture when Adam sinned.

No hijackers allowed ;) :)

Kingsdaughter
Oct 30th 2007, 04:45 PM
Wow Hoot! God bless you, I can't wait to read the next one. that was awesome. okay Hoot, if a believer thinks he/she can live the way he/she wants because he/she is under grace they can, but they will be the most miserable. It reminds me of that scripture that says that if you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption, but if you sow to the Spirit you will reap everlasting life. If we decide to live our lives the way we want we will reap the works of the flesh(anger, rage, bitterness, jealousy, envy, strife, sexual immorality and the like), if we choose to live surrendered to the Holy Spirit we will reap the fruit(love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control) which is soooooo much better. So the believer has a choice to make, everyday.After knowing that, The question isn't can he/she live the way he/she wants, it's more like why on earth would you want to. Looking forward to your next post sister!
p.s. This is in response to your post on Oct. 22nd.., I gotta check in with tanya's bible study, I'll be back later to read your other post.
Love in Christ,
Kingsdaughter

hootinannie
Nov 5th 2007, 04:40 PM
I will make the next post here later today. I'm sorry I've been so busy for the last week.

Kingsdaughter
Nov 5th 2007, 09:58 PM
When Death Becomes Life:

It is only when I die to myself, everyday, that I have life through Christ.But He will not force His will upon me, I have to choose to nail this flesh to the cross and allow Him to do His work through me by the Holy Spirit.Philippians 2:13 For it is GOd who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.

What is True Freedom?

What I thought was true freedom was not freedom at all. I thought doing what I want, whenever I want was freedom, but that is not freedom that is bondage to sin, to the flesh that reaps corruption.It is a lie.

True freedom is in dying to SELF and living through Him. It is not about following a bunch of rules..no.. it is about living in His freedom, surrendering to the Lord and to have Him take over you...that is freedom. When I do that, I've never felt more free!!!!

Sorry Hoot, not as artistic in my posts as many of my brothers and sisters, but I'm sure you understand what I am saying. Thank you, its a blessing to read your posts.

Love in Christ
KD

hootinannie
Nov 6th 2007, 04:17 AM
Hi KD...

I do indeed understand what you're saying and I agree wholeheartedly. I never knew what it was to LIVE until I completely surrendered my life and my WILL to Him. We LIVE by DYING, we GAIN by LOSING, we RECEIVE by GIVING...it all seems so backwards, but that is because man's ways aren't just DIFFERENT than God's ways....man's ways are OPPOSITE God's ways. When we begin to understand that, then it becomes a matter of laying down our wills at the foot of the cross, and walking daily in HIS will. I thought I was going to get to post the next segment today, but I got deeply involved in what He's teaching me right now and ran out of time.

Tomorrow evening is free...I'll try to get it posted then. Stayed tuned.

Love :hug:
Hoot

hootinannie
Nov 9th 2007, 07:07 AM
Ok folks...here's the next segment and it's really long, but it's really critical, so please take all the time you need to understand it.

Torn Between One Way and Another

Every single one of us, if we are honest, has to admit that we know to do right, but the power to do right is sometimes beyond us. We know that God’s laws and His precepts and statutes are good and we agree that we should obey Him and walk in His ways. In fact, obedience is so critical that it was THE criteria for remaining in intimate relationship with God in the Garden of Eden. Obedience, from a heart of love and trust and utter dependence upon God was what maintained that personal intimacy with their Creator that Adam and Eve had. Remember I said early in this study that when Adam and Eve decided to take matters into their own hands to achieve their desired end, that love, trust and obedience and utter dependence on God were gone. But this was the perfect way that a perfect God had set up for eternal life….obedience, from a loving, trusting, dependent heart.

Well, once the dirty deed had been done, and love, trust, dependence and obedience were gone, man was “sunk”. Obedience was still required, but man had chosen not to obey. From the time of the original disobedience to the time the law was given, most men didn’t concern themselves too much with obedience, with exceptions such as Noah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and a few more that I can’t recall this instant, without looking them up. But these men believed God and were obedient, and their faith and obedience, from a heart that loved God, were counted unto them as righteousness.

Once the law code was given, man was required to do ALL that the law required. Scripture tells us that the law served to actually seduce man to disobedience and to show man that no matter how hard he tried to obey the law, he couldn’t…that there was a law working inside of him that struggled against obedience. In his own strength and power, no matter how badly he might desire to be found obedient, he could not obey. The law, written on tablets of stone, were to be obeyed from an external motivation…the desire to avoid punishment and death. So until Christ came, man was bound by the law to obey the law. And the scribes and Pharisees added to the law their interpretations of it and that much further damned man to failure.

Let’s look at Romans 7 in The Message. Let me just say again that I realize that this is a paraphrase, but the point is well made here, so I use it.


You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friend, for you know all the ins and outs of the law – how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval.

So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died He took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with Him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to “marry” a resurrection life and bear “offspring” of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.

But I can hear you say, “If the law code was as bad as all that, it’s no better than sin itself.” That’s certainly not true. The law code had a perfectly legitimate function. Without its clear guidelines for right and wrong, moral behavior would be mostly guesswork. Apart from the succinct, surgical command, “You shall not covet”, I could have dressed covetousness up to look like a virtue and ruined my life with it.

Don’t you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of “forbidden fruit” out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God’s good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel.

I can already hear your next question: “Does that mean I can’t even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?” No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God’s good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.

I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself – after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Sound familiar? It sure does to me. We all struggle with Paul’s dilemma. But God made a way for us to gain the victory over the power of that sin which so easily “besets” us and trips us up.

The Holy Spirit has had me studying The Two Covenants, a book by Andrew Murray, a great man of God in the late 1800’s. I wish to use a small part of chapter 13 to shed further light on this obedience and how what Christ did provides the remedy for the struggle of Romans 7.


IN making the New Covenant, God said very definitely, "Not after the covenant I made with your fathers." We have learned what the fault was with that Covenant: it made God's favor dependent upon the obedience of the people. "If you obey, I will be your God." We have learned how the New Covenant remedied the defect: God Himself provided for the obedience. It changes from "If you keep My judgments" into "I will put My Spirit within you, and you shall keep (my judgments)." Instead of the Covenant and its fulfillment depending on man's obedience, God undertakes to ensure the obedience. The Old Covenant proved the need, and pointed out the path, of holiness: the New inspires the love, and gives the power, of holiness.

In connection with this change, a serious and most dangerous mistake is often made. Because in the New Covenant obedience no longer occupies the place it had in the Old, as the condition of the Covenant, and free grace has taken its place, justifying the ungodly, and bestowing gifts on the rebellious, many are under the impression that obedience is now no longer as indispensable as it was then. The error is a terrible one. The whole Old Covenant was meant to teach the lesson of the absolute and indispensable necessity of obedience for a life in God's favor. The New Covenant comes, not to provide a substitute for that obedience in faith, but through faith to secure the obedience, by giving a heart that delights in it and has the power for it. And men abuse the free grace, which without our own obedience accepts us for a life of new obedience, when they rest content with the grace, without the obedience it is meant for. They boast of the higher privileges of the New Covenant, while its chief blessing, the power of a holy life, a heart delighting in God's law, and a life in which God causes and enables us, by his indwelling Spirit, to keep His commandments, is neglected. If there is one thing we need to know well, it is the place obedience takes in the New Covenant.

Let our first thought be: Obedience is essential. At the very root of the relation of a creature to his God, and of God admitting the creature to His fellowship, lies the thought of obedience. It is the only thing God spoke of in Paradise when "the Lord God commanded the man " not to eat of the forbidden fruit. In Christ's great salvation it is the power that redeemed us: "By the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous." In the promise of the New Covenant it takes the first place. God engages to circumcise the hearts of His people -- in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ -- to love God with all their heart, and to obey His commandments. The crowning gift of Christ's exaltation was the Holy Ghost, to bring salvation to us as an inward thing. The first Covenant demanded obedience, and failed because it could not find it. The New Covenant was expressly made to provide for obedience. To a life in the full experience of the New Covenant blessing, obedience is essential. (from The Two Covenants, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved, used by permission.)(colored font, underlines, bolds and parentheses mine for emphasis)

So…in the beginning, all God required of Adam and Eve was obedience, from a loving, trusting, dependent heart….a heart that knew Him personally and intimately.

Sin and the law made obedience a mandatory obligation out of fear of punishment and death.

Christ came and fulfilled the requirement for perfect obedience, both in His perfectly obedient life and in His perfectly obedient death. In so doing, He made the way for the NEW covenant to be now written in our HEARTS, because His perfectly obedient Spirit lives IN us….giving us both to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure. And herein is that victory over the power of sin….NOW we ONCE AGAIN…..JUST LIKE IN THE GARDEN BEFORE SIN ….through the power of the perfectly obedient Holy Spirit now dwelling inside of us…it is once again a matter of obeying God, NOT from obligation or fear of punishment or death, but from a loving, trusting, dependent heart in intimate personal relationship with God. Praise God!!!!


Next segment: The Solution is Life on God's Terms

awestruckchild
Nov 9th 2007, 07:58 PM
This thread deserves to be bumped and bumped and bumped!
If it were possible to give you 5,000 reps, you would have them from me.
I am only on page 3, but had to stop to praise God for all He has shown you.
I am amazed that all the little scraps of paper I have fluttering in my mind have been here compiled into a coherent whole.
This is good stuff and it is truth straight from the Holy Ghost!
I hope everybody takes the time to read it.
More please!!!

hootinannie
Nov 9th 2007, 10:47 PM
This thread deserves to be bumped and bumped and bumped!
If it were possible to give you 5,000 reps, you would have them from me.
I am only on page 3, but had to stop to praise God for all He has shown you.
I am amazed that all the little scraps of paper I have fluttering in my mind have been here compiled into a coherent whole.
This is good stuff and it is truth straight from the Holy Ghost!
I hope everybody takes the time to read it.
More please!!!

Thank you, paintdiva...I'm so glad you're getting so much out of it. The understanding of these things certainly has changed MY life, and I think that if a person can really grab hold of the truth here, it will make a big difference in theirs as well. So much has become clear to me in the light of what the Holy Spirit has taught me....it's like finally getting to see the whole picture when all your life you've been looking at one piece of the puzzle. Now, as I read through the Bible, I understand so much more because of these things...so much makes perfect sense that never did before.

Sometimes I wonder if I should keep posting on this, and I wonder if anyone is reading it or getting anything out of it at all....but then I look at the number of "views" and I see that people really are reading it, even if they aren't commenting, so I keep posting.

May God just POUR out His blessings on you
Love
Hoot

deb6031
Nov 9th 2007, 10:51 PM
Terrific post (49)!!! Hey, btw, I'm an artist also (oil). What are alkyds? Are they water soluble oils (I've seen them, but haven't tried them)?

hootinannie
Nov 9th 2007, 11:06 PM
Terrific post (49)!!! Hey, btw, I'm an artist also (oil). What are alkyds? Are they water soluble oils (I've seen them, but haven't tried them)?

Thank you. No, alkyds are not water-soluble oils, and they're not acrylics. They are just like regular oils, but they dry MUCH faster. I guess they have some sort of super-dryer in them and most of them will dry overnight. You clean the brushes with paint thinner, just like regular oils; in fact, as far as I know, the ONLY difference between oils and alkyds is the drying time. They act exactly like oils.

Hoot

PS...if you'd like to see some of my work, go here:

http://www.wubbo.com/gallery/gallery.asp?RelPath=godsown/ then click on "Jan's Artwork" on the left. It's called "God's Own" Gallery because one of my screen names on another board was godsown.

You can click on a "thumbnail" (little) picture to bring up a larger one and go through them like a slideshow. Clicking on the larger one will bring up an even larger one if you want to see detail. Some of them are really early works, and the watercolors are my earliest watercolors.

Kingsdaughter
Nov 10th 2007, 07:03 AM
Thank you Lord for Hoot and for the move of the Holy Spirit in her heart.

When I look at God's law in the old testament, it's like the description of the "perfect person". and when I put myself up to that description I say" theres just no way I can be that person" I really want to, but I can't. God says I have to ,in order to have fellowship with Him and to receive all of His wonderful blessings.

I say " I just can't do it" I could probably act right on any given day if I tried, but that wouldn't last long because I would either have an evil thought or evil motive, I could probably do one or two, but then you want me to be that way all day and all the time?

no one had to teach me how to sin, it comes naturally(Romans 3:23)For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

So what did God do in response to my helplessness? He sent His Son Jesus Christ who would be that "Perfect Person" FOR ME! Jesus obeyed God's law down to the last letter and was in fact God's law in the flesh(John 1:14)The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. He lived the life I could not live, He did everything RIGHT!Amen!

When He died on the cross to cover my sins with His blood, washing me white as snow,forgiving me of all of my sins. He made it possible for me to be born again, but this time born of God(John 1:12-13). and the night when He revealed Himself to me and knocked on the door of my heart and I said YES!!:pp He forgave me of my sins.He then sent His Holy Spirit to live in me. So now I have the Spirit of Him( Perfect Person)who obeyed God's law totally and completely living on the inside of me.

Jesus made a way for me to have that relationship to know my God personally and intimately.

So what is the end of all this? I still can't obey God's law,(in my natural self which is still bent towards sin) but there is another one(HOLY SPIRIT) living on the inside of me now WHO HAS, AND WHO CAN, IF I SURRENDER TO HIM, moment by moment, day by day. SURRENDER. GLORY TO THE LAMB OF GOD!

God bless you
Your sister in Christ

hootinannie
Nov 10th 2007, 07:41 AM
Thank you Lord for Hoot and for the move of the Holy Spirit in her heart.

When I look at God's law in the old testament, it's like the description of the "perfect person". and when I put myself up to that description I say" theres just no way I can be that person" I really want to, but I can't. God says I have to ,in order to have fellowship with Him and to receive all of His wonderful blessings.

I say " I just can't do it" I could probably act right on any given day if I tried, but that wouldn't last long because I would either have an evil thought or evil motive, I could probably do one or two, but then you want me to be that way all day and all the time?

no one had to teach me how to sin, it comes naturally(Romans 3:23)For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

So what did God do in response to my helplessness? He sent His Son Jesus Christ who would be that "Perfect Person" FOR ME! Jesus obeyed God's law down to the last letter and was in fact God's law in the flesh(John 1:14)The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. He lived the life I could not live, He did everything RIGHT!Amen!

When He died on the cross to cover my sins with His blood, washing me white as snow,forgiving me of all of my sins. He made it possible for me to be born again, but this time born of God(John 1:12-13). and the night when He revealed Himself to me and knocked on the door of my heart and I said YES!!:pp He forgave me of my sins.He then sent His Holy Spirit to live in me. So now I have the Spirit of Him( Perfect Person)who obeyed God's law totally and completely living on the inside of me.

Jesus made a way for me to have that relationship to know my God personally and intimately.

So what is the end of all this? I still can't obey God's law,(in my natural self which is still bent towards sin) but there is another one(HOLY SPIRIT) living on the inside of me now WHO HAS, AND WHO CAN, IF I SURRENDER TO HIM, moment by moment, day by day. SURRENDER. GLORY TO THE LAMB OF GOD!


YES!!!! I do believe you've GOT IT!!! Isn't He wonderful? We couldn't even BE perfect, so He came and lived and died perfect FOR US!!! YES!!! And now, with His perfect Holy Spirit living within us, as we will surrender our will to Him, HE lives His perfection through us, and when we fail, the Spirit of the Perfect one ever liveth to make intercession for us. Praise the Lord forever!!! He is so fantastic!!! I love Him so MUCH!!!

Thank you for your post...what you said just really blessed my socks off.

Your sister,
Hoot

awestruckchild
Nov 13th 2007, 04:19 AM
Thank you for your post...what you said just really blessed my socks off.

