BODILY HEALING and THE ATONEMENT… [Part Two]

Spiritual Blog - Healer

Isaiah 53:4-6 – “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  NKJV

 

With the foundation laid in the last devotional fresh in our minds and on our hearts we proceed.  I would like you to consider, with me, some of the reasons I believe Christians (All Christians) can and should receive Jesus as not only Savior but Healer of their physical bodies.

  • God is Unchangeable, the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever.

The fact that He once healed is a truth inescapable in both the old and new testaments.  In the Old Testament we see Him as Healer in Exodus 15:26 where He gave Israel an incredible promise, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Ord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians; for I the Lord, am your Healer.”  That is part of the Sinaitic Covenant and we know the New Covenant is a better covenant established on better promises.  Omitting that from the New would not seem to be better, would it?  Just my thought.

In Exodus 23:25 we find the promise to take sickness away and in Psalm 103:3 we find the declaration that God not only forgives sin but heals disease.  In Psalm 105:37 the beautiful description of those coming out of Egypt included there was “not one feeble one among them”.  Why?  God was their healer and health.  Remember this is in the Old Covenant.  In Psalm 107:20 we read, “God sent His word, and healed them…”

In the New Testament, we find that Jesus is the Healer of man both spiritually and physically.  Mark 9:35, we cannot escape the truth that He healed all sickness and disease in various places.  We dare not overlook the reality of Mark 6:12 that He gave power to heal to His disciples and if we remember Malachi 3:6 we hear God’s declaration “For I am the Lord, I change not.” Also, Hebrews 13:8 wonderfully declares, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”  The word THE SAME is [Ho Autos] meaning the very same identical person in every respect.  James 1:17, tells us, “Every good Gift… is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  HE DOES NOT CHANGE!  What God used to be He is today and will be forever! 

 He used to be:

Jehovah-Shammah – – The Lord Ever Present.

Jehovah-Jireh – – The Lord Our Provider.

Jehovah-Nissi – – The Lord Our Banner.

Jehovah-Shalom – – The Lord Our Peace.

Jehovah-Ra’ah – – The Lord My Shepherd.

Jehovah-Tsidkneu – – The Lord Our Righteousness.

Jehovah-Rapha – – The Lord That Heals.

What God was HE IS and will be forever!  Jehovah includes all three tenses “Past, Present, and Future.”

One of the many reasons I believe that Bodily Healing is included in our covenant is found in what I have just listed but there are more including personal experience.  In time to come, I hope to share more on this matter.

Until then I pause and pray that God grant you Grace for the Journey and bless your richly in this day.

BODILY HEALING and THE ATONEMENT…

Spiritual Blog - Jesus Healer

Isaiah 53:4-6 – “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  NKJV

             Most Christians believe in the Atonement for Salvation and while some believe it includes bodily healing others do not.  I fall in the group that does and feel that the Holy Spirt would have me invest some time in explaining why and what I believe. If you agree or disagree that is your choice and I hope you will hear the conclusion of the whole matter before rendering a judgment on my presentation and subject.  I am not trying to be controversial but helpful.

How did sickness enter the world?  I believe that is a valid question and one I have been asked on numerous occasions.  It is a question that, in my understanding, has been answered clearly and definitively in Scripture.  Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  No controversy there I would hope.  Physical death and all that produces it are the direct results of the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden or SIN.  Therefore, we know that Satan is the originator of sin and thereby sickness and death.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND, I am in no way suggesting that if you encounter sickness it is specifically and directly connected to some sin in your life.  RATHER, I want to convey the understanding that sickness entered the world as a result of sin and is the product of THE FALL.  I will acknowledge that it is possible to open the door to sickness through sinfulness that is not necessarily the cause of you being sick at any given time.

