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You Are Exalting Yourself….

“You are still exalting youself against my people and will not let them go.” From Exodus 9:17

It is possible for the people who are the enemies of G-d to exalt themselves against not just Him, but also His children.

From this verse we may insinuate that it is possible for the Father to become incensed when others attack those of us who are His kids in actuality.

There are some who claim Jesus but won’t conduct themselves as His kids, and they will not bear fruit (Matthew 7:20). And, as we know, making a decision, checking a box, and saying a prayer do not make you His kid.

Rather being made perfect as He is perfect, that is being made completed in Him as He is complete (Matthew 5:48) is solid evidence that you are part of His family.

The real, sincere honest desire to be made conformable to His image (Romans 8:29) and His death (Philippians 3:10) that verifiably transforms how you walk on Monday Morning is a way of ascertaining that you are His kid. Do that and you more easily be able to resist exalting yourself against either Him or those that are His.

So, today, as you work out your salvation and reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12), consider the principle of exaltation.

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Some Thoughts on Galatians 6:3-5

Galatians 6:3-5

 

Bearing Burdens: Part 2

 

“For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.  For each will have to bear his own load.”

Galatians 6:3–5

 

So, last week we discussed how we are supposed to bear one another burdens, and in this passage we are told that each person will have to bear our own load?  So, what gives?

 

Paul is not commanding each person to bear their own load.  Rather, Paul is explaining the reality of what will happen if we think we can do life alone.

 

NOTE: For those who want to live life alone, I recommend that you stop attempting to get married.  Getting married will force you to become accountable for someone for the rest of your life, period.

 

This is precisely what happens when we fail to read statements of explanation as statements of command, and when we fail to read in context.

 

First, we are commanded in verse 2 to bear one another’s burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ.

 

Then, we are told in verse 3 that there is a reality and it is this:  there are areas in each of our lives where we are weak.  We are after all, as a church, designed to be a body.  The eyes need the ears and the ears need the hands, and the hands need the feet, and they need the heart, which needs the pancreas, which needs the brain, which needs the digestive tract.

 

In other words, there are some things that we are designed to be really strong at.  Gifts, talents, abilities that God has given to each one of us, and there are areas where we are weak and need the help of other believers who are strong in the areas where we are weak.

 

Then between verse 3 and verse 4 the idea seems to be that if we believe we can do this on ourselves, then the consequences of attempting to do it ourselves will be spelled out in verses 3-5.

 

If you choose to go it alone, then your own works, strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between will be tested, and further, you will be required to bear that load alone, regardless of how heavy that load is.

 

This is a principle that bears repeating.  If you want to go at the Christian life alone, then you will be permitted to go at it alone, but as a result you will have to accept the consequences of going at this life alone.  You will have to accept the consequences of not having other believers around.

 

Honestly, there are a couple of ways in which that might sound appealing, but there are a number of reasons why the idea of following Jesus alone should scare us.

 

First, we were not designed to live in isolation (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Second, we have gifts that can only be fully utilized in the context of community (1 Corinthians 12:7).

Third, for those who are inherently social, they need those of us who think we can do this thing called life alone.

Fourth, God observed in Genesis 2:18 that “it is not good for man to be alone”.

Fifth, there is no way we can follow any of the commands in Scripture that are given to one another if we are not living and dwelling in community with one another.  If we are alone, then it is impossible to engage in the “one anothers” of Scripture. Here is the list of those

 

Romans 12:10

Romans 12:16

Romans 14:13

Romans 15:5

Romans 15:7

Romans 15:14

Romans 16:16

1 Corinthians 7:5

1 Corinthians 11:33

1 Corinthians 12:25

2 Corinthians 10:12

2 Corinthians 13:11-12

Galatians 5:13

Ephesians 4:2

Ephesians 4:32

Ephesians 5:19

Ephesians 5:21

Colossians 3:9

Colossians 3:13

Colossians 3:16

1 Thessalonians 3:12

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Hebrews 10:24-25

James 5:16

1 Peter 5:5

1 John 1:7

 

Concerning 1 John 1:7, why would we want to have fellowship with one another if we think Paul would tell us to bear our own burdens alone?  Answer: we would not, because Paul did not.