Your sister,
Hoot


We have to all be careful to quit doing this to Hoots socks! If she catches cold she won't be able to post these wonderful lessons!:o

hootinannie
Nov 13th 2007, 07:33 AM
We have to all be careful to quit doing this to Hoots socks! If she catches cold she won't be able to post these wonderful lessons!:o

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: :lol::lol::lol:

Hoot

hootinannie
Nov 14th 2007, 11:05 PM
This is going to be another LONG post, because I can’t figure out how to break it up without losing the flow and the continuity, so please forgive me. And please excuse me for not knowing HOW to keep these quotes from breaking into more than one.

THE SOLUTION IS LIFE ON GOD’S TERMS
Chapter 8 from The Message, by Eugene Peterson (now don’t lose the train of thought just because the chapter changed) Purple print my comments


With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. (the law) A new power is in operation. (grace) The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when He sent His own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In His Son, Jesus, He personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a band-aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Look at what Andrew Murray says about the law in his book “The Two Covenants”

The law points the way, but gives no strength to walk in it. The law demands, but makes no provision for its demands being met. The law burdens and condemns and slays. It can waken desire, but not satisfy it. It can rouse to effort, but not secure success. It can appeal to motives, but gives no inward power beyond what man himself has. And so, while warring against sin, it became its very ally in giving the sinner over to a hopeless condemnation. "The strength of sin is the law."
(from The Two Covenants, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

(Back to chapter 8 of The Message)

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them (grace) find that God’s Spirit is in them – living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells – even though you still experience all the limitations of sin – you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us – an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with Him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with Him!”

That makes it so plain. I KNOW that adventurous expectancy of wondering, “What’s next, Abba?”

So…what happens is that when you accept Christ’s being a substitute for you – when you accept in your heart that He accomplished what no one else ever did or could or can (because we have a sin nature and He didn’t) – when you accept His obedient death as the payment for the death your sin nature requires, AT THAT VERY MOMENT it becomes as though you NEVER SINNED – YOU BECOME LIKE ADAM IN THE GARDEN BEFORE he made the wrong choice. Every “sin”, every wrong choice we’ve ever made is wiped clean and we are as innocent and pure as Adam and Eve were when God first created them.

You see, SIN is not only what we commonly call sin – rape, murder, theft, lying, coveting, envy, jealousy, adultery, homosexuality, fornication, gossip, and so on and on; these things are “actual sin”, or “acts” of sin. THOSE are the FRUIT that results from the ROOT, and the ROOT (inbred sin…that which became man’s “human nature” in the Garden of Eden) is that determination to be in control of one’s own life/destiny; to decide for oneself the way that we will go. From that ONE THING (that determination to be self-determining – to be IN CONTROL) comes ALL the fruit that are the things we commonly call sin.

So how do we deal the death-blow to sin? What finally gives us the power over sin? What gives us the victory over the sin-nature?

In the same way that Adam’s “choosing” to “take up” his own way and be independent brought us INTO the ways of death, defeat and eternal damnation, the “choice” to “lay it down”, “give it up”, “surrender it forever”, “completely abandon it”, brings us OUT of it. We return to a state of love, trust and obedience in our relationship with the Father, as by His grace He sanctifies our souls and purifies our hearts. We surrender unconditionally, and by His indwelling grace He brings about the changes that we cannot accomplish ourselves.

Let’s take another look at Andrew Murray’s “The Two Covenants”


To deliver us from the bondage and the dominion of sin, grace came by Jesus Christ. Its work is twofold:

1. Its exceeding abundance is seen in the free and full pardon there is of all transgression, in the bestowal of a perfect righteousness, and in the acceptance into God's favor and friendship. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His grace." It is not only at conversion and our admittance into God's favor, but throughout all our life, at each step of our way, and amid the highest attainments of the most advanced saint; we owe everything to grace, and grace alone. The thought of merit and work and worthiness is forever excluded.
2. The exceeding abundance of grace is equally seen in the work that the Holy Spirit every moment maintains within us. We have found that the central blessing of the New Covenant, flowing from Christ's redemption and the pardon of our sins, is the new heart in which God's law and fear and love have been put. It is in the fulfillment of this promise, in the maintenance of the heart in a state of meekness for God's indwelling, that the glory of grace is specially seen. In the very nature of things this must be so. Paul writes: "Where sin abounded, grace did more exceedingly abound." And where, as far as I was concerned, did sin abound? All the sin in earth and hell could not harm me were it not for its presence in my heart. It is there it has exercised its terrible dominion. And it is there the exceeding abundance of grace must be proved, if it is to benefit me. All grace in earth and heaven could not help me; it is only in the heart it can be received, and known, and enjoyed. "Where sin abounded," in the heart, there "grace did more exceedingly abound; that as sin reigned in death," working its destruction in the heart and life, "even so might grace reign," in the heart too, "through righteousness into eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." As had been said just before, " They that receive the abundance of grace shall reign in life through Jesus Christ." (from The Two Covenants, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

This is a decision – a choice – that we make that, for the rest of our life, no matter what happens, no matter what it costs us, we will choose to love, trust and obey our Father and to depend utterly at all times on His love and His wisdom and His ways.

It’s ALL about RELATIONSHIP with our Father. That’s what EVERYTHING is all about. Everything that has ever happened has been about relationship with God. Those who choose to have it, will have it and will have all of the blessing, life, joy, peace, etc. that goes with it. Those who choose NOT to have it will have all the horrible results of their choice. Look around you at the world. The whole mentality of mankind today is “Do it yourself”, “I did it MY way”, “If it feels good, do it”, “Whatever turns you on”. And look at the fruit of that mindset….a world of chaos and pain, fear, guilt, shame, depression, depravity and everything else that goes with the territory.

Next I am going to take a short (one segment break) in order to show you the results of a "mushroom word study" I did on "dependence" and "independence". We think of "dependence" as being less than desireable, and of "independence" as being a good thing. I think you will be surprised at where the chain of synonyms takes us and what it reveals.

Kingsdaughter
Nov 16th 2007, 01:30 AM
Praise the Lord!
Thank you Hoot for your obedience to the Lord, because the Holy Spirit is speaking through you to deliver a message.
As I read your latest post, all of them are coming together to say this one thing. Our Father desires to have a RELATIONSHIP with us! Hallelujah!
I think back to the very beginning when there was just GOd and Adam. They had a relationship, a fellowship, a bond. They were closer than any two people could be. And when sin came into the picture, the bond was broken, and God provided a way(Jesus) for us to have a relationship with Him once again. I'll be back to post more, God bless you Hoot!:hug:

Trina

hootinannie
Nov 22nd 2007, 12:42 AM
Praise the Lord!
Thank you Hoot for your obedience to the Lord, because the Holy Spirit is speaking through you to deliver a message.
As I read your latest post, all of them are coming together to say this one thing. Our Father desires to have a RELATIONSHIP with us! Hallelujah!
I think back to the very beginning when there was just GOd and Adam. They had a relationship, a fellowship, a bond. They were closer than any two people could be. And when sin came into the picture, the bond was broken, and God provided a way(Jesus) for us to have a relationship with Him once again. I'll be back to post more, God bless you Hoot!:hug:

Thank you Trina...you're absolutely right. It's ALL about RELATIONSHIP and God wants that relationship WAY more than we do. He reached out to us first....God commended His love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God's whole plan was to have His human creation in intimate, loving relationship with Him, and when man fell, God put into motion His wonderful plan of redemption, whereby we could be restored to that intimate relationship with Him. In creation and in re-creation, God's whole plan has been to have a people in relationship with Him. What a wonderful plan!!!!

God bless you, too, Trina
Hoot

Coming in the next few days....the word study on dependence and independence. You may be surprised at what it reveals.

hootinannie
Nov 25th 2007, 04:37 AM
Several years ago, at the Holy Spirit's nudge, I did a "mushroom word study" on the two words "Dependence" and "Independence". I was stunned by what I discovered.

In our day and age, since the "dawning of the age of aquarius" as it were, the attitude of self-determination, self-reliance, autonomy, independence, self-rule, individualism and so on ad nauseum has become the prevailing attitude of mankind, especially in the USA. I can't speak for other countries, because I haven't been there. But I have watched the USA for the last 50 years and seen the changes. We have gone from believing that we were "our brother's keeper" and a society of friendly neighbors to an isolationist population that doesn't want to be involved. We have become a people of the book "I'm OK, You're OK" and whatever turns you on. We have become a people who believes it's "different strokes for different folks"...."if it feels good, do it"...."do whatever you want as long as you don't hurt anybody" and "do whatever you want and everyone else can "shove it".

We have become a people who see dependence as weakness and undesirable and a crutch for people who can't stand on their own two feet or WON'T stand on their own two feet. We see children and old people, the sick, the homeless, the lazy, the downtrodden as "dependent" people, not strong, not confident, not the kind of people we want to be.

In this study, I have spoken a great deal about total, utter dependence on God, and I have realized that although we SAY we depend on God, we still live as self-reliant individualists who look to our own resources and strengths first. Then when we fail, we go to the Lord for help.

Ought this to be? Should we try it ourselves first and then go to God when all else fails? Is dependence really bad? Is independence really good? In this word study, I want you to look carefully at where the trail of synonyms leads. I am going to use a color code here, because in the list of synonyms of "dependence" there are words whose ANTONYMS (opposites) are very significant to the understanding of these words. The antonym of dependence is independence. So if we are looking at words that are synonyms (like words) we must also look at their opposites. We will start with dependence. You will notice that there are synonyms repeated. I have looked up all the synonyms of dependence, and then I have looked up all the synonyms of all THEIR synonyms until I was finding no new synonyms and all were pointing back at synonyms I already had. I want you to notice the true nature of dependence. I will use blue text to indicate opposites. I will use red text for the synonyms I looked up, and black for the synonyms I found for each of the red ones. Many of the black ones will become red ones in turn.

Dependence

Synonyms = reliance, trust, confidence, belief, hope, faith
Antonym = independence

Reliance dependence, confidence, trust

Trust (Ant. distrust) faith, belief, hope, conviction, confidence, expectation, reliance, dependence, have faith in believe, rely on, depend on, confide in, have confidence in, count on, bank on, be sure about

Confidence (Ant. doubt) belief, faith, trust, support, loyalty, certainty, conviction, assertion secret, intimacy

Belief (Ant. distrust) confidence, trust, certainty, credence

Hope (Ant. despair) expect (v.) trust, anticipate, wish, look forward to expectation (n.) optimism, anticipation, faith, hopefulness

Faith confidence (n.) trust, reliance, assurance, conviction, belief (n.) devotion, loyalty, faithfulness, commitment, dedication

Conviction (Ant. doubt) confidence (n.) certainty, assurance, sincerity, passion, fervor belief (n.) principle, faith, opinion, persuasion

Support hold up, hold, bear, carry, prop up, sustain, maintain, shore up, keep up, buoy up, buttress, back

back (v.) encourage, cheer on, help, assist, aid, be there for, defend, champion, sponsor, espouse

provide for (v.) keep, sustain, take care of, care for, fend for

Bear support, take, stand, sustain, uphold, back

Sustain maintain (v.) carry, keep up, uphold, prolong. nourish (v.) keep you going, support, feed, help, aid, assist

Maintain uphold, preserve, keep, sustain, retain, look after, care for, take care of, keep up, keep in good condition

Buttress support (n.) prop, reinforcement, bolster (v.) support, strengthen, prop, prop up, reinforce, shore up, hold up

Buoy up keep afloat, hold up, sustain, maintain, prop up, keep up, lift, cheer, uplift, encourage, boost

Uphold support, sustain, maintain, defend, endorse, advocate, espouse, encourage

Espouse take up, adopt, support, back, advocate, promote, champion

Champion defend, support, back, fight for, side with, stand up for

Adopt take on, accept, assume, approve, espouse, embrace, take on board

Aid help, assist, abet, minister to, relieve, sustain, facilitate

Defend protect (v.) guard, preserve, secure, shield, look after
support (v.) stand/stick up for, represent, uphold, endorse, bolster

Bolster boost, strengthen, reinforce, encourage, augment

Augment supplement, add to, enlarge, expand, enhance, increase, boost

Boost encourage, support, lift, uplift, give a lift, inspire, raise, build up, motivate

Improve make better, enhance, perfect, develop, expand, build up, further, enrich, increase

Inspire motivate, stir, encourage, enthuse, move, arouse, rouse

Enthuse fire, galvanize

Galvanize stir, rouse, stimulate, electrify, fire up, stir up, animate, incite

When you follow the trail of words with like or supportive meanings, look how positive and promising dependence is. Dependence, total, utter dependence on God results in a life described and defined by all these words. Would you ever have thought that dependence could be such a wonderful thing? Me either.

I have to break this up because I had too many characters. So I think I shall let you absorb the implications of the study of dependence for a day, and then post the one on independence tomorrow.

In His Love
Hoot

Kingsdaughter
Nov 27th 2007, 03:47 AM
Wow Hoot! all I can say is wow!

WHo would of thought dependence could mean ALL OF THAT! I pray that everyone will take the time to read this list because I did, out loud in my kitchen and I felt the move of the Holy Spirit in my heart telling me," see how wonderful it is to be dependent on Me!!! Dependence on the Lord is not a sign of weakness, but of POWER! Just like you said Hoot, everything is backwards, Amen! I love you Lord:pp

More please.

hootinannie
Nov 27th 2007, 04:43 AM
As I said a couple days ago, we've been "indoctrinated" with the idea that independence is a good thing, and dependence is bad. But we were never intended to live independently from God. It was always God's intention that we live with Him in an intimate, personal relationship of love, trust, obedience, and utter, total dependence on HIM. The fruits of this dependence were to be all GOOD. Take another look at the synonyms of dependence (last post) and then look at the following synonyms of independence and the trail of meaning throughout. These things became our legacy, passed down generation after generation, originating in the Garden of Eden when first Eve, and then Adam, asserted their independent wills and took matters into their own hands to achieve their own desired end. I have again posted the antonyms of some of the "dependence" synonyms (and their synonyms) that I posted in blue in the previous post, because they are significant to the meaning of independence and where an independent spirit will take us.