In Jesus’ day many questioned whether He had the power to forgive sin, he responded by demonstrating His power over disease and as He healed the sick He demonstrated His power and authority over all the power and authority of hell.  In Mark 2:9-11, Jesus addressed that very question of the power to forgive sins saying, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’, or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk?’  But that you may know that the Sone of Man has power on earth to forgive sins – He said to the paralytic, “I say to you arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”  Immediately he arose, took up his bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never say anything like this!”

I suggest another factor, indicating that the devil is the cause of sickness, as well as sin, can be found in the fact that Jesus always used the same harsh Greek word to rebuke sickness as He did to rebuke evil spirits.  Luke 4:35, “And Jesus rebuked [epetimesen] him, saying hold your peace, and come out of him.”  Luke 4:39, “And He stood over her [Simon Peter’s Mother in law] and rebuked [epetimesen] the fever; and it left her.”  Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with Power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.”  Jesus healed those “oppressed” of the devil and the word OPPRESSED comes from two meanings:  Down under and I hold power or Lordship.  Therefore, the verse could be translated, “Those under the domination or lordship of the devil, Jesus healed.”

Further, I not only suggest that the devil is the originator of sickness but he is the propagator of it.  In Luke 13:11 we read of a woman with a “spirit of infirmity” and in verse 16 Jesus asked, “And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”  The word INFIRMITY is the most common Greek word for SICKNESS.  In Mark 9:25 we read of “deaf and dumb spirits”.  In Mark 1:23 we see a man in the Synagogue with an “unclean spirit.” Then in Acts 16:16, a girl with a “spirit of divination” and Ephesians 6:12 encourages us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 

I am attempting to lay a foundation and hope that you see that SICKNESS has its cause and origination in the devil.  I believe very strongly that Bodily Healing is part of our Covenant and is the Children’s Bread. It has been a part of every covenant of God up to and including the New Covenant.  Therefore, it is my conviction that God’s perfect desire is for us to be well and healed.  No, I cannot explain why all are not but will not stop praying for healing and believe in divine healing because some do not receive healing in this life.  However, I will continue to ask God, if there was something more I could have done to have brought about healing for those whom we pray.  Knowing that sickness entered the world and affected man as a result of the Fall in the Garden, in my view, is enables us to understand the source of this enemy and the source of our help in fighting it.

I will venture further into this subject in the next devotional and pray that you will be open minded and open hearted as we seek to receive all God has for us today and be all He wants us to be.  Blessings abundantly are my prayer and desire!

HOLY SPIRIT, We Need You Now!!!

Spiritual Blog - Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8 – “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  NKJV

 

Jesus promised His followers in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”  The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent being a member of the God-head and is our Helper to guide, equip, strengthen, and empower us for the work of the Kingdom of God.  I believe that if anything is to be done in the “Supernatural” for God and good it will be done through the ministry and anointing of the Holy Spirit.  He EMPOWERS.  He BESTOWS gifts and He ANOINTS.  Therefore, it would seem obvious that we need His presence, power, and manifestation in today’s world and church.  Yet, it is biblically clear that God will not intrude, violate us and our ability to choose and force Himself upon us.  He stands at the door and knocks and it is up to us to open the door and invite Him in.  Therefore, if we are to have the Supernatural Manifestation of the Holy Spirit, most of the time we have to extend an invitation for Him to come in.

I realize there were times in Scripture and even history where the Holy Spirit sovereignly and spontaneously fell upon people His power was demonstrated.  [Acts 2:2; 10:44].  There were times when people prayed for Him to come and He came as in Acts 4:31.  With that in mind I suggest we can and should “Invite Him to Come” and do so with complete confidence He will.

