Are you in the Word enough so that it is converting your soul?

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple… Psalm 19:7 NKJV.

That the “law of the Lord is perfect” is direct reference to the absolute, complete, and entire trustworthiness of the Holy Scriptures, which constitute the Bible. psalm nineteenseven

The Word of God is perfect in its accuracy and sure in its dependability. There are two terms generally used to describe these features of God’s Word:

  1. Inerrant (perfect) means that, in the original copies of each manuscript written by each Bible book’s respective author, there was nothing mistaken or tinged with error. (Further, the excellence of the Holy Spirit’s protection of the Scriptures over centuries has insured that the copies delivered into our hands from generations past are essentially the same. Even literary critics who claim no faith in the truth of the Bible attest to its being the most completely reliable of any book transmitted from antiquity, in terms of its actually remaining unchanged and dependably accurate.)
  2. Infallible refers to the fact that the Bible is unfailing as an absolutely trustworthy guide for our faith (belief in God) and practice (Life and behavior). This is so because God is true (John 3:33; 17:3), because His Word reveals His truth (17:17), and because God cannot lie (Num.23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb.6:18).

 

The Lord is One!

 

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One!”  Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV.

Called Shema by orthodox Jews, after the first word, “Hear,” this famous passage supports the Trinitarian concept of deity—the Lord (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one Lord, the one echad, expressing compound unity, not yahid, meaning a single one. He alone to whom the name of Jehovah (Yahweh, “the self-existing One”) belongs is absolutely God (Ex. 3:14).  “Hear, O Israel: YHVH is God, YHVH alone is God,”is also an acceptable translation. good-evening-music

It is at once a testimony against Unitarianism as well as polytheism.

Because He is the one and only God, of one eternal, uncreated essence, yet manifested tripersonally as Scripture shows. He must be loved by the creature (us ins) with the whole being: heart, soul, (mind, will and emotions) and might (v.5), Jesus added the “mind” (Mark 12:30).

We who believe today know this same Yahweh, Israel Redeemer, as our Redeemer, who in the process of time became incarnate and died in our place. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

One, echad, Strong’s # 259: One, a unit; united; unity. The root of echad is achad, to bring together, to unify; to collect one’s thoughts. Echad paints a range of meaning as “one” does in English, from the very narrowest sense (one and one only, as in Ecc.9:18, one sinner destroys much good”) to the broadest sense (one made up of many, as in Gen.2:24, where a man and his wife “shall become one flesh”).

The foundational truth for the redemption of the world is that there is one God who creates and redeems, and yet the NT shows that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Compare the unity of God to the unity of man made in His image: Man is comprised of spirit, soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23). Man is not three “beings” but “one being” with physical, emotional, and spiritual elements.deu-6-4-web-watermarked

The word God is used here in its plural form in the Hebrew text. So, our God, the Lord is one likely emphasizes the Christian doctrine of the trinity, three Persons of the same substance in the one Godhead; this understanding, however, would not have been apparent to the people of the OT.

Is the attitude of your soul directing you?

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 2 NKJV.

Prosperity is a result; as it pertains to salvation (soteria) and in the over all results God provides for believers. It is certain that God wants His children to prosper. Can anyone deny that? However, prosperity should not be the end in itself. It should be the result of a quality of life, commitment, dedication, and action that is in line with God’s Word.

In our text the word “prosper” (Greek—euodoo) literally means “to help on the road” or “succeed in reaching.”  Its meaning is significant in that divine prosperity is not a momentary, passing phenomenon, but rather it is an ongoing, progressive state of succees and well-being. It is intended for every area of our lives: the spiritual, the Physical and emotional, and the material.

However, God does not want us to unduly emphasize any one area. We must maintain a balance. The last expression of our verse translated “ just as your soul prospers,” actually means “in the measure that your soul walks in a proper and right manner.” In other words the Apostle John is saying to Gaius that his wish is that everything about him is doing well and that he is healthy, (sound) and doing well and being healthy depends upon the right direction of his soul, or his attitude.

 

Healing, Restoration and Holiness are you walking in them, or are you already Perfected?

It needs to be said that true restoration of relationships involves more than choices to forgive and be forgiven and a great deal more than fleshly striving to be kind and loving.