Independence


Independence self-government (n.) sovereignty, autonomy, self-rule, self-determination, freedom, liberty, self-sufficiency (n.) self-reliance, freedom, autonomy, individualism, impartiality (n.) disinterestedness, objectivity, independent status, neutrality, non-alignment

Sovereignty dominion (n.) rule, power, control, independence (n.) autonomy, self-government

Autonomy independence, self-sufficiency, self-government, self-rule, freewill

Liberty autonomy, lack of restrictions, self-determination, independence, choice, freewill, looseness, non- conformity

Doubt (antonym of confidence) hesitation (n.) uncertainty, reservation, misgiving, distrust, disbelief, suspicion, skepticism

disbelieve (v.) (antonym of believe) mistrust, suspect, have reservations, have misgivings, have doubts, distrust, question

Distrust (antonym of belief) suspicion, disbelief, doubt, misgivings, skepticism, cynicism

Despair (antonym of hope) misery (n.) desolation, hopelessness, anguish, gloom, depression, despondency, dejection, lose hope (v.) give up hope, have no hope, see no light at the end of the tunnel, quail, lose heart

Desolation unhappiness (n.) misery, despair, anguish, sadness, wretchedness, despondency, barrenness (n.) isolation, bleakness, emptiness, dereliction, devastation

Misery unhappiness (n.) sadness, depression, desolation, gloom, wretchedness, melancholy, despair, grief, sorrow, distress, agony, anguish,

Misfortune suffering (n.) deprivation, privation, destitution, poverty, distress

Anguish suffering, torment, agony, torture, pain, distress, grief, sorrow, angst

Sadness grief, sorrow, unhappiness, misery, depression, wretchedness, melancholy, gloom, despondency, desolation, dejection, woe

Hopelessness sadness, misery, dejection, depression, unhappiness, gloom, cheerlessness, joylessness, despair, desperation, despondency, bleakness

Gloom darkness (n.) obscurity, shade, murkiness, shadow, dimness, dreariness, pessimism (n.) cynicism, distrust, doubt, gloom, glumness, negativity

Quail draw back, shrink back, recoil, shy away, blench, tremble, cringe, cower

Recoil shrink back, withdraw, retreat, draw back, jump back, back away, react, flinch

Angst anguish, torment, anxiety, trouble, sorrow, worry, fear

Anxiety nervousness, worry, concern, unease, apprehension, disquiet, fretfulness, angst, fear

Trouble problem (n.), difficulty, dilemma, mess, snag, danger, hitch, hassle, breakdown, trial, tribulation, worry (n.), concern, anxiety, care, misfortune, suffering, woe

strife (n.), unrest, disorder, disturbance, discontent, disruption, turmoil, conflict, discord

Sorrow grief, mourning, sadness, distress, unhappiness, regret, trouble

Worry anxiety, uneasiness, disquiet, discomfort, apprehension, nervousness

Fear terror (n.) dread, horror, fright, panic, alarm, trepidation, apprehension, worry (n.) concern, anxiety, terror, nightmare, phobia


Self-sufficiency


suf·fi·cient (s…-f¹sh“…nt) adj. 1. Abbr. suf., suff. Being as much as is needed. 2. Archaic. Competent; qualified. --suf·fi“cient·ly adv.
in·de·pend·ent (¹n”d¹-pµn“d…nt) adj. Abbr. ind. 1. Not governed by a foreign power; self-governing. 2. Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant. 3. Not determined or influenced by someone or something else; not contingent.
self-de·ter·mi·na·tion (sµlf”d¹-tûr”m…-n³“sh…n) n. 1. Determination of one's own fate or course of action without compulsion; free will.
au·ton·o·mous (ô-t¼n“…-m…s) adj. 1. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent.
2. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed.
3.a. Independent of the laws of another state or government; self-governing.
b. Of or relating to a self-governing entity.
c. Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs.
self-re·li·ance (sµlf”r¹-lº“…ns) n. Reliance on one's own capabilities, judgment, or resources; independence.
--self”-re·li“ant adj. --self”-re·li“ant·ly adv.
self-seek·ing (sµlf“s¶“k¹ng) adj. 1. Pursuing only one's own ends or interests.
2. Exhibiting concern only with promoting one's own ends or interests.
--self-seek·ing n. Determined pursuit of one's own ends or interests. --self“-seek“er n

Surprising, isn't it? Independence and self-sufficiency always lead away from God and into places we don't want to go. I won't say much more on this, as it speaks rather well for itself.

Enough for tonight. I'll try to post the next segment before the end of the week.

Kingsdaughter
Nov 27th 2007, 04:49 AM
I logged off the website, but as I was walking around the Lord brought this scripture verse to my mind that totally ties into what you were saying about how it is in our day and age. How man thinks and how the Lord thinks.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

hootinannie
Nov 27th 2007, 07:00 AM
I logged off the website, but as I was walking around the Lord brought this scripture verse to my mind that totally ties into what you were saying about how it is in our day and age. How man thinks and how the Lord thinks.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Yes, you're right. In fact, part of what the Holy Spirit taught me is that the verse doesn't just mean that His ways are DIFFERENT than our ways, but actually OPPOSITE.

Something SO COOL happened this morning. Last spring when I was out garage-saling, I came across a book by Rick Joyner called "There Were Two Trees in the Garden", and I bought it. My sister spotted it and said she wanted to read it, so I let her keep it. In June I moved into an apartment of my own, and forgot about the book. Well, I'm out at my sister's house, taking care of her cats while they're in Hawaii. Yesterday, I spotted the book, and since I was done with what I was reading, I pulled it out and started reading.

I got SO EXCITED because that book is saying the VERY SAME THINGS that I've been saying in this study!!!!!! In fact, in some places, he's using the VERY SAME WORDS!!! He uses the same scripture, and bolds the same words I've bolded. I laughed so hard, and danced around the house praising the Lord. I could hardly BELIEVE IT!!!!! There's just nothing like the feeling you get when the Lord has taught you something and then uses someone else to confirm it to you. :spin: :pp :pp :pp And so PLAINLY!! WOW!!!!

Hoot

Kingsdaughter
Nov 27th 2007, 04:29 PM
That is very cool Hoot, I love it when He does that!
Not only does He confirm it through other people, but sometimes He will bring a scripture verse to our mind. Like the other day I was riding in the car with the hubby and feeling a bit down, well the Lord heard my heart and knew my thoughts, He brought a scripture verse to my memory to overcome my sadness and I just started laughing out loud:pp rejoicing in Him that He knows me and loves me!

hootinannie
Nov 30th 2007, 02:14 AM
Hi all....

I want to thank everyone that's been following this thread. I'm nearing the end of the study, but before I do, I want to quote some things from Rick Joyner's book, "There Were Two Trees in the Garden". I marked some things in the book as I was reading that confirm things I've already said here or expand on thoughts I've raised but not gone into in greater depth. I want to take a couple of days to decide what I want to quote, and to email their ministries headquarters for permission to quote small passages. This may take a few days, since the weekend is almost here, but will post as soon as I hear one way or another about permission.

In His love
Hoot

hootinannie
Dec 6th 2007, 04:14 AM
Just letting you know I'm still waiting on permission from Rick Joyner to post short portions of his book. I have reason to believe it will be granted.

Hoot

Mograce2U
Dec 6th 2007, 05:10 AM
Just letting you know I'm still waiting on permission from Rick Joyner to post short portions of his book. I have reason to believe it will be granted.

HootHi Hoot,
Just a note that you might want to check Mr. Joyner out a bit before you take everything he says as good. I haven't read this book you mention but I have one of his others and he more than a bit over the edge - IMO.

hootinannie
Dec 6th 2007, 07:38 AM
Hi Hoot,
Just a note that you might want to check Mr. Joyner out a bit before you take everything he says as good. I haven't read this book you mention but I have one of his others and he more than a bit over the edge - IMO.

I have checked him out, and although I don't agree with him on everything he says, or everything he believes, just because I disagree with him on some things doesn't mean he doesn't have ANYthing right. I think that is a problem among Christians....no one has perfect and total truth...we all have partial truth, and if we reject EVERYTHING someone says just because of that, then we reject the truth they DO have as well. We need to be rightly dividing the word of truth...we need to be discerning and be able to tell the difference.

If I am able to tell the difference between counterfeit money and good money, and you hand me a suitcase full of a mixture of both, will I throw away the good money along with the counterfeit? No...I'll separate the good from the bad and keep the good.

Thank you for your concern, though.;)

Hoot

DoinMyBest
Dec 6th 2007, 09:20 AM
I should have shut off the computer hours ago and gone to sleep, but I started reading this thread and couldn't stop.
Everything here is totally speaking to my heart. I have considered myself a Christian for about 3 years now, before that I was "religious", thinking I was a Christian. I have recently struggled with closing a part of myself off from God. I had some stuff going on, and while I knew that God was there to carry me through it, and that there was no way I would have made it out sane without him, I could still feel myself holding back. I really needed to come across this thread when I did.
Thank you Hoot, and thank God for giving you these messages for those of us who didn't even know we needed to hear it!

"I die daily"--my new mantra.:hug:

Kingsdaughter
Dec 6th 2007, 03:03 PM
I know how you feel DMB, I think this was the very first thread I read when I joined bibleforums and it has been such a blessing for me. I believe the Holy Spirit was using Hoot to speak to me in such a big way. It's like the Lord was telling me " Do you remember how our relationship used to be, you couldn't wait to read the bible, you talked to Me all day long". I was letting so many other things fill my mind, and take up my time, I had forsaken my first love indeed. The Lord has restored our relationship and it feels so good to hear from Him again.

hootinannie
Dec 6th 2007, 10:44 PM
Kingsdaughter and DoinMyBest....

Now you've gone and done it.....you turned my "eye faucets" on. It blesses me so much that you're getting so much out of this thread. If even just the two of you are the only ones to really grasp the Holy Spirit's message here and it changes your life like it has changed mine, then everything is worthwhile. If only one or two EVER have their lives changed like mine has, then everything I've gone through in my entire life has been worthwhile. Thank you for your encouraging words...you've really blessed me.

Love in Him
Hoot

Kingsdaughter
Dec 6th 2007, 11:14 PM
Kingsdaughter and DoinMyBest....

Now you've gone and done it.....you turned my "eye faucets" on. It blesses me so much that you're getting so much out of this thread. If even just the two of you are the only ones to really grasp the Holy Spirit's message here and it changes your life like it has changed mine, then everything is worthwhile. If only one or two EVER have their lives changed like mine has, then everything I've gone through in my entire life has been worthwhile. Thank you for your encouraging words...you've really blessed me.

Love in Him
Hoot

Grab your tissue box Hoot, because I have something else to say. It's not just one or two, you can add four more to that, because the Lord has changed me and spoken to my heart through you, my 3 kids and hubby are blessed by how the Lord has changed me as well:hug:

Love in Him,
KD

Pleroo
Dec 6th 2007, 11:16 PM
Hi Hoot,

I've been reading your thread too and appreciate how the Father has used much of it to confirm the lessons He has been teaching me in my own walk. I have been blessed by what you are sharing. I thank God that He has made you able and willing to convey these truths here! :hug:

(Speaking of the 2 trees, I have read something that I believe is quite similar by another author -- J. Preston Eby. Posted on it in another thread HERE (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1443489&postcount=97) .)

Anyway, just hoping to encourage you to continue in the good work the Father is doing through you here. :)

Mograce2U
Dec 7th 2007, 04:24 AM
I have checked him out, and although I don't agree with him on everything he says, or everything he believes, just because I disagree with him on some things doesn't mean he doesn't have ANYthing right. I think that is a problem among Christians....no one has perfect and total truth...we all have partial truth, and if we reject EVERYTHING someone says just because of that, then we reject the truth they DO have as well. We need to be rightly dividing the word of truth...we need to be discerning and be able to tell the difference.

If I am able to tell the difference between counterfeit money and good money, and you hand me a suitcase full of a mixture of both, will I throw away the good money along with the counterfeit? No...I'll separate the good from the bad and keep the good.

Thank you for your concern, though.;)Hi Hoot,
My concern was more for those who may not have the discernment or inclination to check him out. Which is why I thought I would add a disclaimer. I hope you were not offended. :hug:

hootinannie
Dec 7th 2007, 05:59 AM
Hi Hoot,
My concern was more for those who may not have the discernment or inclination to check him out. Which is why I thought I would add a disclaimer. I hope you were not offended. :hug:

Hi Mo....

No problem. I found no problem with anything in the book I'll be quoting from....in fact, one of the main reasons I want to use it is because it so closely follows what the Lord has taught me that I've posted here. It confirms and expands on what I've posted here. :hug:

Hoot

hootinannie
Dec 7th 2007, 06:09 AM
Kingsdaughter :)

Yeah, it took some kleenex. I can't find any words to express what's in my heart. I am humbled. We so often pray for God to use us, and then when He does, we are amazed at what happens. I don't know what to say. Thank you for telling me how your children and husband have been positively affected. All I can do is share the precious treasure He has given me. I'm so glad that my treasure has made you rich.

Your friend and sister,
Hoot

hootinannie
Dec 7th 2007, 06:14 AM
Hi Hoot,

I've been reading your thread too and appreciate how the Father has used much of it to confirm the lessons He has been teaching me in my own walk. I have been blessed by what you are sharing. I thank God that He has made you able and willing to convey these truths here! :hug:

(Speaking of the 2 trees, I have read something that I believe is quite similar by another author -- J. Preston Eby. Posted on it in another thread HERE (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1443489&postcount=97) .)

Anyway, just hoping to encourage you to continue in the good work the Father is doing through you here. :)

Thank you Pleroo...

I went and read what you posted. Yes, it's very much like what I've shared here. I'll have to check into Mr. Eby's writings.

I'm so glad that what I've shared has spoken to you. It certainly has changed my life. The things the Holy Spirit has taught me now guide me every single day of my life. Thank you for your encouragement.

In His Love,
Hoot

hootinannie
Dec 9th 2007, 07:05 AM
I have decided that whether or not permission is given for me to quote from Rick Joyner's book "There Were Two Trees in the Garden", that I am not going to, even though MUCH of what he says in that book closely matches what I have said in this thread. Although I found nothing doctrinally unsound in this particular book, when MoGrace2U cautioned me about him, I at first responded with an "I know what Rick Joyner believes, and there's nothing to worry about."

However, in researching another author, Joyner's name came up again, and I began to read more carefully about what he believes, and I realized that I didn't know as much as I thought I did about him.

Because I have a responsibility before God to be sound and scriptural in what I say, ESPECIALLY if it is of a "teaching" nature, if I quote someone who although in this particular instance may not be guilty of false teaching,...if I quote that author or teacher, and someone sees my apparent "endorsement" of that author or teacher's writings, and if they are not firmly grounded in truth, and they begin to accept ALL of that author or teacher's writings/teachings, and they become deceived and follow after false teaching, then am I not responsible before God, in part, for the deception?

MoGrace....I want to thank you for the nudge. I'm sure that if I had continued to read writings by him, I would have caught the errors in his doctrine, with the Holy Spirit's light, but the fact that I almost "endorsed" his teaching goes to show that even when we are being careful, it is still possible to err.

So....I won't be quoting Rick Joyner, but I will be wrapping up this study pretty soon. I think I have maybe only two posts left.

In His love,
Hoot

Mograce2U
Dec 9th 2007, 06:58 PM
Hoot, God is so good to us!

Blessings,

Kingsdaughter
Dec 9th 2007, 06:59 PM
Sounds good Hoot, looking forward to your next post!

hootinannie
Dec 14th 2007, 03:33 AM
It's been awhile since I've posted anything new here. I was waiting for permission to post something copyrighted, but decided not to use it after all. So I'm reposting just a portion of the last post before the word studies on Dependence and Independence, to try to pick up the train of thought again. If this doesn't help, you can go back and read more for continuity.

We're almost done with this study.

So how do we deal the death-blow to sin? What finally gives us the power over sin? What gives us the victory over the sin-nature?

In the same way that Adam’s “choosing” to “take up” his own way and be independent brought us INTO the ways of death, defeat and eternal damnation, the “choice” to “lay it down”, “give it up”, “surrender it forever”, “completely abandon it”, brings us OUT of it. We return to a state of love, trust and obedience in our relationship with the Father, as by His grace He sanctifies our souls and purifies our hearts. We surrender unconditionally, and by His indwelling grace He brings about the changes that we cannot accomplish ourselves.

Let’s take another look at Andrew Murray’s “The Two Covenants”



To deliver us from the bondage and the dominion of sin, grace came by Jesus Christ. Its work is twofold:


1. Its exceeding abundance is seen in the free and full pardon there is of all transgression, in the bestowal of a perfect righteousness, and in the acceptance into God's favor and friendship. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His grace." It is not only at conversion and our admittance into God's favor, but throughout all our life, at each step of our way, and amid the highest attainments of the most advanced saint; we owe everything to grace, and grace alone. The thought of merit and work and worthiness is forever excluded.
2. The exceeding abundance of grace is equally seen in the work that the Holy Spirit every moment maintains within us. We have found that the central blessing of the New Covenant, flowing from Christ's redemption and the pardon of our sins, is the new heart in which God's law and fear and love have been put. It is in the fulfillment of this promise, in the maintenance of the heart in a state of meekness for God's indwelling, that the glory of grace is specially seen. In the very nature of things this must be so. Paul writes: "Where sin abounded, grace did more exceedingly abound." And where, as far as I was concerned, did sin abound? All the sin in earth and hell could not harm me were it not for its presence in my heart. It is there it has exercised its terrible dominion. And it is there the exceeding abundance of grace must be proved, if it is to benefit me. All grace in earth and heaven could not help me; it is only in the heart it can be received, and known, and enjoyed. "Where sin abounded," in the heart, there "grace did more exceedingly abound; that as sin reigned in death," working its destruction in the heart and life, "even so might grace reign," in the heart too, "through righteousness into eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." As had been said just before, " They that receive the abundance of grace shall reign in life through Jesus Christ." (from The Two Covenants, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
This is a decision – a choice – that we make that, for the rest of our life, no matter what happens, no matter what it costs us, we will choose to love, trust and obey our Father and to depend utterly at all times on His love and His wisdom and His ways.