  • Scripture teaches that we can ASK for the Holy Spirit. [Luke 11:13]
  • The Church Needs God’s Supernatural Power and Anointing. The first empowering occurred when the Holy Spirit spontaneously fell on them. [Acts 1:8; 2:4]
  • Frequently in the Book of Acts, church growth was triggered by the manifestation of God’s Power through the Work of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 5:12,14]
  • Paul listed the Demonstration of God’s Power above Brilliant Reasoning in preaching the Gospel. [1 Corinthians 2:4]
  • Miracles, Signs, and Wonders were wrought by the Power of God to confirm the preaching of the Gospel. [Mark 16:20; Acts 14:3; Hebrews 2:3-4]
  • The Anointing of the Holy Spirit effects the release of the Gifts of the Spirit and opens the door for God to initiate Spiritual Ministry. [1 Corinthians 12:11]
  • The Anointing of the Holy Spirit blesses those who receive the Spirit of God and subsequently those ministered to by them. [We find that Gospel is confirmed by God’s Holy Spirit, the Kingdom of God extended and expanded and the Name of Jesus is glorified.  Are those not reason to invite the Holy Spirit and desire His presence and ministry in our lives and churches today?]

As individuals, we do the things mentioned but what can we do as local congregations to invite and receive the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit in our midst?  I believe there are several things that apply both to the individual and the local congregation.  We must MAINTAIN Open Hearts.  We must INVITE the Holy Spirit to come.  We must learn to WAIT or TARRY until He comes, which is the most difficult of all.  If our hearts are not pure and open to God the Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion and cannot operate as God would desire. Therefore, if we want God’s Spirit to be mightily in our lives and churches we must SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.

Among other signs of His presence will be Awe of God and humility in His presence.  I believe that when the Holy Spirit comes on an individual and a Congregation LOVE will overflow so powerfully it is beyond description.  I believe in all the gifts of the Spirit and while I am not addressing them, at this point, let me say that when the Holy Spirit comes, Jesus Comes and where Jesus is LOVE is present as is PEACE.  If those are absent regardless of any other apparent evidences, I would suggest that the Holy Spirit is not there as God desires Him to be.

We need God’s Holy Spirit today as much if not more than ever in our lives, churches, and the world.  God help us to desire and seek the anointing and power of the Spirit of God today!

            God bless you richly is my prayer and desire!

TALK TO YOUR MOUNTAIN…(Continued…)

Spiritual Blog - Mountains

Mark 11:12-14; 19-24 – “Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response, Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” 

And His disciples heard it. 

Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” 

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.  23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  NKJV 

Let’s consider some rules or instructions for MOVING A MOUNTAIN in our lives.

  • Be Careful Not to Build the Mountain in the First Place.

Overly simplistic?  Possibly but I would suggest that it might be presumptive to expect God to allow us to be Mountain Movers when we are Mountain Builders.  Praying for a mountain to move would likely prove difficult and unlikely if we are responsible for it being there and continuing to add rocks to its height.  I have discovered that in some cases there is a hindrance to:

Healing because of the presence of a root of bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, etc.  Finances because of disregard for frugality, jealousy, envy, and greed is in the heart.  Right Living because we continue to pursue bad associations.

If we know we are doing things to create and sustain the mountain don’t you think it might be wise to deal with those issues before trying to speak to that mountain and move it by faith?  Just a thought.

  • Be Sure That What You Are Saying Is In Harmony With God’s Word.

Jesus was not, in my opinion, talking about prayer in this passage.  He did not ask the Father to move the mountain.  In verse 22 Jesus refers to having “Faith”, faith in God.  He did not say, “Pray that the Father will move the mountain.” He taught that IF we believe and expect the mountain to move it will move.  An addendum to my comments about us building the mountain, does it not make sense that if we can build a mountain we can also remove one?

Jesus taught his followers that they could move the mountain by “speaking to it.”  I know some will find that problematic but it is what He said.  The first time Jesus used the word “say” in verse 23 the Greek word was [lego] and the second time was [epo] and is used in Mark 1:44.  The implication or message could be rendered, “You have said or you have been saying.”  It means issuing a command with your own voice and being adamantly firm.  It would be saying to the mountain, “Go throw yourself into the sea.”  The idea is that this is not simply a one-time occurrence but something you say and say and say and say UNTIL it happens.  Again, I am cautious in this and do not want to suggest that if you repeat something over and over you can make it happen.  The key is speaking to what God is speaking to or firmly lodged in His will and word and doing so with anticipatory faith, refusing to give up or give in.