 

If the purpose of forgiveness of sins is reconciliation, then one of the major evidences and major things that will draw others into a saving knowledge of Jesus is the love we have for one another.

 

Now, that love is not turning a blind eye to the sin of others.  Rather it is a love that speaks the truth from a motive to see others restored to community with the Lord and with each others.

 

Speaking the truth by itself may be very destructive.  Rather, in what we do, there should be a right motive, and when that motive is the ministry of reconciliation that we have each been given as Christians, then we are able to show love one for another.  And for that sort of interaction to take place, we have to first be able to partner with the Lord to create a safe place and an atmosphere of trust that enables us to have honest interactions with one another.  We cannot more deeply grow in love if there is little basis for trust.  I can say and call you brother or sister, but can I really treat you as brother and sister?

 

I can say, “how are you this morning?”, and you can reply with the right Christian response of, “blessed”.  However, can I trust you well enough to talk to you about my dog at home who is having an issue and trust that you will talk to the Lord about those issues and pray for my dog?  Can I trust you enough to tell you about a negative situation at home and trust that you will pray and ask the Lord to move in that situation?  What kind of emotional, relational, spiritual investment am I making in you and vice-versa?

 

What does it look like for us to really and deeply treat one another as brothers and sisters?

What does it look like for us to create a community where love and affection flow?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Working with Survivors of SRA

I was never involved in Satanic Ritual Abuse. And to my knowledge, I do not have any parts, though I am fairly sure that I have been victimized by CRA: Christian Ritual Abuse.

I have told that story of ministerial abuse before without using that term.

But…I was thrown into the mix of working with Survivors, as my tribe calls them.

And my first encounter with a Survivor was a reminder of how good and underrated a gift the fruits of Kindness and Gentleness are, in addition to fostering trust woth those people we connect with.

I had no idea what I was doing, and to a massive degree that still holds true.

But what does not change is this yoke can be easy and light, if you will allow Jesus to lead you deeply and in the stillness as you work with them.

One thing this community is in desperate need of is “still Christians”, sons (applied to men and women both) who are capable of becoming still and who are aware of how much they do not know, and who are just willing to listen and step into the survivor’s world.

I have some friends who are survivors, and each of them has been assigned to me for the present season.

And for the time being, we just need to be willing to be willing to walk with our abused friends, even without answers.

And we need to recognize that this task is dofferent from other tasks, but it can be vastly simplified if we are just willing to do one thing that so many programs will not teach you: show up from time to time, be there, and use the tools in your hands that Father puts there.

For me, the major tool is blessing. Blessing design and blessing them with the truth of who they are and who they were made to be.

And when you do not have the answer, just being available to listen and absorb parts of their reality makes a huge difference.

Just a few lunchtime thoughts, if you are willing to bear with a trouble human spirit.

Getting Beaten In the Brickyard

It is possible to be chosen of G-d, precious in His sight, the apple of His eye, His dearly beloved son (as a man or woman), bride (as a man or woman), the object of His tender mercy and affectionate heart….

And still be subject to the harsh realities of being beaten in the brickyard by the taskmasters of Pharaoh.

The presence of the taskmasters of Pharaoh in your life does not guarantee an absence of the affection of the Father. Often times, as the Israelites also ignored the word of Moses, Father is trying to get our attention to move us out of one season because it is time and it is the καιρός time for us to transition, but we can ignore and become bitter toward G-d, offended with Him, and reject the season of His timing.

If your spirit is broken (Exodus 6:9), then it may be difficult to hear the word of the L-rd, but it still is necessary to act, lean into G-d your Father for healing in that season, and move toward liberation, and walk in/act on faith.

