Friday, July 29, 2011

Taught of God

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." Psalm 32:8 KJV
These are the words of the Lord to the Psalmist. Our Lord makes it very clear in both the Old and New Covenants that He is the primary teacher of His people. There are many references scattered throughout the Old but for our purposes, I just want us to look at the ones in the New. (All references are King James - simply because I have it near by).
"It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." John 6:45
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you in all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26 KJV
"But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." 1 Thessalonians 4:9 KJV
"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." 1 John 2:27 KJV
There are, of course, more but this is sufficient for us to see that the Lord expects to be our primary teacher. How does He do this? Is it just through a knowledge of the Scriptures? What role do people teaching people have in this scheme? 
First of all, in our walk in Jesus, we must always be open to other people, what the Lord is teaching them and having them share. This definitely is important, but in our world today we have made it "the" way of being taught. Someone, operating in the five-fold gifts (Ephesians 4:11) studies, prepares a lesson and then gives that lesson - or some situation similar. Yes, as a teacher, this is important and we learn from God like that. But that should not be the primary way. 
The role of the Scriptures is primary in understanding how God teaches us. Without the Scriptures, we are left to man's wisdom and ingenuity, neither of which have any inherent value. So we have the Scriptures. Is the only way the Lord teaches us through the Scriptures our studying out what others have said? Well, once again that is important. It is important to work with the language (many helps are available here) and to search out what others think it means, but the Scriptures written above point to another way entirely.
The Lord wants to be our primary teacher. As we study the Scriptures and have our time with Him, He speaks. As we hear Him, He will show us what He is talking about in the Scriptures and lead us into understandings, insights and revelations out of the text that we have never imagined. He teaches us of Himself. 
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 KJV
This is out of the Scriptures, through the Scriptures, and into the Scriptures. He unfolds, reveals and allows “knowings” that teach us incredible things about Him. 
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." John 14:21 KJV
Our Lord is very personal. He is our teacher. In order to receive that teaching, we are to become open to Him and be His friend. Our prayers need to rise from being about our needs into a searching of His heart for the matters at hand that he knows. This calls for us to allow Him to be the focus of our time, and we will discover that He, in turn (like a good friend). will make us His focus. His teaching ability far exceeds what we can conceive on our own. He is able in the Spirit to launch us into realms of "being in Him" that thrill and rest us, all at the same time. He is able to take our minds and delight them and show them His great salvation while He enriches and ministers to the pressing needs of our moment. 
As our teacher, He is able to implant within our hearts and minds the wonder of Himself through His word in such a way that obedience is a flow from the river of His love. 
Why do we run from Him? Why isn't His teaching the most important item in our day? Why do we think the pressing matters in our day, outweigh the delight He longs to give us in their process? 

Saturday, July 02, 2011

We Need to Think!

We, as believers in Christ, need to begin thinking Biblically. In today's world, that is "outside the box" of what is usually thought in reference to our conservative Christianity. Now, I am conservative and I believe the Scriptures -- but what I see is a church world ready to right all wrongs, especially on the politically "right" side -- but non-Biblical thinking processes dominate. I am speaking in reference to our attitude toward those who differ with us, even on key issues; abortion, gay marriage, removing the Ten Commandments from public places, public school prayer, and on and on the list goes. Now while I do not like the path our nation is presently taking on these issues, there is something far more important to the Christian than these issues getting solved politically.

The way we respond and behave toward those who differ with us is a key. The following quote is from a fellow blogger, Peter Kirk on Gentle Wisdom. While I never agree wholly with any other blogger, his thoughts, especially in these two paragraphs, speak what we need to hear.
It is right for us to be sad when we see such things, and for them to drive us to prayer. And sometimes it is right to speak out for truth and righteousness. But when instead we take offence and start complaining in a judgmental way, in fact we harm the cause of Christ, in the same way that Calvin did when he presided over a legalistic state in Geneva. This is true whether our offence is over the Pledge of Allegiance, over bad things we see in society, or over what some blogger has written.
How is this harmful? We give outsiders the false idea that Christianity is all about keeping rules and saying the right words. We make them feel condemned rather than loved by God. Instead of attracting them with the true gospel message, we repel them and cause them to reject any Christian faith that they might have. In short, we do great damage to the Kingdom of God.
Our hearts and our expressions of that heart must be in line with the love of the Holy Spirit expressed in and through the Word. This is also true when we begin to criticize our government officials. What the word says is clear, "...The only thing that matters is faith working through love." (Gal. 5:6b) NIV

Beautiful Day

I wanted to share with you some of the beauty of my flower garden. This particular plant was given to me for Mother's Day by one of my daughters-in-Spirit. She has blessed me deeply, for I am really delighting in them. 

A new prayer letter is up on Psalm 19's web site and we also have all the data up for our Summer Event (with worship by One Voice). You can sign up on line if you would like. We will have an awesome time in His presence in Worship and Word. Lauren and I are both speaking and the Lord is already working our lessons in our hearts. It will be a good time to come together for the summer meeting. 

For our regulars, we do have Friday Fellowships beginning on August 12, so I pray you are looking forward to them. 

The following is from my prayer letter that I sent earlier in the day to our Intercessors. (If you wish to be a part of that group, go to the prayer section of the web site and sign up. It will be done automatically and kept private, for that purpose only).

"I encourage you to drink deeply in the well of our Lord's love this week. Do not short-cut your appointment to just be with Him. Take that one-on-one time with Him, and also remember that He interprets time with us in that "us" word. He is a part of all we do, think and feel. So "we" have this appointment all the time. It is not burdensome, but joy filled. He is the power, the mind that we lean into, and the sweetness of "being" that only He can be with us. Enjoy His love and allow that sweet fragrance to prevail through-out your day. It is such love."