  • Be Sure Your Heart Is In Line With Your Tongue.

I am convinced that you can talk until you are blue in the face and command whatever you please but if your heart is not firmly rooted in the pursuit of God and His Kingdom and your heart aligned with His will and purpose it will be nothing more than words.  Hear the words of Jesus, “…and does not doubt in his heart…”  This is not necessarily an evidence of a weakness of faith but uncertainty of heart and mind.

We have God’s promise and may well believe God’s word but if we speak that promise to the mountain and in our hearts we are uncertain, then we are at odds with ourselves and fit the classification of “double-mindedness” and that, we are told, opens no doors.  Doubt is a breach that excludes God’s help. Doubt is located in the heart and that means we can change it or conquer it.  I have had pilots tell me that the biggest thing they had to overcome in learning to fly was fear.  But as they learn to trust their equipment fear departed.  Knowledge dispelled and replaced fear with confidence and certainty.

  • Be Sure That You Believe What You Are Commanding.

I believe that this is where Grace plays a significant role in faith.  Grace is far more than God’s unmerited favor it is God’s divine enablement.  In a very real sense, it is God’s Power in operation. Again, I remind you we are not talking about prayer but stepping forth on God’s Promise and appropriating the promise.  There are times in our lives when financial burdens, sickness, relational problems, etc. become so large and imposing they hinder all forward progress and MUST BE MOVED. What do we do?

Prepare Our Hearts and remove all the things that created the mountain in our lives. We remove the ground or foundation upon which it is built.  Then, we address the issue calling it by name, standing on the authority of Scripture and speak with confidence free of doubt, because if God said it we know it is true and persist.

Pray this prayer with me:  “Heavenly Father, I believe I am who You say I am and that I will become all that You say I can become.  Through Your help, I will stop building mountains and will become a mountain mover, not a mountain builder.  I will set a guard at my mouth and carefully watch my words so they do not contradict my heart and I will speak GRACE to the mountain that is before me hindering my path.  It will move and give way to the Power and Will of God.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray.  Amen!”

 God bless you as you continue your journey through today’s opportunities and victories.

TALK TO YOUR MOUNTAIN…

Spiritual Blog - Mountains

Mark 11:12-14; 19-24 – “Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”

 And His disciples heard it.

 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.  23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  NKJV

 

An aside to what I hope to say is something that stands out in this passage powerfully to me is found in verse 14.  It was after Jesus cursed the fig tree, we find these word, “And His disciples heard it.”  How powerful it is to HEAR what Jesus says or has said.  That is a life changing experience.  But back to what I desire to address in what I consider a perplexing passage of Scripture and one that many believers have attempted to make a reality in their lives and failed.  Who among us does not have or has not faced MOUNTAINS in our lives?  We all want to know how to remove those barriers that hinder our progress.  Therefore, this scripture is powerfully challenging and wonderfully intriguing.

The people of Judah, in Jesus’ day, considered a mountain any hindrance to their progress, as should we.  Therefore, when Jesus told them they could have whatever they said, and even told them they could MOVE MOUNTAINS, they could readily identify with His message.  How many of the actually believed His words are quite another story, but then how many in Churches today believe God’s words literally when He says what He does in vv. 23-24?

I recall a story of a woman who had to walk around a mountain every day to get to work in town and she heard this message preached so she went home that night and spoke to the mountain, “Be Gone and be cast into the sea.”  She then went to bed, got up the next morning, looked out the window and said, “Just as I expected, still there!”  I believe the words of Jesus that we can MOVE MOUNTAINS whether literally or figuratively in our lives but there are some rules for mountain moving and unless we understand the process and principle we will find failure a more constant companion that we would like, in this regard.  I believe it is incredibly important that we understand HOW the hindrance or mountain came to be.