The L-rd might be allowing circumstances to stack one on another in order to move you out to a place that is calm and quiet, even if that land is desert land, in order to revive your broken spirit.

The question is, “Are we willing to move, even with the very traumatic reality of a broken spirit?”. If we move and offer the L-rd our broken spirit, He will not despise that (Psalm 51:17). He wants to deliver and save those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18), WHILE they are still crushed in spirit (Exodus 6:9).

Can we still muster the capacity to move even when our spirits are broken or crushed?

I think it is possible, though it is painful.

And He is still our Father even when we have a crushed spirit. But sometimes He will use circumstsnces that are painful in order to provoke us to say “this is a place I really hate” and use that pain in order to cause us to walk in obedience when we are not feeling strong in spirit.

Carry your broken spirit, get out of Egypt, as messy as the exodus may be, and get into the wilderness with its serenity, where there is nothing but the quietness of the altar for the living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) which sometimes functions as a surgery table.

You have to climb onto the surgery table as an act of your own will.

And in the words of an old friend of mine, remember that in those seasons of surgery, that you are going to be in surgery, and “if you crawl off the table before He has finished his work, you will bleed to death.”

The Redemptive Gift of Ruler/Judge/Deliverer

I am fascinated that I had to rewrite this post, as the sync feature between box WordPress and Phone WordPress is not without its seams (“box” is Linux jargon for “computer”).

Phone WordPress doesn’t care that a draft has posted to the blog if you have worked on a draft on your phone that still has local changes made; it will retain that draft with local changes even if one has posted final copy from one’s box.

Moreover, the locally-edited phonic draft will overwrite the polished box final copy of a post if you accidentally punch up “publish” for a draft with local changes.

So, for those of y’all that wondered where my original RJD post went, I offer my sincere apology.

With that, here is a new posting for the same gift.

Enjoy it.

The sun…

The moon…

The twelve stars….

I am currently reading the account of Joseph, and coming up to this, the sixth of the Redemptive Gifts, and one of my favorite expositions, given that it is talking about RJD’s.

The man pictured above with his ever-loyal dog, Gibson, is my pastor, John Chase, from Massachusetts. His dog was named after the MLB player for whom Vin Scully said Tinkerbell stepped back during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series in which he and the Dodgers upset Dennis Eckersley and the exceptionally-talented Oakland Athletics.

Pastor John’s forté is taking imperfect people and building teams with these people in order to accomplish a desired end. This is vintage RJD.

SO WHY THE NAME MIX?

I will tell you why.

The Term “Ruler” does not embody the full bent, way, and direction of the gift’s expression whatsoever. Many times, when I hear “Ruler”, or “Leader”, or “Administrator”, I think “king with a crown on his head leading his kingdom and telling people what to do without getting his hands dirty”. I think “despot”, or any other number of disparaging terms that do not involve “rescue,” “deliverance”,”liberation”, or even their principle, “freedom”.

The Judges in the book of Judges have a similar problem. That term “Judge” is not “man in black robes issuing verdicts and sentences”. It is more akin to “Deliverer”. It is someone who is inherently concerned with the liberation of people that are in his sphere of influence and authority. Someome who willingly fights to bring liberation to a people for the simple fact that he or she has a bleedingly affectionate fathering heart for them, and hunts obssessively for their deliverance, and will fight overwhelming odds to give a place of familial affection for those who are being harassed. This is the Ruler at some of their finest expression.

The RJD is inherently concerned with the creation of sons.

In the creation of sons, the RJD is designed to be linked with the Sixth Principle, the Principle of Freedom.

But what is Freedom? How does it look on Monday Morning and how does it create sons?

I define Freedom is the fruit of effectively weaving together resources, principles, and blessings to move toward your birthright.