It’s ALL about RELATIONSHIP with our Father. That’s what EVERYTHING is all about. Everything that has ever happened has been about relationship with God. Those who choose to have it, will have it and will have all of the blessing, life, joy, peace, etc. that goes with it. Those who choose NOT to have it will have all the horrible results of their choice. Look around you at the world. The whole mentality of mankind today is “Do it yourself”, “I did it MY way”, “If it feels good, do it”, “Whatever turns you on”. And look at the fruit of that mindset….a world of chaos and pain, fear, guilt, shame, depression, depravity and everything else that goes with the territory.

So what happens if you count the cost and you decide to make that “forever” commitment and you “blow it” by wanting your own way about something and/or taking matters into your own hands to “make it turn out like you want it to”? Are you doomed to death because you blew it? No – you’re not. That’s why He gives us each new day….that’s why His mercies are new every morning….each day is a brand new start. We ask for and receive His forgiveness when we make a wrong choice and the slate is wiped clean again. That’s why we have to “take up our cross daily and follow Him”. That’s why Paul said, “I die daily.” ( I give it up, I lay it all down at His feet, I surrender completely, I stop trying to be in control) After the initial complete surrender, from then on it’s a matter of making His nature and character the criteria for all your choices and decisions…deciding, choosing, to “do it God’s way” instead of your own. Sometimes that means searching His Word to see if you can find out WHAT His way IS. Always it means talking to Him about things and recommitting yourself to do everything His way, and not lean to your own understandings and inclinations. It means that each day we “make the choice” all over again to lay down all those things our hearts cling to, and the tendency to want to be in control. Each day we choose all over again to reject our own desires in favor of HIS wishes. We “give up” control, we abandon our own devices and understanding of how we think things “ought to be” and defer to His incredible eternal wisdom and understanding. And as He continually purifies our hearts and minds and sanctifies our souls and spirits, the desire to sin begins to wane and we find that we are walking freely and easily in His ways and we have no desire to be anywhere else.

This all brings us back around to “the cost”. Because the enemy knows what happens when a human creation of God begins to understand what it’s all about and how it all works, he panics and will turn hell upside down to prevent your surrender. He knows that once you have counted the cost and have made an “informed choice” to surrender complete control of your life back to Abba, he has lost you for good. Once you find out through experience (as I have) what your life will become through absolute surrender, love, trust and obedience, you will know FOR YOURSELF that God’s ways REALLY ARE the BEST ways and you will begin to HATE self-determination because it has the power to ROB you and CHEAT you out of the totally awesome life that awaits you at the foot of the cross. Once you understand what it’s all about, you will be afraid of wanting your own way because you understand where that path leads, and you’ll give it a WIDE BERTH!!!!

So satan will assault you with every awful “what if” he can think of to dissuade you from making that irrevocable commitment. He’ll parade all your fears before you and try to make you think that Abba is a big “meany” who just wants you to be miserable, that you won’t have any “fun” any more. He’ll parade financial ruin, loss of loved ones and family before you. He’ll accuse you, abuse you and “excuse” you. He’ll use your desires to keep you from surrender – he’ll tell you God won’t let you have them. He’ll threaten your marriage, he’ll shame you with your past; I could go on and on with all that the enemy will try to prevent your surrender because he knows all too well what will happen to his power over you when you DO surrender – he will HAVE no more power over you.

So what do you do? You look at the whole parade of "what-ifs" in the light of the victory over sin that you will gain, and you realize that what God is offering you is that sweet, loving, trusting, joyous, peaceful state of dependence on Abba that results in intimate friendship with God – not just a passing acquaintance, but a deep, intimate heart-sharing love relationship with your wonderful Abba wherein He will continually reveal more and more of His heart to you.

The Word says, “the SECRET of the Lord IS WITH THEM THAT FEAR HIM (that means honor Him, hold Him in high regard, be in awe of Him, make Him a priority) and THEM will He show His ways.” There is a place you can come to, and that He is EAGER to bring you to, in relationship with Him where He will share some of His secrets with you. He will confide in you what’s in His heart and His mind…yes, you CAN know “the mind of Christ”….He will let you know what He’s thinking, what He’s feeling, what His heart is. He’ll teach you His WAYS!!! Any Christian can see what God DOES (His acts), but those who are completely surrendered will come to understand HOW He does them and WHY He does them (His WAYS). To them He shows “the bigger picture” and gives them understanding of “how it all works” and “what it’s all about”.

Because I now understand so much more of the picture than ever before, it has become the greatest joy of my life to surrender, to be broken, to “lay it all down”, to “give it all up”. Doing so does NOT bring you LOSS….IT BRINGS YOU GAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! You GAIN BY LOSING!!!!

Mograce2U
Dec 14th 2007, 04:19 AM
Hi Hoot,
There is more to it than just ceasing (as in fasting) from sin:

(Isa 58:5-11 KJV) Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? {6} Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? {7} Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? {8} Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. {9} Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; {10} And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: {11} And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

The key to overcoming sin in one's life is to DO right. The power comes in the doing not in the abstaining. And answered prayer is the blessing!

hootinannie
Dec 14th 2007, 05:23 AM
Hi Hoot,
There is more to it than just ceasing (as in fasting) from sin:

(Isa 58:5-11 KJV) Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? {6} Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? {7} Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? {8} Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. {9} Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; {10} And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: {11} And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

The key to overcoming sin in one's life is to DO right. The power comes in the doing not in the abstaining. And answered prayer is the blessing!

Ummmm....would you please do a "quote" on the portion of what I said that made you think I was only talking about "ceasing from sin"? I either didn't make myself clear enough or you misunderstood me.

Hoot

sunburst
Dec 14th 2007, 09:29 AM
It's been awhile since I've posted anything new here. I was waiting for permission to post something copyrighted, but decided not to use it after all. So I'm reposting just a portion of the last post before the word studies on Dependence and Independence, to try to pick up the train of thought again. If this doesn't help, you can go back and read more for continuity.

We're almost done with this study.

Hi, Jan;

You may remember me as cloudburst. Due to my recently defunct computer having to be re-programmed, I am unable to log in under that name. Hopefully, that will soon be resolved, but I really wanted to reply to these comments anyhow because they are so good, and I think this is an important issue; after all, if we are really to have victory in Christ, we must learn how to conquer sin....fortunately, as you have said, Christ already won that victory for us. Christ already conquered sin for us, and it is through His righteousness that we defeat sin in our own lives.
Its just like in the book of Judges, and Deuteronomy also, when God told the Israelites ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS that He had already given them the victory over their enemies...all they had to do was claim this victory by taking the land.

Deut. 7:2 And when the Lord your God delivers them (their enemies) over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them

It's kind of like us and sin...Jesus already won the battle for us on the cross, and has delivered us from sin. All we have to do is claim the victory through the blood of Christ. Sin has no power over us anymore, and although we still have to overcome it in our own lives, we have the power to do so, through the victory of Christ.
It also reminds me of that other verse, although I cannot remember where it is found, where God tells the Israelies that if they do not completely conquer their enemies....if they compromise by making a treaty with them, or peaceably living with them....that those enemies will become a thorn in their flesh. If we compromise when it comes to sin...if we do not fully conquer it in our lives...it will remain as a thorn, and a hindrance to our eternal victory.



So how do we deal the death-blow to sin? What finally gives us the power over sin? What gives us the victory over the sin-nature?


In the same way that Adam’s “choosing” to “take up” his own way and be independent brought us INTO the ways of death, defeat and eternal damnation, the “choice” to “lay it down”, “give it up”, “surrender it forever”, “completely abandon it”, brings us OUT of it. We return to a state of love, trust and obedience in our relationship with the Father, as by His grace He sanctifies our souls and purifies our hearts. We surrender unconditionally, and by His indwelling grace He brings about the changes that we cannot accomplish ourselves.

I think it's definitely important to surrender unconditionally. I think that when we surrender our will unconditionally to God, that we are, in essence, denying our flesh...putting our own self-serving desires aside.
I've always thought of the flesh as a person's self-serving will; that is, when a person's actions are done to elevate or please oneself, rather than God. Any actions motivated by self-centeredness, rather than God-centeredness, are of the flesh.
Furthermore, an action doesn't necessarily have to be a sin to be in the flesh. For example, a person can do good deeds in order to elevate himself, or satisfy his pride. Philanthropic endeavors done because they make the person "feel good" are fleshly actions, but they are still good deeds. It's the motive that matters, and it is the motive which the Lord judges.
It is the natural man, and it is this man that we must crucify...or the old man:

Rom. 6:5,6 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin

Because Christ was crucified, we are able to crucify the old man, or the flesh. You asked how we can deliver the death-blow to sin, and I really think that this is the answer. In order to deliver the death blow, we must undergo a death of our own...we must die to our flesh, crucify the old man, and we can only do so through the sacrifice of Christ.

Once we have done this, no longer are we slaves to sin....OR to the flesh. Our motives become pure, because we are no longer slaves to our own pride, but we are slaves to righteousness, as Peter puts it..
Because Christ was crucified, when we crucify our "old man," God replaces this old pride with His righteousness. It is at this point that we become slaves to righteousness.

I think what you said about "surrenduring everything" is very important, because I really believe that this is what happens when our "old man is crucified." When this happens, everything is surrendered...even pride.
We all know that God judges sin, but we also know that He judges our works, and if any of these works are done with the worng motive, i.e. one of pride, then they will emerge from the fire as hay and stubble. Once we surrender it all, including our pride, then we are to be certain that our works will emerge from the fire as gold.

Such an act requires complete dependence upon God, as our independence is nothing but an aspect of pride...once we have fully surrendered, and crucified our flesh, then that's when we have become completely dependent on God, which leaves little or no room for pride.




This is a decision – a choice – that we make that, for the rest of our life, no matter what happens, no matter what it costs us, we will choose to love, trust and obey our Father and to depend utterly at all times on His love and His wisdom and His ways.


It’s ALL about RELATIONSHIP with our Father. That’s what EVERYTHING is all about. Everything that has ever happened has been about relationship with God. Those who choose to have it, will have it and will have all of the blessing, life, joy, peace, etc. that goes with it. Those who choose NOT to have it will have all the horrible results of their choice. Look around you at the world. The whole mentality of mankind today is “Do it yourself”, “I did it MY way”, “If it feels good, do it”, “Whatever turns you on”. And look at the fruit of that mindset….a world of chaos and pain, fear, guilt, shame, depression, depravity and everything else that goes with the territory.

YES!!! This is SO evident, too, not just Scripturally, but socially, as well. You can examine any cultural phenomena, and if it doesn't abide by Scripture, more than likely, it has wreaked havoc on society. Take divorce, for example. Back when divorce started becoming widely accepted, it was looked upon as a "savvy and progressive" display of independence, and free-thinking. Look where it has left our culture...broken homes have caused more social and cultural distess than people thought it would. Divorce has done more damage to the family unit, and children, than anyone back in the 50's or 60's would have thought...back then, it was considered "progressive." The same with the Sexual Revolution, etc.
All I am saying is that if a person thinks that he can live his life independently of God, disregarding His laws and His wisdom, in the spirit of humanism, then that person can expect a lifetime of turmoil and confusion.


So what happens if you count the cost and you decide to make that “forever” commitment and you “blow it” by wanting your own way about something and/or taking matters into your own hands to “make it turn out like you want it to”? Are you doomed to death because you blew it? No – you’re not. That’s why He gives us each new day….that’s why His mercies are new every morning….each day is a brand new start. We ask for and receive His forgiveness when we make a wrong choice and the slate is wiped clean again. That’s why we have to “take up our cross daily and follow Him”. That’s why Paul said, “I die daily.” ( I give it up, I lay it all down at His feet, I surrender completely, I stop trying to be in control) After the initial complete surrender, from then on it’s a matter of making His nature and character the criteria for all your choices and decisions…deciding, choosing, to “do it God’s way” instead of your own. Sometimes that means searching His Word to see if you can find out WHAT His way IS. Always it means talking to Him about things and recommitting yourself to do everything His way, and not lean to your own understandings and inclinations. It means that each day we “make the choice” all over again to lay down all those things our hearts cling to, and the tendency to want to be in control. Each day we choose all over again to reject our own desires in favor of HIS wishes. We “give up” control, we abandon our own devices and understanding of how we think things “ought to be” and defer to His incredible eternal wisdom and understanding. And as He continually purifies our hearts and minds and sanctifies our souls and spirits, the desire to sin begins to wane and we find that we are walking freely and easily in His ways and we have no desire to be anywhere else.




This all brings us back around to “the cost”. Because the enemy knows what happens when a human creation of God begins to understand what it’s all about and how it all works, he panics and will turn hell upside down to prevent your surrender. He knows that once you have counted the cost and have made an “informed choice” to surrender complete control of your life back to Abba, he has lost you for good. Once you find out through experience (as I have) what your life will become through absolute surrender, love, trust and obedience, you will know FOR YOURSELF that God’s ways REALLY ARE the BEST ways and you will begin to HATE self-determination because it has the power to ROB you and CHEAT you out of the totally awesome life that awaits you at the foot of the cross. Once you understand what it’s all about, you will be afraid of wanting your own way because you understand where that path leads, and you’ll give it a WIDE BERTH!!!!

So satan will assault you with every awful “what if” he can think of to dissuade you from making that irrevocable commitment. He’ll parade all your fears before you and try to make you think that Abba is a big “meany” who just wants you to be miserable, that you won’t have any “fun” any more. He’ll parade financial ruin, loss of loved ones and family before you. He’ll accuse you, abuse you and “excuse” you. He’ll use your desires to keep you from surrender – he’ll tell you God won’t let you have them. He’ll threaten your marriage, he’ll shame you with your past; I could go on and on with all that the enemy will try to prevent your surrender because he knows all too well what will happen to his power over you when you DO surrender – he will HAVE no more power over you.

So what do you do? You look at the whole parade of "what-ifs" in the light of the victory over sin that you will gain, and you realize that what God is offering you is that sweet, loving, trusting, joyous, peaceful state of dependence on Abba that results in intimate friendship with God – not just a passing acquaintance, but a deep, intimate heart-sharing love relationship with your wonderful Abba wherein He will continually reveal more and more of His heart to you.

The Word says, “the SECRET of the Lord IS WITH THEM THAT FEAR HIM (that means honor Him, hold Him in high regard, be in awe of Him, make Him a priority) and THEM will He show His ways.” There is a place you can come to, and that He is EAGER to bring you to, in relationship with Him where He will share some of His secrets with you. He will confide in you what’s in His heart and His mind…yes, you CAN know “the mind of Christ”….He will let you know what He’s thinking, what He’s feeling, what His heart is. He’ll teach you His WAYS!!! Any Christian can see what God DOES (His acts), but those who are completely surrendered will come to understand HOW He does them and WHY He does them (His WAYS). To them He shows “the bigger picture” and gives them understanding of “how it all works” and “what it’s all about”.

Because I now understand so much more of the picture than ever before, it has become the greatest joy of my life to surrender, to be broken, to “lay it all down”, to “give it all up”. Doing so does NOT bring you LOSS….IT BRINGS YOU GAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! You GAIN BY LOSING!!!!


I want to comment on this some more, but as of now, it's pretty late, and I don't do cerebral too well at this time of night.
I will definitely post more tomorrow, though.

I've missed this topic!!

Friend of I AM
Dec 14th 2007, 12:06 PM
Hey cloud(sun)

Welcome back. We missed you! I thought my brashness and stupidity had scared another person away. I hope that you continue to post in here for a long while. God bless my sister.

Stephen

edit: continue back to topic

Mograce2U
Dec 14th 2007, 05:04 PM
Ummmm....would you please do a "quote" on the portion of what I said that made you think I was only talking about "ceasing from sin"? I either didn't make myself clear enough or you misunderstood me.