Let me offer this picture I hope will resonate.  If we create a financial mountain by the lack of wisdom and mishandling finances or lack of discipline, we will not be able to speak to it and move it.  We built it and we will have to tear it down stone by stone.  If our mountain is physical illness, and we are aware of our failure to eating properly, exercise regularly as we should and are guilty of abusing our bodies thus jeopardizing our health, there will likely be no moving of that mountain UNTIL we correct the problem that produced it.  I am not saying that if anyone is sick it is because they did something wrong but I am saying if we know you brought about whatever the mountain is, we will have to take steps to correct that behavior first.

I apologize that I spent too much time introducing what I wanted to discuss and now realize that brevity might be wisdom and will pause until the next devotional to address some rules for MOVING A MOUNTAIN in your life.

            God bless you as you enjoy the wonders of this day God has given us!

IT IS NOT “If” I TRUST IT IS “Who” I TRUST… [Part Two]

Spiritual Blog - Trust

Jeremiah 17:5-8 – “Thus says the LORD:

 “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.

 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”  NKJV

 

When we TRUST THE FLESH rather than God the natural result is LEGALISM and that is an attempt to achieve righteousness with God by keeping a set of rules.  Romans 3:20 rules that out as a viable option. The Law shows us that we do not measure up, that we have sinned, missed the mark, and come short, but it cannot transform us.  James 2:10 warns of attempting to follow that pathway.  Legalism is the attempt to impose extra conditions for achieving righteousness beyond what God has declared in Scripture.

Romans 4:24-25 gives insight as to the simplicity of God’s Plan and the sufficiency of His Grace.  The requirement of Grace is that we “Trust ourselves to Him, believing that what He has and is doing is sufficient.”  Jesus died to atone for our sins and rose again that we might be reckoned righteous.  THAT’S IT!  There is nothing that has to be added.  It is not the Cross, the Finished Work of Christ AND…  It is Grace and His work is finished.  It is completely complete!  Paul’s question in Galatians 3:3 is powerful, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?”  In Galatians 5:19-21 the apostle lists works of the flesh and makes it clear that not one of them is acceptable to God.  In Galatians 3:10 Paul calls the culmination of this A CURSE, the same thought as found in Jeremiah 17:5.

Most believers would never knowingly participate in WITCHCRAFT but sadly some fall prey through Legalism or the Works of the Flesh where they make flesh their strength. They adopt a philosophy that they can EARN IT and it becomes the Cross Plus.  John 19:30, as Jesus hung on the Cross He said, “IT IS FINISHED.”  What does finished mean?  Hebrews 10 teaches us that none of the efforts of man can redeem Him and that Jesus came and gave Himself once for all to REDEEM MAN.  Nothing more is required.  IT IS FINISHED!

He is Lord!  We are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to Promise.  We are heirs of God and Joint-heirs with Jesus.  We are blessed with ALL Spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God.  We have been given power and authority over all the power of the devil and we are IN HIM and He is IN US and His Promises are great and precious.  We are SAVED by the Blood of Jesus by Grace through Faith!  All we need to do is say THANK YOU!

Therefore, I encourage you as a child of God to know your inheritance and realize:

  • Trust the Flesh and you are limited and defeated.
  • Trust Christ’s Finished Work and All things are possible to you.
  • Trust the Flesh and you will experience frustration, discouragement, and disappointment.
  • Trust the Finished Work of Christ and you will have peace that passes human understanding.
  • Trust Your Feelings and deception will be your constant companion.
  • Trust His Finished Work and His Word will guide you and the Holy Spirit will give you Discernment.

           We are IN HIM, we are WITH HIM, and we have all things BY HIM.  It is the New Covenant.  We have a choice today to walk in the Blessings of God or live under the Curse of the Arm of Flesh. What is your choice?

          God bless you as you walk into the wonderful world of today in Jesus!

IT IS NOT “If” I TRUST IT IS “Who” I TRUST…

Spiritual Blog - Trust

Jeremiah 17:5-8 – “Thus says the LORD: 

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. 