Arthur Burk, The Seven Principles, Disc 8, Cut 2, Timestamp 0:00-0:08

The idea of weaving together those three items leads to people who have the tools and skills to effectively build and fight. However, they must be willing to fight the right enemy and build the right edifices and structures. It is not merely satiating a bloodlust, nor is it building whatever empire suits the vision of the moment. Rather, it serves to build toward the vision that Father gives.

The people that we describe as operating in a high degree of Freedom are what we call “sons”. And relax, ladies. If men can be the Bride of Christ, y’all can grow comfortable with the idea of being sons of G-d. Congratulations, life is uncomfortable for all of us. These terms describe function rather than form.

Knowing how to fight and knowing how to build:

  1. In learning how to fight, the high-functioning RJD teaches you who the real enemy is. They help you keep focused not of every distraction around you that is ancillary and secondary, but rather the primary and main goal, and therefore the main opposition that is blocking the vision of Father from going forth.
  2. In learning how to build, the Ruler, with help from the team in the surround, shows you how to implement the plan and vision that G-d has given. They are the ultimate how-to manual for implementation of solutions that work. They are not so much as concerned with the rightness or morality of a solution. Rather they understand and find an or any solutions that work. They are the ones designed to surmount obstacles to achieve objective. If you release a RJD to build, they will get the job done and won’t need a whole lot of cheerleading. They will drive toward an objective with fierce intensity and blast any obstacles out of the way. They won’t necessarily do it with a light touch either.

In short, the RJD functions as the ultimate fathering influence of the Redemptive Gifts, along with the Servant and the Prophet. The Prophet sees, points out, and celebrates the design of the son by infusing them with dignity. The Servant builds platform underneath the son and shows them the revelation that they are a son, and will tenaciously hunt for the good in anyone, no matter how trashed and wounded they are. They also create the environment where the Father Himself feels welcome to come and invade the son’s life with the revelation of sonship, if the son is willing. The RJD helps to equip and release to to think, flow/move, function, fight, and build like a son.

THE NUMBER LINE

I want to show you the Ruler’s Numberline two different ways.

-100______________________0_____________________100

Bondage Obedience Freedom

This is the numberline that Arthur Burk discusses when he talks about Temptation. Freedom is not just being able to walk in obedience. Freedom is what happens when the temptation needle does not even flicker.

We in the church in many places are used to seeing, hearing, preaching, and treating obedience as the endgame. Obedience is not the endgame. Obedience is where you hear Father tell you to do something and you get your will into line with His. Obedience is merely a transition point from bondage on the way to Freedom.

You were not merely designed for obedience.

And no, sons do not merely obey. That is the job of servants.

And Jesus told us, “no longer do I call you servants”.

This walk with Jesus is not just about serving, nor is it simply about obeying. And those of you that are focusing on the passages about serving have missed the ultimate goal of walking with Christ.