HootNothing in particular, I just wanted to add this emphasis is all. :D

elsa
Dec 14th 2007, 05:29 PM
My dad was a preacher, though he died when I was only 6, and I was raised in the church, hearing the gospel all my life. I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was a child, and as a teenager, I made a deliberate choice to receive Jesus into my life. But what I didn't understand was that it was still MY life. I asked Him in to be my savior, but He was most definitely NOT my LORD. I struggled with same-sex attraction from my teens, and had my first lesbian affair at 19. You have probably read what I wrote about that, so I won't repeat all that. (If you haven't, and want to, you can read it here http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=100000). I struggled and struggled and struggled to be a good Christian and to live a Christian life. But it was still MY life, and I expected Jesus to help me live MY life. Nothing I ever did seemed to be good enough, and I failed repeatedly until I finally got so tired of not knowing what it was God wanted from me, and tired of chasing carrots on the end of a stick...which I felt were the promises of God that never came true in my life. There was very little genuiness in my life, but I put on a real good show. I was a "pillar" in the church because I knew the Word of God, and I knew all the right things to say, and I knew doctrine and theology. I had all my doctrinal ducks in a row, and everyone thought I was such a giant of a Christian. But I knew I was a fraud. It wasn't that I wasn't saved. I really did LOVE Jesus and WANT to do what I was supposed to do. And I tried my best. But I couldn't do it. So in anger and frustration and despair, I turned my back on God and threw myself with a vengeance into the lesbian lifestyle.

When He came and confronted me in the vision He gave me, and I surrendered, for the next several years, He began shooting all my doctrinal ducks and demolishing my faulty belief structure and giving me a solid foundation that would keep me strong in the storms of life. I still weep when I think about the person I used to be, and the person I am now, and I realize that maybe, if someone had taught me what sin really was, and WHY Jesus's death on the cross provided atonement for my sin, and that it was obedience and surrender that was what was desired, and that it was not possible for me to be 100% obedient, but that I didn't have to be, because Jesus WAS....maybe I could have surrendered much earlier and not had to go through the things I did.

For more than 30 years I suffered from the deepest of depressions....was on massive doses of anti-depressants, was sometimes catatonic I was so deep in depression.....tried SO MANY times to commit suicide, and even once to commit murder. I spent time in a mental hospital, locked up on suicide watch. Now I NEVER get depressed. I sometimes get a little blue, but it doesn't last, and thoughts of suicide are the furthest thing from my mind. I guess one of the major things the Holy Spirit has taught me in the last 7 years is the difference between religion and relationship with Jesus. Even though I was saved, religion gave me a false sense of security and prevented me from pressing into relationship with Jesus because I thought what I had was all there was. Boy was I wrong!!

When I returned to the Lord, I began to study the book of Proverbs again, a book which always held a fascination for me. I began to pray, "Lord, give me wisdom and understanding, discernment and insight." His reply was this, "Before you can gain wisdom and understanding and discernment, you must first understand what sin really is, and what really happened in the Garden of Eden." And He took me back into Genesis and began to open up the eyes of my understanding, and over the next several months, He taught me about sin, and about surrender, about disobedience and obedience; about why Jesus had to be born of a virgin, and why He had to die on the cross (the answer might be something you haven't thought of before), and how what He did on the cross actually REVERSED what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden.

Understanding was the first thing that I started to gain. Then, as I began to understand, I began to gain discernment, and then, although I am still growing in all of these, I began to make wise choices and take wise courses of action.

What the Holy Spirit taught me in those months had a lot to do with the difference between religion and relationship. The results of that tutoring are a radically changed life, a building on a firm foundation that weathers the storms....a joy and a peace and hope I'd never known before, and a relationship with Jesus that has turned a self-hating fraud into a beloved child of God who delights in His presence.

Before my surrender I hated myself so much that I repeatedly tried to murder myself. I couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror. Now when I look in the mirror, I see a friend. You can't possibly know how good that feels unless it's happened to you.

I'd like to share in this thread some of the things that the Holy Spirit taught me that so radically changed my life. There's quite a bit of content, so I'm breaking it down into sections, and I will post one every few days and then leave time for discussion and/or questions.

For today I'm just going to wait for responses to this post, and I'll post the first of the study segments tomorrow. The first one will be on the difference between religion and relationship with Jesus, and how we build our religious belief-structures and why they often come crumbling down and we become disillusioned and begin to lose our faith and trust in God. Unless the Lord changes direction, the second one will be on "surrender" and "death to self" and what that really means. During the course of the study, I also want to share what the Lord taught me about why it sometimes seems like God doesn't keep His promises...even when we REALLY BELIEVE His Word. That was a really big deal for me and was one of the factors in my turning away from Him.

I hope and pray that what the Holy Spirit taught me that has been so powerful will also minister to you and change your life the way it has changed mine.
I certainly understand the self hatred and despaair and also thankgod the joy and release at this time the darkness is back but i know that my redeemer liveth and will again,,, rescue this choild of HIS for when I am faithless HE remains FAITHJFULL Please pray lead to thankyou shalom

sunburst
Dec 15th 2007, 01:39 AM
Hey cloud(sun)

Welcome back. We missed you! I thought my brashness and stupidity had scared another person away. I hope that you continue to post in here for a long while. God bless my sister.

Stephen

edit: continue back to topic


Hey, Stephen;

LOL....Nah, I don't scare away THAT easily.

Anyhow, thanks for the welcome.....I'm laying hands on my computer as we speak (lol). Hopefully, it holds up.

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 01:41 AM
Hey, Stephen;

LOL....Nah, I don't scare away THAT easily.

Anyhow, thanks for the welcome.....I'm laying hands on my computer as we speak (lol). Hopefully, it holds up.

Awsome. Don't be keystroking that fast now...you're going to break your fingernails..;)

AliveinChristDave
Dec 15th 2007, 05:12 AM
Ok...so now the baby Christian either goes to the church where the person who led him to the Lord goes, or he asks around or looks in the phone book to find a "good, Bible-believing church" where he can attend and learn how he's supposed to act and what he's supposed to do now that he has asked Jesus to come into his heart. So he sits in the congregation and listens to the pastor talk about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and he talks with other Christians and listens to them and watches what they do and say. He listens to them pray so that he can learn how. If he's a reader, he may read lots of Christian books and listen to Christian music. He hears the words of the hymns and choruses. He may go to retreats and conferences and seminars. From everything he's heard and seen and all of the input he receives about God and all things "Christian", he begins to build an image in his head of what God is like. He puts things he hears and reads and sees into places where they "fit" into his limited understanding and as time goes on, he forms an image of a God that he can relate to. To the extent that he keeps God within the confines of his beliefs, he limits God to the realm of his own understanding. Reading and hearing all the promises of God, he now expects certain things to happen because that's what the word of God SAYS will happen. With the current way that God is so often presented, he begins to believe that God should do whatever he WANTS God to do, because the Word says that whatever we ask in His name, He'll do. Very often these days, a new believer comes to expect God to serve HIM, instead of the other way around, and there are plenty of doctrines out there and teachers out there that espouse that very idea. So now, whether consciously or subconsciously he begins to form the idea that he can live this Christian life with God to help him. (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.) Unfortunately, in most cases these days, the new Christian has not been taught about surrender, has not been taught that he is to give over total control of his life, his past, his present and his future into the hands of a loving God who will TAKE his life and EXCHANGE IT for His own. The new one is taught that he can have everything without giving his life for the One who gave HIS life for him (the new Christian).

There is a tragic tendency these days for people to project a salvation which costs the sinner nothing. Repentance is neither explained nor expected. People want that which costs them nothing. It's a "freebie" society. We have cheapened grace to the point where the sinner can have salvation without turning away from his sin, simply expecting God to forgive him over and over and over. We have developed a mentality that "it's easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission". We want to do exactly what we want to do and we still expect God to bless us in our endeavours.

So....here's the new baby Christian now armed with all kinds of knowledge about God. Now he knows how things are SUPPOSED to work. He now has a belief structure built upon the foundation of what he has been TOLD and what he has READ, and what he has SEEN.

BUT...and this is a BIG "BUT".....the road to salvation, the road to the kingdom of God, the road to heaven goes THROUGH the cross. The cross means DEATH. It means laying down your life. It means laying down your past, your present, AND your future in the dust at the foot of the cross. It means laying down control of your life. More on this in the upcoming segment on Surrender and death to self.

Jesus's death on the cross was preceded by a death that was just as real the night before....in the garden where He prayed. It was there that He struggled in the throes of death to His own will. He could have saved Himself, but He didn't. Jesus couldn't go around the cross, He couldn't go over the cross, or under the cross. The ONLY WAY to the resurrection life that He knew awaited Him on the other side of the cross was to go THROUGH it. The ONLY WAY to victory over the power of sin was THROUGH the cross. Jesus had to die to who He was. He had to die to what He could do. He had to die to what could have been. He had to die to the temptation to take matters into His own hands to achieve the desired end without the required end.

The CROSS is the solid rock upon which our belief structures must be built, or all that we build will never stand. You can have all the knowledge in the world about the Bible and doctrine...you may even study theology. You may be a virtual fountain of sound doctrine. But all of your knowledge will not save you or help you if you do not have the right foundation.

We build very complex belief structures, and the more we know, the more our belief structures control our lives and our actions and attitudes. Our belief structures will influence everything in our lives, and so whenever someone attacks our belief structures, we defend them vigorously, and sadly, sometimes viciously, because if our belief structure should crumble, we are left with nothing and all we have invested in the building of it is lost. If our belief structure is proven to be faulty or someone comes along who is able to challenge our beliefs in such a manner as to cause us to doubt and question, and become confused, then we become disillusioned with God and salvation and we are shaken to the core, and often our belief structure comes tumbling down in some very painful ways. If our trust has been in "living the right life", "saying the right things", "doing the right things", "thinking the right things", then when things happen that fly in the face of what we have come to understand as the way things should be, our very faith is shaken and can come tumbling down around our ears, and many never recover. Many are so disillusioned with God and Christianity that they walk away from Him altogether.

You see, you can be a Christian and never go THROUGH the cross. Will you be saved? Most likely. Will you ever have the joy unspeakable and full of glory? Probably not. Will you ever have victory over the power of sin in your life? Probably not. Will you ever have the peace that passes understanding, or hope that endures? Not likely. You see, you can have a certain amount of life on this side of the cross; you can have a certain amount of joy, and peace and hope and provision on "this side of the cross", but the ABUNDANT LIFE, the JOY UNSPEAKABLE, the HOPE THAT ENDURES, the PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING, and the SUPPLY of ALL YOUR NEEDS are only found on the OTHER SIDE of the Cross. You can survive or exist on this side of the cross, but you will never know the true meaning of life until you go THROUGH that death. You will never experience the power of the resurrection without first dying the death.

The CROSS is the singular most important aspect of salvation. We ignore the cross because it's uncomfortable, because it reminds us of the absolute necessity of death to everything we hold most dear and precious.

The sad thing about the way salvation is presented today is that seldom does anyone actually take the new believer under their wing and disciple him in the need to develop a deep, intimate personal RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. The new believer learns to pray by listening to others pray in public, and he seldom learns how to pray in the still of the quiet times in the presence of God. He never learns how to truly bare what's in the very depths of his soul. He hears Christians speak about hearing God speak to them, and he doesn't hear God speak to HIM, so he gets the idea that he doesn't rate with God or God would speak to him too. He wonders what he is doing wrong that God won't speak to him, and gets the idea that God plays favorites. No one sits down with him and explains the different ways that God speaks. No one shows him what real RELATIONSHIP with God looks like, nor teaches him the necessity of putting that special time with God each day at the top of his priority list.

Carl Jung said that religion is "the opiate of the masses", and I think that's the only thing he ever said that I agree with. Religion, religious knowledge, religious activity, religious belief structures, those things that make us feel that we are "all right", even though there is emptiness deep inside of us that is never satisfied...that kind of religion is one of the most detrimental things that we can have.

Satan is not the slightest bit afraid of religious people. In fact, some of his best servants are religious people....some of his best tools are religious people. As long as people are busy with religion and believe they are doing the right things, he does not have to worry about them. They are no threat to him. But you let a person who has a deep, personal, intimate RELATIONSHIP with Jesus and with Abba and with the Holy Spirit begin to pray and begin to tread on satan's territory, and satan begins shaking in his boots because he KNOWS that a person who has been THROUGH the cross HAS the victory over the power of sin, and that person HAS the authority of Christ Himself because he has hung on the cross with Christ, he has died with Christ, he is risen with Christ, and he REIGNS with Christ.

I was religious almost all my life, but it wasn't enough to keep me. There was a deep down inside me emptiness that nothing could satisfy. I had no power over sin, I had no peace, no life worth living, no joy, and no hope. I couldn't let anyone know how empty I was because they all looked up to me as some sort of spiritual giant. But I knew I was living a lie. Was I saved? Yes...I had asked Jesus to come into my heart and be my savior. I had repented of my sins and tried with everything in me to turn away from them. I truly did LOVE Jesus and I wanted very much to please Him. But it wasn't enough to satisfy my soul. It wasn't enough to set me free. I never did find "enough" until I went THROUGH the cross and died to everything I held precious and dear. It has ONLY been in sweet, intimate RELATIONSHIP with Jesus that my soul has found that for which I had longed and searched all my life.

(to be continued)
All I can say is Amen Sister. Keep writing.

Kingsdaughter
Dec 17th 2007, 10:13 PM
It's been awhile since I've posted anything new here. I was waiting for permission to post something copyrighted, but decided not to use it after all. So I'm reposting just a portion of the last post before the word studies on Dependence and Independence, to try to pick up the train of thought again. If this doesn't help, you can go back and read more for continuity.

We're almost done with this study.

So how do we deal the death-blow to sin? What finally gives us the power over sin? What gives us the victory over the sin-nature?

In the same way that Adam’s “choosing” to “take up” his own way and be independent brought us INTO the ways of death, defeat and eternal damnation, the “choice” to “lay it down”, “give it up”, “surrender it forever”, “completely abandon it”, brings us OUT of it. We return to a state of love, trust and obedience in our relationship with the Father, as by His grace He sanctifies our souls and purifies our hearts. We surrender unconditionally, and by His indwelling grace He brings about the changes that we cannot accomplish ourselves.

Let’s take another look at Andrew Murray’s “The Two Covenants”



This is a decision – a choice – that we make that, for the rest of our life, no matter what happens, no matter what it costs us, we will choose to love, trust and obey our Father and to depend utterly at all times on His love and His wisdom and His ways.

It’s ALL about RELATIONSHIP with our Father. That’s what EVERYTHING is all about. Everything that has ever happened has been about relationship with God. Those who choose to have it, will have it and will have all of the blessing, life, joy, peace, etc. that goes with it. Those who choose NOT to have it will have all the horrible results of their choice. Look around you at the world. The whole mentality of mankind today is “Do it yourself”, “I did it MY way”, “If it feels good, do it”, “Whatever turns you on”. And look at the fruit of that mindset….a world of chaos and pain, fear, guilt, shame, depression, depravity and everything else that goes with the territory.

So what happens if you count the cost and you decide to make that “forever” commitment and you “blow it” by wanting your own way about something and/or taking matters into your own hands to “make it turn out like you want it to”? Are you doomed to death because you blew it? No – you’re not. That’s why He gives us each new day….that’s why His mercies are new every morning….each day is a brand new start. We ask for and receive His forgiveness when we make a wrong choice and the slate is wiped clean again. That’s why we have to “take up our cross daily and follow Him”. That’s why Paul said, “I die daily.” ( I give it up, I lay it all down at His feet, I surrender completely, I stop trying to be in control) After the initial complete surrender, from then on it’s a matter of making His nature and character the criteria for all your choices and decisions…deciding, choosing, to “do it God’s way” instead of your own. Sometimes that means searching His Word to see if you can find out WHAT His way IS. Always it means talking to Him about things and recommitting yourself to do everything His way, and not lean to your own understandings and inclinations. It means that each day we “make the choice” all over again to lay down all those things our hearts cling to, and the tendency to want to be in control. Each day we choose all over again to reject our own desires in favor of HIS wishes. We “give up” control, we abandon our own devices and understanding of how we think things “ought to be” and defer to His incredible eternal wisdom and understanding. And as He continually purifies our hearts and minds and sanctifies our souls and spirits, the desire to sin begins to wane and we find that we are walking freely and easily in His ways and we have no desire to be anywhere else.