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”  NKJV

 

At the risk of being identified as one who focuses on the negative, I feel that I must address the Curse first.  I believe that the Curst pronounced by God can be seen in the Church of 2016.  What am I talking about?  TRUSTING FLESH.  Flesh, here, is not the physical body it is the nature in us, received by inheritance from our father Adam through the fall in the Garden of Eden.  If you will remember that Adam did not produce offspring until after he had transgressed God’s command.

Let me state emphatically that the essential motivation of Adam’s transgression was not the desire to do evil, but the desire to be independent of God.  That desire is found in all of Adam’s descendants.  It is THE FLESH – doing what we want, when we ant and how we want.  In Religion it “performs” and seeks approval by doing “righteous acts” without depending on the Supernatural Power of the Holy Spirit and Grace of God.  No matter how good the intentions, the final product will always be an Ishmael, not an Isaac.  It will be FLESH, not FAITH.

The Flesh of Man is corrupt!  Hebrews 6:1 identifies it as “dead works.”  Back to our text and topic, this person in Jeremiah 17:5 is not a stranger to the grace of God.  It calls him one “whose heart departs from the LORD.”  You can’t depart from what you have never known!  So, the one who has experienced  or known God’s Grace and turns back is trusting his own ability and thereby TRUSTING THE FLESH.  Jeremiah 17:6 gives a picture of the outworking of the curse in this individual’s life.  He lives in PARCHED PLACES and in a SALT LAND.  All that surrounds him is barren and dreary.  Others around him may be refreshed but it always eludes him and he lives in barrenness and frustration.  That is a terrible place!  He is like a bush in the desert having potential but no water needed to make it flourish.  He is in stony places where the soil is dry and shallow and not conducive for producing.  He will not see prosperity when it comes because he is spiritually blind and fruitless.  He lives in an uninhabited salt land where there is no reproduction and fruitlessness is the norm. That is a terrible condition!

THERE IS A DANGER we must note.  Every move of God of any significance in Christendom began with a powerful supernatural work of the Grace and Spirit of God.  God’s presence gave prominence not what they did but WHAT HE DID and WHO HE IS.  Over time, history reveals, they begin to rely on their natural abilities and do the best they can in their own abilities.  They MADE FLESH THEIR STRENGTH.  I will not charge that it was or is  malicious, but in reality, the hearts departed from God.  They may and many do gain religious and intellectual respectability but forfeit God’s Power and Presence.  What happens is the exaltation of the Carnal over the Spiritual. That is manifested in numerous ways some are:

  • Theology becomes exalted over Revelation.
  • Education is placed above Character.
  • Psychology overshadows Spiritual Discernment.
  • Program supersedes the Leading of the Spirit of God.
  • Eloquence desired above the Supernatural Power.
  • Reason replaces Faith.
  • Laws have more prominence than Love.

            The Lifeblood of any person or church is Relationship with God and the continual revelation of God’s person to His people.  If you shut that off, all you have is a study about God not the Living Presence of the LIVING GOD HIMSELF.  All those find their root in one basic error.  Putting man in a place God has reserved solely for Himself, through Christ’s finished work on the Cross.  In Galatians 3:1-10, Paul traces the problem from its source to its culmination and calls it WITCHCRAFT.  I know that will be troubling for some but read verse 1 and you will follow what I’m saying.  What has blinded the spiritual eyes and clouded the mind? What has covered the Cross so that whereas we could see God (Jeremiah 17:5) but now we cannot – – WHAT HAPPENED?  If we lose sight of the Grace of God in its fullness the inevitable result is returning or turning to a System of Religious Laws where we Trust the Flesh to Perform.

I will say more on this subject but pause here and pray that God grant you a new vision of Him and enable you to see any areas in which you are trusting flesh rather than God and run to the altar and receive His Presence today. 

           God bless you as you enjoy this day He has made and be overflowing with rejoicing and thanksgiving!