Daily Discovering the Blessing

Archive for August, 2013

The Leaven of Accommodation

There is such a wonderful liberty in a life lived in the Spirit. That is our Father’s intention for His kids – a released life, a peaceful spirit. And within His Word is found the counsel we need to avoid shackles that impact that liberty.
Compromised truth – half-realized heavenly standards – comfortable accommodation of worldly standards within our faith walk all inversely impede our life in the Spirit.

A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump {it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church} [Emphasis mine]
Galatians 5:9

Early on in my walk with the Lord I was considering becoming a member of a large well-known church in the Boston area. While attending membership classes I heard the speaker say, “During service we do not, you will not, raise your hands to God [in praise]. We do not want to offend those around us.” The admonition was, apparently, acceptable to the people listening. I determined to seek another church! Lifting up holy hands in praise is honoring to God (Psalm28:2, Psalm 63:4, Psalm 141:2, 1 Timothy 2:8). It has nothing to do with personal preference or church dictate. It is the correct attitude of faith and pleases our Father. To lift up hands in gratitude and submission to God reflects a heart filled with praise and an understanding of His Lordship. This church had established behavior standards for its congregation outside of the will of God! For an entire church body to be so instructed “misleads the whole church”.
In a similar manner a gathering of many churches joining together in an effort towards unity in the Spirit, established the principle that speaking in tongues during the services was not to be done. A similar reason was given – “So as not to offend others.”

Now am I trying to win the favor of men or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah).
Galatians 1:10

The intense love our Father has for us, the fulfilled lives He has for us to live, the ongoing, life-giving, spirit-maturing work of the Holy Spirit in us can be curtailed by the leavening agent of accommodation to misleading teaching. It is a harsh truth that “a slight inclination to error, a few false teachers…perverts the whole conception of faith” and “misleads the whole church”.
We want to walk in His fullness in a “manner worthy of Him and pleasing to Him” with a full, deep, and clear knowledge of His will and complete insight into His ways and purposes. (Colossians 1:10). When you discover it in the Word, expect it in your church.

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Purposing to Grow

I recently read an excerpt from a book by A.W. Tozer entitled Rut, Rot, or Revival in which he speaks of the “dictatorship of the customary” and the “psychology of the usual”. These issues were purposefully directed to the sometimes woeful state of the Body of Christ in relation to our incorrect representation of life in Christ. He correctly asserts that we are often in danger of slumbering in our complacency (rut), we are in a state of satisfied sameness (rot), and we have gratefully accepted comfortable status quo. That hardly demonstrates:

…constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another.
2 Corinthians 3:18

How can the worldwide Body of Christ effectively offer to the lost the powerful ministry of reconciliation back to God when we are hardly alive ourselves to the energizing ministry of the Holy Spirit? Smith Wigglesworth has suggested that if you are not daily growing in the things of God than you are in a back-slidden state! While some may consider that an overstatement, it is, in fact the call of our Father through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that we grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18), “with a growth that is from God” (Colossians 2:19). Luke 1:30 (Amplified) extends the meaning of grace with the words “free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving kindness”. That’s what our Abba extends to us on a daily basis. There is never ending growth in God. We are never finished!! There is always more to know, to learn, to become.

…He wakens me morning by morning. He wakens my ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught].
Isaiah 50:4

As members of the Body of Christ that is our daily calling – to grow in grace, to crave to know more about our Father, to enter into this most extraordinary walk in the Spirit. Ruts and rots are boring and nonproductive – something our Father never is! Ruts and rots stifle growth and accept quiet mediocrity. As we attend to the daily ministry of the Holy Spirit, as we welcome in growth in our own spirits, we enhance the Body of Christ. We speak of what we are learning and sensing and bless others. We demonstrate the peace and confidence and joy which is a direct result of life in the Spirit and enable and invite our brothers and sisters in Christ to see possibility! We revive others as we daily and steadily “grow and increase in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance and recognition] (Colossians 1:10).And energized and revived believers have a profound effect on the local church. We look for what the Word promises and are no longer satisfied with the “dictatorship of the customary” or the “psychology of the usual”.

The Salve of Heaven

In Proverbs 22-23 God tells us that His Word is medicine for all of our flesh. He then commands us to:

…keep and guard your heart with all vigilence and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Maintaining and cultivating peace is a healing salve that will profoundly alter your life. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines salve as “a remedial or soothing influence or agency”.

We can sense when disharmony in any form attempts to interrupt our peace. That continuous peace ( “harmony, undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts – 1 Peter 3:11) that is meant to be a defining characteristic and a nurturing force as we grow daily in this walk in the Spirit. We are admonished to search for peace, to seek it eagerly – to pursue it.

Peace in our hearts, in our daily lives, in our interactions with others is an informed choice, based on our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. And that informed choice is undergirded through practice and experience. For once we have tasted the heart benefits of the peaceful response to any and every situation we might encounter, once we choose peace rather than agitating passions, once we step out on the authority and absolute reliability of God’s Word and “surrender” to trusting in Him unconditionally – we have placed ourselves on the path of eagerly pursuing that continuous state of peace that will nurture us, sustain us, define us, and utterly defeat any attempt by “the world, the flesh, and the devil” to shatter that “heart calm”!

If faith is the currency of the kingdom then peace is its “Amen – so be it”. Peace in our hearts is the acknowledgement that in everything we encounter God is totally in charge and He wants to do us only good (Psalm 86:5; Psalm 145:9). We choose to think peaceful thoughts and positive outcomes, we take part in peaceful interactions, we choose to respond with peace to any temporary (brief, fleeting, and passing away) storm for within that unflustered state we are nurtured, and with our eyes gazing intently on our Abba – His love and His promises- we are teachers to all who witness our joy in the midst of the storm.

When any negative, disruptive influence tries to infect your days, apply the healing salve of Heaven. From the vantage point of a peace-filled heart, every moment is not only do-able, it is a stunning success and an opportunity to apply the beauty of Heaven’s standards to worldly affairs.

God’s Word on the subject:

Isaiah 26:3 Matthew 5:9 Romans 14:17 Colossians 3:15 1 Peter 3:11