This all brings us back around to “the cost”. Because the enemy knows what happens when a human creation of God begins to understand what it’s all about and how it all works, he panics and will turn hell upside down to prevent your surrender. He knows that once you have counted the cost and have made an “informed choice” to surrender complete control of your life back to Abba, he has lost you for good. Once you find out through experience (as I have) what your life will become through absolute surrender, love, trust and obedience, you will know FOR YOURSELF that God’s ways REALLY ARE the BEST ways and you will begin to HATE self-determination because it has the power to ROB you and CHEAT you out of the totally awesome life that awaits you at the foot of the cross. Once you understand what it’s all about, you will be afraid of wanting your own way because you understand where that path leads, and you’ll give it a WIDE BERTH!!!!

So satan will assault you with every awful “what if” he can think of to dissuade you from making that irrevocable commitment. He’ll parade all your fears before you and try to make you think that Abba is a big “meany” who just wants you to be miserable, that you won’t have any “fun” any more. He’ll parade financial ruin, loss of loved ones and family before you. He’ll accuse you, abuse you and “excuse” you. He’ll use your desires to keep you from surrender – he’ll tell you God won’t let you have them. He’ll threaten your marriage, he’ll shame you with your past; I could go on and on with all that the enemy will try to prevent your surrender because he knows all too well what will happen to his power over you when you DO surrender – he will HAVE no more power over you.

So what do you do? You look at the whole parade of "what-ifs" in the light of the victory over sin that you will gain, and you realize that what God is offering you is that sweet, loving, trusting, joyous, peaceful state of dependence on Abba that results in intimate friendship with God – not just a passing acquaintance, but a deep, intimate heart-sharing love relationship with your wonderful Abba wherein He will continually reveal more and more of His heart to you.

The Word says, “the SECRET of the Lord IS WITH THEM THAT FEAR HIM (that means honor Him, hold Him in high regard, be in awe of Him, make Him a priority) and THEM will He show His ways.” There is a place you can come to, and that He is EAGER to bring you to, in relationship with Him where He will share some of His secrets with you. He will confide in you what’s in His heart and His mind…yes, you CAN know “the mind of Christ”….He will let you know what He’s thinking, what He’s feeling, what His heart is. He’ll teach you His WAYS!!! Any Christian can see what God DOES (His acts), but those who are completely surrendered will come to understand HOW He does them and WHY He does them (His WAYS). To them He shows “the bigger picture” and gives them understanding of “how it all works” and “what it’s all about”.

Because I now understand so much more of the picture than ever before, it has become the greatest joy of my life to surrender, to be broken, to “lay it all down”, to “give it all up”. Doing so does NOT bring you LOSS….IT BRINGS YOU GAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! You GAIN BY LOSING!!!!

You are so right Hoot and this can only be revealed through the Holy Spirit, so glory to God for using you to speak to us.
I have to CHOOSE to lay down my life, to crucify this flesh and follow Him, everyday. The enemy is a liar! And whenever I think that my way is better than His, it is a lie. When I die to myself and give up ALL control, and let the Lord take control of everything in my life, including me, it is then..I am truly ALIVE!
Whenever I sin I feel so bad, like I hurt God and I feel like I failed Him so I want to DO something for the Lord to make up for it, as if the Lord would say to me," okay daughter, good job, you are now forgiven." But that too is a lie, because the bible says that my own righteousness is but a filthy rag in His sight and that I didn't do anything to earn my salvation, it was all HIM! He did it for me..JESUS PAID FOR MY SINS AT THE CROSS!!!.I did absolutely NOTHING to deserve it! GRACE, THIS AMAZING GRACE,Oh here come the tears. How awesome you are Lord! theres just not enough words to explain how I feel right now. How could He save me, when I was so horrible and full of pride.
So when I sin, I go to Him and confess, and repent! And He forgives me, covers my sins with His blood and washes me white as snow so that I can begin a new day in fellowship with Him. He fills me once again with joy, love and peace. We have that intimacy back...JUST LIKE THAT! What a God we serve, He's soooo incredible, He's cool, He's funny, He's wise, He is my Father, He is my best friend, He is my doctor, He is my teacher, He is my Husband, He is the lover of my soul, He protects me,He takes care of me. He provides ALL of my needs. He is my lawyer, my Advocate! He is my everything!!!
I went off there a little bit, I just had to share:)God bless you sister Hoot and thank you:hug:

hootinannie
Dec 29th 2007, 08:45 AM
Just wanted to bump this up and let everyone who's been reading this know that I haven't posted the last segment because I've been away from my own computer for awhile (dog-sitting), but will be back on my own puter Jan. 2, so will post the last segment then.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE, AND MAY EACH DAY BE BLESSED AND MAY YOU PROSPER AND BE IN GOOD HEALTH. :) :hug:

Love in Christ,
Hoot

DoinMyBest
Dec 30th 2007, 07:40 AM
Just wanted to bump this up and let everyone who's been reading this know that I haven't posted the last segment because I've been away from my own computer for awhile (dog-sitting), but will be back on my own puter Jan. 2, so will post the last segment then.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE, AND MAY EACH DAY BE BLESSED AND MAY YOU PROSPER AND BE IN GOOD HEALTH. :) :hug:

Love in Christ,
Hoot
:hug: to you, as well.
In His Love.

Jesusinmyheart
Dec 30th 2007, 06:54 PM
Dear Hoot,
i've enjoyed your thread tremendously, though i would disagree with you a little bit on the function of the Law, as i believe this is the guide by which we know God's will and where He expects us to obey. I would also disagree that people in the OT did not have the Holy Spirit, though i can't say you said that, cause i don't remember who did.
Granted not too many may have circumcised their hearts, and allowed the Holy Spirit in.

Speaking of which, there is certainly something we can do, which is not a good thing, called quenching the Holy Spirit.

The work of the Holy Spirit IMO is that He explains to us the deeper layers of the Law.

Now, i do not wish to get into a debate with you and disturb this thread, so i will talk about what you wrote that i really appreciated and got a lot out of and even read to my family:


Let’s take a look at a dead person. A dead person cannot say what they want done with their carcass. The person could make their wishes known before their death, but once they die, if their family chooses not to abide by their wishes, there’s nothing they can do about it. Dead people have no ties to or influence on family or friends. Dead people have nothing to say about their present, past or future. They have no plans, no hopes, no dreams, no desires, no ambitions, no wishes and no rights. Dead people have no control. They have no possessions. They have no control over things, other people or events. They have no power or influence. They have no treasures or resources. They make no decisions or plans. In short, dead people have nothing to say about ANYTHING!!!

On the positive side, dead people have no worries or cares; they do not feel sadness or grief. They have no remorse or regrets, no guilt or shame. You cannot threaten them, frighten them, bribe them, intimidate them, manipulate them, offend them, embarrass or humiliate them. They do not get their feelings hurt. They do not struggle or strive.

You've afterwards talked about obedience, and following God's authority.

This brought to mind after mulling things over this scripture:

Mat 8:8 But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Mat 8:9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.

This shows a faith in action on a level that very few seem to possess these days.

The Scriptures particularly the NT calls us to be overcomers.
There's a dying to oneself. There are also the provisions of God.

I'm still learning and trying to understand all of this, desiring to understand God's love to the fullest extend.

I do disagree with you also in one more point that the New Covenant is different than the old in that you said the Old covenant had the condition of people obeying and God saying he then will be their God.

In the OT God repeats this theme in a way where it is future tense. In the NT it is repeated

Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
Heb 8:8 For he finds fault with them when he says: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

I see both covenants being contingent on the fact that both people know God and His laws having them in their hearts and minds. This is what seals the deal. God never expected perfection even in the OT times IMO because then Abraham screwed up when he lais with Hagar knowing God said Sarah would have a son. Yes, People back then screwed up, and people still screw up, i screw up more than i'd like.
We all do. the matter is as you said being dead to oneself to pick up our cross and following His will the same way Yeshua did, all the way unto death.

I've spent a ton of time lately muling the very things you are sharing here over, and i applaud you for this thread. I hope you don't mind me throwing in where my views differ. It's more of a comparing notes kind of deal. So as not to derail the thread maybe we can take further discussions to a private level if you desire.

I agree with you that His blood washes us clean just like a parent's love washes the child who made a mistake, confessed and shows the will to do better.

I loved your discussion of the provision of God, which i see as a child, being loved and cared for, and how being rebellious makes it so much harder.

This is something i will read to my oldest, because she has an extremely strong inclination to do her own thing and therefore she gains my wrath often enough, and it grieves me at my heart. God sent me two so extremely different children, which are a prime example of these types of scenarios you tried to describe.

I am very pleased when my younger daughter replies to my request without backtalk, or difficulties such as whining groaning, and doing a good job, whereas i'm displeased by my older daughter, who will often whine, fuss and even scream when i ask her to do a simple task. I can easily see who will get the "well done good and faithful servant"

Do i forgive my oldest, yes, but as times goes by, and she matures, she will one day be on her own, left to make her own decisions. She will also meet increasing difficulties based on her actions, as well as stricter measurements against her rebellion. Be that my own or the hand of other authorities, should she continue in this way.
I also think of different ways to try and make her understand what results her actions will have if she is like that.

There comes a day where i will not be able to save her hide should she be of age at that time. I believe the same applies to us, that there comes a day where it's possible to have crossed that threshold and that line. I think you would agree with that as i read your testimony.

God was not able to save more than 8 people by the water, when He flooded the earth. All others had decided to do what they wanted to do. That option is still open to anyone today, free will as always.

You spoke of counting the cost, and you spoke of a time when you thought you had your ducks in a row but didn't.

Let me share my thoughts on that.
When you were that Christian that knew all the lines, and yet didn't know how to walk the walk, you were still being used by God, I'm sure, because God doesn't waste anything.
I look at it more as a time of being inexperienced, and infantile. I bet many Christians go through this, i know i did.

If God has called you, you will reach a point where you have to count the cost. It's like a breaking point, a point of no return once you chose to go forward, but a point that once you accept, you gain the rewards and promises of God.

We all grow at different rates, but the problem with many, i believe is, that they believe that there's nothing we have to do, which goes contrary to scriptures. There are words such as "chose life", "follow me", "deny yourself", "overcome"
and so on.
The question as you said, is how do we get to that point and start desiring to be obedient children, doing things out of love for our Father ?

In my experience, this has been the asking of my Father, to reveal Himself to me, to give me understanding about Himself, to show Himself to me, and this worked via the scriptures, learning the truth, of what the Father is like. I also asked Him for the Holy Spirit.

I asked Him for understanding and wisdom, and i received that. I asked Him to reveal Himself and He did. The scriptures are a character map of God, by which we get to know Him, and understand Him, and when that happens we develop a close relationship with Him through His Word.

At least that is how it was for me.

Thanks again Hoot, for sharing this.

Shalom,
Tanja

hootinannie
Jan 1st 2008, 12:19 AM
Dear Hoot,
i've enjoyed your thread tremendously, though i would disagree with you a little bit on the function of the Law, as i believe this is the guide by which we know God's will and where He expects us to obey. I would also disagree that people in the OT did not have the Holy Spirit, though i can't say you said that, cause i don't remember who did.
Granted not too many may have circumcised their hearts, and allowed the Holy Spirit in.

Thank you....I'm glad you've enjoyed this thread. I just want to say up front that it's OK if you don't agree with me on some things. The Lord seems to have each one of us in different places of understanding on so many things, and for two people's understanding on the same points to be different often just means that they're looking at the same things from different perspectives....much like the 7 blind men looking at an elephant from their own perspectives, each thinking they had the full truth about what an elephant was like, but none having the whole picture. None of them were wrong in their analysis of what an elephant was like, but each of them only had part of the overall truth of the matter.

I don't have any deep-seated "need" for people to come around to seeing things or understanding things the way I do. I've been sharing what I've learned in time spent with the Lord, and if I am only "seeing through a glass darkly" or catching a clouded glimpse of the truth, I am sure that the Holy Spirit will clarify matters at some point. Until then, I must walk in the light I have. If something has spoken to your heart, or the hearts of other readers, praise God. All I know is that what I have shared here has made RADICAL changes in my life for the better and has helped me to understand the nature of sin and its consequences, and has helped me to develop a criteria by which I try always to live my life, and that criteria has guided my life in God's ways and has given me an overview of the "bigger picture" which has brought understanding to me of God and His ways and His great heart of mercy, compassion, grace and love.

I have no need to "defend my position" or to attack yours or anyone else's. Take whatever speaks to your heart and leave whatever you disagree with.

Speaking of which, there is certainly something we can do, which is not a good thing, called quenching the Holy Spirit.

The work of the Holy Spirit IMO is that He explains to us the deeper layers of the Law.

Now, i do not wish to get into a debate with you and disturb this thread, so i will talk about what you wrote that i really appreciated and got a lot out of and even read to my family:

You've afterwards talked about obedience, and following God's authority.

This brought to mind after mulling things over this scripture:

Mat 8:8 But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Mat 8:9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.

This shows a faith in action on a level that very few seem to possess these days.

The Scriptures particularly the NT calls us to be overcomers.
There's a dying to oneself. There are also the provisions of God.

I'm still learning and trying to understand all of this, desiring to understand God's love to the fullest extend.

I do disagree with you also in one more point that the New Covenant is different than the old in that you said the Old covenant had the condition of people obeying and God saying he then will be their God.

In the OT God repeats this theme in a way where it is future tense. In the NT it is repeated

Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
Heb 8:8 For he finds fault with them when he says: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

I see both covenants being contingent on the fact that both people know God and His laws having them in their hearts and minds. This is what seals the deal. God never expected perfection even in the OT times IMO because then Abraham screwed up when he lais with Hagar knowing God said Sarah would have a son. Yes, People back then screwed up, and people still screw up, i screw up more than i'd like.
We all do. the matter is as you said being dead to oneself to pick up our cross and following His will the same way Yeshua did, all the way unto death.

Yes, you are correct here. As far as the law goes, God did not expect perfection in either the OT or the NT...He knew man was incapable of perfection (still is). But in the OT, man was given the law to show him the nature of sin and that man was not capable of keeping the law by his own efforts. A few people such as Abraham, David, Moses, etc. took God's law into their hearts and really DESIRED to keep God's law because they loved Him. Yes, Abraham "screwed up", as did David and Moses and many others. Notice, though, that in each case of their "screwing up", it was BECAUSE they "took matters into their own hands to achieve their desired end". Abraham took matters into his own hands to help God's promise along...thus Hagar and Ishmael entered the picture, and ever since, Ishmael has been the poster boy for "self-determination" in mankind, and has brought untold heartache and disaster upon God's people. David "took matters into his own hands" to get Bathsheba, (his desired outcome) and committed both murder and adultery. Moses knew he was to be the deliverer of God's chosen people, but instead of waiting on God's orders, he "took matters into his own hands" and wound up killing an Egyptian and spending 40 years on the back side of the desert tending sheep. All three men had God's commandments, precepts and statutes written in their hearts and desired to walk in God's ways and to know God. All three men screwed up by taking matters into their own hands instead of waiting for God to act (in David's case, God would have said "NO, Bathsheba does not belong to you".) In the NT, God sent Jesus to fulfill the requirement of perfection FOR us, and in sending His Holy Spirit to dwell WITHIN us, He was then able to write His law upon our hearts (tablets of flesh rather than tablets of stone) so that all those who received Christ as the atonement for their guilt would have His commandments written on a heart that desires to obey Him, even though we often fail in our obedience. The indwelling Holy Spirit gives the POWER to be obedient to His commands.