Holiness is not achieved merely by working to order our behavior according to the laws of God. Holiness is a matter of giving ourselves so completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ that by the power of His Holy Spirit living in us we are transformed into His likeness. His purposes, motivations, and responses become ours. Our behavior is then the outward manifestation of what He has been allowed to accomplish in our innermost being.

Many in the church have not understood that a deep transformation of the inner man needs to happen for everyone in the process of sanctification. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted: but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:4, 5. holiness-funny

Hidden things in the heart (hardened heart, bitterness) often block us in our Christian walk and keep us from becoming one with each other and with God. When born-again Spirit-filled Christians cannot walk in Christ, often what is involved is one must minister through counseling to the evangelization of unbelieving hearts of believers. Hebrews 3:12.

Many Christians resist the very idea of sanctification as a process. Rather, they see it in terms of a single happening, an experience. They celebrate the fact that their sins are forgiven and they are new creatures in Christ, which indeed they are (2 Cor. 5:17) However, many fail to see that the new creation has yet to put off the practices of the old man (habitual ways of seeing, thinking, feeling, and acting) and to put on the new self who is “being renewed” (Col.3:3-15).

Many do not seem to understand that they must be renewed in the spirit of their minds (Eph. 4:23) so that they may learn, for example, how to “be angry” but “sin not,” Eph. 4:26.

Our renewed mind must be trained to take authority over the emotions of our heart so that choices to act are not directed by emotions but by the mind of Christ in us. We are crucified with Him (Gal.5:24 and 2:20) but Paul also says that we “die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31) as we reckon ourselves dead to sin and present ourselves as alive to Christ as instruments of righteousness (Rom. 6:11-14).

“By one offering He has perfected for all times those who are (being) sanctified” Heb. 10:14; this passage speaks of a process. In Hebrews 12:14 Christians are told to “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord.”

We are commanded to: “see to it that no one come short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” (Heb. 12:15) we are to do as Paul did, “…I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12). We are to “grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2) and “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).

Christians who do not understand that our positional perfection in Jesus must become experiential in this life have counted their born-again experience as the end accomplishment rather than the beginning of a new life empowered by the risen Lord, supported, and nurtured by life in the family of God. (The Church).

Does God Still Heal, Or, Is It All On Doctors?

23. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”25.  So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15: 23-26 NKJV.     Please note: verse 25 states that after Moses cried out the Lord is speaking from the rest of the verse and 26. Exodus-15-26

Heals, rapha, Strong’s # 7495: To cure, heal, repair, mend, restore health. Its participial form rophe’, “one who heals,” is the Hebrew word for doctor. The main idea of the verb rapha is physical healing.

Some have tried to explain away the biblical teaching of divine healing, but all can see that this verse speaks of physical diseases and their divine cure. The first mention of rapha’ in the Bible (Gen, 20:17) refers unquestionably to the cure of a physical condition, as do references to healing from leprosy and boils (Lev. 13:18; 14:3).

Scripture affirms, “I am Yahweh your physician.”

The Old Testament Healing Covenant.

This verse is widely referred to as the OT Divine Healing Covenant. It is called a “covenant,” because in it God promises He will keep His people free from diseases and conditions the promise upon their diligent obedience.

The words used in our text for “diseases” Hebrew (Makhaleh) and “heals” Hebrew (rapha) are used for physical sickness and bodily healing. This is not only a spiritual concept, but also an intensely physical one.

The covenant is made absolutely certain by the fact that God joins His mighty name to the promise, calling Himself Yahweh-Rapha, meaning “the Lord who heals.” Here God reveals His nature to be the Healer to those who obey His word—to recover to health and to sustain in health.

If under the former covenant bodily healing was pointedly included with the Father’s many other benefits, we can rejoice and rest in faith. The New Covenant “Glory” exceeds everything of the Old (2 Cor. 3:7-11), and we can be certain that God, in Christ, has made a complete provision for the well-being of our total person.

 

This is post number 400 for Cracked-Pot.

Have you experienced the Dark Night of the Soul?