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RJD

  1. Deliverers are among some of the busiest members of the community and the church. Along with the Servants, they usually have the most packed schedules of all RG’s. The only difference between a Deliverer and a Servant is the Deliverer is only as busy as they want to be, which is usually pretty busy, given their schedule. Servants, because they can have a difficult time saying “no”, can fill up their schedules to the point where the schedule runs them instead of them running their schedule.
  2. Deliverers are the skeletal system of the body in large part. Consider the similarities. The Skeletal System is the sort of system that provides more than just a scaffolding for the rest of the body to be grouped around. It provides mineral storehouses for the Cardiovascular System. The femurs are where one aspect of the life of the body, the red blood cells, are produced. The bones occupy a large segment of teaching in Scripture. They also provide materials necessary to synch the rest of the body. In essence. Likewise, the RJD provides an organizational life-giving hub for the rest of the body, and the other gifts. Other gifts may rely on relational or ideological connections for their strength, whereas the RJD has the capacity for tapping into an internal strength that is their own.
  3. Because of this, the Ruler’s self-reliance and independence can land them in hot water, especially if they are very carnal and naturalistic in their thinking.
  4. Judges need a trustworthy friend in whom they can confide deeply and with whom they can go the distance. When a Ruler finds this friend or couple of friends, provided strong betrayal does not enter the picture, this sort of friendship can benefit both the Deliverer and the non-Deliverer.
  5. Deliverers, when healthy, can make the ultimate fathers if they can tap into their capacity for relational skill.
  6. Left-brained Judges are built to be machines of efficiency.
  7. Right-brained Rulers definitely skew the model, because their creative flair seeps into their team-building, gathering, organizing, and fathering activities.
  8. Deliverers are known for effectively building with minimal resources and for pushing the resources the have into places of maximum output. If not healthy in their expression, then you end up with things like Jack Welch’s odiously satanic Stretch Goals; Tom Watson, Sr.’s domination of IBM; or Jeff Bezos’ nutters.
  9. When a Ruler lacks a conscience, they really get…ahem…unwise and mean-spirited. They make some of the finest and most efficient predators.
  10. The Deliverer has to be crucified and sanctified in their temperament in order to judge wisely. Their responsibility to is anchor themselves in an understanding of the qualities embodied in the three treasures in the Ark of the Covenant.
  11. The stone tablets of the Ark represent the Judge’s moral authority.
  12. The omer of mana speaks of the Ruler’s capacity to feed on the divine provision and to dole that supernatural provision out.
  13. The budded staff speaks of two things. First, the Deliverer is selected and appointed by G-d. Secondly, the nature of the fruit that came forth from the buds, almonds, speaks of the fact that G-d remembers the Ruler’s appointment to a task big enough for the Ruler to do. He does not forget the day, season, the history, or the circumstance of his appointment of the Ruler. His appointment of the Ruler to the gift of RJD is permanent, hardwired, good, without repentance, irrevocable, and a glorious expression of His busy nature.
  14. As the Deliverer leans into his Principle, s/he grows in Freedom and is enabled to help others grow into freedom and sonship. The key, however is he or she must be submitted to hunting for that principle.
  15. The Deliverer does not trust others easily outside of the expressed interference of G-d. However, if the Ruler hears G-d speak, he or she will work at extending trust.
  16. The key to working with a Ruler is that you must be willing to work at being willing to value protecting their heart. They can be extremely vulnerable and transparent, but they value, look for, demand, and hunt for loyalty. Where loyalty grows, there also grows brotherly and sisterly affection between any two gifts, but in a combination between a Ruler and another gift, the loyalty can be extremely strong, unyielding, and fierce.
  17. I have one such friendship with a Ruler that is in this realm.
  18. The one thing that will destroy a friendship with a Deliverer faster than anything is betrayal.
  19. Deliverers have some of the sharpest discernment of all the Redemptive Gifts.  When they are keen to walk in their design in a high level and recognize they were intended to father and bring Freedom, there will be a disproportionate ROI, and this includes in the area of discernment.  To be honest, some of the absolute sharpest discernment I have ever encountered that came with no context, and when I was not asking for it, belongs to a particular RJD who serves as a confidant, a sounding board, and an effective partner in ministry.  It is astounding the amount of spiritual data that has transpired between me and this Ruler, specifically because I am not used to viewing RJD’s as particularly spiritual people, necessarily, and yet John Chase and this other individual have an unusual capacity to read the spiritual climate and quickly adjust to meet it, respond to it, or anticipate it.

So, questions? Comments? Thoughts? What is missing?

A Hard Word Concerning What is Happening and What Needs To Happen in Much of the Church

Oftentimes, the sad reality is that what passes for discernment is really just mental sense.

I was reading the passage in Exodus and while I was reading 5:10-21, I sensed the L-rd laying a charge at the feet of many leaders in the body of Christ who are stubbornly choosing to live without the discernment Father intended them to have.

“They are the Israelite foremen in Pharaoh’s brickyard. They feel obligated to treat the Egyptian labor as reality when Father is attempting to liberate them (leaders without discernment) to pursue Him more deeply in the wilderness for the many oases He has for them.”