I've spent a ton of time lately muling the very things you are sharing here over, and i applaud you for this thread. I hope you don't mind me throwing in where my views differ. It's more of a comparing notes kind of deal. So as not to derail the thread maybe we can take further discussions to a private level if you desire.

No, I don't mind you throwing in where your views differ. As I said, it's ok for you to not agree with me on every point.

I agree with you that His blood washes us clean just like a parent's love washes the child who made a mistake, confessed and shows the will to do better.

I loved your discussion of the provision of God, which i see as a child, being loved and cared for, and how being rebellious makes it so much harder.

This is something i will read to my oldest, because she has an extremely strong inclination to do her own thing and therefore she gains my wrath often enough, and it grieves me at my heart. God sent me two so extremely different children, which are a prime example of these types of scenarios you tried to describe.

I am very pleased when my younger daughter replies to my request without backtalk, or difficulties such as whining groaning, and doing a good job, whereas i'm displeased by my older daughter, who will often whine, fuss and even scream when i ask her to do a simple task. I can easily see who will get the "well done good and faithful servant"

Yes, you have the perfect example in your two girls. One girl obeys because of demands of obedience from an outside source...you...your rules and expectations. But obedience is imposed upon her. The other girl has a heart that WANTS to obey. You love both girls, but one girl makes it hard on herself by wanting to be SELF-determining and independent, and if her attitude never changes, she will bring untold misery on herself in the future. The other girl, the one who WANTS to obey will have a closeness of relationship with you that the more rebellious girl won't have because of her rebellion. Yes, it's easy to see who will get the "well done good and faithful servant".

Do i forgive my oldest, yes, but as times goes by, and she matures, she will one day be on her own, left to make her own decisions. She will also meet increasing difficulties based on her actions, as well as stricter measurements against her rebellion. Be that my own or the hand of other authorities, should she continue in this way.
I also think of different ways to try and make her understand what results her actions will have if she is like that.

There comes a day where i will not be able to save her hide should she be of age at that time. I believe the same applies to us, that there comes a day where it's possible to have crossed that threshold and that line. I think you would agree with that as i read your testimony.

Yes, I thoroughly agree with that.

God was not able to save more than 8 people by the water, when He flooded the earth. All others had decided to do what they wanted to do. That option is still open to anyone today, free will as always.

You spoke of counting the cost, and you spoke of a time when you thought you had your ducks in a row but didn't.

Let me share my thoughts on that.
When you were that Christian that knew all the lines, and yet didn't know how to walk the walk, you were still being used by God, I'm sure, because God doesn't waste anything.
I look at it more as a time of being inexperienced, and infantile. I bet many Christians go through this, i know i did.

Yes, I was definitely an immature, carnal Christian. I believe that I WAS saved, but I certainly had no inkling of how to have joy or peace or life or victory over the power of sin in my life. I only wanted, like your "independent" daughter, to live MY life the way I wanted to live it, and I expected God to make MY life easier and better. I know that SOME good came from my life during that time, and you're right, God doesn't waste anything. But things were so much harder than they ever needed to be for me because of my rebellion and determination to be self-determining.

If God has called you, you will reach a point where you have to count the cost. It's like a breaking point, a point of no return once you chose to go forward, but a point that once you accept, you gain the rewards and promises of God.

Absolutely!! It most definitely was a "breaking point" and it really broke me. It was definitely also a "point of no return". As I likened it before, to stepping out of an airplane at 35,000 feet, with no parachute. Once you've made that committment, there's no going back...you can't UNJUMP back into the plane....you are committed to whatever happens, whether that means life or death or whatever else it might mean. What it means is that your outcome is no longer within your control, and that if God doesn't intervene in your behalf, you are "dead". I learned something from that breaking and that committment. Brokeness brings us into intimacy with God like nothing else can, and as a result, I have come to both love and embrace brokeness. I no longer fear brokeness. Though it is painful at times, the pain is bittersweet, and the results are intimacy with Christ, and incredible JOY, PEACE that passes understanding, ABUNDANT life, ETERNAL hope....and as you said, we gain the rewards and promises of God.

We all grow at different rates, but the problem with many, i believe is, that they believe that there's nothing we have to do, which goes contrary to scriptures. There are words such as "chose life", "follow me", "deny yourself", "overcome" and so on.

The question as you said, is how do we get to that point and start desiring to be obedient children, doing things out of love for our Father ?

In my experience, this has been the asking of my Father, to reveal Himself to me, to give me understanding about Himself, to show Himself to me, and this worked via the scriptures, learning the truth, of what the Father is like. I also asked Him for the Holy Spirit.

I asked Him for understanding and wisdom, and i received that. I asked Him to reveal Himself and He did. The scriptures are a character map of God, by which we get to know Him, and understand Him, and when that happens we develop a close relationship with Him through His Word.

At least that is how it was for me.

Yes, that's how it was for me as well. I had always been fascinated by the book of Proverbs, and saw that wisdom and understanding, discernment and insight were highly to be desired, so I began to pray for those things. God's answer was, "Before you can gain wisdom and understanding, insight and discernment, you must first understand what sin really is, and how what Jesus did in His life and death actually reversed what Adam and Eve did." So He took me back into Isaiah and Genesis and this study was the outcome of that. I have so often prayed, "Lord, even as Moses asked to know your WAYS, and the children of Israel were content to know only your ACTS, I want to know your WAYS. I want to know what's in your heart and in your mind...I want to know what makes you TICK." I realize that what I pray for will not be "plopped down" on me all at once, but is a continual process of sanctification and coming into more and more understanding as time goes by. It's just that....a PROCESS that will continue until He returns and what we now "know in part" will be revealed to us in its totality.

Thanks again Hoot, for sharing this.

Shalom,
Tanja

You're welcome. I'm glad you have gotten so much out of it. In a way, I'm sorry the study is almost over....I've gotten a lot out of the comments people have made and the understanding that has been given them. We all must walk in the light we have, trusting the Holy Spirit to shed His light on areas where we lack in understanding and wisdom.

Shalom,
Hoot

Jesusinmyheart
Jan 1st 2008, 04:43 AM
Dear Hoot,

I'm glad you're not offended, and neither do i expect anyone to see things my way. But i certainly like to share my understanding and knowledge so it can be considered.

I learn a lot when i stay open minded and consider other's views. I take what seems good and compare it to scripture, and see if it's valid.

Anyway, I do appreciate you sharing this, as i too got a lot out of it, and i'm sitting here wondering how i could show and teach my oldest to want to please me. There's got to be something i can do. It might require a change on my behalf, i feel, and maybe that's what i'll have to do. God has given us an example in Yeshua, as well as Himself for all this time, and that might be the best way to shine a light to her. So maybe i'll have to improve my relationship with her. Though it gets me that with my younger daughter i have no such issues.

Shalom,
Tanja

hootinannie
Jan 4th 2008, 04:26 AM
Well, here we finally are...at the last of the this study. Maybe the Lord will let me share the next one :) I certainly have enjoyed your comments and thoughts on all this. I have learned from you as well. Thank you for sticking with me through all the long posts and, in some cases, weeks between segments. I hope it hasn't been too hard to maintain some sense of continuity.

______________________________________________

I ended the last segment with "We GAIN by LOSING". We do. Somehow, when man chose his own ways in the Garden of Eden, and as man has chosen his own ways ever since, he has somehow missed the fact that in most cases, God's ways are the exact OPPOSITE of man's ways....or I should say, man's ways are in OPPOSITION to God's ways. We become more than conquerers by surrendering. God's power is made perfect in our weakness. Paul said, "When I am weak, then I am strong". We obtain ABUNDANT life by dying.

Because it seems so backwards, it's hard for us to believe that it could be true. The more we try to be in control, the less control we have.....the harder we grasp, the more things seem to slip through our fingers. We live our lives often times as lives of quiet desperation, and when once we begin to grasp the concept of surrender and brokenness being the road to power and wholeness, the old enemy begins to get very nervous....frantic even. So he will do anything and everything in his "book of tricks" to discourage you from letting go and letting God be in control. As I said in my last post, he will hit you with a whole string of awful probabilities and terrible prospects.

Although I've found no scriptural basis for this opinion, I'm not sure I have to have one. It is my belief that there is a demon named "What If?", and it wouldn't surprise me if he has a whole host of underlings whose sole job it is to torment people with terrible "what if?" thoughts to keep them in fear and anxiety and to keep them, if possible from being so afraid of what might happen to them that they find it impossible to trust God. So he (or they) will give you mental pictures of all the terrible things that could happen in order to prevent you from believing God and trusting Him.

Once the “whole parade” of “awful probabilities” (as satan would have you believe) has passed before you, the enemy will get right in your face and scream his “what ifs” at you. Again he will threaten you, try to intimidate you, terrorize you, bribe you and everything else he can come up with; he may try to wreak havoc in your marriage by playing on your spouse’s “ignorance of what is happening” – to distract you and get your focus off of surrender and relationship with Abba and onto your relationship with your spouse or your family.


But he can’t prevent you from making that choice; he doesn’t have power over your ability to make choices – he can only try to influence you in his favor and get you to freely make the wrong choice. God will not force you, and satan cannot force you. The choice is completely yours to make.

Surrender, “death to self” is letting go of the control of your life. It’s allowing your loving Abba to make the decisions (only He has the wisdom to make the best ones for you). It’s trusting His love and wisdom and knowing you don’t need to understand. It’s leaving the future and all of its minute details up to Him and not worrying about anything because you know Him, and you know His nature, and you know His character, and you know, in your heart that when the time comes that you need to know the details, He’ll tell you the details and until then, you just rest in Him and His love, knowing that your loving daddy is taking care of everything.

The hardest part MAY be completely giving up all your hopes and dreams, especially for young people. That does not mean you will never have them – it simply means that you will leave it ENTIRELY up to God’s wisdom and understanding and discretion, knowing that He can see far beyond your limited view and that He knows things of which you are not aware. It means that you will humbly accept His will if He, in His eternal wisdom, for some reason known only to Him, says, “no”.

That’s what “let go and let God” means.

All you have to concern yourself with in this relationship is loving Him with all your heart, trusting Him and His love and wisdom, and obeying willingly when He asks something of you.

You may wonder why (as I have) God would even WANT to have a relationship with you (or with me). Well, why do people want children? They don’t stay little and cute and compliant for long. And while they ARE little and cute and compliant you have to do EVERYTHING for them – you have to feed them and have them throw up on you, and bathe them and fix their boo-boos, and pick up after them and constantly clean their poopy bottoms, and listen to them screaming. You have to comfort them, and get them out of the messes they get into, and walk the floor with them. Why would you want to have to do all that just for cute and cuddly? Puppies are cute and cuddly too, and they don’t need bicycles and braces and a million other things that will drain your financial resources, break your heart and keep you up all night worrying about them.

Abba wants YOU for the same reasons people want children. He wants RELATIONSHIP with YOU. THAT’S what makes everything worthwhile….worth all the sacrifice and heartbreak you (and I and everyone else) cause Him. If He didn’t WANT relationship with His precious little son or daughter, He WOULDN’T HAVE CREATED YOU!!! He LOVES YOU and He WANTS YOUR love.

Do people only want children as possessions or “trophies” to show what they can do? NO! They want to love their children and want their children to love them. They want their children to KNOW them and TRUST them. Well, so does Abba. If He didn’t want relationship with you, you wouldn’t be here.

Let me just add this one thing more. When you “die” that death – when you surrender your life, it isn’t that you no longer have a life. Surrender is an EXCHANGE. You give Him YOUR life, and He gives you HIS!!! And guess who gets the better end of THAT deal?!!?! Once you make this exchange, then all YOU have to concern yourself with is loving Him, worshiping Him, talking to Him, listening to Him, obeying Him and choosing courses of action that are consistent with His nature and character. Once all your focus is on Him, and knowing Him, everything else will start to fall into place – things that you have struggled with for YEARS will begin to resolve and your life will begin to come into God’s order, and YOU WON’T HAVE TO DO IT – it will come about as a natural result of your relationship with Him. And you’ll think to yourself, “This is TOO EASY! IT JUST CAN’T BE THIS EASY!!! WHY didn’t I surrender a long time ago?”

The more time I spend with the Lord, worshiping Him, sitting at His feet, talking to Him, listening to Him, learning from Him, the less struggle I have with things that have had power over me....and it's no effort....those things just begin to drop away as I am changed more and more into His likeness through intimate relationship with Him, reflecting His nature and character, reflecting His strength and His power. I so wish that I had experienced this when I was young. My life could have been so different, so much easier, but it's never too late, and in the scope of eternity, I have only just begun to live.

May God richly bless you and make all this REAL to you, both in your understanding and in your experience. I so long to see others find what I have found in Him. He is the Pearl of Great Price, and no price is too great to pay to make Him your own.

Much love in Christ,
Hoot

RevLogos
Jan 4th 2008, 04:45 PM
Hoot,

I must say your series has been true and powerful. I have copied them to my hard drive so I may study again years from now.

There is one thing I am struggling with though. A key theme that repeats over and over is to put your trust in God. Utter and total dependence on HIM at all times are the words used.

In the real world though we do things that suggest perhaps we do not trust fully in God. We wear seat belts. We lock our doors. Some of us carry pepper spray. We go to the doctor when we are sick. We get Flu shots and vaccinate ourselves to protect against disease.

And indeed there are some Christians who do not do these things. They will not take their children to the doctor for example. At some point I believe we can take this too far and go from trusting God, to testing God. I think I know in my heart the answer but I am not able to articulate a coherent philosophy. Can you help me answer this?

In Christ,

-- rev

hootinannie
Jan 5th 2008, 09:01 PM
Hoot,

I must say your series has been true and powerful. I have copied them to my hard drive so I may study again years from now.

There is one thing I am struggling with though. A key theme that repeats over and over is to put your trust in God. Utter and total dependence on HIM at all times are the words used.

In the real world though we do things that suggest perhaps we do not trust fully in God. We wear seat belts. We lock our doors. Some of us carry pepper spray. We go to the doctor when we are sick. We get Flu shots and vaccinate ourselves to protect against disease.

And indeed there are some Christians who do not do these things. They will not take their children to the doctor for example. At some point I believe we can take this too far and go from trusting God, to testing God. I think I know in my heart the answer but I am not able to articulate a coherent philosophy. Can you help me answer this?

Hi Rev....

I think I can help here. I've been asking the Lord how to answer you, and this is what I believe He has given me.

EVERYTHING stems out of relationship first. If you don't have the intimate, personal relationship with Christ, then all that you do to try to show Him you trust Him is "cart before the horse". You first make a total surrender to Him and commit yourself totally to relationship with Him. As you spend time with Him, and as He proves His faithfulness over and over and over again, your faith and ability to trust Him for all things grows, and as you become secure in His love for you and come to KNOW in your HEART that He has only the best for you, you will trust Him more and more.

As to the other points you made, I'll say this....God created us with the ability to use "common sense". He provides for us in many different ways. I believe that it was God that gave man the knowledge and skills to provide for health care and cures. One of His own disciples (Luke) was a doctor. Seat belts save lives...common sense says to use them. I don't believe that it is a lack of faith in God to use a seat belt. Besides, it's the law, and as far as the law of man goes, wherever it does not conflict with the higher laws of God, we are to submit to the authorities that God has placed over us.

Let me give you an example you may have heard before.

There was a terrible flood in a certain town, and people were being plucked off of rooftops in the rescue efforts. One man, who was big on trusting God for everything was one of those stranded on his roof. He prayed and asked God to rescue him. A few hours later, a man came by in a boat and told the believer to get in. Strangely, the man refused and said "No, that's all right....I'm waiting on someone". So the boat left. Half a day later, another boat came by and once again the man refused to get in, simply saying "I'm waiting for someone". The man spent the cold rainy night on the roof of his house, and the flood waters continued to rise. In the dim light of early morning, a helicopter flew overhead and hovered above him, lowering a seat for him to strap himself into. The man waved the helicopter away. It left. That afternoon, the flood waters washed his house away, and the man perished in the swirling torrents. He arrived at the "pearly gates" and was escorted to the throne, a little peeved at God. He spoke up and said, "I TRUSTED you to save me, God!!! WHY did you let me die? Why didn't you save me???"