We can experience two types of “being lost.” Both types can be spiritually dangerous. All of us have experienced the loss of something—-wallet, money, car keys. I remember boarding a plane in Tel-Aviv, Isreal and not seeing my wife who was just behind me. I stood in the plane frantically looking for her thinking if she misses the flight, how will she get back? I felt i had lost her. Lost is seperation. We, until our born again experience in Jesus Christ, are seperate from God in terms of an intimate covenant relationship.

The second type of being lost is what St.John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul.” John was a Spanish Carmelite monk (1542-1591), a student of philosophy and theology. St. John defines the ‘dark night.’ “The ‘dark night’ is when persons lose all the pleasure they once experienced in their devotional life.” The experience feels like God does not exist.

St. John suggests that God wants to wean us from depending even on our own consciousness and experience of God. This is pastorally challenging territory. Some folk just cannot fathom the dark night of the soul and end up jettisoning their faith. Had they the will to persevere, the God on the other side of the dark night would be closer, bigger, much more loving. We’ve produced an American infantile spirituality that requires God to be our security blanket. What if God “disappears”?maxresdefault (1)

 

St. John of the Cross describes new believers as eagerly devoted to Christ and rigidly disciplined in spiritual practices. In their following Jesus they develop a “secret pride.” They become “too spiritual,” condemning others who are not as spiritual as they are. They stay disciplined in order to be esteemed by others. They begin to avoid confession because confession may ruin their image. They become more spiritual for their own sake, not for God’s. Enter the dark night. The dark night is a purging work of the Spirit. John writes, “For the truth is that the feelings we receive from the devotional life are the least of its benefits.

The invisible and unfelt grace of God is much greater, and it is beyond our comprehension (emphasis added). …For true spirituality consists in perseverance, patience, and humility. …No soul will ever grow deep in the spiritual

life unless God works passively in that soul by means of the dark night.” The dark night is called dark for a reason; it is an inner darkness that makes one feel like he or she is wandering toward the inky abyss.

In short, if the Dark Night (DN) of the senses is the move from loving God for pleasures sake to loving God for loves sake (God turns out the light on our sensual spirituality), then the DN of the soul is the move from the love of God for loves sake to the love of God for *Gods* sake (to paint w/ a Broadbrush!).

Ironically, “consolation,” Gods “felt presence,” is for the less mature/younger believers to *encourage us & reinforce behaviors; “desolation,” Gods “felt absence” is for the more mature believers to “‘expose behavior (Spirit takes us deeper into the “putting off’ process-­detachment). We cannot get rid of the self unless we through the self!!!

In the DN of the spirit/soul (love of God for loves sake to love of God for *Gods* sake alone) the Spirit begins to purge us not only of our vices, but now also our virtues we developed as non-christians & young believers.

Most 15,20,40+ year old believers in the faith, if they are honest  will tell you that deep down when trials come we instinctively, & autonomously, tend to appeal more to our own intellect, character formation, will, etc we have accumulated over the years than opening to the Spirit from beginning to end. “Apart from me you can do…”

This does Not mean we get rid of all the *wonderful* important, foundational attributes we have gained over the years! On the contrary, God Himself begins to “darken” these deep parts of the soul in order to bring Deeper dependence on the Spirit’s wisdom in the moment (& ultimately bring more profound insight as they are subordinated to God).

Sanctification nurtures the same psychological soil as justification, “I can’t do it!” only in much deeper places. God also moves us from trusting in our own character to deeply abiding in the Vine. During this process, a DN indeed, anxiety, fear, worry, guilt, shame, etc are *God’s* invitations (idiot lights on the dashboard of our soul) to journey deeper With Him leading the dance & not appealing to our own autonomous “gifts.”

Its been said that feelings are lousy leaders. Absolutely! But they *are* Excellent windows into the soul as well.

The louder they scream will constitute how deep our (disordered) attachments reside, and *that* is when we need to lay down our defensive (often unconscious) shield of acquired wisdom, character, willpower, etc & go with God  as He Lovingly invites us to the spiritual discipline of listening to our hearts (where the Triune God resides!) & to the call of God that echoes*deep* in the heart of every emotion. God Himself will do this in the DN of the spirit/soul.

This was Very brief but hopefully helps a little. There are many signs & temptations that accompany believers here and a good spiritual director/pastor familiar with this terrain is needed.

 

3. Obed-Edom: Available on Short Notice

Read this and enjoyed the depth of perception. Enjoy!

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