Unfortunately, in many, many places, leaders and people who were designed to be leaders have contented themselves with the bricks and straw of the world’s brand, the world’s fragrance, and the world’s way of thinking for fear of the structures of “crazy” and “unstable” and “black sheep” being exposed in them. It occurs to me Father may be trying to get them to walk where they are supposed to walk so those labels and structures can get exposed through the trats mistreatment so Father can ultimately remove those labels so they can walk in comfortable possession of the authority they have earned.

In order to do that, they might have to lay aside the world’s brand, and the entertainments with which they have sated themselves, whether that entertainment is social media, sports, movies, friendships that they believe improve their image and reputation. They will need to lay these things aside so they can run with the Shepherd and climb among the crags of the High Places.

It is time, gang.

It is time to thrust aside, even if for a season, the things that beset you.

It is time for a tighter, crisper, and fuller, more satisfying walk.

Be blessed.

The G-d Who Reveals Reality (Exodus 7:14-21). The Exhorter Who Hunts For Reality

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go.  Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water.  Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent.  And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.’ But so far, you have not obeyed.  Thus says the LORD, ‘By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood.  The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.’ ‘ “

 And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’ ”

Exodus 7:14–19

It is possible that some of y’all have considered this but I will share it on the chance there is someone who has not.

The only thing the L-rd was doing here was revealing the nature of the Nile River and what was in it.

If you recall earlier in Exodus (1:22), the Nile was the scene of numerous infanticide.  The Nile was also, ironically, a source of life to the land of Egypt.  The Egyptian drowning of young men in the river would have defiled the river, and the L-rd was showing the Egyptians what they had done in their usage of the River as a tool of death to so many Israelite children.

Thus, not only was the L-rd conducting warfare against the god of the Nile, but He was also revealing to the Egyptians, especially those with the depth of memory to recall, the reality of what they had done to their river in executing premeditated bloodshed.  He was revealing reality

It behooves us, and especially those of us with the Redemptive Gift of Exhorter, to recall that the L-rd knows reality and is capable of showing us things as the really are and not just as we wish them to be.

It does us all good to hunt for reality, gang, especially with the G-d Who Reveals Reality.

The Exhorter who hunts for reality in private with the L-rd, is the Exhorter who has much positive earned authority in the realm of the Redemptive Gift.  And the chances are high they will avoid many public embarassments that are completely avoidable.

As the Prophet is designed to hunt for Design, the Exhorter is designed to hunt for Reality and to have a disproportionate harvest when they do hunt for Reality.  Father is willing to reveal reality as is truly is and not merely as we want it.  The question is, like Yeshua the Exhorter, are you willing to go through what it takes to develop the chops necessary to handle Reality as it is progressively revealed?

That is the work of the earlier manifestations of Reality.  That is the work of intimately knowing Sowing and Reaping, and Pain and Suffering.

And in that suffering, pain, and knowing Reality, there is a capacity to know G-d in an intimacy that few will ever want.  This dynamic and type of intimacy is something that the Prophet and the Mercy and the Teacher cannot easily grasp.

I would contend the Exhorter was designed more deeply than the other gifts to know the G-d Who Moves In Suffering and Pain.  They were designed to fellowship with Him in suffering, and to find a joy in suffering that many others would find absolutely perverse.

It takes two to make a community, and Exhorters are designed for community.  And their chiefest community, the community that will NOT abandon them, is the community of the Trinity.  And given joy is what strengthens the believer, and joy is the emotion of community, the easiest community for an Exhorter to form, if they want it, is community with the Trinity.

Moses, who was abandoned at birth, though not willingly, was a baby in the bulrushes.  Who knows how long he remained in that basket until he encountered another human?  For any Exhorter that first test of abandonment or separation from humanity is often the most keenly painful and rough.

This is why being able to form community with G-d is the most critical early on in the life of the young Exhorter.