THE SPIRIT OF MAN

The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord. It shows all the inside parts of his heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The heart is fooled more than anything else and is very sinful. Who can know how bad it is?

Above are two translations of two verses. The summation: God watches us, he alone knows our motives and he uses our own spirits to see clearly into our innermost being; our heart. So what?
So here is a little wisdom for us; a little trick of sorts to help keep us on track.

WATCH YOUR OWN SPIRIT! Whatever is in the heart will find its way to the surface one way or another.
When a certain person’s name or a certain situation comes up in conversation, does your breath catch? Do you feel a little tightening in your core? Do you switch your gaze away from the speaker, or decide to change the subject or leave the room? Do you feel rage or fear or sadness or jealousy bubbling inside so that you are a little frightened about your own response? Do your defense mechanisms of fight or flight begin to overtake your calm exterior? Does your body language change?
If you know what I am talking about, you have experienced this. There are two reasons this happens to us. Either we have not fully forgiven (a process we will address in a moment,) or…we are still unequally tied to this person or situation and God is trying to separate us from it.

Two heavy oxen were yoked together to plow a field. The yoke between them was made of two RIGID circles that fit around the neck and then held together by a RIGID bond between the circles. Those oxen had to have the same destination; the end of the row. If one of them wanted to return to the crib for a meal, or to tend to a baby, the poor farmer (the Lord) was completely stopped in his progress because those beasts were not pulling in the same direction. They had different goals, different destinations.

They were UNEQUALLY YOKED.

Be ye NOT unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14.

Call occasionally to check up on the person if they are family, but if the destinations are radically different; i.e. heaven or hell, avoid entanglement in matters of finance, emotional exchanges or weighty matters. You can still be a friend, but if your spirit reveals to you AND TO THE LORD, any snag or unfinished turmoil, please rethink and redirect that spirit in prayer and take action to unyoke if necessary.

If unforgiveness is the issue, you must remember that forgiveness is a process, not a one-time decision. If you still feel that quickening at the mention of a person or situation and you are pretty sure you forgave it a while back, you aren’t finished yet with this process. It is time to really seek God and pray that person or situation gets blessed. Pray that God will not take vengeance; that he will shed mercy on those who hurt you and redeem them by his forgiveness. Try to really ‘get into their head,’ so to speak. Try in prayer to see the situation through the eyes of your adversary and then truly forgive from your deepest heart.

Let your spirit soften and allow God to pick up that flashlight and really look around to find any other place that needs a good prayer purge. Watch your own spirit very carefully and by this little exercise, you will walk in true victory and faith. God is watching, and this inner work will assure your worthiness to escape all that is coming upon this wicked world. Repent for your unforgiveness and do a quick work on the decisions in your life that will free you to fully serve God. Take on the yoke of Jesus, for his burden is light and you have the same destination.

Something Died Under My Deck

At first the smell seemed to come from my neighbors’ yard. Perhaps they spread some manure fertilizer. It will be gone soon.

Surely the smell will blow away in this nice summer wind. The next day, however, it intensified. No amount of free wind would clear the stench. Today, sure enough, the smell of rotten varmint pervades the atmosphere in a twelve-foot radius right around my back door.

The problem is complicated by the structure of the deck. Most of it is unreachable, blocked off by stairs and supports all around the perimeter. No human will go in there to remove the poor dead thing, so the putrid smell remains.

This deck is my haven of rest these days of fair weather, but not now. The smell of something rotting disturbs my peace and forces me to make other arrangements to avoid the assault on my olfactory senses.

Unrepented sin and roots of bitterness left in the heart are, perhaps, a stench in the nostrils of Jesus. When he would like to rest and fellowship with us, is he forced to endure the smell of our bitterness, unforgiveness and lack of repentance? Or does he make other arrangements?

What do we do with this? Blame it on the neighbors? Ignore the issues hoping the wind will blow away the constant reminder? Maybe another wonderful move of the Holy Ghost and a good shouting service will clear the air. The next day, however, the stench is still here. We might try to cover the smell with a variety of man-made solutions; and we make sure the windows and doors are closed to keep it contained.

We may even construct walls and reasons to keep others away, so they won’t smell the rotten evidence. Maybe our life is complicated by the structure we have built in our effort to control and silence the voice of our smelly conscience. Maybe no human can penetrate our supports as we keep relationships on the surface. But has something crawled up inside us and died?

Have we pushed back from our couch of prayer too early? Has the level of our personal repentance grown shallow and stagnant in the marches of indifference? Is that root of bitterness lurking below the surface waiting for a little fertilizer of anger or fear so it can spring up and defile?