The Lord replied, "What do you mean? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!"

Well, obviously the story is just made up, but it makes a very good point. God has different ways of providing for us and protecting us. Sometimes we don't recognize His provision because it comes in a form we don't expect.

The point here is this....it is in the deepening of your relationship with God that trust will grow. To presumptuously dump all your medications down the garbage grinder (as I once did), trusting God to keep you healthy is expecting God to do it your way. NOW...THAT being said, IF in your relationship with God, God ASKS you to trust Him with your health and dump your meds down the drain, then He will also give you the faith to trust Him.

We don't prove our faith by taking "leaps of faith" that God has not asked of us....that is only presumptuous. It is presumptuous, considering the condition of the world today, to leave your house or car doors unlocked. Wisdom is a huge factor....as you grow in your relationship with God and you come to understand Him better and better, you will grow in wisdom. What would wisdom say about leaving your doors unlocked? It's not wise. Faith and trust do not require you to stop using your common sense altogether. There are times when God will ask something that goes beyond your common sense and requires steps of faith...but those are usually one step at a time, and they are usually keyed to where you are in your relationship with Christ. The closer you are to Him, the more will be asked of you in relationship to trust, and it will stretch your trust, but when you decide to be obedient and trust Him, He will show Himself 100% faithful, and you....seeing the results of your well-placed trust....will then grow in your faith and be able to trust Him that much more the next time He asks something of you. But to do something that God hasn't asked you to do, to show your trust in Him, may just backfire on you.

I don't know if you read my thread about "Why the promises of God sometimes seem to not be kept" or not, but the key to God fulfilling His promises for all that concerns you lies in whether or not you are being obedient to what He has asked of you. If you don't read any of the rest of the thread, read my first post here http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=106157&page=3

This is a perfect example of faith and presumption. On the one hand, if God has asked you to do something and given you His promises, then He will be faithful to keep His promises. On the other hand, even if you do the things He instructed, but you're not doing it in obedience to what He has asked, you can't expect the fulfillment of His promises, and your faith will be disappointed rather than increased.

NO ONE has 100% faith and trust in God all at once. That GROWS in the course of intimate personal relationship with Him....the kind of faith that obeys what is asked and sees the faithful results day in and day out is a faith in God that becomes unshakeable, immovable....it becomes a rock that will stand the storms and tests of life. You may not know ANYTHING ELSE, but you WILL KNOW YOUR GOD, and you will trust Him when all around you seems to be falling apart.

Abraham had a faith in God that was so strong that he no longer even needed to SEE the results of his faith. Abraham KNEW HIS GOD, and he knew, that because God had promised that in Isaac's seed all the nations of the world would be blessed, and because he was being obedient to what God was asking, he KNEW that even if he went through with the sacrifice of Isaac, that God would raise Isaac from the dead. How do we know that? Because of what he said to his servants when he told them that he and Isaac were going to go to a further place and worship God. He told them "WE will return". But did Abraham get this kind of faith all of a sudden? NO!!! Abraham walked with God all his life. Abraham talked with God and walked with God, and God proved His faithfulness to Abraham over and over and over, and BECAUSE Abraham KNEW his God, he could trust His God implicitly.

Moses knew his God. When he acted presumptuously and killed the Egyptian, he did not yet know his God. I believe it was the 40 years on the back side of the desert where Moses came to know his God and where he experienced God's faithfulness day in and day out, where his faith and trust in his God grew and became unshakeable.

Paul, after the road to Damascus experience, went away for three YEARS before he even went to see the other apostles to check out if what he had learned from God was correct....then he went away again for another 14 years before he began the ministry which has so changed the lives of millions down through the centuries. What was he doing those 17 years? I believe he was getting to know his God.

You see, EVERYTHING has to stem from intimate relationship with God. Why do I keep using the word "intimate"? Because there are different levels of relationship with others. You have your casual acquaintances, then there are those whom you know a little better and call "friends" but they aren't the ones you would turn to in distress...not the ones you could confide everything in, and you don't spend a lot of time "hanging out" with them. Then there are those who have stuck by you through thick and thin...those who have been a "rock" for you...whom you can trust implicitly and share anything with. They are the ones you turn to when times get hard....you know they love you and would never hurt you. They are more your family than your own family.

I realize that some reading this will say, "I've never had a friend like that". Well, don't you think it's about time you did? Jesus will be that friend for you...He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. And it's as you learn to trust Him BY TRUSTING HIM for the little things and finding Him faithful, that you will grow in your faith and be able to trust Him for the big things. But we don't get to set up the circumstances under which we will trust God and our faith will grow. God knows us so well, and He is the only one who can decide what is needed for our faith to be tested without it destroying us, but instead, building our faith more. Rest...don't go around deciding what you're gonna trust God for. When God knows that you are ready to be tested in a certain area, He will set up the circumstances for the test. Let Him be the one who engineers the circumstances.

I can't stress strongly enough that the faith and the ability to trust Him comes OUT OF intimate relationship with Him. Anything else is "cart before the horse" presumption. The intimate relationship with Him is the FOUNDATION upon which everything else is built. All we really need to do is to concentrate on our intimate relationship with Him, (seek ye first the kingdom of God) and everything else will fall into place in His way and His timing (and ALL these other things will be added unto you). When something comes up that needs to be dealt with or needs faith and trust, He will bring it up, and He WON'T bring it up before He knows you are ready to take that "leap of faith", even though YOU might NOT think you are ready. "Trust in the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him, and HE will direct your paths." And that includes building your faith and trust as you come to know Him intimately.

In His Love,
Hoot

Decided to add one thing more. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. When GOD speaks something He wants you to step out in faith for, and you hear Him and know He is speaking to you, the faith will come to obey. If you aren't spending quality time with Him in intimate communion, though, you won't hear Him speak to you in the still small voice, and if you haven't been learning to trust Him in the quiet times, you won't trust Him in the storm.

RevLogos
Jan 6th 2008, 02:38 AM
Hi Hoot,

Thanks for spending the time to develop those thoughts. These are helpful and I value your wisdom.

You speak of developing a friendship with God. Some people find God so immense, so infinitely above us, that they have a hard time getting to know God. This I think is one reason God gave us the Trinity of three persons to whom we can relate. One of the Bible verses that struck me as important early in my walk with Jesus was John 15:12-15:15:


My commandment is this — to love one another just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this — that one lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are your friends. Walk with them by your side day in and day out. An intimate friendship is a very powerful relationship. Your comments on Paul are well taken. Such a trusting relationship takes time to build and sometimes we are impatient. When I get impatient I just remember the years I walked the wide path, and thank God for His patience.

There may be another way at looking at the issue too. Last night in my evening prayers I asked for guidance on this subject. This morning on these forums in “Bible Chat” I saw a thread called “Correct your understanding - Go buy a sword!”, ostensibly about pacifism. I looked at it a bit differently and it caused me to contrast Jesus’ guidance to his disciples when going out on their own to spread the Word, early in his ministry in Luke 9, and instructions for after the crucifixion in Luke 22.

In Luke 9 they are told to take nothing with them on their travels. In Luke 22 they are told to take all of the things one would ordinarily take on potentially dangerous trips across the land. This suggested to me that we are expected to have common sense and to be pragmatic.

In my question I was looking to articulate a coherent philosophy. I think I about have it now.


Use the brain God gave you. Use your common sense, street smarts and be pragmatic. But also trust in the Lord. So if one day the Lord were to tell you to do something against common sense, such as stop in the middle of a busy freeway, have the trust and faith do it (see my thread on “The Difference between Belief, and Faith”).

walked
Jan 6th 2008, 08:13 AM
Hi Hoot !

It's been awhile, our King is still my redeemer and teacher.
I'm glad to see you are still serving the lord with the Godly energy, wisdom and love He's provided you...


God bless you more and more sweet sister!

menJesus
Jan 6th 2008, 08:42 AM
Oh, this is priceless! What wonderful knowledge you give here. God bless you, Hoot!

hootinannie
Jan 7th 2008, 01:11 AM
Hi Hoot,

Thanks for spending the time to develop those thoughts. These are helpful and I value your wisdom.

You speak of developing a friendship with God. Some people find God so immense, so infinitely above us, that they have a hard time getting to know God. This makes me so sad, because I used to feel the same way and it prevented me from coming to know Abba....I think the enemy uses this a lot to keep people away from Abba. Know what changed that for me? One day, in a mental "vision", Jesus took me (in my "vision" I was 8 years old...a critical time of my life) to the Father, and the Father took me to a PLAYGROUND and played with me for hours, and we chased each other all over the playground and rolled in the grass and tickled each other and laughed till we cried. And that day, God the Father told me to call Him "Abba", which, of course, means "Papa" or "Daddy", and that day He became the father I never had. So it makes me so sad when people are so terrified of Him. Yes, He is to be HIGHLY reverenced, respected, and held in awe, but He's not the big "meany" upstairs just waiting for someone to do something wrong so He can doom them to hell. He's not like that at ALL!!!! This I think is one reason God gave us the Trinity of three persons to whom we can relate. One of the Bible verses that struck me as important early in my walk with Jesus was John 15:12-15:15:

Jesus and the Holy Spirit are your friends. Walk with them by your side day in and day out. An intimate friendship is a very powerful relationship. Your comments on Paul are well taken. Such a trusting relationship takes time to build and sometimes we are impatient. When I get impatient I just remember the years I walked the wide path, and thank God for His patience. Yes, it does take time to build, and if we don't spend that time, we will never have that intimacy with Him. How I praise Him for His patience with me, and His grace and mercy.

There may be another way at looking at the issue too. Last night in my evening prayers I asked for guidance on this subject. This morning on these forums in “Bible Chat” I saw a thread called “Correct your understanding - Go buy a sword!”, ostensibly about pacifism. I looked at it a bit differently and it caused me to contrast Jesus’ guidance to his disciples when going out on their own to spread the Word, early in his ministry in Luke 9, and instructions for after the crucifixion in Luke 22. I haven't yet looked at that thread. I'll have to do that.

In Luke 9 they are told to take nothing with them on their travels. In Luke 22 they are told to take all of the things one would ordinarily take on potentially dangerous trips across the land. This suggested to me that we are expected to have common sense and to be pragmatic.

In my question I was looking to articulate a coherent philosophy. I think I about have it now.

Use the brain God gave you. Use your common sense, street smarts and be pragmatic. But also trust in the Lord. So if one day the Lord were to tell you to do something against common sense, such as stop in the middle of a busy freeway, have the trust and faith do it (see my thread on “The Difference between Belief, and Faith”). We're YOU the one that stopped on the freeway in Minneapolis just before the bridge collapsed? That was an AMAZING story. Aren't you glad you obeyed? WOW!!!

Hmmmmmm.....as I read your philosophy now, I realize I need to clarify something I said. I'm reminded of the scripture "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

Yes, use the brain God gave you, and yes, use common sense. But I want to distinguish a difference between "common sense" and "there is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Maybe "common sense" is not the term I should have used....I think wisdom would have been a better choice of words. Common sense smacks too much of just using your own judgment, and because mankind is prone to be "self-determining" and our thoughts are so opposite of God's thoughts and our ways are so opposite of His ways, to trust to our first inclination of "common sense" may not keep us in line with God's will.

Here is how the Holy Spirit taught me. In any given situation, I have a criteria that I use daily to guide me in God's ways, and I've found that I make a LOT FEWER MISTAKES when I use this criteria. It doesn't matter what the situation is....when I am considering what to do or what to say, or how to respond, or what my attitude should be, I look at the situation and ask myself, "Is this consistent with the nature and character of Christ as revealed in His Word and in His life?" It's more than "What would Jesus do?"....because "do" only covers one aspect. It's more a "what does Jesus say about this? How would Jesus feel about this? What would Jesus' heart be concerning this? How does my plan of action, my thinking, my attitude, my response reflect His nature and character?" If I can honestly say that my course of action/thinking/feeling is consistent with His nature and character, then it's ok for me to do. If not, I'd better make some changes. Often I have to remind myself that it doesn't matter what "the other person" did, or did to me....I don't have to answer for them....I have to answer for me, so I'd better be reflecting His nature and character.

Sometimes you will be faced with more than one option. In that case, I ask myself "Which course of action here will MOST reflect God's nature and character?" Sometimes it's 6 of one and a half dozen of the other, and it really doesn't matter to God which course of action you take, so you take the one you WANT to take....kind of like a father taking his child into a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store. The child wants to please the father, so he asks his father which flavor he should get...the father really doesn't care, in this instance, what flavor the child takes, so he leaves the choice up to the child. In that case, no one choice is any better than any other, so you have freedom to choose.

The key lies in that relationship with God/Christ/Holy Spirit (whichever one you relate to best), and in wanting to please Him and be a reflection of Christ. The more you love Him, the more you'll want to please Him and the more careful you'll be about what you do and say and think and feel.

Yes, I think "wisdom" is a better choice of words than "common sense", and let's refine it even more by saying "wisdom from God".

Often when people ask me questions, even if I can give them an answer right off the top of my head, I'm aware that if I do that, I may give them an answer that's just from my fleshly "first reaction". So I will often say, "Let me ask Abba and see what He says would be wisdom, and I'll get back to you." Then I go and ask Abba how to answer the person, and sometimes He will tell me what to say, and sometimes I just believe that because I have asked for wisdom and I sincerely believe that when I ask for wisdom, God will give it to me....as written here:

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

So after I've talked to Abba about it and asked for wisdom, then I go back and thoughtfully begin to answer the person, and it never ceases to amaze me when the things that come out of my mouth are exactly the things that need to be said. I couldn't PLAN it that well.

So, I guess my "amended" answer to you would be, not using "common sense" but using "wisdom", keeping in mind the criteria of "Is this consistent with the nature and character of Christ?" And when in doubt, don't...until you feel you have a direction that IS consistent with His nature and character.

In Christ,
Hoot

hootinannie
Jan 7th 2008, 01:17 AM
Walked!!! It's great to see you again. How are you doing? What are you doing these days? Are you back for awhile or just dropping in for a visit? It's good to see you.

me-n-Jesus....Hi there!!! I see you managed to get onto the board. It's good to see you too. I hope you have enjoyed this thread. I'm sort of sorry the study is done. I'm hoping the Lord will let me share the next one.

I'll be in Argentina from the 13th through the 30th, but I will be taking my computer with me, and there is an internet cafe there, so I'll try to drop in from time to time while I'm gone, but don't know how tired I'll be. It's nearly 100 degrees there and no air conditioning, so my strength may be sapped, and I may be too tired to post much, if any. Please be praying for our team for the rest of the month, while we are working and witnessing in the Buenos Aires/Pilar region. We will be planting 10 churches in the area. I'm praying that if the Lord still wants me to go to Argentina as a missionary volunteer, that He will open some doors for me while I'm there.

:hug: :hug: :hug:
Hoot

Equipped_4_Love
Jan 7th 2008, 01:22 AM
Sorry. Decided to erase this post. Carry on with the lesson

menJesus
Jan 16th 2008, 12:38 PM
Hi, Hoot! Yes, I finally got in here. :)


I am praying for you, dear sister. I lift you up before God daily.

hootinannie
Jan 16th 2008, 05:41 PM
menjesus....thanks. I was afraid I would be overcome by heat prostration here, but it hasn't been too bad, and this morning it was cool enough for a jacket. My Spanish is getting a really good workout. I try to speak to the locals here in Spanish only. I'm doing pretty good at it.

Can't stay and chat....have to get back to work. I'm one of the videographers.

Hoot

menJesus
Jan 18th 2008, 09:53 PM
Continuing to lift you up before the Lord as you & your group do this work...