Something did die under my deck, and the smell is horrible. Yet, as this experience presses me to a deeper level of repentance and forgiveness, I share these musings with you, dear readers, hoping to quicken your ready minds to a careful analysis of personal progress in prayer and relationship with Jesus; as it has for me.

The expanse of our Revival is directly proportionate to the depth of our Repentance.

 ‘Repent’ is found 10 times in the book of Acts

Acts 2:38

Acts 3:19

Acts 17:30

AND 10 times in the book of Revelation

Revelation 2:5,16

Revelation 3:3,19

And please see … Hebrews 12:14-15

Essential OIL needed in our Lamps!

Sheltering in Place

Attitude is Everything! This statement is true across all areas of our human condition.

However, I want to direct this thought to one particular group of people today. Women. ‘When mama ain’t happy, aint nobody happy…’ “Happy wife, happy life” Both sayings are probably known by most readers. Yet, the seriousness of these sayings can be easily dismissed. Don’t do that.

Understand in fact, that the women truly SET THE TONE in the home. When children come into the room to a smiling, attentive mom, their joy is boundless. When a husband receives a warm embrace and a flirty girlfriend welcome, he will do anything in his power to make that girlfriend happy and secure. When company arrives to a relaxed hostess who is unconcerned about house protocol, they will feel true hospitality and trust. When a friend confides to a sincere listening ear, she will find confidence and hope to conquer any difficulty.
When the woman in the home fulfills the above attitude behaviors, outside counseling or other damage control measures will NOT be needed. Women truly have more power for good than most realize simply by maintaining an attitude of grace and happiness.

When ill-temper threatens and fears or anger push away the sweetness of her spirit, the wise woman will steal away to her closet of prayer and tell her Best Friend all about it. She will emerge with a renewed attitude and be back in the saddle to face another onslaught of life.
Once this technique becomes a habit, there is no limit to the joy that home will share.

But ultimately this attitude adjustment is the responsibility of the woman, the keeper of the home. She cannot blame strife on loud children, or insensitive husbands, or impolite guests. There is no scapegoat; especially during this sheltering time, this END time, this challenging time. Women everywhere must reach deep inside their well of strength and pull up a big bucket of kindness, patience, sweetness, prayerfulness and mercy to water the garden of their own souls, and the souls within their influence.

Ask Jesus to really search your heart and to show you any where your attitude gets snagged. Then be quiet and wait for the searchlight of his love to quicken your understanding so you can share with him each and every obstacle impeding your progress toward the high and lofty goal of maintaining a sweet attitude. He will answer that kind of prayer, I promise. And then, when we do our part and stay consistent, in a short time those emergency dashes to the closet will be less frequent, and our homes will shine with peace and the love of God. But it is all up to the women. They set the tone. Their attitude determines the outcome, and their prayer life upholds the family. You Got This!

PS. If you are a woman living alone, this ‘attitude is everything’ exhortation is still important! You gotta live with YOU so it might as well be a happy experience. Your sweet spirit will go with you to the grocery store, and come back home with you to your shelter. This is good stuff no matter our age or living situation. Be blessed!

It is Past Time

Hello faithful followers and new friends. I don’t post here often enough, and there is no reason or excuse. All we have is NOW, we certainly are not promised tomorrow…we have NOW and the responsibility to harness it for the love of humanity.

There is reference in the Bible to the ‘cup of iniquity.’  God has a cup, and it is filling fast. Since the moral compass of our society has disintegrated over the last several decades, that cup of evil has crept closer and closer to the brim. As it begins to spill over, restaurants close. Gatherings are forbidden. Business grinds to a halt, and the economy crashes…all within a two week period. And this is just the beginning of sorrows! So much more and so much more horrible things are determined…

This present trouble will pass. The markets will rebound (Lord willing) but let us pray the lessons we are learning in these great and final days remain in the forefront of our everyday life:  Love of family and friends; health for ourselves and those for whom we are responsible; a spirit of selfless giving and random acts of kindness, and a continued focus on the things that matter, the things that remain.

Your money wont go to heaven with you. Your cars, homes and vacations wont go to heaven with you. Only YOU and your children and your loved ones will go IF YOU and THEY CHOOSE TO. We all have free choice you know. God is a gentleman…he will not go where he is not wanted. If you truly want to be with Him forever, it is time to get on your knees and repent for all the wasted time…all the sinful behavior…all the greed and cheating…and all the faithless moments when you figured you could do all this on your own and had no need for a savior.

Friends, true and powerful revival is EXACTLY proportionate to the depth of our repentance. We have all failed and come short of his Glory. Each of us knows in our heart where we have let ourselves and our creator down…it is time to get REAL. Cut the games, stop the running and turn it over to Jesus.

And you will smile, for the rest of the day.